Meet Ken Cornell
“This noble university is located in the best place in the nation for students to learn, be discipled, and become prepared to follow God’s vocational call.” — Ken Cornell
Ken Cornell, an alumnus of Seattle Pacific University, is a leader with nearly three decades of experience in higher education.
Known for his ability to align vision and mission with enrollment, marketing, and fundraising strategy, Ken has a longstanding connection to SPU. After transferring from UC Berkeley, he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in English in 1985 from SPU and came back to Seattle Pacific after a few years of work in corporate positions and an NGO overseas. He later earned an MBA from SPU in 1994.
Ken's journey at SPU began as the director of Undergraduate Admissions, a role he held for six years in the late 1990s. He gradually advanced to the position of assistant vice president for marketing and admissions. In the latter part of his career at SPU, he concentrated on senior leadership within external relations in University Advancement, and later served a three-year term as the alumni and parent relations director.
For nearly 10 years, Ken held the role of senior vice president over enrollment, fundraising, and marketing at Northwest University in Kirkland, Washington. During his tenure, Ken worked with faculty leadership to launch new academic programs, leverage the university's church relationships, and maintain a close working relationship with the Northwest University president and board. Together, they made strategic decisions that positively impacted revenue generation through enrollment, fundraising, and marketing endeavors.
With a strong attachment to his alma mater, Ken brings substantial experience. He describes his return to SPU as a compelling journey of faith, one where he has felt God’s calling “every step of the way.”