In less than a month, the new academic year will commence and students will bring life and energy to the hallways and walkways on campus. Before we know it fall will arrive, and along with it many treasured William & Mary traditions such as Homecoming & Reunion Weekend (Oct. 19-22, 2017). The weekend will provide a special opportunity for our Tribe community to converge on William & Mary's historic grounds and become reacquainted with each other and alma mater all over again.
During this time of celebration and engagement, glasses will be raised and toasts will be made at popular Homecoming offerings such as Virginia Uncorked, the Saturday Night Bash and reunion receptions. But until then, I would like to offer my own toast to recognize all that we have accomplished to advance our For the Bold campaign, thanks to your generous support.
In case you missed the news, fiscal year (FY) 2017 was the second largest fundraising year ever for the university. We raised nearly $135 million — the fifth consecutive year we have raised more than $100 million — and focused significantly on strengthening alumni engagement. As part of efforts to offer more robust programming to our alumni family, W&M held more than 450 gatherings in more than 40 cities around the globe. Since the start of the campaign, William & Mary has raised more than $712 million.
As an alumna, I couldn’t be more proud of the fact that William & Mary is the No. 1 nationally ranked public university for undergraduate alumni participation. For the first time ever, 29.9 percent of undergraduate alumni, or 19,273 alumni, gave back to their alma mater in FY17. This is a remarkable feat for our university and we should all take great pride in this collective success.
Alumni who have graduated within the last 10 years — Young Guarde members — are a big reason why giving and participation are at its highest levels ever at William & Mary. The incredible amount of support by the Young Guarde and all 45,199 donors this fiscal year, will greatly impact the lives of students and faculty. Annual gifts bolster research efforts and vital programs that are critical to creating the margin of excellence that makes William & Mary exceptional.
The year ahead will provide wonderful opportunities for alumni, students, faculty, parents and friends to be part of our extraordinary legacy and mission. Over the next few months, William & Mary will be celebrating the 50th anniversary of the first African-American students in residence. The festivities will begin when Judge John Charles Thomas officially welcomes William & Mary’s newest students into the fold at Convocation on August 30. Throughout the year, there will also be an abundance of career and networking events, alumnae initiatives programming and affinity-based engagement opportunities. I urge you to check out wmalumni.com regularly for information about upcoming events and to read The Gale blog for what’s happening on and off campus.
In this edition of the e-newsletter, we have some wonderful news to report and it can all be found here:
Thanks again for your generous support and Go Tribe!
Sue Hanna Gerdelman ’76
Chair, For the Bold