Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Kathryn Heath Graves '76 begins tenure as new member of the Randolph College Board of Trustees

One of three daughters of an Episcopal priest, Kathryn Heath Graves ’76 never took college for granted.  “I was very fortunate to go there, and I loved it from day one,” said the Atlanta, Georgia, resident. Graves, an honors graduate in art history/art studio/psychology and long-time supporter of the College, was one of two new members recently elected to the Randolph College Board of Trustees.

“So many things that have mattered to me in my life were enhanced by my being at Randolph-Macon,” she said.

Graves currently serves as the associate dean for development and external relations for the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University. After graduation from Randolph-Macon Woman’s College (now Randolph College), Graves earned her Master of Education from the University of Georgia and her Master of Public Health from Emory University. 

 Her interest in higher education began during her time at the College. She worked in the admissions office all four years and traveled throughout the United States with members of the admissions staff during her junior year.  The close proximity of the development, career services, and president’s offices provided opportunities to build close relationships with College administrators.  Graves entered the real world as a banker but quickly gravitated back to higher education. 

She took on the challenge of building financial resources for Rollins when the entire program didn’t fill one floor of a building.  Today, Rollins has taken its place among the leading schools of public health in the world, attracts more masters applicants than any other school of public health, and recently moved into its second 10-story building. 

Graves believes her experience in higher education will prove to be an asset as a Board member. “It is second nature to me,” she said. “I feel very fortunate to join the Board along with the new president. We deal with many of the same issues and I expect each experience will enhance the other.  I have great optimism for the College, and I hope that I can help bring into our community new friends for the College and people who have drifted away for whatever reason.”

A perennial volunteer, Graves has served as a district director, class agent, class secretary, and president of the Atlanta Alumnae and Alumni Chapter. She returned to campus multiple times to share her expertise with staff as well as students. Most recently in 2013, she and her husband, Judson, provided funding to support the Heath Student Government Suite in the new Student Center.

Graves’ two sisters, Susan Heath ’79 and Elizabeth Heath Hershey ’80, are also alumnae of the College.

“I moved a lot growing up, and R-MWC is the one place I have come home to since 1972,” Graves said. “When I was in college, my father used to say, ‘Let’s take Kathryn back to heaven. I thought it was the perfect place to be educated, and I still do.”