Josh Kee joins Henderson State as Vice Chancellor of Development

Josh Kee


Please tell us a little bit about yourself.

My name is Josh Kee, and I am thrilled to join Henderson State University as the new Vice Chancellor of Development. I grew up in Magnolia, Arkansas, where my mom was a dedicated school teacher, and my dad worked for a regional chemical company. I graduated from Magnolia High School and pursued a degree in coaching at Southern Arkansas University on a choir scholarship.

After graduating in 2002, I embarked on a career in development, starting with annual giving in 2004. Over the past 20 years, I have broadened my expertise to include major and principal gifts, legacy gifts, campaign leadership, alumni engagement, stewardship, and resource management.

For the past eight years, I served as vice president, overseeing alumni, development, and foundation efforts. I am happily married to my wife Bekah of almost 20 years, and we have two wonderful children, Shelby, who is 15, and Rhett, who is 10. I am excited to bring my experience and passion to Henderson and look forward to working with all of you to advance our university’s mission.

What led to your career in university development and alumni relations?

My career in development and alumni relations was inspired by my own experience as a recipient of a donor-funded scholarship. This scholarship allowed me the opportunity to pursue a higher education, opening doors that I might never have been able to experience otherwise. This personal journey instilled in me a deep appreciation for the power of philanthropy and the awareness of the sacrificial investment of others so that I could pursue my dreams.

What continues to fuel my passion for this field is having the opportunity to build lasting relationships with our stakeholders and witness firsthand the profound impact that our work has in the lives of our students. Being a part of this transformative work, seeing students achieve their dreams and potential through the support of our generous partners, is incredibly rewarding and fulfilling and that motivates me every day.

What is your vision for strengthening relationships between Henderson and its alumni?

My vision for strengthening relationships between Henderson and its alumni focuses on enhancing connections and increasing engagement. Our top priority will be strengthening and building long-term, sustainable relationships. We hope to do this by first keeping our alumni informed about the exciting events taking place at their alma mater. We aim to create opportunities for alumni to return to campus to experience the advancements first-hand and engage with our students and faculty. Additionally, we plan to travel and meet with our alumni in their communities, sharing the outstanding achievements that are taking place at Henderson.

What are some of the ways that Henderson can recognize and celebrate the achievements of its alumni?

Our Reddie alumni are achieving extraordinary accomplishments daily, and we are committed to creating more opportunities to celebrate and recognize these outstanding accolades. We plan to increase the outlets for alumni to share their accomplishments and milestones with us and creatively explore new ways to honor these achievements.

What message would you like to send to Henderson’s alumni and potential donors?

I am so grateful for the opportunity to be a part of a dedicated, caring, and resilient community of alumni, friends, faculty, staff, and students. I am excited to be a part of a university committed to the success of our students and look forward to working with an alumni base that is poised and passionate to move our university forward. I appreciate the chance to work together to make a difference in the lives of our current and future students. Together, we can achieve great things for Henderson State University.

What is your favorite hobby or activity to unwind after a busy day at work?

My favorite activity to unwind after a busy day at work is spending time with my family. I have a daughter who loves to show horses and a son who plays multiple sports, so I find great joy in being a part of their activities and cheering them on. It’s a wonderful way to relax and connect with the people who mean the most to me.

What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received, and how has it influenced your life or career?

I have this message at the bottom of my computer monitor to remind me every day of the importance of relationships – “People will forget what you say, and they will forget what you do, but they will never forget how you made them feel.”

If you could have any superpower, what would it be and why?

If I could have any superpower, it would be the ability to control time. Being able to pause or slow down would allow more time to savor the important moments in life. Additionally, having the ability to go back in time would provide the opportunity to experience events that I may have missed or have more time with family and friends.

If you could listen to only one music genre for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Even though this would cause my kids to never ride with me again, it would definitely be classic country music.

Do you have any hidden talents or skills that might surprise people?

I love to sing and was previously a part of several southern gospel quartets that traveled all over the nation performing. I’ve had the chance to be part of many recording projects with these groups and even had the opportunity to do a recording in Nashville, Tennessee. Someday, when life slows down, I would love to return to this passion.

If you were stranded on a desert island and could only bring three things, what would they be?

My toothbrush and toothpaste.

My phone.

Chocolate or something sweet – I have a big, sweet tooth.


Josh can be contacted at or 870-230-5450.