When Erin Hennessy came to Drew from Haddonfield, New Jersey, she fell in love not only with the university and campus, but with higher education as a whole. She spent 11 years there as a student and employee, and she continues to support higher education on a daily basis.
Erin majored in political science, with a double minor in English and French literature. She credits Drew’s London semester with helping her become more independent and assertive, while it was Geoffrey Cromarty, then deputy chief of staff, who turned her attention to higher education as a career.
After graduating, Erin started in the Drew Admissions Office, before seizing a special opportunity: serving New Jersey’s first sitting female governor, Christine Whitman. She started in the governor’s office as a political editor, then became deputy director of briefings. After almost five years, she realized that she wanted to take a different direction in her life: higher education beckoned again. Back in the forest, Erin became deputy chief of staff, while her mentor, Geoffrey Cromarty, left. Here she supported Presidents Thomas H. Kean and Robert Weisbuch, as well as Drew’s cabinet, assisting in many aspects of administration and often representing the President in different capacities.
Five years later, Erin succumbed to the lure of government and moved to Washington, D.C., as press secretary for Representative Rodney Frelinghuysen of New Jersey. A year later, the lure of higher education was once again too strong. For six years, Erin worked in public affairs with the American Council on Education; During this time, she studied public communications at American University, where she received her master’s degree in 2013. Since 2014, Erin has served as vice president of TVP Communications, a small organization that provides public relations expertise to 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 participated in CAA and its regional committee, DART and Life After Drew, and co-chaired the Drew Society and the Washington, DC, Regional Club. She supported, among other things, the Margaret EL Howard Internship Fund, the Thomas H. Kean Reading Room and Gallery, and the restoration of the Brothers College Bell Tower.
In addition to everything she did with Drew, Erin volunteered with many organizations. In 1998, she became the youngest recorded member of the school board in Haddonfield, her hometown; she served on the boards of the American Red Cross in Morristown and the BACCHUS Peer Education Network. She volunteers in the kitchen at Miriam’s Kitchen, which provides meals, support services, and advocacy for the homeless in Washington, DC. Erin loves her family and is especially excited about her 3-year-old nephew Jack, whose parents are her sister, Kerry C’99, and Thomas McNulty.