April 7, 2022
After seventeen years at the Woodward Hines Education Foundation (WHEF), Ann Hendrick has announced her retirement as the Director of the Get2College Program, the flagship college planning program of the Foundation.
Ann began her tenure with the organization in 2002 when she joined the Board of the Education Services Foundation, now known as the Woodward Hines Education Foundation. At that time, Ann was Dean of Admission and Financial Aid at Millsaps College. As the organization grew, so did Ann’s involvement. In 2005, Ann left the board and began spearheading a college access program now known as Get2College. She brought with her seventeen years of experience in higher education administration.
Initially, there was only one Get2College center in the metro-Jackson area. Due to Ann’s commitment to serving all Mississippians, three G2C centers providing in-person and virtual appointments, statewide outreach, and training now exist. Get2College serves students and families, no matter their geographic location in the state. Ann’s direction has brought students, families, and educators a more comprehensive understanding of college admission, financial aid, and college access and success issues.
Under Ann’s leadership, the program annually serves over 3,600 students and families in the center and over 12,000 students in statewide outreach and provides training to over 1,600 educators. Get2College has steadily increased the completion of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and state aid application through its efforts. In 2019, Mississippi ranked #3 in the nation for percent of high school seniors completing the FAFSA, #5 in 2020, and #4 in 2021.
Throughout her career with WHEF, Ann has been instrumental in the evolution of the Get2College program. The program has developed to include internal advisory councils, complex use of communication technology, strategic community and statewide partnerships, data collection and research, professional development training, and new initiatives to support college access and success for students.
Thanks to Ann’s leadership, Get2College has grown from a small Mississippi organization to a nationally recognized innovator in the college access field. For years, the Get2College staff has contributed to college access conversations at the regional and national levels, ranging from FAFSA simplification to college counseling. The program’s training and toolkits are used and replicated by educators across the country. The program itself is a successful and innovative college planning organization model.
Her influence extends well beyond her work with Get2College. Ann has served on national and regional boards, including the Southern Association for College Admission Counseling, The College Board’s Southern Regional Council, and the Mississippi, Southern, and National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators.
“Ann has left an incredible mark on the Foundation and the state. While I know that we are losing a college access champion, we have already gained so much thanks to her contributions,” said WHEF President and CEO Jim McHale.
College access in Mississippi was in its infancy when Ann first entered the field. Because of her leadership, vision, and passion, more Mississippians see post-secondary education as a possible next step. Her absence will be greatly felt.
“I will greatly miss the inspiring and dedicated team and partners I have worked with over the years. I know great things will continue to emerge from their hope and generosity,” Ann said.
As a Jackson, Mississippi native, Hendrick is a proud Murrah Mustang and Millsaps Major, where she received a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology. She also holds a Master of Science in Education from Indiana University and a Theological Education degree from the University of the South.
Ann plans to retire from the role in July 2022. The Foundation has begun a national search to identify her successor.