2019 Stories

Estes’ endowment affords opportunity

Jean Berger Estes ’75 and Robey Estes ’74 recently made a commitment of $1.5 million to William & Mary’s Raymond A. Mason School of Business to help attract high-caliber students to W&M now and into the future. The couple established the Robey and Jean Estes Business Scholarship Endowment, which will provide need-based scholarships support to business students.

Institute for Integrative Conservation to be established at William & Mary with $19.3 million For the Bold gift

William & Mary has received a $19.3 million gift from an alumna who wishes to remain anonymous to establish a landmark Institute for Integrative Conservation (IIC). The gift will position the university as a global leader in transformational research to protect ecosystems and safeguard world populations. It will cultivate leaders prepared to drive policy, advance advocacy and inspire action at the local, national and international levels.

Together we rise

Over the last year I’ve had the chance to reflect on the importance of family. When I say family, I don’t just mean the traditional sense of family. I mean those in our lives who lift us as we climb, who help us overcome hardships and who remain a meaningful part of our journey — no matter where life takes us.

Professor Heller and Dean Shealy: New chapters

With nearly 70 years of service combined, Faye Shealy, associate dean for admission, and Jim Heller, director of The Wolf Law Library, announced their retirements upon completion of the 2018–19 academic year.

Building knowledge through innovation: A new vision for William & Mary libraries

As technology continues to change the world at ever-increasing rates, some of the university’s most innovative transitions are happening in the William & Mary Libraries. Cherished for decades as a cornerstone of our thriving university community, the library’s unwavering focus on linking people with ideas continues to evolve in dynamic, forward-looking ways.

Serving those who serve

The new Office of Student Veteran Engagement is up and running as a one-stop shop for the more than 200 veterans and active service members who attend William & Mary.

Giving Tuesday: Your gift helps others give

Days like Giving Tuesday, which is Dec. 3 this year, remind us of the amazing power of philanthropy, and how even small gifts can make a huge difference, not only in the lives of the recipients but also in the many lives that person goes on to touch.

From the Military to MBA: Mastering the art of online learning at W&M

For military personnel, it is often challenging to take time away from serving their country in order to pursue higher education. William & Mary’s Online MBA program offers a unique option where one does not need to sacrifice one for the other. The program allows current servicemen and women to continue working while furthering their education.

W&M alumni to boost Master of Accounting program

William & Mary’s Raymond A. Mason School of Business is tapping into its network of accomplished alumni by asking them to refer the next generation of bright minds to the Master of Accounting (MAcc) program.

Filling the Gaps: Alumna uses technology to provide pre-K education to all

Though federal, state and private programs in the last half-century have expanded early education, there are still more than two million 4-year-olds in the United States without access to pre-K. Claudia Miner ’78 is working to make quality early education available to all at no cost to families.

Bold stories from the 2019 Scholarships Luncheon

More than 400 people gathered at this year's Scholarships Luncheon during Homecoming & Reunion Weekend. Several students and alumni shared their powerful stories of how scholarships made their bold moments possible. Special guest Jill Ellis ’88, L.H.D. ’16, two-time World Cup winner, told the audience how her scholarship to W&M changed the trajectory of her life.

The haunts that call old campus home

The older a place is, the more likely it is to collect ghost stories and William & Mary’s campus is no exception. Superstitions and rumors spread and change over the years like a haunted game of telephone.

An artist’s gift

William Sterling’s ’59 early interest in art prompted him to become a fine arts major at William & Mary. One of his thoughts before his death on New Year’s Eve last year was to leave a gift that would benefit the university’s Department of Art & Art History.

A wedding gift that keeps on giving

Megan Dorward ’07 is no stranger to the impact and importance of private giving. As a founding member of the Society of 1918, a member of the Alumni Association Board of Directors and a former member of the Annual Giving Board, she has made giving back to William & Mary an important part of her life. Now, she and her fiancé, Richard Brahan, are using their wedding as an opportunity to encourage others to join them in giving back and to create a lasting impact on others’ lives. In lieu of a traditional registry, they have established the Megan Dorward & Richard Brahan Wedding Scholarship and have encouraged their loved ones to make financial contributions to it in celebration of their wedding.

W&M wellness at forefront

One year after opening, students say the McLeod Tyler Wellness Center has left a lasting impact on campus life through services, education, programming and activities that promote a healthy lifestyle.

The Kohlhagens: A W&M love story

Gale Gibson Kohlhagen '69 and Steven Kohlhagen '69 have remained loyal to William & Mary over the years by giving of their time, talent and philanthropic support. They are using planned and outright giving to make a profound impact on William & Mary for generations to come. The Kohlhagens' longtime support of the university includes volunteering, creating a professorship and scholarship and most recently serving on their 50th Reunion class committee earlier this year.

UiPath gives more than $4 million in “robots” to undergraduate students at William & Mary’s Raymond A. Mason School of Business

William & Mary’s Raymond A. Mason School of Business will provide automation software to 400 incoming students this fall, thanks to a generous commitment of more than $4 million in Robotic Process Automation (RPA) technology from UiPath. This partnership gives the Mason School the distinction of being the first business school in the country to give a UiPath "robot" to every student.

Roaring Forward

It’s hard to believe that summer break is about to come to a close — although the blistering heat in the ’Burg remains — and the new academic year will begin in a little over a week. There’s so much to look forward to in our final year of the For the Bold campaign and there are countless opportunities to make an impact on the university and all its students, faculty and alumni in the next 10 months.

William & Mary celebrates For the Bold in London

William & Mary returned to its royal roots during the May 28 For the Bold campaign celebration in London in honor of the nearly 9,000 alumni, family and friends that comprise the university’s international community.

Moving forward boldly

Create a life you can be proud of. I live by this mantra every single day. For me, this means carving out time creating new memories with my growing family, volunteering and giving back to William & Mary — the place that shaped who I am today.

Far-reaching impact: Private support of the A&S Annual Fund turns ideas into action at William & Mary

Since the start of the For the Bold campaign, $1 million has been raised through the Arts & Sciences Annual Fund. The fund is classified as unrestricted funding. This type of funding gives the leadership within Arts & Sciences the flexibility to meet the most pressing needs of William & Mary and to invest strategically in innovative initiatives. It also enables the university to deliver a distinct educational experience that inspires creativity, flexibility and forward thinking.

Plumeri Awards Honor Excellence

The Plumeri Awards for Faculty Excellence are back, and they are more competitive than ever before.

A Continued Promise: Generous gift will expand reach of 1693 Scholars Program

The threat of gun violence is built into Julia Gibson’s ’22 consciousness. From the Sept. 11 attacks when she was only a toddler, to the Virginia Tech shooting when she was 7, the threat has been a persistent possibility. When the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting occurred last fall she was an 18-year-old freshman at William & Mary and this time she had something to say.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.