Cullen ’90 and Rosemary Seltzer ’91 made a perfect match when they met in college.
Recently, the alumni couple, who will celebrate 30 years of marriage this summer, made another perfect match – this time at the University of Mary Washington’s sixth annual Mary Wash Giving Day. The Seltzers sponsored a dollar-for-dollar match, up to $6,000, to inspire their fellow 1990s alums to give to the Fund for Mary Washington, which addresses the University’s areas of greatest need.
“Mary Washington will always have a special place in our hearts,” said Rosemary, whose sister, Anne Golden Danforth ’94, and daughter, Kate Seltzer ’21, are also alums. “We are delighted our match was met and can’t wait to see what the future holds for our beloved alma mater.”
They were among the 2,224 supporters – a number that includes 455 donors who made their first-ever gift – who came #TogetherUMW to raise a grand total of $621,528 on April 4 to support Mary Washington and its students.
For the first time, donors in all 50 states (plus Washington, D.C.) and seven countries participated in the 24-hour fundraising extravaganza, unlocking a $5,000 gift from Marty ’80 and Vicky Wilder ’80. They made 2,985 gifts to 124 different areas across the University, benefiting academics, arts, athletics, service, career, and cultural programs.
The Fund for Mary Washington received the most support on Giving Day, followed by UMW Theatre, Friends of Women’s Basketball, the Geography Alumni Scholarship, and the Beyond the Classroom Endowment.
“It’s truly inspiring to see how the UMW community continues to make a meaningful investment in our students, faculty, and programs,” said Director of Annual Giving Shelby Orlando ’14. “The gifts that were made this year are already providing students with impactful learning opportunities, such as research with faculty mentors, study abroad, internships, and more.”
Alumni, parents, faculty, staff, students, and friends helped make the day a success, sponsoring 52 challenges and matches that doubled and tripled the impact of each gift. They also inspired others to donate by serving as Giving Day Ambassadors on social media, and posted photos of their pets donning Mary Washington bandannas, courtesy of the Office of Alumni Engagement.
The festivities continued at the Giving Day student headquarters with games, pizza, and prizes in the Cedric Rucker University Center and at an evening bingo game in the Underground, hosted by Patti Boise Kemp ’69 and Clark Billups ’17.
Videos posted on social media throughout the day showed UMW President Troy Paino and Vice President for Student Affairs Juliette Landphair quizzing students on Mary Wash trivia while driving a Cash Cart (based on the early 2000s game show Cash Cab) down Campus Walk.
Here are some of the other highlights of Mary Wash Giving Day 2023:
- Alumni and students from the classes of 1945 to 2026 donated on Giving Day.
- The Class of 1973 – celebrating their 50th reunion in June – made the most gifts, followed by the classes of 1995 and 2022.
- Goats won Devil-Goat Day this year, but the Devils eked out a Giving Day win, with 889 gifts from odd-year graduates versus 881 from even-year graduates.
- Young alumni donors, who graduated in the last decade, topped last year’s gifts, making 365 donations totaling more than $24,000.
- By sharing their referral links, 149 Giving Day Ambassadors inspired their networks to give 257 gifts totaling nearly $22,000.
If you missed Giving Day, or want to support Mary Washington students even more, there’s still time. The University’s giving year ends on June 30, and online gifts can be made at umw.edu/gift.
-Article written by Assistant Director of Advancement Communications Jill Graziano Laiacona ’04
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