The Columns

Brian Eckert Named W&L's Executive Director of Communications and Public Affairs

— by on October 31st, 2013

Washington and Lee University has named Brian H. Eckert as the executive director of communications and public affairs, effective Nov. 11. He comes to W&L after 14 years as director of media and public relations at the University of Richmond.

“We are pleased to welcome Brian Eckert to the University,” said Dennis Cross, vice president for advancement at W&L. “His varied expertise and sterling reputation make him a fine choice. We all look forward to working with him.”

“Everyone with a stake in Washington and Lee needs timely, accurate information about the University’s successes and challenges,” said Eckert. “I’m honored and excited to serve that need for the many people who care about W&L.”

Eckert brings extensive experience in public affairs, media relations and journalism to his new post. Prior to the University of Richmond, he served as executive consumer affairs representative for US Airways; director of public relations for the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County (N.C.) schools; assistant vice president for public affairs and director of media relations for Wake Forest University; graduate intern and freelance reporter and technician, Voice of America, London; news and program director, production manager and anchor-producer at WHSP-TV/Silver King Broadcasting, Vineland, N.J.; anchor-producer for New Jersey Public Television; and news director at WJJZ radio, Mount Holly, N.J.

His editorial and reporting experience includes stints at Official Airline Guides Travel Magazines, TravelScene Magazine and the Burlington (N.J.) County Herald.

Eckert has received many honors for his work, including three awards from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), and three from the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ).

Involved in several professional organizations, he recently completed four years on SPJ’s national board of directors and is a past president of the College Communicators Association of Virginia and the District of Columbia. He often gives presentations at CASE conferences.

Eckert has a B.A. in English from Wake Forest University and was a Reuters Fellow in international relations at the University of Oxford, attending on a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship.

As executive director of communications and public affairs at W&L, Eckert will oversee an office that comprises web communications, news and media relations, publications and graphic design, alumni magazines, photography, videography, sports information and WLUR radio station.

Eckert succeeds Jeffery G. Hanna, who is retiring from the position and has been named to a new position as special assistant for strategic initiatives in the Office of University Advancement.