William & Mary

Muscarelle Museum Impact Fund

Sofia Chabolla’s William & Mary story is one of chance.

While still a high school student, during a road trip Sofia and her father took to tour college campuses, they decided to visit William & Mary on a whim.

“I was looking for a school that wasn’t too large, had a sense of pride in its community, and combined high academic standards with longstanding traditions,” explains Sofia, who is a member of the Class of 2014. “After our visit, I applied to William & Mary early decision and from there everything just fell into place. William & Mary is the perfect fit for me.”

Sophia Charbolla

Chance struck again after freshman year when Sofia, an art history and English double major, spent part of her summer studying abroad in Florence, Italy. Throughout the previous academic year, she had worked as an intern at the College’s Muscarelle Museum of Art. The Museum’s director, Aaron DeGroft ’88, was leading the program and he encouraged Sofia, who had been studying the work of Michelangelo as well as Italian while in Florence, to continue her work with the Muscarelle.

“Dr. DeGroft pushed me to keep working at the Museum,” Sofia says. “He told me we were going to bring the Michelangelo Sacred and Profane show to the Muscarelle for the Museum’s 30th anniversary and he asked me to be a student curator and publishing intern for the show.”

Her work on the show opened many other doors for Sofia, who is considering a career in publishing. Sofia has continued to take on many other tasks at the Muscarelle, including a project that involves combining many articles author Martha Wren Briggs ’55 has written on Tiffany Glass with photos to compile a book.

“The Muscarelle Museum is a laboratory — a place where students and interns can really hands on learn everything that comes with running a museum,” Sofia says.

She believes the experiences gained at the Muscarelle are extremely important no matter what ultimate career or education path each student takes.

“In addition to learning about paintings and doing research, students work with everything from art to new media to publishing to marketing,” Sofia says. “The skills you acquire at the Muscarelle can be applied in nearly any job.”

Gifts to the Muscarelle Museum Impact Fund help preserve these broad experiences for students and allow the Museum to pursue new opportunities.

“The Muscarelle Museum has been here for 30 years, and I believe alumni and friends have been essential to its progression and growth,” Sofia says. “The Museum can only get better and keep growing with their support.”