Philadelphia-area real estate developer Willard G. Rouse III taught his eight children the importance of being philanthropic from an early age. Molly Rouse Terlevich heeded her dad’s advice, with a lifelong commitment to giving back that began as a student at the Shipley School.
The University of Pennsylvania graduate’s first job out of college was at the former Philadelphia Drama Guild, where she experienced the hardships nonprofits face. After getting married and living abroad in London, she returned home with the intention of continuing her philanthropic endeavors. “I’ve always tried to merge my personal interests with the philosophy of trying to have an impact in the local and global community,” says Terlevich, who now lives in Bryn Mawr.
She’s currently a member of the Pennsylvania Ballet’s board of trustees, assisting with fundraising and development. She also became an active national fundraiser in Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign. In 2011, Terlevich was appointed to the President’s Advisory Committee on the Arts for the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. She’s also part of a board focused on animal conservation and schools in Kenya.
Locally, Terlevich cofounded the Bryn Mawr Farmers Market. “There weren’t enough outlets for farmers in Montgomery County,” she says.
Indeed, Terlevich’s philanthropic capacity seems almost limitless. “I was raised to believe that we’re obligated to give back,” she says. “It’s what connects people and makes the world healthy.”