Meet this year’s recipients, who represent outstanding commitment, dedication and support for William & Mary; exemplary accomplishments in their professional lives; and leadership in civic engagement in their communities.
As a member and then president of the W&M Alumni Association Board of Directors, Cindy Jarboe awarded Alumni Medallions to deserving alumni. Now, she is receiving one of her own in honor of her many accomplishments and her service to her alma mater.
“I have been inspired by her dedication, preparation, generosity and love for William & Mary. She is an unparalleled role model for so many. She is brilliant, creative, resilient and remarkably modest for all her philanthropic and professional accomplishments,” says Theresa “Terry” Thompson ’67, who received the Alumni Medallion in 2007.
During her tenure as president of the W&M Alumni Association board from 2016-2018, Jarboe advocated for alumni engagement as one of the three pillars of the For the Bold campaign, launched the successful signature event William & Mary Weekend and began fundraising and planning for the expansion of the Alumni House, which opened in 2020. Through her generosity to the project, the elevator in the expansion is named for her.
Jarboe brought to the Alumni House project her experience with the funding and construction of Miller Hall, which she helped to oversee as co-chair of the development committee of the W&M Business School Foundation board. She delved into the complexities of W&M’s finances as treasurer of the W&M Foundation board and served on the board of the Muscarelle Museum of Art. She is a charter member of the Society of 1918, W&M’s women’s giving society, and served on its steering committee.
The Society’s focus on women holds special meaning for Jarboe. A week after graduating from W&M with her degree in accounting, Jarboe joined Coopers & Lybrand (now PwC) as the only woman in their class of new hires. When she made partner in 1989, she blazed a trail as the first woman audit partner in the Mid-Atlantic region.
Leveraging her experience in audits and mergers and acquisitions, Jarboe became a consultant in 1997 and has continued to do consulting work for higher education and private equity firms. She has also served as CEO and CFO to many companies, most recently Emergency Assistance Foundation Inc.
While at Coopers & Lybrand, Jarboe was asked to serve on the board of the Special Olympics. Seeing the impact of the organization on athletes and their families inspired Jarboe to continue volunteering throughout her life — and encouraging her children, including alumna Kathryn Satterwhite Allen ’11, to do the same. Jarboe is currently chair of the supervisory committee for Virginia Credit Union, which provides financial services and education to underserved populations, and chair of the human resources committee and co-chair of Richmond region for the Order of St. John, through which she volunteered with W&M’s Puller Law Clinic to help veterans. She is chair-elect and former treasurer for the Society of International Business Fellows and treasurer for the National Panhellenic Conference Foundation.
To guide others as they take on board service, in 2019 Jarboe published “A Guide to Nonprofit Board Success: Answering the Call of Leadership,” and she is a frequent speaker and trainer on the subject of board service and governance.
“If you want something done, call Cindy,” says A. Marshall Acuff Jr. ’62, L.H.D. ’07, who served with Jarboe on the W&M Foundation board and received the Alumni Medallion in 1993. “She is focused, organized and driven. She will get it done and she’ll do it well.”
STEWART “STEW” SELL ’56, P ’83, P ’87, P ’91
In the 67 years since his graduation, Stew Sell made significant contributions to the fields of immunology and pathology through his research on cancer. He brought his love of the Tribe wherever he went, inspiring others to engage with William & Mary as well.
“Dr. Sell has been a leader not only professionally, but also to increase alumni support for W&M and its growth. He is an exceptional person with a deep concern for his fellow human beings,” says longtime friend and neighbor Jeannette S. Takesian, wife of the late Roosevelt Takesian ’55.
After graduating from W&M with a degree in chemistry, Sell received his medical degree from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. He served as a faculty member at the University of Pittsburgh, UC San Diego, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and Albany Medical College, where he was director of the division of experimental pathology. He also worked for the New York State Department of Health.
He has published numerous books and articles, including the best-selling textbook “Immunology, Immunopathology, and Immunity,” and received National Institutes of Health grant funding in excess of $9 million. He has been honored with awards throughout his career for both excellence in teaching and the impact of his scientific research.
