Winter 2015 Issue

Symposia Synopsis

W&M discusses global issues

By Kelley Freund

During Homecoming 2015, William & Mary held a “Transformational Innovation” symposium, which allowed the university community to engage with leaders in an array of fields to learn the common traits shared by pioneers making a remarkable impact in our world. Innovators and entrepreneurs gathered in Miller Hall to discuss how they are leading efforts that are improving the quality of millions of lives.

Participants were Todd Boehly ’96, president of the financial services firm Guggenheim Partners; Ellen Stofan ’83, chief scientist of NASA; Nicco Mele ’99, senior fellow at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg Center on Communication Leadership & Policy; and Ted Dintersmith ’74, venture capitalist. Kendrick Ashton ’98, co-managing partner of the St. James Group, a sports and wellness development organization, served as the discussion moderator.

William & Mary hosted two other symposia over Homecoming weekend, one on education reform and the other on national security. Dintersmith held a screening and discussion of his education-reform film, “Most Likely to Succeed” during the “19th Century Education in a 21st Century Economy” symposium. In “Confronting Growing National Security Threats,” Chancellor Robert M. Gates ’65, L.H.D. ’98 shared his views about the most pressing threats to global stability and America’s security, focusing on his experience confronting these issues as defense secretary. Peter Baker, Chief White House correspondent for the New York Times, led the discussion with Gates.