Giving back has always been important to Mary and Chad Clapsaddle, both dedicated public servants and devoted volunteers. They have financially supported charitable organizations throughout their adult life, but in recent years have decided they wanted to make a stronger impact on those that are truly special to them.
The Clapsaddles, from Arnold, Md., recently committed $25,000 in support of Frostburg State University, for which they will be recognized as members of The Benefactors Society. Mary is an operating budget manager for the Maryland General Assembly, Office of Policy Analysis. Chad is the executive director of Capital Budgeting for the state.
“We’d been talking about being more strategic in our giving. Instead of giving a little bit to a lot of different organizations, all very worthy, to try and make our gifts have an impact, (we decided to) focus on a few organizations that really mean a lot to us personally,” Mary said.
Mary and Chad’s gift is designated to both the Annual Fund and the Academic Enrichment initiative at FSU. The Annual Fund supports the University’s area of greatest need. Gifts for Academic Enrichment will be used to support innovative faculty and instructional initiatives that enhance the breadth and quality of academic life at Frostburg.
Mary is a 1983 FSU graduate. She majored in geography, in the urban planning concentration, and sociology. She originally chose to attend Frostburg because “it was just far enough away from home in Baltimore that I could be on my own, but it wasn’t so far away that it was scary for me.”
The time spent at FSU helped guide Mary’s direction in life, “I didn’t come to Frostburg knowing what I wanted to be or what I wanted to study, so I was just able to try different things. It really put me on a path, a career path.”
Charitable giving was not always easy for the Clapsaddles. Mary remembers “… pinching pennies like most young graduates,” but “you get to a point where you realize that there is a bigger world out there that you can help. It can start at any age.” She stresses also that money is not the only way to give back to FSU, “it’s about being connected back in with the University and showing your support.”
Though Chad did not go to FSU, he did attend a public institution: the University of Minnesota. They both believe in the value of public higher education. Chad said, “The opportunities that those experiences have provided for us are a lot of the key drivers of why we decided to give to Frostburg.”
The FSU Foundation is in the midst of a $15 million comprehensive campaign, Staking Our Claim: The Campaign for Frostburg, to raise badly needed funding for higher education in Western Maryland. Donations to the Foundation support student scholarships and programs, academic programs, faculty development and other critical University needs. For more information about supporting FSU, visit www.frostburg.edu/admin/foundation or call 301-687-4161.
Situated in the mountains of Allegany County, Frostburg State University is one of the 12 institutions of the University System of Maryland. FSU is a comprehensive, residential regional university and serves as an educational and cultural center for Western Maryland. For more information, visit www.frostburg.edu or facebook.com/frostburgstateuniversity.