A friend of a friend-Suzanne Sterk-Patrick Sterk-June 16

One thing I have learned is that good friends have other good friends. This is a series of stories about “friends of my friends”. The post below is the story for June 16, 2015.

My goal in 2015 is to learn or get re-acquainted with 365 people and doing a daily post on the “the friend of a friend” is helping me get closer to my goal.

I always have loved working at a university if for no other simple reason than you get to meet fascinating people with great stories.  One of those fascinating people was Patrick Sterk whose last day working at UNC Pembroke was Friday June 5, 2015.

I hired Patrick in 2011 to serve as Assistant Athletics Director for Compliance and Student Success. He had a few things going on in 2011. He was about to get his first full-time job, he was about to get married,he was going to Hawaii for his honeymoon, he was going to attend a NCAA rules seminar, he was about to graduate from law school, and about to move from the city of Milwaukee to rural North Carolina. All big steps and I am happy to say he has navigated them all well.

In November of 2012 when I left my role as Director of Athletics to become Chief of Staff Patrick was named Interim Director of Athletics and led the department from November 2012 to April 2013. In July 2013, new Director of Athletics Dick Christy promoted him to Senior Associate Athletics Director for Compliance, Business Operations, and Administration, and he was responsible for oversight of the department’s internal operations and budgeting. During that time, he maintained his duties as UNCP’s compliance officer.

On July 6th he will begin a new position at one of America’s premier universities Carnegie-Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA. Patrick will serve as Associate Director of Athletics. He will get to be responsible for a lot of neat initiatives including overseeing the athletics department’s financial operations. He will also provide leadership for athletics communications, with a significant emphasis on marketing and branding. Patrick will also manage the summer camps program and provide oversight for department technology. He will also work closely with Carnegie Mellon Director of Athletics Josh Centor on revenue generation, development and alumni relations initiatives.

When we hired Patrick at UNCP in 2011, he had just received his law degree from Marquette University.  He was a member of the Marquette Sports Law Review, the Marquette Sports Law Society, and had an article published in the Sports Lawyers Journal regarding interscholastic athletics. Patrick really raised the bar for our university with his professional approach to being a full-time compliance officer.

Patrick also got to experience the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) in Indianapolis in the summer of 2010 when he worked there as a law clerk. He also got valuable work experience  a compliance intern at Lewis University.

Patrick graduated from University of Oklahoma in 2008 with a bachelor’s degree in political science along with a double minor in history and architecture.  He was a national merit scholar, a member of the Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society and a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars. He is big Chicago Blackhawks fan and will be making the move to Pittsburgh with his best friend and wife Suzanne Sterk.


Patrick Sterk

The Friend of the Friend-SUZANNE STERK

Suzanne Sterk

Two Chicago People

Suzanne and Patrick Sterk will be the first to tell you they like urban areas. They are both from Chicago so the adjustment to the rural south was not all smooth or what they personally wanted. As hard as they tried they did find themselves attracted to certain things that the south had to offer. They fell in love with Savannah, the beaches, and of course they found themselves surrounded by athletic department members that loved dogs. That won them over.

They soon became dog owners and that made them almost like newly appointed parents. There child (dog’s) name is Penny and they cannot deny they worship the dog.

Patrick and Suzanne

Patrick and Suzanne also found out that Raleigh, NC was home to a NHL team which meant that they would have some opportunities to enjoy their beloved Chicago Blackhawks. The two of them are obsessed with the fortunes of their favorite hockey team. Last night their team won another Stanley Cup with their 2-0 victory over Tampa Bay to give them a 4-2 victory in the best of 7 series.

Black hawks

The picture below adorns Patrick’s facebook page


UNC Pembroke and Lumberton will miss the Sterk’s but Pittsburgh is getting a great couple. I hope Carnegie Mellon and Pittsburgh can give the Sterk’s some of the gifts they received during their four years at UNC Pembroke. They will have to top a dog, two Stanley Cups, and a whole lot of friends that appreciated them for their friendship, leadership, and service.


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