Office of University Advancement Names New Associate Vice President and Campaign Director

Mary Baldwin University’s advancement office recently named student-centered fundraising expert Mary Cohill Harvey as its new associate vice president and campaign director.

“Mary comes to her role with a unique blend of skills and experiences that will help us move the university forward at a critical time in our history,” said Vice President of Advancement Chuck Davis, referring to pandemic-related challenges and ongoing expansions.

Mary Cohill Harvey brings a deep understanding of data-driven, student-centered fundraising to Mary Baldwin’s Office of Advancement. 

“My biggest passion is stewarding giving by helping donors align their passions with student needs. ”

Harvey’s deep knowledge of campaign positioning, strategy, and planning is informed by years of hands-on work as a frontline fundraiser, and a background in data analysis.

Her executive-level experience began with spending nearly six years as a principal gifts analyst and associate director of development at George Washington University — where she helped secure more than $200 million in philanthropic gifts for the school and supported the closure of her first billion-dollar comprehensive campaign. As the director of campaign planning for the University of Maryland (UMD), Harvey spearheaded another successful billion-dollar giving campaign. She went on to become senior director of board operations at UMD, where, among other duties, she provided strategic support for the board of trustees and managed its engagement activities. 

Harvey left the 40,000-student behemoth not long after completing Cornell University’s Women in Leadership certificate program. She was attracted by Mary Baldwin’s (MBU) 180-year history of educational excellence and women-centric leadership — and its ability to expand its mission of empowerment to other marginalized communities.

Researching the success of MBU’s ongoing Empowers Campaign revealed “a tight-knit community composed of fiercely loyal alumni and students,” said Harvey. She was impressed by the way MBU’s high educational standards and student-first philosophy created lifelong bonds. 

Harvey intends to build on that foundation in her new role. 

“My goal is to support the advancement division through a strategic and practical approach that remains donor-centric and builds on the culture of philanthropy already present in the MBU community,” said Harvey.   

She plans to work with faculty members, administrators, and student leaders to identify areas of need, while developing strong personal relationships within MBU’s network of alumni and highly engaged supporters. 

Whether pursuing bachelor’s or graduate degrees in-person or online, or enrolled in certification programs, “our students are the university’s biggest asset — these minds are our future,” said Harvey. Supporting learners through a transformative educational experience and helping find new ways to improve that experience is imperative to furthering MBU’s mission of empowering inclusive leaders to pursue lives of purpose. 

To do it, she will seek to steward generosity toward the good of all. “My biggest passion is helping donors align their passions with student needs,” said Harvey.

Davis is confident she’ll be successful. 

On the backend, Mary has an incredible capacity to think strategically and use data to inform decisions, said Davis. But then she rolls up her sleeves and puts boots-on-the-ground to get the job done. “I’m confident her kind and genuine demeanor will resonate with our alumni and friends, and help us move the MBU Empowers Campaign to new heights.”