2019 Stories

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Investing in the future: Four inspiring stories from Charter Day

In 1693, King William and Queen Mary signed a charter to found a college across the Atlantic in a distant overseas colony. Signing that charter, they couldn’t have imagined what the next 326 years had in store for their little Virginia college, but they knew they wanted to create an institution that would last “for ever.” “For ever” — even at the university’s birth with centuries of uncertainty ahead, its founders put no limits on William & Mary’s future.

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Pride points and participation

After a momentous Charter Day weekend — which included the inauguration of President Rowe, the re-investiture of Chancellor Gates ’65, L.H.D. ’98 and a celebration of 326 years of William & Mary history — we are ready to move forward with renewed enthusiasm.

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AidData's BenYishay discusses impact of $1.1M award from the Cloudera Foundation to support their GeoQuery program

Ariel BenYishay, AidData’s (aiddata.org) chief economist and associate professor of economics, shares his thoughts on the Cloudera Foundation’s award. AidData is a research lab located within William & Mary’s Global Research Institute. BenYishay reflects on how this new partnership will help advance the work AidData has been pioneering for over a decade.

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Professor tackles Facebook

Over the last several years, Facebook has been a lightening rod for controversy, as scholars and pundits alike debate the social media platform’s impact on civil discourse, both in the United States and beyond. With a new $50,000 grant from Facebook, Associate Professor of Government Jaime Settle and her students hope to determine how users process political information encountered there and why they engage with different types of content, including fake news.

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Letters of gratitude: Jeffrey and Lynn Winter created the Ethan S. Winter Biology Opportunity Fund to honor their son

The thank you letters were all addressed to Ethan Winter ’14. One after one, each student had written to thank Winter for helping to make their research possible at William & Mary. Winter’s parents found the letters in fall 2016 while cleaning out his apartment after he passed away at the age of 24. Since finding those letters, the Winters have made it their personal mission to pass Ethan’s generosity on to others.

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Accepting the Challenge to Give: Q&A with Aili Espigh ’17

The Society of 1918 is William & Mary's giving society by women, for women. It supports the Alumnae Initiatives Endowment, which will fund enriching programming that brings W&M women together to strengthen their bonds with one another and with alma mater. Aili Espigh ’17 is the youngest charter member.

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Turning to help

Making lemonade from lemons. This proverbial phrase certainly applies to Rachel Becker ’19. Against the odds, the William & Mary senior has turned a challenging childhood into a compassionate mission to help others. Now, thanks in part to a Parents Fund scholarship, she is well on her way to pursuing her dream to support child and family rights.