During this year’s diploma ceremony on Sunday May 14, Class Gift Committee Chair Maggie Burnside J.D. ’17 had some very good news for her classmates.
“An inspiring 92 percent of you donated to the 3L Class Gift,” Burnside said. “Or as Dean Douglas would put it, 92 percent of you made a vote for our Law School.”
That marks four years in a row that the 3L Class has surpassed 90 percent participation.
Each year, the graduating class expresses its support for the Law School through a Class Gift fundraising effort to enhance the educational experience for future generations of William & Mary law students.
Burnside said that a donation doesn’t just allow the Law School to remodel the library or build a brand-new tech wing, but it “hits closer to home.”
“It allows the Public Service Fund to grant one more stipend to a student who couldn’t otherwise afford to intern for a non profit employer,” Burnside said. “It provides the funding for a group of inspired students to create a brand-new student organization; it allows students to continue to see their names published in nationally ranked journals; and it funds scholarships for future students to achieve their dreams of becoming a lawyer.”
Burnside thanked her deputy 3L Class Gift Co-Chairs: Ang Evanowski, Arlen Papazian, and Kristel Tupja, as well as everyone involved with the class gift committee, including Spencer Anderson, Willie Wilson, Kevin Binazian, Dom Pino, Krishna Jani, Caroline Thee, Ashley Gilkerson, and Christie Wentworth.
Thanking the class for its generosity, Dean Douglas told family members in attendance that a 90 percent participation rate is rare at any school, but reaching and surpassing it four years in a row is unheard of.
“It’s a real testament to the experience that the students had here, and their commitment to paying it forward to the next group of law students who follow them,” Douglas said.
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.