June 25, 2024

UMW Faculty and Staff Make a Difference on Mary Wash Day

Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Political Science and International Affairs Jack Kramer taught countless students during his decades-long career at the University of Mary Washington.

For the second year, Distinguished Professor Emeritus Jack Kramer has pledged $15,000 to the Beyond the Classroom Endowment if 750 gifts are made to any program in UMW's College of Arts and Sciences.

For the second year, Distinguished Professor Emeritus Jack Kramer has pledged $15,000 to the Beyond the Classroom Endowment if 750 gifts are made to any program in UMW’s College of Arts and Sciences.

After retiring in 2020, Kramer turned his attention to UMW’s Beyond the Classroom Endowment, or BTC. The College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) initiative supports experiential learning for students, such as internships, study abroad and undergraduate research.

“BTC is critically important, giving Mary Washington students the financial means to pursue their educational dreams and fulfill their human potential,” Kramer said. The endowment aligns with UMW’s mission of providing a quality public liberal arts and sciences education filled with high-impact learning opportunities, he said.

For today’s Mary Wash Day, for the second consecutive year, Kramer is sponsoring a challenge. This year, he will unlock a $15,000 gift if 750 donations are made to BTC or any other area within CAS. He and wife Mary Lou are also sponsoring a dollar-for-dollar match on gifts to the Department of Political Science and International Affairs, up to $2,024.

Kramer is among several current and retired faculty and staff members who have issued challenges and matches on April 4 to encourage the UMW community to participate in the 24-hour celebration of philanthropy and engagement.

The event, now in its seventh year, kicked off this morning with a “grab and go” breakfast for faculty and staff on the steps of the Cedric Rucker University Center. The celebration will continue with special events throughout the day where alumni, friends, families, students, faculty and staff can showcase their Mary Wash pride and give back in support of more than 80 areas across the University.

“Working on the front lines with our students, UMW employees are among our most dedicated donors,” said Director of Annual Giving Shelby Orlando ’14, who encourages supporters to make gifts of any size on the Mary Wash Day website. A total of 256 faculty and staff members contributed during 2023’s event, helping to raise $621,528 for Mary Washington students, faculty and programs.

Digital Knowledge Center Director Cartland Berge (left) works with senior AJ Gluchowski, a member of the UMW Eagle Pipe Band, to 3D print a bagpipe. Berge is joining Shannon Hauser and Jerry Slezak in sponsoring a match in honor of DKC's 10th anniversary.

Digital Knowledge Center Director Cartland Berge (left) works with senior AJ Gluchowski, a member of the UMW Eagle Pipe Band, to 3D print a bagpipe. Berge is joining Shannon Hauser and Jerry Slezak in sponsoring a match in honor of DKC’s 10th anniversary.

More than $400,000 in challenges and matches sponsored by generous donors is just waiting to be unlocked this year, Orlando said.

In celebration of the 10th anniversary of the Digital Knowledge Center, DKC staff are sponsoring a dollar-for-dollar match, up to $1,000. For the past decade, the center has provided guidance, tools and spaces to help UMW students tackle ambitious digital projects and stay on the forefront of innovation and technology.

“We’ve seen students accomplish some incredible things over the last decade, from building a wealth of online resources that document UMW history to designing and 3D printing their own custom bagpipes,” said DKC Director Cartland Berge, who is teaming up with Associate Director Shannon Hauser and Digital Learning Support Director Jerry Slezak for the match. “We want to keep enabling amazing projects!”

Other challenges and matches include:

  • If gifts are made from all 50 states and Washington, D.C., Vicky Nichols Wilder ’80 and former UMW Chief of Staff Marty Wilder will donate $6,000 in support of current and future students
  • Dean Emeritus Cedric Rucker ’81 will unlock a $1,000 gift to the Cedric B. Rucker ’81 SOS Fund when 100 current students make a gift to any area on Mary Wash Day
  • Linda Lemanski Blakemore ’84 and Associate Professor Emeritus of History Porter Blakemore will unlock a $6,000 gift when UMW women’s basketball receives 60 gifts of $50 or more
  • UMW Men’s Lacrosse Coach Drew Delaney and his wife, Linda, will give $1,000 when Friends of Men’s Lacrosse receives its first $2,000 in gifts
Tamara Garrett ’23, an alum and AmeriCorps member, stocks shelves in the Gwen Hale Resource Center. Faculty members Anand Rao, Miriam Liss, Kashef Majid and Sarah Dewees are sponsoring a challenge in honor of Hale. They will give $1,000 to the center if 200 faculty and staff members make a gift to any area on Mary Wash Day.

Tamara Garrett ’23, an alum and AmeriCorps member, stocks shelves in the Gwen Hale Resource Center. Faculty members Anand Rao, Miriam Liss, Kashef Majid and Sarah Dewees are sponsoring a challenge in honor of Hale. They will give $1,000 to the center if 200 faculty and staff members make a gift to any area on Mary Wash Day.

Professor of Communications Anand Rao, Professor of Psychological Science Miriam Liss, Professor of Marketing Kashef Majid and Center for Community Engagement Director Sarah Dewees have also issued a challenge to honor late Writing Center Director Gwen Hale.

They’ll make a $1,000 gift to the Gwen Hale Resource Center – which provides food, clothing, toiletries and other necessities to students in need – if 200 faculty and staff members make a gift to any area on Mary Wash Day.

“Gwen was my conscience, always encouraging me to be kind and understanding,” Majid said of Hale, who created a small food pantry in her office that later expanded into the two-room center in Lee Hall. Created to alleviate food insecurity on campus, the space has clocked more than 1,000 visits since it opened in 2019. “The center meant so much to her. It makes such a positive difference in our community here at Mary Washington.”

Browse areas of support and make your gift April 4 on the Mary Wash Day website. More information about Mary Wash Day can be found on the FAQ Page. Read more giving stories at giving.umw.edu.