Mary Baldwin University kicked off the public phase of its largest fundraising effort in history Thursday with a gala and news of $1 million in gifts and pledges.
During the next two years, Mary Baldwin hopes to raise an additional $20 million to bring Ever Ahead: The Campaign for Mary Baldwin University to $80 million, the most the college has raised in a single effort. The public phase has gotten off to a robust start, with the announcement at the October 18 event that a group of trustees and friends have pledged $1 million.
“This significant pledge is further evidence of the tremendous generosity of our community as well as the dedication and hard work from our leadership boards,” said Dan Layman, associate vice president for Institutional Advancement. “We are fortunate to have a support system filled with compassionate leaders, and we hope to continue with this forward momentum throughout the next two years of the campaign.”
Launched in 2005, the Ever Ahead campaign has already generated investments that have resulted in major milestones — campus enhancements, student scholarships, programmatic expansions, and more.
In between hors d’oeuvres, cocktails, and the hum of friendly conversation in Lyda B. Hunt Dining Hall, attendees watched the premiere of a campaign video — which can be found on the new campaign website — and listened to members of the Board of Trustees and campaign leaders speak about their motivation to support Mary Baldwin.
“[My husband] Hayne and I decided years ago that what we gave to Mary Baldwin would have a much greater impact on the college and her success than any other academic institution with which we had been associated,” said Anna Kate Reid Hipp ’63. “The innovation, creativity, and courage that have sustained this college and broadened her base have allowed Mary Baldwin to remain ahead of the curve — to retain her place as an institution that never rests on her laurels or the status quo.”
The campaign’s top donor, Bertie Murphy Deming Smith ’46, is credited with the donation that jump started the fundraising initiative in 2005 and for the largest gift to date: $15 million announced in 2011 to create the Murphy Deming College of Health Sciences. Mary Baldwin hosted a ceremonial groundbreaking Thursday on the site of the satellite campus in Fishersville to celebrate building the new graduate school.
Mary Baldwin’s Office of Institutional Advancement throughout the fall and winter will continue to celebrate the campaign’s momentum with a series of events .