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2021 News Stories

Plastic bottles float among reeds in a marsh
VIMS partners with JASON Learning for Beyond the Plastic Bottle Challenge

William & Mary's Virginia Institute of Marine Science has partnered with JASON Learning for the Beyond the Plastic Bottle Challenge, an educational activity in which teams of students create a sustainable plan that reduces the debris associated with one source of microplastic pollution in their community.

A logo that shows a mortarboard cap and says Insight into Diversity Higher Education Excellence in Diversity Award Top Colleges for Diversity
4 years in a row: W&M receives Higher Education Excellence in Diversity Award

INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine has once again selected William & Mary to receive one of its Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) awards. Some of the initiatives that helped W&M receive this year’s award are included in the Office of Diversity & Inclusion’s annual report, which was published online today.

Musicians and dancer in costume
Variety of arts is on offer at W&M for fall

A full slate of performances, writing talks and exhibitions open to the university and local communities is planned for the fall at William & Mary.

A person wearing a mask with flowers on it looks into a microscope
VIMS launches new Professional Master of Arts program in marine science

William & Mary's Virginia Institute of Marine Science has launched its new Professional Master of Arts program, welcoming seven Master of Arts students along with 24 others seeking Master of Science and Ph.D. degrees.

A person wearing headphones sits at a computer
W&M’s business school gains momentum with new esports & marketing course

The popularity of the esports industry has garnered much attention over how esports functions from a business perspective. This summer, professors Sailesh Patel and Karen Conner brought this discussion to the Raymond A. Mason School of Business by spearheading the Esports & Marketing course.

A person in a scuba suit under water
CERF honors Orth with Lifetime Achievement Award

The Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation has chosen emeritus professor Robert “JJ” Orth of William & Mary’s Virginia Institute of Marine Science as a joint recipient of its 2021 Odum Award for Lifetime Achievement, along with Ken Heck of the University of South Alabama’s Dauphin Island Sea Lab.

John Charles Thomas
Judge John Charles Thomas to speak at W&M Opening Convocation

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki ’00 will be unable to speak at William & Mary’s Opening Convocation due to an unanticipated conflict in scheduling.  Judge John Charles Thomas HON ’18, the first Black justice appointed to the Supreme Court of Virginia and a former longtime member of the William & Mary Board of Visitors, will now serve as the keynote speaker.

Bronte Sisters statue at Haworth Parsonage
Romantic passion, social justice and the Brontës

For years, Professor Deborah Denenholz Morse’s classes on Victorian fiction and the Brontës have been popular with W&M students from a variety of majors. Now, anyone can experience Morse’s fascinating lectures through her new course on Audible.

Children in face masks play outdoors
An epidemiologist’s guide for back-to-school planning

As elementary and high school students head back into classrooms, W&M News spoke with Carrie Dolan, an epidemiologist, an assistant professor in health sciences, member of William & Mary’s Public Health Advisory Board and director of the interdisciplinary Ignite global health research lab. She is currently advising the local school district and preparing her own family for going back to school.

Archival drawing of a unicorn
A trip down the garden path leads a historian to...cryptozoology?

Holly Gruntner, a Ph.D. candidate in William & Mary’s Harrison Ruffin Tyler Department of History, recently completed a short-term fellowship at the American Antiquarian Society, delving into the society’s vast collection of original documents for material to complete her dissertation on kitchen gardens in early America.

Portrait photograph of Rani Mullen
U.S. troop withdrawal from Afghanistan: A Q&A with Rani Mullen

Rani D. Mullen is an associate professor of government at William & Mary. Her research and teaching focus is on democratization and development in South Asia, and democracy and state building in India and Afghanistan in particular.

Natasha McFarland sits at a desk with an open book
W&M Libraries honors long-time employee with scholarship name

The W&M Libraries staff scholarship was named in honor of longtime employee Natasha McFarland, because of her unique story and dedicated career. The scholarship provides financial assistance for library employees pursuing education to advance their library career.

Portrait photograph of Nicole Lynn Lewis
W&M alumna's nonprofit positions young parents for success in higher ed

As a young parent attending William & Mary, Nicole Lynn Lewis ’03 felt like she was the only person struggling to attend undergraduate classes and complete assignments while changing diapers, searching for reliable child care and worrying about how to pay for food and housing.

