UofSC names interim chief communications officer

A veteran communicator with deep ties to the University of South Carolina and the Midlands community has been selected to serve as interim university chief communications officer and interim director of the Office of Communications and Public Affairs.

Sally McKay, who currently serves as director of advancement and alumni relations in the College of Arts and Sciences, will take over for current chief communications officer Wes Hickman, who last month was named chief executive officer of the My Carolina Alumni Association. McKay will begin her new role April 15, and Hickman will continue to serve with university communications through the end of the spring semester.

McKay is a 1992 graduate of the College of Journalism and Mass Communications and has held key communications roles in both corporate and public organizations. In 2001, she led the university’s bicentennial celebration. She also served as vice president for communications and government relations for the South Carolina Bankers Association, senior account executive at the former Chernoff/Silver and Associates marketing and communications firm, director of communications at Heathwood Hall Episcopal School and chief communications officer for the South Carolina Department of Agriculture.

“I’m excited about the opportunity to work with a team of professionals dedicated to advancing the reputation of the university here in South Carolina and around the globe,” McKay said. “As a proud Gamecock, I know firsthand the impact the university has on people’s lives and this role will allow me to share that message every day.”

McKay is a 2002 winner of UofSC’s Distinguished Young Alumni award and lives in Columbia with her husband, J. Walker McKay Jr., and two sons.

The Office Communications and Public Affairs provides a variety of key communications services for the university, including overall university branding, integrated marketing and public relations services, web services, university publications and printing services.

“Sally is a wonderful addition to our Communications and Public Affairs team,” said President Harris Pastides. “She brings proven experience and talent to the role of interim chief communications officer, and I look forward to working with her during this important period of transition.”

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