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The College of William & Mary
in Virginia
Established 1693[1][2]
Type Public university
Endowment US $494.1 million[3]
Chancellor Sandra Day O'Connor
President W. Taylor Reveley III
Provost Michael R. Halleran[4]
Rector Henry C. Wolf[5]
Faculty 596[6]
Undergraduates 5,850[7]
Postgraduates 2,042[7]
Location Williamsburg, Virginia, U.S.
Campus Suburban
1,200 acres (4.9 km²)
Newspaper The Flat Hat
The Virginia Informer (Independent)
Colors Green, Gold, Silver[8]
Nickname Tribe
Mascot In transition[9]
Athletics NCAA Division I

The College of William & Mary in Virginia (colloquially known as The College of William & Mary, The College, William & Mary, or W&M) is a public research university located in Williamsburg, Virginia, United States. Founded in 1693 by a royal charter (by a British letters patent) issued by King William III and Queen Mary II, it is the second-oldest institution of higher education in the United States after Harvard University. William & Mary's undergraduate program ranks #4 and #6 among American public universities according to the 2009 Forbes and 2010 U.S. News & World Report rankings, respectively.[10]

William & Mary educated U.S. Presidents Thomas Jefferson, James Monroe, and John Tyler as well as other key figures important to the development of the nation, including U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Marshall, Speaker of the House Henry Clay and 16 signers of the Declaration of Independence. W&M founded the Phi Beta Kappa academic honor society in 1776 and was the first school of higher education in the United States to install an honor code of conduct for students. The establishment of graduate programs in law and medicine in 1779 make it one of the first universities in the United States. William & Mary is a Public Ivy.

In addition to its focal undergraduate program, the College is also home to several graduate and professional programs, including law, business, education, marine science and colonial history. In 2008, W&M enrollment was comprised of 5,850 undergraduate and 2,042 graduate/professional students.[7]



Colonial era: 1693–1776

Reverend Dr. James Blair, founder of William & Mary

A school of higher education for both Native American young men and the sons of the colonists was one of the earliest goals of the leaders of the Virginia Colony. The College was founded on February 8, 1693, under a royal charter (legally, letters patent) to "make, found and establish a certain Place of Universal Study, a perpetual College of Divinity, Philosophy, Languages, and the good arts and be supported and maintained, in all time coming."[11] Named in honor of the reigning monarchs King William III and Queen Mary II, the College was one of the original Colonial colleges. The Charter named James Blair as the College's first president (a lifetime appointment which he held until his death in 1743). William & Mary was founded as an Anglican institution; governors were required to be members of the Church of England, and professors were required to declare adherence to the Thirty-Nine Articles.[12]

The school's charter called for a center of higher education consisting of three schools. The Philosophy School instructed students in the advanced study of moral philosophy (logic, rhetoric, ethics) as well as natural philosophy (physics, metaphysics, and mathematics); upon completion of this coursework, the Divinity School prepared these young men for ordination into the Church of England. This curriculum made William & Mary the first American college with a full faculty.[citation needed]

In 1693, the College was given a seat in the House of Burgesses and it was determined that the College would be supported by tobacco taxes and export duties on furs and animal skins. The College acquired a 330 acres (1.3 km2) parcel for the new school,[13] 8 miles (13 km) from Jamestown. In 1694, the new school opened in temporary buildings.

Williamsburg was granted a royal charter as a city in 1722 and served as the capital of Colonial Virginia from 1699 to 1780. During this time, the College served as a law center and lawmakers frequently used its buildings. It educated future U.S. Presidents Thomas Jefferson, James Monroe, and John Tyler.

