Dr. Tony Andenoro came to William Woods in August 2022, beginning as a professor in the School of Business. In December of that year, he was appointed as Vice-President and Chief Advancement Officer, overseeing the University’s fundraising and alumni relations initiatives, while maintaining his secondary appointment as full professor. He recently agreed to answer “Five Questions” for The Woods Today, as told to John Fougere:
1.) Where are you from, and what was your background before coming to William Woods?
I grew up in Cleveland, Ohio before leaving for the University of Toledo. After graduation I had hoped to have a storied career in Student Affairs. However, I quickly learned after a brief stint in residence life and judicial affairs that I needed more education to be effective within that space. I had the opportunity to go to Texas A&M University for my masters where I earned a degree in Student Affairs Administration with a heavy emphasis in counseling and psychotherapy. Following that, I spent one more year in student affairs before returning to Texas A&M to complete my Ph.D. in Leadership Development. At Texas A&M, I found a passion for the classroom and I started my career of being a professor upon graduation. My first professor gig was at Fort Hays State University, quickly shifting to Gonzaga University where I spent four wonderful years as a Professor of Organizational Leadership. Opportunity called again and I moved to the University of Florida as a Professor of Leadership Education for the next six years. After that I followed my heart to Iowa State University where my partner at the time quickly became my fiancée. In 2019, I moved to Miami to be the Founding Executive Director of the Institute for Ethical Leadership at St. Thomas University and in 2022 I got a call from Dr. Jeremy L Moreland asking me to explore an opportunity at a small school in Central Missouri called William Woods University. In December of 2022, I shifted from my faculty appointment in the School of Business to the Vice President and Chief Advancement Officer role for the university and I am so excited to continue the work of informing people’s passions and building relationships that lead to the development of amazing things for our incredibly deserving students.
2.) What about William Woods prompted you to pursue your current position here?
I truly believe in the vision of President Moreland. I think he is a wonderful individual and more importantly an absolutely dynamic advocate for the students that he serves. He is also a passionate advocate for leadership development and creates the space for his employees to realize their maximum potential. Having the opportunity to work with people like him and other fantastically collaborative individuals at the University created too much of an opportunity to pass on, which led me to take my talents from South Beach to mid-Missouri.
3.) What led you to choose a career in higher education administration?
I am absolutely passionate about the student experience and find tremendous value in listening to our students, so we can learn from them, and walk with them on their journey to achieving amazing things in the future. Without question our students create the foundation for who we will be as a society in the future, and I am so excited to develop opportunities through the Center for Leadership & Character and my appointment as Vice President to help them realize their dreams and create a better tomorrow for our organizations and communities.
4.) What are your major goals/priorities for the development and alumni relations office here at William Woods?
My major goals and priorities for shaping an amazing approach to university advancement is to focus on the process and the relationships that lead to the opportunities for our students. Our alumni and friends are the lynchpins that allow these opportunities to move from dreams to transformational experiences. Without question we are in a very dynamic time for our society, but we are at The Woods and that creates the foundation for us to do amazing entrepreneurial, innovative, and life-changing things for our world. I firmly believe that University Advancement creates the foundation for creating an environment that people will never want to leave (our Alumni & Friends) and that students will flock to because of how we approach education differently, creating innovative opportunities that push well-beyond traditional higher education. We are agile, which creates a competitive advantage for us to shape opportunities for our students to get everything that they deserve and so much more when they come to The Woods.
5.) You have a whole day free to do some things that you enjoy. How would you fill up such a day?
My favorite thing to do is spend time with my amazing wife, Katie, and our dynamic puppy, Ramona. If we can pull Ramona away from her responsibilities at William Woods as the Director of Pawsitivity, we love to travel and explore new adventures that inevitably lead to wonderful stories to share. Without a doubt for me the recipe of friends, family, and fun with an adventure along the way culminating in a wonderful wine from Washington wine country creates scope of a perfect day.