Gateway challenge surpasses $10 million goal

  • GatewayThanks to an outpouring of generosity by faculty, staff, students, alumni and friends of William & Mary, the Gateway endowed fund, which supports the need-based aid initiative at the College, has surpassed its initial $10-million goal.

    Photo by Stephen Salpukas

    Gateway
Williamsburg, VA — Thanks to an outpouring of generosity by faculty, staff, students, alumni and friends of William & Mary, the Gateway endowed fund has surpassed its initial $10-million goal, the William & Mary Board of Visitors announced today. The endowed fund, now at $10.7 million, supports the critical need-based financial aid initiative Gateway William & Mary.

During last April’s Board of Visitors meeting, the Board announced an initiative to increase the Gateway William & Mary endowed fund to $10 million before the end of the calendar year. As part of that announcement, the Board issued a challenge to the College community and donated $1 million of their personal funds to be used for a dollar-for-dollar match.

Since that time, the College has received a number of gifts, including $150,000 committed by the Christopher Wren Association (CWA), a life-long learning institute based at the College and nearly $60,000 by a newly formed group of faculty and staff—Gateway Guardians. Both commitments will be equaled with previously announced matching funds from the Board of Visitors, said Michael K. Powell, Rector of the College.

“Not only did the College community come together and meet the challenge of establishing a solid footing for Gateway William & Mary, they have exceeded our own expectations,” Powell said. “In true William & Mary fashion, the College community supported this effort fully, growing the fund to provide additional resources to offer a William & Mary education regardless of need.”

Gateway William & Mary is a financial aid initiative designed for Virginia students whose household income is $40,000 or less and provides supplemental assistance when other financial aid falls short. In its third year, the initiative currently has more than 200 students at William & Mary who receive Gateway funds.

“Gateway represents an important step forward in our need-based aid program because it focuses on the students who have the most modest financial resources,” said William & Mary President Taylor Reveley. “Some people who have contributed the most to the progress of our country have begun life with the least money. It’s vital that a lack of funds not prevent otherwise qualified students from being able to attend William & Mary and enjoy the extraordinary education the College provides. Thanks to support from groups such as the Christopher Wren Association and the Gateway Guardians, attending the College has become more feasible than before for students with the greatest financial need.”

The Christopher Wren Association committed $150,000 to establish the Christopher Wren Association Gateway Endowment, which will be matched by the Board’s commitment for a total of $300,000.

“The CWA Board unanimously felt that the matching funds for this important initiative were an opportunity not to be missed,” said Susan Voigt, president of the Association. “The Board also feels that Gateway William & Mary is a program worth supporting because it offers qualified students an opportunity to receive the exceptional education they deserve, but otherwise may not have been able to pursue.”

On the heels of last spring’s announcement, members of the William and Mary faculty also  put in motion a grassroots—Gateway Guardians—campaign to support Gateway William & Mary. Through this effort the faculty has secured more than $59,000 in cash and pledges—all of which qualifies for the Board of Visitors’ match, bringing their total giving to date is $118,000.

“A surprising number of our faculty and staff donors to Gateway Guardians were once the ‘Gateway students’ of their own generation, explained George Greenia,  professor of modern languages and literature and Gateway Guardians co-chair. “We came from families struggling to make ends meet and were assisted through the generosity of others.  We’re proud to stand with the College to bring even greater diversity of life experience to our student body.”

Powell said the work to secure Gateway’s long-term future is just beginning.

“This is the beginning of this effort and not the end,” said Powell. “To compete with our academic peers in recruiting some this nation’s brightest minds, we must continue to raise substantial private monies to support. Making it possible for meritorious students without sufficient means to attend William & Mary is part of our core values.”