In October 1775, the Continental Congress voted to arm two vessels with crew and weapons for the purpose of intercepting British transports heading to North America — so was born the U.S. Navy. It was not until 203 years later, in July 1978, that Judge John Sirica, still infamous from his pivotal role in the Watergate case, ruled that it was unconstitutional for Congress to bar women from serving on U.S. Navy ships. That November, a handful of women made history when they became the first female crew members of a non-hospital naval vessel.
Since 2015, we have held more than 50 alumnae events in Washington, D.C., northern Virginia, Richmond, Roanoke, Atlanta, Seattle, San Francisco, Norfolk, Boston, New York City, Philadelphia and Virginia Beach. See which events are happening soon.
Have a great idea for how we should continue celebrating the centennial anniversary of women at William & Mary? Or do you have thoughts on how we could celebrate the centennial anniversary in your region, including possible venues, speakers, programming, or hosts? We’d love to hear about it! Submit ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org or raise your hand through the volunteer portal.
Are you interested in volunteering in support of current students on campus? Find the best possible volunteering fit for you.
Women at William & Mary continue to make an enormous impact on both the Williamsburg community and beyond. Read more about some of the recent accomplishments of W&M women.
As part of William & Mary’s commemoration of 100 years of coeducation and women’s athletics, a $2.4 million commitment has been made by several donors to establish a new home for the women’s field hockey team. The development of the Tribe Field Hockey Center is being supported through a fundraising initiative called the Century Project, which has set into motion efforts designed to enhance the experience for women athletes and the caliber of the university’s facilities.
With more than 470 women gathered together for the first-ever William & Mary Women’s Weekend, members of the Society of 1918 presented President Katherine A. Rowe with a $2.65 million check in support of an endowment benefiting alumnae.
Nearly 500 alumnae, parents, family, staff, students and friends gathered on campus for the Weekend, a signature event in the yearlong commemoration of 100 years of coeducation at William & Mary.