Traveling from her home in Texas to study at Mary Baldwin in the early ‘60s fostered Lambert’s love of experiencing new places and following her curiosity. Though she spent just two years in Staunton before returning south to finish her degree at the University of Texas, she said her time at Mary Baldwin built the foundation for the woman she would become.
“I loved being in Virginia, and on that beautiful campus,” said Lambert. “When I was there, there was a great faculty, and I just enjoyed it so much.”
After graduation she went to live in Perugia, Italy, where she studied Italian language and art history. Her experience with Umbrian food culture inspired her to found Mozzarella Company in 1982. The company won widespread culinary acclaim for being among the first to introduce Old World handmade cheeses to the United States on a commercial scale.
During the course of her career, Lambert has achieved many accolades such as the James Beard Foundation’s Who’s Who of Food and Beverage in America and MBU’s Career Achievement Alumni Award. Her factory now produces more than 30 varieties of artisan cheeses.
Today Lambert focuses on leading gastronomic tours of Italy, France, and Ireland that showcase off-the-beaten-path destinations and singular experiences gleaned from her many travels.
“I want students to go and have experiences like I did and live abroad, learn a new way of thinking, and meet new people,” she said. “I think it will make the world better.”
Through her extraordinary gift to Mary Baldwin, Lambert will foster countless opportunities for students to broaden their horizons and engage in life-changing experiences at the university and beyond.