New SAO director hired


Photo courtesy of Students Activities Office

After a six-week intensive hiring process, the Campus Involvement and Leadership Office has hired Jack Droppers, to succeed Ken Heffner as the Director of the Student Activities Office.

Associate dean of CIL, J.B. Britton, stated in an interview that similar to Heffner, Droppers will bring a “deep theological richness” to the position. 

“He is a millenial Ken Heffner,” said Britton. “We were blown away at some of the similarities—not just so much of the personality, but as far as their understanding of music, and their experience, and their theology, it’s quite similar.”

Droppers, who is currently the director of spiritual formation at Compass College of Cinematic Arts, has an M. Div. from Western Theological Seminary and is currently working a Ph.D. dissertation on suffering in the popular arts. 

Additionally, Droppers has experience working with students through the YoungLife program.

Droppers was chosen from what started as a pool of 30 applicants through a hiring process that included interviews with students, faculty, and administration, a presentation to the Student Life committee, and leading a conversation on a book chapter Heffner regularly covers with students. 

“In any position you want to do due diligence… It’s important you understand the candidate, but most importantly that the candidate understands you,” Britton said. “Throughout that process we were asking them to kind of step into that role a little bit… Jack definitely did a great job.”

According to Britton, the job description for the SAO Director role, which “was strongly influenced by the Save SAO movement,” will “fundamentally remain the same as it has been with Ken… In a lot of ways that’s why we were attracted to Jack.” Droppers will be hired on an hourly basis starting this November as he begins working with Heffner until he officially takes over the role of director in January 2020.