“I see the impact of my scholarship everywhere”

By Maggie Haslam / Mar 8, 2022 / Updated Apr 6, 2023

On Giving Day, Terps Unite to Make Dreams Possible

Erin Nivision and holding her two songs. A bridge is in the background.

The elation Erin Nivison felt after completing two bathroom renovations in two weeks was tempered by her utter exhaustion. Nivison had stumbled into redesign work as a side-hustle to her career in the mortgage industry and was hooked on the creativity she could apply to transforming kitchens, bathrooms and entire houses into beautiful, sustainable spaces. “I loved doing it and thought I could make a career out of it, but it was exhausting work,” she said. “It motivated me to find a field where I could create and build but have it be a sustainable career for me.” She was earning acceptance letters from several top architecture programs, including Maryland, when she found herself suddenly a single mother with two young boys. Going back to school, she said, would have been off the table if it weren’t for financial support.

“It has given me a safety net when I suddenly didn’t have one, and that gift has allowed me to fully engage in learning architecture,” she said.

Nivison is the 17th recipient of the Lili Kibel Scholarship, created by Henry Kibel in memory of his wife to support architecture students within the school. The generosity of alumni and friends, like the Kibel family, provides the critical support, services and programming that lighten the financial load for our students and make Maryland one of the best educational values in the country.

Now in her first year as a Path B student, Nivison says she loves being a Terp, learning new concepts with the help of Maryland’s hands-on and supportive faculty.

“It’s so great to have something that I’m passionate about,” she said. “I see the impact of scholarship everywhere in my day-to-day. I don’t think I’d be going to school without it.”

Giving Day is the University of Maryland’s annual fundraising effort geared to support critical funds for its campus community. For MAPP, that priority is student scholarship—tuition assistance, travel scholarships, and other funds to transform a student’s Maryland experience. When you give, your impact can double. Consider supporting your Terp community through one of the following transformative scholarships that will receive matching gifts this year:

The Architecture Pioneers Scholarship, created by a community of the Architecture Program’s first women graduates, supports the academic development of underrepresented students at the school through financial scholarship. It is the first scholarship at the School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation dedicated to fostering a more diverse and inclusive student community. Your gift today can help endow this scholarship, providing financial support to our students in perpetuity: the first $12,500 given to this scholarship on Maryland Day will be matched, dollar-for-dollar.  

The URSP Alumni Award provides financial support to outstanding students pursuing a master’s degree in areas of urban studies and community planning. This spring, the award will be renamed in honor of Jim Cohen, the program’s former director and one of Maryland’s most beloved faculty. Through the generous support of Jim’s former colleagues, Gerrit Knaap, Marie Howland, Alex Chen, Uri Avin, Howie Baum and Casey Dawkins, gifts will be matched, dollar-for-dollar, up to the first $3,300.

The Real Estate Development Scholarship supports students pursuing a career in real estate development, which this fall, will include undergraduate students with the launch of Maryland’s first undergraduate degree in Real Estate and the Built Environment. The first $3,000 will be matched, dollar-for-dollar, thanks to the generosity of three UMD alums.


While Giving Day comes just once a year, opportunities to support our students are evergreen. Become involved in the MAPP+D Alumni Network. Attend a school social event or lecture. Offer a mentor or shadowing opportunity to a student. Consider the school in your annual charitable giving or estate planning. To explore these opportunities and more, contact Leia Droll, chief development officer, at ledroll@umd.edu.