2019 Annual Review and Accolades Awards Winners

Strategic Vision: Boston

The W&M Boston leadership team is made up of four core members with nine additional volunteers. They convene twice annually, once for their elections and to set their calendar and once as a mid-year checkup and social event. The team communicates through an email thread that recaps each meeting and a live document on Google Docs that can be edited by each member, helping to ensure each person is prepared to organize and run their event. The group ensures participation through individual assignment of events with varying responsibilities (e.g. social media, logistics). The network recruits new members through attendance at the events they host and by welcoming newcomers to the Boston area.

Campus Connector: Charleston

W&M Charleston connects alumni by hosting events centered around William & Mary traditions and providing special ways to give back to the university and the community. For traditional events like Homecoming, Yule Log, Charter Day, and One Tribe One Day, the network connects with local businesses, nonprofits and social groups in which alumni are involved. The network also fosters unique William & Mary Charleston traditions. The network keeps William & Mary pride alive by encouraging alumni to host events in their homes and drawing on the parallel histories of Williamsburg and Charleston. Events include a reception before the CAA Men’s Basketball tournament, organizing informal cheering sections at other sporting events and more. Drawing on the historical aspect, the network’s fall pre-Homecoming 2018 event was a tour of the historic Charleston Coast Guard Station.

Leadership Giving

There were eight networks who attained 100% leadership giving: Charleston, D.C. Metro, Lower Northern Neck, North Florida, Society of 1918, Southwest Florida, Triangle, Williamsburg-Peninsula.

Programming Excellence

Cultural: New York City - NYC Tenement Museum Tours

In this event, attendees toured two preserved tenements in NYC. The first tour showcased the story of an Irish family and the other told the story of two families facing economic troubles in the 1870s. This event gave W&M alumni, parents, family and friends the chance to learn about the immigrant and migrant experience in America.

Educational: South Hampton Roads - Speaker Luncheon: Founding of the U.S. Navy and Rum

W&M South Hampton Roads socialized and enjoyed a delicious lunch at this speaker event. Following lunch, storyteller and historian John Millar M.A. ’81 delivered an entertaining lecture on the reason for the creation of the U.S. Navy: rum. Yes, rum. The story is a captivating one, and this event has sold out both times the network has hosted.

Family: Boston - Apple Picking with the Tribe

At W&M Boston’s most popular event, attendees gathered on a Sunday morning for apple picking, hay rides, apple cider donuts and farm animals. This event allows for flexibility, with some families arriving early to apple pick before the group rode into the orchard together. W&M alumni, parents, family and friends met up at the farm store, where everyone shared hot cider donuts and younger members enjoyed seeing goats, horses and pigs.

Partner: D.C. Metro - William & Mary Night at Nationals Park

W&M D.C. Metro began planning this event early, working with University Advancement staff to promote the event. The event featured custom William & Mary and the Nationals co-branded New Era hats, recognition for William & Mary on the jumbotron, national anthem by J.J. Kuchan ’13 on trumpet, and of course, a win for Thomas Jefferson in the president’s race. W&M alumni, parents, family and friends were able to purchase group tickets in designated sections, allowing them to connect with current friends and to meet new ones.

Service: Philadelphia - Cradles to Crayons Service Day

At the first event of the newly reconstituted W&M Philadelphia, W&M alumni, parents, family and friends gathered to help assist children from birth to age 12 living in homeless or low-income situations. At this event, alumni assembled outfit packs of essential items (including clothing, shoes, school supplies, books and toys) all tailored to each child’s age, gender and interests. Those involved felt it was a great opportunity to provide and demonstrate service to others.

Signature: D.C. Metro - Charter Day Celebration

At this celebration of Charter Day, W&M D.C. Metro alumni, parents, family and friends (and pets!) gathered at Dacha Beer Garden for festivities. The network provided food and drinks to the alumni attending. As a welcome from W&M D.C. Metro, the network gathered signatures on a card for President Rowe. They also donated coloring books and canned food to a local nonprofit.

