For more than a century, Mary Washington alumni have taken lessons learned in the classroom out into the real world as they become leaders in their communities and in their fields of study. They have remained connected to their classmates, roommates, and professors while staying actively engaged in networking and mentoring to share their experiences and successes.
Mary Washington alumni lead lives of distinction and inspire others to follow in their footsteps. Through the years, many have found ways to pay it forward through their philanthropic support of UMW students and programs. Leading Lives is a new series that showcases the personal stories and decisions behind giving back.
The first episode of this new series is titled Reflections and features John and Phyllis Newby Thompson ’69.
Originally from South Boston, Virginia, Phyllis’s first home-away-from-home was Willard Hall. As she continued to pursue her studies, a boy from her hometown began visiting on a regular basis and Mary Washington soon became an important part of both their lives.
Phyllis became a teacher and John launched a successful business career. Now married 51 years and living on the West Coast, the couple recently made a significant gift to support the Mary Washington student experience.
Watch the video below to learn how their time at Mary Washington impacted the way they lead their lives and eventually led them to offer their philanthropic support.