Revolutionary period, making a transition

James Monroe, 5th President of US, W&M alumnus

During the period of the American Revolution, freedom of religion was established in Virginia and the separation of church and state achieved, notably with the 1786 passage of the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom. Future U.S. President James Madison was a key figure in the transition to religious freedom in Virginia, and Right Reverend James Madison, his cousin and Thomas Jefferson, who was on the Board of Visitors, helped The College of William & Mary to make the transition as well. The college became a university with the establishment of the graduate schools in law and medicine. As its President, Reverend Madison worked with the new leaders of Virginia, most notably Jefferson, on a reorganization and changes for the College which included the abolition of the Divinity School and the Indian School and the establishment of the first elective system of study and honor system.[14]

The College of William and Mary is home to the nation's first collegiate secret society, the F.H.C. Society, founded November 11, 1750. On December 5, 1776, students John Heath and William Short (Class of 1779) founded Phi Beta Kappa as a secret literary and philosophical society. It is today the nation's premier academic honor society, with chapters at colleges and universities across the United States. Other secret societies known to currently exist at the College include: the 7 Society, 13 Club, Alpha Club, Bishop James Madison Society, Flat Hat Club, The Society, The Spades, W Society, and Wren Society.[15][16]

In 1842, alumni of the College formed the Society of the Alumni[17] which is now the sixth oldest alumni organization in the United States. In 1859, a great fire caused destruction to the College. The Alumni House is one of the few original antebellum structures remaining on campus; notable others include the Wren Building, the President's House, and the Brafferton.

Civil War, Reconstruction, early 20th century

Wren Building circa 1859

At the outset of the American Civil War (1861–1865), enlistments in the Confederate Army depleted the student body and on May 10, 1861, the faculty voted to close the College for the duration of the conflict. The College Building was used as a Confederate barracks and later as a hospital, first by Confederate, and later Union forces. The Battle of Williamsburg was fought nearby during the Peninsula Campaign on May 5, 1862, and the city fell to the Union the next day. The Brafferton building of the College was used for a time as quarters for the commanding officer of the Union garrison occupying the town. On September 9, 1862, drunken soldiers of the 5th Pennsylvania Cavalry set fire to the College Building,[18] purportedly in an attempt to prevent Confederate snipers from using it for cover. Much damage was done to the community during the Union occupation, which lasted until September 1865.

Following restoration of the Union, Virginia was destitute from the War. The College's 16th president, Benjamin Stoddert Ewell, finally reopened the school in 1869 using his personal funds but the College closed in 1882 due to lack of funds. In 1888, William & Mary resumed operations under a substitute charter when the Commonwealth of Virginia passed an act[19] appropriating $10,000 to support the College as a state teacher-training institution. Lyon Gardiner Tyler (son of US President and alumnus John Tyler) became the 17th president of the College following President Ewell's retirement. Tyler, along with 18th president J.A.C. Chandler, expanded the College into a modern institution. In March 1906, the General Assembly passed an act taking over the grounds of the colonial institution, and it has remained publicly-supported ever since. In 1918, William & Mary preceded the University of Virginia to be one of the first universities in Virginia to admit women and become coeducational. [1] During this time, enrollment increased from 104 students in 1889 to 1269 students by 1932.

Largely thanks to the vision of a William and Mary instructor, Reverend Dr. W.A.R. Goodwin, the Sir Christopher Wren Building, the President's House and the Brafferton (the President's office) were restored to their eighteenth century appearance between 1928 and 1932 with substantial financial support from John D. Rockefeller, Jr. and his wife, Abby Aldrich Rockefeller. Together, they led the establishment and beginnings of Colonial Williamsburg.


In 1930, William & Mary expanded its territorial range by establishing a branch in Norfolk, Virginia. This extension would eventually become the independent state-supported institution known as Old Dominion University.

Significant campus construction continued under the College's nineteenth president, John Stewart Bryan. President Franklin D. Roosevelt received an honorary degree from the College on October 20, 1934.[2] In 1935, the Sunken Garden was constructed, just west of the Wren Building. The sunken design is taken from a similar landscape feature at Chelsea Hospital in London, designed by Sir Christopher Wren.

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh visited the College on October 16, 1957, where the Queen spoke to the College community from the balcony of the Wren Building. The Queen again visited the College on May 4, 2007.

In 1974, Jay Winston Johns willed Ash Lawn-Highland, the 535-acre (2.17 km2) historic Albemarle County, Virginia estate of alumnus and U.S. President James Monroe, to the College. The College restored this historic presidential home near Charlottesville and opened it to the public.[20]


Modern day Sir Christopher Wren Building

The College is located on a 1,200-acre (490 ha) campus in Williamsburg, Virginia.

