The Office of University Relations has three main units: Advancement, Alumni Relations, and Marketing & Communications.

While we are all a team, we can also be divided into several teams, depending on whether we work with individuals, churches, foundations or corporations, or in keeping our informations systems up to date and accurate. Click here to see a listing of our teams. To contact a staff member, click here for a contact form. You may make general enquiries or specify a staff member's name from the listing below.

Senior Staff

Deborah Vaughn

As Vice President for University Relations, Debbie works tirelessly to make sure that the University meets its financial goals, with respect to charitable contributions. She heads a professional team with responsibility for marketing, alumni relations, donor relations, and institutional relations and inspires us all to do our best for Sewanee. Contact.

Susan Askew, C'86

As associate vice president for Alumni Relations & Parent Programs, Susan is the first call for many people who know Sewanee best—as former students or the parents of students.  Contact.

Robert Black, C'89

Robert is the Associate Vice President for University Advancement with a focus on major giving, the Sewanee Fund, and planned giving. You may contact him about strategic directions for individual philanthropy. Robert travels the country on behalf of Sewanee connecting all stakeholders with the priorities of the University, working to match your priorities with our own. Contact.


Renee Blair

Renee's work as executive assistant to the vice president orients the entire University Relations team to serving alumni and other friends of Sewanee. Contact.

Parker Oliver, C'89

Parker leads a team of creative staff who build websites, design great communications, write features and news, and tend to social media—all communicating what is best about Sewanee to an engaged public. Contact.

Terri Griggs Williams, C'81

Besides working with the Sewanee Parent Fund Association, the 45th and 50th reunion classes, and Exornati Alumni, Terri supervises a great team of people in Advancement Services, Foundation and Development Communications, Donor Relations, and Church Relations. She is associate vice president for Advancement. Contact.

Sewanee Fund, Major Gifts, and Class Campaigns

Whitney Franklin

Whitney is director of the Sewanee Fund and will gladly speak to you about the Fund's goals. Contact.

Sykes Eckhard C'21

Sykes is assistant director of the Sewanee Fund and works specifically with the classes of 1990-2006. Contact.

Ally Hollis, C'16

Ally is assistant director of the Sewanee Fund and works with classes from 2006-2020. Contact.

Taylor Mottern, C'18

Taylor is an assistant director of the Sewanee Fund and works with classes from 1972-1988, excluding the 45th reunion. Contact.

Scott Smith

Scott visits with alumni and other friends in his travels in California, Florida, Texas as well as many other Southeastern and Western states. As an advancement officer, he builds relationships with friends of the University, to match their philanthropic interests with University needs. Contact.

Allison Cardwell

As the Director of Gift Planning, Allison works with donors who are interested in making gifts through estate planning or using other assets to make their gifts. Contact.


Thomas Sanders

As foundation relations officer, Tom works to align university needs with the philanthropic goals of foundations and corporations. He also develops case statements for Sewanee's priority needs, edits a quarterly newsletter, and is a content provider for websites. You will often see him riding his bicycle on the Mountain Goat Trail. Contact.

Bess Turner

As director of development and alumni relations for the School of Theology and the director of Church relations, Bess works with trustees on annual giving, builds and maintains relationships with alumni and other constituents, and helps make Sewanee more visible to the broader Episcopal Church. Contact.

Gwen Gentry

As assistant director of Advancement Services, Gwen and her team work to ensure your gifts are processed promptly and accurately and our information systems are accurate and current. Contact.

Michelle Frame

Michelle is a biographical and gift entry specialist. Contact her for updating Sewanee on biographical details or for updates on your giving. Contact.

Britney Green

As project coordinator for Advancement Services, Britney helps us better understand our constituents' needs and goals. Her work fosters better communication with alumni and other friends. Contact.

Adam Hartsock

As the events and trustee relations coordinator, Adam is responsible for the planning and execution of events such as the Order of the Purple and Charlotte Manigault Society breakfast, as well as the Fairbanks Brunch. In addition to his event work, he serves as the administrative liaison to the Board of Trustees. Contact.

Elizabeth Hayes

As gift processing coordinator, Elizabeth processes all gifts that come in to the University. She can help you with gift or pledge questions as well as assisting with credit card payments and receipts. You can often find her at the soccer field with her daughter. Contact.

Christy Hodges

Christy specializes in keeping up connections between Sewanee and our partners who work in churches and dioceses. She assists the church relations officer.  Contact.

Andrea Johnston

Andrea coordinates Sewanee's stewardship program, which means she works with students to draft thank you notes for scholarships, creates and sends out endowment reports, manages our system of gift agreements. Her work ensures that donors' intentions are protected and that donors are adequately thanked for their generosity. Contact.

Kim Marson

A thorough and careful researcher, Kim supports gifts officers as they initiate and cultivate relationships with Sewanee's generous  donors. Contact.

Lana Matthews Sain

Lana Matthews Sain is the Business Analyst for Advancement Services. Lana works with the Strategic Digital Infrastructure team to provide Advancement with data and information services needed to help facilitate workflow and enhance the operations and decision making process for the University Advancement team. Contact.

Sandy Smart

Sandy Smart coordinates all outgoing campus mail, which  includes list management, addressing, stuffing, and assisting Advancement Services with special projects. Contact.

Marketing and Communications

Buck Butler, C'89

A careful editor, an engaging writer, and a talented photographer, Buck lends his creative talents to creating publications (both virtual and physical) that tell the rich Sewanee story. Contact.

Stephen Keetle

Steve manages the different University brands and develops the creative concept, design, and production of publications and marketing materials targeted to on- and off-campus audiences, including prospective students, alumni, donors, and the wider Sewanee community. Contact.


Mary Ann Patterson

Mary Ann works hard to tell the Sewanee story, focusing on how the School of Theology is preparing new leadership for the Episcopal Church. Contact.

Laurie Saxton, C'78

As director of news and PR, Laurie is dedicated to sharing Sewanee news and to helping journalists secure expert interviews and other resources for stories. She helps other offices develop a strategy for sharing Sewanee news with the appropriate audiences. Contact.

David Syler

David helps faculty, staff, and students develop a compelling web presence on Sewanee's website.  Contact.

Gina Wright

Gina's skills in project management keep the Marketing & Communications staff on track. She helps us meet deadlines and maintains positive relationships with vendors and University partners.  Contact.