Sweet Briar names VP for alumnae relations and development

Posted on November 09, 2015 by Staff Writer

Mary Pope Maybank Hutson ’83 has been named vice president for alumnae relations and development, effective Jan. 1. Hutson led the Saving Sweet Briar Inc. campaign’s major donor task force beginning in March, when the former administration announced its intention to close Sweet Briar, through September, when the group delivered its final payment to the College and fulfilled the terms of the settlement agreement to keep the College open.

Since July 1, Hutson has served on Sweet Briar’s new board of directors, including as chair of the Advancement Committee and a member of the Building and Grounds Committee.

Mary Pope Hutston ’83, Firefly Imageworks Mary Pope Hutston ’83, Firefly Imageworks

“Mary Pope’s ability to galvanize her fellow alumnae has made her a unique choice for this position,” President Phillip C. Stone said in making the announcement.

“She has clearly demonstrated her ability to raise resources by her work with Saving Sweet Briar, which resulted in commitments of almost thirty million dollars to the College. Her significant experience in nonprofit fundraising and her deep devotion to Sweet Briar will make her a good colleague and an invaluable leader in our efforts to restore the College to financial strength. We are delighted she is joining us.”

For the past 13 years, Hutson has served as executive vice president of the Land Trust Alliance in Washington, D.C., a national land conservation organization.

Hutson, a native of Charleston, S.C., graduated from Sweet Briar with a Bachelor of Arts in international affairs. Her professional career has involved building relationships with individuals, as well as fostering coalitions in the public and private sector, and raising resources primarily for land conservation, historic preservation, and in the political arena in the United States and abroad. She previously worked in the American embassy in Kenya.

Hutson managed the Land Trust Alliance’s policy work on Capitol Hill, yielding billions of dollars in federal funding for conservation groups. She helped secure the largest philanthropic gift in the history of the organization and built and staffed its National Council, a group convened to provide expertise on emerging trends, to strengthen the Alliance’s political effectiveness and to develop the necessary resources to advance the Alliance’s conservation programs. She was a lead fundraiser for the Alliance’s successful capital campaign, which is expected to exceed its goals by the end of December.

Hutson is not only committed to women’s leadership, but has been breaking gender barriers throughout her career. She was executive director of the Lowcountry Open Land Trust in Charleston and she was the first woman appointed to the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources Board in 1995, setting state policies for land and water resources. She helped start the “Becoming an Outdoor Woman” group in South Carolina, one of the first such groups in the nation. She also served as the only woman on the North American Wetlands Conservation Act Council for the past 11 years, appointed by three secretaries of the Department of the Interior, and she has been a committed mentor to young men and women in conservation.

As a Sweet Briar student, Hutson was a nationally ranked varsity athlete and a volunteer mentor for her fellow students. She was a member of the QVs, Earphones and Aints and Asses; captain and member of the varsity tennis and basketball teams; an admissions tour guide; athletic trainer; Social Committee member and community volunteer. Since graduation, she has participated in the College’s Friends of Athletics and was president and fund agent for her class for several alumnae reunions. In 2012 she was inducted into the Athletics Hall of Fame. She is a member of the Williams Society.

“It is a privilege to serve my fellow Sweet Briar alumnae in a role where I can devote my energies to the promise of perpetuity represented by Indiana Fletcher Williams’ gift of land for the sole purpose of educating women to be leaders in America,” Hutson said.

“I believe we all have a responsibility to continue the legacy of her leadership as a ‘woman of consequence.’ The gifts of my Sweet Briar education to my life have been pivotal to my ability to give back to my community, and I know we all need to be part of ensuring the sustainability of Sweet Briar for the next century.

“I believe there is nothing more important I could do at this inflection point in Sweet Briar’s history than dedicate myself to working side by side with my fellow alumnae to ensure the perpetuity of the College. Sweet Briar needs all of us!”

Hutson succeeds A.P. “Bun” Perkinson, who has been serving as vice president for alumnae relations and development since September.