Photo: Chris Kitchen

'A remarkable leader'

August 1, 2022


When Tom Addonizio attended the inauguration of Kevin F. Hallock as the University of Richmond’s 11th president he heard many stories about the impact UR has on its students and the local community. He and his wife Kate also took in the city sights, and memories of his time spent in the city in 1991 flooded back.

“I knew I wanted to be part of this university and live in Richmond again,” said Addonizio, who has been appointed as the new vice president for communications and marketing at the University of Richmond beginning Sept. 12.

“Tom is a remarkable leader. Not only is he highly skilled in communications and marketing, he also has impeccable judgment and outstanding leadership skills that will help UR continue its upward trajectory,” said President Hallock. “We are fortunate to have Tom join our Spider community, and I am looking forward to the impact he will have on our University.”

Addonizio and Hallock’s paths crossed at Cornell. Addonizio applied for a role at Cornell’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations, meeting Hallock in the interview process. “I was impressed with his clear vision for the school, and the mission appealed to me as the son of an oil burner repairman, who was a member of the Teamsters union,” he said.

Addonizio worked with Hallock for about a year. “I always hoped I’d get a chance to work for him again.”

“What drew me to UR was the amazing reputation of the school and the opportunity to join an organization with such strong leadership and potential,” Addonizio said. “I think now is a great time to join the University given the momentum we have here. It really is a unique place with so much going on. World-class students, alumni, faculty, and staff. I think the world needs to know more about what we do here.”

For the past five years he has led the communications and marketing efforts for Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations. During his time at Cornell, he made a significant impact leading the ILR School’s crisis communications through the COVID-19 pandemic, launching marketing efforts that helped grow enrollments in professional education, and rebranding the school.

He also had a successful 20-year career, serving as a vice president for IBM and Gartner, where he led large global teams across multiple continents and cultures. Prior to joining Cornell, he served as a vice president and a member of the cabinet at New England College in Henniker, New Hampshire.

He initially volunteered at the college, working with one of his good friends to build an indoor sports complex. “We both wanted to spend more time with our kids, having fast-paced, travel-heavy jobs, and this was a great opportunity for us to do that and fill a void that existed in the community,” he said.

He had read about New England College and the work they were doing to educate a large number of first-generation students. “As a first-generation college student myself, I was intrigued,” Addonizio said. “I offered to join as a volunteer to help them achieve their important mission. After about three months, we both saw the potential, so I joined NEC full time.”

When he earned his undergraduate degree from Binghamton University (then SUNY Binghamton), Addonizio decided he wanted to see the country before starting his career. He moved to the Richmond area in 1991, living with his aunt for about six months.

“I fell in love with Richmond and spent lots of time in the downtown area, seeing the sights and enjoying the varied cultures in the different parts of the city,” he said.

Addonizio is excited about joining the University of Richmond. “To have a university with such dedicated faculty and staff, Division 1 athletics, and deep community outreach is a strong combination,” he said. “The students and alumni are incredibly engaged and are simply among the best in the country. Under the leadership of President Hallock, I’m confident we will continue to move the University forward.”