William & Mary

William & Mary receives $3 million bequest from alumna

  • Margaret Baxter Vaughan Read and Relax area
    Margaret Baxter Vaughan Read and Relax area  The Margaret Baxter Vaughan Read and Relax area features new massage chairs and a new open classroom set-up, which will provide programming in support of student success and faculty development. The area also serves as the new location of the library’s popular book collection.  
Photo - of -


William & Mary has received a $3 million gift from the estate of Margaret Baxter Vaughan ’76. Two and a half million dollars of the bequest are unrestricted funds, while $500,000 has been given to William & Mary’s Swem Library.

During her time at William & Mary, Vaughan was a member of the sorority Kappa Alpha Theta and majored in philosophy and economics. Vaughan, who lived most of her life in Franklin, Va., passed away on Oct. 19, 2010.

“William & Mary is so very grateful for this marvelous gift,” said President Taylor Reveley. “I believe Margaret had a fondness for libraries generally and for Swem in particular. She understood how vitally important libraries are to a healthy society and to excellent schools. It is especially fitting that a portion of her gift will help sustain Swem. Margaret and her generosity to William & Mary will be long remembered at her alma mater.”

Margaret Baxter Vaughan, pictured here in the 1974 Colonial Echo

To honor Vaughan’s memory, Swem Library has named its popular first floor study area after her. The Margaret Baxter Vaughan Read and Relax area features new massage chairs and a new open classroom set-up, which will provide programming in support of student success and faculty development. The area also serves as the new location of the library’s popular book collection. In addition, a portion of Vaughan’s gift will go toward supporting the future renovation of the library’s media center.

“We are honored that Margaret would support Swem Library by choosing to remember us in this thoughtful way,” said W&M Dean of University Libraries Carrie Cooper. “Gifts like Margaret’s allow us to continue to provide top-notch services and valuable spaces to our students, faculty, campus and greater Williamsburg community.”