Mary Slayter ‘97
Mid-Life Encounter with Learning Instills Confidence, Gratitude
"No sooner do we t think we have assembled a comfortable life than we find a piece of ourselves that has no place to fit in, " wrote writer on adult development Gail Sheehy. She might have been speaking to Mary Slayter '97, who, at 55, felt she was at a professional plateau.
Decades earlier she had interrupted her undergraduate studies at a small Texas college. But nonetheless, Slayter felt an emerging hunger to learn and do more with her life. UMass Boston's affordability made it possible for her to finally obtain her bachelor's degree as a full-time student.
Enrolled in the College of Liberal Arts in the economics department, Mary uncovered fresh confidence and perspective. She relished the opportunity to learn from professors Mary Stevenson, Arthur Mac Ewan, and Jeremiah Cotton and says they "were totally available and affirmed my life experiences." Slayter adds that UMass Boston changed the course of her life's second half.
Her intellectual growth was inspiring and offered Mary a new take-charge disposition, which she used to secure an advertising job after finishing her B.A. Her talents were soon channeled into shepherding the company Digitas in going public during the late 90s. Slayter worked hand-in-hand with the chief financial officer and managed the company's stock options program. When the company was sold, Slayter was financially poised for retirement.
With no heirs, Slayter wants the educational opportunity that public institutions offer to be her life's legacy. To this end, Mary has named UMass Boston as the beneficiary of her commercial annuity that she purchased through a financial services company. (Commercial annuities differ from charitable gift annuities.)
Furthermore, her engagement with the Lampas Society through the annuity convinced her to also make a bequest to the university in tandem with her sister, Margaret, who received her master's degree from Boston State. Their bequest will honor their late mother, Ida M. Slayter. They are thrilled to be planning a gift that will cultivate untold "pieces" of emerging identity and talent for future UMass Boston students.