Joining the Associates
Nearly seven decades ago, the College of William & Mary and the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation launched their oldest joint venture—the Institute of Early American History and Culture. The addition of the Omohundro name came in 1996 in recognition of a generous gift from the late Mr. and Mrs. Malvern H. Omohundro, Jr. The approach of the seventieth anniversary of that launch, in December 2013, leads me to reflect upon how hopeful a project the Institute’s beginning must have appeared in 1943, when an affirmation of the importance of studying early America’s history surely seemed akin to lighting a feeble candle in a darkening world. Yet, since those uncertain times and through the uncertain times that have periodically followed, the enduring alliance between the College, Colonial Williamsburg, and, since 1977, the Associates has provided for the steady expansion of the vision that animated the Institute’s intrepid founders. It is this support that has enabled a unique organization to survive and to thrive in ways its creators could scarcely have imagined.
The original membership of the Associates in 1977 included 47 individuals. Last year, 944 Associates made contributions totaling $159,234, an amount that accounted for 8 percent of the Institute’s budget. That remarkable growth affirms the collegiality of interest and material support that assures the reach, vitality, and commitment to excellence that characterizes the Institute’s agenda.
Associates’ giving helps make possible the annual conference that convenes each June and contributes measurably to the Institute’s ability to maintain its listserv H-OIEAHC and a state-of-the-art Web site and to expand its participation in JSTOR. Taking advantage of electronic opportunities has become an increasingly important dimension of the Institute’s work, and technological innovation and expansion demand a considerable investment of staff expertise and financial support.
Clicking on the icon above invites you to join—or renew your membership in—the Associates, a kindred group of colleagues who share a vital commitment to the advancement of research and writing about early America. You will also see the many tangible benefits of becoming an Associate, including a yearlong subscription to the William and Mary Quarterly, invitations to Institute receptions, and, depending on your level of membership, a selection of books from the Institute’s list and individual access to JSTOR.
As my tenure as director draws to a close on June 30, 2013, I want to say that it has been an honor to hold this job for the past twenty years. The intellectual and material investments that Associates have so generously and consistently made in the Institute’s work have assured its quality and inspired its success, and for these gifts I am immensely grateful. Thank you for your support in the past and for your consideration of a gift for 2013. With colleagues like you, the Institute’s future is assured.