The Sir Christopher Wren Building is the oldest college building in the United States and a National Historic Landmark.[21] The building officially referred to as the "Sir Christopher Wren Building" was so named upon its renovation in 1931 to honor the English architect Sir Christopher Wren. The basis for the 1930s name is a 1724 history in which Hugh Jones stated that the 1699 design was "first modelled by Sir Christopher Wren" and then was adapted "by the Gentlemen there" in Virginia; little is known about how it looked, since it burned within a few years of its completion. Today's Wren Building is based on the design of its 1716 replacement. The College's Alumni Association recently published an article suggesting that Wren's connection to the 1931 building is a viable subject of investigation.[22] A follow-up letter clarified the apocryphal nature of the Wren connection.[citation needed]

Two other buildings around the Wren Building complete a triangle known as "Ancient Campus": the Brafferton (built in 1723 and originally housing the Indian School, now the President and Provost's offices) and the President's House (built in 1732).

Organization and administration

Current president W. Taylor Reveley III

The Board of Visitors is a corporation established by the General Assembly of Virginia to govern and supervise the operation of the College of William & Mary and of Richard Bland College.[23] The corporation is composed of 17 members appointed by the Governor of Virginia, based upon on the recommendations made by the Society of the Alumni, to a maximum of two-successive four-year terms. The Board elects a Rector, Vice Rector, and Secretary and the Board meets four times annually.[23] The Board is responsible for appointing a president, related administrative officers, and an honorary chancellor, approving degrees, admission policies, departments, and schools, and executing the fiduciary duties of supervising the College's property and finances.[24]

Until 1776, the chancellor was an English subject, usually the Archbishop of Canterbury or the Bishop of London, who served as the College’s advocate to the crown, while a colonial President oversaw the day-to-day activities of the Williamsburg campus. Following the Revolutionary War, General George Washington was appointed as the first American chancellor; later United States President John Tyler held the post. The College has recently had a number of distinguished chancellors: former Chief Justice of the United States Warren E. Burger (1986–1993), former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher (1993–2000), and former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger (2000–2005).[25] Former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor was installed as the College's 23rd Chancellor on April 7, 2006.[26]

The Board of Visitors delegates to a president the operating responsibility and accountability for the administrative, fiscal, and academic performance of the College as well as representing the College on public occasions such as conferral of degrees.[23] In September 2008, W. Taylor Reveley III became the 27th President of the College, succeeding Gene Nichol.[27] The president is assisted by a provost, the senior academic officer of the university, and several vice presidents.

Faculty members are organized into separate faculties of the Faculty of Arts and Science as well as those for the respective schools of Business, Education, Law, and Virginia Institute of Marine Science.[23] Each faculty is presided over by a dean, who reports to the provost, and governs itself through separate by-laws approved by the Board of Visitors. The faculty are also represented by a faculty assembly that serves to advise the president and provost.[23]

The Royal Hospital School, an independent boarding school in the United Kingdom, is a sister institution.[28]


The College of William & Mary is a medium-sized, highly residential, public research university.[29] The four-year, full-time undergraduate program comprises most of the university's enrollment. The College has a strong undergraduate arts & sciences focus, with a select number of graduate programs in fields as diverse as colonial American history and marine science. The graduate programs are dominant in STEM fields and the university has a high level of research activity.[29] For the 2007–08 school year, 1,454 undergraduate, 440 masters, 60 doctoral, and 209 professional degrees were conferred.[7] William & Mary is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.[30]

William & Mary has produced six Rhodes Scholars since 1988 and 60 students have won Fulbright Scholarships, Truman, and Goldwater fellowships since 2000.[31] According to the Institute of International Education, William & Mary enjoys the highest Fulbright Scholarship acceptance rate (46%) of any major research university in America. [3] William & Mary offers exchange programs with 15 foreign schools, drawing more than 12% of its undergraduates into these programs, and receives U.S. State Department grants to further expand its foreign exchange programs.[32] Former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright has called W&M International Studies Department "perhaps the finest in the nation."[33]

Learning environment

William & Mary is committed to ensuring the quality of its undergraduate teaching experience. [4] In support of this mission, W&M provides a "small college environment" and maintains a low student-to-faculty ratio of 11-to-1 (the second lowest among U.S. public universities), thereby fostering student-professor interaction. In addition, a notable 99% of all undergraduate classes, excluding labs, are taught by professors (not teaching assistants) and 86% of all classes contain 40 or fewer students. [5]

