Spring 2024 Issue

Spotlight: Society of 1918

By Women, For Women, For W&M

By Claire De Lisle M.B.A. ’21

Founded in 2018, during the centennial celebration of the admission of women to William & Mary, the Society of 1918 is committed to growing the engagement, leadership and philanthropy of W&M women. This vibrant group of women, dedicated to being “by women for women for William & Mary,” supports each other, provides feedback to university leadership on key issues, comes together regularly and gives to causes that advance women and William & Mary.

The Society now comprises over 600 W&M women — alumnae, spouses, faculty, staff, mothers of students and beyond. Members represent a wide range of ages, backgrounds and industries. They provide philanthropic support to funds across the university as well as to the Alumnae Initiatives Endowment (AIE), which underwrites regional gatherings and W&M Women’s Weekend, bringing women together for invigorating learning, fun and networking activities. Since its founding, the Society has hosted more than 130 in-person and virtual events with over 12,000 registrations.

In 2023, the AIE also funded grants for faculty and students of all genders for projects that address the needs and interests of women. Projects included mentorship programs for physics undergraduates and for VIMS students, a weekend-long event by the Student Accessibility and Disability Alliance, an artist-in-residence at the Muscarelle Museum of Art and much more. Grants will continue to be awarded each year.

New for 2024, the Society sponsored a 12-week cohort experience, “Navigating Life Transitions,” in which 52 W&M women met with executive coaches and received peer support.

“The connections between women of all generations because of our shared love of William & Mary have been really powerful,” says Shanda Cooper Goff ’06, chair of the Society.

Learn more about programs for W&M women, including the Society of 1918, at wmalumni.com/women.