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 information 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, 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.

Robert Black, C'89, Associate Vice President for University Advancement

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.

Renee Blair, Executive Assistant to the Vice President of University Relations

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

Parker Oliver, C'89, Associate Vice President for Marketing and Communications

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.

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.

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.

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 1990-2006.

Whitney Franklin, Director of the Sewanee Fund

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

Ally Hollis, C'16, Assistant Director of the Sewanee Fund

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

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.

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.


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.

Adam Hartsock, Trustee and Church Relations Coordinator

As the trustee and church relations coordinator, Adam serves as the administrative liaison to the Board of Trustees and assists in efforts to make Sewanee more visible to the broader Episcopal Church.

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.

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.

Kim Marson, Prospect Research

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

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.

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.

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.

Vacant, Foundation and Development Communications Officer

The foundation and development communications officer works to align university needs with the philanthropic goals of foundations and corporations. They develop case statements for Sewanee's priority needs, edit a quarterly newsletter, and is a content provider for websites.

Marketing and Communications

Buck Butler, C'89, Director of Publications

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.

Stephen Keetle, Design Director

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.

Mary Ann Patterson, Director of Publications and Media Relations for the School of Theology

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

Laurie Saxton, C'78, Director of News and Public Relations

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.

David Syler, Internet Strategist and Web Developer

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

Gina Wright, Project and Traffic Coordinator

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.