Mary J. Hempel, director of the Office of Public Relations since 1979, has been named assistant to the president and director of public relations, and Robert R. Davis, director of the Office of Alumni and University Relations since 1993, has been promoted to assistant vice president for alumni and University relations, President David P. Roselle announced recently.
Both appointments were effective July 1.
"These promotions recognize exemplary dedication and service to the University," Roselle said, "and they reflect UD's growing emphasis on outreach to its various internal and external constituencies.
"Mary Hempel's new title and duties formalize a valuable working relationship that we have had over the last several years, and I am pleased to be able to recognize by way of this appointment her responsibilities in the Office of the President, as well as her management of the overall public relations activities of this institution.
"Bob Davis has headed our alumni efforts for four years, and his long-term management of University-wide programs and events has provided countless opportunities for constituent interaction at our University," Roselle said.
Marion B. Peavey, vice president for development and alumni relations, said, "I am very pleased about Bob's appointment. His duties are increasingly important as the University works to enhance the level of support from alumni and friends."
Hempel, who holds bachelor's and master's degrees in journalism from the University of Missouri at Columbia, joined the UD staff as a news writer in 1971. Under her leadership, the office has grown from a small news bureau to a multifaceted public relations unit that produces several publications, including UpDate and the Messenger, and handles media relations, the online calendar of events, photography, advertising and marketing, as well as the University mascot, YoUDee. Over the years, the office has received numerous awards for excellence, including a UD Innovation Award earlier this year.
A member of numerous University committees including the Events Council, Hempel chairs the Web Presence Committee and the Media/Communications Committee of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation-funded project to curb binge drinking on campus.
An active volunteer with Delaware Hospice, she also serves on the executive committee of the Board of Directors of the local chapter of the March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation, chairing the Communications Committee.
Davis, who holds two bachelor's degrees from UD and a master's degree in education administration from Bowling Green University, joined the staff in 1977. He previously was dean of students and director of public information at Wilmington College.
At UD, he has served in a number of capacities in the alumni relations office and the development office, including as director of research and records during the University's 150th anniversary capital campaign, which supported an addition to Morris Library as well as scholarships.
He was director of University relations in the Office of the President for nine years before assuming his current position, with responsibility for major academic ceremonies, including commencements, as well as other University-wide special events, ranging from the Performing Arts Series and Summer Arts Festival to parents programs to Senior Day.
Davis is a member of several campus committees, including the Trustee Committee on Honorary Degrees and Awards, the Faculty Senate Committee on Student and Faculty Honors, the Student Appellate Court and the UD Events Council.
A professional artist, he is active in numerous organizations, including service on the boards of the Centreville School, the New Castle Historical Society and the Amstel House Museum in New Castle.