Challenge Gift Inspires Community to Go Beyond for Students

Julie ’69 and Paul Ben-Susan's $50K Gift Makes a Larger Impact
A posed photo of Julie and Paul Ben-Susan with their dog

(BALTIMORE, Md.) Julie Ben-Susan ’69 holds her alma mater close to her heart. Every year since she graduated, she gives to Notre Dame of Maryland University to help students thrive. She volunteers at every opportunity from joining the reunion committee to leading fundraising campaigns. She and her husband Paul pledged a legacy gift through the Montrose Society.

Last year, the Ben-Susans decided to go beyond their traditional giving to make a greater impact. They committed $50,000 to match gifts to the Notre Dame Fund, which supports NDMU’s greatest needs. Their challenge gift initiative launched on Giving Tuesday 2021 on Nov. 30 and ended with NDMU Giving Day 2022 on Feb. 15. Donors answered the call, giving $109,873 to more than double the challenge match.

Julie’s love for NDMU continues to motivate her to do more for students.

“The school truly helped shape my character and prepared me for a series of great careers,” she said. “We all have opportunities to lead by example, take a stand for the right thing, and exercise personal courage. These seemingly routine acts are part of the fabric of society and my personal time on this earth. That is what Notre Dame taught me.”

Growing support for the Notre Dame Fund is a strategic priority for the $45 million Go BeyoND: The Campaign for NDMU. Each year, the Notre Dame Fund provides students with as much as $10 million in financial aid. The challenge gift initiative helped to encourage more gifts for the Notre Dame Fund and promote philanthropy within the NDMU community.

“I am delighted that the challenge has been successful and hope that it will inspire small gifts, as well as large ones, to complete the Go Beyond campaign,” she said.

Established in 1895, Notre Dame of Maryland University (NDMU) is a private, Catholic institution in Baltimore, Maryland, with the mission to educate leaders to transform the world. Notre Dame has been named one of the best "Regional Universities North" by U.S. News & World Report.

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