It looks like everything is coming full circle for Ingrid Hayes. A native Atlantan and the daughter of Jacquelyn Dennis Wilder, C’64, Hayes is back home in Atlanta, and at Spelman College, where she recently became the new vice president for Enrollment Management.
After serving as associate vice president for Enrollment Management at the College from 2008 to 2010, Hayes became assistant provost for Enrollment Services at the University of Alabama Huntsville, where she provided leadership and oversight of offices that coordinate and support recruitment, enrollment, retention and graduation efforts.
Hayes said her experiences at Spelman and the University of Alabama Huntsville more than prepared her for her current position. “Preparation and opportunity all have to be aligned, and that was the case with this opportunity,” said Hayes who began her new role on Dec. 2. “Besides, Atlanta is such a big part of who I am. It’s wonderful returning to campus and seeing young women who are academically focused, have a sense of fun, and who enjoy being college students. You can sense that energy.”
A seasoned and well-respected administrator with 20 years of enrollment management experience, Hayes is responsible for the leadership and strategic focus of the enrollment process from recruitment through matriculation to graduation. Other responsibilities include oversight of the offices of the Registrar, Admissions, Financial Aid, and Career Planning and Development.
“In order to maintain our current strength in the higher education sector, it is critical to bring a strategic and well-coordinated approach to our recruitment, enrollment, and retention efforts through the Division of Enrollment Management. Ingrid Hayes brings the wonderful combination of broad experience from working at a diverse range of institutions and deep knowledge of the Spelman culture and our student population to this leadership role. I am delighted to welcome her back to Spelman,” said President Beverly Daniel Tatum.
A Career Dedicated to Student Success
Hayes brings with her a track record of success.
Some of her major accomplishments at the University of Alabama Huntsville, for example, included developing a five-year enrollment management strategic plan, increasing new student enrollment by 11 percent during her first year of service, and developing and executing a new recruitment and communication plan.
Hayes said she is especially excited to be part of a college community committed to preparing young women to become leaders and innovators in their chosen fields of study.
“It’s a phenomenal opportunity to come back to Spelman and do what I love to do,” said the mother of three, whose 14-year-old daughter is strongly considering Spelman. “I have so much respect for the institution, and I enjoy being around students, celebrating their growth and triumphs, and helping them push them through their challenges. I love the students. I call them my babies.”
Supporting Successful Matriculation
Hayes plans to use her wealth of experience to help the next generation of scientists, artists and free-thinkers find their place at Spelman. For starters, she’s already spending time becoming acquainted with the division and plans to have conversations with the Enrollment Management team, faculty colleagues and campus partners, as well as current and prospective students and families to better understand critical points that require attention.
“My goal is to establish a division that leverages technology and professional best practices to recruit the most exceptional young women to Spelman College, and provide services and resources to support their successful matriculation,” said Hayes. “We will focus on evaluating and improving systems, so that we can offer a superior experience for our students, families and campus partners.”
She is also focused on extending Spelman’s reach to prospective students earlier in their high school careers by developing a broader prospect pool. Her plan is to make Spelman more accessible to students by managing financial-aid resources that will impact the greatest number of students while attracting the strongest class possible.
“We want to act as a connector for students to achieve whatever goals they might have,” she said.
Hayes is the first to tell you that her enrollment management career was not planned. As a first-year college student at DePauw University, she began working as a tour guide and later assisted with campus programming events. She quickly fell in love with the work. Prior to joining Spelman in 2008, Hayes was director of Undergraduate Admissions at Georgia Institute of Technology, where she worked for 15 years.
“No one ever says I want to be an enrollment management professional when I grow up,” joked Hayes, who also has a master’s of science degree in Social Foundations of Education from Georgia State University. “I simply enjoy being on a college campus and the satisfaction of helping students find their place in a college environment and following their passion,” she said. “I want students to find the right fit and know that college is accessible to them.”
Active in the National and Southern Associations for College Admission Counseling, Hayes has served as an executive board member of the regional association. She has also served as a member of the National College Fair Committee and the Atlanta National College Fair planning committee Today, she continues to work on committees and conduct presentations about various admissions and enrollment management topics. With a career spent in enrollment management, Hayes said she is firmly dedicated to community success.
“We all are in service to the same organization, and we all need to use our gifts to strengthen the organization,” she said. “I encourage my staff to be an active part of the process so they grow professionally and personally. I want people to succeed.”
Story by Alicia Lurry, senior communications specialist and editor of the Spelman Connection for the Office of Communications.