Each place Sell lived, he gathered fellow alumni together. He helped form the Pittsburgh and San Diego alumni networks and reinvigorated the Houston network. He also interviewed prospective W&M students and hosted receptions for accepted students, welcoming them to the Tribe.
Reflecting on his formative experience at W&M as a varsity swimmer and captain of the team under the late Coach Dudley Jensen, Sell became a stalwart supporter of the Dudley M. Jensen Swimming Endowment. He was inducted into the W&M Athletics Hall of Fame in 1985.
He has served as co-chair of the Fund for W&M and created the Ilze Klavins Sell Memorial Endowment in honor of his late wife to support study abroad in Latvia. To inspire others to give back to William & Mary, he contributed challenge gifts on One Tribe One Day, W&M’s annual day of giving, and sponsored the Class Ambassador Academy, an opportunity for volunteers to return to campus and reach out to their peers to encourage their support. He also established the Sell Family Legacy Fund and Sell Family Physician Scientist Award at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine to support the education of future medical students.
Sell also found time to coach youth softball and basketball, as well as serve as an elder and deacon in his church. Inspired by his time as a student in the W&M Big Band, he founded and was leader of several jazz and big band groups with fellow medical professionals.
Sell is part of a multigenerational W&M family, which includes his first wife, Pat King Sell ’58; their children, Sherri Sell Phillips ’83, P ’14, P ’16, Sean Sell ’87, J.D. ’93 and Stephanie Sell Kinzel ’91; Sherri’s husband, Howard Lee “Bud” Phillips III ’82, P ’14, P ’16; and Sherri and Bud’s children, Samantha “Sam” Phillips ’14 and Alexandra “Ally” Phillips ’16.
“As each succeeding decade unfolded in Stew’s life, he accomplished much in his chosen profession, and he ‘gave back,’ both to the community and to his alma mater,” says David G. Lucas Jr. ’80, Bud Phillips’ fraternity brother and a friend of the family. “He is top-flight in everything he touches. Academic researcher. Musician. Athlete. Father. Grandfather. Friend.”
Editor's note: Sell passed away on June 16, 2023.
H. THOMAS “TOM” WATKINS III ’74, P ’05, P ’11
When William & Mary calls, Tom Watkins answers, helping to guide and shape the future of his alma mater as a volunteer leader through board service. He brings decades of experience as a leader in his industry and on corporate and nonprofit boards.
“I worked shoulder to shoulder with Tom for over six years on the Board of Visitors, and I experienced firsthand the many ways in which his efforts and sterling character have enhanced the W&M community,” says Lisa Roday P ’13, P ’14. “Tom has an unequivocal love of W&M and an unwavering and selfless commitment to its vigor.”
Watkins received his undergraduate degree in accounting from W&M in 1974 and his MBA from the University of Chicago in 1979. After working as a management consultant for McKinsey & Co., he joined Abbott Laboratories, and over a 20-year career rose to oversee the company’s Asia/Pacific business and later served as president of TAP Pharmaceuticals Inc., a joint venture between Abbott and Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. of Japan. Ready for a new challenge, he became president and CEO of Human Genome Sciences, Inc., a cutting-edge biotechnology company, from 2004 until it was acquired by GlaxoSmithKline in 2012.
While building his career, he reconnected with W&M in the 1990s when he joined the Business School Foundation Board, on which his father, the late W&M Rector Hays T. Watkins LL.D. ’82, had served. He then joined the W&M Foundation board in 2006 and served as its secretary and chair.
In 2013, he was appointed by Virginia’s governor to serve on the Board of Visitors, becoming vice rector from 2015 to 2018. When W&M began the search for its 28th president, Watkins chaired the Search Committee, gathering and incorporating feedback from the worldwide alumni community that led to the selection of President Katherine A. Rowe.
