College of William and Mary

College of William and Mary

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The College of William & Mary is a public research university in Williamsburg, Virginia. Founded in 1693 by letters patent issued by King William III and Queen Mary II, it is the second-oldest institution of higher education in the United States, after Harvard University., William & Mary educated American presidents Thomas Jefferson , James Monroe , and John Tyler as well as other key figures pivotal to the development of the United States, including the first President of the Continental Congress Peyton Randolph of Virginia, the first U.S. Attorney General Edmund Randolph of Virginia, the fourth U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Marshall of Virginia, Speaker of the House of Representatives Henry Clay of Kentucky, sixteen members of the Continental Congress, and four signers of the Declaration of Independence, earning it the nickname "the Alma Mater of the Nation." A young George Washington also received his surveyor's license at the college, and he would become the college's first American chancellor in 1788., William & Mary is notable for its many firsts in American higher education. The F.H.C. Society, founded in 1750, was the first collegiate fraternity in the United States, and W&M students founded the Phi Beta Kappa academic honor society in 1776, the first Greek-letter fraternity. W&M was also the first school of higher education in the United States to install an honor code of conduct for students, dating back to 1736. The establishment of graduate programs in law and medicine in 1779 makes it one of the first universities in the United States., In addition to its undergraduate program, W&M is home to several graduate programs and four professional schools. The Marshall–Wythe School of Law is the oldest law school in the United States. In his 1985 book Public Ivies: A Guide to America's Best Public Undergraduate Colleges and Universities, Richard Moll included William & Mary as one of the original eight "Public Ivies". It is classified among "R2: Doctoral Universities – High research activity"., A school of higher education for both Native American young men and the sons of the colonists was one of the earliest goals of the leaders of the Colony of Virginia. The college was founded on February 8, 1693, under a royal charter to "make, found and establish a certain Place of Universal Study, a perpetual College of Divinity, Philosophy, Languages, and other good arts and sciences...to be supported and maintained, in all time coming." Named in honor of the reigning monarchs King William III and Queen Mary II, the college is the second oldest college in the United States. The original plans for the college date back to 1618 at Henrico but were thwarted by the Indian Massacre of 1622, a change in government , events related to the English Civil War, and Bacon's Rebellion. In 1695, before the town of Williamsburg existed, construction began on the College Building, now known as the Sir Christopher Wren Building, in what was then called Middle Plantation . It is the oldest college building in America. The college is one of the country's nine Colonial Colleges founded before the American Revolution. The Charter named James Blair as the college's first president . William & Mary was founded as an Anglican institution; students were required to be members of the Church of England, and professors were required to declare adherence to the Thirty-Nine Articles., In 1693, the college was given a seat in the House of Burgesses and it was determined the college would be supported by tobacco taxes and export duties on furs and animal skins. The college acquired a 330 acres parcel for the new school, 8 miles from Jamestown. In 1694, the new school opened in temporary buildings., Williamsburg was granted a royal charter as a city in 1722 by The Crown and served as the capital of Colonial Virginia from 1699 to 1780. During this time, the college served as a law center and lawmakers frequently used its buildings. It educated future U.S. Presidents Thomas Jefferson, James Monroe, and John Tyler. The college has been called "the Alma Mater of a Nation" because of its close ties to America's founding fathers. A 17-year-old George Washington received his surveyor's license through the college and would return as its first American chancellor. William & Mary is famous for its firsts: the first U.S. institution with a royal charter, the first Greek-letter society , the first collegiate society in the country , the first student honor code and the first law school in America., During the period of the American Revolution, freedom of religion was established in Virginia notably with the 1786 passage of the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom. Future U.S. President James Madison was a key figure in the transition to religious freedom in Virginia, and Right Reverend James Madison, his cousin and Thomas Jefferson, who was on the Board of Visitors, helped the College of William & Mary to make the transition as well. In 1779 the college became the first American university with the establishment of the graduate schools in law and medicine.[clarification needed] As its president, Reverend Madison worked with the new leaders of Virginia, most notably Jefferson, on a reorganization and changes for the college which included the abolition of the Divinity School and the Indian School and the establishment of the first elective system of study and honor system., The College of William and Mary is home to the nation's first collegiate secret society, the F.H.C. Society, popularly known as the Flat Hat Club, founded November 11, 1750. On December 5, 1776, students John Heath and William Short founded Phi Beta Kappa as a secret literary and philosophical society. Other secret societies known to currently exist at the college include: The 7 Society, 13 Club, Alpha Club, Bishop James Madison Society, The Society, The Spades, W Society, and Wren Society., Thomas R. Dew, professor of history, metaphysics, and poli
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