The gift will enable the business school to expand its portfolio of online graduate business degree programs and deliver high-engagement and student-centric experiences. After launching its first online MBA program more than four years ago, the school expanded its online offerings with the addition of a new master of science business analytics program this summer; both programs are now housed at the new center. With funding to develop a robust infrastructure in support of additional degree programs, the school expects to achieve a four-fold increase in its online portfolio, as well as an increase in the number of faculty and staff.
The impetus for the gift was Batten's enthusiasm for William & Mary president Katherine A. Rowe. "Katherine Rowe's mantra is innovation and mission-driven transformation, so I thought what better way to show my support for the university's new president than to invest in an innovative endeavor at the business school," said Batten. "Through the new Center for Online Learning, we are ensuring that a William & Mary business degree is within reach of so many more professionals, no matter where they live or work in the world. This is very important to me, and my gift reflects that."
An honorary alumna, Batten and her late husband, Frank Batten, have been longtime friends of the university and have given generously in support of many areas, including scholarships, the Fund for William & Mary, and the Mason School's residential MBA program.
"In my short time here, I have been impressed with how the business school continually evolves and expands into the online learning space and has done so while still keeping true to its core mission," said Rowe. "This gift represents a significant step forward for the Mason School and William & Mary as a whole, and I am very thankful to Jane for her vision in bringing this center to life."
(Photo credit: College of William & Mary)