Hollins University has announced the appointment of Anita B. Walton as vice president for institutional advancement. She will develop and lead Hollins’ philanthropic priorities and activities and promote engagement with alumnae/i and friends of the university.
“After a nearly year-long national search, I am delighted to welcome Anita to our community,” said Hollins University President Mary Dana Hinton. “She has enjoyed deep experience and success with fundraising and alumni engagement and also brings a thoughtful, generative, and student-centered perspective regarding how and why we do our work. I am confident that she will be an impactful leader and coach to the Institutional Advancement team and valued and beloved supporter to our Hollins alumnae/i and friends.”
Walton comes to Hollins from Elizabeth City State University (ECSU) in North Carolina, where she has served as vice chancellor for university advancement and executive director of the ECSU Foundation, Inc., since March 2020. In that capacity, she was the university’s chief development officer, creating an infrastructure of high-performing staff, volunteers, and boards. She developed fundraising and engagement strategies to increase funds and implemented technology upgrades to enhance operations and customer experience. Previously, Walton was senior director of diversity and talent management at the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE). She provided leadership for initiatives designed to engage and serve selected CASE constituencies including minority serving institutions, professionals of diverse backgrounds, and students, with significant emphasis on efforts to diversify the advancement profession. Prior to joining CASE, she was North Carolina Central University’s assistant vice chancellor of student affairs, implementing student engagement programming and fundraising for the Division of Student Affairs. Walton also served for many years at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in their alumni relations office.
“An active and engaged proponent of cross-generational alumni engagement and a very successful fundraiser, Anita demonstrates a clear sense of the opportunities and challenges Hollins currently faces and is poised to lead institutional advancement into a thriving future,” Hinton stated.
Walton holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Master of Education in higher education administration from North Carolina State University.
“As a first-generation college student, I know the power of support and advocacy for an institution and the difference it can make. It has been my personal mission to ensure that current and future students are afforded the opportunity to receive the resources and support needed to achieve their dreams,” Walton said. “My work in advocating for students and diverse populations has helped me understand how to make a compelling case for support. My experience in advancement leadership coupled with my roots in student affairs have helped me maintain a laser focus on the importance of the student experience and the necessary funding to support it.”
Throughout 30-plus years working in higher education and with nonprofit organizations, Walton’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusivity has been evident. “It is a tapestry woven throughout the years in my work with students, faculty, staff, volunteers, and colleagues,” she explained. “I have championed inclusiveness and taken on challenges to create opportunities to ensure that a culture of belonging is paramount and prevailing. I am a firm believer that all organizations, particularly higher education institutions, should strive to build community, develop environments free of discrimination, eliminate barriers, and develop practices that will provide all whom we serve the experiences and resources to continue to build a more diverse and inclusive society long after their engagements with us.”
Walton begins her duties as vice president for institutional advancement on January 1, 2023.