Mary Elizabeth Whipple Eldridge, a 2000 graduate of Washington and Lee, is profiled in Arkansas Business newspaper as one of the year’s "Arkansas Business 40 Under 40" for her leadership of the nonprofit Ross Foundation. The organization, housed in Arkadelphia, Ark., "manages timberlands held for conservation purposes" and "administers a philanthropic grants program" for the citizens of Clark County, Ark., says its website. Mary Elizabeth serves as the director of programs and sits on the board of trustees.
One signature initiative, near and dear to Mary Elizabeth's heart, is the Arkadelphia Promise, which provides college scholarships to students from the community.
"The nonprofits that we are fortunate to partner with are doing all they can to really make a difference in our community," she told the paper, "and I just consider myself lucky to get to work with them."
A history major at W&L, Mary Elizabeth also has a law degree from the University of Arkansas School of Law. She has worked for the Ross Foundation since 2004. Her sister, Emily, is a member of the W&L Class of 2010.
Her other community service includes service on the Arkansas Forestry Commission and the boards of the Arkansas Community Foundation and the Arkansas Forestry Association.