Though the William & Mary campus has been closed for the last few months as we work to keep everyone healthy, I have been following the progress of the Alumni House expansion project closely and am looking forward to when we can all gather there safely once again.
The William & Mary Alumni House has always been a special and welcoming place when visiting campus. I have vivid memories of stopping there at Homecoming, getting my class button and writing down on the board where I was staying — this was pre-internet! In 1995 it got a nice expansion and Clarke Plaza was paved with hundreds of engraved bricks commemorating special times, friends and family.
Rising along Richmond Road stands our newest monument to our William & Mary alumni nation. The expanded Alumni House, many years in the making, is getting its finishing touches and preparing for its grand debut. With a huge thanks to lead donor Hunter J. Smith ’51, L.H.D ’18 and many more committed alumni and friends, we have a stunning new addition to campus and a welcoming home for our more than 100,000 living alumni.
The new addition will add 33,000 new square feet to the house, bringing us to 53,000 in total. With true masonry construction, exterior walls that are 18 inches thick and 164,000 bricks on the new building, we are truly planning for the next 327 years of alumni. Add 34,000 pavers for the patio, another 9,500 for the Family Courtyard, and a new entrance drive and fresh landscaping, and you have the gorgeous exterior you can see all the way from Zable Stadium and the Sadler Center.
Inside will be a beautiful ballroom with space for up to 400 at tables and approximately 700 theater style. There is new reception space, a business office and lounge for visiting alumni, a Juliet balcony in front (perfect for blushing brides), and meeting and conference space. It will truly be a jewel for the entire W&M community.
In addition, with an unfinished third floor for expansion, the design is prepared for the future needs of our alumni. And in the competition for W&M’s best-looking cupolas, the Alumni House is now right up there with the Wren Building and Miller Hall as spectacular architecture gracing our historic campus.
We look forward to the dedication at Homecoming & Reunion Weekend on Oct. 16, 2020, and celebrating there for many years to come.