Giving thanks. Celebrating impact. Sharing the light.

In a stirring speech earlier this year, Judge John Charles Thomas said to William & Mary students, “We have great hopes on this first day of the academic year for what you will become, but it’s not just for you. It’s because what we’re trying to do is ignite within you the burning desire to learn and to keep learning, to push for fairness and justice and equity and then to share the light that is within you.”

His inspiring words have stuck in our hearts and minds and continue to inspire the entire W&M community to share the light that is in within each and every one of us.  

The phrase "Share the light,” has become our unofficial theme this year and in so many brilliant ways, our light is shining brightly and igniting Tribe Pride all over the world. From Washington, D.C., to California and Atlanta, we are illuminating skylines and galvanizing our William & Mary family to help us reach all three campaign goals — strengthened alumni engagement, 40 percent alumni participation and $1 billion.

As we give thanks and reflect on all that we are grateful for this holiday season, I think of the many students, faculty and alumni who have been impacted by our For the Bold campaign — all because of your support. Without a doubt, our people are better off today than they were before the campaign began. 

Here are just a few examples of how the campaign is helping our people thrive. The numbers clearly illustrate the enormous power of private support.

  • Six years ago, the university provided 1,750 students with scholarships support. In the last academic year, 2,300 students were provided with support. That’s an increase of 557 undergraduate students who have directly benefited from scholarships since the campaign began. 
  • 429 students have received private funding to study abroad — a nearly 62 percent increase since 2011.
  • 60 new pieces of science equipment for innovative research have been purchased.
  • 25 professorships have been established.
  • 17 coaching positions have been funded.

You are the reason why the last year has been a momentous one for the university — but the year isn’t quite over yet! Now that we have gathered to count our blessings over Thanksgiving, I hope you will consider participating in Giving Tuesday, which takes place on Nov. 28, 2017. The day will provide an opportunity for alumni, parents and friends to give to areas they are passionate about at William & Mary. From the broad array of passion projects featured in our new crowdfunding platform, Tribefunding, to scholarships, faculty and athletics support, there is no shortage of options to continue impacting our people on Giving Tuesday. 

In the meantime, please take a look at some of the great news we are sharing in this edition of the campaign e-newsletter:

Thank you for the outpouring of support over the last year. I hope you have a wonderful holiday!