Every Gift Matters

August 25, 2022

Ivana Marshall, ’17, shares her time and resources to advance the Spider community

When it came time to apply to college, Ivana Marshall, ’17, had no doubt in her mind that she wanted to be a Spider. “Richmond was my number one application choice,” she said. “I was only going to apply to Richmond originally, but my mom said, ‘if you don’t get in and you don’t apply anywhere else, you won’t be going to college this year.’”
Fortunately, Marshall was accepted, and she flourished during her time on campus as a leadership and international studies double major. “I had never heard of a school that designed a curriculum specifically around understanding the way the world works based on the leaders around us,” she said. “I thought that was amazing.”
In addition to her studies, she was actively involved with Westhampton College’s will program and also served as a lead reunion student ambassador, multicultural pre-orientation advisor, and a participant in EnVision, a social justice leadership retreat.
After graduating, Marshall completed a summer fellowship in policy under former Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe. In 2018, she began a career in higher education at Hampton University, and in 2019, she received a scholarship to attend a two-week seminar on global antisemitism and policy at St. John’s College in Oxford, U.K.
Today, Marshall serves as associate director of alumni engagement and inclusion initiatives at William & Mary, from which she will soon receive an M.Ed. in higher education administration policy, planning, and leadership.
“When I was a student at Richmond, one of my jobs was in the Alumni Office,” she said. “And that’s what I’m doing now. It seems like a full-circle moment to have gotten my start in alumni relations at my alma mater. At W&M, I focus on serving our minoritized alumni communities, to include Asian-Pacific Islander-Middle Eastern, LGBTQ+, Latinx, and W&M Women communities. I spend much of my time learning about the experiences of our alumni and using these stories to re-connect them with their alma mater in ways that improve their future experiences.”

Outside of her work at W&M, Marshall remains connected with UR as a member of the Jepson School of Leadership Studies Executive Board of Advisors and the Jepson Alumni Corps, both of which engage alumni in a broad range of activities to advance the school’s mission.

“One of my goals as a young Black woman is to make sure we are seeing more underrepresented minority students at Jepson,” she said. “I want to be involved so I can share my voice and opinions to ensure we are supporting students as we should be.”
Marshall is also a proud member of the Robins Society, which honors loyal donors who give to the University over an unbroken series of fiscal years, regardless of giving amount. Her gifts have supported the Jepson Dean’s Impact Fund, the will program, Thriving and Inclusion, the International Education Dean’s Discretionary Fund, and more. 
“My goal of giving back is to have the same impact on current and future students that Richmond had on me,” she said. “I want to support the people who supported me, as well as those who will come after me.”
Marshall said she is encouraged to continue this support knowing that every gift – large or small – makes a difference, and she hopes fellow alumni will consider giving back as well.
“My first gift to Richmond was literally $5 for a UR-themed coffee mug my senior year,” she said. “I haven’t stopped since then. For me, the amount doesn’t matter because I know it’s about participation and contributing to something that’s bigger than me. I see the important work being done at Richmond, and I know every little bit makes a difference.”

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