The Office of Undergraduate Admissions welcomes James Pennix as its new senior associate director of undergraduate admissions. Pennix brings to Blacksburg more than 20 years of experience in admissions and enrollment management, most recently serving as assistant vice chancellor for enrollment management at Elizabeth City State University.  

“My passion is to help young people pursue their dreams of obtaining a college degree,” said Pennix. “That is my life’s calling - to serve students and families in pursuit of higher education.”  

Prior to his time at Elizabeth City State, Pennix served as vice president for enrollment management at Ferrum College; dean of admissions and AVP of enrollment management at Radford University; and director of admissions at Roanoke College.

“I am extremely excited to be a part of Hokie Nation and continue the great successes in enrollment that the university has experienced,” Pennix added.  “I have witnessed the enrollment growth from a distance and I have appreciated the strategic approach to diversity growth. I believe that it will be a great transition for me in continuing those initiatives, especially with the rural area recruitment.”

In 2012, Pennix oversaw the enrollment of the largest freshman class in Radford University’s history. The following year, he led Radford to achieve its all-time record enrollment, exceeding 9,900 students.   

“I’m excited to welcome James Pennix to our senior leadership team. He brings in years of admissions experience with a strong track record of success,” said Juan Espinoza, associate vice provost and director of undergraduate admissions. “I am confident that he will lead our recruitment team successfully and bolster our efforts as we pursue our strategic goals.”

Pennix is a native of Amherst County, Virginia. He holds a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Roanoke College and a master’s degree in social work from Radford University.  

“The New River Valley is and has always been a great region for outdoor activities. I love the hiking trails and the different opportunities to be out in nature. I am a small town country boy from Amherst County. So, I appreciate the region because it reminds me of home.”

A veteran of the United States Naval Reserve, Pennix finds himself strongly connected to the spirit of Virginia Tech’s motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve).

“I am a servant leader in every aspect of the phrase. The Virginia Tech motto has always resonated with me because I believe that we all should seek to serve others. This assignment is a bigger opportunity to serve students in their pursuit of higher education. For that, I am grateful.”

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