Feature Story

Carrie Brotherson Named Vice President of Student Life

Carrie Brotherson
Carrie Brotherson

Buena Vista, Va. — Today, President Bonnie H. Cordon announced Carrie Brotherson as Southern Virginia University’s Vice President of Student Life, effective July 25, 2024. With over 25 years of experience in higher education, including more than two decades at Southern Virginia, Brotherson will oversee the Office of Student Life as it strives to provide the best student experience anywhere.

“This is a remarkable season for our students, and we’re laser-focused on enhancing the student experience from beginning to launch,” said President Cordon. “We conducted a nationwide search and were thrilled that the process brought us right back to one of our university’s true pioneers. Brotherson has been uniquely prepared to lead in this mission-critical, student-focused role.”

“Student Life’s job is to create an ecosystem where students can thrive and flourish,” said Brotherson. “We first ensure their basic needs are met, such as lodging and safety. Then we focus on meeting emotional, social, and spiritual needs, and then create opportunities, events, groups, and a sense of belonging.”

As Vice President of Student Life, Brotherson will lead several mission-critical areas of the student experience, including the Code of Conduct (instruction, adherence, and enforcement), campus activities, crisis management and intervention, residence life, and student engagement.

“What amazes me about Southern Virginia University is that it has stayed true to its mission throughout the years,” said Brotherson. “We continue to bring in wonderful students who are excited and have tremendous potential, and we continue to attract faculty and staff who are committed disciples of the Savior Jesus Christ and also committed to education.”

Brotherson joined Southern Virginia in 1999 as an adjunct professor teaching English and composition. Since then, she has been an assistant professor of writing, director of travel study, and director of first-year experience. From 2018–21, she and her husband, Todd, who teaches business at Southern Virginia, presided as mission leaders over the Chile Santiago East Mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Before joining Southern Virginia, Brotherson served as a graduate instructor at Brigham Young University and an instructor at Utah Valley University, The Meridian School, Long Island University, and Piedmont Virginia Community College. She earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in English from Brigham Young University. 

“When I was eighteen, I went to college, and I haven’t left,” said Brotherson. “My entire adult life has been working with eighteen to twenty-five-year-olds—including two missions. It’s an incredible time in people’s lives with so much potential for growth.” 

“Elder Jeffery R. Holland said when talking about youth and young adults, ‘we underestimate their capacity and overestimate their experience,’” Brotherson continued. “Students have massive capacity, and we have a role in Student Life to both tap into that capacity and provide the guard rails that need to be there. We want students to live happy, healthy, and safe lives.”

“For students to have this personalized experience with faculty and staff trying to help them build their spiritual life and faith in Christ as well as all of the other abilities they will develop in college is unique and powerful,” concluded Brotherson.

The Brothersons live in Buena Vista and are parents to three daughters, all of whom attended Southern Virginia University.