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Area couple commits $1 million to W&M recreation sports

  • Rec Sports support
    Rec Sports support  (Left to right) Linda Knight, director of recreational sports; Ginger Ambler, vice president for student affairs; Goody Tyler; Bee McLeod; President Taylor Reveley; and Mark Constantine, assistant vice president of student affairs.  Courtesy photo
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The College of William & Mary today announced a commitment of $1 million for the purchase and maintenance of recreational equipment. Bee McLeod '83, M.B.A. '91 and Goody Tyler, of Norfolk, Va., have gifted $900,000 to establish the J. Goodenow Tyler, III Recreational Sports Endowment and an additional $100,000 for general use funding that will also support the purchase and maintenance of recreational equipment at the College.

"William & Mary students are not just academically engaged, they're also heavily into physical fitness and sports -- varsity, club and intramural.  Indeed, over 80 percent of our students are very active physically.  Thus, it's crucial that the College provide programs and facilities that nurture this part of the undergraduate experience," said President Taylor Reveley. "Against this background, the gift from Goody Tyler and Bee McLeod is vitally important.  It will greatly enhance our capacity to maintain William & Mary's recreational equipment and purchase new equipment."

McLeod and Tyler, both runners who believe in the value of healthy living, decided to make the commitment after learning that many students use the College's Recreation Center or participate in some type of recreational activity.

"William & Mary is a great place, but it is academically demanding," said Tyler. "That is why providing students with a high-quality recreation program is especially important. Anytime you can burn off stress in a productive way, you're going to have healthy results."

According to Linda Knight, director of recreational sports at the College, 80-85 percent of the student body participates in recreational activities - there are seven different sports that encompass nearly 500 teams, and 45 different sports clubs.

"We are very appreciative of Bee and Goody's gift to recreational sports at William & Mary," said Knight. "The funding will help us improve recreational activities, maintain and purchase equipment, and keep student fees at a minimum. Their gift is also a substantial vote of confidence for our staff."

McLeod and Tyler's generosity toward William & Mary is nothing new. In 2008, they committed $2.5 million to the College's Swem Library and Mason School of Business Library. Of that gift, $1.5 million supported the library's first named position, the Marian and Alan McLeod Director of the Special Collections Research Center - established in honor of McLeod's parents. The remaining $1 million established the Elizabeth "Bee" McLeod Business Library, which provides patrons with access to electronic and print business research resources, as well as research assistance by a professional business librarian.

Their most recent gift in support of recreational activities honors Tyler - and the strong connection he has established with William & Mary.