The following email was sent to the campus community Nov. 1, 2022 from William & Mary President Katherine A. Rowe – Ed.

Dear W&M Community,

Last February, William & Mary embarked on an ambitious strategic plan. Our Vision 2026 framework lays the foundation for W&M’s bold future. Over the next four years, we will launch key initiatives that address pressing global issues in arenas where we have competitive strength and opportunities to expand our reach. This is a plan that doubles down on what W&M does well.

Since Charter Day in February, our community has collaboratively refined that initial framework with concrete proposals that clarify how we will accomplish our vision. As we build together, ideas from across the university will continue to evolve and shape our plan between now and 2026 — the quarter millennium of our nation. 

As promised, each semester, I will report on W&M’s progress and celebrate our achievements. Today’s email begins these regular correspondences. Additionally, the Vision 2026 website will be updated periodically with stories, videos and highlights.

Below my signature, you will find updates on our four cross-cutting initiatives. I am grateful for the generative proposals that faculty and staff are pursuing in these multidisciplinary areas. This kind of innovative thinking — for three centuries a part of W&M’s ethos — positions our university to be the best in the world in these critical areas.

Best regards,

Katherine A. Rowe



William & Mary will build on existing strengths in four pan-university initiatives of significant local, national and global impact. Key leaders will coordinate faculty and staff efforts in each area.

Data Highlights
Coordinator: Provost Peggy Agouris

In response to the campus planning prompt from 2021, two departments and one program have been working on a proposal to consider how we might establish a new academic unit in computing, data science and applied science. A design team representing W&M’s five schools has been discussing how we might meet the rapidly growing demand for these majors among students and increasing workforce demands for computational modeling and statistical analysis as powerful tools for critical thinking — relevant to every industry and discipline.

Water Highlights
Coordinator: Dean of the School of Marine Science Derek Aday

Marine Science and W&M’s other schools are scaling up robust research collaborations and building innovative new connections to ensure that W&M is leading in water-related scholarship, education, outreach and engagement. Scholars studying economic resilience, renewable energy, coastal ecosystems, policy and law are partnering on initiatives that will spur conservation and sustainability around the world. In addition, W&M is growing academic programming for undergraduates in this field to complement the world-class graduate programs that already flourish here.    

Democracy Highlights
Coordinators: Vice President for Student Affairs Ginger Ambler & Dean of University Libraries Carrie Cooper

University-wide initiatives prepare students for the rights and obligations of 21st-century citizenship:

  • The Democracy Initiative committee consulted with the Institute for Democracy and Higher Education, who shared NSLV survey results: 82% of W&M students voted in the 2020 election, compared to 69% of other public doctoral institutions.
  • W&M continues to pilot use of the Constructive Dialogue Institute’s training modules with students.
  • During Homecoming & Reunion Weekend, the university convened a panel of prominent alumni journalists representing CNN, CBS News and The New York Times, and a photojournalist based in Ukraine. They discussed the free press as a core function of a pluralistic democracy and how their W&M education prepared them for these roles. Watch the recap of their compelling conversation.

Careers Highlights
Coordinator: Chief Careers Officer Kathleen Powell

An academic course (carrying credit) will establish a university-wide internship program at scale. Our ambition is to ensure that every undergraduate department integrates applied learning (research, study abroad and internships) into their major by 2026. We are thrilled by the response of alumni to support this initiative. Under the leadership of W&M’s first Chief Careers Officer, new platforms will support robust career engagement with our graduates — from their first job to their fifth and beyond — and advance experiential learning and credentialing aligned with talent pathways.