FBI Director Robert S. Mueller to deliver W&M Commencement address

  • Commencement speaker
    Commencement speaker
    Robert S. Mueller III, the longest serving director of the FBI since J. Edgar Hoover, will address this year’s William & Mary Commencement Exercises.
    Photo courtesy of the FBI

Robert S. Mueller III, the longest serving director of the FBI since J. Edgar Hoover, will address this year’s William & Mary Commencement Exercises.

Mueller, who was nominated to the FBI director post in 2001 by President George W. Bush, received the national spotlight in 2004 when he challenged the White House over constitutional concerns related to domestic wiretapping. In 2011, Mueller’s 10-year term as director of the FBI was ending when President Barack Obama asked that Mueller stay on for two more years. The U.S. Senate unanimously approved the extension.

Colonial Williamsburg President Colin G. Campbell, and W&M alumnus Warren W. Buck III M.S.’70, Ph.D.’76, a prominent physicist and chancellor emeritus of the University of Washington-Bothell, will receive honorary degrees and be recognized at the May 12 ceremony in William & Mary Hall’s Kaplan Arena. Campbell will receive an honorary doctorate of human letters and Buck will receive an honorary doctorate of science. Director Mueller will receive an honorary doctorate of public service at the ceremony.

“After college, Robert Mueller immediately began a life of public service, first in the United States military and later in law. He now continues that service at the helm of the FBI and has proved himself to be a leader stalwart in his convictions and integrity,” said President Taylor Reveley. “We are also delighted to honor Colin Campbell and Warren Buck at Commencement 2013. It will be a special day.”

William & Mary Chancellor and former Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates ’65, L.H.D. ’98 will offer welcoming remarks at the ceremony.

 “I look forward to welcoming our graduates, their families and our honored guests,” Gates said. “I also look forward to hearing from Director Mueller, who I consider one of our nation’s most dedicated public servants. Bob is a friend and I have a great deal of respect for him and his leadership of the FBI. There is much we can all learn from his experiences.”

Robert S. Mueller III

After receiving his undergraduate degree from Princeton University and his master’s degree from New York University, Mueller joined the Marine Corps as an officer. During his three years in the service, he led a rifle platoon in Vietnam, earning him a Bronze Star, Purple Heart and two Navy Commendation Medals.

After receiving his law degree from the University of Virginia in 1973, Mueller worked as a litigator in San Francisco before serving for 12 years in U.S. attorney’s offices.

In 1982, he began work in Boston as an assistant United States attorney. Mueller went on to serve as a partner at the Boston law firm of Hill & Barlow before becoming an assistant to Attorney General Richard L. Thornburgh. In 1990, he took charge of the Department of Justice’s Criminal Division, where he oversaw the prosecution of Panama’s  dictator Manuel Noriega and John Gotti, the boss of the Gambino crime family.

In 1993, Mueller returned to the private sector, becoming a partner in Hale and Dorr in Boston. Two years later, he became a senior litigator in the District of Columbia’s U.S. Attorney’s Office. In 1998, Mueller returned to the west coast to serve as the U.S. attorney in San Francisco, a position he held until nominated for his current post by George W. Bush. In 2004, Mueller joined acting Attorney General and William & Mary alumnus James Comey ’82 in challenging the White House over domestic wiretapping.

The director previously visited William & Mary in 2008 when he gave a guest lecture as part of a visit organized by the university’s Thomas Jefferson Program in Public Policy.

Colin G. Campbell

Colin G. CampbellCampbell, who served on the William & Mary Board of Visitors from 2008-12, has been the president and chief executive officer of the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation since April 2000. He was elected a member of the foundation’s Board of Trustees in 1989 and served as its chairman from 1998 to February 2008. Campbell previously served as the president of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, president of Wesleyan University for 18 years, vice president of the Planning and Government Affairs Division of the American Stock Exchange, and was an associate at the law firm of Cummings & Lockwood in Connecticut.

Campbell was appointed by Governor Bob McDonnell to serve on the Ft. Monroe Authority and also serves as a current trustee of William & Mary’s Mason School of Business Foundation. In April 2008, W&M recognized Campbell and his wife, Nancy, with the Prentis Award, which is given annually to community members of extraordinary civic engagement.  

During his tenure on the W&M Board of Visitors, Campbell served as chair of the Board’s Committee on Academic Affairs and was also a member of the Executive Committee, as well as the committees on Financial Affairs, Buildings and Grounds, Audit and Athletics. He received his undergraduate degree from Cornell University and law degree from Columbia University School of Law.

Warren W. Buck III

Warren W. Buck III M.S.’70, Ph.D.’76Buck, who received his master’s and doctorate in theoretical high-energy nuclear physics from W&M, became the first chancellor of Washington’s Bothell campus in 1999. An internationally recognized physicist, Buck is widely known for mentoring doctoral physics students and inspiring countless minority students to pursue careers in the sciences. He stepped down from his chancellor post in 2005 to return to the classroom.

Prior to joining Washington, Buck was a prominent member of a team that established the scientific program at the Jefferson Lab and was founding director of the Nuclear/High Energy Physics Research Center of Excellence and a professor of physics at Hampton University. In 1998, Buck was featured on an episode of the Bill Nye the Science Guy TV program and honored as a “Way Cool Scientist.” In 2001, he received the Quality Education for Minorities’ Mathematics, Science and Engineering Network Giants in Science Award, which recognizes outstanding teachers, mentors and role models.

As a graduate student at W&M, Buck received a National Science Foundation fellowship and was founding president of the College’s Black Student Organization. He returned to serve on the Alumni Association’s Board from 1998-2004, including a two-year term as the board’s secretary. He is a recent recipient of the Hulon Willis Association Impact Award for his service to the African American community while at William & Mary. In 2006, Buck delivered the keynote address at W&M’s Opening Convocation.