Skip Navigation

University of Maryland University College (UMUC) alumna Mary Ann Hakes said she believes the gift of education is the answer to many of the world’s problems. That’s one of the reasons why she has so ardently supported the university since earning her Master of General Administration degree from UMUC in 1990.

Hakes, a member of the UMUC Alumni Association since her graduation, served for many years on the association’s board of directors. Her name, along with that of her husband Richard, has appeared on the annual Honor Roll of Donors, identifying the couple as members of the Associates Club, President’s Club, 1947 Club, and Ehrensberger Society.

When asked once to highlight the factors that most influenced her own decision to give to UMUC, she said it was “partly because [I was] asked.  And also, I wanted a chance to help other students get [an] advanced education through scholarships.”

And now, for more than a decade, Hakes has been actively involved in challenging other UMUC alumni to give as well to the alma mater that she describes as “a very worthy recipient.”

She was selected to serve as the Alumni Association's vice president for philanthropy and annual alumni giving in 2003. The following year, in an open letter to the association’s members, she asked her fellow alumni to imagine where they would be without their degrees from UMUC.

Hakes credits her own degree with helping her make the transition from a career in nursing to health care administration―and eventually heading the physician relations program at a large hospital in suburban Washington, D.C. prior to retiring. It was reasonable to imagine that, for most alumni, education led to significant changes in their lives, paved the way for promotions or career changes, opened cultural doors, and offered new ways of thinking.

“It’s time to give back and get involved,” she wrote. “Your donation is an investment in UMUC’s ability to continue its distinguished tradition of providing high-quality education to people all over the world. Your generosity makes a profound difference.”

Under Hakes’ leadership, the association increased alumni participation in the annual fund campaign. A key component of UMUC’s comprehensive fundraising efforts, the campaign allows the university to take advantage of new opportunities that are not fully funded by tuition and fees or by state support.

Her initiative led to donations from more than 4,000 individuals and organizations totaling in excess of $200,000, and the Alumni Association was able to contribute an additional $10,000 to the endowed scholarship fund in support of need-based awards. In recognition of her exceptional efforts, Hakes received the 2004 Edward A. Parnell Outstanding Alumna Award.

She has remained active on the Alumni Association board. In 2014, after being named chairperson of the Annual Campaign, Hakes reached out with an appeal that reflected the heart and soul of UMUC’s mission. She asked alumni to "think scholarships" when opening their checkbooks to help UMUC remain “affordable and accessible to the many adult students who now follow the rest of us through its doors.”

Hakes said that the stories from her fellow UMUC alumni continue to amaze her.  “People with ten children who can still manage to get a degree, foreign students who arrive in the U.S. with $50 and go on to get an education and good jobs ... Most [alumni] want to give back and give others the chance to get ahead,” she said.

For more information about UMUC giving programs, contact Dharma Selva at (301) 985-7109 or