The Founder’s Cup

The Board of Directors of William and Mary GALA created the Founders’ Cup in 1996 and it was first awarded at Homecoming that year as part of GALA’s tenth anniversary celebration. The award recognizes an openly gay or lesbian individual who has rendered significant service to GALA and/or to the College GLBT community;  someone who has, over the course of years, shown commitment and dedication above and beyond expectations. The Founders’ Cup has been awarded twice in the history of the organization.

The first recipient of the award (1996) was Stephen Snell, Founder of GALA, and in whose honor the award was named. Stephen founded William and Mary GALA in 1986, and the organization’s first meeting took place in Stephen’s living room on Capital Hill in Washington, DC. Stephen led GALA for its first four years, first as Chair (1986-88) and then as President (1988-90). Under his direction, GALA launched many of its basic and most successful programs. Stephen stepped aside as president and turned his attention toward the Richard Cornish Endowment Fund at Swem Library, GALA’s contribution to the College’s Tercentenary celebration.  Under Stephen’s tireless direction, the Cornish Fund met several fund-raising campaign goals over 13 years and, in 2006, officially passed the $100,000 milestone. Stephen passed away in 2008.

The second recipient of the award (2006) was George Greenia, a long-time faculty member, an original GALA member, and an early advisor to the organization. Professor Greenia came to William and Mary in the early 1980s and founded the first gay and lesbian support group for students, which met at nearby St. Bede’s Catholic Church. Through his work with students, in the Faculty Senate, and in the Faculty/Staff Gay and Lesbian Caucus, Professor Greenia has quietly, forcefully, and with serenity and good humor, worked for equality and to improve the quality of life for gay, lesbian and transgendered people at the College and in the community.

%d bloggers like this: