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Eric Hawkes

Executive Director, Wellness and Recreation


Eric was named director of University Recreation at NC State in November 2011 and assumed the responsibility of the institution’s recreation and fitness programs, services and facilities designed for 35,000 students and 10,000 faculty, staff and affiliates. In October 2017, Eric was promoted to executive director of NC State Wellness and Recreation. He leads a team of 32 professionals and approximately 650 student employees with an annual operating budget of more than $6.3 million.

Hawkes and his team have transformed NC State’s wellness, recreation and fitness programs and facilities into one of the nation’s finest. Working in partnership with student leaders, Eric and the Wellness and Recreation team secured funding and executed several significant facility enhancement projects including the $45 million Wellness and Recreation Center project currently under construction expected to open Fall 2020. In 2014, NC State charged Eric and his team to lead campus wellness (health promotion) efforts. These efforts have made a significant impact on-campus leading to a department name change in July 2018 to better accurately describe the role of the unit and its value and impact on student success.

For more than 20 years, Hawkes has been actively involved in numerous professional development associations including NIRSAAthletic BusinessCampus Rec MagazinePartnership for a Healthier America and Building Healthy Academic Communities through participation in institutes, workshops, and presentations at national, regional, and state conferences. Eric served on the NIRSA National Services Corporation Board of Directors from 2015-18 where his direction guided marketing opportunities for recreation centers and outdoor venues. In 2011, Eric received the NIRSA Region II Award of Merit which recognizes exceptional performance, dedication, creativity and innovation within the profession.

Prior to NC State, Hawkes was the director of Campus Recreation at Florida Atlantic University (FAU) where he cultivated a high achieving team of professionals and students dedicated to excellence. Under Hawkes’ leadership, FAU developed and implemented a recreation master plan which included the Recreation and Fitness Center and opened in January 2009. The $18.6 million facility was recognized as a 2011 NIRSA Outstanding Facility of Merit Award winner.

Prior to FAU, Hawkes held several positions at the University of Missouri (Mizzou), which included serving as a member of the design team for the $50 million MizzouRec facility.

Eric received a bachelor’s degree in recreation and a master’s degree in educational leadership from the University of Florida.

Hawkes and his wife, Nichole have two children, Hayden and Parker.