Mary Neff Peterson ’82, P’12, ’14

Mary Neff Peterson ’82, P’12, ’14

Mary Neff Peterson ’82, P’12, ’14 is a pillar within a Laurentian family, with nine members of the Peterson family (and counting) having attended St. Lawrence University. A government major, Mary was an outstanding student, earning departmental honors and induction into Phi Beta Kappa. She is also a proud sister of Kappa Delta Sigma. 

While Mary opted to study abroad in Vienna as a student, her late husband Barrett ’82 and their four children, Haley KSP ’11, Conor ’12, Addie ’14, and Emmett KSP ’16 all studied on the Kenya Semester Program. Mary embraced her family’s love of Kenya, and participated in the Laurentian Travel Program to Kenya with Haley and Addie in 2019, meeting the faculty and many of the families who had hosted Petersons on their rural and urban homestays. 

Following her Commencement in Canton, Mary received her JD from Northeastern University and worked as a litigator in Boston, MA and Burlington, VT. She served three terms in the Vermont House of Representatives, as Chair of Williston’s Select Board, as a board member at the Vermont League of Cities and Towns, and six years as the Commissioner for the Vermont Department of Taxes. Mary recently relocated to Washington, DC, and is now the Executive Director of the Federation of Tax Administrators. 

Mary worked tirelessly on St. Lawrence’s behalf to establish Burlington, VT as a Laurentian stronghold. From recruiting alumni to participate in the first ever SLU Connect – Burlington program, to serving as the host of a Women’s Initiative event, Mary is always willing to help her alma mater. She was also a longtime member of the Alumni Executive Council, serving in leadership roles as committee chair for Student Services and Faculty Engagement. 

Mary has been a loyal donor to St. Lawrence for over 30 years, giving to the St. Lawrence Fund annually and supporting special initiatives when asked including the Engaging Africa Fund, the Alumni Executive Council Internship Endowment Fund, and the Kappa Delta Sigma Alumnae Fund.