“Humility Always Wins”

A familiar face moves into the vice president for advancement position to lead Loyola’s $100 million campaign

By Rita Buettner  |  Photo by Howard Korn

A new commercial for Loyola University Maryland asks students the question, “What is your strong truth?”

“That we must learn to love each other because of our differences,” says one student.

Terrence Sawyer, J.D., has been named vice president for advancement.

“By helping others, you help yourself,” says another.

“You never know what you’re going to find here,” says a third.

Terrence Sawyer, J.D., has his own answer: “Humility always wins.”

Humility and drive, along with his talent for helping people unite in a common belief in Loyola and its future, are what Sawyer brings to his role as Loyola’s new vice president for advancement, a position he moved formally into in October after serving in the interim role for three months.

As vice president for advancement, Sawyer now leads all of Loyola’s fundraising efforts—including the University’s current $100 million Bright Minds, Bold Hearts campaign—and oversees the offices of advancement events, advancement services, alumni relations, annual giving, corporate and foundation relations, donor relations, and planned giving.

“My hope is to continue the momentum of the current campaign and to find new ways to energize our alumni base with a view towards greater engagement and ultimately greater philanthropy,” he said.

“When I go out and talk to people about Loyola, I hear lot of passion for the school. People really care about the institution and want to support it, and we need to continue to help them find ways in which they can do that.”

Bright Minds, Bold Hearts

In this moment a key way to support the University is by giving to Bright Minds, Bold Hearts. The campaign, which crossed the $60 million threshold in September, is Loyola’s first comprehensive campaign, designed to affirm the University’s commitment to Jesuit values, better prepare students for today’s complex challenges, and strengthen the University’s impact and national prominence.

Gifts to the campaign will grow Loyola’s endowment and scholarship funds and increase faculty positions. Specifically, the campaign supports 10 priorities: Annual Fund, Athletics, Global Studies, Loyola Clinical Centers, Loyola College, Messina (the University’s living learning program for first-year students), Mission and Ministry, School of Education, Sellinger School of Business and Management, and the York Road Initiative.

Sawyer’s role is to take Bright Minds, Bold Hearts to—and beyond—that $100 million finish line.

Joining the Loyola Family

After growing up in Wayne, N.J., Sawyer moved to Maryland to earn his bachelor’s degree at University of Maryland College Park. After receiving his J.D. from Widener Law, he began his career as a litigator.

As a staff attorney for the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development, he found himself doing political work and considered taking a government relations role. When he saw an opening for a special assistant to the president for government and community relations position at Loyola, he applied.

During his 17 years at Loyola, Sawyer has assumed more responsibilities, serving most recently for 11 years as Loyola’s vice president for administration.

Among his many contributions to Loyola, Sawyer co-led Phase II of the University’s New Way of Proceeding initiative, which identified ways to cut costs and generate revenue, and he was instrumental in launching and support-ing the York Road Initiative, which promotes the educational development, health, and well-being of community residents, as well as the economic viability of the neighborhoods just east of the Evergreen campus.

“Loyola’s future is only as bright as our alumni and supporters want it to be, and probably no brighter,” said Sawyer, who also completed the Harvard Graduate School of Education’s Institute for Educational Management program.

“So if you believe that the world needs places like Loyola, which I do, that belief has to be supported and must be invested in, because without that investment we simply can’t move forward.”

A Powerful Voice

Through his work, Sawyer has been responsible for cultivating relationships with government officials on all levels—city, state, and federal—and with members of the community that ultimately become members of Loyola’s Board of Trustees. That set of skills translates into the ability to continue talking to people about supporting the institution philanthropically.

Sawyer also helped draft Loyola’s current strategic plan, Grounded in Tradition, Educating for the Future, which the Bright Minds, Bold Hearts campaign supports.

“I deeply believe that the priorities established in the current strategic plan will help elevate the institution,” Sawyer said. “I feel privileged to be in a role where I can help enable those initiatives to become a reality.”

When the Rev. Brian F. Linnane, S.J., president, asked Sawyer to serve as interim vice president for advancement this summer, Sawyer agreed and moved smoothly into the role. The transition went so well, in fact, that Fr. Linnane and Acting President Susan M. Donovan, Ph.D., asked Sawyer to take on the role for good.

“Terry leads with a powerful and persuasive voice for the benefits of investing in Loyola’s future—and a deep passion for the incomparable Jesuit education we offer our students,” said Fr. Linnane. “In just his first few months in this role, he has demonstrated how easily he can use those skills to inspire others to lend their support to ensuring a bright, bold future for our university and our city.”

Sawyer with his wife, Courtney, M.S. '93.

What Loyola Is About

Recently Sawyer met with Carrie, ’01, and Brian Fox,’99, MBA ’00, who have their own public relations/marketing firm, C. Fox Communications, in Bethesda, Md. They only work with clients who have a public service component to their mission.

“When I met with them, I said, ‘Do you realize how Ignatian your model is?’” Sawyer said. “They turn away clients who would pay them a lot of money, but don’t have public service in their mission, and they never regret it. They’re figuring out how to take their talents and what they love to do and make a difference in the world. And that is exactly what Loyola aims to instill in its students.”

As Sawyer speaks with alumni and other friends of Loyola, he is struck by their enthusiasm for the University and their excitement about all the future holds.

“Today’s world needs institutions like Loyola University Maryland more than ever, places that not only prepare you for success in the workplace, but educate you in a way that makes you an informed and compassionate citizen,” said Sawyer, who is raising three sons with his wife, Courtney.

“Loyola doesn’t just prepare you to be successful in your career. It prepares you to be a better friend, a better parent, a better neighbor, a better community member, a leader in your community, a person who ultimately cares about others and cares about the world.”

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Learn more about ways you can support Loyola’s Bright Minds, Bold Hearts campaign.

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