Student body and admissions

Demographics of student body[7][34]
Undergraduate Virginia U.S. Census
African American 7.2% 20.5% 12.1%
Asian American 8.1% 5.4% 4.3%
White American 59.5% 72.4% 65.8%
Hispanic American 5.7% 6.2% 14.5%
Native American 0.84% 0.74% 0.9%
International student 2.3% N/A N/A
Unknown/unspecified 16.34% N/A N/A

William & Mary enrolled 5,850 undergraduate, 1,414 graduate, and 628 professional students in 2008.[7] Women make up 54.7% of the undergraduate, 53.5% of the graduate, and 49% of the professional student bodies, respectively.

Admission to W&M is considered "most selective" according to U.S. News.[6] There were 11,636 applications for admission to the class of 2012: 3,966 were admitted (33.7%) and 1,387 enrolled (35%).[7] Over three-quarters of enrolling students (79%) graduated in the top tenth of their high school class, 77.6% had a high school GPA above 3.75, and the interquartile range on SAT scores was 630–730 for reading, 620–710 for math, and 610–720 for writing.[7] The top five overlap schools for William & Mary applicants are Cornell University, Duke University, Georgetown University, the University of Virginia, and Vanderbilt University.[35] 95% of freshmen enrolled the subsequent year, the four year graduation rate was 84%, and the six year rate was 91%.[36]

Undergraduate tuition for 2007–2008 was $6,090 for Virginia residents and $24,960 for out-of-state students.[37] One-third (32%) of the student body received loans, W&M granted over $8 million in need-based scholarships in 2007-2008 to 1,280 students (22.6% of the student body), and average student indebtedness was $15,602.[37]

Law and medical school acceptance rates

Sixty-percent of W&M students go on to graduate school within five years of graduation.[38] From 1999 to 2003 (the latest available figures), W&M's law and medical school acceptance rates hovered between 72% and 84%, respectively. These figures are notably above the national acceptance rate averages of 50% and 64% for law and medical school, respectively.[39]

Undergraduate rankings

The College of William & Mary's undergraduate program is ranked as the #4 and #6 best public university in America, according to the 2009 Forbes and 2010 U.S. News & World Report rankings, respectively.[10] The three public universities ranked ahead of William & Mary in the Forbes rankings are the United States' Military Academy, Air Force Academy and Naval Academy,[10] making the College the top-ranked non-military public university.

In overall rankings of American institutions (public and private), W&M ranked #19 by The Washington Monthly in 2006[40] and #33 in the overall 2010 U.S. News rankings.[41][42] William & Mary ranked as the #3 "best value" among America's public universities in the 2007 issue of Kiplinger's Personal Finance Magazine.[43] William & Mary's Swem Library was ranked in 2008 the Princeton Review as the #8 "Best College Library".[44]

The undergraduate business program was ranked #29 by Business Week and 43rd by U.S. News.[45][46]

Graduate school rankings

William & Mary Law School ranked #28 (tied with George Washington University) in the 2010 edition of the U.S. News rankings of the nation's law schools (#10 among public universities). According to U.S. News, W&M Law is the second-highest ranked law school in its home state of Virginia and ranks above peer competitor law schools Washington and Lee University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

The College's doctoral graduate program in U.S. colonial history ranked #4 in the 2010 U.S. News survey.[7]

William & Mary's graduate business program the Mason School of Business ranked #55 (#25 among public universities) in the 2010 edition of the U.S. News rankings.[47][48] Mason's MBA program was ranked #49 by Forbes in 2008,[49] #40 nationally by the Financial Times in 2008[50] and #17 nationally by the Wall Street Journal.[51]

Graduate placement

The Wall Street Journal ranks W&M among the top 10 public universities based on placement at "elite" graduate programs in medicine, law and business (e.g., Johns Hopkins Medical School, Columbia Law, Harvard Business). In this 2003 WSJ survey, William and Mary ranked #7 among the nation's public universities for elite graduate placement (also referred to as "feeder" colleges by WSJ).[52]


As of 2008, W&M's fiscal year endowment totaled US $580 million.[53] With a total enrollment of 7,892 students (5,850 undergraduates and 2,042 postgraduates), this equates to a $73,492 per student endowment, a common metric of an institution's financial strength. This places W&M ahead of flagship public universities in several neighboring states including the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill ($55,000) and the University of Maryland, College Park ($8,600).


