William & Mary alumnus George Srour '05 recently received $500,000 from the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) for his international social-profit organization Building Tomorrow, which builds educational academies for children in sub-Saharan Africa.
Former President Bill Clinton announced the gift last week during CGI’s annual meeting in New York City. The $500,000 will go toward Building Tomorrow’s “commitment to action” goal of building 60 academies, training 450 educators and providing educational access to 15,000 children.
“Somehow when he was a young man George Srour found Uganda, and he never let it go, and I am profoundly grateful,” said Clinton.
Srour actually “found Uganda” while he was William & Mary student. He spent a summer working with the World Food Program in the country, and soon after started the “Christmas in Kampala” campaign.
During that campaign, Srour raised nearly $45,000 dollars that he was able to use to have a school built in Kampala, Uganda.
Building Tomorrow was founded in 2006 as a continuation of the Christmas in Kampala campaign. Since then, the organization has built seven academies in Uganda. This past July, Clinton and his daughter Chelsea visited the Building Tomorrow Academy of Gita.
The $500,000 that Building Tomorrow received last week from CGI is the largest single gift that the organization has ever received.
“I know our team, collectively, feels incredibly grateful for such a large gift,” said Srour. “It’s been made by members of the delegation that came to Uganda with President Clinton this past July and saw our work first-hand and are committed to seeing us expand our reach and strengthen our model.”
Srour added that he knows that with the gift, “the stakes are raised, responsibility grows and the possibilities seem more and more endless.
“I'm very much looking forward to expanding our vision and listening to our Uganda team and the communities we're serving to figure out how best we can continue to grow both stateside and abroad.”
Although Srour graduated from William & Mary seven years ago, support for Building Tomorrow is still going strong on the Williamsburg campus. W&M hosts a student chapter for Building Tomorrow, which is currently led by former Building Tomorrow intern Estelle Rousseau ’14 and Katie Robinson ’14.
The two said that they were very excited to see Building Tomorrow get the gift from CGI and national attention.
“We’re so proud to know that George Srour is a William & Mary alumnus and that Building Tomorrow began here,” they said. “This speaks volumes about our school.”