In an effort to raise funds for the family of fallen 1st Lt. Todd Weaver ’08, the College of William and Mary is banding together, literally.
Beginning Friday, wristbands, similar to those of the Lance Armstrong Foundation’s Livestrong campaign, will be available for purchase. The bands are sponsored by the Student Athletic Advisory Council and will bear the slogan “One Tribe. One Family.”
“Hopefully this is a phrase, and even something tangible with the band, that can unite all of the William and Mary community,” Max Sabert ’11 said. “William and Mary is a school where you feel there is such a strong communal bond — hopefully this will bring us all closer together.”
Sabert teamed up with Brandon Heroux ’12, Kevin Alas ’11, Logan Billbrough ’11, Quinn McDowell ’12 and Jim Fenningham ’11 to form the committee in charge of bringing the bands to campus.
“We have been amazed at the initial level of interest from athletic teams, coaches, Greeks, alumni and others,” Deidre Connelly, advisor to SAAC, said. “We thought it was a good idea, but had no idea it would be embraced the way it has been. It has been gratifying to see the support it has gained.”
Heroux is the creator of the wristbands, which cost three dollars. The bands are meant to provide an inexpensive, yet meaningful way for the College to unite.
“[College Athletics Director] Terry Driscoll mentioned that the athletics department had been working with other groups on campus, stemming from [College President] Taylor Reveley, who has given a strong push in the hope of connecting the student body with the alumni,” Sabert said. “If this becomes as successful as we think it could be, this could be a quote William and Mary adopts for years to come.”
The Todd Weaver Memorial Fund was founded to collect the profit from the sales and the money will be donated to Weaver’s family, which intends to establish a scholarship fund within the government department.
“We are hoping to reach our goal of raising $20,000 by the end of the school year,” Sabert said. “The input we have received by some members of the College’s administration gives us a quiet confidence that we will be able to surpass this total.”
The band, which is soon to be available for purchase at Tribe sporting events and the Sadler Center, will feature a white background with dark green lettering. Sabert said the group is attempting to gain rights to sell the bands at the College of William and Mary Bookstore, the Campus Shop and the Alumni House. The band will be featured on a website which will be launched by the start of the spring semester.
The steering committee is pitching a larger plan for the wristbands to Reveley today, and will be giving a presentation to the Board of Visitors Thursday. Sabert hopes to feature the wristband on the next cover of The Alumni Magazine.
“There is a disconnect between groups on campus, whether it be Greeks, athletics or any other groups,” Sabert said. “And beyond that, there is a disconnect between the undergraduate community and the graduate schools, and finally there is a disconnect between the graduates and the current students. Hopefully this band can span all of those groups.”
The goal of unification is one that echoes through the athletic administration as well.
“The fact that it is supported by almost 500 student athletes, our administration, staff and coaches and various groups on campus should make it a very unifying endeavor,” Connelly said.
According to Sabert, in an effort to gain publicity the wristbands will be distributed to a number of notable alumni including Derek Cox ’09 of the Jacksonville Jaguars, Jon Stewart ’84 of The Daily Show and Adrian Tracy ’10 of the New York Giants. Additional plans are in the works to distribute the wristbands to actress Glenn Close ’74, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates ’65 and Cox Communications CEO Garner Anthony ’53.