Director of Leadership Giving Jay Atkinson has strong ties to Blue Ridge School. His son, Johnny, is a 2013 graduate. During his son’s four years at Blue Ridge, Jay was active in the BRS Parent Association.
Jay is a 1992 graduate of the United States Naval Academy and served on active duty for six years as a Navy Supply Corps Officer. After leaving active duty, Jay entered the real estate development business at St. James Plantation in Southport, North Carolina. He was promoted within the organization to General Manager in 2001 and to company President in 2004. Jay was the creative force behind several highly acclaimed neighborhoods in St. James. The Reserve, a 2006 finalist for development of the year in Golf Inc. Magazine, features a Nicklaus Design golf course and LEED certified Clubhouse. Woodlands Park is highlighted by an outdoor amphitheater overlooking a lake. Seaside is anchored by a state of the art wellness center.
In 2011 Jay enrolled at Union Presbyterian Seminary in Richmond, Virginia and earned a Master of Divinity degree. After graduation in 2014, he was ordained as a teaching elder and served as an interim associate pastor at his home church in Wilmington, North Carolina.
Jay also continued his involvement with St. James at the partner level, successfully leading the ownership group through the final phases of development and sale of four golf clubs in the community. Soon after, Jay was ready for a new challenge, and the opportunity to join the Blue Ridge School advancement team came along at just the right time. “As the father of a graduate, I have witnessed first-hand the life-changing effect of the Blue Ridge School experience on young men,” Jay says.
Jay is excited to be back on campus. “I can remember my son Johnny’s freshman registration day clearly. “Initially, he was quite intimidated by the prospect of boarding school, but he quickly settled in and four years later won the Headmaster’s Award from Trip Darrin. For my son, the transformation was simply remarkable, and many other parents and alumni I speak with share a similar story. It is why I want to be a part of this special place. I want to help Blue Ridge School continue its success, so more boys can reach their potential through the intentional learning environment here on campus.”
Associate Headmaster for External Affairs Franklin Daniels said, ”I am thrilled that Jay has chosen to join our team. He a person of exceptional ability and character, and we loved working with him as a parent during Johnny’s four years on campus. I am humbled by his professional and personal accomplishments and simply cannot imagine anyone better suited to be an advocate for Blue Ridge School.”
In addition to building relationships with BRS alumni, parents, and supporters through the advancement office, Jay will coach indoor track and serve as a character development coach for the Blue Ridge basketball program.