New Trustees Advocate Study Abroad, Women’s Education

July 18, 2005

By definition, they are “people to whom something is entrusted: those trusted to administer or keep something.” In their case, “something” is Mary Baldwin University, and the act of “administering” involves advancing the college’s goals, fostering its financial resources, and encouraging its students to flourish. They are the members of the Mary Baldwin Board of Trustees. The newest members of the 32-person board – their tenure started July 1 – are Margaret Wren de St. Aubin ’81 and Donald M. Wilkinson III.

Donald Wilkinson IIIDonald Wilkinson IIIsays good-naturedly that he might not exist if not for Mary Baldwin University’s international exchange student program. His mother, Lucinda “Luly” Pina Wilkinson, met his father, Donald Wilkinson Jr. in 1961, when she was an exchange student from Spain at Mary Baldwin and he was a cadet at Virginia Military Institute. “Although she attended Mary Baldwin for just a year, she felt very strongly about the school and the ways it influenced her life,” Wilkinson said about his mother, who served on the college’s Advisory Board of Visitors and helped recruit prospective students.

After Luly Wilkinson died in 2000, her family searched for a way to stay connected to the college she loved. The eldest of four siblings, Donald Wilkinson will proudly represent the family as a trustee.

Wilkinson is chief executive officer of Wilkinson, O’Grady, & Company, Inc., a global investment management firm co-founded by his father in 1972. He earned his B.A. from Washington and Lee University and his M.B.A. from The Darden School at University of Virginia. As a student, Wilkinson interned at Banco Garriga Nogues, a bank in Madrid, Spain, where his mother grew up and where he was born.

Wilkinson attended an all-male school for kindergarten through 12th grade, and he attended Washington and Lee just before it became a co-ed institution. “I am an advocate of single-sex education, and I’m convinced that single-sex education does have a place and that we can make Mary Baldwin University more nationally and internationally recognized,” he said. Wilkinson is also interested in supporting international study, specifically the study abroad opportunities detailed in the college’s 10-year strategic plan, Composing Our Future.

Wilkinson will serve on board subcommittees for business, finance, and audit and institutional advancement.

Margaret Wren de St. Aubin“It feels good to be proud of your college,” saysMargaret Wren de St. Aubin ‘81. “Almost 25 years after my graduation, I am still proud that Mary Baldwin continues to innovate programs.”

St. Aubin designed her own interdisciplinary major – a new concept at the time – in history and political science while at Mary Baldwin, and she earned a teaching certification. As a student, she served on and chaired the Judicial Board, and later attended the National Institute for Paralegal Studies. During her five-year term, St. Aubin will serve on subcommittees for management/student life and business, finance, and audit.

St. Aubin owns and works as an agent for North Carolina Travel in her native Siler City, North Carolina. She divides her workday between North Carolina Travel and her duties as vice president and secretary of the family business, a group of holding companies under the name Wren Industries. She also helps manage her family’s foundation, the Wren Foundation, through which the family contributes to educational institutions – specifically Mary Baldwin and the schools attended by her sons, Chip Farrar, 19, Wren Farrar, 17, and Denis de St. Aubin, 11. The Wren Foundation also sponsors scholarships for students in the Siler City community and contributes to local healthcare research and libraries.

St. Aubin has served on the Mary Baldwin University Advisory Board of Visitors since 1999. While she was a student at Mary Baldwin, she studied for a summer at University of Oxford, England, and she continues to travel internationally at least once a year with a group organized through her travel agency. She is excited about the emphasis on international opportunities included in Composing Our Future, and is prepared to “learn a lot, initially” about the role of the board of trustees.

“By all indications this is truly a working board,” she said. “I am looking forward to seeing more students and getting a feel for the student body.”

Image one: Trustee Donald M. Wilkinson III

Image two: Trustee Margaret Wren de St. Aubin