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State of the University

From President Katherine A. Rowe

Celebrating Key Accomplishments

William & Mary should take immense pride in what we have accomplished in recent years to advance our mission and enhance the student experience. For the seventh year in a row, W&M is ranked No. 1 public university for alumni giving. For five years, the university has held tuition flat and grown scholarships, consistent with our commitment to affordability. For two years, we have ranked as the No. 1 public university in the nation for internships. And in September, we announced that the university will guarantee scholarship aid to cover at minimum the cost of tuition and fees for all in-state Pell Grant-eligible students, beginning in the 2023-24 academic year.

FY22 Stats

The generosity of W&M’s donors catalyzes these achievements and more. Headlines from fiscal year 2022 (FY22) show the force of our community’s strength:

  • $ 77 million

    raised overall

  • $ 350 million

    Secured for scholarships — our top priority

    Since the launch of For the Bold

  • $ 1.3 million

    Total gifts of $100 or less

  • 32,411

    Donors to W&M

  • $ 33.3 million

    toward W&M Athletics’ $55-million All In campaign goal

Building for a Bold Future and Thank You

Approximately 3,000 alumni reconnected with one another and alma mater during signature events throughout the year, including Homecoming & Reunion Weekend. W&M held its first-ever Black Alumni Reunion Weekend. The university also saw record turnout for its annual Traditions Weekend and Professionals Week.

The impact of philanthropy is visible across W&M’s several campuses. At W&M’s Virginia Institute of Marine Science, the new Acuff Center for Aquaculture promotes the vitality of our coastal ecosystems — and we have just opened a newly renovated campus in Wachapreague. On the Williamsburg campus, the Reveley Garden realizes a 1926 vision and creates a teaching garden that foregrounds sustainability. Graceful and uplifting, Hearth welcomes all to reflect on the power of reconciliation.

On the other side of campus, the groundbreaking at the W&M Athletics Complex affirms our commitment to talented student- athletes. At the heart of things, the Sadler Center expansion and renovated Campus Living Center realize a longstanding vision of one central hub for all student services. Finally, in Washington, D.C., we opened doors to W&M’s new office — expanding our footprint and reach in the capital.

Evolving to Excel

To succeed in the 21st century, W&M must deliver on three fundamentals for our students:

  • Welcoming Community

    They should feel welcome in the W&M community

  • Transformative Learning

    They should learn in transformative ways — ways that are relevant to their future lives as citizens and professionals in a pluralistic democracy.

  • Graduating with Confidence

    When they graduate, they should land at their first destination with confidence: jobs, grad school, a military commission, etc.

Evolving to Excel

These fundamentals form the basis of W&M’s ambitious strategic plan, Vision 2026. Over the next four years, we will evolve to excel in new arenas so that we can maximize the impact of a W&M education.

Four key initiatives aim to address urgent global issues in arenas where we have competitive strength. In these areas of pressing local, national and international impact, W&M can be the best in the world.

The integration of data fluency with the liberal arts and sciences

The World Economic Forum underscores the expansion of computational modeling and statistical analysis, noting that nine out of 10 jobs will require digital skills. At W&M, demand for these fields has tripled over the past decade. STEM majors now represent 40% of our graduating classes, and W&M graduates more students, per capita, with computer science degrees than most leading universities in Virginia.

In response to a campus planning prompt in 2021, faculty members have been considering how we might form a computing, data science and applied science unit at the university. Provost Agouris will be working with leadership in Arts & Sciences, constituents across campus and the Faculty Assembly to explore how we might establish such a unit, to meet workforce demands in our commonwealth, nation and world.

Robust collaborations that ensure waterway resilience

As an estuarine campus, W&M is keenly attuned to the vulnerabilities of coastlines around the world. In Virginia’s Hampton Roads region alone, water levels are a foot and a half higher today than a century ago, and they are expected to rise another 5 feet by the year 2100, while the land sinks as much as 7.5 inches. W&M will lead in educating the next generation of industry, conservation and policy professionals to address these challenges to coastal communities, economies and ecosystems.

W&M’s School of Marine Science is a world leader in coastline resilience. And W&M’s other schools bring depth in policy, law, economics, environmental science, geoscience and more. Collaboration across these domains of expertise will position the university at the forefront of water-related scholarship, education, outreach and engagement. Expect to see growth in undergraduate programming in these areas, to complement our world-class graduate programs.

The national destination for understanding the history of U.S. democracy

As our nation prepares for its 250th anniversary in 2026, W&M is strengthening our partnership with Colonial Williamsburg and our city. Together, we aim to elevate Williamsburg’s foundational role in our nation’s origin story, to tell that story in fresh and unifying ways, and to advance democratic principles for the 21st century.

W&M strongly affirms the importance of free expression and a free press in our pluralistic democracy. This year, new students and student leaders developed capacities to engage diverse perspectives and experiences openly and respectfully using the Constructive Dialogue Institute — a partnership that we hope will expand in the commonwealth. A presidential conversation on democracy and the media during Homecoming & Reunion Weekend in October featured distinguished alumni journalists representing CNN, CBS News and The New York Times, and a photojournalist based in Ukraine.

Still ahead, the newly discovered Bray School will be resituated during Charter Day weekend, as part of an ambitious partnership between Colonial Williamsburg and W&M to restore the oldest extant schoolhouse for African American children in the United States. The 300th anniversary of the Brafferton Indian School will build on nearly 20 years of collaborative research to convene leaders from federally and state recognized Indian tribes.

Career pathways

A W&M education prepares graduates to be agile, multi-dimensional and adaptable critical thinkers. Under the leadership of W&M’s first Chief Careers Officer, new platforms will create robust career engagement and experiential learning and credentialing aligned with talent pathways, supporting graduates throughout evolving careers.

The importance of funded internship experiences is clear. Research in our region shows that paid interns receive 32% more job offers than unpaid interns and 75% more job offers than non-interns. An academic credit-bearing internship course will grow W&M’s existing strength to guarantee a funded internship to every eligible undergraduate student who seeks one.

I encourage you to help us grow our alumni network, mentor students, build internship pathways and fund internships via philanthropy and corporate partnerships.

At 330 years and counting, W&M is fortunate to have strong ties in our community — with the world’s largest living history museum as our neighbor and collaborative leaders in our city. Our students, faculty and staff bring creative solutions to the challenges our world faces. Friends of W&M and parents and families cultivate a community of care. And our alumni — more than 100,000 strong — raise W&M’s profile for the next generation.

It is an honor to work with you, as we ink the next chapter of this university’s 330-year-old story. I look forward to your continued partnership in the year ahead.

Katherine A. Rowe