New Leadership Announced for VTS Francis Scott Key Society


Media Contact: Curtis Prather
Tel: 703-461-1782 

Alexandria, Va. – Virginal Theological Seminary announces today the appointment of Mrs. Mary Lewis Hix, former vice president for Administration and Finance at Virginia Seminary (1988-2007) and the Rev. Canon James M. L. Grace (VTS ’05), Canon for Christian Formation at Christ Church Cathedral in Houston, Texas. as co-chairs for the Francis Scott Key Society.

“The Seminary is very fortunate for their willingness to serve. Their inspired leadership will help grow the Society and, by extension, will help grow our endowment,” said the Very Rev. Ian S. Markham, Ph.D., dean and president of VTS. “As long-time members of the VTS community, they know the support a strong endowment means as we prepare leaders for the future of our Church.” 

The Francis Scott Key Society helps ensure that each person’s legacy lives on at Virginia Seminary through bequests in their wills.

Said Hix, “It is a privilege and challenge to contemplate what our legacy will be. Creating legacy is but one way of expressing love, gratitude, respect and thanksgiving. Legacy gifts to Virginia Theological Seminary through the Francis Scott Key Society give voice to these motivations while providing tangible hope for the future of this seminary as it fulfills the mission of preparing men and women to serve our abundant God.”

They will accept the mantle of leadership from the Rt. Rev. A. Theodore (Ted) Eastman, who was joined in his co-chair responsibilities by Mrs. Marnie Trotter, who died in May 2013. During their nine year tenure, 400 members joined and more than $7,000,000 came to VTS through bequests.

“I am humbled to serve as co-chair of the Francis Scott Key Society along with Mary Lewis Hix,” said the Rev. Grace. “The act of designating the seminary as beneficiary in your estate planning is an act of faith! It is a sacramental act expressing hope not just for the preservation of a beloved seminary, but much more importantly, a future filled with hope for the Episcopal Church.”

Today, there are 283 members of the Society. In the past year, more than $1,000,000 has come to Virginia Theological Seminary through Society gifts.
Best known for writing “The Star Spangled Banner,” Francis Scott Key was also one of the founders of VTS. In order to ensure the Seminary's lasting good health, Francis Scott Key set aside one-tenth of all he earned throughout his life for charities, including the Seminary. Upon his death in 1843, the money was disbursed according to his wishes.

On Sunday, September 14, 2014, the 200th anniversary of the day Francis Scott Key penned the poem that became our National Anthem, the Seminary and members of the Francis Scott Key Society will celebrate past and present members at a special FSK event.


Founded in 1823, Virginia Theological Seminary is the largest of the 11 accredited seminaries of the Episcopal Church. The school prepares men and women, representing more than 40 different dioceses and nine different countries, for service in the Church, both as ordained and lay ministers, and offers a number of professional degree programs and diplomas. Visit us online at