We look forward to welcoming everyone back to campus this weekend for Homecoming! A complete schedule of events is provided below.
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 17
John Boswell Memorial Lecture: Sexuality and the Policing of the Family, 2:00 – 3:30 p.m., Blow Memorial Hall Room 201 (Free)
This year’s speaker is Daniel Rivers, Professor of History at The Ohio State University and a historian of LGBT communities in the 20th Century, Native American history, the family and sexuality, and U.S. social protest movements. His book, Radical Relations: Lesbian Mothers, Gay Fathers, and Their Children in the United States since WWII, was published to critical acclaim last year. A reception will follow.
Sunset Ceremony, 6:00 – 7:30 p.m., Wren Courtyard (Free)
Members of GALA are encouraged to attend the annual Sunset Ceremony, a time of reflection to honor alumni who have passed away during the preceding year.
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 18
William & Mary GALA Foundation Brunch, 9:30 – 11:00 a.m., Wren Hall ($75)
Join us for a light breakfast and refreshments in the Great Hall of the Wren Building. Proceeds benefit the William & Mary GALA Foundation, an independent 501(c)(3) organization that supports LGBT projects and philanthropy at the College. Contact Wayne Curtis ’82 (waynecurt_at_aol.com) to RSVP and for payment details.
Homecoming Tailgate Party, Noon, Sunken Gardens ($15)
GALA will have space at the Alumni Association’s Tailgate Party, giving us an opportunity to mingle with students and faculty and enjoy an October day in the Sunken Gardens.
Annual GALA Reception, 6:30 – 9:30 p.m., Tucker Hall Foyer (Free)
Join GALA in between reunion events for an evening of cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, and intimate conversation in the center of old campus. We will hold a short program highlighting this year’s achievements and the work of LGBT student organizations. Students, faculty, and friends are welcome to attend!
REGISTRATION: Register for all events here. Be sure to select “GALA” from the drop-down list of reunion/affinity groups when prompted.
The feature article in the latest edition of William & Mary’s alumni magazine is a “queer history” of the College, including the early years of this organization, William & Mary GALA. Read the article here. Kudos to the Alumni Association for publishing the most in-depth piece on the College’s LGBTQ community to date.
This has been a transformative year for William & Mary GALA. In January, the board voted to join the William & Mary Alumni Association as an affinity group, making GALA the College’s official LGBTQ alumni society. Over the summer, GALA began the formal process of integrating with the Alumni Association after 28 years as an independent corporation. GALA continues to build the College’s LGBTQ alumni network with the support, resources, and backing of the Alumni Association.
Other highlights from the last year:
- GALA expanded its social media presence, nearly doubling membership in the Facebook group (from 135 to 263) and adding dozens of new followers to the @wmgala Twitter feed.
- GALA saw continued growth in readership of the email newsletter, which is seen by more than 350 people around the world. Seriously! We have readers in the U.K., China, Japan, France, Spain, the Netherlands, South Africa, Guatemala, and more.
- GALA hosted ten events throughout the mid-Atlantic, from Hampton Roads to Washington, DC to New York.
- Thanks to your support of the Boswell Initiative, the inaugural Boswell Symposium kicked off in April with Left Behind: The Consequences of Virginia’s Continuing Opposition to Same-Sex Unions, a daylong event in Williamsburg that featured distinguished visiting faculty and panel discussions on the topic of same-sex marriage in Virginia. More than 50 students signed up to take a corresponding one-credit course — funded by you — that explored the issues presented at the Symposium.
- GALA continued to co-sponsor events on campus to support the efforts of LGBTQ student and faculty organizations, including the third annual LGBTQ Pride Fest.
- GALA supported current students and faculty in their quest for equal rights, lending support to the College’s consideration of a policy change that added “gender identity or expression” to the College’s non-discrimination policy. The newly-adopted policy went into effect at the start of the current academic year.
- GALA continued to support other GALA-initiated projects on campus, including the William & Mary GALA Foundation, the Boswell Initiative, the Boswell Memorial Lecture Series, and the Stephens LGBTQ oral history project at Swem Library.
- These are just the highlights. With your support, next year we look forward to doing more …
William & Mary GALA is now the official alumni association of the College of William & Mary. You can now join GALA, pay dues, and update your contact information online! Click here.
