When students arrived on Mary Baldwin University’s campus in mid-January to begin the spring semester, they were surprised with some school spirit. More than 220 squirrel-shaped lawn signs lined the steps and walkways outside of Hunt Dining Hall and the Grafton Library, each printed with a cheerful holiday message or an encouraging note to students from donors, many of whom were MBU alumni.
MBU Alumni Deck the Hills
January 29, 2020
The signs were a late 2019 fundraising effort in support of the Baldwin Fund dubbed Deck the Hills. For every donation of $100 or more, a squirrel sign was placed to welcome students back to campus.
Jamie Saunders ’23, a marketing and communications major who was returning from her hometown of Valentines, said that when she saw the signs, she couldn’t wait to read the names of alumni that were written on each one.
“It’s so exciting to think that one day I will join the club of the awesome alumni,” she said. “Not only did they donate money, but they also took time out of their busy lives to write a personal note to current MBU students. The notes are another example of the amazing sense of community here at MBU.”
According to Associate Vice President of University Advancement Joshua McCoy, the campaign did not publicize a specific dollar goal, but instead made participation a top priority. The advancement office reported engaging an impressive 220 supporters and raising $80,215 during the Deck the Hills campaign — seven times more than the 2018 end-of-year effort.
“This project was really about connecting our alumni with our current students in a fun and festive way,” McCoy said.
Adrienne Teague, executive director of alumni engagement, believes the campaign was not only a great way for alumni to support students, but also provided them with an opportunity to have a presence once again on campus — even if it was virtual. Teague decided to contribute to the fundraising effort as a staff member. She wanted to give to help ensure the institution continues to provide students with unique experiences and opportunities, so that they too can go on to contribute to their alma mater and the world at large.
“Mary Baldwin University is a wonderful and special place, and it was so encouraging to see the outpouring of support from our alumni and friends who donated during this project,” Teague said. “We thank all of our donors for supporting Mary Baldwin, and taking the time to show the current student body what the promise of this community will bring them when they graduate.”
“We thank all of our donors for supporting Mary Baldwin, and taking the time to show the current student body what the promise of this community will bring them when they graduate.”Adrienne Teague, executive director of alumni engagement