The following story originally appeared in the winter 2021 issue of the W&M Alumni Magazine. - Ed.
In 1934, the William & Mary Alumni Association first recognized graduates of the university with the Alumni Medallion for their professional accomplishments, leadership, dedication to the community and commitment to their alma mater.
The Alumni Medallion is the highest and most prestigious award the William & Mary Alumni Association can bestow on a graduate of William & Mary. This award recognizes individuals who have exemplary accomplishments in their professional life, service to the community, state or nation, and loyalty and commitment to William & Mary.
Bee McLeod was a warm, spirited and generous presence in the William & Mary community. She and her husband, Goody Tyler HON ’11, have made a transformational impact for students through their philanthropy and service. Though she passed away in December 2019, her memory shines brightly at the university she loved.
“Bee McLeod was a force of nature who brought energy, passion, vision and fun to all who knew her,” says Michael W. Rawlings ’82. “She left us way too soon, yet her indomitable spirit will live on through her gifts and her legacy.”
McLeod enrolled at William & Mary at just 16 years old. After graduating as a marketing major in 1983, she began a flourishing career in the media and publishing industries, and she returned to her alma mater to graduate with her MBA in 1991. She retired in 2008 as director of network operations for Cox Communications.
Her first major gift to William & Mary was to create the business library in the new Miller Hall in honor of her parents. Though she never sought recognition for herself, her philanthropy grew to encompass all aspects of the W&M experience, including scholarships, W&M Libraries, Athletics, the Raymond A. Mason School of Business, the Alumni Association, the Alumnae Initiatives Fund and the Fund for William & Mary.
Most notably, she and Goody championed holistic wellness at William & Mary through the McLeod Tyler Wellness Center and countless other initiatives.
“I have watched with awe as Bee’s love for students was made manifest in how she and Goody supported health and wellness initiatives for our community — from endowments for recreational equipment and fitness and wellness classes to the stunning, state-of-the-art integrative wellness center that bears their names and shines in the heart of campus as a beacon to human flourishing,” says Ginger Ambler ’88, Ph.D. ’06, P ’24, vice president for student affairs. “Our students bloom more vibrantly because of Bee’s love and care for them.”
Her enthusiastic and thoughtful service to William & Mary and her community encouraged others to contribute as well. She was secretary for the W&M Foundation Board, chaired the W&M Libraries Board of Directors for four years and was on the steering committees of the For the Bold campaign and the Society of 1918. In her community, she served on the boards of the Norfolk Botanical Garden, YMCA South Hampton Roads and her high school, and she combined her strong business sense and passion for running on the board of the American Association of Running Clubs and as president of the Road Runners Club of America.
“Bee has inspired us,” says Peter Atwater ’83, P ’17, P ’20. “It isn’t just what she has done, but what she has encouraged and fostered in others. To have known Bee is to have tried to keep up with her. While we must now run without her, we do so faster, stronger and more passionately, thanks to her example.”
Bob Trice provides decades of public policy experience in private industry and government in his service to William & Mary.
After graduating from W&M with a degree in government in 1968, Trice received his master’s and Ph.D. in political science from the University of Wisconsin. He taught at The Ohio State University and then joined the Department of Defense, becoming senior defense, trade and foreign policy advisor to U.S. Sen. Dale Bumpers of Arkansas. After many years in the private sector, he retired in 2011 as senior vice president of corporate strategy and business development at Lockheed Martin. Trice is also the author of numerous works on American foreign policy and defense industrial issues.
He and his wife, Susan Saulmon Trice ’68, are tireless advocates for and generous supporters of W&M’s public policy program and the Global Research Institute (GRI). They are passionate about enhancing the university’s profile abroad and expanding crossdisciplinary opportunities for students.
“He brings tremendous wisdom and political savvy to the table,” says former W&M President Paul Verkuil ’61, D.P.S. ’18. “This is someone who is truly selfless when it comes to W&M.”
Trice uses his vast network of contacts in the D.C. policy community to connect W&M faculty with research partners and students with career development opportunities. He also takes time to mentor students and advise the directors of the public policy program and GRI. Trice served as chair of the Public Policy Advisory Board from 2009 to 2018 and is known for asking insightful questions to get to the heart of the matter.
He is active as a volunteer leader and serves on the Board of Visitors of the University of Wisconsin-Madison Department of Political Science and as vice chair of the board of The Nature Conservancy in Virginia. He also served as past treasurer for American Near East Refugee Aid (now Anera) and on the Council on Foreign Relations, among other councils and boards.
The Trices are strong advocates for the liberal arts at William & Mary and the COLL curriculum, and they were representatives for Arts & Sciences during the For the Bold campaign. They also served on the D.C. Regional Campaign Committee and co-chaired their 50th Reunion Committee, contributing to their class gift in support of William & Mary’s Monroe Scholars.
Their philanthropy has been transformational for the public policy program and GRI, as the Trices are those programs’ largest individual donors. From internships, scholarships and stipends to the Trice Fellows, the Trices also have supported experiential learning opportunities for graduate and undergraduate students in the public policy program and GRI, including GRI’s Summer Fellows program, and they sponsor the Shark Tank student research pitch competition.
“We are beneficiaries of Bob’s combination of knowledge of the institution, curiosity about the world and desire to catalyze innovation,” says Dean of the Faculty of Arts & Sciences Maria Donoghue Velleca. “His valuable perspectives and insights make a tremendous difference to us in Arts & Sciences, and collectively we are grateful to both Bob and Susan for their remarkable support of William & Mary. It is our responsibility to ensure that their trust in our work is upheld.”
