Winter 2021 Issue

Board Notes

By John S. Kane

In this issue of the board notes:

Board Notes, Spring 2020

The William & Mary Alumni Association Board of Directors held its spring meeting June 18, 2020, convening virtually for the first time as a full board.

Board President Carla Moreland ’81, J.D. ’84 called the meeting to order and began with a welcome for new members Marie Bentley ’90, Brian Focarino ’11, J.D. ’15 and Umesh Trikha ’03. The president called for approval of consent agenda items and then WMAA CEO Marilyn Midyette ’75 reviewed FY20 events and activities, addressed upcoming significant events and gave an update on the Alumni House expansion project.

Other significant topics discussed included a review of the university’s COVID-19 response efforts, the financial impact of the virus on the university, and the rescheduling of the William & Mary Weekend in San Francisco from September 2020 to June 10-13, 2021.

The board heard from the senior director of engagement & inclusion initiatives, Val Cushman, on the efforts of the Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives team to identify and develop programming that enhances engagement opportunities for underrepresented alumni. Midyette and AVP for University Marketing and Communications Heather Golden discussed Homecoming planning in light of the pandemic and reviewed options and contingency plans.

Moreland presented an overview of the initiative to restructure and formalize the relationships between the university and its foundations. The Alumni Association will have an opportunity to shape and review any new MOU that outlines its relationship with the university and the W&M Foundation before bringing to the board for approval; at present there is not an MOU to review. Board Secretary Tina Kenny ’92 reviewed and led a discussion about the amendment of the Articles of Incorporation, citing recommendations by an outside law firm following a requested review. The bulk of proposed changes were to update the Articles to comply with best practices and requirements developed in the years since the last update. In addition, various administrative changes were made to the Bylaws to match or align with the restated Articles of Incorporation. The meeting continued with updates from committee chairs and a farewell to departing board members Dennis Liberson ’78, Pamela Michael ’65 and William Richardson ’74.

Significant discussion and decisions took place on the following actions:

The next regular meeting of the board of directors was rescheduled for October 15, 2020, via video conference.

Board Notes, Fall 2020

The William & Mary Alumni Association (WMAA) Board of Directors held its fall meeting October 15, 2020, convening virtually.

Board President Carla Moreland ’81, J.D. ’84 called the meeting to order and welcomed members. Prior to calling for a vote on the consent agenda, she highlighted the Associate Alumni list for approval and the resolution honoring Hunter J. Smith ’51, L.H.D. ’18.

Following approval of the consent agenda, WMAA CEO Marilyn Midyette ’75 informed members on the significant activities and achievements accomplished during the first quarter of FY21 and also provided a year in review for FY20. Key points included the growth of alumni engagement between FY15 and FY20; the positive ending to the fiscal year, financially, showing net income vs. the budgeted deficit; the unparalleled success of our virtual engagement programming; our plans for a virtual Homecoming with some 25+ events scheduled over an 11-day period; and the completion of the Alumni House expansion.  

The board then heard presentations and updates from three committees: Communications, Inclusion, Career, Affinity and Regional Engagement, and Board Development. The Finance and Investment committee reviewed the FY20 end of year financials and the 1st quarter FY21 financial statement, and introduced presentations by the WMAA’s independent auditors, PB Mares, and from our investment firm, the Optimal Group of Wells Fargo. PB Mares reviewed the annual audit and the tax forms for the board. The board also received and discussed updates on planning for signature events for Homecoming, the Alumni Service Awards virtual presentation on November 10, activities for Charter Day, and progress on planning for W&M Weekend in San Francisco. The board also received updates on board and WMAA giving, both current and for the campaign overall.

University President Katherine Rowe joined the meeting to talk with the board, touching on university efforts through fall 2020, COVID-19 management on campus, planning for the spring semester and the financial situation at the university. She also touched upon the recent developments surrounding the decision to discontinue select sports programs at W&M.

Vice President for University Advancement Matthew Lambert congratulated the board on the completion of a successful capital campaign and highlighted areas of success and accomplishment.

Other significant discussion and decisions took place on the following actions:

The next regular meeting of the board of directors is scheduled for February 4, 2021, via video conference.


The annual meeting of the members of the W&M Alumni Association will be held online on Feb. 13, 2021, at 11 a.m. Please register to receive the login information.


Please go online now to to read about the current slate of nominees for the W&M Alumni Association Board of Directors and cast your vote. Voting closes March 11, 2021, at midnight. All alumni are eligible to vote in board elections.


The Alumni Medallion is the highest and most prestigious award given by the Alumni Association and recognizes outstanding alumni for exemplary accomplishments in their professional life, leadership in service to their communities, state or nation, and commitment, dedication and assistance to William & Mary. The award reflects the honor that recipients bring to the university and its alumni through their actions and contributions.

The submission form may be downloaded at or it can be requested by emailing Three supporting letters are required and other supporting documents are encouraged. The deadline for submitting nominations for the 2022 awards is April 1, 2021.


The Douglas N. Morton ’62 Alumni Service Award and Young Alumni Service Award are given annually to individuals for their exceptional service to the Alumni Association and the university, often through involvement in regional networks, affinity and identity groups and volunteer opportunities.

You may download a nomination form for this and any other alumni award at or contact the Office of the Executive Director at (757) 221-7855. The deadline for nominations is April 1, 2021.