It is often said on birthdays that it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years. William & Mary has certainly experienced a great deal in her years — 325 years to be exact!
This past week, thousands of students, faculty, alumni, parents and friends gathered together to celebrate William & Mary’s 325th birthday. From the Charter Day festivities and Gold Rush basketball game (Go Tribe!) to the Alumni Medallion ceremony and so much more, we honored W&M traditions that bind our family together and hold a special place in our hearts.
In stirring remarks and videos featured throughout weekend, we had the pleasure of recognizing a distinguished group of women for their extraordinary achievements and for paving the path forward for generations of W&M students — a fitting tribute since this past weekend marks the 100-year anniversary of the Board of Visitors' vote to admit women. We were fortunate to honor these W&M women:
- Lynn Briley ’71, Karen Ely ’71 and Janet Brown Strafer ’71, M.Ed. ’77 (the first African-American students in residence)
- Trudier Harris Litt.D. ’18, Frances G. McGlothlin ’18 and Hunter J. Smith ’51, L.H.D. ’18 (honorary degree recipients)
- Janet Rollins Atwater ’84, P ’17, P ’20, Jill Ellis ’88, L.H.D. ’16, Shelby Smith Hawthorne ’67, M.A.Ed.’75 and Ellen Stofan ’83, D.Sc. ’16, P ’10, P ’14 (Alumni Medallion award recipients)
It is often said that William & Mary wouldn’t have survived without women. I believe that the university might not have survived without these remarkable women.
Our long history is one that is full of tradition. In addition to observing William & Mary’s birth by Royal Charter every year, we celebrate Commencement, Convocation, Homecoming & Reunion Weekend and the popular Yule Log ceremony. These are all special opportunities for our William & Mary family to come home and to participate in tradition. They give everyone a chance to reunite with old friends, develop new friendships, connect with students and faculty and to remain close to our beloved university.
We also celebrate new traditions at William & Mary, including the annual tradition of giving. A growing number of our alumni, particularly our young alumni, are giving back to their alma mater every year and making an impact that will last a lifetime. In fact, nearly one quarter of our undergraduate alumni donors are members of the Young Guarde (alumni who graduated in the last 10 years)!
Donors who give to William & Mary annually — with gifts of all sizes — are strengthening our foundation and actively determining the future of the university. Alumni who give back every year are also investing in their personal and professional lives by appreciating the value of a W&M degree (as the university moves up in the rankings, as participation increases, so does the value of our degree).
In a new video series titled “Doable Deeds,” President Reveley focuses on the importance of alumni participation and annual giving. In it, he asks everyone to help nourish this great new tradition of robust annual giving at William & Mary — a very doable deed indeed. This is critical as we continue to build momentum and reach 34 participation this fiscal year, and move closer to our audacious goal of 40 percent alumni participation by 2020.
Please take a moment and read about some of the remarkable progress we have made because of your impactful investment in William & Mary — you are the reason why we continue to make great strides in our For the Bold campaign.
- Affording Opportunity: W&M community honors the late Carroll F.S. Hardy HON '12 with namesake scholarship
- New society formed for W&M women, by W&M women
- William & Mary breaks ground on Shenkman Jewish Center
- W&M women immerse themselves in computer science
- Affording Opportunity: A story about survival and the power of scholarships
- Fueling student research through Honors Fellowships
- Saving our Shorelines: VIMS invites you to take "A Deeper Dive"
- William & Mary, Reveley receive congressional recognition
- Governor celebrates W&M’s 325th, pledges support for public education
- Despite divisions, Gates optimistic about the America’s future
- One Tribe One Day — April 10, 2018
- Legacy Weekend — April 12-14, 2018
- Traditions Weekend — April 20-22, 2018
Thank you again for your enduring support and for making the life in William & Mary's years count!
Sue H. Gerdelman ’76