Rachel Bardon
W&M names Rachel Bardon as 2021-22 Beales Scholar

Rachel Bardon, a 2021 graduate of Buckingham County High School, is the 2021-2022 recipient of the Harriett Pittard Beales Scholarship at William & Mary.

Map display from new online tool's dashboard
New online tool helps better serve environmental justice

The Elizabeth River Project (ERP) has teamed with researchers from the Virginia Institute of Marine Science and William & Mary to build an online mapping tool that can help the non-profit and other community partners better incorporate environmental justice issues into planning and restoration efforts.

Pastor in his church
New community partnership targets student success

For many Black families, the church not only provides a place of worship, but a place of belonging and a hub that connects them to the community through a wide range of support services.

Marjorie Thomas
Q&A: Dean of Students Marjorie Thomas reflects on her time at W&M

Marjorie Thomas joined William & Mary in 2013 as the university’s dean of students, leading the student success thematic area of Student Affairs. After eight years in the role, Thomas will be leaving the university at the end of July to become vice president for student affairs at the New College of Florida in Sarasota.

Sallie Marchello
W&M honors Marchello, Martin with the Aceto Award

William & Mary has selected Sallie Marchello, associate provost and university registrar, and Jeremy Martin, chief of staff to President Katherine A. Rowe who has spent the past nine months serving as interim athletics director, to receive the Shirley Aceto Award.

Brian Mann standing inside Zable Stadium
Athletics kept calling him back, and Brian Mann is glad he answered

Brian Mann grew up playing just about any sport you could name, but nothing beat football in a blizzard. Even if that meant being dragged out of bed in the middle of the night by his older brothers, who would spare him no mercy.

A student dressed in regalia is shown standing in front of a sorority house
W&M alumnae draw on Chi Omega sisterhood to excel in public policy roles

If you walked inside the Chi Omega sorority house on a typical afternoon in the early 2000s, you probably would have seen sorority sisters gathered in pajamas on the couch with hot drinks and snacks, watching C-SPAN or White House press conferences.

Brian Mann
Brian Mann named W&M Director of Athletics

William & Mary announced today that Brian Mann, senior associate athletics director at the University of California, Berkeley, will be the university’s new director of athletics.

Illustration of Mohamed Noor in space wearing a Star Trek style uniform
Resistance (to science) is futile

Mohamed Noor ’92 brings the science to science fiction as a consultant for “Star Trek: Discovery”

A graphic with red, black and yellow designs and a round logo in the middle that says Juneteenth William & Mary
W&M’s inaugural Juneteenth celebration set for June 19

William & Mary is celebrating Juneteenth for the first time on June 19 with a virtual event featuring performances, remarks from community leaders and more. The event is part of a community-wide celebration of the holiday, which marks the day on which news about the Emancipation Proclamation reached Texas.

A composite photo of Ardine Williams, John Rathbone, Barbara Johnson and Lincoln Saunders
Two appointed, two reappointed to William & Mary Board of Visitors

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam today appointed two new members to William & Mary’s Board of Visitors: John Rathbone and Ardine Williams. The governor also reappointed Barbara L. Johnson J.D. '84, currently serving as secretary of the board, and J. E. Lincoln Saunders '06 to second terms.

A graphic that shows two people in the background and the words All in for Tribe Tennis
W&M Tennis to see big boost from 'All In' campaign

Plans include all new courts, elevated seating platforms, new bleachers along Brooks Street and the installation of a scoreboard, among other enhancements.

A person in a bee keeper's suit stands near a hive
W&M announces spring, summer 2021 Green Fee awards

With the promotion of sustainable practices at the forefront of these grants, the Committee on Sustainability members approved a total of $35,712 to be spent across a broad spectrum or projects, from academia and research, to operations that advance sustainability on campus.

Caroline Duckworth
2021 grad headed for D.C. and an elite foreign policy fellowship

William & Mary senior Caroline Duckworth ’21 is among a group of 12 students from across the country to be selected for a 2021-2022 fellowship with the James C. Gaither Fellows Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (CEIP), a foreign policy think tank in Washington, D.C.

A composite photo showing four people
Honoring values in action

In recognition of exemplary values-driven leadership, four William & Mary faculty and staff members have been selected as the inaugural recipients of the Values in Action Award: Natoya Haskins Ph.D. ’11 (School of Education), Mariellynn Maurer '95 (Conference Services), Kathleen Mazzitti (Advancement) and Corinne Picataggi (Information Technology).

