The UNC Pembroke Board of Trustees unanimously approved a recommendation by Chancellor Kyle R. Carter on Friday morning to hire Wendy Lowery as vice chancellor for the Office of Advancement.
Lowery is a Lumberton-native and a graduate of UNCP. She has assumed positions of increasing responsibility in higher education during her career and currently serves as associate vice chancellor in the Office of Institutional Advancement at Fayetteville State University (FSU).
Chancellor Carter called the move an important milestone for his administration and described Lowery as a key addition to the university and community.
“I am absolutely thrilled to have Ms. Lowery join the UNCP team,” Chancellor Carter said. “Whenever I evaluate key leadership hires, I look for leadership and management skills, and most importantly, the three Ps: presence, passion and personality. Wendy has all of these characteristics. She will be a great leader for the Office of Advancement, and I am confident that her personal style will be well-received by the university and external communities.”
At FSU Lowery held different posts, serving as director of development, interim vice chancellor and associate vice chancellor during her time there. She supervised a staff that ranged from 18-30 employees and was responsible for the annual fundraising campaign as well as oversight of public affairs and marketing.
Lowery began her career at Methodist University as director of the annual fund and parent programs. She said returning home to UNCP is a dream come true.
“It’s not that often that someone has the opportunity to advance in their professional career in a field that they are passionate about at their alma mater,” Lowery said. “I am eager to be a part of the process of promoting UNCP as a school of choice.”
Lowery earned her undergraduate degree at UNCP majoring in political science and earned a master’s degree in public administration. Her experiences as a UNCP student were outstanding, she said.
“We all must work together to ensure that the student experience is a positive one,” Lowery said. “I admire Chancellor Carter’s efforts to enhance the services provided to our students, and as a graduate, I appreciate the level of importance placed upon these initiatives. The higher education environment has become increasingly competitive, and we must provide the best education possible in order to become and remain a school of choice.”
Lowery’s role at FSU was wide-ranging as the second in command of the Office of Institutional Advancement. Besides fundraising, she was a key player in SACS accreditation and internal audits and with university publications, including the FS&U magazine and the website.
She also participated in managing FSU’s recent branding campaign. “During my time at FSU, the Office of Public Relations and Department of Marketing worked hand-in-hand to ensure that the image of the university is a top priority, and I am delighted that these units are a part of the advancement structure at UNCP,” Lowery said.
The bottom line for the Office of Advancement is fundraising, and Lowery is an accomplished professional. She organized FSU’s first alumni and parent phone campaign, which netted the largest number of alumni donors in the history of the campaign. She increased online giving by 200 percent and implemented “mobile giving” via text messaging.
“The economic climate we have faced these past few years has placed a tremendous emphasis upon the field of fundraising, and at FSU our entire team pulled together allowing us to experience record growth in the number of alumni donors giving back to FSU despite the difficult environment,” Lowery said. “I will bring that collaborative framework to UNCP and build upon the tradition of excellence that already exists.”
As a frontline fundraiser, Lowery and her team focused on increasing participation rates among alumni, trustees, faculty, staff and friends, and they experienced significant success. Lowery will call on her experience to create opportunities at UNCP.
“At UNCP, I plan to implement a collaborative model for building relationships that will lead to private support as I consider the entire university family as fundraisers, working together to increase the number and level of gifts made to UNCP,” she said.
As a regional university, Lowery said UNCP’s mission to reach out to the community is important. “The economic impact of the university on our region is significant, and we must focus on expanding our reach while maintaining strong relationships that currently exist,” she said. “In order for any institution to experience growth, we must all participate in that effort collaboratively, and I am certain the support for our institution is vibrant and continuing to grow. I look forward to working with a variety of our community agencies and organizations as we seek to positively impact those we serve.
“The upcoming 125th anniversary of UNCP will allow the university to engage all of our constituents in an effort to recognize our past and look forward to a very progressive future,” Lowery said. “We will strive to utilize this celebration as another way to make a connection with as many of our alumni and friends as possible and to continue to build upon the private support provided to UNCP.”
In addition to her roles at FSU, Lowery is active in the community. She was named one of the “40 under 40 Leaders in Fayetteville” by the Fayetteville Observer. She volunteers with the American Heart Association, the Red Cross, Fayetteville Area Chamber of Commerce and the Center for Economic Empowerment and Development and was a member of the board of directors of the Fayetteville Symphony.
For more information about the Office for Advancement, please contact the office at 910.521.6252.