You may have recently heard from a classmate more frequently than in previous years. They remind you about One Tribe One Day, ask for an annual gift in June, and other times, thank you for your donation. These alumni are class ambassadors, and they are making a difference in William & Mary’s future.
Currently, 875 class ambassadors from the classes of 1959 to 2017 engage with over 11,000 assigned classmates. These alumni volunteers reach out to talk with them about recent news at William & Mary, university-wide goals and the importance of giving back. This peer-to-peer engagement program began in 2015 as a joint effort between staff and alumni to accomplish the most ambitious of our For the Bold goals — reaching 40 percent alumni participation by 2020.
Prior to the program’s first year in 2015, alumni participation was 24.9 percent. William & Mary set a new alumni giving record last fiscal year with 29.9 percent of undergraduate alumni, or 19,273 alumni, giving back. Class ambassadors and their assigned classmates represented over a quarter of those donors (5,209 in total). The continued increase in participation puts W&M in the No. 1 spot among nationally ranked public universities in the U.S. for undergraduate alumni participation.
Class ambassadors also make a difference in the lives of William & Mary students. They support current students by securing critical funds for W&M's most pressing needs, such as scholarships, faculty support and research opportunities.
The impact of class ambassadors is far reaching, and they go beyond asking for financial support. They foster a sense of engagement and philanthropy among alumni based on their experiences and appreciation for their time at W&M.
“The goal of the class ambassador outreach and the letters that go out with my name on them is to reach alumni who have never given, or give a modest amount,” said Ben Rothermel ’04. “We are simply trying to engage these folks, the majority of our class, and put them in a position where they feel connected to William & Mary, and may even consider giving a gift.”
Annual giving provides the financial foundation to keep the university moving forward. William & Mary is so appreciative of class ambassadors putting in the extra time and effort to make this university extraordinary as we aim for 34 percent by June 30. And don’t be surprised if you hear from a class ambassador for One Tribe One Day on April 10.
For more information or to sign up, please visit the class ambassador website.