Sarah Hughes Selected as Assistant Dean of Law Advancement at W&L Law Hughes has over 16 years of experience in fundraising and development within the education sector, including a stint at W&L Law earlier in her career.
W&L Law Dean Melanie Wilson has announced the appointment of Sarah Hughes as the next Assistant Dean of Law School Advancement. Hughes will succeed Elizabeth Outland Branner, who is stepping down from the role after nearly 25 years working in fundraising at the law school.
With over 16 years of experience in fundraising and development within the education sector, including a number of years at W&L Law earlier in her career, Hughes brings a wealth of knowledge and a proven track record to her new role at the institution.
“Sarah’s appointment to lead our fundraising efforts represents a critical step forward as we roll out a capital campaign with ambitious goals,” said Wilson. “Her expertise in fundraising and her deep connection to both legal education and our institution make Sarah an ideal choice. We are excited to welcome her back to W&L Law.”
Hughes’ journey in development and fundraising commenced at W&L Law, where she served in various capacities within the Offices of Advancement and Admissions for 13 years. She left W&L in 2016 to lead development efforts at the University of South Carolina School of Law, serving as both the chief fundraising officer for the law school and as interim Executive Director of Development at USC, overseeing the fundraising operations at several academic units, including the College of Education.
Most recently, Hughes has served as the Executive Director of Institutional Philanthropy at Heathwood Hall Episcopal School in Columbia, SC. Beginning in 2020, she spearheaded philanthropic initiatives, contributing to the institution’s growth and development. During her tenure, Heathwood saw increased giving to its annual fund and raised close to $8 million in gifts and pledges.
“It is a true honor to be coming back to W&L Law,” said Hughes. “I am excited to be working with Dean Wilson and the leadership team to ensure our students have the best legal education. I’m looking forward also to sharing the vision of the School of Law with our alumni and reconnecting with them.”
Hughes holds a Bachelor’s degree from Presbyterian College and a Master of Education in Higher Education Administration from the University of South Carolina. She served as a Trustee on the National Panhellenic Council Foundation Board and currently serves on the Board of Directors for Fact Forward and is a member of the Development Committee for the Alpha Delta Pi Sorority Foundation Board.
Hughes will assume her role at W&L Law on January 2, 2024.