There is Only One William & Mary

We Admit It!  Traditions aren’t unique to William & Mary.  But William & Mary is unique because of its traditions.  Where else can you swear to uphold the nation’s oldest collegiate honor code in the nation’s oldest academic building?  At no other institution can you be inducted into the nation’s oldest Greek organization.  And no other American college or university can celebrate the granting of its royal charter.  This Friday, William & Mary will do just that.

Charter Day is William & Mary’s birthday.  And this Friday we will turn 320.  Let’s say that again.  This Friday we will turn 320.  That’s a lot of candles on a cake.  But we’ve earned it.  And we make 320 look good.

We will celebrate with a formal academic processional and keynote speech on Friday, given by current W&M Chancellor and former Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates.  We will celebrate with a gigantic green and gold cake.  And we will cap things off on Saturday with the annual Charter Day concert featuring Gavin DeGraw.

Pomp and circumstance aside, this is what makes William & Mary special.  As a two-time alumna I’m moved to see faculty and students gather in their regalia and process through William & Mary Hall.  The annual reading of the Charter is powerful to all who call William & Mary their alma mater.  And the debut of the Charter Day video (it will be tough to top this one from 2012) reminds all who see it why William & Mary is truly in a class by itself.

As those of us in admission work to create the Class of 2017 (the College’s 320th class) we feel incredibly fortunate to be able to work for such a storied institution.  So Happy Birthday William & Mary from all of us in the Undergraduate Admission Office.  And many, many more.

Wendy Livingston ’03, M.Ed. ‘09
Associate Dean of Admission