first & foremost

Making history since 1693.

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. While it took a bit longer than originally planned—resulting in Harvard beating us by a few decades—William & Mary was officially chartered in 1693.

Even as the second-oldest institution of higher education 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.