First Woman and Alumna to Lead Institutional Advancement

December 5, 2006

Mary Baldwin University recently selected its first woman and first alumna (in living memory at least) to lead the college through an ambitious period of fundraising as head of the Office of Institutional Advancement. Susan Thompson Timmons ’64 has the work experience and longstanding involvement with Mary Baldwin to fit the college’s needs at this stage in its evolution.

Timmons’ intimate knowledge of how the college operates and her myriad connections with alumnae/i will allow her to establish herself nationally with alumnae/i and donors as a dynamic and inspiring presence, said President Fox.

Timmons’ relationship with her alma mater has been built on dedicated service to alumnae/i and students:

  • Led alumnae chapter in Richmond
  • Alumnae/i Association president 1980–82
  • Board of Trustees 1983–93. Served on Institutional Advancement committee, among others
  • Taught courses in marketing, women and management, and business and society in Mary Baldwin’s Baldwin Online and Adult Programs
  • Visited campus as the Smyth Business Lecturer in 2005
  • Emily Wirsing Kelly Leadership Award recipient; an honor from Mary Baldwin Alumnae/i Association acknowledging her principled leadership in many aspects of her life

“As an alumna, I understand, value, and cherish what the college can do to change and enhance a student’s life,” Timmons said. “I will go to funding sources with that core value in my heart. I understand the need to sustain the institution on an intellectual and an emotional level.” She will begin her tenure as vice president for Institutional Advancement — the department responsible for coordinating fundraising efforts, keeping records of and maintaining contact with alumnae/i and friends of the college, and selected lecture and event planning — March 1, 2007.

Timmons most recently has made headlines as founder and first president ofLEAD VIRGINIA, a nonprofit organization conceived in 2004 that connects senior-level executives from public and private entities across the state to hone their skills and help increase the Commonwealth’s capacity to address quality-of-life issues. Timmons structured the organization for success and from the beginning, obtained the funding necessary to run the organization, engaged a host of volunteers to make it work well, and provided vision to keep it on track. “LEAD VIRGINIAstirs the knowledge, understanding, and leadership capacities of participants to lead Virginia toward a better future,” according to the organization’s Web site.

Timmons’ career highlights include:

  • Led alumnae chapter in Richmond
  • Alumnae/i Association president 1980–82
  • Board of Trustees 1983–93. Served on Institutional Advancement committee, among others
  • Taught courses in marketing, women and management, and business and society in Mary Baldwin’s Baldwin Online and Adult Programs
  • Visited campus as the Smyth Business Lecturer in 2005
  • Emily Wirsing Kelly Leadership Award recipient; an honor from Mary Baldwin Alumnae/i Association acknowledging her principled leadership in many aspects of her life

“Susan Timmons is a quiet leader who doesn’t attract a lot of attention to herself, but redirects the attention to the organization,” said G.S. “Sandy” Fitz-Hugh,LEAD VIRGINIAchair. “She had a vision forLEAD VIRGINIAand carried it through in her self-directed, engaging style.”

Members of the search committee who recommended Timmons were Crista Cabe (chair), Angus McQueen, Jennifer Brilhart-Kibler ’91, Judy Grey ’65, Tina Kincaid ’93, Cat McPherson ’78, Sara Nair James ’69, Ann Gordon Abbott Evans ’65, and Lyn McDermid ’95.