Shawn Presley, born on October 9, 1964, in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, was the son of Ferne Culpepper Presley and Emmett Alden (Al) Presley, both residents of Jonesboro, Arkansas. He was named after his father, who held a position as a professor in the Department of Social Work at Arkansas State University during Shawn’s formative years. Raised in Jonesboro, Shawn graduated from Jonesboro High School in 1983.
He pursued higher education at Ouachita Baptist University, where he earned an honors degree. Continuing his academic journey, he completed a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri School of Journalism. Following the attainment of his Master of Arts degree, Shawn commenced his career at Investigative Reporters and Editors, a non-profit organization headquartered at the University of Missouri School of Journalism.
Dedicated to enhancing investigative reporting standards. Subsequently, he held roles as a communications specialist at the University of Iowa and coordinator of press services at Central College. In August 1997, Shawn accepted a position as the news director at Kenyon College. His dedication and contributions led to a promotion to head of public affairs and editor of the alumni magazine in 2003, and in 2012, he was further promoted to the position of associate vice president.
Under his leadership, the Kenyon Alumni Bulletin received the Robert Sibley Magazine of the Year Award from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) in both 2009 and 2011, during Shawn’s tenure as editor. Shawn also served as a trusted advisor to Kenyon’s senior administrators, including President S. Georgia Nugent and Sean Decatu.