Sunday, June 4, 2023

William & Mary, President Reveley receive congressional recognition sponsored by Rep. Scott Taylor

As William & Mary prepares to celebrate its 325th birthday, the U.S. Congress paid respect this week to the Alma Mater of the Nation and its 27th president.

Rep. Scott Taylor (R-Va.) sponsored House Resolution 711, which both celebrates the founding of William & Mary by British Royal Charter in 1693 and President Taylor Reveley’s leadership of the university over the past decade. Taylor remarked on the topics of the resolution last night from the floor of the House of Representatives. Rep. Stephanie Murphy ’00 (D-Fla.), a co-sponsor of the resolution, also spoke about W&M from the floor of the House this morning, recalling her time as a student at the institution and saying, “Like it has for so many others, William & Mary changed my life.”

Other co-sponsors of the resolution included W&M alumni Rep. Dina Titus ’70 (D-Nev.) and Rep. Steve Chabot ’75 (R-Ohio) with Rep. Barbara Comstock (D-Va.), Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.), Rep. Donald McEachin (D-Va.), Rep. Bobby Scott (D-Va.), Rep. Tom Garrett (R-Va.) and Rep. Rob Wittman (R-Va.).

The representatives’ remarks come just days before the university celebrates Charter Day, an annual tradition that marks the issuance of W&M’s royal charter.

“As the nation’s second-oldest college, William & Mary has been coined the Alma Mater of the Nation,” said Taylor. “From George Washington to Thomas Jefferson to many of my contemporaries in Congress, William & Mary has played an important role in shaping our nation and its leaders. I’m proud to say that that tradition continues today.

W&M President Taylor Reveley (Courtesy photo/W&M News)
W&M President Taylor Reveley (Courtesy photo/W&M News)

“For the last 325 years, William & Mary has been the place where the world’s greatest minds come to study. The College is consistently ranked among other nation’s most elite public universities and delivers an education that’s rated among the highest in value for its graduates.”

Murphy, who was the first woman in her family to attend college, said she was nervous when she arrived at W&M as a freshman.

“Yet from the moment I walked through Wren portico as a freshman to the moment I rang the Wren bell after my last class as a senior, William & Mary always made me feel like I was part of a close-knit community, a Tribe if you will, bound together by pride and tradition,” she said. “I learned so much from my four years on campus, creating friendships and making memories that have lasted a lifetime.”

The resolution also acknowledges W&M’s reputation as Alma Mater of the Nation (U.S. Presidents Thomas Jefferson, James Monroe and John Tyler are counted among alumni, and George Washington was educated at W&M and was the institution’s first American chancellor) and recognizes the university’s many firsts, including the first Greek-letter society, first honor code and first law school. W&M was also the first college in the nation to become a university.

Rep. Stephanie Murphy '00 (D-Fla.) (Courtesy photo/W&M News)
Rep. Stephanie Murphy ’00 (D-Fla.) (Courtesy photo/W&M News)

The university’s continued preeminence today is also cited in the resolution, which says, “William & Mary functions as a comprehensive public research university, educating future leaders in areas of the arts and sciences, business, education, law and marine science.”

Reveley is lauded for his “selfless and steadfast service” to W&M over the last decade, “guiding it to a position where it continues to thrive and has markedly achieved success in many ways, including outstanding educational value, a commitment to public service, and a diverse and inclusive community.” Reveley, the university’s 27thpresident, will retire June 30.

The resolution is currently under review by the House Committee on Education and the Workforce.

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam will serve as the keynote speaker during W&M’s Charter Day ceremony Friday in Kaplan Arena. The event, which begins at 4 p.m., is free and open to the public. In recent years, the tradition has become known as a birthday celebration for the university.

“To William & Mary the institution and all those whose efforts have made it such a special place, I say thank you and happy birthday,” said Murphy.

Sarah Fearing
Sarah Fearing
Sarah Fearing is the Assistant Editor at WYDaily. Sarah was born in the state of Maine, grew up along the coast, and attended college at the University of Maine at Orono. Sarah left Maine in October 2015 when she was offered a job at a newspaper in West Point, Va. Courts, crime, public safety and civil rights are among Sarah’s favorite topics to cover. She currently covers those topics in Williamsburg, James City County and York County. Sarah has been recognized by other news organizations, state agencies and civic groups for her coverage of a failing fire-rescue system, an aging agriculture industry and lack of oversight in horse rescue groups. In her free time, Sarah enjoys lazing around with her two cats, Salazar and Ruth, drinking copious amounts of coffee and driving places in her white truck.

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