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William & Mary Celebrates One Tribe One Day with Record-Breaking $3.8M Raised

April 19, 2022
By Leslie McCullough M.B.A. ’17

By the Numbers: Donors from all 50 states and 13 countries took part in William & Mary’s annual giving day this year. Gifts of $100 and below accounted for nearly $248,000 of the total raised, underscoring that gifts of all sizes collectively make a difference. Graphic by Alfred Herczeg P ’24

One Tribe One Day (OTOD), the university’s biggest day of giving back and paying it forward, reinforced once again the incredible generosity and kindness of the entire William & Mary community. Last Tuesday, more than 9,550 students, alumni, parents, faculty, staff and friends collectively gave over $3.8 million to more than 730 areas across the university.

Katherine Rowe and Wren Traditions
President Katherine Rowe visits with students at the Wren Traditions table during One Tribe One Day. Photo by Alfred Herczeg P ’24

One Tribe One Day is a special annual tradition — a time when we share our gratitude for specific programs and people in real and immediate ways,” said President Katherine Rowe. “We can see small gestures of enthusiasm adding up. We can feel the community coming together over the course of 24 hours.” 

“As the success of OTOD grows, so does the direct impact it has on a broad range of initiatives that strengthen William & Mary’s educational experience today and going forward,” added Rowe. “To everyone who contributed and conveyed such strong support: You have our heartfelt thanks. 

Since its inception nine years ago, OTOD has inspired more than 41,446 donors to give a total of $20.2 million to William & Mary in support of 1,000+ areas across campus.

Build our community

“What started as one of William & Mary’s most ambitious fundraising efforts has grown into a global, dynamic celebration of our community’s incredible generosity and connections to one another,” said Matthew T. Lambert ’99, vice president for university advancement. “OTOD underscores how every person in the W&M community is critical to shaping a strong and sustainable future for the university.”

OTOD offers the opportunity for each person to add their unique mark on the canvas of our thriving university, adding color where it’s needed most and expanding the vivid landscape of our unwavering passion and pride. This year, more than 2,340 friends of the university joined over 5,100 alumni, 2,100 parents and 600 students, faculty and staff to support of OTOD.

One Tribe One Day banner
The W&M community gathered in person and virtually across the globe. Photo by Alfred Herczeg P ’24

“There is a tremendous sense of community at W&M, a community that welcomed me in and supported my success — starting that very first day and, I’m certain, for every day for the rest of my life,” said Joseph O’Brien ’23, chair of the Students for University Advancement (SUA). “I want to thank everyone for their enduring generosity that underscores to students like me how much you truly care. No matter the amount, your gift is a simple gesture that speaks volumes about the sincere nature of our incredible commitment to one another.”

Donors from all 50 states and 13 countries took part in the effort. Gifts of $100 and below accounted for nearly $248,000 of the total raised, underscoring that gifts of all sizes collectively make a difference.

“Time and time again, we see the greatness that can come from simple acts of giving back in order to pay forward all that we have received,” added Lambert. “Each person adds to the powerful vision of what William & Mary can achieve.”

Time to celebrate

OTOD-Sno to Go
Students enjoy Sno-To-Go at the OTOD Carnival in the Sunken Garden. Photo by Alfred Herczeg P ’24

Throughout the day, our community gathered virtually and in person across the globe. The OTOD Carnival returned to campus this year as a cornerstone of the day’s festivities. Hundreds of students, faculty and staff gathered in the Sunken Garden and enjoyed cotton candy, Sno-To-Go and kettle corn. A DJ set a spirited vibe while attendees enjoyed inflatables, a photo booth, giveaways and more.

Over 70 people registered for the online research showcase which highlighted how William & Mary research projects are impacting the world. The event included a series of lightning talks from undergraduate, graduate and faculty researchers in anthropology, art history, biology and economics. The showcase also featured research work at the Global Research Institute and International Justice Lab, James Monroe’s Highland, William & Mary's Virginia Institute of Marine Science and W&M Law School.

The celebration continued into the evening at 15 in-person regional events which offered a great opportunity for fellow alumni, parents, family and friends to connect and support the university.

Rise to the challenge

OTOD is all about participation, and 17 giving challenges helped increase momentum to meet various donor goals throughout the day — unlocking $1.5 million in additional funding for the university.

The milestone challenges for the day included the Charter Challenge sponsored by Kevin Phillips ’84 and Mary Ruth Phillips ’85, the Green & Gold Challenge sponsored by an anonymous donor, the Kurland Challenge sponsored by Leanne Kurland ’75, P ’05 and Alex Kurland HON ’19, P ’05 and the McLeod-Tyler Challenge sponsored by J. Goodenow “Goody” Tyler III HON ’11 and Mariel McLeod ’15, in honor of the late H. Elizabeth “Bee” McLeod ’83, M.B.A. ’91.

OTOD-Sunken Garden
Giving challenges helped unlock $1.5 million in additional funding for the university. Photo by Alfred Herczeg P ’24

The Gerdelman School & Unit Challenge, sponsored by Sue Hanna Gerdelman '76, P ’07, P ’13 and the late John Gerdelman ’75, L.H.D. ’19, P ’07, P ’13, was awarded in four categories. This year, $15,000 was presented to W&M Athletics for the most donors, Arts & Sciences for the most new donors and International Initiatives for the most improved. A $5,000 prize was also given to W&M Libraries for honorable mention for taking an innovative approach to the day.

Three texting challenges, sponsored by Vice Rector Will Payne ’01, Rector John Littel P ’22 and Marianne Littel P ’22 and Andrea Rinaldi Wassmer ’94 and Michael Wassmer, were unlocked when donors made gifts in response to text messages from W&M. A challenge sponsored by the Parent & Family Council unlocked over $200,000 for the Parents Fund when 2,000 parents provided gifts to support the most urgent needs of students.

Additional school and unit challenges included $50,000 through the W&M Alumni Association Challenge, $25,000 through the A&S Challenge, $25,000 through the International Challenge, $12,000 through the W&M Libraries Challenge, $10,000 through the Virginia Institute of Marine Science Challenge and $9,000 through the Washington Center Scholarship Challenge. Through the OTOD Athletics Scholarships Challenge, W&M Athletics is $85,000 away from unlocking a $750,000 matching gift by June 30. The School of Education was also able to reach its challenge for a 25% increase over last year’s OTOD participation.

Thank You!

“We are deeply grateful for the wonderful support from students, alumni, parents, faculty, staff and friends,” said Lambert. “Thank you for being an essential part of One Tribe One Day. Your generosity makes a tremendous difference.”