William & Mary has been around so long that we still refer to America as "the new guy." The first permanent English settlement was established in Virginia in 1607 right down the road at Jamestown, and the original plans for W&M were drafted 11 years later. The only reason we're "younger" than Harvard is because a Powhatan uprising delayed the campus dedication. We couldn’t make this stuff up.
Even as the second-oldest college in America, we're famous for our firsts: the first U.S. institution with a Royal Charter, the first Greek-letter society (Phi Beta Kappa, founded in 1776), the first collegiate student honor code and the first law school in America. George Washington was our first American chancellor, and the first law professor at W&M — George Wythe — was the mentor of a promising young student named Thomas Jefferson.
By attending W&M, you can help write the next chapter in a very (very) long history of tradition and distinction.
Thomas Jefferson is arguably our most famous alumnus (although Jon Stewart '84 gives him a run for his money). The University of Virginia (which Jefferson founded) presented the statue of Jefferson to William & Mary in the 1990s in hopes of settling a centuries-old Jeffersonian debt.
You might call the streets of Colonial Williamsburg the university's extended campus. Here, a student jogs past the Governor's Palace in the historic area.
A re-enactor rests at a side entrance to the Peyton Randolph House in Colonial Williamsburg. Randolph was a graduate of the university and the first president of the Continental Congress.
The Rev. Mr. John Camm addresses the National Institute for American History and Democracy (NIAHD) in the Wren Building. Rev. Camm was president of W&M from 1772 to 1777 and is portrayed here by a Colonial Williamsburg interpreter.
A student and Colonial Williamsburg interpreter walk toward the Wren Building, W&M's most iconic piece of architecture.