College of Law

Meet the Staff

Stephen J. Evans

Senior Director of Development

Steve Evans joined the College of Law in 2015 as the senior director of development. He leads the college’s development and alumni affairs team and oversees all aspects of advancement for the college including fundraising, alumni relations and stewardship.

Evans is a graduate of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, with a bachelor’s degree in communications. He also received his MBA from the University of Tennessee, Martin.  Before coming to UT Law, Evans served as the chief development officer of the Carolina region for the UT Foundation since 2011, where he lead the university’s development efforts in North Carolina and South Carolina, a region of than 13,000 alumni, friends, and corporate partners.

Stephanie Neal

Director of Development

Stephanie Neal joined UT Law as the director of development in Fall 2017. In this role, Neal works with Dean Melanie D. Wilson, Senior Director of Development Stephen Evans, faculty, fellow staff and external constituents to support the traditions and mission of the College of Law.

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.

She lives in Knoxville.

Ellen Cole

Associate Director of Annual Giving and Alumni Affairs

Ellen Cole joined UT Law as the Associate Director of Annual Giving and Alumni Affairs in Spring 2017.  In this role, Ellen oversees the College’s annual giving program, including leadership of the annual gifts and the 3L Class Gift program.  Additionally, she is responsible for leadership of the College’s Alumni Council and several special events throughout the year, including the College’s Class Reunion program and the Julian Blackshear Jr. Scholarship Gala.

Ellen is a UT alumna, receiving her B.A. in History in 1999 and her M.S. in Communications in 2004.

Before joining UT Law, she served 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.  Prior to Children’s Hospital, she worked in development at the East Tennessee Historical Society.

Ellen currently serves on the 91.9 Inc. Advisory Board for WUOT public radio and is active with the Junior League of Knoxville.  She is also an active member and past board member of the Smoky Mountain Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals.  Ellen is a Knoxville native and comes from a long line of UT graduates. She lives in East Knoxville with her husband, Jason.

Rynn Dupes

Coordinator of Stewardship and Alumni Affairs

Rynn Dupes joined the College of Law in 2006 and the Office of Development and Alumni Affairs in 2011.  She has advanced in progressively responsibility within the department and currently serves as the Coordinator of Stewardship and Alumni Affairs. In this role, Rynn oversees the college’s regional alumni events, donor relations and stewardship programs.  She also provides support to the college’s board members and volunteers and oversees other advancement services functions within the law school.

Dupes 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, Dupes 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.