NKU Names New Vice President for Advancement
Geoffrey S. Mearns, president of Northern Kentucky University, announced today that Eric C. Gentry has been named vice president for university advancement. He will begin on Oct. 1.
Gentry has served as associate vice president for development at The University of Texas at San Antonio since 2008. As associate vice president, he leads a team of professionals responsible for all areas of campaign planning, development, donor relations, prospect research, development communications and data sciences.
“I am pleased to welcome Eric to the NKU leadership team,” said President Mearns. “His experience growing and leading a comprehensive fundraising program will be instrumental as we implement a strategic plan that sets a bold agenda for our future.”
As vice president, Gentry will lead an NKU advancement division that includes fundraising, alumni programs, marketing and communications, media relations, the NKU Foundation, special events and WNKU public radio. He will advise President Mearns on all aspects of advancement and resource development and serve on the NKU executive team and on the executive committee of the NKU Foundation. The university’s advancement division includes a staff of 60 people, nine of whom currently report directly to the vice president.
He replaces Gerard St. Amand, who announced earlier this year he would be returning to the NKU Chase College of Law as a full-time professor after serving as vice president since 2006. “I’d like to thank Gerry for his years of service to the advancement division,” President Mearns said. “He has served our institution well, first as dean of the Chase College of Law and then leading our advancement division.”
During Gentry’s tenure at UT San Antonio, the school has experienced tremendous growth in fundraising activity. It reached a $120 million capital campaign goal nearly three years ahead of schedule. The university averaged more than $30 million per year, a 400 percent increase compared to the three years prior to his arrival.
Under his leadership, UT San Antonio has secured the largest alumni, corporate, foundation and estate gifts in the university’s history. Last year it was recognized by The University of Texas System with the Chancellor’s Excellence Award for Most Improved Fundraising Program.
“It is an exciting time to be arriving at NKU,” Gentry said. “President Mearns and the entire university community are setting out an ambitious vision for NKU as it approaches its 50th anniversary in 2018. Together, we will nurture a culture of philanthropy and engagement that allows the university to better serve its students, faculty, staff and the region.”
Prior to his work at UT San Antonio, Gentry served as director of development for the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science at the University of Texas at Dallas. Prior to Dallas, he was director of development for the School of Aeronautics and Astronautics at Purdue University’s College of Engineering.
The Leitchfield, Ky., native earned his B.S. in political science from Murray State University. He has a Masters of Applied Politics from the University of Akron.
Gentry and his wife, Loni, are the proud parents of 1-year-old twins Parker and Emery Lynn.
From Northern Kentucky University
Photo: Eric Gentry/provided