David L. Lesesne
Grant L. Azdell
Randolph-Macon College President Robert R. Lindgren has announced a change of title
for two of R-MC’s most experienced and dedicated members of the President’s Cabinet.
David L. Lesesne, Dean of Admissions and
Financial Aid, will now carry the title of Vice President for Enrollment
and Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid, and Grant L. Azdell,
Dean of Students, will also have a new title: Vice President for Student
Affairs and Dean of Students.
These new titles, effective October 18, mirror the practice at most colleges similar
to Randolph-Macon and parallel the titles of the three other college officers currently
serving on the R-MC Cabinet: William Franz, Provost and Vice President for Academic
Affairs, Paul Davies, Vice President for Finance and Administration and Treasurer,
and Diane Lowder, Vice President for College Advancement.
“I am pleased to share this exciting news with the Randolph-Macon community,” said
Lindgren. “David and Grant have worked tirelessly to make this college more dynamic
than ever. Their dedication is reflected in ever-increasing enrollment and retention
and in the ultimate success of our students. I congratulate David and Grant on this
Reflected in these new titles are enhanced responsibilities for Lesesne and Azdell.
Lesesne will assume full oversight responsibility for retention initiatives at R-MC.
For the past two years Lesesne has shared this coordinating responsibility with
Franz and Azdell. As Lindgren said in a message to the college community, “Recent
advances in this area are the result of this successful triumvirate, the work of
a larger steering group, and most importantly, of the efforts of virtually every
staff and faculty member at the college.” Although Franz and Azdell will remain
highly involved with retention strategies and their implementation going forward,
the ultimate responsibility for this area will rest with Lesesne.
Since arriving at the college in 2009, Lesesne has helped recruit the
largest and most diverse student body in R-MC’s history. In addition to
his work with retention, Lesesne helped implement the
Equestrian Team, a burgeoning program that offers riders of all levels the
opportunity to train and compete. Lesesne earned his B.A. from Wofford College,
his M.A. from University of South Carolina and his Ed.D. from Vanderbilt University.
Before joining the staff at R-MC, Lesesne served as the Dean of Admissions and Financial
Aid at Sewanee: the University of the South, a role he held since 2001.
Over the past several years, Azdell has developed a detailed strategy to implement
a key initiative in the college’s Strategic Plan, which focuses on enhancing the
outcomes of R-MC students. His work in this regard resulted in the creation of the
program, which was enhanced last spring with Azdell’s appointment of Linda
Carne as the executive director of the Center for Personal
and Career Development and leader of the EDGE
program. Through the EDGE program, the advantages students
have enjoyed as a result of good academic advising are being complemented by parallel
work in the areas of career discernment and preparation. Working closely with Carne
and her staff, Azdell will intensify his efforts to broaden this initiative across
the entirety of the college and to integrate this critically important work with
other efforts on campus.
Azdell has also been instrumental in the success of the college’s Emergency Preparedness
& Response Plan, which is designed to provide a safe and healthy environment
for R-MC students and employees. In addition, Azdell initiated the Students Engaged
in Responsible Volunteer Experiences (SERVE)
program, a community-service initiative for students, at Randolph-Macon College.
He also created the Leadership Fellows program and the Service Fellows program at
R-MC. Azdell earned his B.A. from Lynchburg College, his M.Div. from Vanderbilt
University and his Ph.D. from University of Virginia. Before joining the R-MC staff
in 2008, Azdell worked at Lynchburg College, where he spent 10 years in various
roles, including Chaplain and Director of Church Relations, Dean of Religious Life,
and Associate Vice President for Student Life.