Numerous prominent academics have chosen to teach at William & Mary and its graduate schools. Distinguished faculty include the first professor of law in the United States, George Wythe (law Henry Clay, John Marshall and Thomas Jefferson among his law pupils); William Small (Thomas Jefferson's cherished undergrad faculty mentor), William and Thomas Dawson, who were both also William & Mary presidents; the Law School recently added noted constitutional law scholar William Van Alstyne from Duke Law School; and Benjamin Bolger, who is the second-most credentialed person in modern history behind Michael Nicholson.[54]

Lawrence Wilkerson is the Harriman Visiting Professor of Government and Public Policy and former Chief of Staff to Colin Powell. The founder and first president of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, William Barton Rogers, also taught at William & Mary. Susan Wise Bauer is an author and founder of Peace Hill Press who teaches writing and American literature, and James Axtell teaches history and was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences as a Fellow in 2004. Several members of the socially elite and politically influential Tucker family also taught there, including Nathaniel Beverly, St. George and Henry St. George Tucker, Sr. (who penned the original honor code pledge for UVA which is still in use today).

Student life

Campus activities

The College enjoys a temperate climate.[55] In addition to renovations on the student recreation center (including a new gym, rock climbing wall, and larger exercise rooms),[56] the largely wooded campus has its own lake and outdoor amphitheatre. The Virginia Beach oceanfront is 60 miles away, and Washington D.C. is a 150-mile drive to the north.

The College's Alma Mater Productions (AMP) hosts concerts, comedians, and speakers on campus and in the 8,600-person capacity Kaplan Arena.[57] Students produce numerous publications on campus, including student fee supported newspaper The Flat Hat, the independent student newspaper The Virginia Informer, and the monthly magazine The DoG Street Journal. The school's television station, WMTV, produces informational content in the categories of cuisine, comedy, travel, and sports. Everyday Gourmet, the flagship production of the station, was recently featured in USA Today.[58] The College also has a long history with its Model UN teams, winning national and international awards such as at the Harvard University WorldMUN in 2003, 2004 and 2005. [8] The team is managed by the International Relations Club. The college also consists of prominent cultural organizations, such as the Chinese Student Organization and the African Cultural Society. These organizations hold events to promote the spread and awareness of different cultures from around the world. For instance, the Chinese Student Organization holds annual Harvest Moon Festivals and Lunar New Year Festivals to celebrate the traditional Chinese holidays.

Honor System

Thomas Jefferson

William & Mary's Honor System was first established by alumnus Thomas Jefferson in 1779 and is widely believed to be the nation's first.[59] During the orientation week, nearly every entering student recites the Honor Pledge in the Great Hall of the Wren Building pledging:

As a Member of the William & Mary community I pledge, on my Honor, not to lie, cheat, or steal in either my academic or personal life. I understand that such acts violate the Honor Code and undermine the community of trust of which we are all stewards.

The basis of W&M's Honor Pledge was written over 150 years ago by alumnus and law professor Henry St. George Tucker, Sr.[60] While teaching law at the University of Virginia, Tucker proposed that students attach a pledge to all exams confirming that on their honor they did not receive any assistance.[61][62] Tucker's honor pledge was the early basis of the Honor System at the University of Virginia.[63] At W&M, the Honor System stands as one of the College's most important traditions; it remains student-administered through the Honor Council with the advice of the faculty and administration of the College. The College's Honor System is codified such that students found guilty of cheating, stealing or lying are subject to sanctions ranging anywhere from a verbal warning up to expulsion.[64]


Crim Dell bridge in the heart of W&M's wooded campus

William & Mary has a number of traditions, including the Yule Log Ceremony, at which the president dresses as Santa Claus and reads a rendition of "How the Grinch Stole Christmas," the Vice-President of Student Affairs reads "Twas the Night Before Finals," and The Gentlemen of the College sing the song "The Twelve Days of Christmas".[65]

Incoming freshmen participate in Opening Convocation, at which they pass through the entrance of the Wren Building and are officially welcomed as the newest members of the College. Freshmen also have the opportunity, during orientation week, to serenade the President of the College at his home with the Alma Mater song. The Senior Walk is similar, in that graduating seniors walk through the Wren Building in their "departure" from the College. On the last day of classes, Seniors are invited to ring the bell in the cupola of the Wren Building.

