Mary Baldwin University officials announced today that eight anonymous women have established a new endowment fund to support leadership development programs at the college. The donors, all Mary Baldwin University alumnae and most current or former trustees, have stipulated that the fund be named after Cynthia Haldenby Tyson, Mary Baldwin president, to honor her “extraordinary, visionary leadership” of their alma mater.
Initial commitments to The Cynthia Haldenby Tyson Endowment for Leadership Development total $2,226,000.
One of the donors, speaking for the group, said, “We are products of Mary Baldwin. In a very personal way, we understand the value of the unique education a women’s college can provide. As students, we honed our critical thinking skills at the same time as Mary Baldwin helped us grow into the adults we wanted to be. We felt this was an appropriate time to come together as a group of alumnae and create this endowment to honor a woman who has given outstanding service and leadership to the college. We hope our gifts will be just the beginning – an inspiration for others to follow.”
“I was astonished and deeply touched when these good friends of Mary Baldwin told me of their plans,” comments President Tyson. “It was a complete surprise. I am grateful for their faith in me and their commitment to this college.”
Tyson has been president of Mary Baldwin since 1985. Under her leadership, the college established both the Master of Arts in Teaching program and Virginia Women’s Institute for Leadership (VWIL). The college’s financial security has significantly strengthened. Enrollment has increased every year during her tenure.
“Mary Baldwin has a long tradition of graduating women leaders, first in our traditional program and more recently in the Program for the Exceptionally Gifted and VWIL,” comments James D. Lott, Dean of the College and chief academic officer. “This gift will ensure that we can continue that tradition in a very intentional way.”
Mary Baldwin University, founded in 1842, is a four-year, liberal arts college primarily for women located in Staunton, Va. (Men are admitted as students in the Baldwin Online and Adult Programs and in the Master of Arts in Teaching Program.) Mary Baldwin offers the B.A. and/or B.S. in 32 majors as well as the M.A.T. degree. The oldest women’s college affiliated with the Presbyterian Church U.S.A., Mary Baldwin was also the first women’s college to be granted a circle of the national leadership honor society Omicron Delta Kappa. The college also has a chapter of the prestigious Phi Beta Kappa honor society