The selection of Katherine A. Rowe as William & Mary's 28th president concludes a comprehensive search process that officially began in April of 2017. At that time, following the announcement by President Taylor Reveley that he would retire on June 30, 2018, Rector Todd Stottlemyer '85 appointed a 19-member search committee led by Vice Rector Thomas Watkins III '74 and advised by Chancellor Robert Gates '65.
The committee was composed of representatives from across the William & Mary community, including alumni, board members, faculty and staff, a current student leader and a recent graduate. They conducted more than 150 listening sessions on campus and across the country that involved nearly 1,600 participants. Via email and the presidential search website, hundreds of comments were submitted and nearly 300 nominations received. William & Mary also retained Witt/Kieffer as a search firm and ultimately garnered an applicant pool of nearly 100 candidates from a wide variety of personal and professional backgrounds.
Following a thorough review process of all applicants, the committee narrowed the pool to a group of 12 semifinalists and interviewed each of them before selecting three finalists. The committee shared comprehensive information about these three individuals with the full Board of Visitors, which met with and interviewed finalists and conducted extensive background and reference checks before reaching a unanimous decision to hire Katherine A. Rowe.