MaeLynn Patten named Salve Regina’s first chief advancement officer
MaeLynn Patten, a senior development professional and philanthropic fundraising consultant with extensive experience in higher education advancement, has been named Salve Regina’s first chief advancement officer (CAO). In this new position, Patten will lead Salve Regina’s advancement team in all aspects of fundraising, most notably planning for the largest and most ambitious campaign in the University’s history to be launched in recognition of its upcoming 75th anniversary in 2022.
“As higher education continues to evolve, it is imperative for institutions to recognize where they can build to achieve long-term success,” said Dr. Kelli J. Armstrong, Salve Regina’s president. “Mae’s extensive experience in major gifts fundraising, launching capital campaigns and creating strong infrastructures greatly compliments the work of vice president Michael Semenza, who will continue his senior leadership role by taking on special projects that leverage his experience with donors, foundations and government relations to help Salve Regina University move to the next level in achieving our strategic goals.”
Patten has worked for nearly a decade in leadership roles at Babson College (associate vice president, advancement and campaign strategy) and Northeastern University (associate dean, development and alumni affairs, College of Engineering). She has also worked for a number of years as a senior consultant at CCS Fundraising, which partners with nonprofits to support transformational change.
She led Babson’s $300 million Centennial Campaign over its goal three years ahead of schedule. At Northeastern, her team set records to far exceed its ambitious fundraising goals, raising nearly $100 million in four years.
A strategic planning and project management expert, Patten focuses on coordinating and executing initiatives to engage high-level decision-makers and top-level volunteers while developing and mentoring staff. As CAO at Salve Regina, she will take a holistic approach in examining the University’s past and current fundraising structure and accomplishments in designing new strategies.
“Throughout the interview process, Mae expressed deep appreciation of Salve’s unique mission and culture, and the many exciting opportunities at this particular moment in our history,” Armstrong said. “I believe she will prove to be a wonderful addition to our community, as she is known for her energy, enthusiasm and empathy.”
As a senior consultant at CCS, Patten’s fundraising work has supported organizations focused on health care, higher education access and affordability, spiritual growth and other philanthropic causes. She has helped strategize campaigns supporting the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Eastern Maine Medical Center, Merrimack Valley Habitat for Humanity, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and others. She has a bachelor’s degree in biology from Clark University and a master’s degree in social work from Smith College.
“I am thrilled to be joining the Salve Regina University community after experiencing its warmth during the search process,” Patten said. “I believe in the power of higher education to transform lives and in the power of philanthropy to exponentially deepen the university’s impact. It will be a true honor to serve Salve’s mission that is so fully integrated with the Sisters of Mercy values of service and social justice for all – a focus that is deeply important for our society and to me personally.”