William & Mary 2000 - 2009

2000, February

An anonymous donor pledges $3.8 million to revive the Lake Matoaka Amphitheatre's Glory Days after it has been idle for almost a generation.

2000, February 5

Margaret, The Lady Thatcher made her last visit as chancellor when she addressed an overflow crowd in William & Mary Hall on Charter Day. During her tenure as chancellor, Lady Thatcher made six visits to Williamsburg.

2000, March

William & Mary celebrated a major victory in a $16-million appropriation from the Virginia General Assembly to fund the renovation and expansion of the aging Millington Hall, bulging with burgeoning biology and psychology enrollments.

2000, March 17

President Timothy J. Sullivan and Dean of the School of Business Administration Lawrence B. Pulley announced a $10-million anonymous gift to the M.B.A. program. The donation was the largest-single gift ever made to the business school and among the largest to the university.

2000, March 24

William & Mary's Endowment Association invested $6 million in a joint venture with Williamsburg's Casey family at New Town. New Town will transform 300 acres just west of the city into a mixed-use community blending high-quality commercial, business, research and residential components with green space and walking trails.

2000, April 18

Spotswood Society members-the 24 student volunteers who interpret the historic campus-established Presidents' Day to formally honor the 25 university presidents and their places in the William & Mary's history.

2000, May 14

Kissinger Former secretary of state and recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1973, Henry A. Kissinger was elected as the university's 22nd Chancellor by the Board of Visitors.

2000, August

With gifts totaling $36.1 million, William & Mary set a new institutional record for private support during the 1999-2000 giving year.

2000, September

Former W&M football and track star Walter J. Zable '37, and his wife, Betty Zable '40, donated $6.8 million to refurbish the current football stadium.

2001, February 10

The W&M community celebrated its 308th anniversary of the granting of the royal charter by installing former secretary of state and Nobel Peace Prize winner Henry A. Kissinger as William & Mary's 22nd chancellor.

2001, February

Harrison Ruffin Tyler '49 and his wife, Payne, committed $5 million to establish an endowment for the William & Mary's Department of History in memory of his father, Lyon Gardiner Tyler-17th President of William & Mary and son of John Tyler. The department is renamed the Lyon Gardiner Tyler Department of History.

2001, February

President Timothy J. Sullivan unveiled the results of W&M 2010: Exploring the College's Future during the Board of Visitors meeting.

2001, March

The Sharpe Community Scholars Program was established through the vision and generosity of philanthropists Bob and Jane Sharpe. First-year William & Mary students selected as Sharpe Community Scholars have opportunities to connect community activism to academic study and develop the leadership skills and disposition to make a meaningful difference in the places where they live and work.

2001, April 10

Along with the City of Williamsburg and the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, the university celebrated the opening of its new Barnes & Noble bookstore on Duke of Gloucester Street.

2001, June

W&M Washington DC Office The W&M community gathered in the nation's capital to celebrate the official opening of William & Mary's Washington, D.C., office. Open since January, the office will serve as an "embassy" for the university.

2001, August

Philanthropic support reached a record level for the fourth consecutive year — $36.8 million.

2001, August

The brightest, largest freshman class in William & Mary history arrived on campus. The Class of 2005 consisted of 1,359 men and women-a record 83 percent of them in the top tenth of their high school graduating classes.

2001, August 31

W&M and local community enjoyed a celebration of the Sir Christopher Wren Building's recent "Wrenewal" — which was funded completely through private donations.

2001, October 25

Davis Young Paschall '32, W&M's 22nd president, died. During his tenure as president, an entire "new campus" was built, an academic renaissance launched and two branch colleges established.

2001, October 31

W&M Keck Lab The W&M Keck Environmental Field Laboratory officially opened with a dedication event.

2001, November

New Town welcomed its first high-tech firm. Alumni-led INCOGEN, a pioneer in the emerging field of bioinformatics, applies a wide variety of advanced computational technologies to the study of biological phenomena.


The Commonwealth experienced a severe revenue shortfall of $3.8 billion. To help balance the state budget, the Commonwealth reduced funding to state agencies. As a result, taxpayer support for William & Mary was reduced by a devastating $28 million over the period.

2002, February 9

The addition of the School of Law's new North Wing increased the size of the law school by one-third, adding 21,000 square feet to the north side of the building.

2002, April

Mr Kelly Long-time Assistant to the President and Secretary to the Board of Visitors James S. Kelly '51 announced he would step down after almost 50 years of "glorious days" serving his beloved William & Mary.

