Glenn Hines Harding ’65 and Audra Lynn Mallow ’90 are trailblazers. Both have fought hard to succeed in corporate America and have left footprints for others to follow in California and beyond. They are now cementing the footprint of William & Mary’s For the Bold campaign on the West Coast.
The two are spearheading the campaign kickoff in California in the spring, which will bring alumni, parents and friends together to celebrate the campaign’s progress and potential on that coast.
“I am eager for William & Mary to bring the campaign to the West Coast, and with it the energy, enthusiasm and Tribe Pride that has been building in Williamsburg and elsewhere on the East Coast,” Mallow said. “William & Mary is thriving and alumni in California can help to extend the strength of our alma mater and our brand. We, as alumni, are benefiting from our experiences and the many lessons we learned as students on campus, whether we think of that in our daily lives or not. When we welcome William & Mary officially to this coast, we will no doubt be reinvigorated about the place that is so special to all of us.”
From the East Coast to the West Coast, William & Mary alumni, parents and friends are coming together to support William & Mary’s ambitious endeavor to strengthen alumni engagement, raise $1 billion and increase the university's undergraduate alumni participation rate to 40 percent. The California kickoff follows others in Williamsburg and most recently in New York.
Harding, who just celebrated her 50th Reunion as a reunion chair, remembers when she first moved back to California after graduation.
“There are more than 4,500 alumni and parents in California, but when I returned in 1965, there were only a handful of us,” Harding said. “It has grown over the years, and I am really happy that the university sees it is important to engage us on the West Coast, and to elevate William & Mary’s name recognition.”
Due to the explosion in growth among William & Mary alumni and parents in California, Harding and Mallow want people throughout the state to become engaged in the campaign and volunteer as much as possible.
Strengthening alumni engagement is one of the top priorities for the campaign — as such, the university has been enhancing volunteer management, professional programming and alumni services and events. Harding and Mallow are dedicated to leading this effort in California to ensure that alumni have strong connections to the university and each other.
“When you are this far away, it is hard to get back to events and experience traditions on campus. We need to create the culture of doing these important things out here,” Harding said.
Mallow said by bringing the campaign to California, we are creating more opportunities for those who want to be engaged.
“William & Mary benefits from the help of everyone who wants to be involved. By re-engaging and advocating for the university we will renew friendships, create new connections, and build the spirit and pride that William & Mary engenders,” Mallow said. “As in any act of giving, we are bound to get back more than we give, and I think California alumni are ready to feel more part of the current William & Mary community.”
A Northern California pioneer
Harding started her career in California working with Hewlett Packard — now HP — and climbed her way up the corporate ladder, becoming the organization’s first female division controller in 1980. She stayed with HP for her entire business career.
Before making it to division controller, HP sent Harding back to school. However, this was no easy task. HP had never paid for a woman to get her MBA before, but Harding fought for her right to do so.
“I was constantly asking to do something that they had not done for women before,” Harding said. “I refused to take no for an answer. The first half of my career was bringing down walls.”
While working at HP, Harding also worked with Zonta International, an organization that advocates for women internationally. She is very passionate about working to advance women’s rights at home and abroad.
“It is not unique to me, my industry, or this country, to want to take on issues related to women,” Harding said. “Women hold up more than half the sky, so let’s not waste this resource.”
The spirit of Southern California
Mallow has spent her career in the financial sector — recently establishing her own financial services company, Long Course Capital, LLC, where she is founder and principal. Throughout her career, Mallow has held high-ranking positions at the Wall Street firms she has served, and has been one of few women in her role. Mallow sees the importance of making sure that women have a seat at the table.
“I was always one of very few women on Wall Street, but I didn’t really consider myself much different from them,” Mallow said. “As I advanced in my career, I realized more of the ‘glass ceiling’ aspects of the industry that I had tried to ignore. I hope to help other women achieve and progress not only in finance, but also in other fields. We see the world taking strides in helping women, but the progress is slower than it could be. The onus is on both women and men to speed up that progress.”
Not only has Mallow succeeded in a male-dominated career, she is also an Ironman athlete and competes regularly around the world. Her story in starting this journey is one founded in great determination and commitment.
“I started in Ironman just after the beginning of the financial crisis of 2008. I needed to have something all-encompassing to take me away from the negativity of the market so that I could come back to my job and have the perspective necessary to help clients navigate such difficult times. The setting and achieving of goals in all aspects of my life is invigorating. My vocation feeds my hobby and my hobby feeds my vocation. I want to continue to grow as a person, as a professional and as an athlete. It is all intertwined, and the way that I do that will evolve over time.” Mallow said.
The time is now
“It is time to bring the campaign to the West Coast,” Mallow said. “There are thousands of alumni, parents and friends here, some of whom are very involved with the university and many of whom will love it once they are involved too.”
Harding has volunteered for William & Mary in many different capacities but said that she finds herself fortunate to serve as a co-chair for the campaign in California. She noted that she has had the opportunity to learn from her various roles with the university and excited to see other alumni in California come together for the campaign.
Harding currently sits on the Annual Giving Board and previously served on her 40th, 45th and 50th class reunion committees. Mallow was a W&M Foundation trustee and past chair of the Swem Board.
Mallow echoes Harding’s excitement for this next chapter in the university’s For the Bold campaign.
“The expansion to California is the right next step in building upon the excellence of William & Mary and extending it,” Mallow said. “California can help the university achieve the participation, donation and engagement goals of the campaign, and I believe we can help William & Mary do even more than equal our peer institutions. I have had the privilege, as a Foundation Board member, to see first hand the strategy that President Taylor Reveley, Vice President for University Advancement Matthew Lambert and others have put into action and I want to make the W&M community in California fully aware of the truly wonderful progress that the university has achieved and will continue to achieve under current and future leadership.”
To get involved in the For the Bold campaign on the West Coast, please contact your local California chapter here.