Nancy Oliver Gray, CFRE, joined the firm in 2017 as a Senior Consultant. She provides advancement consulting services to colleges, universities, secondary schools, arts organizations and other non-profits nationally. Her services focus on developing and strengthening Board of Trustees, Foundation Boards, annual, capital, major and planned gift programs, performance metrics, admissions programs, utilization of volunteers, strategic planning, public relations, integrated marketing and other aspects of institutional advancement.
Advancement and Executive Experience:
Following her service as president of Converse College, Nancy served as president of Hollins University from 2005-2017, retiring as president emerita in 2017. Under her leadership, Hollins implemented a strategic plan with a goal of establishing Hollins as thewomen’s liberal arts college that best unites excellence in liberal arts education with experiential learning opportunities and strong career preparation. During her tenure, new academic programs were added including a seminars program first year students; Honors Research Seminars; majors in environmental science and environmental studies; certificate programs in leadership studies, music theatre and data analytics; and new graduate degrees in Playwriting and Children’s Book Illustration and Writing. Nancy’s presidency included building a university endowment that is at an all-time high ($182 million) and the third highest endowment among members of the Virginia Foundation of Independent Colleges; eliminating all institutional debt; and operating a balanced operating budget for a decade. She also guided the university through the largest comprehensive fundraising campaign in school history and the largest ever undertaken by a women’s college in the South, which successfully concluded in 2010 with over $161 million raised, far exceeding the goal of $125 million. In 2013, Forbes magazine ranked Hollins among “America’s 100 Most Financially Fit Colleges.”
Prior to her presidencies, Nancy served as vice president for external relations at Rider University and vice president for seminary relations at Princeton Theological Seminary. She has also had development experience at Vanderbilt University, The University of Louisville, Oberlin College and The Lawrenceville School. She raised over $100 million in a successful campaign at Converse College and had successful prior campaign experience at every institution she served, winning multiple CASE Awards for excellence in fund raising at Hollins, Converse, and Rider.
Nancy recently served on the board of The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges and was the presidential sponsor for the Virginia Network of American Council on Education’s Office of Women in Higher Education. She is currently a member of the boards of Princeton Theological Seminary, Mill Mountain Theatre, the Roanoke Symphony Orchestra, and the Advisory Board for the Virginia Tech School of Public and International Affairs. She is also past chair of the Council of Independent Colleges in Virginia, past vice chair of the Virginia Foundation for Independent Colleges, and has also served as vice chair of the board for resource development for the Board of Directors of the Council of Independent Colleges.
- M.Ed., North Texas State University
Awards and Training
- Presbyterian College
- Hampden Sydney College
- Hollins University
Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) Program
Harvard Seminar for New Presidents
Residence: Roanoke, VA
Family: Married to David Maxson
7 Adult Children