Larry Hincker, retired associate vice president for university relations at Virginia Tech, has been conferred the title of “associate vice president and spokesperson emeritus” by the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors.
The emeritus title may be conferred on retired professors, associate professors, and administrative officers who are specially recommended to the board by Virginia Tech President Timothy D. Sands. Nominated individuals who are approved by the board receive an emeritus certificate from the university.
A member of the Virginia Tech community since 1988, Hincker served Virginia Tech as its senior communications officer; serving initially as director of Educational Communications in 1988, then as director of University Relations in 1989, and ultimately as associate vice president for University Relations in 1996.
He served as the university’s spokesperson and senior communications official responsible for marketing, public relations, issues management, institutional positioning, and university-wide branding efforts; and oversaw the functional areas of media relations, college communications, development communications, television productions, publications, marketing, web communications, trademarks and licensing, and the public radio station for central and southwest Virginia, WVTF.
In 1990, Hincker launched a decades-long brand management program to help build international name recognition for Virginia Tech, the name derived from the university's legal title, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.
As part of that comprehensive brand management program, he developed the university's first “visual standards manual" to standardize the university's identity at a time when multiple names for the university were used; and the pylon-inspired university shield logo, still in use today, is a hallmark of that initiative.
In the following decade, Hincker led a university-wide integrated marketing program coupled with university strategic goals and the tagline, Invent the Future; and launched the university's first ever national advertising plan supporting brand efforts and undergraduate recruitment.
Hincker opened the university's first visitor center in a former farmhouse off Southgate Drive nd later championed the iconic Visitor and Undergraduate Admissions Center, now a gateway to the Blacksburg campus.
Hincker brought Virginia Tech into the digital age of communication overseeing the first generation of university websites, and later advocated for and managed the first university-wide webpage content management system.
In 2006, he established the university's news and information service, Virginia Tech News, which now reaches more than a million readers each year; and, later that same year, he led the effort to establish what it today known as VT Alerts.
Hincker provided unrivaled leadership and was the university spokesperson and domestic and international public face of Virginia Tech as it responded to the largest media gathering on any university campus after the tragedy of April 16, 2007. He shared lessons of these experiences with emergency planning and communications professionals around the world speaking several dozen times in the U.S., Canada, England, and New Zealand.
He co-chaired the university's 125th anniversary celebration and co-wrote the university's largest-selling coffee table book, Images and Reflections, and further promoted a broader appreciation of university history by developing Blacksburg campus building "bio markers" which feature biographical sketches for whom major campus buildings are named.
Under his leadership, University Relations has been recognized many times for communications excellence. In the past 15 years, University Relations garnered more than 90 District III and National awards from the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), 22 ADDY (American Advertising) awards, and nine regional Edward R. Murrow awards.
Hincker received his bachelor’s degree from the Brooks Institute and a M.B.A degree from Virginia Tech’s Pamplin College of Business.