A person in a full, bright purple skirt stands against a pink wall
Eight from W&M receive Fulbright student awards

Eight William & Mary alumni and students have been selected to receive U.S. Student Program awards, which will fund their teaching and research in countries around the world during the 2021-2022 academic year.

Ann Marie Stock
A unique view: Stock reflects on time as vice provost at W&M

Ann Marie Stock left the classroom to add her time and talents to the administration at William & Mary. As vice provost for academic & faculty affairs the past four years, she has had an opportunity to broadly impact teaching and learning.

A graphic with red, black and yellow designs and a round logo in the middle that says Juneteenth William & Mary
William & Mary joins Colonial Williamsburg, community to commemorate Juneteenth 2021

William & Mary will join Colonial Williamsburg and other partners including the City of Williamsburg and the Let Freedom Ring Foundation to commemorate Juneteenth with a series of special events beginning on June 19 – the date in 1865 when U.S. forces announced emancipation in Texas and ended slavery in the United States.

People wearing masks stand next to a table in an outdoor location
Service and engagement combine for spring 2021 Impact Week

In this spring's Impact Week, from April 19-23, the three organizations that competed were Kappa Sigma, supporting the Williamsburg House of Mercy; InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, supporting 3e Restoration; and Greater City, also supporting 3e Restoration.

Molly Swetnam-Burland
Ancient is modern: W&M professor talks teaching classics

Molly Swetnam-Burland, Adina Allen Term Distinguished Associate Professor of Classics at William & Mary, received the 2020 Award for Excellence in Teaching of the Classics at the College Level by the Society for Classical Studies.

An aerial photo of buildings among trees
W&M campus structures named for trailblazing alumni

Following a consultative and thorough process established earlier this year, William & Mary’s Board of Visitors voted Friday to rename two campus buildings and name one campus structure to honor trailblazing alumni who helped open the door for marginalized people at both the university and beyond.

dotobucknor200
On Buckroe Beach: Filming 'Dance of the Orcas'

Omiyẹmi (Artisia) Green, W&M associate professor of theatre and Africana studies, discusses her choreo-ritual "Dance of the Ocras" as it is being filmed at Hampton's Buckroe Beach.

screenshot of virtual conversation
Congressman Scott outlines path to equality in virtual conversation

Congressman Robert C. “Bobby” Scott spoke about efforts to redress longstanding racial and economic inequality and systemic racism in the United States during a virtual conversation on April 8 with students, faculty, staff and other members of the local community.

graphic for one tribe one day
William & Mary breaks annual giving day record

On Tuesday, the entire William & Mary community joined together once again for an historic and successful One Tribe One Day (OTOD).

Jody Allen
W&M's Jody Allen appointed to commission to study slavery

Jody Allen, assistant professor of history at William & Mary and director of the Lemon Project, was recently appointed by Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam to the Commission to Study Slavery and Subsequent De Jure and De Facto Racial and Economic Discrimination.

A green graphic that says 1 Tribe Day
W&M's One Tribe One Day is April 13

Next Tuesday, April 13, is One Tribe One Day — William & Mary’s eighth annual celebration of giving back and paying it forward.

A brick building with a sign that says VCU Health
W&M, VCU Health System partner to open new clinic in Williamsburg

Starting this week, William & Mary and Williamsburg residents have increased access to comprehensive academic health care services in Williamsburg. A new medical office, located at 332 North Henry St. in Williamsburg, offers services previously located at VCU Health’s 1162 Professional Dr. location, as well as new services for students and community members.

Protesters in Aden, Al Mansoora during the Arab Spring 2011
Q&A on Arab Spring 10 years after

Sharan Grewal is an assistant professor of government at William & Mary and a visiting fellow at the Brookings Institution. His research examines democratization, religion, and civil-military relations in the Arab world, especially Egypt, Tunisia, and Algeria.

A graphic that says All In in gold type against a green background
W&M launches $55M 'All In' campaign for athletics

Against the backdrop of Kaplan Arena, the university launched a $55-million campaign for William & Mary Athletics this evening. Aptly titled “All In,” the campaign will galvanize the entire W&M community to shape a bolder future in which all student-athletes can perform at their highest level and reach their fullest potential.

Two people wearing masks talk while sitting on a bench
W&M strategic planning to put vision into action

Returning to a strategic planning process that was paused a year ago for COVID-19, William & Mary leadership outlined updates to the final phase of planning during a virtual community conversation Monday.

