The environment at W&L was transformative in the sense that everything you did was governed by the Honor System. You were your own disciplinarian. I had never experienced anything like this, and it made an impact that stayed with me throughout my business and personal life. I attribute my success in business to this.
“What makes the 25th and 50th reunion gifts special is the opportunity for the classes to decide what their collective legacy is going to be to W&L,” says Jessica Cohen, W&L’s 25th reunion gift officer, who has overseen the 25th reunion gift campaign since 2006.
Every once in a while someone comes along who reminds us that philanthropy is both profoundly creative and simpler than we think. For Eileen Small ’15, being a philanthropist is as simple as taking the ideas you have for how things could be better and doing something about them.
Roy Matthews’s shaky start at W&L did not hint at his future career as a successful university professor. During a recent telephone conversation from his home in Washington, D.C. he described his journey from struggling during his first term at W&L to being a history scholar and author. He also talked about his decision to support the W&L History Department, where his journey began, through his IRA.
When Lou Hodges died in February, the W&L community mourned for an educator and proponent of social justice whose impact on the campus still looms large. But now the community can celebrate because Lou’s name is permanently memorialized at the school he served for 43 years.
Dennis Cross, vice president for university advancement, noted that fundraising is just one aspect of the division’s mission to connect, involve, and gain the support of W&L’s alumni, parents, and friends.
In the year following the wildly successful conclusion of Honor Our Past, Build Our Future: The Campaign for Washington and Lee, alumni and parents once again gave more to the Annual Fund than ever before.