Braydon Hoover headshot

Braydon Hoover

Braydon Hoover, 33, has two deeply rooted values: community and service. And he happens to be in the perfect career role for both.

Hoover has been working at Eastern Mennonite University for 11 years and is currently the associate vice president for advancement. He engages with donors, alumni and parents to make EMU more affordable to students.

Every day, he sees magic happen when connecting a donor’s interest with a student’s need, Hoover said.

To him, a donation is not just a gift, but an investment in the receiving organization.

“I find it fascinating to delve into people’s stories and to connect them to folks that, like them, maybe needed that financial support when they were younger,” Hoover said.

One of the most important parts of his job is helping students afford their education. In fact, Hoover values access to education so much that he gave up a career in medicine for it.

After graduating from EMU in premed, Hoover began working in the alumni and parent engagement office, while his now-wife attended law school in Winston-Salem, N.C. He took his MCAT and applied to graduate schools in the meantime.

Hoover planned to work for a few years at EMU to support her, afterward continuing on with his medical career.

That’s not how life played out, however.

An employee suggested he apply for his current job, and when he was hired, he found it to be some of the most meaningful work.

Hoover helped establish the LoveEMU Giving Day, which raised close to $300,000 this April in a 24-hour period. The university is in a capital campaign to redo the track and field for $6 million, $3 million of which has already been raised, Hoover said.

Hoover is fresh out of his first year as president of the Harrisonburg Rotary Club. He also serves on the board of directors for the United Way of Harrisonburg and Rockingham County.

He began those roles for EMU, but continues them out of his desire to support the community.

“At the end of the day, I think what I most want to be remembered for is that I was kind to other people,” Hoover said.

Contact Laura Boaggio at 574-6278 or

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