When it comes to Alumni Weekend, the “twos” and “sevens” know how to party. And to help their law school with generous financial support.
As of Saturday evening, April 8, the Classes of 1967, 1972, 1977, 1982, 1987, 1992, 1997, 2002, 2007, and 2012 had raised more than $1,139,000 in gifts and multi-year pledges in support of William & Mary Law School. That number will continue to grow before the end of the fiscal year on June 30.
For the second consecutive year, the 50th Class Reunion brought their school spirit to the weekend, with the Class of 1967 taking home the Red-Hot Reveley Award for Outstanding Class Participation. An amazing 74 percent of the class made a financial commitment in honor of their reunion.
The Class of 2007 also had plenty to cheer about, setting a new record for a 10 Year Reunion Class Gift. They claimed the record with more than $123,160 raised to date.
Returning alumni were pleasantly surprised at some new additions since their last reunion. The Dean’s Friday evening Wine and Cheese Reception, for instance, expanded from its traditional front lobby location into the James and Pamela Penny Commons, the atrium of the newly dedicated James A. and Robin L. Hixon Center for Experiential Learning and Leadership. The area provided a spacious, open setting for alumni to reconnect and catch up before heading off to dinner at a number of local restaurants.
Saturday morning featured a wide array of traditional activities, including golf at the Golden Horseshoe Green Course, brunch at the Wren Building for the four most senior reunion classes, and the Annual Oliver Hill Brunch at Kingsmill Resort, with keynote speaker, Professor Beth Hopkins ’77.
A new event this year was the Woodbridge Celebration Brunch for the 50th Reunion and previous classes. Held in the historic Great Hall of the Wren Building, the inaugural event honored Dudley Woodbridge, legendary Dean of the Law School from 1950-62.
During the proceedings, alumni shared memories of Woodbridge and enjoyed a stirring rendition of the College’s Alma Mater performed by the student group Law Cappella. They also heard from Ralph Barclay ’67, who announced a new Class of 1967 gift and endowed scholarship in Dean Woodbridge’s name.
“The endowment will provide much-needed financial assistance to an entering law student,” Barclay said, “and will support this law student for each of his or her three years at William & Mary Law School.”
Dean Davison M. Douglas enhanced the good news by announcing the formation of The Order of Marshall-Wythe, the Law School’s newest society of distinguished alumni. Henceforth, the 50th Reunion class and all members of prior classes are now members of The Order of Marshall-Wythe. Each spring during Alumni Weekend, this distinguished group will gather to celebrate and to welcome a new class into the Order.
Among the weekend’s other activities were walking tours of Colonial Williamsburg, a guided tour around Lake Matoaka, and the annual family picnic in front of the Law School. The College’s Griffin mascot made a surprise appearance at the latter event, and Bubbles the Clown painted children’s faces with exotic designs and handed out balloon animals.
Dean Douglas held his annual “Conversation” on Saturday afternoon, during which alumni learned about the latest happenings at the Law School and about the state of law education in general.
On Saturday night, the festivities capped off with classes reuniting at Kingsmill Resort for a cocktail reception, dinner, after-dinner reception, dancing, and announcements of class gifts.
With so much fun to be had, it won’t be long before excitement builds for the next Alumni Weekend. Reunions for the classes of 1968, 1973, 1978, 1983, 1988, 1993, 1998, 2003, 2008, and 2013 will be held on April 13-14, 2018, so mark your calendars now!
Thomas Jefferson founded William & Mary Law School in 1779 to train leaders for the new nation. Now in its third century, America's oldest law school continues its historic mission of educating citizen lawyers who are prepared both to lead and to serve.