October 2, 2023

With New Book and Fellowship, Leightys Support UMW Students in Public Service

Bill Leighty

Bill Leighty

Bill Leighty has served two Virginia governors as chief of staff, shared moments with the likes of Queen Elizabeth II and Tom Hanks and enjoyed the satisfaction of a career promoting the common good. Now he and wife Marti Leighty, a professor emerita at J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College, are helping students from their alma mater begin their own public service careers at the state level.

Both former members of Mary Washington’s Board of Visitors, they’ve begun the William H. Leighty ’78 and Martha Kearns Leighty ’75 Fellows Program.

The endowed fellowship will encourage University of Mary Washington juniors and seniors to intern with state legislators, public officials or state agencies. Students from any major can apply for the program, which will provide a $5,000 stipend and up to six academic credit hours for a semester-long or summer internship.

To kick off fundraising for the fellowship endowment, the Leightys have made a $50,000 philanthropic commitment. They’re also donating proceeds from Bill Leighty’s just-published book, Capitol Secrets: Leadership Wisdom From a Lifetime of Public Service, a memoir packed with anecdotes and insider details about getting things done at the highest levels of state government.

The Leightys were on campus Thursday, April 13, for a daylong introduction of the fellowship and an advance opportunity for members of the UMW community to obtain the book, which was officially released the next day. Events included a master class in public service, a panel discussion with alumni who serve at the local and state levels, and an evening reception and book-signing. Read more.