Mary Baldwin University Names New Vice President of University Advancement

Mary Cohill Harvey

Mary Baldwin University (MBU) President Jeff Stein announced today that Mary Cohill Harvey will become the new vice president of university advancement, overseeing alumni relations and fundraising at the 182-year-old institution. 

Harvey brings to the role extensive knowledge of campaign positioning, strategy, and planning that is informed by years of hands-on work as a frontline fundraiser, and a background in data analysis. She has served as the interim vice president at MBU since July and, for more than two years prior, as MBU’s associate vice president of advancement and campaign director. 

“For two and a half years, Mary has proven herself dedicated to our donors, alumni, colleagues, and our students,” Stein said. “She brings to us industry best practices and knowledge of large-scale operations from her time at the George Washington University (GWU) and the University of Maryland, but perhaps most importantly, she brings a deep dedication to Mary Baldwin’s culture, history, and people.” 

Since Stein took office as MBU’s 10th president in July, Harvey has spent weeks on the road helping to introduce the new president to hundreds of alumni, donors, and friends of the university. This fall, Harvey oversaw the launch of the “All In for Mary Baldwin” campaign capturing the spirit of Stein’s rallying call to the Mary Baldwin community. The campaign is designed to bridge the gap between the recently closed MBU Empowers Campaign and ongoing university needs. Beyond asking alumni and supporters to lend their time and talent to Mary Baldwin’s strategic planning, “All In” focuses on four main areas of fundraising support: scholarships, campus renovation, internship grants, and unrestricted funds.  

With Harvey as interim vice president, MBU has raised 76% more than this time last year, less a handful of unrepeatable and deferred gifts. Additionally, MBU has seen a 10% increase in donors so far this year compared to last. Mary Baldwin’s recent Giving Tuesday effort, focused on supporting the university’s growing athletic programs, saw a 118% increase in dollars raised as compared to last year on Giving Tuesday.

“Smaller fundraising shops like the one at MBU is where the magic happens. Here, I see the direct impact of a personally engaged donor. I have had the opportunity to build close relationships and find the connection between donor passion and our university’s needs and mission,” Harvey said. “It also means bringing everyone on your team together, encouraging diversity of thought, nimbleness, and grit. I can develop a vision, but I can also roll up my sleeves and contribute in every facet of executing that vision. And, I am honored to do it at a place I love.”

Prior to joining MBU, Harvey worked in campaign planning and major and principal giving for two $1 billion-plus comprehensive campaigns, including closing an $80 million-dollar gift to open a new school of public health at GWU and raising more than $200 million to support the Making History Campaign. At Maryland, she helped execute a series of regional high-level campaign engagement events, resulting in more than $1.5 billion raised for the Fearless Ideas Campaign.

Harvey is a graduate of Mount St. Mary’s University, where she earned a BA in history. She also earned an MA in European history and art from the Catholic University of America, and completed Cornell University’s Women in Leadership certificate program. She and her husband, David, have a 7-year-old son, Flynn. They currently live in Alexandria.

MBU Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Sean Simplicio led the search committee for the new vice president of university advancement. Committee members included MBU trustees Donna Smith and Wendy Foster, Associate Vice President of Communication Liesel Crosier, Executive Director of the McCree Center for Life Success Thy Nguyen, and Senior Associate Dean of MBU’s Murphy Deming College of Health Sciences Sue Stevens.