Mary Gresch has been named senior vice president for advancement at the University of Washington, UW President Ana Mari Cauce announced this week. Gresch’s appointment is effective Sept. 1.
The UW’s Vice President for Communications and Marketing, Gresch had served as Interim SVP for Advancement since July 2020.
Mary GreschMark Stone/University of Washington
Gresch joined the UW’s leadership team in 2013 as chief marketing and communications officer (the title changed to vice president for communications and marketing). She immediately worked to assess and strengthen the University’s communications across the enterprise and align its brand strategy in support of the UW’s core values and the historic “Be Boundless — For Washington, For the World” fundraising campaign, which launched publicly in 2016.
“As Interim Senior Vice President for Advancement and throughout her tenure at the UW, Mary has repeatedly demonstrated her visionary leadership; a deep commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion; a passion for sharing the UW’s impact and her belief in the power of philanthropy to support our students and the broad and deep work that we do on behalf of the public we serve,” Cauce said. “Her talent, experience and commitment to our shared values and public mission make her the ideal person to lead our institution’s integrated advancement strategy into the future.”
The UW’s development, alumni and stakeholder engagement, and marketing and communications functions and associated operations are all aligned within University Advancement.
Gresch arrived at the UW with more than two decades of experience in higher education. She served as director of foundation communications at Washington State University, starting in 1992, before being named WSU’s associate vice president for strategic communications and marketing and holding the position for seven years. In 2007, she launched and operated her own consulting firm, working with higher education institutions across the country on strategic communications, brand development and advancement strategy until coming to the UW in 2013. She has been an active member of the Council for Advancement and Support of Higher Education for many years, serving on the CASE National Commission for Communications and Marketing. She currently chairs the CASE Public Value of Higher Education Advisory Committee.
Gresch provided critical leadership during the “Be Boundless” campaign, which closed in June 2020 having raised the University’s profile, engaged thousands of alumni and community stakeholders and to which more than half a million donors gave $6.3 billion. She assumed the interim SVP position during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic and led the Advancement team through a challenging year during which it did vital work supporting the University’s crisis response, raising private support, and connecting with the community in new and creative ways on behalf of the University.
“I am humbled and grateful for this opportunity to continue to advance the impact of the UW,” Gresch said. “The strength of our great public university is in its connection to the communities we serve, the opportunities we provide to our students, and the incredible good our faculty and staff do here and around the world through education, research, service and our health care enterprise. I have the good fortune of leading one of the strongest, most talented Advancement teams in the country. The opportunity to continue to collaborate with them to support the UW’s role in building an equitable, healthy society for all is the honor of a lifetime.”