Anonymous gift is part of historic $50-million campaign commitment
William & Mary's business and law schools have each received $22-million to fund student scholarships, teaching awards, and a conference that brings leaders in law and business to campus.
The $44-million gift to William & Mary Law School and the Raymond A. Mason School of Business is part of a $50-million anonymous campaign commitment announced Thursday evening, the largest commitment in William &Mary's history. In addition to the gifts to business and law, the remainder of the anonymous commitment has already been designated to support facility improvements in William & Mary athletics.
"We believe in the power of giving back and its ability to change or improve a worthy cause," said the donors. "We hope our gift to William & Mary will help it become an even stronger institution, graduating superbly educated students who are well equipped to go out in the world and do great things."
The university announced the gifts Thursday evening in conjunction with the celebration of the launch of a $1-billion dollar fundraising campaign-For the Bold: The Campaign for William & Mary.
"This family's extraordinary generosity to our law and business schools ensures that a William & Mary education will be available to many more outstanding students than would otherwise be possible, that extraordinary teaching will be recognized and remain a hallmark at both schools, and that we will graduate extraordinary leaders in law and in business," said William & Mary President Taylor Reveley.
The gift provides a $20 million endowment for scholarships at the law school and a $20 million endowment for scholarships at the business school for students in the full-time MBA program. The first scholarships will be awarded in the spring of 2016 to students entering next fall. As part of their commitment, the donors have issued a matching challenge to double the size of scholarship support awarded by each school annually. The goal of the new scholarship program is to support students who demonstrate outstanding academic achievement and a capacity and passion for leadership.
The donors have designated an additional $2 million to establish an annual teaching award in both the law school and the business school that will be given for the first time during the 2016 Commencement ceremony. The remaining $2 million of the commitment will endow an annual leadership conference that will bring distinguished individuals in law and business to campus each year to engage with students and faculty.
William & Mary Law School Dean Davison M. Douglas noted that the Law School is more than two-thirds of the way towards its $75-million campaign goal, and that this new gift will allow the school to continue its tremendous momentum.
"This transformative gift, the largest in the Law School's 236-year history, is a powerful catalyst to our mission of educating highly skilled and ethical lawyers who are equipped to make a difference for the greater good," said Douglas. "I am grateful to these donors for their extraordinary generosity and investment in our future. This gift will allow us to provide substantial scholarship aid to truly outstanding students, to reward our most outstanding teachers, and to further our goal of preparing our students for leadership."
Barbara Johnson, a 1984 graduate of the Law School and chair of the Marshall-Wythe School of Law Foundation, said she was delighted by news of the gift. "These donors' amazing generosity should inspire all of our alumni to invest in the future of this great law school With the support of these generous donors and that of other friends and alumni who will join with us in this campaign, we can be assured that the nation's first law school remains among the nation's best."
Having already secured $82 million in private support towards their historic campaign goal of $150 million, the Raymond A. Mason School of Business' funding priorities are focused on providing a personalized, experience-based approach to management education where teaching is the core mission, and discovery, innovation, and creativity are paramount.
"Our charge to graduates of the Raymond A. Mason School of Business is to live lives of principled achievement," said Larry Pulley, dean of the Raymond A. Mason School of Business. "I hold high these donors as examples of the best that William & Mary and the world have to offer. Their insight and vision in making this gift will forever change us and inspire us for the good."
More information about the campaign can be found on the newly launched website FortheBold.wm.edu.
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.