The Season of Generosity

January 23, 2023

MBU students were welcomed with inspiring messages on their first day back for the spring semester.

Mary Baldwin University held its first Season of Giving, emphasizing the spirit of gratitude and giving at the close of 2022. The Office of University Advancement launched the new initiative to showcase a multitude of ways for alumni, donors, faculty, staff, and friends to support MBU throughout the holiday season.

MBU students were welcomed with inspiring messages on their first day back for the spring semester.

Philanthropic support during the Season of Giving has a direct impact on current and future MBU students, as learners gain the skills, experience, confidence, and credentials needed to navigate a dynamic global economy. Donor support energizes preeminent programing at centers like the McCree Center for Life Success, which will provide lifelong learning and professional development opportunities to alumni as well as students. Gifts also ensure that the campus home of Mary Baldwin’s students, alumni, faculty, and staff continues to cultivate creativity and excellence for years to come.

The university celebrates and thanks all Season of Giving donors for an increase of more than 100% in the number of online donations throughout November. Many also leveraged the option to double their impact courtesy of a match program through the Jessie Ball duPont Fund. The response from the Mary Baldwin community was so impressive, the duPont Fund decided to contribute a separate $12,000 donation to the Empowers Fund.

“It was inspiring to see the entire community come together to take advantage of this matching gift opportunity. It is clear how dedicated Mary Baldwin alumni are to ensuring the success of both this institution and its current students.”
Joseph Debraggio, Director of Annual Giving, MBU

Adding to an already successful November, the university joined in the nation-wide fundraising movement on November 29, #GivingTuesday, with a highlighted focus: The MBU Choir. Preparing for their spring tour in March 2023, the choir took center stage as the primary project to support. Nearly 30 contributors raised over $8,000 in just 24 hours for the choir’s upcoming travel and recruitment efforts in the Washington, D.C., area.

Animated graphic that accompanied a personal note from Dr. Craig Robertson to Mary Baldwin alumni and friends on Giving Tuesday.

Alumni and friends who met the minimum age requirement could also support the university and its students through a designation from their respective IRA, via the Required Minimum Distribution parameters set forth by the IRS.

“We are so grateful to donors who prioritize Mary Baldwin during their RMD planning. These types of gifts not only benefit our beloved school and its students, but they are beneficial to donors as well. It’s a win-win!”
Mary C. Harvey, Associate Vice President and Campaign Director, MBU

Perhaps the biggest splash of the season was the return of the annual Deck the Hills campaign. A favorite newer tradition for alumni, students, and campus community alike, Deck the Hills gives donors the opportunity to share a custom message welcoming students back from winter break. Over 280 signs now adorn both MBU’s Staunton and Murphy Deming College of Health Sciences campuses, providing a beacon of encouragement as students begin their spring semester.

“Every year I am so delighted to see the many signs decking our hills in Staunton [and Fishersville]. These signs are a visual reminder of Mary Baldwin’s community of supporters. Behind each warm message there is an alum that truly cares about student success at our alma mater.”
Maria Cerminara Acar '82 Mary Baldwin University Trustee

Monies raised during the Season of Giving directly support Mary Baldwin’s long-standing commitment of putting the student experience first. Through the provision of scholarships, creation of unique experiential learning opportunities, fostering mentorships between students and faculty, and connecting students to career-oriented programs, each gift truly benefits Mary Baldwin’s mission during the Season of Giving and beyond.