As one of the oldest alumni organizations in the country, the William & Mary Alumni Association has served to strengthen the connections between alumni and the university since 1842. The Board of the William & Mary Alumni Association has unanimously voted to join the current Alumni Association staff with development and other university staff to form a new University Advancement organization.
The new organization will strengthen William & Mary’s ability to make meaningful connections with each and every alumnus every year. The College will do that by expanding reunions, by bolstering regional chapters, by leveraging special alumni affiliations and affinity groups, Greek societies, service organizations, athletic teams, and more, and by developing new ways to connect alumni with each other and with students.
The advancement model will enhance the potential to get alumni more involved in W&M admission, job placement and mentoring. It will expand career services and engagement opportunities for alumni. The College’s network of more than 94,000 alumni spread around the country and throughout the world is of vital importance, and William & Mary plans to invest even greater institutional resources in overall advancement efforts in the next few years.
The goal of this reorganization is to maximize resources and to improve the ways in which we engage and serve William & Mary’s alumni. The University Advancement model allows for enhanced coordination, which strengthens the College’s ability to be more tactical, thoughtful and effective in its interactions with alumni and friends. The Council for Advancement and Support of Education defines University Advancement as “a strategic, integrated method of managing relationships to increase understanding and support among an educational institution's key constituents, including alumni and friends, government policy makers, the media, members of the community and philanthropic entities of all types.”
The Alumni Association will remain an independent 501(c)3 organization that is separate from the university.
“The Board will continue to be an elected body representing all William & Mary alumni, connecting them to each other and alma mater, and presenting alumni interests to the administration,” said William & Mary President Taylor Reveley and David Kelley ’81, president of the William & Mary Alumni Association Board.
The Board will have an expanded role as a key advisory group for both the president and the vice president for University Advancement, providing advice about the strategic direction of overall university advancement efforts. Like the W&M Foundation and the many school foundations and other campus-related organizations, the Association will have no employees, but will influence events through direct access to the W&M leadership.
Matthew T. Lambert ’99 will become the vice president for University Advancement overseeing alumni engagement, annual giving, development, marketing and alumni communications, and university events teams, with all working seamlessly together to strengthen ties with alumni. He has a long history with the College and will continue the legacy of stewardship for the university and the Alumni Association.
Executive Vice President of the Alumni Association Karen R. Cottrell ’66, M.Ed. ’69, Ed.D. ’84 has been instrumental in shepherding this strategic move. She will be transitioning to a new part-time role providing programming and assistance to alumni families with children going through the admission process. She worked tirelessly to make our Alumni Association and our connection with alumni the envy of many. Her impressive legacy includes creation of an alumni relations team essential to the success of the College.
Marilyn Midyette ’75, former treasurer of the Alumni Association Board, former regional vice president of Sprint, and most recently CEO of the Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta, has accepted the position of executive director of the Alumni Association and associate vice president for Alumni Engagement beginning July 1 as part of the new University Advancement organization.
“These steps will provide an even sharper focus on the critical task of connecting all of our Tribe with William & Mary for a lifetime,” said Reveley and Kelley. “The College and the Alumni Association have long operated as close partners; now we will be able to more fully ensure the College’s growing alumni network will be connected around the globe.”