Mary Patterson McPherson (born c. 1935) has served as the President of Bryn Mawr College (1978-1997), the Vice President of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation (1997–2007), and the Executive Officer of the American Philosophical Society (2007-2012). She is considered to be "a significant figure in American higher education and a leader in the education of women". She is widely credited with renewing and revitalizing Bryn Mawr and enhancing its stature during a time when the role of women's colleges was being challenged.
McPherson taught philosophy at the University of Delaware and served as professor and dean at Bryn Mawr before being elected President of Bryn Mawr College, from 1978-1997. Her inauguration at Bryn Mawr College was the first time that all the presidents of the Seven Sisters colleges were women.
She was named the Executive Officer of the American Philosophical Society, the oldest learned society in the United States in 2007. She has been a member of the society since her election to membership in 1983.
The McPherson Fund For Excellence was established at Bryn Mawr in 1997 to honor President Emeritus Mary Patterson McPherson, recognizing McPherson Fellows for excellence and service to the community, either within or beyond the boundaries of this institution.