William and Mary Digest: May 3

College celebrates fundraising in nation's capital

Hundreds of alumni and supporters of the College of William and Mary gathered at the National Portrait Gallery and Smithsonian American Art Museum on April 27 in support an of the For the Bold fundraising campaign.

The college wants to raise $1 billion in funds from donors, much of which will go toward providing financial aid. Upwards of $700 million has already been raised by advancement staff.

More than 20,000 alumni live in or around the Washington, D.C. area. William and Mary has received more than $83 million dollars for its For the Bold campaign from people living in the nation's capital.

"This campaign is an extraordinary investment in people," said president Taylor Reveley. "We will raise more resources than any other public university of our relatively modest size has ever raised and use them to change lives for the better."

Buildings in Washington D.C., northern Virginia, and Maryland were lit up in the college's customary green and gold during the evening.

"William & Mary is a place where many of us found our calling in life. It is where we found our passions and purpose. It is where we met loved ones and formed lasting bonds and where we learned what it takes to lead. It is where we felt empowered to do something greater, something bigger than we ever imagined. And, where so many of us learned what it takes to be bold," said Sue Hanna Gerdelman, chairwoman of the For the Bold campaign. "This campaign provides an opportunity for the entire William & Mary community to be a part of a remarkable movement and a chance to build on our collective legacy of achievement and excellence."

Students receive Fulbright awards to study abroad

Twelve W&M students received Fulbright Awards that will fund their studies abroad this summer. The crop is slightly larger than year's group, which contained nine students.

All of the students will either participate in research projects in their host countries, or teach English in their respective communities around the globe. The grants include airfare, room, board and other incremental costs.

"My experience with Fulbright will be an important stepping stone to my career goal of a professorship at a research university," said Jessica Armstrong, a senior at the college. "This experience will grant me a degree of independence that will help me to further clarify my own motivations and specific scientific interests in preparation for a career as a professor."

Underwater vegetation on the rise, to delight of researchers

Underwater grasses are flourishing in the Chesapeake Bay. The grasses provide a habitat for fish and blue crabs, and they also serve as a food source for turtles and other animals. Underwater bay grasses are also a measure of water quality.

"It was an impressive year, following on a previously impressive year," said professor Robert Orth. "We are at numbers that we have not seen in — ever."

Researchers at William and Mary's Institute of Marine Science track the amount of underwater grasses as part of a partnership between Virigina and the federal government called the Chesapeake Bay program.

The ecosystem is responding to the pollution-control measures that jurisdictions have implemented: controlling discharges from wastewater treatment plants, stormwater, and agricultural runoff," said Nick DiPasquale, director of the Chesapeake Bay Program. "These investments are showing their return in terms of environmental improvement throughout the watershed. What we are doing is working. We just need to do more of it."

This story was created with information from William and Mary's news department.

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