W&M mourns the passing of Harriet Storm| September 16, 2009
The William & Mary community today mourns the passing of distinguished alumna Harriet Nachman Storm (’64), a former member of the College Board of Visitors and one of the founding members and president of the Cypher Society.
Storm passed away suddenly on Tuesday.
“With the death of Harriet Storm, the College of William & Mary has lost a much beloved and stalwart alumna,” said William & Mary President Taylor Reveley. “Harriet nurtured the College with a rare degree of affection and support. Few have ever matched her dedication. This is a tremendously sad day for the William & Mary family.”
Storm was a part of life at William & Mary for more than four decades. She served on the Board of Visitors from 1979 to 1988; she was elected Secretary of the Board from 1987 to 1988. During her tenure, she chaired the Committee on Student Affairs and the Committee on Governmental Relations, and served as a member of the Committee on Athletic Policy, the Committee on Honorary Degrees and the Executive Committee.
In November 1988, then-Rector of the College Hays Watkins appointed Storm as chair of a steering committee to form the Cypher Society, which encourages former members of the Board to continue their association with the College following the end of their Board service. She was elected president of the new society and had served in that capacity since its inception in 1989.
In addition to her service on the Board, Storm was actively involved with the Alumni Association – serving as Class Agent, board member of Reunion Committees, and member of the Alumni Board of Directors (1972-1978), including serving as secretary/treasurer (1975-1977) and as president (1978-1979). She was a former chair of the William & Mary Fund, former chair and innovative voice of the William & Mary Committee on Judaic Studies, former regional president of the William & Mary Athletic Educational Foundation, and from 2007 to present, a member of the AEF Executive Committee. In recognition of her professional accomplishments, leadership, dedication to community and family, and commitment to higher education, Storm was awarded the Alumni Medallion in 1981.
A die-hard fan of Tribe athletics, Storm was a trustee of the Athletic Educational Foundation for more than 30 years. She and a family member attended last weekend’s football game against Central Connecticut State. Athletic Director Terry Driscoll called her “one of the most loyal and passionate supporters of William & Mary athletics that I can ever remember.”
“She is someone who will really be missed,” Driscoll added. “She brought a tremendous amount of enthusiasm and energy for everything related to our program.”
A graduate of Newport News High School, Storm transferred into William & Mary from the University of Maryland after two years in its School of Journalism. She earned a degree in English in 1964 then immediately began an eight-year stint as a writer and editor for her hometown Daily Press.
The College was only one of myriad passions in Storm’s life. Her other dominant interest was mental health. In addition to many other civic associations, she was a member of the State Board of the Mental Health Association, and the State Alliance for Increased Mental Health Awareness. She also formerly served on the Mayor's Committee for People with Disabilities.
Volunteering as a member of many local community organizations, most notably the Living Interfaith Network of Hampton Roads, the Hampton Drug Court, the Virginia Association of Community Services Boards and the Hampton-Newport News Community Services Board, she has been recognized for her community service, including induction into the Community Services Board Hall of Fame (1996), the Humanitarian Award from the Peninsula Chapter of the National Conference of Christians and Jews (1996), and the Daily Press Citizen of the Year Award (2002).
In 2004 she received the Book of Golden Deeds from the Wythe Exchange Club, the highest award the Exchange Club can bestow on an individual, and the Charles Wornom Helping Hands Award from the Hampton Mayor's Committee for People with Disabilities. Both were awarded for her advocacy on behalf of citizens with mental and physical disabilities. In 2005, Storm was recognized by Girls Incorporated of the Greater Peninsula for her civic achievements as an exceptional role model and mentor.
Last February, the Virginia State Senate passed Joint Resolution 452, commending Storm. It read, in part:
“Harriet Storm has served a variety of organizations during the course of her life, including the Living Interfaith Network of Hampton Roads, the Hampton Drug Court, the Virginia Association of Community Services Board, her beloved College of William & Mary, and the City of Hampton 400th Anniversary Committee.
“(Her) hard work and zeal has not gone unnoticed; she has received numerous awards and accolades, including induction into the Community Services Board Hall of Fame in 1996, the Humanitarian Award from the Peninsula Chapter of the National Chapter of the National Conference of Christians and Jews in 1996, and the Daily Press Citizen of the Year Award in 2002.
“(She) provides an example of true citizenship for others to emulate.”
Preceded in death by her husband, C. Ray Storm, Storm is survived by two daughters, Lisa Storm Hogge and Laura Storm Wyatt, her beloved grandchildren, and her devoted friend, Erwin Nachman. The funeral will be held at 10 a.m. on Friday at Rodef Sholom Temple, 318 Whealton Road, Hampton, Virginia.