Since most members of the Board of Visitors are Virginia residents, Watkins brought a unique perspective on W&M’s national and international brand to the board as someone who has not lived in Virginia since graduation. He represented W&M in his hometown of Chicago during the For the Bold campaign, co-chairing the central region campaign committee, sponsoring the W&M Weekend in Chicago and serving on the Weekend’s planning committee alongside his children Catherine Reeves Watkins ’05 and Hays Thomas Watkins IV ’11.
Watkins currently serves on two corporate boards of directors. He also serves on the boards of two nonprofit organizations, the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago and the Conservancy of Southwest Florida.
At William & Mary, he and his family created the Watkins Family 1693 Scholarship Endowment, the Watkins Family Athletic Endowment, the Watkins Business Faculty Research Endowment and the Hays T. Watkins Professorship at the Raymond A. Mason School of Business to ensure excellence in teaching, learning and athletics.
“Tom is the sort of W&M person with whom anyone would be proud to serve. His love for our alma mater radiates in all he does,” says Jim Ukrop ’60, L.H.D. ’99, who served with Watkins on the Business School Foundation Board. “He takes the time to make deep, meaningful connections with all those he serves alongside, checking in to ensure they are not only all rowing in the same direction, but that they are personally engaged with W&M. Through his wisdom and leadership across five decades of engagement, our university is poised on a new era of success.”
BARBARA “BARB” RAMSEY ’75
Barb Ramsey loves bringing together people with similar interests to help them reach common goals. It’s a skill she honed throughout her career and uses daily in support of the university and as a member of the Williamsburg City Council.
“In every way, she personifies the best of servant leadership. Whether it involves the university, the City of Williamsburg or any other organization, she is consistently committed to serving the greater good. To accomplish this, she is a consummate team player and networker, bringing people to work together for a shared purpose,” says friend and classmate Lynn Melzer Dillon ’75, who received the Alumni Medallion in 2009. “She is an extraordinary leader who brings a positive perspective and a commitment to achieve constructive results.”
After graduating from W&M with a degree in biology, Ramsey transitioned to a career in sales and marketing with a focus on clients in the federal government. After spending 11 years with a Williamsburg firm, she was recruited by Thomasville Furniture Industries to move to Germany and be the first and sole sales representative to all the U.S. military bases in Europe and the Middle East. Throughout her almost 30 years with Thomasville in various locations, she traveled extensively and was one of the leading sales representatives for her division.
When Ramsey moved back to Williamsburg in 2009, she joined the Williamsburg-Peninsula alumni network and has served in a variety of leadership positions. Among other engagement initiatives, she launched the highly popular dinner in Kaplan Arena with the alumni network and the men’s and women’s basketball teams.
She was chair for the Culture of Philanthropy on the Annual Giving Board during the For the Bold campaign, is a class ambassador and was a leader in the Class of 1975’s “Staying Connected” effort for its 40th Reunion, raising over $5.2 million for their class gift. For her service to William & Mary and its alumni, Ramsey was awarded the Douglas N. Morton ’62 Alumni Service Award in 2016.
Ramsey is also a member of the W&M Athletics Foundation Board. She makes personal connections with student-athletes, frequently hosting teams for dinner at her home. As a co-chair of the Lord Botetourt Affair for eight years, she has been instrumental in the financial success of the auction, helping to raise more than $2.5 million for W&M Athletics. She also supports the All In campaign through gifts to Women in Action funds and the Athletics Complex, among other areas.
In 2016, Ramsey was elected to the Williamsburg City Council, and she was re-elected to a second term in 2020. In this role, she participates in setting policy for the city and acts as a bridge between the city, William & Mary and Colonial Williamsburg, always striving to expand business and tourism opportunities and to better “town and gown” relationships. She is honored to serve as City Council's representative to the Economic Development Authority, the Chamber of Commerce, the Public Art Council and the School Board.
“Barbara jumped in headfirst, not by speaking more often or more loudly, but by delving into the issues and coming to understand how she could have the greatest possible impact. In the process, she became a steadfast colleague and a valued member of city leadership,” says former Williamsburg Mayor Paul T. Freiling ’83. “She cares deeply. She is a model of leadership in public service.”