Fall 2023 Issue

Board Notes

The W&M Alumni Association Board of Directors met on June 1 and Sept. 9-10, 2023.

By Claire De Lisle M.B.A. ’21

Editor’s note: You can find information on how to submit nominations for Honorary Alumni (due Nov. 15, 2023), Alumni Medallion (due April 1, 2024) and Alumni Service Awards (due April 1, 2024) at wmalumni.com.

June 1, 2023 Meeting

The summer meeting of the William & Mary Alumni Association Board of Directors was held at the Fairmont hotel in San Francisco, June 1, 2023, during W&M Weekend.

A joint boards meeting was held between the Alumni Association and Annual Giving boards prior to the start of the Alumni Association board meeting, wherein Katherine Rowe, president of W&M, Matthew T. Lambert ’99, vice president for university advancement, and other members of University Advancement’s Executive Leadership Team spoke on the direction of the university and planning for a new comprehensive fundraising campaign.

Following approval of the consent agenda, Matthew L. “Matt” Brandon ’92, chief executive officer, asked board members to bring the needs of the larger alumni community to university staff and partner with staff as they use their collective expertise to meet those needs. He encouraged board members to be thought leaders in the alumni engagement space, helping to define and shared definition and vision of success.

The board then voted and passed the following items:

Robert Waggoner, executive director for regional engagement, provided a brief update on the Alumni Association’s fundraising to date, including sponsorships for W&M Weekend.

The meeting concluded with Anna Hatfield ’96, P ’27, president of the board, thanking outgoing members Michael S. Hoak M.A. ’02, Scott Kelsey ’06, M.Acc. ’07 and Janet McNulty Osborn ’85 for their service.


Sept. 9-10, 2023 Meeting

The fall meeting of the William & Mary Alumni Association Board of Directors was held at the William & Mary Alumni House on Sept. 9-10, 2023.

The board began by approving the consent agenda and selecting recipients for the Douglas N. Morton ’62 Alumni Service Award, Douglas N. Morton ’62 Young Alumni Service Award, Staff Service Award and Coach of the Year, which will be awarded during Charter Day festivities in February 2024.

They also approved a change to the Alumni Medallion policies and procedures for W&M employees receiving the award: “There is a presumption of a three-year waiting period unless the board in their discretion decides to waive such waiting period based on extenuating circumstances.”

Later in the proceedings, the board approved the creation of a new award, the Civic & Humanitarian Leadership Award, for alumni who do not meet the criteria for the Alumni Medallion but have outstanding service to their communities that should be recognized. The first recipient of this award will be Steve McNamee ’81.

Matthew L. “Matt” Brandon ’92, CEO of WMAA started by introducing two new staff members, Abby Duncan, executive assistant to the CEO, and Kate Redding, chief operating officer of the W&M Alumni Association. He reiterated the importance of alumni engagement to the university, as evidenced by increased budget for staffing to meet alumni’s diverse needs. He discussed how alumni engagement staff create a culture of belonging, rigor, accountability and impact.

Matthew T. Lambert ’99, vice president of university advancement, provided an overview of University Advancement’s mission and how that mission is applied in daily work: We create the conditions for opportunity – human, financial & experiential – by garnering and stewarding the resources that advance William & Mary. He provided an overview of fiscal year 2023 fundraising and a progress report on the All In campaign for William & Mary Athletics. He also discussed changes in the methodologies used by publications that rank universities and reaffirmed William & Mary’s commitment to its values-based priorities.

Kelly Holdcraft, senior director of affinity and regional engagement, gave an overview of W&M Weekend revenue and expenses and requested a vote at the February meeting on the next W&M Weekend date and location.

Robin Wilcox and Bryce Lee, Wells Fargo advisors, gave recap of FY23 investment performance report.

Board Development Committee Chair Natasha Moulton-Levy ’95 shared that Umesh Trika ’03 has resigned his board position. The board voted to post and fill his position.

Michael Steelman and Alex Beard, director and senior assistant director of alumni career management and professional networks for the Office of Career Development & Professional Engagement, spoke about the new One Network platform via recorded video presentation. The W&M One Network platform brings together the William & Mary community for professional networking on a global scale, empowering career and industry connections needed to thrive in a rapidly changing world. Community members have exclusive access to networking, mentorship opportunities and career resources, all while giving back and making a positive impact on the professional lives of others in the W&M community. The platform, onenetwork.wm.edu, has almost 3,000 members, most of whom are alumni. Faculty, staff, students and parents will be invited to join in October.

Robbie Bantom Graham, executive director of strategic events, provided a preview of the Homecoming & Reunion Weekend schedule, Oct. 19-22. Dan Pisaniello, director of facilities, planning, design & construction, presented construction projects on campus. Jim Taylor ’69, chair of the Olde Guarde, discussed the importance of the Olde Guarde as a way for alumni to stay connected to the university. Abby Stern ’24, chair of Students for University Advancement, talked about the successful 2023 Senior Class Gift and the Young Guarde’s plans for the fall, including advertising the Homecoming Parade to student groups to encourage them to participate, and hosting more events throughout the year, especially in the Alumni House. Robert Waggoner, executive director for regional engagement, provided a brief update on the Alumni Association’s fundraising to date, and noted the correlation between event attendance and philanthropy to the Alumni Association.

Valerie Wilkins M.Ed. ’08, director of alumni admission, engagement & inclusion initiatives, shared that the Alumni Admission Weekend in June was very well-received. Her team is offering a series of admission-related webinars throughout the fall. She also provided the board with an update on William & Mary’s application and yield rates.

Wilkins also discussed the Society of 1918’s new Navigating Transitions programs, one for life transitions and one for mid-career transitions, that feature executive coaches Dorian Baroni ’81, Amy Steindler ’80 and Sequoia Owen ’12. Society of 1918 member and board member Natasha Moulton-Levy ’95 shared her experience in Rwanda as part of the Women Deliver conference and her experience meeting with Rwandan and Afghani teenage girls at schools there. 

Board members enjoyed a tour of the renovated Phi Beta Kappa Memorial Hall and Music Building, part of William & Mary’s new Arts Quarter. They also participated in the Williamsburg-Peninsula alumni network’s Tribe Thursday event.

The next meeting of the W&M Alumni Association Board of Directors will be Feb. 8-9, 2024, at the Alumni House, in connection with the university’s Charter Day celebrations.