2014 Annual Update
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 …