AUSTIN, Texas—Sondra Lomax, development officer and long-term faculty member in the Department of Theatre and Dance, has been appointed assistant dean of external relations and development in the College of Fine Arts at The University of Texas at Austin, effective Sept. 1.
Karen Payne, who now holds that position, will continue working part-time as major gifts officer.
As the college’s chief development officer, Lomax will direct fund-raising operations, including strategic planning, individual major and planned gift activities, corporate and foundation relations, and donor recognition/stewardship activities. In this capacity she will be working closely with the chairs, directors and development staff of the five units of the college.
“Although Karen Payne has been eager to step down from her position as chief development officer, I am glad we have been able to retain her on a part-time basis as major gifts officer,” said Robert Freeman, dean of the College of Fine Arts. “I am grateful for the superb job she has done over the past 12 years. With Karen’s leadership, our last capital campaign raised more than $105 million. With the addition of Sondra Lomax to the dean’s office team I am equally confident about our future endeavors. For many years, Sondra has demonstrated a vigorous commitment to the academic mission and administrative success of our institution.”
Lomax joined the College of Fine Arts faculty in 1984, teaching classical ballet technique and dance history in the Department of Theatre and Dance. She began directing external relations and development activities for the department in 1992. During her tenure, the department’s major gifts and endowments increased significantly as she implemented new fund-raising programs and procedures. She was honored with the College of Fine Arts Dean’s Excellence Award for her work in external relations in 1998.
“I can think of no person who has made a greater contribution to the health and welfare of the department than Sondra,” said Richard Isackes, chair of the Department of Theatre and Dance. “She has spearheaded our development program from its inception; developed our summer programming; overseen our publications and Web site; organized our special events; and taught ballet—and this but scratches the surface of her contributions.”
A former professional ballet dancer, Lomax earned a bachelor of fine arts degree from Texas Christian University and a master of fine arts degree from York University in Toronto. Before arriving at the university, she danced with Les Grands Ballets Canadiens in Montreal and taught at Hamilton College, the University of South Florida and North Carolina School of the Arts.
Over the past 20 years Lomax has remained active as a teacher, administrator and freelance journalist. She has been guest choreographer and master teacher for various ballet companies both nationally and internationally, including teaching residencies in Peru, Ireland and England. She continues to write about dance locally for the Austin American-Statesman newspaper and nationally for Dance Magazine. She served for six years on the National Board of Directors for the Society of Dance History Scholars, and since 1995 she has represented the United States as adjudicator for the Recontres Choreographiques Internationales de Seine-Saint Denis in Paris, France, an international choreography competition.
For more information contact: Bruno Longarini, College of Fine Arts, 512-475-7021.