Skip to main content

Affording students the opportunity to change lives

  • Affording Opportunity:
    Affording Opportunity:  Emily Lovekamp '17, M.Ed. '18 will use her W&M education to help high school students with disabilities learn math.  
Photo - of -

The alma mater of the nation, William & Mary continues to attract high-caliber students who want to change the world. Our ability to do so is in large part thanks to the generous support of donors who make scholarships possible.

During Charter Day weekend, William & Mary’s For the Bold campaign chair Sue Hanna Gerdelman ’76 unveiled Affording Opportunity — the university’s number one priority to increase scholarships that make a top-notch education available to all students. Gerdelman called on the entire W&M community to help raise $350 million for scholarships to ensure promising students can reach their full potential and strengthen the university’s caliber of excellence.

The investment in scholarships to attract students who desire to change the world has no greater impact than within the School of Education. Students who come to William & Mary to become educators engage in meaningful work that will affect every level of our society from pre-K through university leadership. Here, students work diligently to find real-world solutions to complex educational problems and support the success of all students.

Scholarship recipient Austen Winkler M.Ed. '17 wants to help students through school counseling. With the support of the Frances C. Hudgins Memorial Endowed Scholarship, he has served as a school counseling intern at Grafton High School in Yorktown, VA and as a school counseling practicum student at Hornsby Middle School. Winkler says, “I appreciate this scholarship because it provides the education and professional development opportunities so I can become the most effective school counselor I can be.”

Scholarships from generous donors in the School of Education have provided Emily Lovekamp with the opportunity to pursue her undergraduate degree in mathematics and complete her master’s degree in secondary education. Lovekamp, from the small town of Greenville, VA, sees William & Mary as a home away from home. “I love the sense of family you feel here at William & Mary. The professors and fellow students look out for each other and are open to helping whenever possible.” Lovekamp wants to change the world by helping students with disabilities learn math in secondary schools. The S. Stuart Flanagan Family Mathematics Scholarship is helping her pursue her studies. She says, “I’m so appreciative of this scholarship because it helps relieve some of the stress of undergraduate educational costs as well as allowing me to focus on first-year teaching and improving my craft.”

In addition to preparing future teachers and counselors in K-12, the School of Education is preparing doctoral students to become leading faculty and administrators at colleges and universities. M. Amanda Johnson, a Ph.D. student in higher education administration, received this year’s Finnegan-Parker Higher Education International Research Award. Before coming to William & Mary, Johnson worked for over a decade in international higher education — teaching in South Korea, working as an administrator in Ecuador, and serving as the associate director of special programs in Virginia Tech’s Outreach and International Affairs Division. Johnson aspires to be a global leader in higher education. She came to William & Mary to research higher education policy in developing countries and the experiences of mid-career women administrators in American universities. Her achievements will impact universities here and abroad. Johnson says, “With the support of the higher education faculty, I was able to begin my research agenda fairly quickly in my doctoral program.” Johnson is incredibly grateful for her scholarship as it will help fund her dissertation research, allowing her to spend quality time at six different universities.

The School of Education Dean Spencer Niles says, “The school is very fortunate to have supporters who serve as partners in providing outstanding preparation to our students.  Our amazing donors put their values into action each year by providing crucial financial support to help our student scholarship recipients achieve their educational and career goals as they, in turn, make an impact upon their schools, students, communities and our world.”  

Gerdelman invites the Tribe faithful to invest in scholarships. “Doing so will provide hope and lasting change for generations of students who deserve to be here but do not have the financial means to attend.”

For more information about supporting the School of Education through scholarships, contact Patty Purish O'Neill Ph.D. '05, director of development, at (757) 221-1032 or [[pponei]].