Interim Associate Vice President for Business Affairs Sean Hughes sent the following message to the campus community on Aug. 31, 2023. – Ed.

Dear W&M Community,

With sadness, I write today to share the sad news that Mildred Sink, beloved friend and employee of W&M Libraries, passed away on Aug. 27, 2023, at 61 years old.

Mildred’s work behind the circulation desk at Swem Library began in September of 1999, as a team member and night supervisor. Her colleague, Lisa Nickel, associate dean of research & public services, shared that for Mildred, “Students always came first. They knew they could count on Mildred for a kind word, sound advice, a quick joke, and (during exams) sweet and healthy snacks.”

In addition to keeping the library secure in the evenings and mentoring student workers, Mildred made time for everyone, frequently checking in with students, reminding them that she cared. Her colleagues knew her as an amazing “finder” of lost books and generous friend. She was proud to have received a 2021-2022 W&M Diversity Champion Award.

Mildred received a bachelor’s degree in art education from Radford University. Prior to her time at W&M, she worked as a nanny and as guide at the Colonial Jamestown Museum.

Mildred shared her love of sewing and quilting by teaching students how to use the sewing machines in Swem Library’s Makerspace, joining in community “Sewcials” and joyfully sharing photos of her favorite quilting projects. Mildred also used her top-notch sewing skills on university regalia worn by campus and community dignitaries.

Per her wishes, Mildred’s family plans a special memorial at a later date. They are in touch with Mildred’s library colleagues and will share further information on the memorial service.

Mildred’s generosity and kindness touched so many in the W&M community, and she will be greatly missed. Our deepest sympathies go to her colleagues, friends, and family.


Sean Hughes

Interim AVP

Business Affairs

William & Mary