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Governor announces appointments to the W&M Board of Visitors

  • Board appointments
    Board appointments  Lynn M. Dillon '75, Deronda M. Short '78 and H. Thomas Watkins III '74 will join Judge John C. Thomas as appointees to the William & Mary Board of Visitors, Gov. Bob McDonnell announced Friday.  Photo by Stephen Salpukas
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Lynn M. Dillon ’75, DeRonda M. Short, J.D. ‘78 and H. Thomas Watkins III ’74 will join The Honorable John Charles Thomas as appointees to the William & Mary Board of Visitors, Gov. Bob McDonnell announced Friday.

Dillon, a financial consultant and former banking executive; Short, a private attorney in Newport News; and Watkins, current chair of the William & Mary Foundation Board of Trustees, were appointed as new members to the Board. They replace Dennis H. Liberson ’78, Michael Tang ’76 and Jeffrey B. Trammell ’73. Trammell just completed his second term on the Board, including two years as Rector.

Thomas, a partner at Hunton & Williams law firm and former justice on the Supreme Court of Virginia, was reappointed to his second full term on the Board.

“It’s marvelous that Justice Thomas is returning to our Board. He has played a very significant part in the life of William & Mary for many years,” said President Taylor Reveley. “We also welcome the Board’s new members, Lynn Dillon, DeRonda Short and Tom Watkins. I look forward to working with them for the good of William & Mary. With the arrival of new members, there is always the departure of those who have been serving. Saying goodbye is never easy. Our Rector, Jeff Trammell, leaves the Board after extraordinary service to the College. Dennis Liberson and Michael Tang leave as well, and their contributions have been extensive and quite telling. Jeff, Dennis and Michael have our profound gratitude.”

The newly appointed Board members will serve four-year terms beginning immediately.

“It has been a real pleasure to serve with Dennis Liberson, Michael Tang and my predecessor as Rector, Jeff Trammell,” said Todd Stottlemyer ‘85, who began his two-year term as Rector at William & Mary on July 1. “All served with great distinction and will be missed. I join President Reveley in welcoming back Judge Thomas to the Board and in congratulating Lynn Dillon, DeRonda Short, and Tom Watkins on their appointment.”

Lynn M. Dillon ’75

Dillon, of McLean, Va., received her undergraduate degree in history from William & Mary. She received her MBA from George Washington University. Dillon works as a consultant with expertise in financial restructurings, corporate banking and sales management. Previously, she completed a 25-year career in corporate securities and multinational banking, primarily with Bank One/The First National Bank of Chicago. At the time of her retirement, she was serving as senior vice president for the Eastern States Multinational Banking Department.

Dillon is involved in numerous civic organizations, including Guiding Eyes for the Blind, Achievement Rewards for College Scientists, Boys and Girls Club, ChildHelp and the Joffrey Ballet.

She is currently a member of the William & Mary Foundation Board of Trustees. Previously, Dillon served on the W&M Alumni Association Board of Directors where she served as president, vice president and treasurer. She has also served on the Fund for William & Mary Board, where she chaired the Alumni Volunteer Committee and served on the Executive Committee.

In 2009, Dillon received the Alumni Medallion, the highest honor a graduate can receive from William & Mary.

John Charles Thomas

Thomas is a partner at the Hunton & Williams law firm in Richmond, Va., where he is chief of the appellate practice group and also handles general litigation, mediation and arbitration. In 1983, Thomas was appointed to the Supreme Court of Virginia where he served for seven years.

He is a member of the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne, Switzerland, a trustee of the Thomas Jefferson Foundation at Monticello and vice chair of the Virginia Capitol Foundation. Thomas, who received his bachelor's degree with distinction and his law degree from the University of Virginia, also lectures at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.

Thomas, who also served as a member of William & Mary’s Commission on the Tercentenary Observance, was first appointed to the W&M Board of Visitors in 2006 to fill an unexpired term. He was reappointed in 2009 and currently serves on the Executive Committee, and as chair of the Committee on Audit and Compliance and vice chair of the Committee on Student Affairs.

DeRonda M. Short, J.D. ’78

Short, of Williamsburg, is an attorney in private practice in Newport News.  She earned her undergraduate degree in political science (cum laude) from Christopher Newport College (now Christopher Newport University) in 1975 and her J.D. from William & Mary Law School in 1978.  Prior to opening her own law firm in 2006, Short was a partner in Short, Short, Telstad & Kerr in Newport News, specializing in workers compensation law; domestic relations law; and personal injury law. She serves as Commissioner in Chancery for the Seventh Judicial Circuit as well as a guardian ad litem. Short is a member of the Virginia State Bar, Virginia Bar Association, the American Bar Association, and served as president of the Newport News Bar Association, the first woman to do so.  Active in many civic and business-related organizations, she served on the Christopher Newport College Board of Visitors from 1979 to 1983. She holds the Mace Award from Christopher Newport College for outstanding service as a board member.

H. Thomas Watkins III ‘74

Watkins, of Lake Forest, IL, currently serves as chair of the William & Mary Foundation Board of Trustees. He received his undergraduate degree in business administration and accounting from William & Mary and his MBA from the University of Chicago. His father, Hays Watkins, was a member of the Board from 1984 to 1993, and served as Rector from 1987 to 1993.

At William & Mary, Tom Watkins was a member of the Tribe football team and also participated in a number of student activities, including membership in Alpha Phi Omega service fraternity and Order of the White Jacket.

He went on to a distinguished career in health sciences and services. Watkins served as president and chief executive officer at Human Genome Sciences from 2004 to 2012. Previously, he served as president of TAP Pharmaceutical Products and worked for Abbott Laboratories in a number of positions in the pharmaceutical products, diagnostics and health systems divisions.

In addition to being chair of the foundation, Watkins is a board member of the William & Mary Business School Foundation and serves on the School of Business Advisory Board.