June 17, 2024

UMW Surpasses Campaign Goal

The University of Mary Washington has reached its five-year $50 million goal for the Mary Washington First Campaign more than a month ahead of schedule. The announcement was made Saturday, May 14, at a special event in the Chandler Ballroom of the University Center. National Campaign Chairs Daniel K. Steen ’84 and Anne Marie Thompson […]

UMW Receives $1.25 Million Gift for Amphitheater Restoration

A $1.25 million pledge from a University of Mary Washington alumna has moved the university closer to its $3-million fundraising goal to restore its historic amphitheater.   Josephine McPherson Heslep’56 and her husband, Donald The pledge, made by Josephine McPherson Heslep’56 and her husband, Donald, of Richmond, Va., helps provide a total of $2.5 million toward the only capital project in the Mary Washington First Campaign. The amount raised includes a $1 million pledge from Robert and Alice Andrews Jepson ’64 of Savannah, Ga., and more than $250,000 in gifts and pledges from other alumni and friends, “We still need to raise another half a million for the project,” says UMW President Richard V. Hurley, “but with the tremendous amount of nostalgia and pride our alumni feel for the amphitheater, we’re confident we will reach the final goal soon.” For more than a century, the open air amphitheater has been an integral part of the Mary Washington experience. Located in the grove behind Lee and Trinkle halls, it was the venue of choice for commencements, May Day celebrations, plays, concerts and even weddings. With age and recent storm damage, however, the site has been declared a safety hazard. “I remember the amphitheater from my time as a student,” says Josephine Heslep. “We’re happy to offer our help so that once again it will be a great gathering place and performance venue.” In past years, the Hesleps have provided significant support to the UMW Philharmonic. They also are members of the UMW President’s Council, Washington Society and Heritage Society. When complete, the $3-million restoration will return the amphitheater to its 1952-1953 appearance by repairing and reconstructing damaged and missing pieces, and returning the surrounding woodlands to pristine condition. It also will provide seating for approximately 600 people on weather-resilient benches and chairs. The amphitheater is one of seven priorities of the $50-million Mary Washington First Campaign. The comprehensive fundraising initiative began July 1, 2011, went public April 26, 2014, and is expected to conclude June 30, 2016. For more information, go to marywashingtonfirst.umw.edu or call 540-654-1024.

UMW Launches Founders Day Challenge

The University of Mary Washington has launched a Founders Day Challenge in celebration of its 107th founding anniversary on Saturday, March 14.   President Simpson and guests celebrate the university's 60th anniversary in 1968 The challenge aims to raise $107,000 for the Fund for Mary Washington, the unrestricted gifts fund for the university, by the founding anniversary. The Fund allows UMW to support students, programs and other needs not covered by state’s operating budget. Discretion for use of the funds is handled by the president and other designated decision-makers. The Fund for Mary Washington is just one of seven donation areas within UMW’s $50 million Mary Washington First Campaign, which aims to reach its campaign goal within five years through the support of alumni, students, staff, faculty, parents and community members. UMW was established as the State Normal School for Women at Fredericksburg on March 14, 1908 with the assistance of Virginia State Senator C. O’Conor Goolrick. It was the second institution in the state devoted exclusively to the training of teachers for public schools, after the Normal School for Women at Farmville, now Longwood University. For more information about the founding of UMW, the challenge, or to make a donation, please visit http://giving.umw.edu/challenge.

UMW Launches $50 Million Fundraising Campaign

The University of Mary Washington has publicly launched its $50 million Mary Washington First fundraising campaign. The announcement was made at a news conference on Friday, April 25, in the Jepson Alumni Executive Center. The Mary Washington First campaign aims to secure private funds for various initiatives, including for student scholarships. The goal of the comprehensive campaign is to raise funds to advance President Richard V. Hurley’s vision: for University of Mary Washington to become one of the nation’s premier public liberal arts and sciences universities. “The pace of change in higher education accelerates daily, and the fiscal challenges faced by colleges and universities are daunting,” Hurley said. “In order to remain at the forefront of our competitors, affordable for our students and families, and able to attract the best and brightest minds, it is imperative for UMW to have the resources necessary for success.” Among the fundraising initiatives, the university strives to secure private funds for endowment of scholarships, restoration of the campus amphitheater, support for the university’s three colleges, enhancement of the Fund for Mary Washington, and development of key program initiatives. These initiatives are: the arts, athletics, leadership, study abroad, the Chappell Great Lives lecture series, libraries and instructional technology. A rendering by Train & Partners Architects shows what the amphitheater might look like after renovation. The amphitheater, located in a grove of trees near Sunken Road on the Fredericksburg campus, has been home to many significant UMW traditions since it was constructed in 1913. The planned $3 million restoration would return the site to its 1952-1953 appearance by repairing and reconstructing damaged and missing pieces. It would provide seating for approximately 600 people on weather-resilient benches and chairs while incorporating accommodations for ADA accessibility. Over the past three years, in the non-public phase of the campaign, the university has raised a total of $29.2 million. Represented in that amount are seven gifts and pledges of $1 million or more. Out of a total of about 13,000 donors, more than 120 have made campaign commitments of $25,000 or more. Significant gifts include:
  • More than $7.5 million in estate gifts for student scholarships, including one full-tuition Washington scholarship and one Alvey Scholarship, which covers tuition costs for an  out-of-state student
  • More than $3 million in estate gifts to support students studying abroad
  • Nearly $1.4 million in gifts to support restoration of the amphitheater
  • A $1 million estate gift to create special professorships in the three colleges
  • More than $600,000 in pledges and gifts to support the unrestricted Fund for Mary Washington
  • More than $500,000 to support the Great Lives Lecture Series.
The campaign will secure funds for the development of key program initiatives, including for study abroad opportunities. Anne Marie Thompson Steen ’83 and Daniel K. Steen ’84 of Arlington, Va., serve as national campaign chairs. Both said they are eager to move the campaign forward. “We are fortunate to be able to partner with other Mary Washington alumni, parents, and friends,” said Dan Steen, a former rector of the UMW Board of Visitors. The Steens join members of a Campaign Cabinet, membership of which represents a cross-section of UMW constituents from varying career paths, affiliations and locations across the country. “Together,” Steen added, “we all are committed to the $50-million campaign goal.” For more information about the campaign or to donate, visit http://marywashingtonfirst.umw.edu. The University of Mary Washington is a premier, selective public liberal arts and sciences university in Virginia, highly respected for its commitment to academic excellence, strong undergraduate liberal arts and sciences program, and dedication to life-long learning. The university, with a total enrollment of more than 5,000, features colleges of business, education and arts and sciences, and three campuses, including a residential campus in Fredericksburg, Va., a second one in nearby Stafford and a third in Dahlgren, Va., which serves as a center of development of educational and research partnerships between the Navy, higher education institutions and the region’s employers. In recent years, the university has seen its academic reputation garner national recognition in numerous selective guidebooks, including Forbes, the Fiske Guide to Colleges and the Princeton Review’s 2012 edition of 150 “Best Value Colleges” and the 2014 edition of “The Best 378 Colleges.”

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