One unofficial tradition is the Triathlon, a set of three tasks to be completed by each student prior to graduation. These include jumping the wall of the Governor's Palace in Colonial Williamsburg after hours (and if so inclined, running through the Boxwood Maze to the Palace itself), streaking through the Sunken Garden, and swimming in the Crim Dell pond.

Fraternities and sororities

William & Mary has a long history of fraternities and sororities dating back to Phi Beta Kappa, the first "Greek-letter" organization, which was founded there in 1776 . Today, Greek organizations play an important role in the College community, along with other social organizations (e.g. theatre and club sports organizations). Overall, about one-third of its undergraduates are active members of 18 national fraternities and 12 sororities.[66] William & Mary is also home to several unique non-Greek social fraternities, notably the Nu Kappa Epsilon music sorority[67] and the Queens' Guard.[68]

A cappella

William and Mary has eleven collegiate a cappella groups.[69]

The Christopher Wren Singers (1987, co-ed); The Gentlemen of the College (1990,all-male); The Stairwells (1990, all-male); Intonations (1991, all-female); The Accidentals (1992, all-female); Reveille (1992, all-female); DoubleTake (1993, co-ed); Common Ground (1995, all-female); One Accord (1998,all-male); The Cleftomaniacs (1999, co-ed); Passing Notes (2002, all-female)

Comedy groups

William and Mary has two campus comedy groups. I.T. (short for Improvisational Theatre) has been around since 1986,[70] and has become a feeder into the professional improv scene in Chicago and Los Angeles, boasting performers with The Second City, I.O., ComedySportz, and Mission IMPROVable. In addition to performing shows across campus and Virginia, I.T. annually travels to Chicago as part of its Fall Tour, where new and returning members develop and practice their improvisational skills. Every year culminates with Improvathon, a 12-hour show at the Lake Matoaka Amphitheatre to benefit Avalon, a local battered women's shelter. The sketch comedy ensemble Seventh Grade has been in existence since 1997.[71]


William & Mary Tribe logo

Formerly known as the "Indians," William & Mary's athletic teams are now known as the "Tribe." The College fields NCAA Division I teams for men and women in basketball, cross country, golf, gymnastics, soccer, swimming and diving, tennis, and indoor and outdoor track and field. In addition, there are women's field hockey, lacrosse and volleyball squads as well as men's baseball and football. In the 2004-05 season, the Tribe garnered five Colonial Athletic Association titles, and it leads the conference with over 80 titles. In that same year, several teams competed in the NCAA Championships, with the football team appearing in the Division I-AA national semifinals.[72] The men's cross country team finished 8th and 5th at the Division I NCAA Men's Cross Country Championship in 2006 and 2009, respectively.

There have been many recent notable athletes who competed for the Tribe. On the men's soccer team, goalkeeper Adin Brown was a back-to-back NCAA First Team All-American in 1998 and 1999. The track program has produced several All-Americans, including Brian Hyde, an Olympian and collegiate record holder in the 1500-meter run, and Ed Moran, a gold medalist in the 5000-meter run at the 2007 Pan American Games. The baseball program boasts a handful of current MLB players, including relief pitcher Bill Bray and Minnesota Twins utility infielder Brendan Harris. The football program has also produced numerous NFL players and coaches: All-Pro safety Darren Sharper, current Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin, cornerback Derek Cox, kicker Steve Christie, long snapper Mike Leach, Walter Payton Award-winning quarterback Lang Campbell, wide receiver Dominique Thompson, Pro Football Hall of Fame coaches Marv Levy and Lou Holtz, and Jacksonville Jaguars linebackers coach Mark Duffner.

