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Meet the Team


Mary Frances Dean, Esquire

Assistant Vice President for Major/Planned Giving and Donor Relations
412.396.3003 (f)

Prior to her position at Duquesne, Dean served as Vice President for Development at the Baptist Homes Society, an organization that operates two retirement communities in Pittsburgh's South Hills. She was also the Vice President for Development for the Greater Pennsylvania Chapter of the Alzheimer's Association and the Director of Gift Planning at The Pittsburgh Foundation.

Before Dean's career in development, she held legal positions in several of Pittsburgh's most respected law firms including Eckert, Seamans, Cherin & Mellott, LLC; Reed Smith, LLP; and Sherrard, German & Kelly, P.C.. The focus of Dean's legal practice was in the areas of estate and trust planning/administration and charitable planning.

In addition to her professional work, Dean volunteers with several Pittsburgh-area charities and is currently serving as the President of the Executive Women's Council of Pittsburgh. She is a long-time member of St. Lucy's Auxiliary to the Blind, an organization that raises funds for the blind and visually impaired and promotes volunteerism in high-school-aged young women. She served as St. Lucy Auxiliary's President in 2011 and will serve as Chair of the organization's 2013 Medallion Ball. Dean is also a member and past president of the Pittsburgh Planned Giving Council, a member of the Partnership for Philanthropic Planning, the Association of Fundraising Professionals, the Estate Planning Council of Pittsburgh and the Allegheny County Bar Association.

Dean has been published in the University of Pittsburgh Law Review; American Arbitration Association Journal; Smart Business-The Management Journal for Corporate Growth; and Lifelines-Monthly Publication of the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors Pittsburgh Chapter.

Dean received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Carnegie Mellon University and her Juris Doctorate from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law.


Cecilia Hughes

Planned Giving Officer/Donor Fund Administrator
412.396.3003 (f)

Cecilia joined Duquesne University in July 2005 and is a certified paralegal with extensive experience in estate planning and administration. Prior to coming to the University, she worked as the primary contact and administrator for several multi-million-dollar estates.

For over 14 years, Cecilia worked on the administrative side of the Planned Giving Department which provided her with not only continued planned giving and estate and trust administration experience, but also with a wealth of institutional knowledge of the University.

In January 2020, Cecilia accepted a position as a Planned Giving Officer with some continued administration work on the side. Her background and institutional knowledge make her a valued member of our team.

In addition to her professional work for the University, she is a member of the Pittsburgh Planned Giving Council and the National Association of Charitable Gift Planners.

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