About

Lyon Gardiner Tyler 

Son of John Tyler, the 10th United States president, Lyon Gardiner Tyler was an attorney, historian, and prolific author who in 1888 took over a college that had been virtually closed for seven years. By 1919, Tyler's leadership had enabled William & Mary to increase its enrollment to more than 200, enlarge the faculty to 14, renovate or construct 12 buildings, and dramatically increase its endowment. Tyler also led successful efforts to admit women to the College and to make William &  Mary a public institution, which it still is today.

The Department of History adopted as its name the Lyon Gardiner Tyler Department of History in order to honor the remarkable generosity of Lyon Gardiner Tyler's son, Mr. Harrison Ruffin Tyler, who in 2001 pledged $5 million to the Department for the purpose of supporting undergraduate and graduate study, faculty research, a distinguished speaker series, and the acquisition and preservation of rare historic documents, among other activities.