After a two-year hiatus due to COVID-19, the classes of 1970, 1971 and 1972 all celebrated their 50th reunions and were inducted into the illustrious Olde Guarde during a much-anticipated Traditions Weekend. Each class made a gift in honor of their reunion and presented them to W&M President Katherine Rowe, for a combined total of $41.3 million between all three classes.

“The landmark generosity from these classes is essential as we move W&M forward, providing critical resources where they will do the most good,” said President Rowe. “As we embark on an exciting new chapter at William & Mary with our strategic plan, Vision 2026, we look forward to building on the foundation of the last three centuries to meet the unique challenges that lie ahead. I am grateful for the work of the reunion classes in raising these funds, supporting our community for all times coming.”

The Class of 1970 supported two projects, the Class of 1970 Global Research Institute Summer Research Fellowship and the Class of 1970 Swem Library Endowment. Their reunion committee was co-chaired by Betsy Calvo Anderson ’70, P ’00 and Barbara Pate Glacel ’70, P ’98, P ’02.

The Class of 1971 supported the Class of 1971 Scholarship Endowment and the Class of 1971 Lemon Project Endowment. The reunion committee co-chairs for the class of ’71 were Douglas E. Brown ’71, J.D. ’74, Ralph L. Crews ’71, P ’08, Virginia Vogel Carey ’71, M.Ed. ’79, Ed.S. ’93, Ed.D. ’97, P ’03, and Virginia Klemkowski McLaughlin ’71.

The Class of 1972 established the Class of 1972 First Generation Opportunity Fund, and their reunion committee co-chairs were Susan Aheron Magill ’72, P ’06, Robert E. Mathe Jr. ’72, M.B.A. ’74, and Brooke Coleman Taylor ’72.

“50th Reunions are a once-in-a-lifetime event,” said Vice President for University Advancement Matthew T. Lambert ’99. “Countless alumni mark this occasion with a meaningful gift, one that dovetails personal philanthropic goals with William & Mary’s priorities. No matter the specific designation, all 50th reunion gifts help provide our students with greater opportunities to succeed in all life’s endeavors.”

The funds raised by each 50th reunion class will help provide greater opportunities for W&M students, faculty and the community through experiential learning, scholarships for first generation students, support for equity and inclusion efforts and provide greater research capabilities and resources for Swem Library.

This was the first time that three classes were inducted into the Olde Guarde at once since its formation in 1975.

Also during the weekend, three alumni were recognized with the Olde Guarde Distinguished Service Award, which honors an individual whose class graduated a minimum of 50 years ago and who exemplifies dedication, involvement and continued service to the university, as well as lifetime achievement. The three honorees recognized for the years 2020, 2021 and 2022 were, respectively, Pamela Brown Michael ’65, Peter M. Kalison ’57, P ’92, and Arthur R. Louise ’68.