Mary Ann Graffeo Named Vice President for Advancement

Following a comprehensive national search, Colorado College has announced that Mary Ann Graffeo will join CC as vice president for advancement. Graffeo previously served as senior associate dean of advancement at the University of Southern California Viterbi School of Engineering.

Reporting to President L. Song Richardson and as a member of the college leadership team, Graffeo will provide strategic direction and leadership for development, advancement services, alumni and parent relations, volunteer leadership, boards, college events, and annual giving.

“Mary Ann is an accomplished team builder and a highly collaborative leader. She brings vision that will help Colorado College become even stronger,” says CC President Richardson. “I am excited to build on that vision as we work to increase access, further our antiracism commitment and dedicate ourselves to continued academic excellence.”

Graffeo joins the CC leadership team on Aug. 18.

“I am honored and delighted to be joining the Colorado College community of colleagues, friends, alumni, students, and their families,” Graffeo says. “I look forward to being a part of President Richardson’s leadership team and to supporting her aspirational vision for the future of Colorado College. I am excited about getting started and about helping advance this extraordinary and unique learning community.”

At USC Viterbi, Graffeo’s leadership, strategy, and acumen for fundraising resulted in surpassing Viterbi’s campaign goal of $500 million, achieving the largest single fundraising initiative for an engineering school worldwide. She was personally credited with raising more than $125 million in support of transformative initiatives throughout the school. 

During her tenure from 2013 to 2021, Graffeo and her advancement team added 63 new endowed scholarships and fellowships and 30 new endowed chairs and professorships. She launched multiple diversity and equity programs at USC Viterbi Advancement, including an “Equity and Justice Primer” for team members and a department-wide “21-Day Racial Equity Habit Building Challenge.” She’s recognized by her USC colleagues for creating a culture of strategic collaboration, communication, and success, which were just a few of the traits that drew CC to select her to lead the Advancement division.

Throughout her nearly two-decade career, Graffeo increased annual giving, surpassed major campaign goals by more than 30%, cultivated donors, formed meaningful relationships, and developed giving strategies at the University of Texas, as well as in the nonprofit and health care sectors.

“I’m thrilled that Mary Ann will be joining CC,” says Chair of CC’s Board of Trustees Jeff Keller ’91, P’23. “She is a proven leader whose work has transformed higher ed institutions and programs, and I look forward to the great possibilities we can realize with her expertise.”

“I am thankful to our search committee and Board of Trustees for their leadership in this competitive, nationwide search,” says President Richardson. “Please join me in welcoming Mary Ann as she joins the CC community.”


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