The Piedmont Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals awarded Mary Pope Maybank Hutson ’83 one of its highest honors in November, when it recognized her as Fundraiser of the Year.
Hutson serves as Sweet Briar’s vice president for alumnae relations and development and was instrumental in saving the College from closing in 2015. She led the Saving Sweet Briar Inc. campaign’s major donor task force and delivered payments as part of the agreement to keep the College open. As a result of those efforts, Hutson was named to the Sweet Briar College Board of Directors and in January 2016, she took over as head of alumnae relations and development. Since March 2015, Hutson has raised more than $44.6 million for Sweet Briar. In June, she and her team received the 2017 CASE Educational Fundraising Award.
The AFP award is yet another well-deserved honor, says Sweet Briar president Meredith Woo.
“Mary Pope is one of the finest fundraising executives I have ever worked with,” Woo said. “She is a consummate professional, expert manager, and a great friend to all whose lives she touches. Sweet Briar is most fortunate that it has had Mary Pope raise the resources that saw it through the difficult days; and that it can rely on her to lay the foundation for a secure future. She is a great alumna for whom we are grateful.”
Claire Dennison Griffith ’80, senior director of alumnae relations and development at the College, echoed the president’s sentiments. “We are thrilled to have Mary Pope recognized by AFP for her tremendous efforts for Sweet Briar College. She is not only an excellent fundraiser, she also exemplifies the best qualities of leadership by giving much of the credit to her team and motivating each of us to do our best work.”
Prior to her work at Sweet Briar, Hutson spent 13 years as executive vice president of the Land Trust Alliance in Washington, D.C., where she worked tirelessly on land conservation and historic preservation issues and led major fundraising efforts. Throughout her professional life, Hutson has built relationships with individuals and fostered coalitions in both the public and private sectors.
As a Sweet Briar student, Hutson was a nationally ranked athlete as a member of both the varsity tennis and basketball teams and was inducted into the College’s Athletics Hall of Fame in 2012.