Stokes named assistant vice chancellor for strategic advancement operations

Nicole Stokes has been promoted to assistant vice chancellor for strategic advancement operations at East Carolina University. Stokes has served as the strategic initiative and campaign manager with University Advancement since 2015 and worked in higher education communication for more than 20 years.

Nicole Stokes has been named assistant vice chancellor for strategic advancement operations at East Carolina University.

Christopher Dyba, vice chancellor for University Advancement, said Stokes’ leadership has been vital to the success of the $500 million Pursue Gold campaign, the Pirate Nation Gives annual day of giving, and many university initiatives during her 12 years at ECU.

“Nicole’s leadership has helped deliver successful campaigns and initiatives campuswide. She has excelled in creating and managing strategic plans to support the university’s goals,” Dyba said. “We have the right person in this new role to focus on future fundraising priorities and ensure we are ready for what’s next in internal processes and constituent outreach.”

In her new role, Stokes will lead three essential teams — advancement services, donor relations and strategic initiatives — to create and sustain strategic customer-service-oriented and donor-centric operations and communication that support the division of University Advancement and its partners.

The most significant and immediate task Stokes will lead is implementation of the university’s conversion to a new constituent relation management (CRM) system for alumni engagement, fundraising and donor relations. This multiyear software upgrade will increase engagement opportunities with the university’s constituents.

“Having a senior-level team member focused outward through marketing and communication coupled with overseeing the CRM and other technologies, we have a leader who will bridge the back office with the front office,” Dyba said. “We trust and expect Nicole’s efforts will lead to improved outreach and engagement.”

Stokes is a Greenville native, has deep family ties to ECU and proudly considers herself an ECU “alumna attended.” She earned her Bachelor of Science in communication from Appalachian State University and a Master of Science in organizational communication from North Carolina State University.

“I am eager to lead strategic advancement operations and guide the innovative approaches our team uses to enhance the constituent experience,” Stokes said. “This is an exciting time to serve in University Advancement. Coming out of the Pursue Gold campaign, we have new opportunities to focus on how we best support initiatives and grow our engagement with everyone in Pirate Nation. I am deeply committed to fostering donor-centric and strategic operations that will lead to continued growth and success in ECU’s University Advancement division.”

Stokes previously held a variety of communication roles at N.C. State before starting her career at ECU in 2012 as director of external affairs for the College of Human Ecology. Stokes worked as director of communication for enrollment services before joining University Advancement.

As the strategic initiative and campaign manager, Stokes has co-led Pirate Nation Gives, which has raised more money and engaged more students, alumni and parents each year; overseen division communications, including the university’s largest philanthropic initiative, the Pursue Gold comprehensive campaign; and led or been involved in numerous donor and alumni events.