Unique: Colorado - Statewide and multi-city events over the past year

As a statewide network, W&M Colorado created multi-city events that took place on the same day to build engagement in local cities. The network debuted this concept with One Tribe One Day in both Denver and Fort Collins. Looking forward, W&M Colorado is planning a fall service event with local food banks that will be multi-city.

Honorable Mentions

Strategic Vision: D.C. Metro

W&M D.C. Metro hosts monthly meetings where upcoming events and initiatives are discussed. The responsibilities of the network are divided up among the board members. The network communicates through these monthly meetings as well as email, Google Drive and phone calls when needed. The board produces a monthly newsletter as well as content for the network’s Facebook page. The network maintains a committee structure to divvy up responsibilities. They ensure participation through a required number of meetings attended and an expectation of board members to volunteer to run at least one event. The network runs a full application process to recruit new members. Board terms are three years with a six-year limit, and members must wait a year to apply again to rejoin.

Strategic Vision: Richmond

W&M Richmond meets annually to plan for the next year and monthly to plan, revise, add new events and coordinate. With an aim of active participation, they generally have two or more board members present at every event. Additionally, planning of events is assigned on a volunteer basis instead of being delegated in order to foster creativity. W&M Richmond is a believer in teamwork, with teams of two or more working to plan events. New members are recruited through an annual meeting in the spring and officer positions serve for two years, with each officer being able to serve two consecutive terms.

Campus Connector: D.C. Metro

W&M D.C. Metro strives to include William & Mary traditions in its events whenever possible. The network’s Yule Log ceremony contains an actual Williamsburg log, the Grinch, guest speakers and a choir and an a cappella alumnus leading “Our Alma Mater.” In total, W&M D.C. Metro hosts more than 30 events every year. They encourage alumni to attend events through in person interaction and social media. Members of the D.C. network like to make their presence known and welcome newcomers to the area by sporting Tribe clothing and posting to social media.

Campus Connector: Chicago

W&M Chicago not only plans their own events for alumni to attend, but members also attend other William & Mary-specific events in the area. The network hosts events that include alumni from all the universities in Virginia in an effort to introduce William & Mary alumni to those from rival schools so they can bond over their shared love of Virginia. Combining aspects of William & Mary with some local to Chicago, they host an array of game watches and pre-game gatherings for all William & Mary sports as well as Chicago sports teams, like the Cubs. This gives the network a chance to showcase Tribe pride across the city.

Leadership Giving

The honorable mentions for leadership giving are W&M Charlotte and W&M South Hampton Roads.

Cultural: Boston - John Williams Film Night at Tanglewood

Once a year, W&M alumni, parents, family and friends from the Boston area carpool out to Tanglewood, the summer home of one of the top orchestras in the U.S., Boston Pops Orchestra, for the John Williams Film Night. Once there, they set up blankets, lawn chairs and picnic baskets. Then, John Williams, a legendary film composer, conducts the Pops with screens behind the Orchestra showing the associated films. W&M Boston is hoping to expand the outreach of this event and invite W&M NYC to join next year.

Cultural: Richmond - Virginia Opera Brunch

Each spring, W&M alumni, parents, family and friends gather in the Dominion Arts Center in downtown Richmond. There, they connect with one another and members of the opera while enjoying brunch, after which a representative from the opera presents about the opera’s history and the show they are about to see. Attendees then enjoy the fantastic performance.

Educational: Charlottesville - Random Row Private Brewery Tour

At this W&M Charlottesville event, W&M alumni, parent, family and friends got a behind the scenes look at the workings of a local alumni-owned brewery. On this tour of Random Row Brewing Company, Kevin McElroy shared his story of turning a passion project into a thriving business and the challenges along the way. Attendees learned about the process of brewing beer as well as the business of producing and distributing a fragile product.

