Affording Opportunity: Scholarships impact the lives of so many W&M students

Nearly 400 people attended the Scholarships Luncheon last week during Homecoming & Reunion Weekend to celebrate the transformative power of scholarships at William & Mary.

During the annual luncheon, President Taylor Reveley reaffirmed the university’s commitment to increasing scholarships support though the For the Bold campaign so that highly able students, particularly out-of-state students, can afford the opportunity to attend.

Reveley recognized and welcomed Warren Winston ’72, the first African-American scholarship athlete as well as Janet Brown Strafer ’71, M.Ed. ’77, Karen Ely ’71 and Lynn Briley ’71 — the university’s first three African-American students in residence — at the luncheon. Brown Strafer, Ely and Briley were mentors to Winston.

Provost Michael Halleran discussed the great impact of scholarships and how they have influenced the lives of countless William & Mary students.

He noted that since 2011, nearly 6,000 students have received scholarships support — which represents a 32 percent increase in the number of scholarships since the start of the For the Bold campaign.

Also in 2011, the university provided 1,750 students with scholarships aid. In the last academic year, 2,300 students were provided with scholarships support — this is an increase of 557 students who have directly benefited from scholarships since the campaign began.

“William & Mary afforded me the opportunity with scholarship aid to engage in a community where my intellect was challenged,” said Associate Vice President for Development, Earl T. Granger III ’92, M.Ed. ’98, who also spoke at the luncheon and celebrated his 25th class reunion over the weekend. “Strong bonds were formed with my peers, faculty and staff. William & Mary afforded me the opportunity to study and to live and learn among the best that this world has to offer."

Granger added, "Scholarship support makes the difference in our ability every day to compete for students across the spectrum. I am William & Mary through and through. I am William & Mary because of you and supporters like you."

In the featured video, scholarship recipient Timothy Cunningham '00 talks about the impact scholarships have had on his life.

Several students who have received scholarships also spoke during the luncheon. Below are some of their inspiring quotes.

“It is because of my globally-focused education at William & Mary and the scholarships I have received that I aspire to foster connections with diverse cultures throughout the world. I’m very grateful to attend a university that not only embraces the importance of engaging in the international community, but also enables its students to pursue interests in the world beyond W&M’s campus.”

— Emily C. Knoche ’19

“Scholarships make it possible for students like me with great minds, a desire to work hard, grow and to learn, to not have to worry about money all the time. For that, I say thank you. Thank you for investing in us. I am William & Mary because I am beginning to understand my place and my purpose in history.”

— Ka’Myia A. Gunn ’19

“This scholarship has afforded me the opportunity to pursue my MBA and served as a true testament to the good nature of others and the belief that everyone has a chance to succeed and better themselves through the pursuit of knowledge.”

— Nicole Carrasco M.B.A. ’19