McAuliffe appoints three new representatives, reappoints one to College’s Board of Visitors

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August 23, 2017

7:49 PM

Earlier this summer, Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe appointed three new members and reappointed one member to the College of William and Mary’s Board of Visitors.

Mirza Baig, Barbara Johnson J.D. ’84 and Lincoln Saunders ’06 were newly appointed. Thomas Watkins ’74 was reappointed. Watkins, who currently serves as the Board’s vice rector, is also the chair of the committee responsible for appointing the College’s next president. Taylor Reveley, the College’s current president, plans to retire June 30, 2018.

These new appointments succeed Lynn Dillon ’75, DeRonda Short J.D. ’78 and John Thomas. Thomas, who was the longest serving Board member in the College’s more modern history, will serve as the speaker at convocation Aug. 30.

We are delighted the governor reappointed Tom Watkins,” Reveley said. “His leadership on the Board and as chair of the Presidential Search Committee is vital. We also look forward to working with our three BOV new members, who come with valuable experience in law, governance and business. A warm welcome to all.”

“We are delighted the governor reappointed Tom Watkins,” Reveley said. “His leadership on the Board and as chair of the Presidential Search Committee is vital. We also look forward to working with our three BOV new members, who come with valuable experience in law, governance and business. A warm welcome to all.”

These new members round out the 17-member Board that is the College’s primary governing body. The full Board is comprised of 10 committees that oversee matters such as the College’s compliance with Title IX and spending on projects related to the College’s building and grounds. The Board meets four times a year, sometimes in conjunction with faculty and administrators from the Richard Bland College of William and Mary, a junior college located in Petersburg, Va.

During these meetings, the full board convenes to pass legislation and discuss quarterly incidences. Each committee also convenes during this time. The Board is currently led by Rector Todd Stottlemyer ’85, who is also on the Presidential Search Committee.

We are grateful for the many years that Judge Thomas has devoted to William & Mary, during which this extraordinary university has reached new heights,” Stottlemyer said in a statement. “Judge Thomas has been an important part of that progress and a leader on our Board.”

“We are grateful for the many years that Judge Thomas has devoted to William & Mary, during which this extraordinary university has reached new heights,” Stottlemyer said in a statement. “Judge Thomas has been an important part of that progress and a leader on our Board.”

Baig, Johnson and Saunders will join current Board members Brian Woolfolk J.D. ’96, Karen Schultz ’75, Lisa Roday, John Littel, Anne Leigh Kerr ’91 J.D. ’98, James Hixon J.D. ’79 M.L.T. ’80, Thomas Frantz ’70 J.D. ’73 M.L.T. ’81, Doug Bunch ’02 J.D. ’06 and Sue Gerdelman ’76.

Baig comes to the Board as the only new appointee who is not an alum of the College — but a graduate of Harvard University and Cornell University. He founded Aldrich Capital, a growth equity firm. He has also worked as an executive for business affairs at AOL Time Warner, and with American Management Systems and the energy sector-focused Pleiades Group.

The second new appointee, Johnson, attended Hampton University before earning her law degree from the Marshall-Wythe School of Law. Since then, she has specialized in employment law focusing on cases regarding diversity, gender and inclusion. In 2016, she founded BLJohnsonLaw, the practice at which she currently works.

Johnson’s previous engagement with the College included serving on the Board of the William and Mary Law School Foundation.

Saunders, the last of the new appointees and the most recent graduate from the College, received his undergraduate degree in government. He later went on to earn his master’s in public affairs at Indiana University, Bloomington. He currently serves as the chief of staff to Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney.

All of the new appointees, including Watkins, will serve for four-year terms. The Board will first convene September 13-15 for this academic year.

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Sarah Smith

News Editor Sarah Smith '19 is an international relations and gender, sexuality, and women's studies major from Ashburn, VA. She formerly served as Associate News Editor.

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