Soldier, statesman, academician, author, peacemaker Henry A. Kissinger was installed February 10, 2001, as the 22nd Chancellor of the College of William & Mary. The former U.S. Secretary of State and Nobel Peace Prize winner also delivered the Charter Day address. Mr. Kissinger, who succeeded Margaret, The Lady Thatcher, as chancellor was selected by the Board of Visitors to a seven-year term that began July 1, 2000. Mr. Kissinger officiated at ceremonies such as the spring commencement and Charter Day celebrations, which commemorate the College's founding in 1693. He also helped the College extend its international reach by guiding the establishment of relationships with institutions and people around the globe.
Born in 1923 in Furth, Germany, Mr. Kissinger immigrated to the United States in 1938 to escape Nazi persecution. After studying accounting at the City College of New York, he served in the U.S. Army and the military government of the defeated Germany after World War II. He received his Ph.D. in government from Harvard University in 1954, where he taught as a member of the faculty until 1969.
During the terms of Presidents Dwight D. Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson, Mr. Kissinger was a national security consultant to several U.S. agencies and commissions. In 1969, President Richard M. Nixon appointed him Assistant for National Security Affairs, and subsequently head of the National Security Council and Secretary of State, a post he held throughout the Ford administration.
During his time with the government, Mr. Kissinger led efforts to establish detente with the former Soviet Union, opened the People's Republic of China to the outside world for the first time since Mao Tse Tung came to power in 1949, helped limit the spread of nuclear weapons, helped resolve some of the differences between the Arabs and Israelis, and played a vital role in bringing an end to the war in Vietnam.
For his efforts to end the war in Vietnam, Mr. Kissinger and his North Vietnamese counterpart, Le Duc Tho, were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1973. Today Mr. Kissinger is an international consultant and author. He has written numerous books including Diplomacy, White House Years, Years of Upheaval and Years of Renewal.