Supporting ‘My Mary Baldwin’

October 10, 2012

The enthusiasm in Nancy Dunbar’s voice is unmistakable.

“I am just so thrilled and proud of my ‘little college.’ We are not just keeping up, we are always ahead of the curve when that new opportunity comes along,” she said. “Mary Baldwin is doing big things.”

Dunbar ’60 finished three years at Mary Baldwin before transferring to University of South Carolina (USC) in her hometown of Columbia. She has remained “up close and personal” with the Mary Baldwin and has always been on board with its role in “empowering women of all generations.”

Service on the Alumnae/i Association Board of Directors, Advisory Board of Visitors, and Board of Trustees beginning in the 1970s has given Dunbar the opportunity to see the vision and the work of four Mary Baldwin presidents, and to take pride in the college’s evolution.

“When I walk up [the steps of the Administration Building] between Ham and Jam, that’s my Mary Baldwin University. I feel so fortunate that those places and characteristics that I remember fondly are still here, but I’m so glad that our leadership has kept moving forward to foster what modern women need to know,” Dunbar said.

Over the years, Dunbar has gone beyond her reliable annual Baldwin Fund gifts to support special projects and initiatives. Her latest contribution will ultimately create an endowed scholarship — one that she hopes will cover the majority of tuition — for a cadet in the Virginia Women’s Institute for Leadership (VWIL). Dunbar has been passionate about each program that has expanded the reach and the mission of Mary Baldwin, and she admits she “adored” VWIL from its start in 1995. Her family’s military involvement makes it particularly meaningful: Dunbar spent her childhood on an Army base in Washington, DC while her father served. She also married a member of the Marine Corps, and now has a daughter on active duty in the Coast Guard.

“I know that I will love the new health sciences programs just as much,” she said. “We’re going to do it, and we’re going to do it right.”