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William & Mary Washington Center establishes advisory board

  • Members of the board pose for a photo together on a sunny patio
    Advisory Board:  The board includes 13 alumni as members and five alumni and staff as ex-officio members.  Courtesy photo
  • Members of the board sit around tables arranged in a rectangle
    Advisory Board:  The board met for the first time in March.  Courtesy photo
  • Elliot Ayres '18 speaks to the board members
    Advisory Board:  Elliot Ayres '18 (center) spoke to the board as part of a student panel.  Courtesy photo
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The William & Mary Washington Center has formed an advisory board to provide strategic guidance for the center’s programs, furthering their positive impact on students, faculty and alumni.

The board, which includes 13 alumni as members and five alumni and staff as ex-officio members, met for the first time in March. W&M President Katherine A. Rowe will speak at the group’s next meeting Sept. 5 in Washington, D.C.

The board will support the existing Study in DC student opportunities while exploring ways to engage with alumni and expand connections among members of the William & Mary community. The board will also advise the Washington Center on ways to embrace William & Mary’s innovation goals by creating cutting-edge programs for students and alumni.

Board members are expected to serve as ambassadors for the center and university, sharing their passion for each with others and advocating for support. That may include identifying potential donors or asking alumni, friends and colleagues to serve as speakers, host site visits, provide internship opportunities or volunteer as mentors and career advisors for the center’s Study in DC opportunities. All of the board’s gifts and fundraising efforts go to support the Study in DC Scholarship Fund.

“The W&M Washington Center has been serving students since its first academic program started in 2006,” said Roxane Adler Hickey, interim director of the center. “As the opportunities to study in D.C. have grown, so has the need to support the increasing number of students who want to participate. 

“Our incredible, dedicated inaugural board members are working to increase the number and diversity of alumni who engage with our students and to increase scholarship opportunities to allow greater accessibility for every student who wants to study in D.C. Their work is only just beginning, but their impact is immediate. We are so grateful for the efforts of our philanthropic board members and look forward to adding new board members in the spring.”

Molly Wolff '98, a real estate agent with Compass with over 10 years of experience representing clients in Northern Virginia and D.C., serves as chair of the board. A marketing major at W&M, Wolff has remained closely connected to the university, volunteering with the school in a number of roles and working closely with the Washington Center.

The other inaugural board members have also remained supportive of their alma mater since graduating. They include: Christopher Bright '87, Nataki Corneille '97, Colin Danly '15, Eva DeBella '08, Matthew Erpelding M.B.A. '18, Gay Hee Lee '99, Tom Moyer '08, J.D. '12, Harrison Roday '13, Anne Pennewell Sharp '82, Kayla Sharpe '17, Zakiya Thomas '02 and Scott Wilkinson '94, M.B.A. '99.

The ex officio members of the board are Doug Bunch '02, J.D. '06, a member of the Board of Visitors; Nicole Fratianne, senior director, D.C. Metro regional advancement; Tonya Nations, director of public service careers for the Cohen Career Center; Michael Steelman, director of alumni career management and professional networks; and Drew Stelljes Ph.D. '07, Study in DC faculty and assistant vice president for student affairs. More information on each member of the board is available on the Washington Center website.

“Volunteering with the Washington Center has given me a unique opportunity to work directly with and impact the lives of William & Mary students,” said Wolff. “I have been overwhelmed by the stories from former students about the personal growth and professional opportunities coming out of the program. The D.C. experience opens up the world, and our goal is to make this possible for all students.”

The Washington Center is currently accepting nominations for the next group of board members, who will serve three year terms beginning July 2020 with the eligibility to serve three consecutive terms. Contact Adler Hickey at or Danly at for more information or to submit a nomination.