Homecoming is always a joy for me, this year in particular.
The Foundation kicked off a year of celebrating our 50th anniversary with a delicious buffet luncheon in The W Room at Hogarth Student Center. Music and laughter filled the room as we marked the Foundation's important role in supporting MUW. From very humble beginnings with the first two gifts of $1,000 from Miss Emma Ody Pohl and Mrs. Pratt Thomas, the Foundation's assets have grown to more than $40 million today, due to the generous giving of alumni and friends of the University. I hope you'll join us next year at Homecoming when we wrap up our year-long celebration with another festive party.
At Convocation, the Golden Girls Class of 1964 presented Dr. Jim Borsig with a check for $150,000. Their total class giving since graduation exceeds an astonishing $900,000! This seems to have sparked some friendly competition with other classes. That evening, several other reunion classes challenged each other in upping the ante for their class gifts. I can't wait for next year's Homecoming!
In Foundation Board news, we say goodbye to outgoing directors Nell McAllister Thomas, Don Spaulding, Pat Stone Meiners, Kathy Stephens Randall and Sarah Lee Cheek. Their fiscal leadership has been an incredible boon to the Board. We welcome new board members Ramona Smith Jones, Lee Kennedy Waring, Lugene Spagnola Vincent, Anne Lipscomb Webster, John Bean, Mike Waters and Jenny Katool, who represents the MUW Alumni Association. I look forward to working with them.
You might have seen the movie "The Monuments Men" earlier this year starring George Clooney, Bill Murray, John Goodman, Kate Blanchett and Matt Damon. Or perhaps you read the book by Robert Edsel. He'll be our speaker at this year's Welty Gala scheduled for October 24. Monuments Men is the true story of a World War II troop tasked with finding Western Europe's art treasures stolen by the Nazis. If you enjoy tales of courage, nail-biting suspense and solid writing, I strongly recommend this book. Once you read it, you'll want to meet Robert Edsel and hear him speak about his own adventures in researching and writing it.
The W has many wonderful traditions – Homecoming, Mag Chain, the Old Maid's Gate, social clubs, gathering to sing our special songs. Another tradition is a passionate support of our alma mater, providing scholarships, faculty assistance and general support of our University. Many, many thanks for each and every gift you make to the Foundation. One Long Blue Line. What a fine tradition! What a brilliant legacy!
Ruth Pettey Jones
Class of 1976
MUW Foundation Board