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William and Mary Gay and Lesbian Alumni/ae (GALA), Inc. Records

Identifier: UA 42

  • Staff Only
  • No requestable containers

Scope and Contents

This collection encompasses the records of the organization William and Mary Gay and Lesbian Alumni/ae (GALA) founded in 1986. Materials in the collection date from before the organization's founding to the present, with the majority of the material covering the years 1986 through 1992. The earliest records were maintained and created by Stephen Snell and George Greenia. The major issues covered include the founding of the organization, initial battles for recognition by the William and Mary Alumni Association, the fight to have sexual orientation added to the university's non-discrimination policy, and the suit to have anti-homosexual language removed from the state of Virginia's policies on liquor licensing. The records were collected by William and Mary GALA founder and first president Stephen Snell, Professor George Greenia, presidents Steve Murden, Wayne Curtis, Frank Edwards, and others. Included in the collection are fliers, correspondence, education materials, news clippings, and organizational papers. Due to the multiple creators associated with the collection, the same documents can be found in multiple series and folders within the collection. For instance, notices about events and correspondence may be found in a general chronological folder as well as a folder about a specific event or topic.

Oral history interviews conducted for the Stephens Project are available in the University Archives Oral History Collection. Memorabilia such as t-shirts, buttons, etc. are available in the University Archives Artifacts Collection. Current information about GALA, including some documents from 2001 to the present are available at GALA's website:


  • Creation: 1981-2015
  • Creation: Majority of material found in 1986-2015


Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Access:

The collection is open to all researchers. Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations, such as the Virginia Public Records Act (Code of Virginia. § 42.1-76-91); and the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (Code of Virginia § 2.2-3705.5). Confidential material may include, but is not limited to, educational, medical, and personnel records. If sensitive material is found in this collection, please contact a staff member immediately. The disclosure of personally identifiable information pertaining to a living individual may have legal consequences for which the College of William and Mary assumes no responsibility.

Conditions Governing Use:

Before publishing quotations or excerpts from any materials, permission must be obtained from Special Collections Research Center, and the holder of the copyright, if not Swem Library.

Historical Note:

The College of William and Mary Gay and Lesbian Alumni/ae was organized in 1986 by College alumnus Steve Snell '66, the organization's first president. The group has worked with and offered financial and leadership support to campus student organizations such as the Lambda Alliance (formerly Lesbian and Gay Student Union), the Gay Student Support Group and Alternatives. In 1990 GALA successfully campaigned to have "sexual orientation" added to the College's non-discrimination policy, and in 1991 joined the fight to have anti-homosexual language removed from the Virginia Alcoholic Beverages Control Board's liquor license code. The mission of GALA is to advocate for and provide education to straight, gay and lesbian students and alumni through, according to their mission statement, "fundraising and direct participation support for alumni/ae through networking, social community and Homecoming events." Further information about this individual or organization may be available in the Special Collections Research Center Wiki:

Further information about this individual or organization may be available in the Special Collections Research Center Wiki:


12.40 Linear Feet

Arrangement of Materials:

This collection is organized into eight series: Series 1: Correspondence, Series 2: News Clippings, Series 3: Cornish Fund, Series 4: GALA Event Materials, Series 5: GALA Publications, Series 6: Public Education Materials, Series 7: GLBT Student Groups, Series 8: GALA Organizational Materials.

Custodial History:

Accession 1987.3 includes material created and collected by George Greenia. Accession 1987.3 was assigned to the initial gift of Prof. George Greenia in January 1987 (1 box) plus two later additions from Prof. Greenia in October 1987 (1 box) and 1997 (scrapbook and 2 boxes). Accession 2002.071 was assigned to the material received from GALA in 2002-2003. This material was collected by former GALA board member Steven Murden from other GALA members before being transferred to the Special Collections Research Center. Murden did not arrange the collection before its transfer to the SCRC, but did review the material for any confidential material.

Acquisition Information:

Materials in this collection were donated by GALA and individual members. Accession 1987.3 was donated by Prof. George Greenia in January 1987 with additions added to this accession number in October 1987 and 1997. Acc. 2002.071 was donated by GALA in 2002-2003 (including 12/18/2003) via GALA Archivist Steve Murden. Acc. 2008.112 was received from GALA President Wayne Curtis on 10/25/2008. Acquisition information for material received after 7/13/2009 is available by consulting a Special Collections Research Center staff member.


Further accruals are expected.

Related Materials:

University Archives Oral History Collection; Lesbian and Gay Union Records (UA 7.010); Gay Student Support Group Records (UA 7.090); Students Organizations Collection; records of the Office of the President (various administrations); University Archives Subject File Collection; University Archives Photograph Collection; University Archives Artifact Collection; William & Mary Alumni Association.

Separated Materials:

A 20th anniversary champagne glass was removed from this collection and added to the University Archives Artifact Collection.

Two baseball caps (2011.603.01 and 2011.603.02) were transferred to Series 1: Textiles, Subseries 4: Hats of the University Archives Artifacts Collection upon accessioning.

Processing Information:

A portion of the collection was processed by an unidentified SCRC student staff member prior to 2007. Zach Hilpert, SCRC Staff, processed much of the collection then in the SCRC and authored the finding aid in March-May 2007. Additional material was arranged and described by Michael Lusby, SCRC Staff, in March-May 2010 and Patricia Sanabria, SCRC Staff, in September 2010-March 2011. Acc. 2012.159 accessioned and minimally described by Steven Bookman, University Archives Specialist, in May 2012.

Guide to the William and Mary Gay and Lesbian Alumni/ae (GALA), Inc. Records
Special Collections Staff.
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Research Center Repository