William and Mary President Gene R. Nichol to give first State of the College Address Jan. 25, 2007

William and Mary President Gene R. Nichol will kick off the Spring semester with a new annual tradition at the College with his first State of the College Address on Jan. 25, 2007. The address will be given at 5 p.m. in the Commonwealth Auditorium in the University Center and will also be broadcast live on the College’s Web site at www.wm.edu.

During the address, Nichol will report back to the College community on the year-and-a-half-long discussion of what it means to be “great” and “public” – and how William and Mary can distinguish itself within that role in the coming years. Initiated early in his presidency through a series of meetings with all corners of campus—including each division, dean and department head—the “great” and “public” conversation continued with visits to alumni in nearly every major city in the United States. Nichol participated in more than 25,000 discussions on the topic during his first 18 months as president.

“I look forward to sharing with our community what I’ve learned from so many who love the College and understand deeply its charge to be both public and great,” Nichol said. “No other university can claim these adjectives in the powerful and compelling way they belong to William and Mary.”

During the address, which will become an annual tradition at the start of the Spring semester, Nichol will speak about aspirations emerging from his conversations with the College community. He will also describe his plans for a College-wide discussion of the role of religion in public universities, particularly the College of William and Mary, including the important question of the use of the historic Wren Chapel.

The president’s speech will be followed with an open forum the week of Feb. 5, 2007 where he will discuss the College’s future with members of the campus community. A time and location for that event will be announced at a later date.

Tickets are not required for the event. In addition, the address will be available through a live Webcast to a limited number of viewers at www.wm.edu. A direct link will be provided from the College’s main Web site. Shortly after the speech, a video of the event, as well as audio clips, high-resolution photos, a transcript of the president’s remarks and other information will be available at the College’s Web link, http://www.wm.edu/about/administration/provost/conversation/?svr=web.