Joseph Grzeika ’83 says a pamphlet in a doctor’s office waiting room forever changed his life. He had an associate’s degree from a technical college, he was assigned to the U.S. Navy’s AEGIS program at Dahlgren, and his wife was expecting their second child. He sat there that day thinking about his career options and the future of his family.
“That pamphlet about an educational path for adult students caught my eye,” says Joe. “I picked it up and decided to find out more. I eventually enrolled at Mary Washington, and the pieces just came together.”
Joe majored in computer science, which provided the foundation he needed to advance his career. He then put his bachelor’s degree to work while serving as vice president of Planning Consultants Inc., a Dahlgren-based company he formed with five partners to provide systems engineering services to the U.S. Navy – and later as president of Joetech, LLC, his own consulting company.
Out in the real world, Joe also provided a career path for Mary Washington graduates. “I knew the
quality of the programs and the professors,” says Joe. “Through the years, my company hired close to 40 Mary Washington alumni, and I always touted UMW student interns and graduates to my clients.”
In addition to his family and career, Joe dedicated himself to service in the community and at Mary
Washington. He served on the King George Board of Supervisors, the Rappahannock United Way Board of Directors, the UMW Board of Visitors, and the UMW Foundation Board. He is a longtime member of the President’s Council through his regular support of the Fund for Mary Washington, and he also supports the Philharmonic and UMW athletics.
Recently, Joe informed the Office of Gift Planning that he included UMW in his estate plans. “My college education had a profound impact on my life, and I feel an obligation to pay it forward,” says Joe. “It is my hope that university leaders will someday put my gift to work in a way that shapes lives and provides opportunities for future generations. I know that is something that will make my children and grandchildren proud.”