College Relations Committee, Executive Committee, and Nominating Committee
By Kelly Beggs ’09
Alison Hall Mau zé ’84 lives in Mill Valley, Calif., with her husband, Michael ’85, and their sons, Christopher ’14, Jackson ’16, and Teddy.
What took you to New York City?
I was hired by J.P. Morgan & Co. to work in corporate finance, recruiting, and training. My nine-year career at J.P. Morgan was extraordinary. I seriously enjoyed the dynamic nature of the finance industry and the culture of J.P. Morgan. As a psychology major at Davidson, Wall Street was not the path that I thought I was taking, but I am an example of how many diverse opportunities exist for liberal arts-degreed graduates.
How did your Davidson education play into your success?
Davidson reinforced my perspective that life is about continual learning. The professors at Davidson encourage dialogue and they model the lifestyle of constant growth and challenge. I have spent my professional and personal life engaging the world in the same manner.
You lived in Hong Kong?
Hong Kong was an amazing opportunity. My husband, Michael, worked for Paine Webber, which was opening a branch of the investment bank in Hong Kong. J.P. Morgan stepped up and offered me the position as head of training for J.P. Morgan Asia. When we got there, I realized that I was pregnant with my third baby, so I made the decision to resign from J.P. Morgan at that time. While I had traveled quite a bit, I had never lived abroad, and here we were living in—having and raising children in—a beautiful and very different country. Every vacation was to a new and exotic location. Our children became citizens of the world and comfor table with great diversity. It was extraordinary. We loved it!
Tell me about your work with the San Francisco Ballet.
For the past 10 years, I have been very fortunate to be affiliated with the San Francisco Ballet Auxiliary, a volunteer group of 100 women that is almost as old as the company itself. The Auxiliary is responsible for major fundraising events for San Francisco Ballet , through which we raise nearly $1.5 million annually, support audience development, and enhance community awareness. I worked my way through different roles, and then in 2009 was asked to be the president. The position put me on the Board of Trustees and enabled me to bring my leadership to an extraordinary ballet company. It has been an honor for me.
Two of your sons have decided to come to Davidson.
From a very early age, our children received very subtle brainwashing—I have photos of the boys, as tiny babies, in Davidson bibs and as older boys in Davidson T-shirts. Of course, we have also shared stories with them throughout their lives of our experiences at Davidson. The brainwashing was unintentional, but Mike and I obviously love Davidson and have very strong feelings for this wonderful college and community. When it came time for the two older boys to apply to colleges, Mike and I worked hard to be quiet and let it be their choice. Of course, we were thrilled when their choice became Davidson.
Looking at the Davidson experience as parents, do you see anything different?
It feels more the same than it does different. You can look around and see the beautiful new buildings and facilities, but what feels the same is the sense of community, the very strong sense of honor and integrity of the student body. Those things that are the same are very important to me, and I treasure that they have not changed.
Can you talk about your family’s support for athletics?
Our family ’s Davidson athletic accomplishments really do at this moment sit on the shoulders of my husband, Mike, who was on the varsity soccer team for his four years at Davidson. I was only a one-year member of the field hockey team. However, I am grateful to Davidson for this opportunity because, growing up as a dancer and a gymnast, everything I had done athletically had been more individual, so my experience on the field hockey team was special as a true team experience. Our family strongly values athletics, health, and fitness. We have enjoyed following the Davidson teams through the years, and we continue to support Davidson athletes whenever we have the chance.
What is your role as a trustee?
Trustees are charged with oversight of the present, but most importantly, a view to the future. I sit on three committees of the board, and, as I am a relatively new trustee, I have spent the last year trying to do a lot more listening and observing than talking and acting. I think that the board composition is very strong and has a great balance of wise and experienced and young and fresh. The collaboration of those two perspectives is really critical to thoughtful process. I am honored and happy to serve Davidson College in this important role.