Welcome to this special edition of UMW Magazine devoted to the Mary Washington First campaign. Guest editor Torre Meringolo, vice president for Advancement and University Relations, has guided efforts to support President Richard V. Hurley’s vision for UMW through the development and launch of this $50 million campaign. Begun in 2011 and ending in late 2016, the Mary Washington First campaign has raised $30 million toward its goal.
The launch of a comprehensive fundraising campaign is a special moment in the life of an institution. It provides an opportunity to showcase high-priority initiatives that need private support in order to propel them forward. More importantly, a campaign provides an opportunity for those who cherish the institution to express their support through personal investments.
The title and theme of this campaign is Mary Washington First, and the choice of this name was deliberate. President Richard V. Hurley’s vision is for Mary Washington to continue its rise among outstanding public liberal arts and sciences institutions. National campaign chairs Dan Steen ’84 and Anne Marie Thompson Steen ’83 are committed to that vision, and they are proof of the quality of alumni that Mary Washington has produced over the decades.
Not only have the Steens excelled in their careers, they have stayed a part of the life of their alma mater: attending reunions, cultural events, and celebrations; giving of their time and talents; and leading the effort to grow the financial foundation that keeps UMW strong.
Throughout their lives together, Dan and Anne Steen have put Mary Washington first among their commitments.
The financial climate for public higher education today is radically different than it was 50 years ago, a time when states embraced the responsibility of providing a college education to their citizenry. As education dollars are diverted to other social needs, such as health care and infrastructure, public higher education faces a growing financial burden and challenges not seen before.
“As education dollars are diverted to other social needs, such as health care and infrastructure, public higher education faces a growing financial burden and challenges not seen before.”
The funding differences between public and private institutions are diminishing as public support decreases. Thus, Mary Washington must turn for support to those who know it best – its alumni family.
As we face this huge cultural shift away from state support, the success of Mary Washington – and of the Mary Washington First campaign – depends on you.