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Introducing the New Executive Director

Blake Tilley

Jefferson College is proud to welcome Blake Tilley as the new Executive Director of Development and Strategic Communications for the Jefferson College Foundation.

“This position is a tremendous opportunity to build upon the College’s capacity to serve more individuals in the area,” he said. “Working with donors is the best work possible, and I look forward to great things happening at the College.”

Blake’s primary responsibilities include initiating, coordinating, and evaluating fund-raising and grant activities for Jefferson College; serving as Executive Director of the Jefferson College Foundation, Inc.; and providing leadership and support for activities related to external communications, donor identification, cultivation and election and alumni support. Blake will also assist President McCaffrey with policy analysis, legislative activities, and strategic communications that address and respond to opportunities to advance Jefferson College’s mission.

The bulk of his experience is in non-profit fundraising and organizational promotion. He comes to Jefferson College having spent the majority of his career at the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod Foundation in St. Louis, where he was employed in a variety of progressively advanced roles from 2005-2019, including Manager of Planned Giving Communications, Director of Internet and Planned Giving Communications, and Senior Vice President of Marketing and Communications. He was also employed with Concordia Publishing House and was a National Shepherd’s Staff Trainer.

“I think Blake brings a special combination of fundraising knowledge and skill to the College,” said President Dr. Dena McCaffrey. “We’re really excited to have someone of his caliber join our staff and move the College forward in these challenging times.”

Blake has written and received grants, conducted hundreds of direct mail initiatives (from creative to execution), managed disaster responses, raised more than $2 million annually over the phone, and has extensive planned giving experience. In his role as an internal and external communicator, he has developed his skills as a writer, editor, graphic designer, webmaster, event/volunteer coordinator, and database manager.

Blake holds a Bachelor of Arts in Fine Arts and a Bachelor of Science in Marketing from Southeast Missouri State University in addition to a Master of Business Administration from Webster University.


The mission of Jefferson College Foundation, a separately incorporated 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization, is to increase resources, to raise funds and to cultivate friends and partnerships to support Jefferson College and its mission.


The Jefferson College Foundation, Inc. will be recognized as a premier community college foundation and a leader in raising funds to meet and to exceed the College and community needs.

History & Values

The Jefferson College Foundation was founded in 1991 to provide financial support of Jefferson College and its mission.  The Jefferson College Foundation believes that affordable, high-quality education is critical to the success of Jefferson County; it also recognizes that funding for such education is not guaranteed through traditional state or federal funding.  Accordingly, the Foundation Board of Directors is dedicated to raising money through direct investments of cash and/or pledges and in-kind gifts from local businesses, industries and individuals.

The Foundation recognizes the importance of building strong partnerships and collaborations.  Board members serve as ambassadors to the community, working to encourage business, community leaders and alumni to support programs and services leading to an outstanding education for the citizens of Jefferson County.

The Foundation sees itself as a valuable complement to the Jefferson College Board of Trustees, shaping Jefferson College’s future and ensuring its success.

Investments in the Jefferson College Foundation ensure that our Jefferson County region will continue to be enriched and served by Jefferson College–an institution of high standards and dedication to students and our community.

During a time of economic uncertainty, the Foundation must assume a major role in meeting the needs of Jefferson College and its students. The commitment of our donors – individuals, alumni, organizations and businesses alike – takes on an even greater role of importance than ever before if we are to continue to be a comprehensive Community College in Jefferson County.

Another way in which the Foundation supports educational opportunities at Jefferson College is by hosting fun and exciting events. Proceeds from our events provide scholarships for talented and deserving students in need of assistance. It also provides quality entertainment for members of the community and their families.

See for yourself how your support can change lives and improve the future of our community, and how you can personally make a difference... today!

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