September 28, 2023

UMW Philanthropy Class Awards Grants to Area Agencies

Students in the University of Mary Washington’s philanthropy class awarded more than $10,000 in grants to three Fredericksburg-area nonprofit organizations: the Lloyd F. Moss Free Clinic; Serenity Home of Fredericksburg; and THRIVE, the Healing Center. Class representative Matt Cronin announced the awards during a check presentation ceremony on Monday, Dec. 3 at the university’s Jepson Alumni Executive Center. The ceremony, streamed live through Google Hangout, was the culmination of the semester-long Economics of Philanthropy and the Nonprofit Sector course taught by Professor of Economics Robert Rycroft. This year, the class of 26 students received 53 applications for the grants, funded by philanthropist Doris Buffet’s Learning by Giving Foundation. “We chose the recipients based off of how well the programs they wanted to fund fit in with our mission statement,” said junior Taylor Knight. This year, the philanthropy class raised an additional $500 through bake sales and a restaurant donation. Alex Buffett Rozek, Buffett’s grandson and president of the Learning by Giving Foundation, applauded the students’ efforts. “We want to make a difference in American communities and we think students are the best conduit to do that,” Rozek said. The Lloyd F. Moss Free Clinic, operated by the Fredericksburg Area Regional Health Council, received $3,087 to purchase additional medical equipment for cancer screenings. “Funding from UMW’s philanthropy class will help to provide access to essential services, including annual pap smears, for hundreds of low-income, uninsured women,” said Karen Dulaney, executive director of the Lloyd F. Moss Free Clinic. “The Moss Free Clinic hopes that this project will inform patients about the importance of regular breast exams and pap smears and discourage them from skipping important health screenings. The clinic is proud to partner with the University of Mary Washington in providing critical women’s health services and education to women in our community.” Serenity Home of Fredericksburg, which offers residential substance abuse services for medically stable, chemically dependent adult males, received $5,013 to refurbish bedrooms in its primary location. “I was thrilled [when I found out about the grant]. To me, this was our last hope,” said Mary McCary, director of Serenity Home. “We are allowing them to live in a nice place. The money also will go to a computer lab to help the residents work on their resumes.” THRIVE, The Healing Center, which provides affordable health and wellness services for women, received $2,400 for its employment training programs. “After receiving initial treatment from mental health and traditional medical providers, women often find themselves at a crossroads and failing to thrive,” said Joanie Walsh, board member and program coordinator for Thrive. “One such transition involves recent job loss or re-entry into the workforce. Thrive’s Employment Preparation, Marketing and Career Coaching for Women program will pick up where the State of Virginia Workforce Center leaves off through mock interviews, weekly support groups, classes in resume and cover letter writing, administration of aptitude and work skills assessments and sessions with a certified life coach. Upon completion of the program, women will have gained an increased level of confidence thereby feeling better prepared to interview and enter the workforce.” The philanthropy course, in its eighth year at UMW, is one of 17 courses sponsored by the Learning by Giving Foundation at universities across the country this fall. Students in the class create an organization, solicit for grant nominations, review funding applicants and determine grant recipients. Since its inception, the UMW class has awarded more than $80,000 in grant money. In 2011, UMW students in the course awarded a total of $10,000 to the Lloyd F. Moss Free Clinic for its diabetes management and diabetes home testing programs; to Rappahannock Legal Services for its technology improvement program; and to Stafford Junction for its HUGS (Helping Us Grow Strong) program. Past recipients also include Habitat for Humanity-Middlesex, Rappahannock Goodwill Industries, the Bragg Hill Family Life Center, the Thurman Brisben Center, Rappahannock United Way, the National Housing Trust/Enterprise Preservation Corporation, the Fredericksburg Counseling Services, Inc., Homes for America: Heritage Park Academic Achievement Program, Rebuilding Together, Rappahannock Refuge Inc./Hope House and the Fredericksburg Regional Boys and Girls Club. The Learning by Giving Foundation was created in the summer of 2011 through the generosity of Doris Buffett following the success of the program by the same name through her Sunshine Lady Foundation. According to its website, “the Learning by Giving Foundation seeks to advance the next generation’s understanding of philanthropy by providing the financial, technological and intellectual tools to experience community impact and to make that knowledge widely accessible through an online forum.” Additional information about the foundation is available at To learn more about the philanthropy course at Mary Washington, contact Professor Rycroft at (540) 654-1500 or

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News release prepared by: Brynn Boyer                     
About Brynn Boyer

Brynn Boyer is assistant director of media and public relations and a 2010 graduate of UMW.