College of William & Mary

The College of William & Mary (also known as William & Mary, W&M, and officially The College of William and Mary in Virginia) is a public research university in Williamsburg, Virginia. Founded in 1693 by letters patent issued by King William III and Queen Mary II, it is the second-oldest institution of higher education in the United States and the ninth-oldest in the English-speaking world.[10][dubious ]

College of William & Mary
Latin: "Collegium Gulielmi et Mariae"
TypePublic research university
EstablishedFebruary 8, 1693; 328 years ago (1693-02-08)[1][2]
Academic affiliations
Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU)
Universities Research Association (URA)
Sea-grant
Space-grant
Endowment$967.7 million (2020)[3][4]
ChancellorRobert Gates
PresidentKatherine Rowe
ProvostPeggy Agouris [5]
RectorJohn E. Littel[6]
Academic staff
738 full-time and 183 part-time[7]
Students8,817 (fall 2019)[7]
Undergraduates6,377 (fall 2019)[7]
Postgraduates2,440 (fall 2019)[7]
Location, ,
United States

37°16′15″N 76°42′30″W
CampusRural / Suburban
1,200 acres (4.9 km2)
ColorsGreen and Gold[8]
   
NicknameTribe
Sporting affiliations
NCAA Division IColonial Athletic Association (CAA)
Mascot"The Griffin"[9]
Websitewww.wm.edu

William & Mary educated American presidents Thomas Jefferson, James Monroe, and John Tyler. It also educated other key figures pivotal to the development of the United States, including the first President of the Continental Congress Peyton Randolph, the first U.S. Attorney General Edmund Randolph, the fourth U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Marshall, Speaker of the House of Representatives Henry Clay, Commanding General of the U.S. Army Winfield Scott, sixteen members of the Continental Congress, and four signers of the Declaration of Independence. This earned it the nickname "the Alma Mater of the Nation".[11] A young George Washington also received his surveyor's license at the college in 1749 and he would become the college's first American chancellor in 1788. The position was long held by Bishops of London and Archbishops of Canterbury, though in modern times has been held by U.S. Supreme Court Justices, Cabinet Secretaries, and British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. Benjamin Franklin received William & Mary's first honorary degree in 1756.[12]

William & Mary is notable for its many firsts in American higher education. The F.H.C. Society, founded in 1750, was the first collegiate fraternity in the United States, and W&M students founded the Phi Beta Kappa academic honor society in 1776, the first Greek-letter fraternity. W&M was also the first school of higher education in the United States to install an honor code of conduct for students, dating back to 1736.[13] It was the first and only American university issued a coat of arms by the College of Arms in London.[14] The establishment of graduate programs in law and medicine in 1779 makes it one of the first universities in the United States. The Marshall–Wythe School of Law is the oldest law school in the United States, and the Sir Christopher Wren Building, attributed to the famed English architect, is the oldest academic building in continuous use in the United States.[15]

In addition to its prestigious undergraduate program, W&M is home to several top-ranked graduate programs and four professional schools.[16] In his 1985 book Public Ivies: A Guide to America's Best Public Undergraduate Colleges and Universities, Richard Moll included William & Mary as one of the original eight "Public Ivies". It is classified among "R2: Doctoral Universities – High Research Activity".[17]