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'One Tribe One Day' encourages community to support William & Mary

  • One Tribe One Day
    One Tribe One Day
    The 24-hour giving challenge aims to celebrate the wide-ranging impact of private support and encourage philanthropy among all members of the university community.

Tuition alone does not cover the full cost of a William & Mary education. Ryan Marchbank ’15 is working to educate fellow students about that fact and about the profound impact of private giving at the university.  

“Philanthropy is a way for us to allow future members of the Tribe to have similar and better experiences,” said Marchbank, who is president of Tribe4Tomorrow, a student-led organization that works with the Office of University Development to teach about and encourage philanthropy among current students.

Tribe4Tomorrow will play a prominent role on Thursday when William & Mary hosts One Tribe One Day, a 24-hour giving challenge, to celebrate the wide-ranging impact of private support and to encourage philanthropy among all members of the university community.

A carnival and Senior Class Gift Picnic are among the events celebrating and acknowledging the importance of philanthropy that are planned for the Williamsburg campus. Alumni groups in Northern Virginia, Boston, Chicago, Houston, London, New York City, Richmond, San Francisco and Virginia Beach also will be celebrating One Tribe One Day with events aimed at getting more alumni engaged and involved with their alma mater.

 Donors everywhere can visit the university’s newly launched giving website — www.wm.edu/giving — to participate in the day of giving and to learn more about and support the areas that they find most meaningful and impactful. The new site is user-friendly so that donors can explore the priorities, initiatives and programs of greatest interest to them.

“The generous support of alumni, students, parents, faculty, staff and friends is essential to William & Mary’s ability to provide the one-of-a-kind experiences that define the university,” said President Taylor Reveley.

“William & Mary will thrive in its 321st year and beyond through the sustained generosity of the university community,” Reveley said. “Philanthropy will play an increasingly significant role in William & Mary’s future.”

Marchbank said helping students realize that financial aid, Tribe Athletics and even some of their favorite professors all are supported by private giving is important.

“Our club rugby team’s jerseys and equipment were paid for by private donations,” Marchbank said. “Three or four team alumni who returned for Homecoming saw how bad our jerseys looked and they put up money so that even the substitutes could have new jerseys. Now we can better represent the school when we have games on Saturdays,” he said.

Marchbank also has benefited from the internationally renowned speakers who have been brought to campus thanks to the generosity of private donors. During his sophomore year, he attended the talk by the Dalai Lama in October 2012, and he will be attending the talk by Maya Angelou on April 15 at William & Mary Hall. Both events were supported in large part by private gifts.

“These are once-in-a-lifetime opportunities,” Marchbank said. “I can’t think of another time I’d be able to see the Dalai Lama. I am honored to hear these speakers and glad they have come here.” 

“One Tribe One Day is a significant step forward in our efforts to build a culture of lifelong engagement and philanthropy at William & Mary, especially among students and the more mobile generations,” said Matthew T. Lambert ’99, vice president for University Development.

Even as a William & Mary student, Lambert recognized the importance of private giving to the university. He was a member of the Senior Class Gift Committee and served as president of the Student Advancement Association, both of which raised money to support various efforts at William & Mary.

“The course of my life was fundamentally changed at William & Mary,” Lambert said, noting the impact private gifts can have on the educational opportunities and futures of students.

Lambert noted that gifts of all sizes make a difference at William & Mary. Last fiscal year, individual gifts of $250 or less collectively brought in nearly $3 million for the university.

“No matter the size, your gift sends a powerful message about the value of a William & Mary education and, ultimately, has a great impact on the quality of people the university can attract,” Lambert said.

One Tribe One Day participants can track progress with the challenge at www.wm.edu/giving and spread the word and track the day’s events via William & Mary’s Facebook and Twitter accounts using #onetribeoneday.