Ben & Jerry’s holds Swem donation tradition

Ice cream and library books — one of the odder couples found on campus.

The owner of the local Ben & Jerry’s store in Williamsburg’s Premium Outlets hosted “Ben & Jerry’s month” at Earl Gregg Swem Library again this October, continuing the store’s 23-year-long contribution to the library.

Throughout October, Salzman donated 50 cents to the library for every frozen beverage purchased at Swem’s Greenberry’s café, raising a total of $1,100. His family has raised around $23,000 for Swem Library since Salzman’s father Frank Salzman, started the fundraiser in 1990.

According to Tami Back, associate director of Strategic Communication and Outreach at Swem, the library primarily relies on state dollars for its budget. Due to the increasing needs of the students, the library has relied on private funds to make ends meet.

“The support we get from the public, private donors and alumni make up a significant part of our budget,” Back said.

According to Back, the Salzmans’ contributions have proven useful to the library. Over the years, the family’s donations have allowed the library to purchase additional furniture and equipment to accommodate the growing student population. The library also increased their collection to include more documents and database subscriptions.

Each October, the library’s staff organizes a field trip to Salzman’s store to chat with him and thank him for the fundraiser.

“We really appreciate Leon and enjoy working with him,” Back said. “It’s always good to have people in the community who appreciate the College and the library and want to support us.”

In addition to the “Ben & Jerry’s month” every October, Salzman also visits the library during finals week to distribute free ice cream to students.

“It really brightens a student’s day,” Kay Lee ’14 said. “Events like these offer small surprises that takes the stress off our shoulders.”

Salzman stated that he plans on continuing the store’s relationship with Swem in the future.

“We have always felt the need to give back to the community,” Salzman said in an email. “What better way to support our youth and future than being associated with a library, and William & Mary has one of the best school libraries in the country.”


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