Cherése Bassett-Sowell

Executive Director of Development


Development, Staff

Contact Information

Office Location: 
Music Building
Office #: 

Cherese Bassett-Sowell has more than 15 years of experience in higher education, sales and entrepreneurship. She started her advancement career at University of North Texas and has quickly moved through various promotions from Director of Development, Senior Director, and Executive Director in a span of 5 years. Prior to her career in higher education, she was frequently placed on national rankings and won regional awards in her sales career. Cherese provides a development perspective that incorporates a private sector mindset and bringing a competitive edge from her prior experience to advancement cultures that are leaning towards deliverable data and metrics. By imparting her knowledge in the higher education space, Cherese has shown measurable success by contributing to doubling her college’s endowment to over $40 million and increasing the return on investment from unit processes and events within the College of Music Development Unit.

Cherese’s career includes the strategic planning and restructure of one of the university’s highest impact units. Under the restructure and plan she created, she led a team that grew alumni and donor engagement by 6,000%, increased Annual and Leadership Annual Gifts by roughly 300%, and increased advancement board contributions through board restructure to over 2,000% in the span of one academic year. Her successes have yielded speaking engagements and panel discussions for arts development professionals across the country and professional development training leadership at the University of North Texas. Cherese knows how to connect with people, identify areas of potential process improvement and help provide a path of least resistance to implementation.

Having attended Oakland University (Rochester, MI) for music and having earned her music degree from The University of North Texas College of Music, she has a true passion for using her strengths to advance an arts mission and higher education. Cherese lives in McKinney with her husband, two children and three dogs. Her passions include music, arts and crafts, event planning and gardening.