Norma Lee Funger, the namesake behind Norma Lee and Morton Funger Hall on the Foggy Bottom Campus, died in her sleep on July 4. She was 90.
Donna Arbide, GW’s vice president for development and alumni relations, said in a University release that Norma Lee and Morton Funger have been “philanthropic giants” to the GW community for the last 50 years, gifting endowed funds to the GW schools like the Columbian College of Arts and Science, the Elliott School of International Affairs and the School of Medicine. For their donations, the Fungers received the University President’s Medal, the highest honor a GW president can bestow, in 2013.
“Their impact cannot be overstated, and their love for GW and their incredible leadership, support and generosity is well known in philanthropic circles.” Arbide said in the release, “Norma Lee and Morty were among the first donor names I heard even before I assumed my position. She will be sorely missed.”
A Washington D.C. native, Funger contributed to local Jewish, arts, educational and medical philanthropic organizations during her lifetime. Funger was also a licensed real estate agent with Long & Foster Realtors and eventually made her way up to membership of Chairman’s Club at Long & Fosters Realtors.
The Fungers created the W. Scott Funger Memorial Scholarship for the Law School in memory of their late son Scott, an alumnus of the GW Law School, after his passing in 2012. The Fungers also provided funds to support the Music Department and Museum and several professorships at GW.
The Fungers created the Cohen-Funger Endowed Chair of Cardiovascular Surgery at Children’s National Hospital where Funger served as a member on the Foundation Board for 31 years, the release states.
After graduating from D.C.’s Roosevelt High School, Funger attended Syracuse University and Wilsons Teachers College. The release states that Funger was also a member of Kappa Delta Phi International Honor Society in Education at Syracuse University.
Funger served on multiple boards around D.C. including the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, American Art Museum, National Gallery of Art, the Children’s Inn at NIH and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts – where she served on a two-year term after being appointed by former President Barack Obama.
Norma Lee Funger is survived by her husband Morton Funger, her three children Lydia (Bill) McClain, Melanie (Paul) Nichols, and Keith (Mauri) Funger and Holly, the wife of Funger’s late son.