Happy Birthday W&M! All about Charter Day

This past Thursday, the College of William & Mary turned 331! How do we know how old the university is? On February 8th 1693, the charter of William & Mary was issued by King William III and Queen Mary II, making William & Mary the second oldest institution of higher education in the United States! Now Charter Day is celebrated annually by students, staff, and faculty here at William & Mary. The Green & Gold Bash, special dining events, and more accompany this celebration each year.

Who initiated the charter?
James Blair negotiated the charter to the royal court in 1691 and was later named as William & Mary’s first president.

Does the charter still exist?
Unfortunately the original charter was lost, however, Swem’s Special Collections is home to two manuscript copies of the charter!

Who began the celebrations?
President John Stewart Bryan initiated the first celebration of Charter Day in 1937! Each year, speakers are invited, awards are presented to faculty and students, and campus wide events occur!

More info:

https://scrc-kb.libraries.wm.edu/royal-charter https://www.wm.edu/sites/charterday/about/

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