Fall 2021 Issue

Board Notes

By John S. Kane

The William & Mary Alumni Association (WMAA) Board of Directors held its spring meeting June 10, 2021, convening virtually as a full board.

Board President Carla Moreland ’81, J.D. ’84 called the meeting to order and began with a welcome and introductions of new members James H. Ambrose ’07, Willis H. Gee Jr. ’99, Glenne Hines Harding ’65, Hodan C. Seager ’18 and incoming Chair of the Olde Guarde Council Bruce Oliver ’68.

The president called for approval of consent agenda items, and then Chief Executive Officer Marilyn Ward Midyette ’75 reviewed FY21 events and activities, addressed significant gains and accomplishments in virtual programming and highlighted the better-than-expected net income for the WMAA due to increases in fundraising and better than forecast revenue generation programs, along with lower program and administrative expenses due to COVID-19.

Board member Jean Berger Estes ’75, also a member of the BOV’s Design Review Board, gave an update on processes and the recent recommendations from that Board on the University’s Naming and Renaming efforts. Vice President for University Advancement Matthew T. Lambert ’99 discussed the ongoing nation-wide search for a new athletics director, citing a pool of over 75 candidates. He also reviewed the newly launched All In campaign, with goals of raising $55 million for W&M Athletics, building community and increasing annual giving.

As a backdrop for the remainder of the session, Moreland reviewed the strategic priorities established by the board and its committees in February 2020. Board Member Dave T. Scott ’93 outlined the recommendation of the W&M Weekend Review task force to postpone the W&M Weekend in San Francisco until 2023 due to staffing concerns and post-COVID uncertainty. Member Marie Walker Bentley ’99 reported out on her task forces’ review of the feasibility of a virtual auction in lieu of the W&M Weekend in 2022. After review, the task force recommended pursuing a more traditional style of auction gala in-person in Washington, D.C., citing a strong desire by alumni to return to live entertainment and interactions.

Senior Director of Signature Programs Katie Lowe M.B.A. ’21 reviewed plans for Homecoming & Reunion Weekend 2021, including significant activities such as the Alumni House Dedication ceremony, hosting 20 class reunion celebrations over two nights, the postponement this year of Virginia Uncorked and the addition of the university’s Commencement ceremony for the class of 2020 to be held on Sunday. In addition, she gave a presentation on the results of the recent Homecoming & Reunion Survey that outlined demographics, preferences, attendance, reunions and diversity data points from almost 1,500 respondents. These responses will inform programming and formats going forward.

Senior Director for Career, Affinity & Regional Engagement Kelly Holdcraft gave the board an overview of the engagement data dashboard, outlining what it captures and that it allows a deeper analysis of programming reach and effects. In reviewing fundraising for FY21, Director of Development for the Alumni Association and Corporate Sponsorships Richard Long M.Ed. ’18 cited the fundraising success for the Alumni Association, to date, with $2.48 million in gifts and pledges and a 100% giving rate by board members.

The meeting continued with updates from committee chairs of the Board Development, Finance and Investment, Communications, and Inclusion, Career, Affinity and Regional Engagement committees. The president also wished farewell to departing board members Megan Burnley Dorward ’07, Jeb Jeutter ’82 and Kirsten Shiroma Quackenbush ’05.

Significant discussion and decisions took place on the following actions:

The next regular meeting of the board of directors is scheduled for September 16-17, 2021, in Williamsburg.