The Office of University Relations has two main units: Advancement and Alumni & Parent Relations.

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 information systems up to date and accurate. To contact a staff member, click here for a contact form. You may make general inquiries or specify a staff member's name from the listing below.

Senior Staff

Deborah Vaughn, Vice President for University Relations

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.

Susan Askew, C'86, Associate Vice President for Alumni and Parent Programs

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.

Terri Griggs Williams, C'81, Associate Vice President for Advancement

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.

Robert Black, C'89, Associate Vice President for Athletics - Major Gifts

Robert is the Associate Vice President for Athletics - Major Gifts. You may contact him for individual philanthropy regarding athletics. Robert travels the country on behalf of Sewanee to discover, grow, and build long-lasting relationships for the betterment of the University and its athletic department.

Renee Blair, Prospect Strategy and Advancement Data Analyst

Renee is the Prospect Strategy and Advancement Data Analyst for University Relations. Renee maintains the Advancement Office moves management system of donors and prospects.

Heather Brewer, Executive Assistant to the Vice President for University Relations

Heather serves as Executive Assistant to the Vice President for University Relations, Debbie Vaughn.

Sewanee Fund, Major Gifts, and Class Campaigns

Allison Cardwell, Director of Gift Planning

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.

Whitney Franklin, Director of the Sewanee Fund

Whitney is director of the Sewanee Fund and oversees all annual giving operations.

Taylor Mottern, C'18, Assistant Director of the Sewanee Fund

Taylor is an assistant director of the Sewanee Fund and works with classes from 1972-1988, excluding the 45th reunion, and classes from 2013-2021.

Sykes Eckhard, C'21, Assistant Director of the Sewanee Fund

Sykes is assistant director of the Sewanee Fund and works specifically with the classes of 1990-2012. She also manages the Senior Gift Campaign.

Scott Smith, Advancement Officer

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.

John Whaling, C'07, Advancement Officer

John works with alumni, parents, and friends of Sewanee to match their philanthropic interests with the University's priorities.


Bess Turner, Director of Development, Alumni and Church Relations

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.

Hilary Dow Ward, Ed.D., Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations

As director of corporate and foundation relations, Hilary works to align university needs with the philanthropic goals of foundations and corporations.

Ally Hollis, C'16, Communications and Content Strategist

Ally serves as the Communications and Content Strategist for University Relations, where she is the creative lead for all UR content and is the project manager and liaison between Marketing and Communications for all UR projects.

Lana Matthews Sain, Business Analyst for Advancement Services

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.

Gwen Gentry, Assistant Director of Advancement Services

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.

Britney Green, Project Coordinator for Advancement Services

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.

Elizabeth Hayes, Gift Processing Coordinator

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

Christy Hodges, Biographical and Gift Entry Specialist

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

Sandy Smart, Mail Center Coordinator

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

Kim Marson, Prospect Research

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

Andrea Johnston, Stewardship Coordinator

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.

Jesse Bornemann, Assistant Director of Development and Alumni Relations

As the assistant director of development and alumni relations at the School of Theology, Jesse assists with the annual cycle of fundraising for the School of Theology, coordinates the monthly alumni newsletter, Theolog Gazette, as well as social media channels, oversees a variety of special projects, and general support for the alumni office.

Casey Perkins, T'22, Assistant Director of Trustee and Church Relations

Casey works as the Assistant Director of Trustee and Church Relations.