Exceeding expectations and exceeding generosity have been the hallmarks of fundraising at William & Mary Law School in recent years. The Law School’s alumni and friends already have contributed more than $83 million in cash, gifts, pledges and bequests during the university-wide For the Bold campaign.
And the campaign isn’t even over yet.
An initial goal of $50 million set during the planning phase was revised upward as alumni and friends of the Law School answered the call and contributed $75 million by June 2018. The feat made the Law School the first school at William & Mary to reach its goal and inspired an even bolder, stretch goal.
“I am delighted that more than half of our alumni already have made a gift and grateful to our Campaign Steering Committee and its chair, Jim Penny ’83, for their continued leadership,” Dean Davison M. Douglas said. “I look forward to working with everyone to sustain this remarkable momentum as we head toward the finish line on June 30, 2020.”
Twenty-two gifts of $500,000 or more have built a strong foundation for the Law School’s success in the campaign. Supporting everything from scholarships to clinical education to building improvements and expansions, these gifts include:
- 1 gift of $22 million
- 2 gifts of more than $5 million
- 1 gift of more than $4 million
- 1 gift of more than $3 million
- 3 gifts of more than $2 million
- 7 gifts of more than $1 million
- 7 gifts of more than $500,000
Class solidarity and a strong sense of competition also have played roles in the campaign. In 2019, with gifts and pledges of $5.3 million, the Class of 1979 broke the 40th reunion record en route to breaking the all-time giving record from a reunion class.
Graduating classes have likewise answered the call. Last spring, for the sixth year in a row, more than 90 percent of graduating 3Ls made a gift or pledge for their class gift. Not to be outdone, the LL.M. Class of 2019 launched a drive of its own and achieved 97 percent participation.
For Penny, witnessing the transformative effect the campaign is having on the 240-year-old law school, the view to the future is even brighter. And with the campaign still going strong, he invites alumni and friends to make a difference now and in the future by making a cash gift or pledge before June 30, 2020. A pledge can be paid over the next five years and structured for higher payments in the later years.
“The great thing about breaking records is believing that we can do it again,” said Penny. “As we move forward, we will strive not merely to maintain the Law School’s excellence, but build upon it. With the help of our law family, the best students will continue to study here, the most accomplished faculty will continue to teach here, and opportunities for our citizen lawyers to thrive will abound like never before.”
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.