Educational: D.C. Metro - Welcome to the Real World

At this event, recent graduates are able to network and learn from four alumni panelists and staff. The panelists present on topics of relevance to recent graduates, like building credit score, dealing with student loans, filing taxes, savings and budgeting best practices, retirement planning, job hunting, and how to make the most of networking at William & Mary events. Recently, the event has also expanded to having a section on health insurance as well.

Family: D.C. Metro - Cox Farms Fall Festival

W&M alumni, parents, family and friends gathered at the Cox Farms Fall Festival to mingle with one another. W&M D.C. Metro reserved tables and created a William & Mary “Party Zone,” where snacks and apple cider were served. Additionally, there were William & Mary swag giveaways. Finally, alumni families were able to enjoy a special hay ride.

Family: Orlando - Second Harvest Food Bank, Yule Log, Fire Frogs Game

At this series of events, W&M alumni, parents, family and friends volunteered together, enjoyed a William & Mary tradition and attended a minor league baseball game. These events were strategically scheduled to welcome the involvement of attendees and any younger family members they may have. The series incorporated the W&M principles of volunteerism, tradition and fun.

Partner: Chicago - Breakfast and Business Cards

For this event, hosted quarterly, W&M alumni, parents, family and friends take turns hosting a professional networking and educational opportunity in their offices. Since it is hosted in the morning, coffee and breakfast is catered for attendees. Following breakfast and networking, attendees settle in for a short 30-45-minute presentation on a topic chosen to appeal to a broad audience of all industry types, such as taking risks in your career.

Service: D.C. Metro - Service to Veterans

In this series of two events, W&M D.C. Metro alumni, parents, family and friends offered service to veterans. At the first event, in partnership with Wreaths Across America, attendees laid wreaths on graves at Arlington National Cemetery. In the other event of the series, a partnership with Honor Flights, W&M D.C. Metro welcomed veterans flying into D.C. to see national monuments created in their honor. W&M D.C. Metro participates in Wreaths Across America annually and Honor Flights biannually.

Service: Orlando - Second Harvest Food Bank

W&M alumni, parents, family and friends came together for an afternoon of volunteering at Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida. From sorting food, checking for damage and verifying expiration dates to repacking donations, volunteers made a local impact with a charity that serves six counties and distributes nearly 58 million meals annually. Time flew by for the group while helping out and spreading Tribe pride.

Signature: South Hampton Roads - Yule Log

John and Marianne Littel hosted this past year’s W&M South Hampton Roads Yule Log at their incredible 18th-century home, opening it to alumni, parents, family and friends of William & Mary to celebrate the loved tradition of Yule Log. Their historic home was the perfect backdrop for this event, with candlelit walkways around the property and the Yule Log ceremony surrounding the fire pit.

Signature: Charlottesville - Yule Log

Celebrating the time-honored Yule Log Ceremony, this event brings Williamsburg to the mountains of Charlottesville. Within the beautiful property of alumnus and fifth president James Monroe, W&M Charlottesville welcomed all W&M alumni, parents, family and friends across Virginia to join them in marking the passage of time and optimism of a new year. Participants visited the estate of James Monroe and enjoyed a tour of the house before moving to the barn to mingle with others before finally tossing a sprig of campus holly into the fire on their way out.

Unique: Williamsburg-Peninsula - Dinner with Tribe Basketball Teams

This annual event, held at Kaplan arena in early January, provides an engaging, tasty dinner for student athletes and a chance for W&M alumni, parents, family and friends to connect with student athletes, coaches and staff. This event allows for an intimate connection to be formed in a casual setting. Attendees are given the chance to learn more about student athletes and their aspirations and strengthen the William & Mary community.

Unique: South Hampton Roads - Breakfast and Business Cards

This event provides a chance for W&M alumni, parents, family and friends to network professionally as well as learn from presentations by entrepreneurs. As the event is hosted early in the day, continental breakfast is provided for attendants. This past year, South Hampton Roads held the event at Norfolk’s entrepreneur incubator, the Selden Market, where new business owners can rent a location and promote their products out of an established brand. Attendees listened to presentations from three local entrepreneurs.