A hard-worker, advertising executive, philanthropist and avid golfer, Carol Poston had her spark ignited in the College of Communication and Information (CCI) and has been a strong supporter of the college ever since. After graduating with an advertising major in 1981, Poston has kept CCI in her life. She has hired many of the college’s graduates at the firm she joined in the mid 1980s, GS&F in Nashville, and now serves as a member of the college’s Board of Visitors.
Poston’s latest contribution to the college has been the creation of the Carol Poston Advertising Enrichment Endowment. This endowment, which will be funded with an estate gift, will help the School of Advertising and Public Relations provide its faculty and students with the high level of support required of a top rated advertising program.
“The advertising school has worked hard to be one of the best in the country,” said Poston. “But, as state funding dries up, it gets harder every year to maintain that elite status. Private gifts must help fill the gap.”
“UTK’s advertising program enjoys strong support from its alumni. I met Carol Poston at an alumni reception in Nashville shortly after I came to Tennessee in the 1980s,” said CCI School of Advertising Director, Ron Taylor. “Her support has been important to our gaining national and international recognition, and, with this gift, her support will play an even more important role in the future of the program.”
Philanthropy plays an important role in Poston’s life, and she feels that an estate gift is the best way to benefit the college in the long run by giving “the gift that keeps on giving.”
“Philanthropy is about giving and helping to make something better. UT gave me a strong foundation for a career and helped me grow as a person, so it’s only natural to give back,” said Poston. “I think it’s important for grads to remember where and how the spark for their career was created and make sure that opportunity is always available for others in the future.”
“Carol Poston’s decision to invest her time and talent on the CCI Board of Visitors to help us become a top rated college of communication and information is indicative of her unwavering commitment to excellence and to giving back to her alma mater,” said CCI Dean Mike Wirth. “Her decision to also give back to the college through this estate gift will have a remarkable long term impact on the college’s ability to continue to provide our students with an advertising education of the highest quality.”
Poston took a lot from UT with her on her career journey. One particular memory that has stuck with her was her Campaigns class. She said that although she dreaded it at the time, she still thinks about it even today because it was the closest thing to a real world experience that she had in college – competition, deadlines, group dynamics, writing, presenting and lots of late nights.
When Poston isn’t competing in the business world, she enjoys traveling and golfing. She recently returned from a 2-week trip to the U.K. as a tourist in Edinburgh and then as a golfer at St. Andrews. She was elated to play six courses in seven days including the Old Course, Carnoustie, Crail, and Kingsbarns. As soon as Poston recovers from her latest trip abroad, she’ll be off on her next trip to Prague and Florence!
Carol Poston’s gift is part of the Campaign for Tennessee, a $1 billion fundraising effort of UT. The College of Communication and Information’s goal for the campaign, which began in 2005 and runs through 2011, is $10 million. To date, the college has raised 93% of its campaign goal.
Photo 1: Carol Poston on the 18th hole Swilken Bridge on the Old Course.
Photo #2: Carol Poston teeing off on #16 (Barry Burn) at Carnoustie.