MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. — Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota has appointed an alumnus of its Philanthropy and Development program—Cheryl Pray—as its executive director. Pray joined the university on Monday, July 10.

Pray brings to this position more than 20 years of experience in philanthropy and nonprofit management, including leadership positions with numerous prominent organizations. She has served as associate dean of Alumni, Development, and Marketing at the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing; she oversaw a $5 billion conservation campaign across 32 countries at The Nature Conservancy; and she developed a philanthropic program at Challenger Center to honor the men and women tragically lost during the Challenger and Columbia space missions.

Vice President for Development and Alumni Relations Audrey Kintzi said she is excited to bring Pray to her team. “She brings to her work a wealth of knowledge about development and philanthropy and a true passion to share best practice and academic excellence with our students,” Kintzi said.

Prior to obtaining her M.A. from Saint Mary’s, Pray earned a B.A. from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. She is also a sign language interpreter.

Saint Mary’s Philanthropy and Development Program is a cohort model with three intensive 10-day summer residencies on the Winona Campus. Participants learn alongside peers who are industry professionals from throughout North America and beyond. Between residencies, students take online courses. In addition to overseeing the master’s program, Pray will also serve as a senior development director of the Development and Alumni Relations team.

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