J. William (Bill) Murray ’08, ’11 is passionate about TU—the learning that happens here, the students who benefit, his love of music (which prompted a return to college as a student later in life), and his service to others. For more than 16 years, Murray has given back to Towson University through volunteering his time to the Towson University Foundation (TUF) in a variety of roles, most recently as president of the TUF board. His term ended in fall 2022.
During his tenure as president, and in celebration of the TUF’s 50th anniversary, the TUF Grant Awards Program was established, with Murray personally contributing toward the program. He also encouraged his fellow board members to support the program, with close to 100% joining him with their own gift commitments. Now in its fifth year, the TUF Grant Awards Program has benefitted 23 student- and faculty-focused academic projects, with $500,000 in grants awarded to date. Murray also oversaw the development of the TUF’s first strategic plan in 2020 which charts the course for the support of TU’s people and programs through 2025. “Spending time enriching the TU community is a great way to broaden my perspective of the world,” says Murray. “I’ve gained a unique sense of purpose by serving those around me and it’s manifested itself in other areas of my life.”
In addition to his service to the TUF, Murray also generously pledged his support to TU’s $100 million RISE Campaign, including $50,000 in support of the TUF Grant Awards Program; $350,000 to the Murray Jazz Residency endowment; and $100,000 to manage the Jazz Collection he also plans to donate. His extensive collection of more than 10,000 jazz CDs, books and vinyl will be given to TU’s Special Collections and University Archives. Valued at close to $400,000, Murray believes it to be one of the largest collections in the world. “Bill has been a guiding light for the important work of the TU Foundation and for our University,” says Brian DeFilippis, VP of University Advancement. “His leadership has inspired others to give alongside him. That’s a powerful thing.”
Murray’s giving also inspired his daughters Meghan and Beth, son Brian, and his sister, Vira Jo Denny to give close to $100,000 to TU, primarily in support of the Murray Jazz Residency. All told, the Murray family tally of support to TU now stands at more than $725,000.