They’ve Earned a Place of Honor

April 8, 2005

Columns outside of the Student Activities CenterWhat do a civic leader, real estate professional, former owner of a citrus grove, and financial broker have in common?

One clear answer would be: their devotion, commitment, and respect for Mary Baldwin University.

We celebrate the superior efforts of four people, who have given a collective 54 years in service to Mary Baldwin University as members of the Board of Trustees. As they complete their board terms, Dr. Pamela Fox, president of Mary Baldwin, and Louise McNamee ’70, chairwoman of the college’s Board of Trustees, recognized and acknowledged these individuals during their last Board meeting April 8, 2005.

It would be a challenge to find a woman more passionate about or devoted to Mary Baldwin University thanCharlotte Jackson Lunsford Berry ’51. She has taken on a staggering number of volunteer roles for the college, as well as other organizations of interest to her. For years she has been known as a good will ambassador for Mary Baldwin, possibly beginning when she was a student. As an alumna, she has been national president of the Mary Baldwin Alumnae/i Association and served as membership chair of the Advisory Board of Visitors, before election to the Mary Baldwin University Board of Trustees in 1976. Berry was honored as Woman of the Year in 1981 in Asheville, North Carolina in recognition of her community activism that included membership in some 20 civic and service organizations, among them United Way and Red Cross. As Mary Baldwin’s Commencement speaker in 1989, she became a role model for students because of her energy, enthusiasm, and accomplishments as the national chair of the American Red Cross. Berry co-founded Women in Philanthropy in Columbia, South Carolina, and has steadfastly encouraged women to give time and money to worthy causes.

His daughter, Mary Veeneman Hamilton ’93, came to Mary Baldwin University for an education – and her father took on a life-long commitment of service to the college – and then his second daughter came to Mary Baldwin, Laura Alexander Hamilton Laurent ’96.Alexander Hamilton IVfirst served on Parents Council. Through the years, and because of his associations, he has brought many foundations, corporations and other friends together to benefit Mary Baldwin. A member of the Mary Baldwin University Board of Trustees starting in 1993, he played an instrumental role in two major campaigns – both of them record-breaking. The Sesquicentennial Campaign raised the most funds to date in Mary Baldwin’s history. The Leadership Campaign, another comprehensive funding effort, resulted in the largest total raised by any women’s college in Virginia at that time. Hamilton has been an energetic and effective voice for the Virginia Women’s Institute for Leadership in the halls of government in Richmond. In all, he has helped create the Mary Baldwin University of today.

Once the owner of a citrus grove,Mary Pool Murraybegan her volunteer work for Mary Baldwin University in 1986 on the Advisory Board of Visitors. She was elected to the college’s Board of Trustees in 1997 and has proven herself a devoted friend time and again. Murray has acted on her commitment to the college, sharing information with an extensive network of friends and family in Florida, Maryland, Texas and Virginia. She has convinced donors — and encouraged prospective students — that Mary Baldwin University is worthy of their time, funds and attention. The American Red Cross and the Florida Citrus League have also benefited from her volunteer work; she has made a significant impact in her community as a result.

Shortly after graduation,Karen Emmett Saron ’80began building a significant volunteer career as a member of the Advisory Board of Visitors. As an economics major at Mary Baldwin, who also holds an MBA, Saron lent her expertise as a financial broker to the college’s business affairs. She has been a steadfast donor helping ensure the future of the college, and serving as a role model for consistent giving. As Mary Baldwin’s representative, Saron has made numerous public appearances and participated in events such as the presidential inauguration at Eckerd College.

The entire family and community of Mary Baldwin University is grateful to these individuals for their dedicated service. Berry, Hamilton, Murray and Saron may always count on a well-earned place of honor at Mary Baldwin.