A Perfect Partnership

They listen, learn, and act.
How one couple has incorporated the University into their vision for change.

A holistic approach

 Norman and Marietta Mawby may not be alumni of West Chester University, but their ties to the University run deep. Working with the Foundation, they’ve tailored their giving plan to suit their means – and their dedication to the communities they serve.

After graduating from Penn State University and following his service in the U.S. Army, Norm enrolled at West Chester University to complete the teaching requirements he had begun at Oklahoma University. He earned a master’s degree in governmental administration from the University of Pennsylvania’s Fels Institute, Wharton School in 1965. In 1980 – due to his extensive experience in finance, planning, and development – he was nominated by the governor to join the WCU Board of Trustees. Marietta attended a summer session at West Chester while home on break from University of Michigan. She reconnected with the University during her time at Chester County Department of Children & Youth when she supervised undergraduate social work students.

“Our relationship with the University has evolved,” Norm says. He donated regularly during his time as a trustee and was heavily involved in the athletics program, helping to fundraise, and formed a close bond with baseball coach Neil Serpico and basketball coach Dick DeLaney – he even sponsored a team of WCU students as part of a summer college basketball league. “When we began to have more independence with our money, we saw that we could help, and our commitment was formalized in a different way.”

In 2015, the Mawbys established their Believe, Play & Have Fun Foundation at the Chester County Community Foundation to support their various philanthropic interests – including West Chester University’s social work department – and to encourage others to support these causes, as well.

After supporting the University for close to two decades, they established a complementary fund at the WCU Foundation named the Believe, Play & Have Fun Social Work Fund to benefit students at West Chester. Marietta’s field experience – and her membership on the undergraduate social work advisory board – has given her a unique understanding of the challenges social work students at the University are facing, and what they need most.

“It’s the little things like books and transportation to field placements that ensure a positive experience,” she says. “Those things help students to maintain the hope that they can get their degree.”

Dr. Desha Williams, dean of the College of Education and Social Work, echoes that sentiment.

“With the support of the book and travel grants for our social work students provided by the Mawbys, doors are opened, dreams are realized, and new advocates are put into the world to impact change,” she says. “We are so grateful for these grants, and so are our students.”

Norman and Marietta Mawby

Creators and Donors; Believe, Play & Have Fun Social Work Fund

“Our emphasis has always been on providing young people with opportunities for education. It’s fulfilling to see someone who starts in their career, and how they progress.” – Norman Mawby

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“It’s the little things like books and transportation to field placements that ensure a positive experience,” Marietta says. “Those things help students to maintain the hope that they can get their degree.”

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