The estate of a Huntington resident has made a $30 million gift to her alma mater, the University of Mary Washington in Virginia.
Irene Piscopo Rodgers, who died last year at the age of 84, was a 1959 alumna and lifetime supporter of the school. The $30 million gift is the largest in the school’s history, the university said.
Rodgers, an expert in the field of electron microscopy for more than four decades, helped UMW graduates, especially women, to excel in STEM subjects. The gift, the university said, will help the school to prepare young scholars for careers in science, technology, engineering and math for decades to come. Over the decades, she supported her alma mater by establishing numerous scholarships, fellowships, and other endowments in support of scientific research and student success.
To date, the university said, 85 students have earned awards through Rodgers’ generosity, including 15 Alvey Scholarship recipients and 28 research fellowships, funded by Rodgers. Seven students received other scholarships and 35 students received scientific presentation grants for conference travel, also established by Rodgers.
All together, her donations totaled $39 million since her first $50 gift in 1980.