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Key Milestones in Vision 2026

Dear W&M Community,

On Monday, November 13, 2023, I hope you will join me for a campus forum to share progress on the near-term goals set out in Vision 2026. Two years into our strategic plan, we are hitting key milestones that will help secure William & Mary's distinctive position as the nation's quintessential Public Ivy: offering the most personal learning experience of any public university in the country.

Each of our four Vision 2026 cornerstones – data, water, democracy and careers – builds on the institution's strengths in the liberal arts, sciences and professional education. They expand our reach, deepen the impact of the education we offer and meet the evolving demands of excellence in the 21st century.

I hope you can join us in person at 3:30 p.m. in Miller Hall, Brinkley Commons. It will be lovely to have you participating with us.

Best regards,

Katherine A. Rowe

Data Highlights

Coordinator: Provost Peggy Agouris

This month, Provost Agouris will bring a proposal to the Board of Visitors to create a new school bringing together Computing, Data Science, Applied Science and Physics. W&M faculty brought forward this new proposal to accommodate surging student interest in these high-demand fields.

This proposal comes at an exciting moment. In October 2023, the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science announced a High Performance Data Facility hub at W&M's long-time partner Jefferson Lab — positioning William & Mary and Virginia to lead in these prominent areas.

Water Highlights

Coordinator: Dean of the School of Marine Science Derek Aday

New collaborations build on distinctive strengths in marine science, the Institute for Integrative Conservation (IIC), programs in law, policy, economics, environmental science, geoscience to advance William & Mary's leadership in coastal resilience.

  • Following a September launch, the Virginia Coastal Resilience Collaborative (VCRC) announced Thomas Ruppert, a legal expert and thought leader on sea-level rise adaptation, as assistant provost and VCRC director. A university-wide initiative, the VCRC will support leaders and policymakers with actionable research, training programs, and advisory and consulting services.
  • A partnership between W&M's Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS) and the Polynesian Voyaging Society (PVS) will combine indigenous knowledge, science and student engagement to better understand and help amplify the importance of oceans to a healthy earth.
  • The Nepal Water Initiative, a collaboration between VIMS, IIC, the Global Research Institute, and the Religious Studies department, spent the summer studying water resources in Nepal through conservation studies, geospatial analysis, political science, and fisheries science lenses.
Democracy Highlights

Coordinators: Vice President for Student Affairs Ginger Ambler & Dean of University Libraries Carrie Cooper

Civic education for the 21st century is fundamental for a great university. No institution is better positioned than William & Mary – our nation's first university – to educate students for lives as citizens in a pluralistic republic.

  • W&M welcomed new students to campus this fall with orientation sessions that teach them how to engage across differences in a pluralistic republic.
  • W&M launched a new democracy podcast this fall, hosted by Emily Tavoulareas '04, that tackles pressing issues such as AI and elections.
  • Campus leadership affirmed W&M's commitment to protected expression on campus.
Careers Highlights

Coordinator: Chief Career Officer Kathleen Powell

This year, William & Mary met our goal of providing a funded internship to every undergraduate student who sought one.

  • Since 2021, William & Mary has quadrupled the number of students who receive support for unpaid internships, and funding to support students in unfunded internships has tripled.
  • The university launched a pilot pre-major, credit-bearing internship course this summer.
  • Our new One Network platform mobilizes William & Mary's worldwide community of alumni, parents, faculty, and staff to broaden learning experiences and career pathways for graduates and support lifelong professional success.
  • Career Services implemented a staffing plan to support our students and alumni in the full life-cycle of career development and professional engagement.