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Lisa B. Resch, C’17, GC’22, at graduation for her master's degree

All in for UR

March 13, 2023

Nontraditional double alumna gives back to the place she calls home 

Lisa B. Resch, C’17, GC’22, didn’t think college was for her – until she found the University of Richmond. After graduating high school, she attended Ferrum College for two years before leaving to begin a career in nonprofit administration. Years later, while working at Bon Secours Richmond Health Care Foundation, a colleague encouraged Resch to finish her degree.

“My boss would check in with me and say, ‘where do you see yourself going? What do you want to do?’” she recalled. “He told me that I needed to get my degree if I wanted to be a leader in the organization. But I thought, ‘no way, [going to] night school will take me forever.’”

Resch first heard about UR’s School of Professional & Continuing Studies (SPCS) from another colleague, which inspired her to enroll in the SPCS Institute on Philanthropy, a certification program for nonprofit professionals focusing on fundraising, marketing, and board development strategies.

“At our graduation luncheon, [SPCS Dean Emeritus] James Narduzzi came to me and said, ‘I heard you’re thinking about completing your degree. Did you know we have a program here at SPCS?’” she said. “I was so impressed that he knew that about me and cared enough to ask. So, I had a conversation with myself, and said, ‘should I do this? Should I really do this?’”

The stars aligned when Resch discovered that not only could she receive employer tuition reimbursement to attend SPCS, her Ferrum course credits were eligible for transfer. “It meant I was halfway to my degree already,” she said. “I thought, ‘wow, I think I can do this.’”

Thanks to the flexibility offered by SPCS’ part-time degree program, Resch was able to balance academics with her personal life and full-time career (she has served as director of donor relations at Sheltering Arms Foundation since 2014). She got involved on campus as a member of the SPCS Student Government Association (SGA), of which she served as president.

“I enjoyed working with students from other schools on campus – both traditional and nontraditional – for the benefit of getting more students involved with SGA and engaging with the surrounding Richmond community,” she said.

In 2017, Resch graduated with a bachelor’s degree in liberal arts, and immediately enrolled in the SPCS Master of Nonprofit Studies program, which she completed in 2022. “It was a no-brainer for me to enter the program because it touches on all components of working in the nonprofit industry,” she said. “I figured I had come so far; I might as well keep going.”

After attending classes at UR for many years, Resch didn’t want to leave the place that had become a second home. She now volunteers as a member of the SPCS Dean’s Ambassadors Circle (DAC), a leadership committee of alumni, faculty, friends, and community leaders who aim to advance the school’s mission, vision, and goals. This group is leading the school’s 60th anniversary celebration this year. In addition, Resch is a loyal annual supporter of the SPCS Dean’s Impact Fund, which is used to fund student scholarships and other student-focused institutional priorities.

“So many working professionals want to go back to school, but they can’t afford to go back,” she said. “I want people to have the experience that I had and not have to worry about money.”

Resch said she enjoys telling her success story to share the impact UR has had on her life and inspire others to get involved and give back. “My story is about community because that’s what I got by coming here,” she said. “SPCS helped me achieve something that I never thought was attainable. I cherish that UR is part of my heart and part of my life.”

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