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Advancement Team

Meet the Advancement Team


Tom Ziemnick

Vice President for Advancement


As Vice President for Advancement, Tom Ziemnick oversees all of PHC’s fundraising, development, communications, and marketing efforts.

Tom has spent the last twenty-five years in professional sales, management, and development positions, including the last thirteen at Patrick Henry College. He became the Assistant Vice President for Advancement in 2008, and accepted the appointment as Vice President in 2013.
Tom has many passions in life, including his love of aviation. He is a graduate of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, earning a B.S. in Professional Aeronautics, and Emery Aviation College, obtaining an A.O.S. Certificate in Aviation Technology. He began his professional career as a flight instructor for Emery Aviation College in Colorado. Airplanes and aviation are still important to him, but those passions have been supplanted by an unabashed love of Christ, his family, the education of his children, and the mission and vision of Patrick Henry College.
Tom and his wife, Nancy, learned about PHC when they met Mike Farris in 2003, just after they decided to homeschool their children. Living in California, they became convinced that PHC was the right place at the right time for this country.

“We just knew, and firmly believed that God was at work at PHC. So we began to support it financially. That’s one reason it has always been easy for me to talk to donors. For the most part, they’re just like us. As I like to say, PHC is in our DNA.”

Tom grew up in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, so he’s proud to be a Yooper. In his spare time, if he’s not on the basketball or tennis court with some of the PHC students, he’s out enjoying the traditions of hunting and firearms he grew up with back home.

L. Schmidt

Lillie Schmidt

Alumni Affairs Coordinator


As the Alumni Affairs Coordinator, Lillie Schmidt is responsible for supporting the Patrick Henry College’s growing alumni community and the PHC Alumni Association. She is focused on partnering with alumni in their lives and careers through communications, events, and relationship building. 

Prior to joining the Advancement team, Lillie taught for seven years in K-12 academics, writing curriculum and facilitating engaging learning activities for classes such as History and the Creative Literary Arts. In the educational theater program, she produced and directed both plays and musicals across the grade levels. Lillie is a nationally licensed soccer coach with over a decade of experience in both travel and recreational programs. She received her M.Ed. from Ashland University. 

Lillie graduated from PHC in 2010 with a major in Literature. While a student, Lillie was a co-founder of the Student Ambassador program, a Resident Assistant, played on the women’s intercollegiate soccer team, and was a board member for PHC’s student theater group, Eden Troupe, participating in many of the productions including co-directing Peter Pan: The Musical.


Elias Gannage

Advancement Services Coordinator


Elias Gannage is the Advancement Services Coordinator, managing the back-end of the donor database and whose responsibilities include much of the nitty-gritty that keeps the office running: handling checks, processing mailings, generating reports, etc.

 A Patrick Henry College graduate, Elias desires to reinvest into the college that has taught him so much. He believes in the mission of PHC, to raise strong men and women who represent Christ well in this fallen world. Every day he sees first-hand the impact a PHC education has had on himself, current students, and his alumni friends through their ability to serve the Lord, love others, and humbly impact their communities through service and leadership.

Elias graduated with a History major alongside a Music minor. As a student, he was a member of the PHC Chorale, PHC Orchestra, men’s acapella group, and the Shall We Dance Society where he taught swing dancing as club President. He was also involved in PHC’s drama club, Eden Troupe, acting in and producing several plays as well as directing his pet project, The Importance of Being Earnest, in the spring of 2018. 

Outside working at PHC, he is a member of classical theater troupe Jupiter Theater Company, run by fellow PHC alumni. He also enjoys playing games with friends, singing along to musicals, and reading classic literature.

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