MBU announces a $12.5 million transformational legacy gift from alumna entrepreneur

Published: Oct. 20, 2021 at 4:15 PM EDT
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STAUNTON, Va. (WHSV) - Mary Baldwin University (MBU) President Pamela R. Fox has announced a $12.5 million transformational legacy gift from dedicated university supporter and entrepreneur Paula Stephens Lambert, a member of the Class of 1965 who resides in Dallas.

The gift was announced at a dinner with the university’s Board of Trustees in Staunton Oct. 14.

“I am very honored and humbled tonight to announce this gift from Paula Lambert, one of the most significant in the history of Mary Baldwin,” said President Pamela Fox. “Her entrepreneurial spirit is a guiding light for the entire university, and her generosity enables Mary Baldwin to continue to move forward with foresight and bold innovation.”

A press release from the university states that Lambert’s commitment launches a new chapter of the MBU Empowers Campaign, which has now raised $36 million, $11 million above the campaign’s initial $25 million goal.

The success inspired university administrators to extend the campaign for another two years to pursue a comprehensive goal of $50 million.

“This campaign is about empowering our MBU students,” said Davis. “It’s about giving opportunities to young people who have the capacity to change the world.”

A significant portion of the funds are dedicated to “unrestricted support,” allowing Mary Baldwin to pursue new opportunities and address needs as they arise.

The gift will also endow in perpetuity a study abroad scholarship fund that Lambert founded in 2015 at MBU. It provides what the school calls generous, annual stipends for immersive cultural experiences abroad.

“I’m just thrilled that a gift like this can make such a difference,” said Lambert.

She says her alma mater helped her achieve success and that she wants to pay it forward by ensuring Mary Baldwin continues to flourish.

“I want students to go and have experiences like I did and live abroad, learn a new way of thinking, and meet new people,” Lambert said. “I think it will make the world better.”

Lambert’s experience with Umbrian food culture inspired her to found Mozzarella Company in 1982. The factory now produces more than 30 varieties of handmade cheeses.

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