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$10-million initiative to support Gateway program

(Williamsburg, VA) – The Board of Visitors and the College today announced a plan to increase the Gateway William and Mary Endowment to $10 million by year’s end. As part of that effort, Rector Michael K. Powell announced a commitment by Board members to provide $1 million, which will serve as a dollar-for-dollar match for money raised by the William and Mary community.

“Two months ago my colleagues on this Board made a promise to the William and Mary family — providing resources that allow the College not merely to sustain its mission, but to thrive,” said Powell, adding that the $1 million represents 100 percent participation in commitments by Board members.

“Chief among our interests is Gateway William and Mary. This program requires a substantial commitment of private monies to reach our goal — in six years helping 600 students or 10 percent of the student body with resources from the endowment,” Powell added.

Gateway William and Mary is designed for Virginia students whose household income is $40,000 or less and provides supplemental assistance when other financial aid falls short. Currently there are 175 students at William and Mary who receive Gateway funds.

In addition to the Board of Visitors challenge, Interim President Taylor Reveley announced Friday that the College has also received a bequest gift of more than $5 million from the estate of alumna Joan Jarrett Woods that will go toward the Gateway William and Mary Endowment.

Woods, who received a bachelor’s degree in library science in 1940, left the money in her will to the College to use for its greatest need. Woods, of Illinois, had a long history of providing financial support for underserved students to pursue college. For example, she previously created Project Liftoff, a mentoring program designed to assist students in Logan County, Illinois obtain a college degree. That spirit will continue through Woods’ support of William and Mary.

“Mrs. Woods’ belief in affording opportunities for young people to obtain a college degree regardless of circumstances is one echoed by the College,” Reveley said. “We are unwavering in our commitment to the success of Gateway William and Mary, which benefits both the College and the Commonwealth. With tremendous support of the Board and the generosity of Mrs. Woods, the College is now well on its way to reaching this important $10 million goal.”

With the additions of the Woods’ bequest and the Board of Visitors’ commitment, the Gateway William and Mary Endowment is approximately $8 million.

“William and Mary’s ability to remain competitive depends on programs like Gateway, which broaden our scope and allow the brightest minds to attend regardless of need,” said Powell. “It is indeed a program worth supporting.”

Media Contact: Brian Whitson, Director of News Services, 757.221.7876