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William and Mary Digest Sept. 28

William and Mary Hall renamed for Kaplans

The Kaplan family, one the College of William and Mary's most generous benefactors, will have another building on campus named after them. On Sept. 23, the Board of Visitors voted to immediately rename William and Mary Hall into Kaplan Arena, in light of a donation of more than 20 million dollars to the athletics department.

"From scholarships to the basketball program, the Muscarelle Museum of Art and beyond, the Tribe community has benefited tremendously from the outpouring of support from the Kaplans over the years," said William & Mary President Taylor Reveley. "It is quite fitting that the entire hall, which houses the 8,600-seat Kaplan Arena, now fully becomes their namesake. Jane and Jim's generosity is truly making a difference, and we are most grateful."

Both Kaplans are William and Mary alumni, and the on-campus basketball arena is already named in their honor. They have been very involved in philanthropy within the Athletic Department as well; they recently gave a large amount to the department, which should provide scholarships for many athletes in coming years.

"I cannot think of a more appropriate name on the building the athletics department calls home than Kaplan," said Tribe Athletics Director Terry Driscoll. "The leadership and resources they have provided will have a positive impact on an untold number of future William & Mary student-athletes. I am personally thrilled to know the Kaplan name will have a permanent and prominent association with our department."

One wing of the Muscarelle Museum of Art will be renamed in their honor as well.

"The Kaplans are the model of alumni giving and participation. Jim and Jane's gift will transform one of the foundational origins of the college, the arts, and enable the Muscarelle to expand its world-class exhibitions and programs," said Aaron DeGroft '88, director of the Muscarelle.

Jim Kaplan played basketball for William and Mary when he was a student in the 1950s. He and his wife have had a son come through the business school, and they now have a grandson attending W&M; he is slated to graduate in the spring.

"It is a great honor to be in the company of philanthropic giants whose passion and pride of alma mater continues to inspire us all to be better stewards of the university," said Sue Hanna Gerdelman '76, campaign chair. "Every time I pass the new Kaplan Arena sign on William & Mary's campus, I will always think of Jane and Jim's generosity and enduring impact on the lives of so many students."

William and Mary lights up NYC

As part of its For The Bold fundraising campaign, the Empire State building will be illuminated green and gold on Thursday.

The college's alumni association revealed the event in a tweet. It estimates there are 13,000 alumni in the area. For those outside of New York City, there will be a Facebook event starting at 6:40 p.m. Thursday. There, alumni can reminisce about their time at William and Mary and ask about the campaign, through which the college wants to raise a billion dollars.

Parents enjoy weekend on campus

Parents of William and Mary's freshman class visited the college last weekend to see the campuses and how it functions. Former president Davis Y. Paschall started the tradition 50 years ago, meant to give parents an idea of the daily lives of the children at the college.

"It certainly, especially if your child probably lives a long way from home, helps you reconnect with your child and see what their day-to-day life is like now," said Ginger Medrano, mother of freshman Zie Medrano.

Parents had the option to attend some classes, see the campus library, and attend the Harvest Moon Festival, which was organized by the Chinese Student Organization on campus. The weekend ended with a Sunday breakfast, a brunch, and a boat ride to end the festivities.

The Parent & Family Council presented William and Mary with a check worth more than $1 million dollars at the end of the weekend. That money will go toward student activities on campus.

Marine science school gets federal funding

The White House announced a research member at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science has won a $75,000 grant to help local communities figure out how to handle coastal flooding. President Barack Obama talked about the grant program last September.

"Every community is different, with different needs and different approaches. But communities that are making the most progress on these issues have some things in common," he said. "They don't look for a single silver bullet; instead they bring together local government and nonprofits and businesses and teachers and parents around a shared goal."

The goal is for Hampton Roads and the surrounding area to figure out how to respond to coastal flooding when it occurs. Experts say coastal flooding is already an issue in the area, and they predict that it will get worse as sea levels rise over the next few decades.

The first use of that grant money will go toward sensors that could better predict when flooding is imminent. The data from those sensors should make them more exact over time, and the grant mandates that the data be shared with other communities, meaning that other places may have a better chance at preparing themselves with similar methods.

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