Million Dollar Bequest Endows Scholarship

September 4, 2002

Staunton, VA – Thanks to gifts from the late Emily Ramsey Thompson, a 1926 alumna of Mary Baldwin Seminary, an endowed fund at Mary Baldwin University is expected to provide about $50,000 in scholarships each year. The Emily Ramsey Thompson ’26 Memorial Scholarship Endowment for Worthy Students is underwritten by gifts from Mrs. Thompson totaling $1,061,244.93.

Mrs. Thompson started the fund while she was still living with a gift of $100,000. She bequeathed a portion of her estate to Mary Baldwin, increasing the fund substantially. Mary Baldwin recently received a final payment of $659,774.07 from her estate, making the total bequest $1,061,244.93.

“The gift of Mrs. Thompson allows Mary Baldwin University to offer scholarships to those students who will benefit from the Mary Baldwin experience. The College is very grateful for their generosity and desire to help future generations of young women. Mary Baldwin is committed to making it possible for capable students to attend our college,” said Martha Masters, director of capital gifts and gift planning. The Thompson endowment is one of over 180 endowed scholarship funds at Mary Baldwin University, which provide approximately $580,000 in student aid each year.

Thompson, a “special student taking college courses,” graduated with a degree in expression (public speaking). Born in Front Royal, Virginia, she and her husband, Carl W. Thompson, owned and operated Ramsey Hardware, Inc., which she inherited from her parents. Thompson’s ties with Mary Baldwin stayed strong. For example, she sent postcards to the Alumnae Office during every trip that she and her husband took. She contributed to the Annual Giving Fund almost every year from 1947 until her death in 2001. She also served on the Alumnae Association Board of Directors from 1958-1961.

Mary Baldwin University, with a main campus in Staunton, Virginia, and five regional centers, excels in providing leadership training, character development, and career preparation with a strong academic foundation. A master’s level university, Mary Baldwin offers three undergraduate residential programs for women – the Traditional Program for Women, the Program for the Exceptionally Gifted, and the Virginia Women’s Institute for Leadership – as well as coeducational, nonresidential bachelor’s and master’s degree programs. Mary Baldwin offers the B.A. and/or the B.S. in 32 majors, the Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT), the Master of Letters (M.Litt.) and Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Shakespeare and Renaissance Literature in Performance, and post-graduate teacher licensure (PGTL). The oldest women’s college affiliated with the Presbyterian Church U.S.A., Mary Baldwin was founded in 1842 and was the first women’s college to be granted a circle of the national leadership honor society Omicron Delta Kappa. It is one of only 262 colleges and universities to shelter a chapter of the prestigious Phi Beta Kappa honor society.