Much happened at the College of William & Mary over the past year, from new faces in the administration to record-breaking philanthropy. Check out these highlights from 2015 at William & Mary.
- After a grim outlook in the fall of 2014, the College of William & Mary announced the state would increases its funding for the college by about $550,000. The extra funds were put toward undergraduate need-based aid, research equipment support and building maintenance.
- During the spring Board of Visitors meeting, the college declared the William & Mary Promise a success. The promise, launched in 2013, guarantees the tuition rate for in-state students will remain the same throughout a student’s four years at the college.
- Incoming in-state students for fall 2016 will benefit from the same fixed tuition guarantee sophomores, juniors and seniors currently enjoy, as the Board of Visitors approved an extension of the college’s Promise program at its fall meeting.
Policy Discussions, Changes
- The college formed a task force focused on studying the state of race relations on its campus. President Taylor Reveley said the committee would foster campus-wide conversations on issues related to race relations to create a community of respect.
- Nine months after the U.S. Department of Education launched an investigation into its handling of sexual assaults, administrators at the college say they are focused on creating a safe environment for students at the Board of Visitors meeting in February. At the start of the 2015-16 school year, the college launched new initiatives aimed at preventing sexual violence on campus.
- After the fourth student suicide in nine months drew national attention to the school, the Board of Visitors discussed the state of mental health on campus.
- Students have spent the last year restoring the Crim Dell — a man-made pond located near the center of campus — by removing invasive species like bamboo, English ivy, wisteria and honeysuckle.
- A century and a half after a Union victory in the Civil War, the college announced it was removing two pieces of Confederate imagery from its campus: a commemorative plaque bearing the names of William & Mary alumni who fought for the Confederacy in the Wren Building, and an emblem featuring the Confederate battle flag on the College Mace.
Construction, New Landmarks
- Cosi, a fast casual restaurant specializing in flatbreads and salads, celebrated its grand opening in the Sadler Center’s Lodge 1 lounge.
- William & Mary installed a statue of James Monroe in front of Tucker Hall, the home of the college’s English department.
- A plan that called for the eventual demolition of eight college-owned houses along Jamestown Road pushed a statewide historical preservation group to add them to its most endangered list.
- The college’s committee on sustainability funded the purchase and installation of a solar-powered charging station at a terrace near the Sadler Center.
- A $1.5 million gift from a pair of longtime William & Mary benefactors will help the college launch its new Integrative Wellness Center in 2017.
Appointments, New Hires, Resignations
- Georgie Donovan joined the Swem Library staff as assistant dean.
- The Board of Visitors unanimously re-elected Todd Stottlemyer as rector. The board also selected H. Thomas Watkins III as vice rector and Sue Gerdelman as secretary, replacing Robert Scott and Thomas Frantz, respectively.
- Chris Connolly, the first college student to serve on the Williamsburg Planning Commission, resigned from his seat after graduation.
- Gov. Terry McAuliffe appointed Karen Kennedy Schultz and James A. Hixon to the Board of Visitors, which oversees financial and operational issues at the college.
- The college welcomed Amy Sebring as the new chief financial officer.
Awards, Records and Rankings
- Marge Lobeck, a literary and cultural studies major, received the Monroe Prize in Civic Leadership at the college’s Charter Day ceremony.
- Foreign Policy magazine included William & Mary’s Institute for the Theory and Practice of International Relations in its annual Ivory Tower Index, ranking the undergraduate international relations program as the 18th-best in the country.
- Gwen Ifill was named the Hunter B. Andrews Distinguished Fellow in American Politics at the college for 2015.
- The college set a record for the number of applications received for the 11th consecutive year.
- For the third consecutive year, William & Mary was ranked No. 1 for the percentage of undergraduates studying abroad among public universities in the U.S.
Grants and Philanthropy
- A College of William & Mary project that aims to promote healthy behaviors, education, awareness and empowerment for pregnant women and babies received a grant to further spread its educational resources to incarcerated mothers-to-be in Hampton Roads and Richmond.
- The Lewis B. Puller Jr. Veterans Benefit Clinic is slated to receive $245,000 from the state to increase its services to veterans.
- The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation awarded a $2.6 million grant to the college to support the development of the W. Taylor Reveley III Interdisciplinary Faculty Fellows program, which will allow faculty members with fellowships to develop and teach courses and produce research that crosses boundaries of academic disciplines.
- Students organized multiple rallies, vigils and fundraisers to help Nepal recover from one of the most destructive earthquakes in recent history.
- John Rathbone, former chief financial officer of Norfolk Southern Corporation, donated $1 million to the Raymond A. Mason School of Business’ master of accounting and M.B.A. programs.
- The Dominion Foundation, the philanthropic wing of Dominion Virginia Power, donated $25,000 to the Lewis B. Puller Jr. Veterans Benefits Clinic.
- The college raised $105.8 million in fiscal year 2015, which ended June 30. The figure is the highest amount raised in a single fiscal year.
- The law school’s Revive My Vote received $230,000 from the Knight Foundation, a program with a goal of increasing civic participation.
- To help kick off Family Weekend and the Tribe’s first home football game of the season, two alumni – John and Sue Gerdelman – made a $4 million commitment to the college.
- Joe and Sharon Muscarelle carried on a family tradition of supporting the museum that bears their name, donating $2.5 million.
- An anonymous $50 million donation was given to the College of William & Mary in support of its newly launched $1 billion campaign.
W&M Faculty in the News
- Dream Catchers staff and College of William & Mary professors shared their study that found therapeutic horseback riding boosts communication for children with autism – an improvement that translates to the classroom – in a lecture at the School of Education.
- A former College of William & Mary student Xianlong Ge and his then-faculty adviser, Bill Starnes, were honored for a paper they wrote detailing research Ge conducted to strengthen a common household plastic.
- A current and former William & Mary professor ran for the Williamsburg-James City County School Board. John “Rio” Riofrio, a Latino Studies professor, and Jim Beers, who taught in the School of Education, both ran in contested races. Beers won the Roberts District seat, while Riofrio lost to Sandy Taylor in the Berkeley District race.
- Williamsburg Christian Academy hired Anne Anderson, the former head coach for William & Mary’s swim team, as the inaugural head coach of the school’s swim program.
- Michael Nichols, a 70-year-old professor of psychology, became a world champion in powerlifting after his performance in the International Powerlifting Federation of Masters Powerlifting Championships.
- Julie Hummel, the associate director of program development and innovation for the undergraduate business program, was appointed as the City of Williamsburg representative on the Williamsburg-James City County School Board.
- Sinfonicron Light Opera Company celebrated its 50th anniversary season with a performance of one of its most beloved shows, Gilbert and Sullivan’s “The Pirates of Penzance.”
- From an inconspicuous house on Scotland Street, the nonprofit organization AidData brings together professionals in the field of international development and students from the College of William & Mary to change the way foreign aid is understood.
- The college launched a new campus walking tour app, which allows users to visit locations on the historic campus and learn about the sites as they changed over time.
- Rising seventh- and eighth-grade students participated in the fourth annual Camp Launch, a two-week STEM summer program for high-achieving, low-income middle school student hosted by the college.