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Marylou Ferry Named Vice President and Chief Communications Officer

Marylou Ferry, vice president of communications and marketing at Scripps College, has been appointed vice president and chief communications officer at Pomona College, one of the nation’s premier liberal arts colleges. Ferry will join Pomona College on January 1, 2014.

In the newly created position, Ferry will lead the strategic development of Pomona’s external and internal communications to improve the College’s visibility, enhance its reputation and advance the College’s mission. She will lead the 10-person Communications Department team, providing strategic leadership in the areas of media relations, social media, community relations, public relations, crisis communications and brand strategy. As a key member of the College’s senior leadership team, she will also play a leading role on the full range of issues that affect the life of the College.

“Marylou has a great range of experience in public relations,” said Pomona College President David Oxtoby in announcing the appointment. “Her background in government, the corporate sector and in higher education will be particularly valuable as we work to build on our relationships with targeted audiences and expand knowledge about the College, its mission and achievements. Her familiarity with the Claremont University Consortium and work for two of our sister campuses is a definite bonus.”

At Scripps, Ferry led initiatives to expand Scripps’ national visibility including significantly increasing media outreach, developing additional communication platforms, creating new admission materials and growing the social media presence. She also realigned the College’s public events strategy and office, which yielded important opportunities for Scripps to engage with broader audiences on topics tied to Scripps' mission. Her office also produced several award-winning publications.

Early in her career, she worked for two Washington State Governors – as deputy legislative director for Booth Gardner and communications director for Gary Locke. In 1994, she moved into corporate public affairs with Nordstrom and then to Cinnabon. As the latter’s director of media and corporate relations she worked to increase brand awareness among industry leaders and investors prior to a potential initial public offering. In 1998, she joined ARCO as the director of corporate and public affairs, where she was responsible for global media relations, issues management and political communications.

In 2000, Ferry joined the public affairs practice of Fleishman-Hillard, one of the nation’s top communications firms. As vice president of public affairs, she managed teams working on issues for a range of clients including the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power and the Pacific Maritime Association.

From 2003 until joining Scripps College in 2011, Ferry managed her own public relations firm, On Message Communications, providing clients with strategic communications counsel to advance their goals. Among her clients were the University of Redlands, for whom she created the public relations component of a national, multi-million dollar marketing initiative to increase enrollment and brand awareness, and Claremont McKenna College, for whom she developed communications strategy and materials for the recent Campaign for Claremont McKenna College, which raised $635 million dollars.

A graduate of the University of Puget Sound, Ferry is currently a trustee of Foothill Country Day School and is a former member of the Brain Trust for Cedars Sinai Maxine Dunitz Neurosurgical Institute and former marketing chair of the L.A. Private Industry Council.

Pomona College, founded in 1887, offers a comprehensive program in the arts, humanities, social sciences and natural sciences. The College is known for the close relationships between students and faculty, and its range of opportunities for student research leadership. Pomona is the founding member of The Claremont Colleges, a unique consortium of five undergraduate and two graduate institutions.

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