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For 1st time, W&M raises more than $100M in two consecutive years

For the second year running, William & Mary has raised more than $100 million to benefit all aspects of the university — from student scholarships and research to faculty salaries and support for programs, athletics, facilities and Swem Library.

Alumni, students, parents and friends contributed or pledged a total of $104.2 million during the 2014 fiscal year, which ended June 30. It builds upon the foundation of last year’s record-breaking success of $104.3 million in total giving and represents the generosity of more than 31,000 donors, including individuals, corporations and foundations all supporting the mission of the 321-year old institution.

“The generosity of the William & Mary family is extraordinary,” said President Taylor Reveley. “Gifts such as these are vital to the continued success of the university.”

“The breadth of support across the entire William & Mary family is a powerful statement to prospective students and their families, to prospective members of the faculty and staff, and to the world at large,” said Matthew T. Lambert, vice president for University Advancement. “Philanthropy on this scale sends a clear message of affirmation and support for the work being done by our faculty, staff, students, coaches and countless others at the College.”

This year’s fundraising efforts were punctuated by successful initiatives to engage greater numbers of students and alumni in giving, including the launch of One Tribe, One Day, a 24-hour giving challenge in April featuring a campus carnival, a Senior Class Gift Picnic and alumni parties in eight cities across the United States and London. More than 1,700 people across the globe gave during that daylong event, shattering the university’s record for the number of gifts made on a single day.

Efforts also included a “Tag Day” in November 2013, when many people, places and programs on the William & Mary campus that receive private support were tagged, displaying the power of private philanthropy in shaping the exceptional experiences that are hallmarks of a William & Mary education.

The range of initiatives made an impact. More than 19,340 alumni gave to the College during the 2014 fiscal year, including 15,141 undergraduate alumni.  It marks the first time in the university’s history that more than 15,000 undergraduate alumni have contributed to William & Mary during a single fiscal year — from July 1 to June 30.

Two of those alumni donors, Grace A. Martini of Cary, N.C., who graduated in May 2014, and Peter J. Brady Jr. of Staten Island, N.Y., and a 1952 graduate, reveled in news of the year-end success and the way that many people, coming together in large and small roles, can make a significant impact.

“That’s wonderful that the College surpassed the $100 million mark,” said Brady, 83, who retired in 1992 after 36 years teaching social studies. A member of the William & Mary Bell Society, Brady is one of the longest, consecutive donors to William & Mary, starting with his $10 gift in July 1967. He was among the 24.9 percent of undergraduate alumni who donated during FY2014.

“While I don’t give a lot, I give continually. It’s important, especially in these times when states everywhere are cutting back on their support of education.”

The Commonwealth of Virginia provided more than 42 percent of William & Mary’s annual operating budget in 1980. Since then, state support has dipped as low as 12 percent in recent years. State funds accounted for 13.4 percent of William & Mary’s operating budget in FY2013, making gifts by alumni, students, parents and friends the true lifeblood of the university.

Brady transferred to William & Mary on a track scholarship in his junior year from a New Jersey junior college. He said his latest gifts to William & Mary were to Tribe men’s track and to Swem Library. Twenty six percent of former Tribe athletes gave to the university during the year.

Brady also supports the Order of the White Jacket because of his membership and the scholarships it provides each year.

“William & Mary was a tough school academically,” Brady said. “But the people were wonderful and the professors were helpful. One thing I’ve always admired about the school is that so many people dedicate themselves to public service — going into the military, the government and education. It’s a unique place.”

He advised younger alumni to give to William & Mary if they can.

“It’s not an obligation, but they — like me and other graduates— received a lot of benefits while students.”

Martini understands and agrees. The former Sharpe Community Scholar studied Italian and art history for a month in Florence, Italy, with scholarship support. As Senior Class president, she played a big role in the Senior Class Gift effort, which resulted in 70 percent of William & Mary’s newest alumni — the Class of 2014 — donating. So she was ecstatic when she learned William & Mary had surpassed the $100 million mark in total gifts and commitments for the year.

“I’m so excited the Class of 2014 has contributed to the continued success of William & Mary,” Martini said. Class members gave a minimum of $10 in support of the class gift, but many tended to donate $16.93 in recognition of the year of the College’s founding charter.

Ninety percent of the graduating Law School class also made gifts to William & Mary during the year.

“Gifts of all size matter,” said Martini. During FY2014, gifts of less than $250 raised a collective $1.07 million.

Martini, a business and environmental policy double major, deferred for two years a job offered by Deloitte, a global audit, financial advisory, tax and consulting firm, while she participates in Teach for America in Memphis.

“I hope the Class of 2014 chooses to continue to invest in the value of our degree by giving back to the Tribe,” she said.