Mary Baldwin alum makes $12.5M gift
Paula Lambert founded Mozzarella Co. in Dallas
A 1965 alumna of Mary Baldwin University has given her alma mater $12.5 million, which will mainly go toward unrestricted support of the private university in Staunton, MBU announced Wednesday.
Paula Stephens Lambert, a Dallas resident who founded Mozzarella Co. in 1982 and introduced many European handmade cheeses to the United States market on a commercial scale, made the gift as part of the MBU Empowers campaign. Lambert’s donation, one of the largest in the school’s history, was announced last week to the MBU board.
The MBU Empowers campaign has raised $36 million, surpassing its initial $25 million goal. The university now plans to extend the fundraising initiative by two years, seeking to raise a total of $50 million.
“I am very honored and humbled to announce this gift from Paula Lambert, one of the most significant [donations] in the history of Mary Baldwin,” President Pamela Fox said in a statement. “Her entrepreneurial spirit is a guiding light for the entire university, and her generosity enables Mary Baldwin to continue to move forward with foresight and bold innovation.”
Although most of Lambert’s donation will be unrestricted and allow the university to address needs and pursue new projects as they arise, a portion will endow in perpetuity a study-abroad scholarship fund that Lambert founded in 2015. After graduating, Lambert lived in Perugia, Italy, where she studied the Italian language and art history. Her experience influenced her future business, which now produces more than 30 varieties of cheese. She has published two cookbooks and leads gastronomic tours of Italy, France and Ireland, and she has been named to the James Beard Foundation’s Who’s Who of Food and Beverage in America.
“I want students to go and have experiences like I did and live abroad, learn a new way of thinking and meet new people,” Lambert said in a statement. “I think it will make the world better.”
This article has been corrected since posting.