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State of the University

October 2009

President Taylor Reveley

Dear William & Mary Community,

I owe you a report on the State of the College. This is the 317th year of the university's long life. How is William & Mary doing?

To begin with the elephant in the room, we confront serious financial challenges. The world, including William & Mary, is struggling amid the Great Recession. Since 2008, the Commonwealth of Virginia has reduced its support of the College's operations by more than 32 percent. More about the state cuts later in this report. Let's first focus on the good news characterizing William & Mary these days.

Despite the financial crisis confronting American higher education, especially those public schools once well supported by the taxpayers, the overall state of our university is quite promising.  The campus remains a place of great natural and architectural beauty, of serious historical significance, and of compelling academic accomplishment.

Where else on earth are there so many red brick walks, lined with verdant lawns and boxwood, shaded gracefully by countless trees? What other school has ancient buildings so important in American history? What better time than now to be part of the nation's second oldest institution of higher education?

We're amid a physical transformation of the campus that is producing facilities suitable to the 21st century. We continue to enjoy record numbers of applicants and welcomed another group of extraordinary new students this fall. William & Mary's faculty continues to excel in teaching, scholarship and service. And we just had the most successful fundraising year in the College's history even though we are not in a campaign and recession was roaming the land.

Download the complete text for the State of the University (pdf).