USM Foundation

LeaderNotes Special Edition

on April 23, 2020 by USMF Staff
Lecturer at board

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

I hope you are all staying safe and most importantly, healthy! I wanted to reach out to you with an update on how the Foundation and the System have addressed working – and helping – in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

At the Foundation, operations are continuing as normal while the Foundation staff works remotely, following Chancellor Perman’s guidance. I have been impressed by how well the Foundation staff has transitioned to working remotely and I thank them for their efforts. In order to ensure that all our campus partners can work as seamlessly as possible with the Business Office, we have compiled a list of frequently asked questions that summarizes how to transact some of our common services in this new environment. Other than missing each other and the treats in the kitchen, we are pretty efficient and effective!

In addition to our typical day-to -day operations, we have also been working with USM institutions to support their students. Last week, the Foundation’s Executive Committee approved a commitment of $150,000 ($10,000 for each campus and regional center) to support emergency student funds. Many of our campuses have seen a surge in student requests for assistance and in some cases their emergency funds are depleted. Students have lost campus and other jobs, face unexpected expenses related to moving back home or purchasing computers to continue their education, and sometimes even lack the resources to purchase basic necessities.

While there is no doubt many of you have already given, anything you can do to support them is deeply appreciated. Please follow this link to see giving options for all campuses and regional centers, as well as an option to give to the USM.

I am also happy to report that Chief Investment Officer Sam Gallo and his investment team are on top of market activity and reporting that our investment strategy is working to protect endowment assets in these remarkable times. Sam is reaching out to our partners and providing great, but measured insight about how we are currently weathering this storm.

Our Advancement Office team is continuing to do their work to provide a community and resources to fundraisers and alumni professionals trying to navigate a “people” business during a quarantine. They are convening weekly calls, providing access to free webinars, and arranging virtual professional development to keep skills sharp and morale high. These efforts have been greatly appreciated, and sharing ideas and challenges is helping us all grow.

While it may seem like there is a shortage of good news in the world today, below you will find great news from USM institutions who are doing their part to help fight this pandemic. Thank you to all of the researchers, medical professionals, and volunteers who are working tirelessly to combat this evolving health crisis.

As always, please contact me at or 301-445-1941 with any questions or comments. Please stay safe and healthy and stay home as much as you can!


Leonard R. Raley


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