Foundation Rallies to Support Virginia Colleges

July 30, 2009

The checks from the Virginia Foundation for Independent Colleges (VFIC) to Mary Baldwin totaled more than $164,000 in 2008–09. Their impact was invaluable.

Scholarships, capital improvements, undergraduate and faculty research, career services, and more at Mary Baldwin University were boosted by funds from VFIC, an organization that distributed more than $2.7 million in grants to 15 leading private colleges in the Commonwealth during the previous academic year. Mary Baldwin received one of the largest awards, which included nearly $27,000 in unrestricted funds.

A few highlights of Mary Baldwin’s funding:

  • VFIC funding included the $22,500 Verizon Digital Age to support the ongoing development the college’s Career Academy, one of seven Leadership Gateways that will guide the studies and co-curricular activities of entering Mary Baldwin students beginning in fall 2009. The grant will help Career Academy students develop resumés and an electronic portfolio to record their goals, and facilitate a partnership between the Career Academy and Grafton Library. The creation of an information technology lab, named Taking the Liberal Arts to Work, is a critical piece of the program.
  • $7,750 was designated for improvements and upgrades to audio/visual equipment in Francis Auditorium through the VFIC Capital Project Initiative. Work started over the summer and is scheduled to wrap up by September 30.
  • Nearly $104,000 was distributed through student scholarships, including a $5,000 Wachovia Foundation Scholarship to Linde Bischak ’10 and rising senior Erin Hall’s $5,000 Norfolk Southern Scholarship.
  • Marlena Hobson, associate professor of art, will employ her recent $2,000 Mednick Fellowship Award from the Virginia Foundation for Independent Colleges to continue research for a book she is planning on the Novecento movement in Italian art. During her spring 2010 sabbatical, Hobson will visit the Museum of Modern Art, Fritz Museum, the Library of Congress, and other sites specifically to find information about N.G. Fiumi, a member of the Novecento movement and her grandfather.
  • VFIC provided $2,000 for Mary Baldwin rising sophomore Beth Dodson’s work through the Summer Undergraduate Research Program.

Mary Baldwin University and private colleges around the state also wrap up their participation in Virginia Private Colleges Week August 1, another program that comes as a benefit to members of the Virginia Foundation for Independent Colleges. Founded in 1952, VFIC is a nonprofit, fundraising, and programmatic partnership of colleges and supporting corporations. On the Web at