Since 1974, Mansfield University Foundation has been committed to supporting Mansfield University by garnering the philanthropic resources that assist in leveraging the University's ability to achieve its mission. This noble mission started forty years ago as the result of a vision for the future for our beloved University held by our charter member, Marcella Hyde-Smith.
In 1956, Marcella earned her BS in Elementary Education from Mansfield University. Her involvement with MU started as a student, but continued as a lifelong volunteer and steward whose lasting contributions are a testament to her enduring legacy. As a founding member of the Foundation, Marcella often explained to anyone willing to listen that by looking at Mansfield's past, while concurrently considering the present, the future could be bright and self-sustaining. The examples she most often cited included how many of the "old" Mansfield buildings were built as WPA Projects. The economic realities of the early 1900's caused the formation of WPA Projects, which resulted in the Mansfield campus benefitting from buildings such as Straughn Auditorium. The 1960's and early 1970's saw a flood of high school students apply for admission to colleges all around the country. She understood that many male applicants were interested in going to college and by doing so, could avoid the mandatory military draft for a few years. Because of that influx of students, the Laurel Manor and Maple dormitories were constructed to house these new students. As soon as the mandatory draft ended, Marcella was concerned that enrollment at Mansfield, as well as at all colleges, would decline.
As a result, Marcella helped to spearhead the campaign to establish the Mansfield Foundation. She understood that by having a Foundation to offer scholarship money to prospective students, the enrollment at Mansfield could be maintained and the school would look financially attractive to those prospective students. Her vision was for the Foundation to ultimately have "...one million dollars...." for scholarships that would bring only the most qualified students to the campus. Her understanding of the past cemented the future of Mansfield. In 2006 the MU Foundation granted Marcella Emerita Board Member status in grateful recognition of her extraordinary foresight in helping to found and build an organization to further the ideal of philanthropic service to the University through an exceptional level of personal participation, as well as moral and material support. We remain committed to the ideals of our early visionaries whose examples of integrity and vision lay the values of leadership which guide us today in our contributions to the University's future success.
Since 1974, Mansfield University Foundation, Inc. has been committed to supporting Mansfield University by fostering personal and corporate philanthropy in support of the strategic direction of Mansfield University. MU Foundation honors our profound fiduciary responsibility to all donors and to Mansfield University, which we proudly serve.