In just 10 years, William & Mary’s One Tribe One Day has become more than a giving day. It’s become a beloved annual tradition and a record-breaking, impact-making, community-gathering day of Tribe pride around the globe. 

On Tuesday, April 18, the worldwide W&M community celebrates the 10th year of One Tribe One Day by giving back and paying it forward. Every gift to any area, no matter the size, makes a difference and helps unlock university-wide giving challenges that increase the impact of each gift.   

The first One Tribe One Day in 2014 started small by today’s OTOD standards — 1,700 participants raised $150,000 for William & Mary. But that effort more than tripled the university’s previous record of 523 donors in a single day — and a new tradition was born.  

W&M has been a national leader in giving days among all public and private higher education institutions since the beginning. In OTOD’s second year, the numbers more than tripled again, with 6,078 students, alumni, parents, faculty, staff and friends raising $1.3 million. The following year, the numbers jumped again to 10,358 donors raising nearly $2.2 million. Our community’s participation has steadily risen in the years since, and we’ve broken records every year.  

Last year, more than 9,550 donors collectively gave over $3.8 million to more than 730 areas across the university on OTOD — showing just how much the tradition has grown. All told, in the nine years since its inception, OTOD has inspired more than 35,000 donors to give a total of $20.2 million to William & Mary in support of 1,000+ areas across campus. Donors from all 50 states and 29 countries have participated in the day. 

Few other universities have produced giving day results like William & Mary’s, which includes a 562% increase in donor participation and a 2,433% increase in giving since One Tribe One Day’s inception in 2014. 

Join the fun 

From the beginning, One Tribe One Day has been a day of celebration, starting with the first campus carnival in 2014. The festivities continued to grow. This Tuesday’s carnival will include free Sno-to-Go, Joysicles and kettle corn, music, knockerball zorbs, foam machines, inflatables, a DJ, as well as the return of the mechanical “bull” shark. The W&M community is also invited to attend the Battle of the Brains: Students vs. Deans trivia event at noon in Commonwealth Auditorium.  

For those not on campus, a variety of virtual and regional events are offered each year for the W&M community to gather and celebrate. This year, more than 20 evening get-togethers are planned for cities around the country and Tokyo. You can also tune in for an online Focus on Careers event at 12:30 p.m. ET to hear how William & Mary is expanding career resources for students and alumni. 

Rise to the challenge  

Giving challenges are a signature part of One Tribe One Day. In 2016, a series of videos starring former President Taylor Reveley LL.D. ’18, HON ’18 and the Griffin were released when each of seven milestone challenges were reached. The series riffed on different television shows as the two searched for missing Cheese Shop house dressing. 

In 2017, videos starring Reveley in a variety of mock movie trailers were released with each milestone challenge and viewed over 56,000 times. The video series released in 2018 featured suggestions from the W&M community and included Reveley in Game of Tribes, Tribemanji and Stranger Tribe, among other William & Mary inspired titles. The 2019 videos focused on important moments, featuring members of the W&M community. Keep an eye out for this year’s videos, the first of which was released today.  

During the pandemic, the focus shifted to supporting diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives, and challenge funding continued to increase. This year marks the highest number of giving challenges to date, including numerous 10:1 gift matches in honor of our 10-year celebration.  

On Tuesday, you can participate in over 20 challenges to help unlock an additional $1 million in support for W&M. If you’ve never given on One Tribe One Day before, this is a great year to start — the Phillips family is helping to build the community of supporters with a 10:1 match for first-time OTOD donors.  

Make an impact 

With only 12% of W&M’s operational support now coming from the state, private giving is critical to offer an exceptional education. Gifts like those given during One Tribe One Day support a range of initiatives across the university — from scholarships to student-faculty research to campus life, athletics and facilities.  

All gifts made between 12:01 a.m. ET and 11:59 p.m. PT on April 18 will count toward this year’s total. Follow the day’s progress at and on social media using the hashtag #OneTribeOneDay. Downloadable graphics and suggested social media posts are also provided on the One Tribe One Day website for the W&M community to share on social media.