College of William and Mary
Chartered on February 8, 1693, by King William III and Queen Mary II of England, William and Mary is the second oldest institution of higher learning in America, and the first to become a university. William & Mary has been called the Alma Mater of the Nation because of its close ties to America's founding fathers. A 17-year-old George Washington received his surveyor's license through W&M and would return as its first American chancellor. Thomas Jefferson received his undergraduate education here, as did presidents John Tyler and James Monroe. W&M is famous for its firsts U.S. institution with a Royal Charter, the first Greek-letter society (Phi Beta Kappa, founded in 1776), the first student honor code, the first college to become a university and the first law school in America.
The college is an academic powerhouse. The undergraduate four-year is an engaging intellectual conversion between students and faculty. Students engage in a wide range of human knowledge across dozens of departments and programs — from neuroscience to Elizabethan poetry to algorithms. Graduate programs are offered across various subjects areas like arts & sciences, business, law, marine science, education etc. W&M also offers numerous online and hybrid programs that are delivered in a personalized format by award winning faculty. Faculty members are recognized leaders in their fields and passionately engaged educators. They understand that first-hand knowledge, original research and a first-person cross-cultural perspective have the power to turn an ordinary class into an unforgettable experience.
With more than 450 campus clubs and organizations to choose from, staying active and engaged at W&M isn't an afterthought, it’s a way of life. There are over two hundred special interest clubs inspired by political engagement, religious faith, ethnic and cultural pride, environmental protection and endless geekery from quiz bowl to ping pong to heavy metal.
Athletics are a source of pride at William & Mary. The college has winning conference titles, and graduating scholar athletes at a rate higher than any other public university in the country. Across the university, an impressive 85 percent of undergraduates participate in some athletic or recreation program. Besides its 23 Division I varsity sports teams, W&M has a thriving sport club and intramural scene, a multi-million dollar student recreation center and a ton of opportunities for outdoor adventure.
William & Mary students have never met a stage they didn't like. In fact, the first theatre in America was built in Williamsburg in 1716, and twenty years later a group of William & Mary students put on the first student play in the colonies. Whether it's a night of comedy improv, installing a new exhibit at the Muscarelle or Andrews Gallery, or watching a friend's fusion dance team compete, W&M students and faculty immerse themselves in the experience.
The Sir Christopher Wren Building at William & Mary is the oldest college building still standing in the United States. The Wren Building was constructed between 1695 and 1700, before Williamsburg was founded, when the capital of the colony of Virginia was still located at Jamestown. Williamsburg, Virginia, is approximately 150 miles south of Washington, D.C. and located midway between Richmond and Norfolk on interstate 64. Far from having seen its heyday as the Capital of Virginia in 1698, Williamsburg offers the ideal setting for a modern, collegiate atmosphere.
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