President Larry Cockrum has selected Erica (Broome) Harris, Director of Undergraduate Admissions at UC, to lead the University’s Alumni Office, beginning this summer. Harris will serve as Executive Director of Alumni Services, a newly created position established to broaden alumni outreach for the University.
Harris has served Cumberlands for more than 30 years in various capacities, primarily working with the Office of Undergraduate Admissions. She currently oversees the admissions personnel and day-to-day operations, including recruiting activities, research and planning, communications and fulfills other management duties.
“It has been my honor and privilege to work in Admissions,” said Harris. “I cannot imagine a more rewarding career to this point. I’ve been telling the Cumberlands story to prospective students and their parents for my whole career. Now I’ll be sharing the same story, but with alumni, to encourage them to get involved with Cumberlands again.”
Harris’ father, Dr. John Broome, and mother, the late Mavis Broome, both taught and served at the University for years. Additionally, Harris and her sisters, Shelleigh Moses and Kim White, as well as their husbands, all received their Bachelor’s degrees from Cumberlands. The sisters all live in the area and are currently employed by the University.
It is safe to say that, for Harris and her family, Cumberlands runs in their blood.
“Her passion for the University and its students will be carried into the Alumni Office,” said Cockrum. “We have an immense need to work more frequently with and better serve our alumni. I have no doubt that with Harris’ experience and her relationships with our students, she is the only person who can meet all those needs.”
Harris will be working alongside Paul Stepp, the current Alumni Director. Stepp believes that, with the addition of Harris to its staff, the Alumni Office will be able to significantly expand its reach and services to Cumberlands alumni.
“I am excited!” said Harris. “It will certainly be an adjustment, but I am ready for the challenge. I hope to foster connections between alumni and our current students, faculty and staff. I look forward to meeting more alumni, hearing about their Cumberlands experiences and building stronger connections with them. As alumni, we all have unlimited opportunities to help that special place that has done so much for us.”
The Admissions Office has flourished during Harris’ time as Director, with undergraduate on-campus population growing to nearly 1,500 students. Harris has also been responsible for the renovation and expansion of the admissions office, as well as integrating a number of technological resources in the office to help recruit students.
“I will miss working daily with the admissions team – they are like family - but I believe alumni relations can serve as an arm of our enrollment efforts,” said Harris. “It’s an exciting time to be working under President Larry Cockrum, and with the help of our alumni community, it is an increasingly exciting time to be a Patriot. I look forward to this new opportunity and challenge.”
Following Harris’ move to the Alumni Office, the University will be actively seeking a new director for the undergraduate admissions office.
The alumni office is busy finalizing details for this fall’s Homecoming celebrations, which will focus on the memories and experiences that all Cumberlands alumni share. The theme of the event is “It’s a Cumberlands Thing,” a play on the phrase “It’s a Jeep thing” by Jeep, which will be celebrating its 25th annual “Gateway to the Cumberlands” Jeep Jamboree in Williamsburg, Kentucky the same weekend as UC’s homecoming celebration.
Cumberlands’ Alumni Office has also launched a new logo, which incorporates images of both the Cumberland College Indian mascot and the University of the Cumberlands Patriot mascot. The new logo is one example of the Alumni Office’s efforts to bridge any gap between those who graduated from Cumberlands when it was a college and those who graduated after it became a university.
The University of the Cumberlands Alumni Office is responsible for engaging and serving more than 20,000 Cumberlands alumni through outreach, publications and events. Learn more at ucumberlands.edu/alumni.