Women's Initiatives

initiatives-women.jpg"William & Mary women are a force that continues to shape the future of the university and the world around us. I am proud that my alma mater is at the forefront of universities who are actively working to find innovative ways to engage, empower and celebrate women."

Elizabeth Cabell Jennings ’85, P ’17

A Letter from the Director of Alumni Engagement and Inclusion Initiatives

In 1918, William & Mary opened its doors to 24 women students. Today, women students, parents, staff, faculty, friends and alumnae help shape the current and future character of the university.

William & Mary women are inspiring, empowering and leading the world in all walks of life, personally and professionally. The goal of women’s initiatives at William & Mary is to support the interests, standing and well-being of all W&M women and to continue to foster a climate of inclusiveness that will propel our special brand of bold to impact W&M and the world.

As part of the celebration of 100 years of coeducation at W&M, we held our first Women’s Weekend in, 2018. This conference-style weekend brought nearly 500 women from across the decades to Williamsburg empowering one another and celebrating the accomplished women of William & Mary.  The energy was palpable and unstoppable!  We’ll convene for the second edition of Women’s Weekend in the Fall of ’21.

We also created an Alumnae Initiatives Endowment to enrich programming and enhance opportunities for women across the W&M community. To date, we have raised just over $4 million toward the Alumnae Initiatives Endowment, which will fuel in perpetuity women’s initiatives on campus and beyond. The endowment keeps the university on the cutting edge of women's engagement. It supports regional and interest-based programming that brings W&M women together to strengthen our bonds with one another and the university, allowing us to empower generations of W&M women around the world. We hope you will help keep the momentum going!

Valerie J. Cushman
Senior Director of Alumni Engagement and Inclusion Initiatives

Giving Opportunity

Alumnae Initiatives Endowment (4156)

As part of the effort to commemorate 100 years of coeducation, William & Mary established an endowment to support alumnae initiatives programs. Income from the endowment is used to enrich and expand current offerings that bring all W&M women together to strengthen their bonds with one another and with alma mater. Examples include the W&M Women’s Weekend, regional women’s events and membership scholarships to the Society of 1918.

Society of 1918


The Society of 1918 is committed to growing women's engagement, leadership and philanthropy and to celebrating and honoring William & Mary women. Our vision is for William & Mary women to achieve a level of impact, influence and generosity commensurate with their majority representation in the alumni community.

Membership is offered to all women who contribute $10,000 over a 5-year period ($2,000/year or $167/month) to the Alumnae Initiatives Endowment.

Young Guarde members (alumnae who have or will graduate after 2010) and W&M faculty and staff may join the society with a contribution of $5,000 over a 5-year period ($1,000/year or $84/month).

Women’s Initiatives News

  •  Val Cushman ,  Director of Alumni Engagement and Inclusion Initiatives
  •  757-221-1622
  •   vjcushman@wm.edu