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An unforgettable year 

Julian Fore was an undergraduate studying Government and Economics at William & Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia when – thanks to a scholarship funded by an anonymous donor – he was able to come to St Andrews on an International Exchange in 1969.

He describes here how this ‘unforgettable year’ changed his perspective of the world outside Virginia and kindled his lifelong passion for the arts.

Exploring the world outside Virginia
I had always lived in Virginia, and I wanted to see something of the outside world, so when I was an undergraduate at William & Mary, I decided to apply for an international exchange to the UK. There were two options – the University of St Andrews and the University of Exeter – and I chose to come to St Andrews to study Economics. I will never forget the donor who funded the scholarship that made this year possible.

While I was studying at St Andrews, I took the opportunity to travel all over the UK and Europe. I visited some of the most wonderful museums and art galleries in the world and, as a result, the world changed for me.

One of the most memorable experiences I had at St Andrews was when I put on my red Bejant gown and took part in the pier walk. It was petrifying to climb up the ladder at the end and walk back along the high path with the wind whipping around you! I remember that we went to the pub afterwards to recover.

I also made many friends – two of whom I still correspond with. It was a wonderful year.

Julian Fore. Photo credit: Mark Mitchell photography/William and Mary.

Impact of St Andrews
The key thing about my time at St Andrews was that it gave me a passion for travel and an enduring interest in other cultures, people, and languages.

I took this passion and experience with me when I went back to William & Mary to finish my degree in Government. I followed this up with a graduate degree in Urban Architecture and worked in that field for a couple of years.

It was, however, when I went to business school and gained an MBA in Finance that my career took off. I moved to Washington and founded a small business with my partners, which we later sold for $15 million to the Arthur Andersen accounting firm when I was 36 years old. They made me the Global Partner for Real Estate, and I was then able to fulfil my passion for travel, the arts, and music because I worked all over the world. This also enabled me to develop my interest in speaking other languages, including French, German, Spanish, Arabic, and Russian.

Arts and philanthropy
I feel that science, math, engineering, and technology have taken over in this country at the expense of culture and the arts, which enrich the mind, body, and spirit and are just as important in producing well-rounded individuals.

Now that I’m retired, I’m therefore concentrating on philanthropic work in the arts, music, and the environment. As part of my commitment to give back to the place that helped me and to inspire future generations of students as I was inspired, I work closely with the William & Mary Muscarelle Museum of Art Foundation and have recently gifted the Julian W Fore Art Collection to the Museum through my estate plans.

My unforgettable year at St Andrews was the catalyst for changing my perspective of the world. It led to an exciting career and to a passion for art and music.

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