Clark Billups ’17 was a senior when he made his first-ever gift to the University of Mary Washington.
Now, he’s sponsoring his first Mary Wash Giving Day challenge, encouraging other young alumni to make their first-ever gift on Tuesday, April 4, 2023. All donations during this 24-hour fundraising celebration – themed #TogetherUMW – go to supporting Mary Washington students and programs.
“I owe so much to my alma mater,” said Billups, who majored in business administration and now works at Liberty Mutual in Fredericksburg. After donating on every Mary Wash Giving Day since its inception, he pledged to give $1,000 this year to the unrestricted Fund for Mary Washington to help address UMW’s most critical needs. “I want to ensure that current and future students have access to the same public liberal arts and sciences education that I did.”
He’s not alone. Generous donors have committed to challenges and matches to inspire the entire UMW community – alumni, students, faculty, staff, families and friends – to participate on Giving Day. Every gift, regardless of size, can help Mary Washington reach its goal of 2,600 gifts and 400 first-time donors, said Director of Annual Giving Shelby Orlando ’14.
With $211,000 in challenges and matches waiting to be unlocked at givingday.umw.edu, every donation has the potential of doubling and even tripling its impact, resulting in thousands of extra dollars to be invested in UMW student success. This year’s goals also include:
- 1,908 gifts (celebrating UMW’s founding year) to unlock a total of $5,000 for the Fund for Mary Washington from Board of Visitors (BOV) Rector Devon Cushman ’93 and member Deborah Santiago ’90
- 2,600 gifts to unlock an $18,000 gift from Steve Gladis and Donna Sheehan Gladis ’68
- When 400 first-time donors participate, BOV member Rob Strassheim ’96 and Sarah Gildersleeve Strassheim ’01 will contribute $5,000
- 200 gifts to the Fund for Mary Washington from alumni will result in a $15,000 gift from an anonymous donor
- Sylvia McJilton Woodcock ’61 has pledged $5,000 when 10 individuals make a President’s Council-level gift ($500 for classes 2013-2022, $1,250 for classes 2008-2012, $2,500 for everyone else) to support the Fund for Mary Washington
- Rob Whitt ’93 and Dodie Denison Whitt ’95, who are parents of a UMW student, will make a $2,500 gift when 500 current and former parents donate
- Patti Boise Kemp ’69 will give $15,000 to the scholarship of her choice when $15,000 is raised for scholarships
- A group of 1973 alums will match every gift to the Class of 1973 Reunion Scholarship up to $10,000
- Former Chief of Staff Marty Wilder ’80 and Vicky Nichols Wilder ’80 will give $5,000 if UMW receives a gift from all 50 states
In addition, a Devil-Goat contest by Mike Charnoff ’95 and Katie Valentine Charnoff ’04 will encourage friendly competition between odd- and even-year graduates. Justin Gerbereux ’97 and Allison Coleman Gerbereux ’96 have sponsored a challenge for alumni who are married to other Mary Wash graduates. And 2008 grads Jeremy Bloom, Kate LeBoeuf, Alyssa Lee and Jeremy Vaughn will give $1,000 – and take a pie in the face – if 30 of their 2008 classmates give on Giving Day.
The Cedric Rucker University Center will serve as Giving Day headquarters, with games, prizes, food and fun for students. Clark Billups will also host a Bingo game that evening in the Underground.
Dynamic leaderboards will track progress throughout the day. Meanwhile, over 100 Giving Day Ambassadors have signed up online to receive a unique referral link and digital tool kit to help spread the word on social media. Data shows that each ambassador post inspires three additional gifts. Alums and friends can also follow Mary Wash Giving Day on Facebook to learn which areas are still in need.
The Mary Washington Alumni Association will provide free pet bandannas with a fresh design to alums, who are asked to share their photos on social media, tagging #MaryWashDay and @UMWAlumni.
On the Mary Wash Giving Day donor wall, supporters can spotlight their names and gifts or remain anonymous. Contributions can be made online, over the phone or in person toward the Fund for Mary Washington, academics, arts and cultural programs, athletics, diversity and inclusion initiatives, campus preservation projects and much more.
Learn more by visiting the Mary Wash Giving Day FAQ page or by contacting Director of Annual Giving Shelby Orlando at firstname.lastname@example.org or 540-654-1361.