William & Mary in the World

How do you make a difference in the world?

Challenge the way we think about it.

From its very founding in 1693 by the British Crown, William & Mary has been an American institution with a truly global reach. Reflecting a deep commitment to advancing international teaching, learning, research and scholarly exchange, the university’s multifaceted approach to global education is felt across campus and around the world. For the Bold will enable the university to transform its international affairs initiatives and capitalize on their synergies to broaden and further deepend interdiscipinary ties, collaborative research and teaching on contemporary global problems.

“We like to say that people come to William & Mary wanting to change the world — and together, we do. We are among the nation’s leading universities in study-abroad participation. Every year, we welcome students and scholars from nearly 60 countries, and we send teams of faculty and students to engage in cutting-edge research, service learning and social entrepreneurship on every continent. The Institute for the Theory and Practice of International Relations (ITPIR) is nationally recognized for its sponsorship of faculty-student research teams investigating cutting-edge solutions to many of the world’s most pressing challenges. In so many ways, the College is reclaiming its historic role as a genuine leader among global liberal arts universities.”
- Stephen E. Hanson, Vice Provost for International Affairs; Director of the Reves Center for International Studies

Bold Voice

Lu Sevier '16

A college education is about more than teaching students how the world works. It’s also about preparing them to make it work better. During his senior year, William & Mary student Brad Parks ’03 had an idea: to comprehensively track foreign aid flows so that students and faculty could assess and address the most challenging questions of global development. Today, AidData, a project of the Institute for the Theory and Practice of International Relations,  is recognized as the largest public-access database on project-level development finance in the world, tracking more than $5.5 trillion and one million development projects from 91 donor agencies. It is a “think-and-do” tank, and policymakers, analysts and researchers make real-world decisions based on the work of William & Mary faculty and students. Lu Sevier is one of approximately 20 summer fellows and 120 students at AidData. She has trained and managed a team of 13 research assistants and interns who have geocoded 1,035 World Bank projects and around 4,500 projects in Afghanistan, Rwanda, Burundi, Colombia and Somalia for the Hewlett Foundation, the Department of Defense and the African Development Bank.

"AidData has been more than an internship; it has challenged me to innovate, make data-driven decisions, fall forward in times of failure and make my own luck. I have had the privilege to conduct research with faculty members, present to senior leaders in the U.S. government, provide data and maps to first responders after the Nepal earthquake, and work with partners in the Philippines to better prepare for natural disasters. It’s rare to find a workplace that invests so much time, energy and trust in its undergraduates. It has defined my experience at William & Mary.”

For more information, please contact:

Sani Silvennoinen, Executive Director of Regional & International Advancement