W&M president receives support with $1.5 million gift made in her honor | College Sports

William & Mary’s president, Katherine A. Rowe, on Tuesday received a notable show of support.

An anonymous alumna made a $1.5 million gift for women’s athletics scholarships to the school, and did so in honor of Rowe, “both for her leadership of our university during an extremely challenging time and for her efforts to ensure its long-term success,” the alumna was quoted as saying in a school release.

On Sept. 3, W&M announced that seven of its 23 sports — men’s and women’s gymnastics, men’s and women’s swimming, men’s indoor and outdoor track and field, and women’s volleyball — would be discontinued following this academic year to address budget deficits exacerbated by the pandemic.

On Oct. 6, the school’s director of athletics, Samantha Huge, left W&M after about three years in the job. She had absorbed heavy criticism for the cuts and the manner in which they were made.

On Oct. 19, the school reinstated women’s gymnastics, women’s swimming and women’s volleyball in response to pending legal action related to Title IX, and pledged to comply with federal gender-equity guidelines by the 2022-23 academic year.

The anonymous alumna, who the school identified as a William & Mary Foundation trustee, was quoted as saying “I am fully confident that (Rowe’s) unwavering commitment to equity will elevate the experience for all athletes and enable the university to come out of this stronger and in a better place than ever before.”

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