Conferences & Training
Faculty - Development for Deans and Academic Leaders -- Winter Session

Conference Co-Chairs

Donald R. Gray

Donald R. Gray
Retired Vice President, University of Wisconsin Foundation
University of Wisconsin, Madison

Don is the retired vice president for principal gifts at the University of Wisconsin Foundation, where he was responsible for working with top-level givers and was part of a team overseeing the successful $1.8 billion "Create the Future: The Campaign for Wisconsin."

For 23 years Don worked at the University of Wisconsin Foundation, holding positions as senior director of development for the School of Business, vice president for most of the professional schools and colleges (School of Business, Law School, Medical School, School of Education, International Studies, Environmental Studies, College of Engineering and all the Health Sciences) and vice president for principal gifts.

During the past 25 years, Don has shared his philosophy of development throughout the country at various international, national and regional conferences of AFP (fund-raising professionals), CASE (education), AHP (health care), and specific, targeted audiences. In 1997 he was awarded the national Major Gift Laureate Award for Lifetime Achievement from the National Institute for Charitable Giving, and in 1999 he received the Crystal Apple Award from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) for attaining the highest faculty ratings at ten different and consecutive national conferences. For the past 24 years Don co-chaired the national CASE conference "Development for Deans and Academic Leaders," and for the past 23 years has chaired the local conference "Fundraising and Development for Nonprofits."

He has spoken or provided training at 81 colleges and universities in 33 states, Canada, and South Africa and has spoken or consulted with numerous national and international organizations, health care systems, and educational associations.

Don is a native of Ohio and has degrees in mathematics (B.S.) and chemistry (Ph.D.). At various times in his life he has been a Peace Corps Volunteer in Africa (Malawi and Lesotho), a research chemist, an associate professor of chemistry, dean of arts and sciences at a large vocational/technical school, dean of science at the National University of Lesotho, and dean/CEO of the two-year University of Wisconsin College in Richland Center.

Douglas G. Stewart

Douglas G. Stewart
Senior Consultant and Principal
Marts & Lundy

Douglas G. Stewart is a principal with the consulting firm of Marts & Lundy. He serves a variety of university and healthcare clients throughout the United States and Canada on development management and strategy issues and campaign planning and execution. He was elected to Marts & Lundy's board of directors in 2011, and serves as the leader of the firm's health sciences practice. Over the past 20 years, Stewart has become well known as a speaker, training more than 5,000 deans, faculty members, volunteers and staff in the principles and practice of philanthropy.

Before joining Marts & Lundy in 2009, Stewart served as associate vice president for medical development and alumni affairs at Stanford University. As such, he was the chief development officer for the Stanford School of Medicine and for Stanford Hospital & Clinics, and part of the leadership team for the university's $6.2 billion comprehensive campaign. Prior to Stanford, he spent 10 years at the University of California, San Francisco, as executive director of development and vice president of the UCSF Foundation; he also served as campaign director for UCSF's $1.4 billion comprehensive campaign from its initial planning through its successful completion. 

Stewart serves on the board of a charity hospital in rural Guatemala, where he sometimes assists visiting surgical teams, giving him a very different perspective on philanthropy and volunteerism. He is a classically trained pianist.


Sarah Pearson headshot

Sarah Pearson
Vice President for College Advancement
Bates College

Sarah Pearson has been in the advancement profession since 1980. She is currently the vice president for college advancement at Bates College.

Previously, she served as the chief development officer for the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, where she was responsible for fundraising for one of the world's leading biomedical research institutes. Prior to her arrival at the Broad, Pearson served as vice president for alumni relations and development at Northwestern University. There she managed a team of 175 staff, servicing six undergraduate schools, the graduate school programs, a Big Ten athletics organization, and the university's museum and library.

Pearson began her development career in 1980 at Harvard University. She then served as director of the Cornell Fund during Cornell's $1.5 billion campaign. Moving on to the University of Chicago, she served as associate vice president of development and alumni relations and campaign director during the launch of the university's successful $2.3 billion campaign.

Pearson served as a member of the CASE Board of Trustees and as chair of the Philanthropy Commission. She was a faculty member and then served as chair of the CASE Summer Institute on Educational Fundraising. She served as chair of the 2007 CASE Summit for Advancement Leaders, as conference chair for the CASE conference on campaign strategies, and as a member of the faculty for nurturing major gift fundraising. She received the CASE Crystal Apple for teaching excellence in 2008.

Pearson received her bachelor's degree from Bates College and her master's of fine arts degree in theater arts from Brandeis University.

Lorna Somers

Lorna Somers
Vice President, McMaster Foundation and Director of Development
McMaster University

Lorna Somers has been working in university advancement at McMaster University since 1988. During that time, she has been involved in the establishment and growth of the annual fund, gift planning and major and principal giving. She has been campaign director for two university-wide comprehensive campaigns—"Changing Tomorrow Today 2001" and "The Campaign for McMaster 2010"—in addition to directing a series of targeted campaigns for athletics, the Museum of Art, two campaigns for scholarships and bursaries, the Student Centre and for the Centre for Learning and Discovery. She currently focuses her attention on working closely with senior academic leaders and volunteers to secure principal level gifts, most notable among them, the largest cash gift to a Canadian university.

She complements the depth of her experience at McMaster with the breadth of a commitment to teaching and training that takes her around the globe. She works throughout Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia and North America with academics and board members as well as colleagues in advancement—both in higher education and the charitable sector. Volunteer work has included national chair of Canadian Association of Gift Planners (CAGP), and trustee and chair of the International Committee for CASE. Along with co-author Frank Minton, she wrote the definitive volume entitled Planned Giving for Canadians, now in its 4th edition and still among the best-selling books on fundraising in Canada. The TV movie is expected to air early 2017.

In recognition for her contribution to teaching and for service and leadership within the profession, Somers was awarded CASE's John Lippincott Award (2016) and Frank Ashmore Award (2011) and the 1997 "Friend of CAGP" award. She was the second Canadian to receive the CASE Crystal Apple for Excellence in Teaching in 2005, eclipsed only by her Science Fair project winning the American Phytopathological Award in 1976.

At McMaster, she has taught art history for Continuing Education, and teaches the university's most popular student, alumni and community event, her etiquette dinners called Meals and Manners. It's most recent incarnations were Downton Abbey Dining, (in full Edwardian kit, no less), followed by Mad Men, Martinis and Manners.

Somers has degrees in English and art history.


CASE Crystal Apple Award winner for excellence in teaching