Last week, William & Mary celebrated its $1 billion For the Bold campaign in California against the backdrop of the iconic Santa Monica Pier Ferris Wheel shining brightly in green and gold — in honor of the nearly 7,100 alumni, parents and friends living in the Golden State. From Los Angeles to San Francisco, the university showcased the impact of private support on scholarships, innovative research and opportunities for students to lead in their communities, the nation and the world.
“It was great to see an iconic California landmark illuminated in green and gold as we gathered with our loyal alumni, parents and friends in the Golden State,” said William & Mary President Taylor Reveley. “William & Mary is writing a new chapter in its 324-year history in our For the Bold campaign. We are focused on what we seek to become, not simply what we want to maintain. Private support is crucial to our capacity to realize the great opportunities ahead."
The Los Angeles and San Francisco celebrations occurred on March 17 and March 18, respectively. During the events, William & Mary announced that it has raised more than $680 million since the start of the campaign, including more than $66 million in the Western region alone. The university aims to raise a total of $80 million in the region, in addition to achieving 40 percent alumni giving participation and strengthening alumni engagement.
The celebrations were hosted by Alba Tull and Thomas Tull — in Los Angeles — and honorary alumni Patty Martin and Eff W. Martin — in San Francisco — who are all parents of William & Mary students. Currently, there are 134 students from California attending the university.
“Over a half-century ago, there were only a handful of William & Mary grads on the West Coast, but that number has increased significantly over the past few decades — and I can’t wait to see that number grow exponentially in the decades ahead,” said Glenne Hines Harding ’65, co-chair of For the Bold in the Western region. "For the Bold pushes the boundaries of excellence and offers a unique opportunity for the Tribe family in the western part of the country to be part of a bold movement; a movement that will impact so many academically gifted students, and first-rate faculty and coaches who will strengthen our collective legacy of achievement for generations to come."
California was chosen as the second regional celebration of the For the Bold campaign. To date, nearly 2,500 donors in California have made approximately 9,300 gifts and commitments — of all sizes — to the campaign.
In the Golden State alone, there are many prominent and distinguished alumni who are in leadership positions in their fields. Among the long and growing list is Caitlin Smallwood ’88, vice president of science and algorithms at Netflix; Cindy Davis ’80, Susan O’Day M.B.A. ’85 and Andrew Sugerman ’93 — all executive vice presidents at The Walt Disney Company; Jane Horvath ’86, senior director of global privacy at Apple; Tom Rowland ’84, executive vice president of film and television music at Universal Studios; as well as Jean Shuler ’63, deputy division leader at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.
“I love seeing William & Mary in California and I am thrilled to have had such an enthusiastic reception here,” said Audra Lynn Mallow ’90, co-chair of For the Bold in the Western region and founder and principal of investment management firm Long Course Capital, LLC. “As a trustee on the College of William & Mary Foundation board, I have been privileged to be part of the campaign from its inception. The concept of ‘bold’ for William & Mary is something that we had to embrace in our own way. This ‘bold’ is not in any way boastful or loud. It is confident, proud and conceptually the ideal way to announce that William & Mary is raising the bar on our already extensive and impressive accomplishments. This campaign is both leading the university into the future, and following its storied traditions to maintain all that is most special about alma mater."
Mallow and Harding both spoke at the celebrations, following remarks from Evan Cunningham ’16 — a scholarship recipient and graduate of William & Mary who is now a composer and producer in Los Angeles. Cunningham credits his alma mater and the scholarships he received for allowing him to focus on his passion for music — and giving him the skills and support to pursue his professional goals.
“William & Mary has a long and proud history, but future chapters of our history depend greatly on the women and men who share a desire to see the Alma Mater of the Nation thrive,” said Sue Hanna Gerdelman ’76, chair of the For the Bold campaign. “Never before have we been so united — from the East Coast to the West Coast and beyond — behind a singular cause of changing the future trajectory of so many extraordinary lives. This is powerful. This will change lives forever.”
William & Mary will be making its mark on the West Coast once again on One Tribe One Day — the university’s annual giving day — on March 28, 2017. Several events will be taking place that day in California and all alumni, parents and friends are welcome. To find an event near you, please click here.