FBI Director to Deliver W&M Commencement Speech

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Robert Mueller

The director of the FBI will deliver the commencement address this May at The College of William & Mary.

Robert S. Mueller is the longest-serving director of the FBI since J. Edgar Hoover. He was nominated to the position in 2001 by President George W. Bush, then received national attention in 2004 when he challenged the White House over concerns related to the constitutionality of domestic wiretapping. In 2011, President Barack Obama asked Mueller to stay on for two more years.

Honorary degrees will be given to Colonial Williamsburg President Colin Campbell, a former member of the college’s Board of Visitors, and Warren W. Buck III, an alumnus and chancellor emeritus of the University of Washington-Bothell. Mueller cannot accept an honorary degree while serving in office, but W&M plans to honor him once he leaves his position.

The ceremony will also feature opening remarks from W&M Chancellor and former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, a 1965 graduate of the university.

Mueller attended Princeton University and earned a master’s degree from New York University before joining the Marine Corps. During three years of service, he led a rifle platoon in Vietnam, earning a Bronze Star, Purple Heart and two Navy Commendation Medals.

After receiving a law degree from the University of Virginia in 1973, Mueller worked as a litigator in San Francisco before serving 12 years in U.S. attorney’s offices. In 1982, he began work as an assistant United States attorney in Boston and later became assistant to Attorney General Richard L. Thornburgh. In 1990, he took charge of the Department of Justice’s Criminal Division, overseeing the prosecution of Panama’s dictator Manuel Noriega and James Gotti, boss of the Gambino crime family. When he was nominated for his current post, he was serving as U.S. attorney in San Francisco.

Mueller previously visited W&M in 2008 to give a guest lecture for the Thomas Jefferson Program in Public Policy.

Campbell, who served on the Board of Visitors from 2008-12, has been president and chief executive officer of the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation since April 2000. He previously served as president of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, president of Wesleyan University, vice president of the Planning and Government Affairs Division of the American Stock Exchange and was an associate at the law firm of Cummings & Lockwood in Connecticut. He received his undergraduate degree from Cornell University and law degree from Columbia University School of Law.

He is a current trustee of the Mason School of Business Foundation. With his wife, Nancy, he was honored with W&M’s Prentis Award, given to community members of extraordinary civic engagement.

Buck, an internationally recognized physicist, earned his master’s and doctorate in theoretical high-energy nuclear physics from W&M. He became the first chancellor of Washington’s Bothell campus in 1999. He stepped down from the chancellor position to return to the classroom in 2005.

Before joining Washington, he was a prominent member of a team that established the scientific program at Jefferson Lab and was founding director of the Nuclear/High Energy Physics Research Center of Excellence and professor of physics at Hampton University.

As a graduate student at W&M, Buck received the National Science Foundation fellowship and was founding president of the college’s Black Student Organization. He served on the Alumni Association’s Board from 1998-2004. He recently received the Hulon Willis Association Impact Award for his service to the African American community while at W&M.

Find more information about the 2013 commencement here.