Stephen Sokany Named Kent State’s New Vice President for Institutional Advancement

Kent State University President Beverly Warren has announced the appointment of Stephen Sokany, an alumnus and longtime employee, to the position of vice president for institutional advancement, effective Aug. 8, 2016. Sokany has served the university since 1993 in a number of development and institutional advancement roles, most recently as executive associate vice president for institutional advancement. Sokany replaces Jeff McLain, who stepped down from the position Aug. 1, 2016.

In this role, Sokany will lead Kent State’s Division of Institutional Advancement, which includes the offices of advancement and alumni relations, as well as the Kent State University Foundation. The division plays a critical role in building relationships with alumni and friends to support the vision and mission of the university.

“Our university plan, A Strategic Roadmap to a Distinctive Kent State, calls for us to build alumni and philanthropic engagement commensurate with national peer institutions,” Warren says. “Steve’s knowledge of the university, alumni relations and fundraising make him an ideal fit for our current aspirations that include leading the university into its most ambitious comprehensive fundraising effort ever.”

As executive associate vice president for institutional advancement, Sokany led the university’s principal gifts development efforts and served as director of foundation board relations. Prior to this assignment, Sokany served as senior associate vice president for advancement during the $265 million Centennial Campaign, the largest in the university’s history. He managed major and leadership gift acquisition for the campaign and assisted with the Kent State University Foundation Board. He also served as director of major gifts and then as campaign manager for the university’s first comprehensive capital campaign, called “The Campaign for Kent State University.” His initial assignment at Kent State was as development officer for the College of Business Administration.

“I am deeply honored and privileged to be named to this important leadership role,” Sokany says. “I thank President Warren for her confidence in naming me vice president, and I look forward to working with her to take the Division of Institutional Advancement to heights that it has never experienced before.”

In addition to his professional responsibilities at Kent State, he served on the Board of Directors of the Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland and was co-chair of the Board of Directors of Gay Games 9 held in Cleveland and Akron in August 2014.

Sokany earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Detroit and a Master of Business Administration degree with a concentration in nonprofit management from Kent State.

Sokany lives in Cleveland.

For more information about Kent State’s Division of Institutional Advancement, visit