Mae Holterhoff Greenwald, BA’76 (Metro), Social Work

A combination of a photograph portrait and illustration of a woman wearing sunglasses.

(Illustration: Matthew Hancock)


Greenwald is the youngest of five children and the only girl. Two of her brothers had athletic scholarships but didn’t finish college. Her twin brothers became priests. That left a little bit of money for her to attend college.


Though she completed her FDU degree in social work, Greenwald dabbled in modeling, owned a pizza restaurant and then worked as a grant writer before committing to her field. “My FDU education gave me confidence and assured my independence.” When her sons were 10, she and her husband moved their family to California. Greenwald started working in a local high school and pursued her master’s degree in educational psychology.


“I worked as a college counselor for more than two decades, helping students into college, often sending them to my alma mater, because FDU made sense to me in 1972 and for them in 2020. My status as a first-generation student eventually led to me helping students find ways to make sense of college costs, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form, college applications, admissions essays and university resources,” Greenwald says.


“Find and rely heavily on mentors. College is a life-changing gift. Go after it!”