Alex Nyerges

As the end of high school approached, Alex Nyerges, BA ’79, MA ’82, considered his options. “I grew up very poor in Rochester, New York,” he says. “My father worked in a factory, and there was no money for college.”

Alex knew he would need financial support to attend college to pursue his dream of working in museums. Thanks to a significant aid package from GW, his goal became a reality. “I owe so much to GW,” Alex says. “If the university hadn’t been so generous, I likely would not have been able to attend.”

The first person in his family to graduate from college, Alex stayed at GW to pursue a master’s degree in Museum Studies. This year, as director and chief executive officer of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond, Virginia, Alex celebrated a milestone: four decades of making museums and the arts more accessible and inclusive.

“GW was foundational in launching me into a career that I love,” he says.

Now, Alex and his wife are helping current and future students follow their educational and professional passions. Through annual gifts and a bequest intention, the couple established a fellowship to support one graduate student in the Museum Studies program each year.

Many students at GW don’t come from financial means. They remind me of myself. If I can make it possible for students to stay in the program and get their degree so they can enjoy a fulfilling career, that, to me, is the ultimate reward.
— Alex Nyerges, BA ’79, MA ’82