It was an invigorating time at William & Mary during Family Weekend, made all the more festive by the presence of parents and family members returning to campus Sept. 15-17, just weeks after campus move-in and first-year orientation.
The weekend’s events included faculty lectures and student concerts. Parents sipped wine and nibbled cheese in the new Integrated Science Center III as they mingled with Provost Michael Halleran (who graciously answered that gnawing question: What is a provost, exactly?). Tribe Football defeated Bucknell University. And President Taylor Reveley delivered a presidential address at Phi Beta Kappa Hall on Saturday morning, compelling students and families alike to ponder — among other things — the words of Atticus Finch: "You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view … until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.”
How do we take this reminder from our beloved president and inform our values for the year, for the community and for ourselves? In a profound way, parents and family members make it possible for students to consider their world from another’s point of view. Through the Parents Fund, donors have an immediate ability to provide student-centered programs, policies, and services that allow students to learn, lead and live with integrity and purpose. The Parents Fund allows the Division of Student Affairs to realize its vision to create an engaging learning environment where community is strengthened and individuals flourish.
During Family Weekend, Greg and Lisa Packer P ’16, P ’19 — chairs of the Parent & Family Council — presented the 2017 Parents Fund with a check for $887,186 from fiscal year 2016-2017. These dollars make a number of critical initiatives possible, but a few are highlighted in the video above made specially for the parent and family community. Parent philanthropy means that Student Affairs can support students through five thematic areas: campus living, career development, health and wellness, student engagement and leadership and student success.
- Campus Living strives to create an atmosphere that encourages and nurtures friendships which allows students to learn, develop, explore and find their place.
- The Cohen Career Center works with William & Mary students and young alumni for career readiness by helping them to identify career goals and strategies, providing one-on-one coaching, and linking them to networking and experiential opportunities.
- The Health and Wellness thematic area offers education, support, and services to all members of the William & Mary community designed to enhance resilience and foster a lifelong appreciation for personal well-being.
- Student Engagement and Leadership fosters an environment of curiosity and discovery, where students can explore what truly motivates and excites them, and where they can integrate what they learn across their academic and co-curricular experiences.
- The Student Success thematic area advocates for student needs, provides support and education to enhance personal growth, and fosters inclusion, collaboration and relationship-building within our campus community.
It’s not just about an exceptional education; it is also about investment in the future and the students who create that future. Parents and family members, thank you for your investment and thank you to all who came to William & Mary for Family Weekend 2017! Your presence and commitment help make William & Mary a grand community.
We invite all Tribe Families to save the date for next year's Family Weekend: Sept. 28-30, 2018.