UMW Receives Transformational $30 Million Gift for Undergraduate Research and Scholarships
March 13th, 2023

The University of Mary Washington has received a $30 million gift – the largest in the institution’s 115-year history – from the estate of Irene Piscopo Rodgers. A 1959 alumna and lifetime supporter of her alma mater, Rodgers passed away on July 18, 2022, in Huntington, New York.Rodgers made a name for herself in the field of electron microscopy and helped pave the way for UMW graduates, especially women, to excel in STEM subjects of their own choosing. Mary Washington, as she often said, had “opened worlds” for her. Now, this generous gift – along with others that Rodgers made through the years – will carry on her legacy by helping the University prepare young scholars for successful careers in science, technology, engineering and math for decades to come.

“Students who benefited from Irene’s generosity welcomed her into their lives, so she was able to observe firsthand the transformative power of her gifts,” said UMW President Troy Paino. “This unprecedented donation guarantees that exceptional students will continue to have access to a UMW education that delivers the kind of high-impact learning experiences that Irene valued so much.”

Rodgers’ gift will grow UMW’s undergraduate research program, Paino said. Students in the fields of biology, chemistry, physics, earth and environmental sciences, computer science and math will have even more opportunities to explore their research interests throughout the academic year and at the University’s Summer Science Institute, working alongside faculty mentors. The gift also supports the creation of four new Alvey Scholarships, providing full tuition, fees, and room and board for out-of-state undergraduate students for up to four years, in addition to the eight Alvey Scholarships that Rodgers already created. Read more.
The University of Mary Washington is a premier, selective public liberal arts and sciences university in Virginia, highly respected for its commitment to academic excellence, strong undergraduate liberal arts and sciences program, and dedication to life-long learning. The university, with a total enrollment of about 4,000, features colleges of business, education and arts and sciences, and three campuses, including a residential campus in Fredericksburg, Va., a second one in nearby Stafford and a third in Dahlgren, Va., which serves as a center of development of educational and research partnerships between the Navy, higher education institutions and the region’s employers.