from Leslie McCullough MBA ’17, College Marketing
April 19, 2022
One Tribe One Day (OTOD), the university’s biggest day of giving and giving back, once again affirmed the incredible generosity and kindness of the entire William & Mary community. Last Tuesday, more than 9,550 students, alumni, parents, faculty, staff and friends combined donated over $3.8 million to more than 730 areas of the university.
“One Tribe One Day is a special annual tradition—a time when we share our gratitude for specific programs and people in real and immediate ways,” said President Katherine Rowe. “We can see how small gestures of enthusiasm add up. We can feel the community coming together over the course of 24 hours.”
“As OTOD’s growing success, so does the direct impact it is having on a wide range of initiatives that strengthen the William & Mary educational experience today and into the future,” added Rowe. “To everyone who has contributed and conveyed such strong support: our heartfelt thanks go out to you.”
Since its inception nine years ago, OTOD has inspired more than 41,446 donors to give a total of $20.2 million to William & Mary to support more than 1,000 areas across campus.
Build our community
“What began as one of William & Mary’s most ambitious fundraisers has grown into a global, dynamic celebration of the incredible generosity and solidarity of our community,” said Matthew T. Lambert ’99, vice president of university grants. “OTOD underscores the importance of every person in the W&M community in creating a strong and sustainable future for the university.”
OTOD offers everyone the opportunity to put their unique touch on the canvas of our thriving university, adding color where it’s needed most, and expanding the vibrant landscape of our unwavering passion and pride. This year more than 2,340 Friends of the University along with over 5,100 alumni, 2,100 parents and 600 students, faculty and staff supported OTOD.
“There is a tremendous sense of community at W&M, a community that has welcomed me and supported my success from day one and I’m sure every day for the rest of my life,” said Joseph O’Brien ’23 , Chairman of Students for Higher Education (SUA). “I want to thank everyone for their continued generosity which shows students like me how much they really care. Regardless of the amount, your gift is a simple gesture that speaks volumes about the sincerity of our incredible commitment to one another.”
Donors from all 50 states and 13 countries participated in the effort. Gifts of $100 and under accounted for almost $248,000 of the total raised, underscoring that gifts of all sizes combined make a difference.
“Time and time again we see the greatness that can come from simple acts of giving back to pass on everything we’ve received,” Lambert added. “Each person contributes to the powerful vision of what William & Mary can achieve.”
time to celebrate
Throughout the day, our community gathered virtually and in person around the world. The OTOD Carnival returned to campus this year as a cornerstone of the day’s celebrations. Hundreds of students, faculty and staff gathered at the Sunken Garden and enjoyed cotton candy, sno-to-go and kettle corn. A DJ provided a lively atmosphere while attendees enjoyed bouncy castles, a photo booth, giveaways and more.
Over 70 people registered for the online research showcase, which highlighted how William & Mary’s research projects are impacting the world. The event featured a series of lightning presentations from researchers in the fields of anthropology, art history, biology and economics. The presentation also included research at the Global Research Institute and International Justice Lab, James Monroe’s Highland, William & Mary’s Virginia Institute of Marine Science and W&M Law School.
The celebration continued into the evening with 15 regional face-to-face events that provided a great opportunity for fellow alumni, parents, family and friends to network and support the university.
Grow with the task
OTOD is all about participation, and 17 fundraising challenges helped build momentum to meet various donor goals throughout the day – freeing up $1.5 million in additional funding for the university.
The milestone challenges of the day included the Charter Challenge sponsored by Kevin Phillips ’84 and Mary Ruth Phillips ’85, the Green & Gold Challenge sponsored by an anonymous donor, the Kurland sponsored by Leanne Kurland ’75, P ’05 and Alex Kurland Challenge HON ’19, P ’05 and the McLeod-Tyler Challenge sponsored by J. Goodenow “Goody” Tyler III HON ’11 and Mariel McLeod ’15 honoring the late H. Elizabeth “Bee” McLeod ’83, MBA’ 91 .
The Gerdelman School & Unit Challenge, sponsored by Sue Hanna Gerdelman ’76, P ’07, P ’13 and the late John Gerdelman ’75, LHD ’19, P ’07, P ’13, was awarded in four categories. This year, W&M Athletics was awarded $15,000 for top donors, Arts & Sciences for top new donors, and International Initiatives for top improved donors. A $5,000 award was also presented to W&M Libraries for an honorable mention for an innovative approach to the day.
Three SMS Challenges, sponsored by Vice Rector Will Payne ’01, Rector John Littel P ’22 and Marianne Littel P ’22, and Andrea Rinaldi Wassmer ’94 and Michael Wassmer, were unlocked when donors made gifts in response to text messages from W&M. A challenge sponsored by the Parents and Family Council raised over $200,000 for the Parents’ Fund when 2,000 parents provided gifts to support students’ urgent needs.
Additional school and unit challenges included $50,000 through the W&M Alumni Association Challenge, $25,000 through the A&S Challenge, $25,000 through the International Challenge, $12,000 through the W&M Libraries Challenge, $10,000 through the Virginia Institute of Marine Science Challenge, and $9,000 through the Washington Center Scholarship Challenge. The OTOD Athletics Scholarships Challenge puts W&M Athletics $85,000 away from unlocking a matching $750,000 gift by June 30th. The School of Education was also able to meet its challenge for a 25% increase over last year’s OTOD participation.
“We are deeply grateful for the wonderful support from students, alumni, parents, faculty, staff and friends,” said Lambert. “Thank you for being an integral part of One Tribe One Day. Your generosity makes an enormous difference.”