Sarah Cook Succeeds Allison Dykes as Head of Alumni Relations Efforts

Mission Accepted: Together, Allison Dykes (left) and Sarah Cook represent three decades of service to Emory; they will continue in new roles.

Dykes: Ann Borden; Cook: Chris Cook

Allison Dykes, formerly vice president for alumni relations, has been named vice president and secretary of the university. Stepping into her alumni leadership role is Sarah Cook 95C, who was appointed senior associate vice president for the Emory Alumni Association (EAA) in November.

“Sarah has played a critical role in the transformation of the Emory Alumni Association through her analytical thinking, insight, and a commitment to upholding Emory’s brand,” says Susan Cruse, senior vice president for development and alumni relations. “I’m delighted to have her as part of the DAR leadership team.”

Since 2007, Cook has served as senior director for Initiatives and Technology for the association, responsible for strategic planning, budget management, marketing, and technology. Under her leadership, the association published The Emory Memory: Traditions, Legacy & Lore, now in its third printing; crafted its three-year strategic plan; created a new graphic identity represented by the “I’m In” campaign; and expanded alumni access to resources, including the Miller-Ward Alumni House, Emory libraries and online services, and the Princeton Club of New York.

Cook began her tenure with the association in 2001 directing student and young alumni development at Emory, then managed the areas of career services, regional chapter and interest groups, and business relationships. She received the DAR Spirit of Emory Award in 2010. She has served as a leader on many projects and committees for the division and Emory, including the Emory Magazine Editorial Advisory Board, the Traditions and History at Emory Committee, the Center for Women Advisory Board, the Information Technology Steering Committee, the Emory Senate Committee on the Environment, Friends of Emory Forest, the Blue and Gold Make Green Alumni Group, and the Brand Advisory Council.

Prior to joining Emory, Cook worked for a national environmental organization as the community organizer for Louisiana and Alabama assisting local communities with media relations and campaign planning on issues such as wetlands and forest protection, environmental justice, sustainable development, and mercury pollution.

As vice president and secretary of the university, Dykes will be responsible for working with President James Wagner and the cabinet in promoting effective governance of the university’s Board of Trustees and fostering collaboration among members of the university and the board.

“In her alumni role, Allison has worked with the Office of the Secretary in creating important partnerships and collaborations to support the development of volunteer leadership at Emory,” says Wagner. “Her sixteen years of experience in leadership development and her success in development and alumni relations will serve the board well.”

Dykes joined the university in 1997 as director of regional programs, developing and managing a university-wide alumni volunteer leadership program in major US cities. From 1999 to 2002, she was the association’s interim and then executive director for programming and operations, planning and managing the completion and all policy development associated with Emory’s Miller-Ward Alumni House, which opened in 2000. She received the Emory University Award of Distinction in 2012.

Dykes also initiated and managed a process for strategic planning for programming and volunteer leadership development still used by the EAA. She was named associate vice president in 2002 and then vice president in 2006. Under her leadership, the association has redefined its role and mission to focus on leadership development and volunteer management for Emory’s approximately 120,000 alumni. The EAA is recognized for its work defining and measuring alumni engagement.

Dykes succeeds Rosemary Magee 82PhD, who was appointed director of Emory’s Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library in 2012.

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