Law School Advancement Staff

photo Sarah Hughes

Sarah N. Hughes
Assistant Dean for Law School Advancement

As Assistant Dean for Law School Advancement, Sarah Hughes oversees fundraising and alumni relations in the Law School. She is involved in all aspects of advancing the Law School’s mission through fundraising, alumni relations, and communications.

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.

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.

photo Elizabeth Branner

Elizabeth Outland Branner
Senior Advisor of Law School Advancement

Elizabeth Branner has been with the Law School since 1999 when she joined (at that time) the newly formed office of Law School Relations. Branner recently transitioned to her role as senior advisor in January of 2024.

Prior to coming to the School of Law, she was the marketing coordinator for a medical publisher, district manager for PepsiCo fountain distribution for the Hampton Roads area, a college admissions officer, marketing coordinator for a fundraising consultant, and director of the Annual Fund at Mary Baldwin College.

Elizabeth lives in Lexington with her husband Wade, associate athletic director for media relations at Virginia Military Institute. They have two children, Harrison and Margaret. Active in the Lexington community, Elizabeth has served on the board of the Rockbridge Area YMCA, Yellow Brick Road, and Meals for Shut-Ins. She currently serves on the board of Main Street Lexington. 

Suzanne Wade

Suzanne Wade
Assistant Director of Employer and Alumni Outreach

Suzanne joined the Law School Advancement office in 2012 and the Office of Career Strategy in 2008.   Before joining the Law School, she worked in the Career Development Office on the undergraduate campus.  As Assistant Director for Employer and Alumni Relations, her main focus is managing the logistics of Law Alumni Weekend and Law Alumni events.  She manages all aspects of four Regional Interview Programs, and on-campus recruiting for Career Strategy. 

Suzanne lives in Lexington, has two sons RJ and DJ, and four grandchildren: Taylor, Brylen, Hailey, and Vada.  She has served as a volunteer for the Parrish Council at St. Patrick Catholic Church, Project Horizon, Main Street Lexington, Boy Scouts, and Rockbridge Christmas Basket Program.

photo of Joan Miller

Joan Miller
Administrative Assistant, Law School Advancement

Joan Miller grew up in Lexington and has worked at W&L for more than 20 years. She has been a member of the Law Advancement team for the last 13 years. She is married to David Miller and has two children and one grandson.