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BHS Alum Named University of Mt. Union President
The University of Mount Union’s first African American president is a Bedford High School alumnus.
Bedford Heights native Gregory King, who graduated in 1985, will assume the Mount Union helm on March 1.
“I had great people in my life at Bedford,” Mr. King said. He listed Yvonne Sims, Gordon Kimberly, Everett Heard, Frank Perez and Ray Kennedy. “I had great teachers and administrators in my life,” Mr. King said. “They gave me the foundation. They said, ‘Keep your head down. Do your work and go get it.’”
After graduating from BHS, he attended Mount Union, double majoring in business administration and sport management. His career plans weren’t specific and he figured he’d end up working at a bank or insurance company.
While a student at Mount Union, he got to know some administrators who introduced him to the idea of a career in higher education. He became the university’s first diversity intern and upon graduation began working full time in admissions.
He’s worked his entire 30-year career at Mount Union across several departments including student affairs, financial aid, enrollment and advancement in addition to admissions.
“I’ve had a 360-degree view of Mount Union from every lens,” Mr. King said.
The importance of his being the first person of color to lead his alma mater isn’t lost on him.
“It’s very significant,” he said. “I’m proud of it, but I’m not satisfied. It’s been too long. I want to open up more doors. I want to create more pathways so it doesn’t take so long next time. It is a significant honor, but we need to continue to do more.”
Since 2008, Mr. King has served as Mount Union’s vice president for advancement and during that time, he’s led three successful university campaigns: a five-year, $50 million comprehensive campaign, a two-year, $25 million capital campaign and a seven-year, $80 million comprehensive campaign.
Each campaign exceeded its fund-raising goal. In addition to those duties, in 2021, the university’s president and trustees chairman asked the Bedford native to oversee enrollment. The university had seen three years of declining enrollment.
As interim vice president for enrollment services, Mr. King has focused on rebuilding the admission team and this year, enrollment increased by 12% — the largest class in four years.
He’s proud that the University of Mount Union is an institution that welcomes students from all walks of life. Some attend through Pell grants, some are first-generation college students.
“I want to continue to build that,” Mr. King said.
He no longer has family in the Bedford area, but many friends remain in his hometown.
Mr. King, who was inducted into the Bedford Hall of Fame in the early-2000s, credits his schooling and where he grew up with helping to shape the person he is. “Those relationships I made there, the drive and determination and that grit to work hard and get things done — that came from Bedford,” he said. “I have great, great memories of Bedford."