June 9, 2023

Support our Students Crowdfunding Project

The Office of Annual Giving is extremely proud and excited to announce Support Our Students as the most recent crowdfunding project under the GIVE Campaign (formerly known as Mary Wash Focus). The GIVE Campaign falls under the purview of the Young Alumni Council, and this year a committee from that council, along with a current student, selected Support Our Students as the spring semester project. The project was put forth in an application from Cap and Gown, Mary Washington’s chartered member of Mortar Board’s national union since 1959, as part of the GIVE spring application process.

The idea for Support Our Students began when Mortar Board’s chapter president, Angela Dixon, learned there were homeless students on campus. Professor Elizabeth Wade suggested Dixon speak with Cedric Rucker, Associate Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Student Life, in order to learn how the University assists financially challenged students. It was during her conversation with Dean Rucker that Dixon learned the University did not have an emergency fund to aid students and that at times Dean Rucker used his own money to assist students. Dixon proclaimed Mortar Board would help the University by raising money for the Office of Student Life.

“Creating a fund to assist with emergency needs can help a student get that one book needed for class, provide emergency resources to get home for a family emergency, pay rent to avoid falling into immediate homelessness, or purchase that cap and gown for the final ceremony celebrating their ultimate academic accomplishment,” Dean Rucker stated. “I have cobbled together resources to assist a few students with these issues over the years. It would be wonderful to have an established resource to be able to continue to support students when the rain starts to fall, and there appears to be no shelter in sight.”

The goal for this fund is to always keep a balance of at least $1,000 available for emergency distribution. Through Phonathon calls alone we have already raised $235 through pledges from seven donors. We hope that our faculty and staff will consider supporting our students through this fund. The smallest of gifts can make a difference in whether or not a student is able to continue their studies at Mary Washington. Applications for funds will be accepted beginning on or about August 1, 2016.