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Kathy Hornsby to receive W&M’s 2019 Prentis Award

May 10, 2019
By W&M News

Kathy Hornsby '79 (Courtesy photo)

Kathy Hornsby received her undergraduate degree from William & Mary, but her continuing education came from her desire to serve the community.

“I’ve told people for years that I got an ‘MBA in nonprofits’ from serving with Child Development Resources,” she said.

Hornsby used what she learned serving with that nonprofit in her work with dozens of other community organizations in the Hampton Roads region throughout the past three decades. For those efforts, plus her close ties and multiple contributions to William & Mary, Hornsby will receive the 2019 Prentis Award on May 21 in the Wren Building.

The university presents the award each year to individuals in the Williamsburg community based on their civic involvement and support of W&M.

“What an honor to recognize Kathy Hornsby, who in her passion and dedication represents a powerful example of what a life of intentional selflessness looks like,” said W&M President Katherine A. Rowe. “There is scarcely an area of life in Williamsburg that hasn’t been improved by the generous giving of her time and considerable talents. This is certainly true of her championship and steadfast friendship of William & Mary. We’re delighted to recognize her with the Prentis Award.”

Although Hornsby has attended Prentis Award ceremonies in the past, she never imagined she would be the recipient one day.

“I am rarely speechless, but I was almost speechless,” she said of hearing the news from Rowe. “It was a huge surprise and, of course, an honor.”

A native of Richmond, Virginia, Hornsby graduated from William & Mary in 1979 with a degree in education and moved to Los Angeles the next year with her soon-to-be husband, singer and songwriter Bruce Hornsby. While in California, she worked as a teacher and a graphic artist. The couple moved back to Williamsburg in 1990, two years before their sons, Keith and Russell, were born.

Although she was raising two sons and working as her husband’s business manager, Hornsby looked for ways to become involved in the community.

“I needed to make Williamsburg my home now coming back as an adult,” she said. “I had been a student here, and while I’d volunteered as a tutor with the Rita Welsh Adult Skills Program (now Literacy for Life), I was coming back 10 years later as a different person with a newfound sense of interest in the community and family — curious about what makes a community work and struggle, what can I do for the College — because I knew I had the time and the ability to hopefully learn more and get involved.”

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