When Leslie Walker-Wilson ’74 and ’76 M.A., psychology, recalls her days as a student at UMBC, she thinks of the gorgeous plot of land the University sits on and taking 8 a.m. classes to ensure that she could get a good parking space—memories that even the newest UMBC students will share.
“I didn’t really appreciate what I had then, studying under a tree in spring or in the library on the winter evenings,” she says. “Things are so hectic now.” When Walker-Wilson says hectic, she means it. She’s the Assistant Superintendent of the Division of Accountability and Assessment in the Maryland State Department of Education.
“I attribute a lot of the successes I’ve had in my professional life to the good education I received at UMBC,” said Walker-Wilson, who decided to make a planned gift to UMBC’s Department of Psychology because of the solid foundation it provided for her life.
Walker-Wilson started her studies at UMBC as an English major, but then she took a psychology course and sensed her destiny.
“English was something I loved,” she says, “but I could see psychology as a career. I loved all of the professors in that department – they were all wonderful, bright, people who made us think.” The professor’s ability to make students think is something that is critical for Walker-Wilson, who views learning as the great equalizer.
“You can be rich or poor, male or female, etc. but if you have an education, you can go anywhere and do anything,” she says. As far as Walker-Wilson is concerned, UMBC is a great place to get an education because the school really cares about the whole individual.
“[At UMBC] it isn’t just about the classes you take, the grades you get and the credits you accumulate, it is about preparing you to be a contributing citizen and have a successful career,” she says.
Because of everything that Walker-Wilson got from her time at UMBC, she decided to make a planned gift to the University that will support the Department of Psychology.
“Providing for UMBC in my will is another way that I can make a bigger gift that I may not be able to afford now. The people who benefit may not know who I was or anything about me, but I can still leave a positive mark on their lives,” she says. “What greater way is there to leave something to the world, even if it is a very small part?”
Originally published in September 2010.