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Colonial Williamsburg President and CEO Honored with 2022 W&M Prentis Award

The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation announced Cliff Fleet as its new president and CEO late Friday afternoon. (WYDaily/Courtesy Colonial Williamsburg)
(WYDaily/Courtesy Colonial Williamsburg)

WILLIAMSBURG — The President and CEO of Colonial Williamsburg Foundation (CWF), Cliff Fleet, is being honored by William & Mary (W&M) with its 2022 Prentis Award on Nov. 9 at the Wren Building.

Fleet, a four-time alumnus and adjunct professor, is being recognized for his longtime commitment to W&M and for his community initiatives with CWF and as chair of the William & Mary Foundation, W&M said. 

“I am honored and humbled to be the recipient of the 2022 William & Mary Prentis Award,” said Fleet in the W&M announcement. “Building upon the strong foundation between The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation and William & Mary pays dividends through resources we can provide to our community and through our combined efforts to understand the past and all those who played a part in our shared American story.”

Fleet first joined CWF as its President and CEO in 2019, and there have been several collaborative community projects since he took on that leadership role. 

One of those impactful and collaborative projects between Colonial Williamsburg (CW) and W&M has been the Bray School Initiative. The project strives to preserve the history and original structure of an 18th-century school which is believed to be the only remaining Colonial-era building in the U.S. that was dedicated to the education of Black American children.

(Courtesy of Colonial Williamsburg Foundation)

CW and W&M have also been working to collaborate with First Baptist Church of Williamsburg and the Let Freedom Ring Foundation to digitally preserve historical documents as well as excavate the Nassau Street archeological site of First Baptist Church. Actual burial excavations at the site of the original First Baptist Church structure began on Jul. 18.

CW and W&M will collaborate to mark the 300th anniversary of the Brafferton Indian School at W&M in 2023, the university said. 

Fleet also helped to kick off W&M’s academic year by speaking to incoming students and by welcoming the Class of 2026 at the university’s Opening Convocation ceremony. He is a faculty member at W&M’s Raymond A. Mason School of Business and has received his undergraduate and graduate degrees in history, business administration, and law. 

W&M has been recognizing Williamsburg community members with the Prentis Award since 1980. For more information on the annual award, please check out W&M’s official website

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