William & Mary benefits from record-breaking fundraising year

More than $104 million in new activity recorded during fiscal year 2013

William & Mary set new records in fiscal year 2013 in terms of total giving and outright cash gifts.

Alumni, parents, and friends gave or committed a total of $104.3 million during the fiscal year that ended June 30, making it the most successful year for private giving in the university’s 320-year history. The previous record for total giving, which includes cash gifts, pledges and bequests, was $101.65 million in 2005 during the final year of Tim Sullivan’s presidency.

During fiscal year 2013 $70.04 million in cash gifts, which includes realized bequests, contributed to the effort. That total represents a record — topping the previous high set in 2009 by nearly $20 million. The university raised $43.6 million in cash in 2012.

“Philanthropy has never been more important to the success of colleges and universities than it is today,” said President Taylor Reveley.  “The William & Mary family has truly risen to the occasion with extraordinary generosity.”

More donors also participated during fiscal year 2013 than any other fiscal year in William & Mary’s history.  A total of 31,141 individuals, corporations and foundations made gifts to W&M during the fiscal year. Among them, 18,552 alumni made gifts, including 14,368 undergraduate alumni, or 23.9 percent of the overall undergraduate alumni body.

“Gifts of all sizes from all corners are making a significant difference for William & Mary,” said Matthew T. Lambert ’99, vice president for University Development.  Individual gifts of $250 or less collectively brought in $2.93 million for William & Mary. And more than 61 percent of William & Mary’s undergraduate Class of 2013 participated in the Senior Class Gift effort.

In addition, Lambert added, the university benefited from several large gifts during the fiscal year, including $23.9 million realized from the bequest left William & Mary by the late Walter J. Zable ’37, LL.D. ’78.

Zable’s bequest, which supports scholarships for student athletes, renovations for Zable Stadium and other uses, ranks among the single largest gifts in William & Mary history.

William & Mary also received a $10-million commitment from Hunter Jones Smith ’51 to establish the Hunter J. Smith Endowment for Freshman Seminars. The gift supports William & Mary’s freshman seminars, which are courses limited to 15 students each or less that help students develop critical thinking, writing and research skills.

William & Mary’s program for 1693 Scholars also received significant support during fiscal year 2013. These very demanding merit-based scholarships cover tuition, fees, room and board. Rob ’74 and Jean Berger Estes ’75 committed $1 million to fund the Estes Family 1693 Scholarship. Sally Gore ’56 established a $1 million Gore 1693 Scholarship. H. Thomas Watkins, III ’74, chair of the William & Mary Foundation Board of Trustees and a newly appointed member of the College’s Board of Visitors, along with his wife Wendy and their family, committed $5 million to the university, including support for the Watkins Family 1693 Scholarship, the Watkins Family Athletic Endowment and the Watkins Business Faculty Research Endowment.

“Our alumni, parents, and friends set the bar high for William & Mary in fiscal year 2013,” Lambert said. “It is imperative that we continue this momentum over the next year to make the university more accessible and an even better place to learn, teach and do meaningful research.  Truly, philanthropy provides the margin of excellence for our people and programs.”

Reveley noted that the record success occurred during a transition year in University Development. William & Mary’s fundraising department had three vice presidents over the course of 12 months. Former Vice President Sean Pieri left the university in October. Associate Vice President Earl T. Granger, III ’92, M.Ed. ’98 served as interim vice president while a search was underway. Lambert assumed responsibilities as vice president in April.

“This has been great year for everyone involved with William & Mary development,” Reveley said, “but especially our development staff.   They keep moving forward at flank speed during a time of transition when they might well have lost their focus.”