October 28, 2020

Surprise Campaign Gift Benefits Chemistry Department

erminiaThe UMW Foundation recently received a surprise bequest from the estate of Erminia Ubaldi Daspit ’49. The gift was designated to the chemistry department in recognition of the alumna’s undergraduate major.

A note from Erminia’s brother, Carmel J. Ubaldi, read: “My sister died in April of last year. She always attributed her success in life to her faith and the excellent education she received at what was then Mary Washington College.”

After receiving her bachelor’s degree in 1949, Erminia earned a master’s degree in library science from Columbia University. She then worked for DuPont/Westinghouse at the Savannah River Site in South Carolina as a technical librarian, researching literature for atomic energy scientists until her retirement in 1995. Throughout her life, she volunteered for numerous organizations and told her fellow ’49ers that she enjoyed travel, music, and people.

UMW Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences Richard Finkelstein says gifts such as this one are of great help and are always appreciated. “Private gifts to an academic department help strengthen our programs by supplementing state funds,” says Finkelstein. “Department chairs can target areas most in need of support, such as faculty and undergraduate research, supplies and equipment, travel to professional conferences, and other high-impact learning experiences for students.”

Finkelstein adds that he is honored Erminia provided for her alma mater in her estate plans. “It’s a tremendous tribute to the faculty and our institutional programs that an alumna who graduated 66 years ago acknowledges the important role her professors and the liberal arts played in her life and successful career.”

This gift counts toward the $50-million Mary Washington First Campaign. As of Sept. 30, 2015, Mary Washington alumni, parents, friends, faculty, staff, and businesses have committed more than $41 million in gifts and pledges. Visit http://umw.edu/marywashingtonfirst or call 540-654-2059 for more information.