Alumnae/i Raise Thousands of Dollars, Spirits

July 10, 2007

A puzzle piece and an invitation featuring a squirrel helped 2007 Reunion classes and the Grafton Society raise more than $500,000 for Mary Baldwin University, meeting a challenge from alumna Bertie Deming Smith ’46, who doubled the amount to $1 million. Added to other generous gifts from alumnae/i, parents, and friends, the college’s Annual Fund totaled nearly $2 million for 2006–07.

The Class of 1967 recorded the highest participation percentage and the largest gift, with 50 percent of class members contributing more than $60,000. Peggy Anderson Carr ’67, co-fundraising chair, said personal touches, such as phone calls from classmates, individual yearbook photos on their Reunion envelopes, and a creative puzzle invitation that formed a picture of Hunt Dining Hall led by class presidents Sue McDowell Whitlock and Gina Holden made all the difference. Carr spearheaded the idea to personalize Reunion envelopes with yearbook photos, and said it is “important to get everyone involved in some way.”

The Class of 1972 holds their class meeting at Reunion 2007Susan Myers and Talbott Jordan, co-vice presidents for the Class of 1972 engineered a direct mail campaign, dubbed the Squirrel Campaign, to encourage classmates to attend Reunion and donate to the college. Amusing postcards and flyers were a success. One postcard spotlighted 35 reasons to attend Mary Baldwin Class of 1972’s 35th Reunion, such as “If you don’t come, they’ll gossip about you” and “To turn in that long-overdue term paper.” The Class of 1972 welcomed 38 members back to campus for Reunion and raised more than $23,000.
Bertie Deming Smith '46 in a photo by Ian BradshawSmith demonstrated her commitment to transforming the culture of giving by setting up her gift in the form of a challenge, now named the Smith Challenge, to encourage increased participation and unrestricted annual giving. Read more about the Smith Challenge at .

Meeting the 2006–07 Annual Fund match goal is the latest in a series of successes that Mary Baldwin President Pamela Fox and the institutional advancement team count toward the Smith Challenge, said Angus McQueen, associate vice president for institutional advancement. The final stage of the Annual Fund match is underway for the 2007–08 fiscal year.

Smith’s $6 million gift was designated for three areas of need at Mary Baldwin:

  • $1.75 million for the unrestricted Annual Fund
  • $2.25 for capital improvements (repair and renovation)
  • $2 million for the college’s endowment

Students Exceed Annual Fund Goal

Spencer Society student callers raised more than $163,000 for the Annual Fund during the 2006–07 Phonathon, exceeding the group’s original goal of $125,000.