Why We Give

Marilyn Hicks Fitzgerald '68 and Michael P. Fitzgerald

Marilyn Hicks Fitzgerald ’68 and Michael P. Fitzgerald have been fervent supporters of international opportunities for students at Randolph-Macon Woman’s College and Randolph College because they remember how formative their study abroad experiences were to their own studies and lives. Marilyn spent a year in Scotland, and Michael studied in Switzerland.

Marilyn was particularly grateful to Randolph-Macon Woman’s College for the opportunity and its support of her studies. “In the late Sixties, the University of Reading program didn’t exist,” she says, “so a young woman had to apply to individual colleges and universities abroad to seek admittance.”

She notes that study abroad programs were not as wide-spread; there was mistrust about whether students would attend classes, and whether credits would transfer.

Their respective international experiences were so important to them that they decided to create the Sheldon and Chrystine Hicks Endowed Global Studies Fund, which honors her parents and supports opportunities for students to travel, study abroad, and participate in cross-cultural experiences. Marilyn and Michael recently increased their support for the Hicks Endowed Fund in order to provide additional funding for students to participate in the annual Model United Nations Program.

“We believe it is important to give back,” says Marilyn. “We have been fortunate and believe it is important to give back to our educational institutions and our community. I have fond memories of Randolph-Macon, and I feel I received an excellent education there.”

Asked what Randolph College can do to ensure that its students have the same remarkable experiences 40 years from now that Randolph-Macon Woman’s College students had 40 years ago, Marilyn has an answer ready: “I think the size of the College is a great advantage. A personalized education will always be very important to students.”