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Two directors go from interim to permanent

April 30, 2001

Two longtime Austin Peay employees have been named executive directors of their divisions after serving several months as interims.

Roy Gregory has been appointed executive director of university advancement, and Dennie Burke is executive director of public relations and marketing.

Last July, Dr. Sherry Hoppe, APSU president, named the two as interim executive directors after freezing the position of vice president for university advancement and dividing the responsibilities between Gregory and Burke. With Gregory and Burke now executive directors, the vice presidential position has been eliminated.

"I have been extremely pleased during the past year with the excellent work by Roy and Dennie," said Hoppe. "They're both energetic, enthusiastic and committed to Austin Peay. I believe in promoting from within whenever possible, and it has been gratifying to watch these two fine employees expand their responsibilities and leadership potential."

Gregory came to APSU in 1991 as head football coach and in 1996 was named assistant athletic director for marketing and promotions. He has more than 30 years experience in fundraising, with 25 years at the college level.

"I'm grateful to Dr. Hoppe, not only for this opportunity but also for having confidence in me and my staff," Gregory said.

To Gregory, coaching and fundraising are similar in that both require a good team and the leader is a small part of that team.

"A lot of people must be involved, from volunteers to employees. We must realize our alumni, friends and students all are customers of Austin Peay. Our business is not only fundraising, but also friendraising.

"I've been at Austin Peay for more than 10 years," Gregory said, "and I believe Austin Peay is a great place to be and a great university. We want to share our vision and make people aware of Austin Peay throughout the region."

Gregory earned his bachelor's degree in 1968 from the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga. Among his many honors, he was named Tennessee's Football Coach of the Year in 1991 and Coach of the Tennessee Football All-Stars. He's listed in "Outstanding Personalities of the South" and has been a counselor for the National Conference of Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

"Roy is well known and respected in the community and is highly regarded on campus as a professional who always goes beyond what is expected," Hoppe said. "His relationships within the community and with our alumni will be invaluable as we move forward with our 75th anniversary campaign and other fundraising initiatives."

Burke came to APSU in 1986 as director of public relations with prior experience working as field representative for a U.S. congressman, editor for a college-textbook publisher and as a high school English teacher.

"Dennie is one of the finest writers I have ever known," Hoppe said. "She is creative and articulate, and she knows what is needed to expand the marketing reach of Austin Peay. She has assembled a team of talented writers and graphic artists who are working hard to send forth accurate and informative messages that will attract new students to our campus."

According to Burke, her new title is gratifying because it reflects Hoppe's confidence in the capabilities of her office.

"This is an amazing staff," Burke said. "I call them my 'can-do crew' because we know that working as a team we can accomplish almost anything.

"Dr. Hoppe's recognition of their excellent work is significant because it comes from a president respected statewide by those within higher education."

After 15 years at APSU, Burke enjoys her work more today than when she began in May 1986.

"Austin Peay is a great university with limitless potential," Burke said. "We constantly seek more and better ways to meet the educational needs of our students without compromising quality and service."

She graduated magna cum laude from the University of Kentucky in 1967 with an English area of concentration while simultaneously obtaining a secondary education teaching certificate. She was elected to Phi Beta Kappa at UK and began graduate studies at APSU.

In 1991, she was named APSU's Outstanding Employee of the Year in her category. Her office was featured in the June 1995 issue of "Currents," which is produced by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education. The article was titled "Effective Organization in Campus PR Shops."

A member of the Tennessee Higher Education Commission's Publications Advisory Committee, Burke wrote a publications handbook that was adopted statewide by all public colleges and universities. A member of the Tennessee College Public Relations Association, she has made professional presentations to state and regional conferences.