by Jennifer P. Wall, University Advancement
A William & Mary alumna who wishes to remain anonymous just made a commitment of more than $2 million toward the For the Bold campaign's top priority to help exceptional students afford the opportunity to attend the 324-year-old university.
The donor, a member of the class of 1980, who also earned her M.B.A. in 1982, has designated the majority of her gift to support need-based scholarships for out-of-state students, as well as scholarships for graduate students at the Raymond A. Mason School of Business. She said that her scholarships gift to the business school was given in honor of the MBA program’s 50th anniversary.
“It is our good fortune to have such a caring alumna in our midst who is willing to answer alma mater’s call and invest in areas vitally important to William & Mary,” said President Taylor Reveley. “Scholarships, particularly those for out-of-state students with significant financial need, remain our highest priority. Her very generous gift will do enormous good.”"
The scholarships gift was made shortly after William & Mary’s public rollout of Affording Opportunity — the new name of the university’s $350 million scholarships fundraising effort in the campaign. Approximately 1,500 students in the 2016-17 academic year received scholarships supported by donors. This figure includes more than 70 students who were enrolled at the business school in the last year.
A portion of the gift also supports the Alumnae Initiatives Endowment, which provides resources for the university to enrich programming and enhance opportunities to engage, empower and inspire women across the William & Mary community in a multitude of ways. She made this gift to help fuel momentum in advance of the celebration of 100 years of coeducation at William & Mary in 2018.
“I am honored to make this gift to William & Mary,” said the anonymous donor. “As a former undergraduate and graduate student, and now a proud alumna and active member of the Tribe community, I fully appreciate the importance of giving back to my alma mater. The strong educational foundation that William & Mary provides is a distinct pathway for students to have a bright and successful future."
She added, “Through this gift, I am hoping to help students and fellow alumnae continue on that path for generations to come.”
As part of the creation of the new Alumnae Initiatives Endowment and the 100-year celebration, William & Mary has set a fundraising goal of securing support from 100 women representing each year of co-education.
“From scholarships to alumnae initiatives and so much more, this distinguished alumna continues to be instrumental in shaping key efforts at William & Mary that enrich our entire community,” said Matthew T. Lambert ’99, vice president for university advancement. “We are very thankful that she has decided to focus so much of her efforts on increasing opportunities for other outstanding students, particularly out-of-state students, to attend our world-class university. She is an inspiration.”