Alumni Service Award
When Erin Hennessy came to Drew from Haddonfield, New Jersey, she fell in love not only with the university and the campus, but will all of higher education. She spent 11 years here as a student and as an employee, and she continues to support higher education daily.
Erin majored in political science, with a double minor in English literature and French. She credits Drew’s London Semester for helping her to become more independent and assertive, while it was Geoffrey Cromarty, then deputy chief of staff, who directed her attention to higher education as a career.
After graduation, Erin started in Drew’s Office of Admissions, before taking a special opportunity: to serve New Jersey’s first sitting woman governor, Christine Whitman. She began in the Governor’s Office as a policy writer, then became deputy director of briefings. After nearly five years she realized that she wanted a different focus to her life: higher education beckoned again. Back in the Forest, Erin became deputy chief of staff, as her mentor, Geoffrey Cromarty, moved on. Here she supported Presidents Thomas H. Kean and Robert Weisbuch, and Drew’s Cabinet, assisting with many aspects of administration and often representing the President at different functions.
Five years later, Erin succumbed to the lure of government, moving to Washington, DC, as press secretary for Representative Rodney Frelinghuysen of New Jersey. One year later, the pull of higher education was again too strong. For six years, Erin worked in public affairs with the American Council on Education; during that time, she studied public communication at American University, where she earned her MA in 2013. As of 2014, Erin is vice president of TVP Communications, a small organization that provides public relations expertise for colleges and universities. She is active in several professional organizations.
Wherever she is, Erin supports Drew. She was active in the Senior Gift Society; she has participated in the CAA and its regional committee, DART, and Life After Drew, and has co-chaired the Drew Society and the Washington, DC, Regional Club. She has supported the Margaret E.L. Howard Internship Fund, the Thomas H. Kean Reading Room and Gallery and the Brothers College Bell Tower Restoration, among others.
In addition to everything she has done with Drew, Erin has volunteered in numerous organizations. In 1998 she became the youngest recorded member of record on the Board of Education in Haddonfield, her home town; she has been on the boards of the American Red Cross in Morristown and the BACCHUS Peer Education Network. She is a kitchen volunteer in Miriam’s Kitchen, which provides meals, supportive services and advocacy for the homeless in Washington, DC. Erin enjoys her family, and is especially enthusiastic about her 3-year-old nephew Jack, whose parents are her sister, Kerry C’99, and Thomas McNulty.