by Jennifer Wall, University Advancement
On the heels of the launch of For the Bold: The Campaign for William & Mary, the university is announcing that three of its most senior leaders—the chancellor, rector and president—have each made gifts. The contributions from Becky and Robert M. Gates ’65, L.H.D. ’98, Elaine and Todd Stottlemyer ’85 and Helen and Taylor Reveley will benefit scholarships and professorships.
The gifts have a combined total in the seven figures and were made during the leadership phase of the campaign.
“This is a campaign about the people and these gifts will benefit many students and faculty who help make the Tribe community so remarkable,” said Sue Gerdelman '76, campaign chair. “We are enormously grateful for their generosity and for making contributions that will have a lasting impact for generations to come."
As announced during the campaign launch, scholarships and professorships top the campaign’s priority list. The university aspires to raise $350 million for scholarships and $200 million supporting teaching excellence over the next five years.
“Private funds are vital to remove financial barriers that impede the university’s ability to attract exceptional students and faculty,” said Matthew T. Lambert ’99, vice president, university advancement. “Their collective contributions will help move us forward in that vein.”
Currently, $46 million is required to meet the annual financial aid need of undergraduate students, however, William & Mary can only provide $31 million. Additionally, the university typically only meets 56 percent of the financial need for out-of-state students. For the Bold will help close these gaps. In fact, the university aspires to meet 100 percent of demonstrated financial need for each student.
In remarks at the campaign launch event, Gates told the audience that a scholarship from a generous donor—ironically, a cabinet secretary from the Woodrow Wilson administration—brought him to William & Mary. The scholarship had a significant impact in his life at the time and continues to inspire him today. Gates said that his goal is to help ensure that a William & Mary education is within reach for exceptional students who can also carry the tradition of giving forward.
William & Mary also seeks to increase the number of endowed professorships and coaching positions that will enable the university to recruit, retain and reward distinguished faculty and mentors. This is particularly important since 40 percent of William & Mary’s faculty are expected to retire or depart in the next decade.
“Without a doubt, William & Mary is the gold standard in offering a high-value educational experience. While we have one of the lowest student-faculty ratios in the nation and the best undergraduate teaching ranking among public universities, we simply cannot rest on our laurels and expect that this will continue without the support of donors,” added Gerdelman. “We are thankful that they are investing in the university’s human capital so that we can continue to elevate our game in and out of the classroom.”