Why Give to Geology?

A Letter from the Department Chair

Dear Alumni and Friends,

I want to thank all of you who have contributed to the department in the last year.  Many of you have provided advice about careers and job opportunities, introduced students to colleagues, met with students at professional meetings, and enabled meaningful research experiences for W&M geology majors (more on that in a moment).  I also want to thank you for the financial contributions you have made to the department- these contributions make a difference when it comes to funding field trips, student research, and equipment.

William & Mary is in the process of revising the curriculum. The current General Education Requirements have been around for twenty years and it is time to update and refresh what the College asks of all its students.  There is spirited debate amongst the College faculty about what a new curriculum should be, but know this; the Geology faculty are working to ensure that the new curriculum is broad and rigorous as well as relevant for the 21st century.  We pride ourselves on serving up a superior experience for students from introductory courses to field classes far from campus.  The Geology Department will continue to do so as the College brings forward a new curriculum.

Part of the new curriculum will be a capstone experience for all W&M students.  Geology has long had a capstone experience- every W&M Geology major completes an independent senior research project.  Our students invariably say the research experience was both challenging and exhausting, but also unbelievably meaningful.  Your generous financial support enables the department to offer this collaborative student-centered research year-in and year-out.  For instance during the past year, alumni contributions have enabled our seniors to study fossils in distant museum collections, to analyze groundwater chemistry to better constrain aquifer residence time, and to prepare petrographic thin sections to research contact metamorphism.   Good stuff!

I ask you to consider making a contribution to the department.  Regardless of whether it is large or small, it will make a difference.  It is exciting to see that so many young alums are making contributions; this bodes well for the future.  Keep up the good work!

A pledge form is included at the end of the newsletter. To make a contribution to the Founders Fund, please write a check to “The College of William & Mary Foundation” with Allocation 1870/Founders Fund in the memo line and send it to the College of William & Mary, P.O. Box 1693, Williamsburg, VA 23187-8779. You can also make a contribution via our secure website, accessible at http://www.wm.edu/as/geology/support/index.php.  We’ve included a pledge form at the end of the newsletter.


Thanks for your continued support!

Chuck Bailey