In May 2006, the NCAA ruled that the athletic logo, which includes two green and gold feathers, could create an environment that is offensive to the American Indian community. The College's appeal regarding the use of the institution’s athletic logo to the NCAA Executive Committee was rejected. The "Tribe" nickname, by itself, was found to be neither hostile nor abusive, but rather communicates ennobling sentiments of commitment, shared idealism, community and common cause.[73] The College stated it would phase out the use of the two feathers by the fall of 2007, although they can still be seen prominently painted on streets throughout the campus.[74] Some students[citation needed] have vowed to display the prior logo on their own at NCAA post-season games. A new design was unveiled in December 2007.

For a short time, the College's unofficial mascot was a green and gold frog (though it was commonly referred to on campus simply as an 'amorphous green blob') called "Colonel Ebirt" ("Tribe" backwards), which was discontinued in 2005.[75] Prior to that, two students, one male, one female, dressed in buckskins. The female was referred to as Pocohontas, while the male was usually referred to as "tribe guy." The practice ended around 1991.[citation needed] Currently, a selection process is being conducted to select the College's new mascot. In December 2009, five finalists - including a Griffin, King and Queen, the Phoenix, a Pug and the Wren - were announced from more than 800 submissions.[76]


William & Mary has produced a large number of distinguished alumni including U.S. Presidents Thomas Jefferson, John Tyler, and James Monroe; key figures in American history Peyton Randolph, Fulwar Skipwith, Henry Clay and Chief Justice of the United States John Marshall; Massachusetts Institute of Technology founder William Barton Rogers; U.S. Military General Winfield Scott; Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin, Miami Dolphins offensive coordinator Dan Henning, football Hall-of-Famer Lou Creekmur, and New Orleans Saints safety Darren Sharper; major league baseball players Chris Ray, Brendan Harris, Bill Bray, Vic Raschi and Curtis Pride; entertainers Glenn Close, Scott Glenn, Linda Lavin, Patton Oswalt and The Daily Show host Jon Stewart; creator and writer of Scrubs and Spin City, Bill Lawrence; fashion designer Perry Ellis; founder and chairman of Legg Mason Raymond A. "Chip" Mason; Obama Cabinet members Robert Gates (22nd U.S. Secretary of Defense) and Christina Romer (Chairwoman, Council of Economic Advisors); and General David McKiernan (Commander, U.S. Forces Afghanistan).

U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates (Class of 1965)
Major League Soccer player Wade Barrett (Class of 1998)
Fashion designer Perry Ellis (Class of 1961)
Chair of U.S. Council of Economic Advisors Christina Romer (Class of 1981)
The Daily Show's Jon Stewart (Class of 1984)

Commencement speakers

Commencement speakers at the College of William and Mary have included a variety of individuals, including alumni, presidents of the College, students, professors, politicians, journalists, entertainers, and royalty, among others.[77]

