Darren Wilkins

WWU appoints new vice president for Student Life


Darren Wilkins will join the Walla Walla University administrative team as the new vice president for Student Life. Wilkins will provide administrative and student life leadership to support the success of students at the university.

Wilkins comes to WWU after nearly 29 years of experience in Adventist education, 21 of those serving as an Adventist academy principal. Since 2013, he has served as principal at Spring Valley Academy in Centerville, Ohio, where he developed and led teams to improve spiritual, academic and student life offerings; recruit faculty; expand campus facilities; and offer outdoor activities and international mission and learning trips. Prior to his time in Centerville, Wilkins served as principal at Mount Ellis Academy in Montana and taught at Loma Linda Academy in California.

An alumnus of WWU, Wilkins earned a bachelor’s degree in French, with minors in mathematics and history. He received a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction with an emphasis in ancient languages from La Sierra University. He has also earned a high school principal endorsement from Montana State University. As an undergraduate student, Wilkins studied at Collonges, France, and in Athens, Greece.

As vice president for Student Life, Wilkins will oversee all areas of the university’s student life, including housing, spiritual and social programs, student missions, athletics, and more. “Principal Wilkins has a rich history of positive engagement with students and mission-focused growth of institutions in both the West and Midwest,” says WWU president, John McVay. “We are delighted that he has responded positively to the invitation to lead the student life experience at Walla Walla University.”

Wilkins is an avid outdoorsman, enjoying hiking, backpacking, skiing, and kayaking. He combines interests in history, world religions, and languages with a love for travel, leading experiential learning and mission trips, and has visited 33 countries.

“It has been said that ‘Life is either a daring adventure or it is nothing.’ This is true of education and my walk with Jesus. I cannot wait to collaborate with the young men and women of WWU to make student life a heart-pounding, liberating, and self-sacrificial adventure with the Prince of Peace,” says Wilkins.

He and his wife, Yvette, have three college-age sons, and he enjoys spending time with family. He looks forward to stepping into the position in July.


Posted April 4, 2023.

Portrait of Darren Wilkins
Darren Wilkins will serve as the vice president of Student Life starting in July.