Meet the Staff: Marie Lilly

Here in the Office of Institutional Advancement, we are always working hard to support the university and connect our donors with causes they care most about. We would like to introduce our donors — to whom we are so grateful — to the people who help make those things happen. Today, we’ll be hearing from Marie Lilly, the Associate Director of Foundation Relations.

Marie LillyName: Marie Lilly

Job Title: Associate Director of Foundation Relations

Focus Area: My job is to help build relationships with foundations, with goal of raising money to benefit UMBC students and programs. I work with faculty and staff to identify projects and potential funding sources as well as preparing and submitting proposals.  I work with deans, VPs, and other members of the OIA team to cultivate new foundations with missions that align with UMBC’s work and I help manage relationships with foundations that currently support the university.

Years at UMBC: 1 year


Q: Where are you from originally?

A: I am originally from a farm about 20 minutes outside of Frederick, MD

Q: What do you love most about UMBC?

A: I love how much everyone here embraces diversity. I love that the students embrace their geekiness; the staff make it a mission to do things in innovative ways; and the administration prioritizes attracting and retaining diverse students. This is what originally attracted me to UMBC, having done social justice work for almost 10 years.

Q: What’s your favorite thing about your job?

A: I really appreciate how many different projects I get to work on and the bird’s-eye view I get of the incredible work happening across campus. I get to work with faculty to find funding for their research, ask foundations to support students scholarships, and work with corporations to build partnerships with the university – in fact, I often work on all of these things and more in one day!

Q: Why do you think it’s important to support UMBC?

A: I am first and foremost a huge proponent of public universities. A college education is one of the most important paths out of poverty for disadvantaged families and public universities make that education affordable and accessible. In addition to accessibility, UMBC is helping students from all background succeed in careers with tremendous potential for growth and innovation, like cybersecurity and other STEM fields.  I think this is a winning combination that can truly change the lives of our students and their families. Philanthropic support helps make UMBC more accessible and allows us to help even more students!

Q: What is your favorite food?

A: OMG – Pho. I love Pho. AND there are at least three amazing Pho places in Catonsville!

Q: When you were a child, what/who did you aspire to be?

A: I wanted to be a rock star. Or a movie star. And a spy.

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