We are facing again the legacy of our country’s founding, that did not recognize the full humanity of all peoples. African Americans in our communities are asking, in this moment, do you recognize my full humanity? We do. We will face this with you.”
— President Katherine A. Rowe
Dear Fellow Alumni:
These words, by President Katherine Rowe, urge reflection and action. In this moment, William & Mary is called to condemn the violation of individual rights, to name our grief and outrage for the killings of African American citizens, and to stand together in support of peaceful protest www.wm.edu/standingtogether. We strive to create an atmosphere of belonging, respect and integrity so that all members of the W&M community can flourish. Our shared experience at William & Mary required us to listen, to engage in thoughtful yet sometimes difficult conversations and to seek to understand. Together, we are all stewards of W&M's values.
We are united in pain over the racial and social injustices that prevail and that have been underscored by recent actions and events in our country. In our vision statement, the William & Mary Alumni Association commits itself to “advance William & Mary, serve the diverse and evolving needs of each member of our global alumni community, and create opportunities to strengthen bonds between each other and alma mater for all time coming.”
But words are not enough. While opportunities for our alumni to participate in important conversations involving racial and social injustice are already underway, we recognize we need to do more. In May 2019 we established a new team within the alumni engagement staff that is solely focused on our underrepresented communities. Over the past year, we have been engaged in listening and learning tours and have established leadership circles bringing together volunteer alumni leaders who identify as Black, African American, LGBTQ+ and LatinX. These discussions have been inspiring and compelling and have informed our thinking as to how we best meet the needs of our alumni. Our goal is to engage and inspire all alumni to be part of the solution, enabling us to realize our vision together.
In the coming weeks, more opportunities have been established for our alumni to engage in dialogue that will lend support to those who have been most deeply impacted and will bring together all alumni who are committed to a better future. You will find the calendar of WMAA events here. We welcome your feedback at [[ideas]].
An association is a group uniting in common purpose. Our call to action is for all members of the William & Mary Alumni Association to unite in the common purpose of embodying W&M values and “recognizing the full humanity of all peoples” beyond the red brick walls of campus. Let us open our hearts and minds and be the agents of change the Alma Mater of the Nation can and should be.
Carla Shaffer Moreland '81, J.D. '84
President, William & Mary Alumni Association Board of Directors
Marilyn Ward Midyette ’75
Chief Executive Officer, William & Mary Alumni Association