Mystery donor gives $9.6 million for arts

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November 17, 2006

1:11 AM

p. An estate provision of $9.6 million was pledged in the will of an anonymous patron Nov. 14 to go toward visual arts at the College, bringing the Campaign for William and Mary closer to its $500 million goal.

p. “It’s not everyday that we receive a gift of this magnitude; we’re very fortunate. But its important to keep in mind that it’s not the size that matters, its the impact [that it will have] in the long run,” Vice President for University Development Sean Pieri said.

p. The Campaign for William and Mary, established in 2000, seeks private donations. The campaign had raised $476.9 million as of Sept. 30. The chairman of the Campaign expects to exceed the goal.

p. “The commitment is certainly one of the largest in the history of the College. I think the great thing about these types of commitments is that they give academic leadership the opportunity to shape and mold something that can address the areas on campus, this time in the visual arts, that need it the most,” Director of News Services Brian Whitson said.

p. A plurality of funds, 23 percent, are used for program support, which is why the donor chose to donate.

p. “The fine arts discipline is the only academic instruction that covers all of the others. Whether studying the works of the masters or creating works of their own, students learn about history, philosophy, religion, government, mathematics and the design of everyday objects. For that reason, the visual arts are vital to a strong, liberal arts education. William and Mary understands their importance, and I want to ensure that the students and faculty in the art department have the resources that they will need well into the future,” the donor said in a statement sent to the College.

p. This contribution is not the anonymous patron’s only gesture of support toward fine arts on campus. In 2000, the donor gave $5 million to support renovations of the Lake Matoaka Amphitheater, scheduled to open in 2007.

p. “Expanding on a heartening dedication to the amphitheater, this additional commitment to the visual arts speaks to a love of the arts and the College that our campus and local communities will long treasure,” College President Gene Nichol said.

p. Although the Campaign for William and Mary anticipates exceeding their target, they plan on continuing to solicit donations, keeping their goals in mind.

p. “In the end, the Campaign is not about meeting a monetary objective, it’s about making a difference in the lives of William and Mary’s talented students and faculty,” Vice President for University Development Sean Pieri said to William and Mary News.

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