Interim College President Taylor Reveley announced a plan to increase the Gateway William and Mary endowment to $10 million at the Board of Visitors meeting last week.
Reveley hopes the $10 million goal will be met by the end of this calendar year. The current Gateway endowment is $1.65 million.
“It really is a good start,” College spokesperson Brian Whitson said. “We want to make sure that we can financially support the program.”
The BOV committed to the effort by personally pledging to donate a combined $1 million. This, along with several other donations, will increase the endowment to roughly $8 million.
“Two months ago, my colleagues on this Board made a promise to the William and Mary family,” Powell said in a College press release. “Chief among our interests is Gateway William and Mary.”
The most notable donation is from Joan Jarrett Woods ’40, who has left the Gateway endowment over $5 million in her will. The exact amount of the donation will be left confidential until the will is finalized.
The Gateway program, implemented two years ago, is a financial aid program that covers most, if not all, College expenses for incoming in-state students whose family incomes are below $40,000.
The first year it was implemented, the Gateway program cost $411,000. This year, the program cost $900,000. Currently, there are 175 students at the College supported by the program, which plans to enroll a total of 600 students within six years.
Reveley gave three reasons for why Gateway should be specially funded at the BOV meeting Friday.
The program gives current students more perspective, Reveley said, and provides opportunity for low-income students.
The third reason is that other universities are starting to out-compete the College in financial aid.
Student Assembly Vice President Zach Pilchen ’09 said the $10 million endowment plan is great for students.
“There was a lot of criticism in February that the board is removed from the interests of the students,” he said. “I think that this is a good, tangible way to show that the board is committed to the causes of the College.”
This year, the College spent a total of $2.475 million on financial aid, compared to $916,000 two years ago.
Whitson added that the $10 million endowment was only a start.
“The $10 million is the basement floor of a house you want to build,” Whitson said. “Eventually, we’ll have a house built.”