SPARTANBURG, S.C.– Mary Rainey Belser, a 1969 graduate of Converse College, began her two-year term as chairman of the Converse College Board of Trustees on July 1. She succeeds Julia Jones Daniels, a 1953 Converse graduate who had served as chairman since 1999.
“In selecting Mary Rainey Belser, the Board of Trustees has chosen a person superbly prepared for the responsibilities of the chairmanship,” said Nancy Oliver Gray, president of Converse. “She is a wonderful leader, has a comprehensive understanding of the Converse mission, and has an enduring commitment to the college.”
Belser, an Anderson, S.C. native who now lives in Columbia, has served as a Converse trustee since 1995. One of the college’s most successful fund-raisers, she became chair of the development committee of the board in 1997. She led the effort to complete the Johnson Challenge in 1999, and is currently co-chairing the major gifts portion of the Campaign for Converse: Building for the Future.
Belser’s sense of philanthropy is not limited to her alma mater. Her current duties include serving as a Board member of South Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities (SCICU), and on the Board of Directors for the South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities where she also chairs the school’s Foundation Board. She is a former Board chairman of Heathwood Hall Episcopal School, and a former Board member for the Columbia Museum of Art.
She and her husband, Clinch Heyward Belser Jr., have three children: Duncan, Freeman, and Callie.