City of Petersburg

In late 2005, William & Mary conducted a review of its outreach activities to identify regions that lagged the Commonwealth in economic indicators and might benefit from collaboration. Following that review, the College approached the City of Petersburg and the Phoenix Project, a non-profit organization, to propose a community and economic development partnership. The selection of Petersburg by a steering committee of William & Mary staff and faculty was driven by three primary factors:  Petersburg's size was deemed appropriate for the planned engagement; the community faced significant challenges; and William and Mary had an affiliation with Richard Bland College in Petersburg. The partnership offered Petersburg access to significant resources for revitalization and the College new opportunities for its administrators, faculty, and students, as well as an opportunity to satisfy the specific restructuring obligation of engaging a community that "lags the Commonwealth in education, income, employment, and other factors." William and Mary saw a partnership with the Phoenix Project as a way of leveraging other resources, building a sustained effort, reducing administrative overhead, and ensuring close consultation with various community groups.

News, Updates, Reports and Presentations
W&M to Celebrate MLK With Week of Learning, Serving

Hosted by the Office of Community Engagement, the Petersburg service-learning trip began Sunday with an orientation to the history of the city. Aileen Aylward, the VISTA for the William & Mary-Petersburg Partnership, said that the students heard from local leaders who have personally experienced "working with social movements and inequality, both in King's era and today."

Students celebrate MLK with day of serving and learning
"Approximately 45 students partnered with non-profit organizations Habitat for Humanity, ElderHomes and Pathways during the day of service, assisting with home-building projects, tree planting and shower installation."

School of Education to Research Literacy
"William & Mary's School of Education has received a grant for $152,500 from the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia to help fund middle school literacy efforts."

Students serve with governor on MLK Day
"Former Virginia Gov. Timothy M. Kaine worked side-by-side with William & Mary students on a Tri-Cities Habitat for Humanity project in Petersburg."