pomp & circumstance

The Wren is the oldest academic building in America.

Thomas Jefferson slept and studied in the Wren as a 16-year-old, and its courtyard is the literal and symbolic heart of the William & Mary campus. It is where we gather for some of our most time-honored and anxiously-awaited traditions.

As incoming students, we meet in the Wren courtyard for Convocation speeches, then exit through the Wren portico to wild applause and smiling high-fives from returning students and faculty. One night just before winter break, we crowd into the courtyard, warmed by fat torches, before piling into the Great Hall to toss a good luck sprig of holly into the fire and gorge ourselves on hot chocolate and cookies. As graduating seniors, we each get to ring the Wren bell after our final class (it will give you goosebumps). Then it's back to the Wren courtyard for Commencement, reversing our path through the Wren portico as we greet our future with hope and excitement.

Come to W&M and become part of something unforgettable.