Our organization will be heading to an official home at the William and Mary Alumni Association nearly 30 years after GALA’s founding in 1986. On March 22, the Board of the Directors of the William and Mary Alumni Association approved a proposal for a new constituency group during their D.C. meeting. This is an historic move for both organizations.
Stay tuned in the coming months for more information about the transition as we shift from an independent entity to one housed and fully-integrated with the William and Mary Alumni Association. With this recognition, there are many, many benefits to come for our group. The road here has been a long one, but together we have thoughtfully considered the future and goals of this organization. Now comes the fun part: getting back to the work we do well and would like to do more of — advancing LGBT alumni issues and offering support, mentorship, and guidance to the College’s LGBT studies, alumni, and allies.
Yours in service,
The GALA Board
We are just one week away from Homecoming 2013! We hope your plans include a trip to Williamsburg and that you will join us at one of these GALA events:
John Boswell Memorial Lecture
WHEN: Friday, October 25, 3:00 p.m.
WHERE: Tyler Hall, Room 102
This year’s Boswell Memorial Lecture Series Speaker is Kathryn Babayan, Professor and Director of the Armenian Studies Program at the University of Michigan and an international expert on gender and sexuality in Islam. A reception will follow outside in the Blair Garden.
Homecoming Block Party
WHEN: Friday, October 25, 6:00 p.m.
WHERE: Alumni House and Richmond Road
GALA will have space at this annual Homecoming event, which features food and beverages for purchase, live music, and other entertainment. Look for the rainbow balloons!
Homecoming Tailgate Party
WHEN: Saturday, October 26, Noon
WHERE: Sunken Gardens
GALA will have space at the main on-campus Saturday Homecoming event, giving alumni an opportunity to meet other alumni, mingle with students and faculty, and enjoy a (hopefully) beautiful October day in the Sunken Gardens. $20 registration payable to the W&M Alumni Association.
Annual GALA Reception
WHEN: Saturday, October 26, 7:00 p.m.
WHERE: Tucker Hall Foyer
Join GALA in between reunion events for an evening of cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, and intimate conversation at the newly-renovated Tucker Hall in the center of old campus. We will hold a short program highlighting the year’s achievements and looking forward to the next year. Students, faculty, and friends are welcome to attend! To help us anticipate catering needs, please RSVP no later than Tuesday, October 22.
2013 has been a busy year for W&M GALA so far. Some highlights:
- We expanded our use of social media, growing our Facebook group to more than 210 members and initiating a W&M GALA Twitter feed that counts nearly 50 followers after just five months. (We even had a celebrity re-tweet!)
- We launched a new e-mail newsletter with a more polished look. Our newsletter is read by more than 300 people in nearly 20 countries.
- We hosted 15 events in Williamsburg, VA, Washington, DC, and New York, NY, introducing (and re-introducing) our students, faculty, and alumni to Pariah filmmaker Nekisa Cooper ’99, Eminent Outlaws author Chris Bram ’74, Professor Tom Heacox, and other notable alumni and faculty.
- We launched the Boswell Initiative, a fund that supports interdisciplinary scholarship on LGBTIQ life through visiting professors, courses, lectures, workshops, film series, student and faculty research stipends, academic written works, and arts/theater productions. The Boswell Initiative has received more than $16,000 in commitments through GALA so far.
- We welcomed Robert Tisdale ’08 (Treasurer) and James Morton ’12 (Secretary) as GALA officers.
- We helped the William & Mary alumni team for AIDS Walk New York raise more than $15,000, contributing to the team’s 20-year total of $235,000, more than any other college alumni group.
- We co-sponsored and announced events on campus to support the efforts of LGBTIQ student and faculty organizations, including the second annual LGBTIQ Pride Fest and Drag Ball and a financial planning seminar for same-sex couples led by the business school’s Mason Alliance.
- We supported our alumni and faculty in their quest for equal rights, contributing to the successful marriage equality effort led by Marylanders for Marriage Equality and helping to define and publicize the need for domestic partner benefits for employees of Virginia’s public institutions, including the College.
- We continued to support multiple GALA-initiated projects on campus, including the John Boswell Memorial Lecture Series and the Stephens LGBTIQ oral history project at Swem Library.