Spring 2023 Issue

Board Notes

Report from the winter meeting of the WMAA Board of Directors

By Claire De Lisle M.B.A. ’21

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

Following approval of the consent agenda, Matthew L. “Matt” Brandon ’99, chief executive officer, shared his aspiration for the alumni engagement team to provide best-in-industry service to William & Mary alumni, while being a valued part of the Office of University Advancement and the entire university community.

The board then heard a summary of a report recently completed by an outside consultant. In September 2022, Chris Marshall Advancement Consulting (CMAC) was engaged through Washburn & McGoldrick, LLC by William & Mary to conduct a review of alumni engagement strategies and programs within an integrated advancement model. CMAC interviewed advancement leadership, senior campus leadership, program team members and campus partners. Interviewees provided background and perspective on past alumni engagement efforts and offered feedback and recommendations on ways to better engage alumni. CMAC then produced a report for university leadership with both an assessment of current engagement strategies and recommendations for improvements. They also provided recommendations for implementing a constituent engagement strategy that elevates core tenants of the Vision 2026 strategic plan. Representatives from CMAC provided the board with an overview of this report for their consideration.

The board then voted and passed the following items:

In addition, Robert Waggoner, executive director for regional engagement, provided a brief update on the Alumni Association’s fundraising goals. Ivana Marshall M.Ed. ’23, associate director for alumni engagement and inclusion initiatives and current chair of the D&I Committee, gave an update on the activities of the volunteer-led committee, which is largely charged with providing educational opportunities for University Advancement staff.

Kelly Holdcraft, senior director for career, affinity and regional engagement, provided a progress report on planning for W&M Weekend, to be held in San Francisco, June 1-4, 2023. Alicia Hainsworth, associate director of signature programs, provided the board with an update on the Alumni Medallion & Service Awards Ceremony and Reception, Feb. 11; Traditions Weekend, which honors the 50th Reunion class, Olde Guarde and Boyle Legacy Society, April 28-30; and the Honorary Alumni Ceremony and Reception, May 19. She also provided final attendance numbers for Homecoming & Reunion Weekend 2022, which had 3,119 registered attendees across 98 events.

Chairs from the Communications, Board Development, Inclusion, Career, Affinity & Regional Engagement and Finance & Investment committees updated members on action items and priorities in their respective areas. Ian Doty ’21, co-chair of the Young Guarde Council, and Abby Stern ’24, chair for Students for University Advancement, provided overviews of their fall actions and spring goals. Bruce Oliver ’68, chair of the Olde Guarde, spoke on the importance of this organization for alumni who graduated from W&M 50 years ago or more.

Jean Berger Estes ’75, chair of the Impact Award Task Force, provided the board with an overview of the new proposed WMAA Civic and Humanitarian Award. Those who will receive this award are compassionate citizens who devote their knowledge, skills and time to serve the greater good. Recipients exemplify the university’s values, dedicating significant time, leadership and energy to serve humanity. Through their volunteer efforts, participation in charitable work and selfless actions, they make a meaningful impact on communities and society as a whole.

Valerie Wilkins M.Ed. ’08, director for alumni admissions, alumni engagement and inclusion initiatives, shared details of upcoming events for newly admitted students. She also provided an update on the activities of the Hulon Willis Association and its board.

Michael Steelman, director of alumni career management and professional networks, provided the board with an overview of Professional Development Week, Feb. 27-March 3. He also provided an advance look at One Network, a new global networking platform for the W&M community that will replace Switchboard.

The meeting concluded with Anna Hatfield ’96, P ’27, president of the board, proposing a new task force to study young alumni engagement and encouraging the board to consider options for how the annual membership meeting is conducted and delivered.

The next regular meeting of the Board of Directors will be June 1, 2023, and will be held in person in San Francisco as part of William & Mary Weekend.