The Wren Building on a sunny day
New award recognizes Values in Action

During this challenging year, staff, faculty and students have been unceasing in their support of the university and its people, demonstrating the very best in values-driven leadership. In recognition of these extraordinary efforts, two anonymous donors have established the Values in Action Award.

A group of masked students standing outside
W&M partners with CDC on mask usage study, results show campus is masking up

New data collected by student researchers show that 97% of William & Mary’s campus community is wearing masks in public spaces. The university is one of roughly 60 institutions partnering with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to conduct an eight-week mask observation study as part of the CDC’s Mask Adherence Surveillance at Colleges and Universities Project (MASCUP).

Sunset on campus with a sign that reads "Masks Up"
One year under pandemic: Creativity, resiliency and community at W&M

One year ago today, the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global pandemic. Over the past 12 months, the university and its community members faced unprecedented challenges, all while finding ways to support one another and the larger community.

Screenshot of Zoom conversation
New research project examines internationalization at William & Mary

Faculty from the School of Education Higher Education Program have launched a research project to help advance understanding of the engagement of William & Mary faculty in internationalization efforts both on campus and abroad.

A masked student sits in front of a desktop computer
W&M opens new Esports Training and Research Center

William & Mary’s Esports Training and Research Center will include a research lab and training facility designed to foster interdisciplinary collaborations around gaming.

An aerial view or campus shows brick buildings, trees and green spaces
W&M’s working group on naming, renaming submits final report

William & Mary’s Working Group on the Principles of Naming and Renaming (PNR) this week presented its final report to President Katherine A. Rowe, who accepted it during the Board of Visitors meeting Thursday in the Alumni House.

A person wearing a mask and gloves reaches into a cooling case that says Beer To Go on the top
A saison for teamwork

Drew Stephenson ’92 and Laura Papp ’18 combined forces to get Pleasure House Brewing through the pandemic.

Crim Dell bridge with foliage
Service opportunities at W&M continue to grow

Adapting to pandemic conditions, William & Mary’s Office of Community Engagement has transformed its ongoing programs to continue reaching out and the Presidential Call to Service Council is spending this academic year exploring what service expansion could look like in the future.

American flags at capitol building
On the national stage: W&M alumni join Biden-Harris administration

William & Mary alumni have a long history of service at the highest levels of government — a legacy stretching from George Washington (who received his surveyor’s license at William & Mary in 1749) to our current Chancellor, Bob Gates ’65, L.H.D. ’98, former Secretary of Defense.

A screenshot from a Zoom call showing four people in individual boxes on the screen
Flanagan Counselor Education Clinic answers the increased need for mental health services during the pandemic

With its new name comes new changes for the Flanagan Counselor Education Clinic. Thanks to a $2 million gift in 2020 from Professor Emeritus S. Stuart Flanagan, William & Mary’s expanded counseling training clinic now encompasses the New Horizons Family Counseling Center, the New Leaf Clinic, and a new service called the Telehealth Team, making services more accessible than ever.

Marcus Holmes running on campus
Running milestone earns W&M professor audience with popular comedian

W&M Associate Professor of Government Marcus Holmes has run more than 8,000 miles since joining online physical training program Zwift in 2018, an accomplishment that opened an opportunity for him to chat with British comedian/actor Eddie Izzard during a recent virtual marathon.

Map of W&M campus with various locations highlighted
Mapping campus love stories

As fellows at W&M’s Center for Geospatial Analysis, Kira Holmes ’17 and Colleen Truskey ’17 showed the power of maps.

A aerial view of the Wren Building in the winter
In pandemic, W&M celebrates its birthday and the power of connections

As has become custom with birthdays in the pandemic, William & Mary celebrated its 328th on Thursday with a virtual version of its annual Charter Day ceremony. The tradition marks the day on which the university received its royal charter in 1693.

Katherine Barko-Alva
Katherine Barko-Alva to receive Thomas Jefferson Teaching Award

Katherine Barko-Alva, William & Mary assistant professor and director of English as a second language/bilingual education at the School of Education, will be recognized with the 2021 Thomas Jefferson Teaching Award during a virtual Charter Day celebration Feb. 11.

