Lt. Col. Dona Hildebrand (USAF, Ret.), of Monument, Colorado, announced a $500,000 gift to the university in March 2016. The gift was made on behalf of her late husband, Col. Floyd G. Hildebrand, who graduated from UMUC in 1958. The gift will provide general program support within UMUC’s Global Military Operations unit.
Hildebrand and her husband met while both were enrolled at UMUC’s campus in Wiesbaden Germany. She earned a bachelor's degree and attended her graduation in Heidelberg in 1957.
UMUC also announced that, in recognition of her generosity, the Student Veterans Lounge—in the university’s Academic Center at Largo—will be renamed the Lt. Col. Dona and Col. Floyd Hildebrand Student Veterans Lounge.
Hildebrand has been a longtime supporter of the university, and in 2014 received UMUC’s highest alumni award, the Distinguished Alumna Award, in recognition of her personal and professional achievements and exemplary record of service. She initiated the Floyd G. Hildebrand Endowed Military Scholarship in 2008 and has continued to support the scholarship.
“Education is important for anyone in any occupation,” said Hildebrand, who took courses from UMUC on several bases around the world. Both Hildebrands served in Vietnam and "we were impressed by military members who persevered in getting to UMUC classes regardless of hazardous conditions," Dona Hildebrand said. "I am confident that this endowment will be of enduring help for future military students."
Said UMUC President Javier Miyares: “We are touched by Lt. Col. Dona Hildebrand’s generosity and deeply grateful for her years of service to our country and for her ongoing support of higher education for military students. She is a true pioneer, a role model for women everywhere, and epitomizes the spirit of service that distinguishes our graduates around the world. We are proud to count her among our most distinguished alumnae.”