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Mason School honors Watkins family for leadership

The College of William and Mary and The Mason School of Business recognized two longtime friends and supporters, Hays T. Watkins Jr. LLD ’82 and his son H. Thomas Watkins III ’74, for their leadership and support to the College totaling more than $4.5 million over three decades. A reception in their honor was held on September 28 during the College’s Family Weekend celebration. Dean Lawrence B. Pulley (l to r), Hays T. Watkins, Jr., Gene R. Nichol and Franklin E. Robeson.

William and Mary President Gene R. Nichol and Mason School of Business Dean Lawrence B. Pulley acknowledged three generations of the Watkins family for their significant impact on the College. Hays and Tom have fully endowed the Hays T. Watkins Professorship held by Economics and Finance Professor Franklin E. (Bud) Robeson, representing a $2.5 million investment in endowed faculty support.

Earlier this year the family pledged an additional $765,000 in support of The Mason School’s future home, Alan B. Miller Hall. The third floor of this building will be named the Watkins Faculty Center in appreciation for their partnership. The Watkins are also strong believers in providing annual operating support to be used at the College’s discretion, and they have been extremely generous to athletics and the Fund for William and Mary in addition to business. 

“When we think of institutions that have touched our family, it is hard to find anything that is more important to us than William and Mary,” Tom said. 

Their leadership at the College has been equally impressive. Hays, Chairman Emeritus of CSX Corporation, served as a member and Chairman of the School of Business Foundation Board from 1976-1985. He served on the College’s Board of Visitors as Rector from 1987-1993. In 1984, in recognition for his distinguished leadership of the CSX Corporation, the faculty of The Mason School of Business awarded Hays the prestigious Clarke Medallion, the School’s highest honor.

Tom, a 1974 alumnus of the School’s Bachelor’s of Business Administration program, is President and CEO of Human Genome Sciences, Inc.  He serves on the William and Mary Business School Foundation Board as well as the William and Mary Foundation Board.  Tom and his wife, Wendy, have three children, two of whom will claim William and Mary as their alma mater. In August, their son, Hays IV, moved into Yates Hall, his freshman dorm and formerly his father’s dorm.  Their daughter, Catherine, is a 2005 graduate of the College. Their third child, Caroline, is a 2007 graduate of Georgetown University.