Jamelah Jacob
Jamelah Jacob '21 receives Monroe Prize

Jamelah Jacob '21 has been awarded the 2021 James Monroe Prize in Civic Leadership, which goes to “a student who has demonstrated sustained leadership of an unusual quality, leadership combined with initiative, character and an unfailing commitment to leveraging the assets of the William & Mary community to address the needs of our society.”

Portrait photograph of H. Elizabeth "Bee" McLeod
Meet the 2021 Alumni Medallion recipients

The Alumni Medallion is the highest award the Alumni Association can bestow on a graduate of William & Mary.

An artist's rendering shows a building with large windows next to a brick pathway
Work underway to expand Sadler Center

The Sadler Center West expansion project started in late November and was well underway when students returned to campus the final week of January. When work is completed — the target date is summer of 2022 — 53,000 square feet will be added to make Sadler the undisputed centerpiece of campus activity.

Portrait photograph of Olivia Ding
Olivia Ding ’21 awarded Thomas Jefferson Prize in Natural Philosophy

Olivia Ding is the 2021 recipient of William & Mary’s Thomas Jefferson Prize in Natural Philosophy. The honor is endowed by the trustees of the Thomas Jefferson Memorial Foundation to recognize excellence in the sciences and mathematics in an undergraduate student.

Zoom meeting video screen with two faces
W&M community improving others’ lives during pandemic

Across a variety of disciplines, the COVID-19 pandemic has sparked service to others using an acceleration of accumulated knowledge to take bold, swift action, according to William & Mary community members hosted by President Katherine A. Rowe in a virtual community conversation Feb. 4.

Peel Hawthorne speaking at a podium
Peel Hawthorne has been ‘such a constant’ with W&M Athletics

Peel Hawthorne was 30 years old when she was hired as William & Mary's field hockey coach, and like most of us at that age, she wasn't thinking a decade down the road — let alone three. Yet more than three decades later, Hawthorne is not only still here. She's a staple and trusted voice in the Tribe's athletic department.

Portrait photograph of Stacy Kern-Scheerer
The Immigration Clinic: Q&A with Director Stacy Kern-Scheerer

W&M Law School's Immigration Clinic is committed to preparing the next generation of immigration attorneys and is one of the few nonprofit entities that provides pro bono representation on immigration matters in the Hampton Roads region.

A black and white photo shows a large group of people marching and holding signs about employment
W&M King commemoration to explore the power of protests

“Honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.: The Power of Protest, Marches and College Students,” sponsored by the Center for Student Diversity, will take place virtually through Zoom at 7 p.m. on Feb. 3.

truck in flooded street
U.S. sea-level report cards: 2020 again trends toward acceleration

The annual update of their sea level “report cards” by researchers at William & Mary’s Virginia Institute of Marine Science adds further evidence of an accelerating rate of sea-level rise at nearly all tidal stations along the U.S. coastline.

Faraz Sheikh
Ideal Muslim subjectivity: W&M professor presents two views in new book

Faraz Sheikh, assistant professor of religious studies at William & Mary, has published a new book, “Forging Ideal Muslim Subjects: Discursive Practices, Subject Formation, & Muslim Ethic,” which discusses the forms a religiously-informed, ethical Muslim life can take.

interior of swem library
Virginia libraries negotiate new contract with Elsevier

Six members of the Virginia Research Libraries (VRL) recently completed contract negotiations with Elsevier, the largest publisher of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) scholarly journals.

Steve Prince
Steve Prince: New work and the artist’s role in this moment

Steve Prince, director of engagement and distinguished artist in residence at William & Mary’s Muscarelle Museum of Art, is using this pandemic period as a time to be deeply creative in both art and in education.

Jason Reynolds
WRL and W&M Libraries' One Book One Community returns with author Jason Reynolds

Williamsburg Regional Library and W&M Libraries are once again partnering for One Book One Community, an initiative that encourages readers to come together for a shared reading experience. This year’s book selection is "Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You" by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi.

Tear gas and rioters in front of the U.S. Capitol building
The First Amendment: freedoms and limitations

In the wake of last week’s deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol, William & Mary News spoke with Timothy Zick, nationally recognized free speech expert and John Marshall Professor of Government and Citizenship at William & Mary Law School.

Ike Irby pictured standing outside in D.C.
W&M grad named policy advisor to VP-elect Kamala Harris

President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris have named Ike Irby as Policy Advisor in the Office of the Vice President. Irby earned joint graduate degrees from William & Mary and its Virginia Institute of Marine Science in 2017.