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William & Mary bolsters alumni engagement in NY region

  • New York launch
    New York launch  William & Mary President Taylor Reveley (c) with Alumni Association Board Member Molly Ashby '81 (l) and Alumni Association President David Kelley '81 along with John '92 and Holly '93 Simmons (r) at the launch of the W&M Club in New York City. The William & Mary Club is part of the Princeton Club in Manhattan.  Photo by Bobbi Pitts
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In an effort to bolster a culture of engagement and philanthropy in the Northeast region, the university has opened a satellite advancement office in Manhattan and established the William & Mary Club located at the Princeton Club of New York. With approximately 10,000 alumni in the New York region and the potential of thousands more visiting the area over the course of a year, an increased presence in the area represents an opportunity for alumni to connect with one another like never before.

The opening of the New York regional office comes on the heels of William & Mary establishing offices in Washington, D.C., and hiring advancement staff on the ground in California. Renee Davis ’94, managing director of regional advancement, and Craig Anzalone ‘94, director of regional advancement, have been charged with developing, implementing and leading engagement efforts with alumni, parents, corporations and foundations in the Northeast.  

“The establishment of an office and club in New York City will help strengthen ties with alumni and friends who live in the Big Apple or travel there,” said William & Mary President Taylor Reveley. “Getting both in place is a serious step forward for the university.”

The William & Mary Club offers many benefits to alumni, parents and faculty members who live in or travel to New York City. The Club has state-of-the-art facilities for hosting special networking events and other social engagements. It also offers discounted hotel room rates, a fitness center and international squash courts, a library and business center as well as formal and informal dining options. For more information about the benefits of a William & Mary Club membership, please contact the Club here .

“As a New Yorker and William & Mary alumnus, I am thrilled the university has extended its branches to the Big Apple,” said David Kelley ’81, president of the William & Mary Alumni Association’s Board of Directors. “This will undoubtedly enhance William & Mary’s footprint in the New York region.”  

Nearly 200 alumni living in the New York metropolitan area celebrated the inaugural opening of the William & Mary Club and participated in the university’s annual Yule Log tradition. They joined Reveley, Vice President for University Advancement Matthew T. Lambert ’99 and staff from the New York office in throwing sprigs of green into a bowl that was transported to William & Mary so the sprigs could be thrown on the burning Yule log during the campus ceremony on Dec. 13.

“It is a magical time of year in New York City and what better way to celebrate the season and to connect with fellow alumni than to honor the annual Yule Log tradition, said Renee Davis. “This is the start of a whole new level of engagement for our alumni community and the Club will serve as the central location to connect with one another.”

The William & Mary Yule Log tradition began in the 1930s, when former Dean of Women Grace Landrum introduced the ceremony on campus. The tradition originated with German tribes in northern Europe as part of their winter festival and was later adopted by the first colonists in America. Each part of the Yule Log ceremony has meaning based on ancient superstitions. The sprig of green, for example, symbolized the woes of last year and is cast on the fire to banish those woes forever.

“We have so much to celebrate this holiday season and we at William & Mary couldn’t be more thankful for the generosity that has been shown during the past year,” Lambert said.  “As the year comes to an end, we should reflect on the extraordinary gifts that have been given to help create future leaders and look ahead to all that is possible as we seek to fulfill our bold vision around alumni engagement and philanthropy.”