Day to Lead the Way 2022

March 29, 2022

MBU STAFFERS WERE so busy greeting and chatting with students in the Hunt Dining Hall foyer at this year’s annual Day of Giving they momentarily lost track of the fundraising thermometer.

When the event came to a close they were awestruck by the results: 531 MBU family members from 39 states teamed up to donate nearly a half-million dollars in support of the university! The $466,043 outpouring bested goals for the day and eclipsed last year’s total by almost $50,000. The money supports the Empowers Fund, a $50 million comprehensive campaign focused on directly supporting student-centered priorities like scholarships, academics, and programming. 

“This is a powerful testimony to the strength and dedication of our Mary Baldwin community,” said President Pamela R. Fox. “I would like to personally thank all of our generous donors for enabling this remarkable institution to continue to provide our students with a highly personalized education that is engineered to empower them to live deeply meaningful lives filled with personal and professional success.”

MBU HAS BEEN HOLDING  an annual day of giving since 2013. Vice President of University Advancement Chuck Davis says the 24-hour event is about more than raising money: 

“This is an opportunity for alumni, faculty, students, staff, and university supporters to celebrate the history and culture of this amazing university,” he said. It’s a moment to collectively acknowledge “Mary Baldwin as more than an institute of higher learning: We’re a springboard for launching student potential.”

Each year dozens of alumni and MBU family members — known as Day to Lead the Way Champions — share stories about the profound impact of their time at Mary Baldwin to drive social media conversations. The posts encourage peers, retired faculty and staff, and university supporters to pay the experiences forward through donations.

“The long-lasting bonds I created with classmates and professors at [the Murphy Deming College of Health Sciences] taught me the power of investing in people,” wrote Andrew Shipp DPT ’18, who is currently serving on MBU’s Board of Trustees. As the director of a thriving outpatient physical therapy clinic, “I put that lesson to work everyday, investing in my employees and my patients — because I recognize they’re the ones empowering me to [make a career out of doing] what I love, which is helping people.”

Shipp says he owes that understanding — that is, the firsthand experience of it — to his MBU professors. 

Clockwise from top left: Maya Britton ’25, Autumn Quen ’24, Aleyah White ’24, Kay Whearley ’24, Maria Calletano ’25, Yasmeen Kallash-Kyler ’24.

A SERIES OF CHALLENGES  boosted the day of giving fun factor by inviting different class years, university departments, and so on into a friendly competition around engagement. For instance, athletics personnel boasted the highest dollar amount in donations, track and field / cross country shared the most social posts among teams while the MBU choir program was the top club and organization. The Class of 1972 won the “Reunion Challenge,” with 21 donors raising more than $10,000.

Students lined up at Hunt Dining Hall throughout the day to grab free MBU swag and reflect on the impact of gifts. Signage detailed the significance of philanthropic giving for the university — and the countless ways the $10.2 million in total gifts for 2021 were put to use around campus. Students were amazed to discover how many of the programs and services they love and rely on daily are funded by donor support. Most felt compelled to share thank yous and/or photos promoting the event on social media. 

It says something big when you have all these alumni that graduated decades ago going out of their way to show they “still care deeply about this school and the students who go here today,” said Aleyah White ’24. “That’s inspiring. It makes me hope I’ll be successful enough to follow in their footsteps and uphold that tradition.”

Other students took to social media to share reflections like this one: 

“I feel like I found a real home here,” wrote Katie Keegan ’22, who studies in MBU’s nationally acclaimed Program for the Exceptionally Gifted. “MBU has given me so many opportunities to pursue different ideas and directions. I’m immensely grateful [to have been encouraged to cultivate a strong sense] of intellectual freedom; I know that will always be a part of who I am.”

Day to Lead the Way participants Katie Keegan PEG ’22 and Andrew Shipp DPT ’18

DAVIS JOINED STUDENTS  like Keegan in thanking champions and donors for making 2022’s Day of Giving the most successful ever. 

“I know I speak for all our faculty and staff in saying how grateful we are to our MBU family members for taking the time to donate and volunteer,” said Davis. He took joy in watching “how engaged and creative our champions were in service of this cause. And I can’t begin to say how affirming it was to see our donors coming through in such a big way.” 

Davis, Shipp, and Fox agree: Their continued support is what fuels Mary Baldwin’s ongoing mission to empower students to become the inclusive changemakers of tomorrow.A video featuring highlights and a recap of MBU’s Day of Giving 2022 can be found HERE.

“It's easy to get overshadowed at bigger universities, but MBU's small and mighty community provides a place for every student to truly shine. I feel like I wouldn't have found myself at another school. And now here I am: A graduating senior ready to take on whatever the world throws my way!”
Catherine Bailey ’22

Did you miss out on this year’s Day of Giving? Don’t worry, you can still help: MBU’s most vital fundraising campaign, MBU Empowers, is still underway!