William & Mary 1900-1925

1906, March 5

By act of the General Assembly, all William & Mary property was transferred to the Commonwealth of Virginia. This transfer was sponsored by William & Mary with a view toward increasing its resources. On March 8, the faculty accepted the provisions of the act, and on the following day it was approved by the Board of Visitors. A new board was appointed by the governor and "vested with all rights and powers conferred by the provisions of this act and by the Ancient Royal Charter of William & Mary."


William & Mary received a grant of $20,000 from the Carnegie Corporation on the condition it raise a like amount from other sources. This made possible the construction of the first library building, located northwest of the College Building. The cornerstone was laid in 1908.

1911, October 3

The first issue of the student newspaper, The Flat Hat, appeared.


Tyler Hall, a men's dormitory, opened. It was named for John Tyler, 10th President of the United States and an alumnus.

1918, March 15

By an act of the General Assembly, William & Mary became the first coeducational state university in Virginia.

1919, April 12

President Woodrow Wilson was awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws in absentia.

Chandler1919, July 1

Julian Alvin Carroll Chandler was named president of William & Mary. Dr. Tyler, whose resignation became effective this day, was made president emeritus. President of the United States Warren G. Harding attended the inauguration of Dr. Chandler on October 19, 1921, and was awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws.

1920, March

Mary Cook Branch Munford became the first woman member of the Board of Visitors.

1920, September

First-year law courses were reintroduced (the law school had been closed in 1861). A full three-year program began in 1923 in the School of Jurisprudence, a subdivision of the Marshall-Wythe School of Government and Citizenship.


Jefferson Hall, a women's dormitory, opened. It was named in honor of Thomas Jefferson, third President of the United States and an alumnus.

1921, January

A second series of the William & Mary College Quarterly Historical Magazine was begun under the managing editorship of Dr. Earl Gregg Swem, librarian. During the 23 years of its publication, the Quarterly was instrumental in stimulating the development of William & Mary and the library.

1922, January 14

The Marshall-Wythe School of Government and Citizenship was inaugurated.


A gift of $130,200 by Mrs. George Preston Blow in memory of her husband, Captain George Preston Blow, U.S.N., enabled William & Mary to construct Blow Memorial Gymnasium, completed early in 1925.

Mace1923, February 8

The College Mace, a ceremonial ornamented staff and symbol of authority, was presented to William & Mary as a gift of faculty, students, alumni and friends.

1923, February 21

The Society of the Alumni was incorporated under the leadership of William & Mary President Julian A.C. Chandler. The incorporation created a board of managers to guide the society's progress and also inaugurated efforts to accumulate alumni records and files systematically.


Monroe Hall, named for James Monroe, fifth President of the United States and an alumnus, opened as a men's dormitory.


During this period, the Reverend W.A.R. Goodwin, D.D., professor of biblical literature and rector of Bruton Parish Church, was chiefly responsible for securing the support of John D. Rockefeller, Jr., in restoring Williamsburg to its 18th-century appearance. Dr. Goodwin had conceived the restoration project during his first rectorship at Bruton Parish, 1903-1907.

1925, September 22

The Richmond School of Social Work and Public Health, founded in 1917 and first affiliated with William & Mary in 1920, became a division of the university. It was renamed the Richmond Professional Institute in 1939.