(L to R) Torre Meringolo

UMW Raises $29.2M Toward $50M Mary Washington First Campaign

by | Dec 13, 2014 | Schools & Education

By Susan Larson

The University of Mary Washington publicly launched its $50 million Mary Washington First Campaign.

“In order to remain at the forefront of our competitors, affordable for our students and families and able to attract the best and brightest minds, UMW must have the resources for success,” UMW President Richard Hurley told a group gathered at the Jepson Alumni Executive Center for the announcement.

“We receive less than 22 percent of our budget from the Commonwealth,” Hurley said. “In the past few years, we’ve made significant enhancements to the curriculum, including new majors, minors, programs and centers to better serve our student needs. We’ve also continued to expand and improve our facilities. To continue to move forward, strong private support is needed, and that is what the Mary Washington First Campaign is all about.”

The Mary Washington First Campaign began on July 1, 2011, in what is called a quiet phase.   “At the beginning of the quiet phase we were testing,” said Vice President of Advancement and University Relations Torre Meringolo. “We were less than three years out of the worst financial collapse in the United States since the general depression, and everyone wondered what would become of philanthropy nationally let alone at the university.”

The quiet phase – when President Hurley, members of the advancement staff and volunteers personally shared the fundraising vision — proved successful. The university has received gifts and pledge commitments of $29.2 million.   “That’s a little ahead of where we hoped to be at this point,” Meringolo said. “The message is certainly resonating and those closest to us are responding.”

The total goal of the campaign is $50 million, with specific targets for each of seven areas:

$5 million for the College of Arts and Sciences
$5 million for the College of Business
$5 million for the College of Education
$15 million of scholarships
$10 million for UMW Program Initiatives
$7 million for the Fund for Mary Washington
$3 million to renovate the amphitheater near Sunken Road on the Fredericksburg campus

Of the $29.2 million already committed, seven gifts were in excess of $1 million, 58 were new estate commitments and the rest came as gifts and pledges of all sizes from nearly 13,000 individuals, Meringolo said.

Over the next two years, Mary Washington First Campaign National Co-Chairs Daniel Steen (class of 1984) and Anne Marie Thompson Steen (class of 1983) will spearhead fundraising efforts.
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