Krystyna Davenport Brown (photo by Ethan Simmons)
Krystyna Davenport Brown, who has served Saint Michael’s College as associate vice president for development since November 2017, started work December 19 as the College’s new vice president for institutional advancement.
Saint Michael’s President Lorraine Sterritt announced the news to the campus community on December 17. The Catholic liberal arts college in Colchester conducted a vigorous nationwide search in recent months to find the best person to lead its critical development efforts, Sterritt said, and in the end, found the strongest candidate in-house.
“We are absolutely delighted to welcome Krystyna into her new role,” the president said. “She rose to the top of a truly outstanding pool of candidates.”
Davenport Brown brings close to 20 years of experience in institutional advancement and has a highly successful record in securing major gifts. Prior to coming to Saint Michael’s she served most recently as Senior Director of Development at the University of South Carolina, Columbia, and before that, as Director of Development at the University of Texas at Austin. She also brings experience in institutional advancement at Fordham University and at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital. She holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Fordham, and she completed graduate work at Baruch College.
Davenport Brown said the year she already has spent in advancement work for Saint Michael’s has affirmed her early sense that the College is an institution with a strong mission that is well worth believing in and advancing.
“Again and again in my year here, I have been impressed by our student body and how engaged and active the students are, both on campus and in extra-curricular activities, and also by our dedicated faculty and staff, which includes the Edmundites,” she said, referring to the College’s resident founding religious order. “It’s just a really wonderful campus community.”
The best part of her work to engage Saint Michael’s alumni, she said, is that “you can talk to a graduate from the 1950s and one from 2018, and they have a shared experience -- and I don’t think you get that at every college.” Davenport Brown has been impressed by the outpouring of support from alumni for their alma mater in these difficult times for liberal arts colleges. “Under President Sterritt’s leadership and her vision for the future, I see very positive things for both fundraising and enrollment,” she said.
Davenport Brown’s own college experiences seeded her professional career as she sees it. “I think I was really defined by my undergraduate experiences at Fordham -- going to a Catholic liberal arts college really has shaped a lot of my career as far as working for mission-driven institutions like Saint Michael’s that are committed to serving others,” she said. “I try to put that into my daily work.”
She lives in Charlotte with her family and dogs and enjoys hiking, reading and the outdoors. Her husband, Jason, is a custom guitar maker (luthier).
One of her great satisfactions in development work, Davenport Brown said, is seeing people “come together to give back to an institution they love in such a way that we see students affected by it, and the institution really transformed through the generosity of others.”