References and footnotes

  1. ^ About William and Mary | About W&M
  2. ^ The College gives its founding date as 1693, but has not operated continuously since that time, having closed at two separate periods, 1861–1869 and 1882–1888 (see Post-colonial history).
  3. ^ William & Mary - Fiscal Year 2009: An Overview. Accessed 25 December 2009.
  4. ^ Office of the Provost. Retrieved on 11 December 2009.
  5. ^ Henry C. Wolf '64, J.D. '66 elected Rector of W&M. Retrieved on 11 December 2009.
  6. ^ W&M at a Glance. Accessed August 1, 2008.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h "Common Data Set, 2008-2009". Office of Institutional Research, College of William & Mary. Retrieved 2008-12-21. 
  8. ^ William & Mary Men's Basketball Media Guide 2007-08 (page 2). "Quick Facts: ...Colors: Green, Gold and Silver" Accessed July 31, 2008.
  9. ^ "William and Mary Forms Mascot Committee". The College of William & Mary. March 11, 2009. Retrieved May 6, 2009. 
  10. ^ a b c Forbes staff (5 August 2009). "America's Best Public Colleges". Forbes. Retrieved August 7, 2009. 
  11. ^ "Earl Gregg Swem Library Special Collections". Retrieved 2008-09-26. 
  12. ^ Webster, Homer J. (1902) "Schools and Colleges in Colonial Times," The New England Magazine: An Illustrated Monthly, v. XXVII, p. 374, Google Books entry
  13. ^ williamsburg hotel virginia busch garden at
  14. ^ "Virginia Vignettes » What Was the Brafferton School?". August 2007. Retrieved 2008-09-26. 
  15. ^ Shhh! The Secret Side to the College’s Lesser Known Societies - The DoG Street Journal
  16. ^ Peeking Into Closed Societies - The Flat Hat
  17. ^ F. James Barnes, II. "William & Mary Alumni > History". Retrieved 2008-09-26. 
  18. ^ "1850 - 1899 | Historical Facts". Historical Chronology of William and Mary. Retrieved 2008-09-26. 
  19. ^ "Earl Gregg Swem Library Special Collections". Retrieved 2008-09-26. 
  20. ^ "Ash Lawn-Highland, Home of James Monroe". Retrieved 2008-09-26. 
  21. ^ "Wren Building, College of William and Mary". National Park Service. Retrieved 2008-12-21. 
  22. ^ Alumni Magazine: Wren Building
  23. ^ a b c d e "Faculty Handbook" (PDF). 2008. Retrieved 2008-12-21. 
  24. ^ "Members of the Board". Board of Visitors, The College of William & Mary. Retrieved 2008-12-21. 
  25. ^ "Duties and History, Chancellor". The College of William and Mary. Retrieved 2008-12-21. 
  26. ^ "Sandra Day O'Connor, Chancellor". The College of William and Mary. Retrieved 2008-12-21. 
  27. ^ "W. Taylor Reveley, President". The College of William and Mary. Retrieved 2008-12-21. 
  28. ^ "Greenwich Hospital School: A Brief History of The Royal Hospital School". Mariners. March 5, 2003. Retrieved February 9, 2009. 
  29. ^ a b "Carnegie Classifications: College of William and Mary". The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. Retrieved 2008-12-21. 
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  31. ^ "William & Mary.... A Fulbright Future". The College of William & Mary. 2009. Retrieved 6 August 2009. 
  32. ^ "Topic Galleries -". September 26, 2008.,0,2420420.story. Retrieved 2008-09-26. 
  33. ^ "Reiss outlines global concerns at Reves Center fund-raiser | University Relations". Retrieved 2008-09-26. 
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External links

Coordinates: 37°16′16″N 76°42′27″W / 37.271059°N 76.707485°W / 37.271059; -76.707485

Simple English

The College of William & Mary
in Virginia
Established 1693[1][2]
Type Public university
Endowment US $586 million[3]
Chancellor Sandra Day O'Connor
President W. Taylor Reveley, III
Undergraduates 5,850[4]
Postgraduates 2,042[4]
Place Williamsburg, Virginia, U.S.
Campus Suburban
1,200 acres (4.9 km²)
Athletics NCAA Division I
Nickname Tribe
Mascot None

The College of William & Mary in Virginia (also known as The College of William & Mary, The College, William & Mary, or W&M) is a public university located in Williamsburg, Virginia, United States. Founded in 1693 by a Royal Charter issued by King William III and Queen Mary II, it is the second-oldest institution of higher education in the United States.

William & Mary educated U.S. Presidents Thomas Jefferson, James Monroe, and John Tyler as well as other key figures important to the development of the nation, including U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Marshall, Speaker of the House Henry Clay and 16 signers of the Declaration of Independence.

In 2008, the college had 5,850 undergraduate students and 2,042 graduate and professional students in and gave 1,454 bachelors, 440 masters, and 209 professional degrees.[4]

The current president of the university is W. Taylor Reveley, III and its chancellor (an honorary title with little job duties) is Sandra Day O'Connor.[5] Some past chancellors are George Washington, Margaret Thatcher, and Henry Kissinger.[6]


  1. About William and Mary | About W&M
  2. The College gives its founding date as 1693, but has not operated continuously since that time, having closed at two separate periods, 1861–1869 and 1882–1888 (see Post-colonial history).
  3. William & Mary endowment increases by $94.2. Accessed August 1, 2008.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 "Common Data Set, 2008-2009". Office of Institutional Research, College of William & Mary. Retrieved 2008-12-21. 
  5. "Sandra Day O'Connor, Chancellor". The College of William and Mary. Retrieved 2008-12-21. 
  6. "Duties and History, Chancellor". The College of William and Mary. Retrieved 2008-12-21. 

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