June 17, 2021

Alumna Pledges Gift Match to Beyond the Classroom Endowment

Catherine ‘Cathie’ O’Connor Woteki ’69 and husband Tom will match all contributions dollar for dollar to the College of Arts and Science’s Beyond the Classroom Endowment Fund through the end of July.

Catherine ‘Cathie’ O’Connor Woteki ’69 and husband Tom will match all contributions dollar for dollar to the College of Arts and Science’s Beyond the Classroom Endowment Fund through the end of July.

Long before she led the effort to modernize food safety for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Catherine O’Connor Woteki ’69 was a student lab assistant in Combs Hall.

“Doing behind-the-scenes prep work and just being able to hang around the lab was so helpful,” she said of her 1968 position in Mary Washington’s biology department. “I became much more comfortable working in a lab environment.”

Woteki, who goes by Cathie, earned a bachelor’s degree in biology and chemistry from Mary Washington, where she served as class treasurer and helped pay her way through school with summer jobs. She wants to provide today’s UMW students with opportunities to discover their strengths and passions, just as her early lab experiences helped to inspire her career as an internationally known leader in science policy with a flair for food and nutrition that’s influenced public wellbeing.

Through the end of July, Cathie and husband Tom will match, dollar for dollar, all gifts to UMW’s Beyond the Classroom Endowment for student research and learning. The University’s College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) aims to raise $1 million for this new fund to support internships, study abroad, independent research and other high-impact learning experiences. Read more.