Public-Private-Academia Partnerships


public-private-academia-partnerships.jpg“The EY gift is supporting four related initiatives: recruiting more diverse students into the business school, providing a foundation for diversity and inclusion to all undergraduates entering the Mason School through course work, supporting faculty initiatives to promote these principles in subsequent classes and funding a campus-wide diversity symposium. All four of these initiatives are well underway.”

Jeanne Wilson, Brooks George Term Professor


As we look to the future of knowledge and work, it is increasingly important to create opportunities for faculty and students to interact with organizations and businesses that are known for innovation and entrepreneurial approaches. Cross-sector partnerships are key to solving society’s most pressing challenges and prepare our graduates to thrive professionally in a rapidly changing world.

Opportunities for Investment

  • Corporate and Industry Partnerships As W&M strives to expand research and internship opportunities for students and faculty, it is vital that we cultivate new and more entrepreneurial partnerships with business and employers from coast to coast and on the international stage. Partnerships with companies in a range of fields, such as health care, technology, legal, financial, among many others, can greatly strengthen the experiences students have outside of the classroom and provide long-term collaborative opportunities and advance the mission of the university.
  • Flourishing Through Life Transitions Flourishing Through Life Transitions is a unique certificate program that trains veterans and members of the intelligence community to transition to high-level civilian management positions, while flourishing in their careers and personal lives. Engaging W&M’s No. 1 MBA faculty in the U.S. (Bloomberg BusinessWeek) and subject-matter experts from the Whole of Government Center of Excellence and the Center for Mindfulness and Authentic Excellence, the program emphasizes a holistic approach centered on wellness while participants develop insights into corporate culture and build business skills critical to thriving in management and other positions.
  • Global Research InstituteW&M’s Global Research Institute is a multidisciplinary hub that brings together academics, practitioners and students to apply research to real-world issues. Operating via 10 research labs that engage faculty members and students in economics, law, public health, conservation, data science and government, these innovative collaborations harness big data to inform policymakers around the world and to launch interventions that global communities need and want.
  • UiPath Partnership A three-year partnership between UiPath, an enterprise software company, and W&M’s Raymond A. Mason School of Business equips graduate students with Robotic Process Automation technology. The automation software tool mimics the way humans interact with digital systems and is used increasingly in the business world to improve efficiency and reduce costs by digitizing high-volume tasks. This substantial gesture gives W&M the distinction of being the first university in the country to provide students the opportunity to learn and experiment with a UiPath software robot, preparing them for a rapidly changing world.
  • Bray School Initiative W&M is partnering with The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation to research and restore the Williamsburg Bray School — the oldest extant schoolhouse for free and enslaved African Americans in the U.S. After a decade of archival and archeological research, the school’s 18th-century frame was discovered inside a contemporary campus building in summer 2020. The two institutions’ joint effort — the Bray School Initiative — will reconstruct, preserve and research the school in order to tell its story and transform traditional accounts of America’s history by centering them on Black legacy. Among the project’s supporters are both corporations and private foundations.
  • Presidential Precinct The Presidential Precinct, a five-member consortium founded in 2013 by W&M alumnus and former rector James B. Murray, Jr., J.D. ’74, LL.D. ’00, brings together two premier universities — W&M and the University of Virginia — and three historic sites – James Madison’s Montpelier, James Monroe’s Highland and William Short’s Morven. The Precinct seeks to engage and inspire emerging leaders to address the most pressing challenges in their countries through education, collaboration and global networking.
  • Entrepreneurship Hub W&M’s Entrepreneurship Hub provides a launchpad for our region’s entrepreneurs by incubating ideas that foster collaboration between our students and faculty, and the local business community. It trains the next generation of social innovators by cultivating entrepreneurial thinking, resilience, risk tolerance and independence in students of all majors. The Hub opened in 2019 to expand the reach of the Alan B. Miller Entrepreneurship Center beyond the Mason School of Business.

Pride Points

Over the last few years, W&M has developed key partnerships with both the private and the public sector. Through these partnerships, several successful programs have been established at our university, including:

  • AidData W&M’s Global Research Institute’s AidData lab partners with the U.S. Agency for International Development and a number of private foundations to increase global aid transparency through geospatial data and analytic tools. This work enables the broader global development community to target, coordinate and deliver aid more effectively, with an improved ability to measure its impact.
  • Military Mondays W&M Law School’s Lewis B. Puller, Jr. Veterans Benefits Clinic partnered with Starbucks and Dominion Energy to offer veterans seeking legal assistance pro bono advice and counsel twice monthly at local Starbucks locations.
  • Whole of Government Center for Excellence W&M’s Whole of Government Center for Excellence partners with the U.S. Department of Defense to provide mid-career public policy professionals and military officers in federal, state and local agencies practical training on interagency collaboration, complex national security and other public policy problems.
  • Diversity and Inclusion Initiative W&M’s Mason School of Business partners with EY to advance the school’s efforts to increase diversity and inclusion through expanding course offerings, faculty workshops, new curriculum development, and an annual campus-wide diversity and inclusiveness symposium.

Corporate and industry partnerships are a key area where W&M has made great strides, and we welcome new opportunities to work across industry lines for greater impact on our society.