Alumni and Donors
College of Law alumni are partners in our ongoing efforts to provide quality legal education.
Alumni and Development Staff
Senior Director of Advancement
Andrew Shafer joined the College of Law in the summer of 2020. In this role, he oversees the College of Law Advancement Office staff, leads the college’s fundraising efforts and oversees alumni relations.
Shafer is a two-time graduate of the University of Tennessee, and has more than 10 years of experience as an advancement and leadership professional.
He is formerly the planned giving manager for the Nashville Symphony Orchestra, the chief advancement officer of the Missionary Society of St. Paul the Apostle in New York and the vice president for advancement at Aquinas College in Nashville.
He also worked in alumni and development roles at the University of Tennessee between 2007 and 2012, managing development efforts for the College of Communication and Information.
Director of Advancement
Stephanie Neal joined UT Law as the director of advancement in Fall 2017. In this role, Neal works with the dean of the College of Law and the senior director of advancement along with faculty, fellow staff, and external constituents to support the traditions and mission of the College of Law. Her primary focus is major gift fundraising.
Neal practiced law for many years before seeking philanthropic support for nonprofit organizations, receiving her juris doctor in 1980 from Thomas M. Cooley Law School and her LL.M. in taxation in 1998 from the University of Florida.
Before joining UT Law, she worked in healthcare philanthropy serving as the director of major and planned gifts for Porter Hills Foundation in Grand Rapids, Mich. She also focused on gift planning opportunities in the arts and culture community at the Grand Rapids Art Museum.
Director of Advancement
Ellen Cole joined UT Law in Spring 2017. She focuses on raising funds for the college through major gift fundraising and is also responsible for the college’s annual giving campaign. She supports the alumni council and several special events throughout the year, including the College of Law class reunions and the Julian Blackshear Jr. Scholarship Gala.
Cole is a UT alumna, receiving her bachelor’s degree in history in 1999 and her master’s degree in communications in 2004. She has worked as the Children’s Miracle Network program director for East Tennessee Children’s Hospital and worked in development at the hospital from 2005 to 2017. She also worked in development at the East Tennessee Historical Society.
Coordinator of Advancement
Rynn Young joined the College of Law in 2006 and the Office of Advancement in 2011. In her role as coordinator of advancement she leads the college’s donor relations and stewardship programs. She is responsible for the law school’s donor communications strategy and its regional alumni events. She also provides support to the college’s board members and volunteers.
Young is a two-time graduate of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, with a bachelor’s degree in English and a master’s degree in communication and information. In addition to her work at the college, Young is actively involved in the community through the Knox County Foster Care Review Board and the League of Women Voters of Knoxville/Knox County serving as president of the latter.