BUCKHANNON — West Virginia Wesleyan College recently welcomed aboard veteran of The Coca-Cola Company and the U.S. Department of State, Talley Sergent. Sergent will be serving as the college’s Chief Development and Marketing Officer.
“West Virginia Wesleyan is known for its tradition of excellence and I look forward to forging a new path that builds on those traditions and positions Wesleyan for sustained success in the future,” Sergent expressed.
A Huntington native, Sergent’s ties to the college date back to the 1950s through her grandfather, the late Dr. M. Homer Cummings, Jr. who served on WVWC’s Board of Trustees from 1959-1992. He was also a recipient of the prestigious West Virginia Wesleyan Honors College’s Rhododendron Award. Sergent’s mother, Lillian Cummings Sergent and many of her aunts, uncles and cousins are all Wesleyan alumni as well.
Sergent has built a successful career in both private and public sectors. Most recently, she served as Vice President of Communications at The Markham Group. The year of 2018 was particularly exciting for Sergent, when she was the Democratic nominee for West Virginia’s Second Congressional District, as well as being named one of Fortune’s Most Powerful Women – Next Generation, and a West Virginia Wonder by West Virginia Living magazine.
Prior to that, Sergent was an executive at The Coca-Cola Company, located in Atlanta. She was also a diplomat at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C. Sergent impressively worked at the national level on three U.S. presidential campaigns and earned her start on Capitol Hill working for former U.S. Senator Jay Rockefeller, who served as WVWC’s president from 1972-1975.
“This is my first venture into higher education professionally, and yet there are so many similarities to my past work at The Coca-Cola Company, the U.S. Department of State and even in my Congressional campaign. It’s quite simple really: we must be “people focused,” ranging from our current and prospective students to alumni and friends,” Sergent explained.
Sergent is a 2002 graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism and Mass Communication. She currently lives in Buckhannon with her partner, Patrick Jack and their dog, Chunk.
Eager for her new beginning at WVWC, Sergent stated, “For me, joining West Virginia Wesleyan College provides a new opportunity, through higher education, to create positive change in my beloved home state. I look forward to doing my part—leading the college’s development and marketing efforts—to elevate and cement Wesleyan’s strong tradition of excellence for years to come.”
WVWC President Joel Thierstein expressed, “Talley Sergent’s understanding of marketing and development is exceptional and her standards of excellence will enrich West Virginia Wesleyan’s efforts to reach and engage its students, alumni and friends.”