Christine Taylor ’61 is a Bell-Ringing member of the Bell Society. Having made her first gift in 1974, she has given for 48 consecutive years.
We recently asked her a few questions about the importance of giving back to the university. Here are her responses:
Why did you make your first gift to William & Mary and why do you continue to give each year?
Most likely, my first gift given was in recognition of the great friends I made at W&M over the four years. Secondly, I felt an awesome responsibility to the university for the sense of support it give me. I continue to give annually because, without alumni financial support, the university will not continue to operate as it has in the past.
Why is it important to support the Fund for William & Mary?
Most importantly, we are discussing a superb educational institution whose teaching, learning and research standards are unquestioned among professionals. Throughout my life, people couldn't grasp that our school was not a "private one," as it had been dubbed as an "ivy league" through its reputation and is known as a "public ivy.''
There is much more that rounds out the university, which remains a special part of my fond memories from the era of the 50s and 60s. While I will mention several that were very close to my heart, I feel that these memories made a distinct lifelong connection to stay close to the university. I hope this will encourage other graduates to share financially in order to help William & Mary prosper. Here are some of my fondest memories:
- Gaggles of freshmen students wearing green/yellow beanies bowing to the Lord Botetourt statue in front of the historic Wren Building
- Crim Dell Bridge with happy couples lingering there
- Ludwell Apartments for our freshman year dormitory and the "Green Machine" as our transportation
- “Mixers” on weekends at the fraternity lodges with occasional "visits" by Dean Lambert
- Local bands playing at the Lake Matoaka amphitheatre while students socialized and danced the jitterbug;
- Crossing the Sunken Garden in the early evening with its expansive lawns
With its historical significance coupled with excitement through social life for the students, its offerings as an institution were unmatched.
Why should alumni and students give now?
William & Mary is committed to affordable educational costs for students and has tried to keep tuition costs as low as possible, which is laudatory; however, costs of living have soared, and we have recently lived through a pandemic that has drained many families of their savings.
The State of Virginia's funding for the university has been woefully low. W&M will not be able to sustain increased student growth for the future unless alumni and friends can commit to helping with financial aid now. We owe it to our university, which has owned many honors throughout its history.
William & Mary was the best place for me and provided me with the confidence to accomplish higher degrees later in life. I will be forever grateful; giving future students this same opportunity is William & Mary's goal, and all of us can help the university achieve that.