Holly Kobia takes on a new leadership role at Virginia Tech
May 18, 2021
Holly Kobia has joined the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences as its assistant dean for advancement.
Kobia most recently served in the same role in Virginia Tech’s College of Architecture and Urban Studies. There she completed a $25 million building campaign, increased the annual fund revenue by 93 percent over a four-year period, and brought in more than a dozen gifts of more than $1 million. And, in the first four years of the university’s 10-year capital campaign, she helped secure 74 percent of the college’s $60 million goal.
At the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, Kobia is now uniting the college’s development, alumni relations, and communications programs with the goals of elevating philanthropic support, enhancing alumni engagement, and raising the college’s profile. She is also pursuing the college’s campaign priorities in collaboration with the dean, department leaders, and school directors.
“We feel so fortunate to have someone with Holly’s tremendous talent and spirit,” said Laura Belmonte, dean of the college. “She is a quick study, and I’m confident she will bring to our college the same verve and success she brought to the College of Architecture and Urban Studies.”
Daniel Cleveland, the college’s former assistant dean for advancement, led the search committee that recruited Kobia.
“The College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences is near and dear to my heart, and I’m thrilled that Holly has taken the lead of its advancement program at such a critical juncture in its history,” said Cleveland, who himself took on a new role recently, as the university’s assistant vice president for advancement — colleges and units. “She is a gifted fundraiser and leader, and she has long proven her remarkable devotion to Hokie Nation.”
Kobia earned her bachelor’s degree in journalism and mass communications, with a political science minor, from Point Park University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. For all four years, she played volleyball on a Division I athletic scholarship in the American Midwest Conference of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics.
While still a student, Kobia launched a career in broadcast journalism. As an associate producer at WTAE-TV in Pittsburgh, she produced a range of news segments including, most tragically, the September 11, 2001, crash of Flight 93 in nearby Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
Kobia then served for more than three years as bureau chief and weekend anchor at WVVA-TV in Bluefield, West Virginia. There she managed a staff of five journalists in a remote newsroom.
In 2005, Kobia joined WDBJ-TV in southwestern Virginia. From its New River Valley bureau, she served as a reporter on high-profile stories with national interest, with one of the highlights being a one-on-one interview with President Barack Obama.
Kobia joined Virginia Tech in 2012, initially as assistant director of development in the College of Architecture and Urban Studies and ultimately as that college’s assistant dean for advancement.
A board member of the United Way of the New River Valley since 2012, Kobia has also emceed for numerous local community groups and fundraisers.
Kobia said she found the vibrancy of the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences — with its 11 departments and three schools spanning disciplines ranging from history to political science to the performing arts — to be irresistible.
“I’ve always been drawn to the liberal arts, and this is a fantastic opportunity to broaden my impact at Virginia Tech in an area that means so much to me,” said Kobia. “I’m grateful to join a robust college with such a rich diversity of programs.”