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Dress for Success Receives Another $10,000 Donation for Mentoring Program

SPRINGFIELD — Dress for Success Western Massachusetts received a donation of $10,000 in continued support of its Margaret R. Fitzgerald mentoring program. This program was initially launched with a $10,000 donation from this anonymous family member in 2017, and this new donation is intended to continue and expand the success of the mentoring program.

“It’s only fitting we named our mentoring program after Margaret R. Fitzgerald,” said Margaret Tantillo, executive director of Dress for Success of Western Massachusetts. “Our mission is to empower women to set goals and to work toward achieving them. We help them navigate obstacles that have occasionally stood in their way. In her lifetime, Margaret Fitzgerald devoted her career to doing that for women.”

Fitzgerald was a secretary in the Physics department at Mount Holyoke College in the 1970s. The only woman who worked in the department, she became a point of support for the students enrolled in the exclusively male-led department.

Affectionately called ‘Mom’ by many of the women enrolled in the department, the students looked to her for advice, help, counsel, and encouragement. She was known to intervene with certain professors to advocate on behalf of students when there were issues or problems. She reminded students that they were clearing the way for future generations of scientists. Because of her, many of the women achieved advanced degrees from prestigious universities all over the world.

“Margaret Fitzgerald has had such an amazing impact on the women in her life. We are honored to carry-on her legacy,” Tantillo added.

Dress for Success Western Massachusetts is currently accepting applications for mentors interested in the Margaret R. Fitzgerald program. Contact Tantillo at (860) 638-8980.

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