Sue Warner has brought the alumni community together with her warmth, dedication and enthusiastic Tribe Pride for almost 60 years.
“Sue is the very embodiment of the William & Mary graduate whose lifelong relationship with her alma mater has strengthened the university,” says Theresa Thompson ’67, who received the Alumni Medallion in 2007.
Warner’s passion for service shone as a student, earning her the honor of the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award at graduation for her “influence for good.” Two days later, she married E. Ray Warner ’63 in the Wren Chapel. Together, they are some of the Tribe’s biggest fans, attending as many home and away games as possible and supporting the Tribe Club.
Warner worked as a teacher and then principal in local elementary schools before becoming co-founder and partner at LEAD Alliance, a consulting firm. She joined the D.C. Metro Alumni Chapter and served as its chair for two years, hosting a wide variety of events to bring local alumni together. She also chaired the Annual Fund Board (now the Annual Giving Board) for three years and served on every reunion gift committee since her 25th Reunion in 1989.
Her talent for building relationships between alumni and W&M made an impression. In 2006, Warner was hired to be a major gift officer for the Washington, D.C., area. In this role, she raised more than $21 million for William & Mary. A generous giver herself, she and Ray contribute to the university as members of the Green & Gold Society and founding members of the Robert Boyle Legacy Society.
From 2014 until she retired in January 2019, Warner used her extensive experience as a volunteer leader in a new role as director of volunteer management for the Office of University Advancement, providing support and guidance to key volunteer leadership boards, identifying and stewarding volunteer candidates, and aligning volunteers with appropriate engagement opportunities.
Warner has “deep pride and satisfaction in being a member of the Tribe ... abiding concern for the welfare of other members of the William & Mary family and delight in their company,” says President Emeritus W. Taylor Reveley, III LL.D. ’18, HON ’18. “I have watched her in action for many years and seen, in living color, her dedication to William & Mary and her tireless efforts for the good of her alma mater.”
Service in the Williamsburg community is also a big part of her life. She is a board member and parishioner at Bruton Parish Church and a volunteer for Community of Faith Mission. She also continues to be active in the W&M community, leading the W&M Pi Beta Phi Sorority Chapter House Corp. as chair and overseeing the house’s renovation. She is a charter member of the Society of 1918 and was instrumental in the society’s creation. As a member of Canterbury, the Episcopal church at W&M, she mentors students and connects them with career opportunities.
“Sue has developed lifelong friendships and deep relationships with countless William & Mary students. They have truly become members of Sue’s family,” says Donnan Chancellor Wintermute ’69. “She is loved and respected by all.”
Sharon Philpott is an accomplished leader who values the importance of international experiences and an ability to navigate diverse cultures. Caring and service-oriented, she gives of her time, talent and treasure to open the doors
to the world to W&M students, particularly through the Hispanic studies program.
“Sharon is an understated achiever who modestly helps others and promotes good in this world,” says Barbara Pate Glacel ’70, P ’98, P ’02, who received the Alumni Medallion in 2001.
After graduating from William & Mary with an accounting degree in 1985, Philpott embarked on a successful accounting career that led her to become the first female expat partner in EY’s Buenos Aires office. There, she worked with large clients like Walmart, AOL, Verizon and Telecom Argentina, while also volunteering with at-risk and underprivileged children through the local charitable organization La Casa de Elena, teaching English and organizing field trips. She now serves as chair of the Nominating and Governance Committee on the Board of Directors for REI, Inc.
In 2010, Philpott established the Philpott and Marta Perez Faculty-Student Research Endowment, named after an Argentinian friend and Spanish teacher. This endowment has enabled students and faculty to travel to the Dominican Republic, Spain, Nicaragua and Cuba, as well as to archives in the United States, to conduct field research on a range of topics. It was the Hispanic studies program’s first endowment and was soon joined by additional generous gifts from Philpott and her husband, Stephen G. Finn, to support scholarships and visiting professors.
“Faculty colleagues join us in asserting that no single individual has, in the past decade, done more to transform our program and enhance the learning of our students than Sharon Philpott,” says Silvia R. Tandeciarz, director and professor of Hispanic studies, and Ann Marie Stock, vice provost and professor of Hispanic studies and film & media studies, in a joint statement. “She was a pioneer in recognizing the program’s potential for bold innovation in interdisciplinary study, internationalization and faculty-student inquiry — three pillars of William & Mary’s mission.”
Additionally, Philpott supports scholarships for students from Southwest Virginia through the Patricia P. Philpott Scholarship Fund, which she established in memory of her mother. She also supports alumnae initiatives as a Charter member of the Society of 1918.
Despite the demands of her career, she finds time to mentor students from a variety of majors through LinkedIn and the Cohen Career Center. She is also a member of the Advisory Board for the Reves Center for International Studies and now serves as its chair. Though she lives on the West Coast, she has never missed a meeting.
“Sharon is simply a joy to work with — an insightful contributor to our discussions, a team player who is always willing to pitch in with extra work when needed, and a warm presence who makes everyone on the board feel comfortable and respected,” says Steve Hanson, vice provost for international affairs and director of the Reves Center. “She is a brilliant and highly accomplished professional, a wonderfully generous supporter of her alma mater, and an inspirational leader.”