2002, August 30

President Timothy J. Sullivan used the annual Convocation to announce that an anonymous donor had committed $21 million-the largest commitment in William & Mary's history-to establish the College Scholars Program, meant to attract the nation's best students to William & Mary.

2002, October

The Society of the Alumni officially changed its name to the William & Mary Alumni Association

2002, November 5

Approved by an overwhelming 72 percent of Virginia voters, the Bond Issue for Higher Education will bring $61 million in renovated, expanded and new buildings to William & Mary, the Virginia Institute of Marine Science and Richard Bland College.

2003, February 1

U.S. Navy Capt. David Brown '78 and his fellow astronauts lost their lives when the Space Shuttle Columbia broke up in a bright Texas sky on its way to landing at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. During his remarks to the freshman class at Convocation 2002, Brown acknowledged that one out of every 200 to 300 shuttle missions would end with the loss of the craft and crew, but that he accepted the risk in order to advance man's horizons.

2003, February 8

Annan United Nations Secretary-General Kofi A. Annan told the world "war is always a human catastrophe" to be considered as a last resort as he spoke during the Charter Day Convocation observing the 310th anniversary of the founding of William & Mary. Annan cautioned the United States against pursuing war with Iraq without full support of the Security Council of the United Nations.

2003, February 8

With more than $201 million in gifts and commitments in hand, William & Mary launched the most ambitious fund-raising campaign in its 310-year history-the Campaign for William & Mary with a goal of $500 million.

2003, March

Landmark Communications founder Frank Batten, Sr., donated a gift worth more than $11 million to the Master of Business Administration program at W&M. The money went to an endowment enabling the School of Business to provide support for faculty and students.

2003, March

Applications for admission to William & Mary reached an all-time high with more than 10,161 high school students applying for 1,300 spots in the freshman class.

2003, April

William & Mary archaeologists identified the location of a 17th-century American Indian settlement on Virginia's York River that may represent the village of Werowocomoco — the principal residence of the Virginia Algonquian chief Powhatan.

2003, April 25

P. Geoffrey Feiss, dean of the faculty of Arts & Sciences, was appointed provost to succeed Gillian T. Cell, who would retire on June 30.

2003, May 11

Noor Queen Noor of Jordan challenged 1,700 graduates to build global coalitions of peace, not war, during Commencement at William & Mary Hall.

2003, June 30

Gillian T. Cell stepped down as provost of the university. The following day, Dean of the Faculty P. Geoffrey Feiss took over as provost.

2003, December 31

The Campaign for William & Mary surpassed the halfway point with $258 million toward its $500-million goal.

2003, September 18

Hurricane Isabel shut down the campus for 10 days. Hundreds of trees were downed on campus, standing pools of water made walking more like wading and tangles of wire snagged the feet of the unwary. The Virginia Institute of Marine Science lost two piers and several small buildings during the storm — all of its boats, however, survived.

2004, January 21

William & Mary, Virginia Tech and the University of Virginia launched an initiative to restructure their relationships with the Commonwealth of Virginia. The University Restructuring Initiative would grant the three universities more operational flexibility.

2004, April 4

Gymnast Ramon Jackson won the NCAA national championship with a virtually flawless performance on the parallel bars.

2004, April 14

VIMS dedicated its new Kauffman Aquaculture Center during a ceremony at the facility in Topping, Va.

2004, May 16

Jon Stewart Diploma Jon Stewart, a member of the Class of 1984 and host and executive producer of Comedy Central's wry newscast "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart", returned to his alma mater with some serious advice for the 2004 graduates of William & Mary. Roughly 13,000 people packed William & Mary Hall to see Stewart receive an honorary doctor of arts degree during Commencement ceremonies.

2004, June 18

President Timothy J. Sullivan announced that he would resign the presidency of William & Mary on June 30, 2005. Rector Susan Aheron Magill praised Sullivan for transforming William & Mary from a "strong Virginia college into a world-class university."

2005, March 14

Rector Susan Aheron Magill names Dean and Burton Craige Professor of the Law School of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Gene R. Nichol the 26th president of William & Mary effective July 1, 2005.

2005, October 4

Former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor is named the 23rd Chancellor of the university. Justice O'Connor succeeds former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger in the post.

2006, April 21

Michael K. Powell, former chairman of the Federal Communications Commission and a member of the Class of 1985, is elected Rector of William & Mary. Powell is the first African American to serve in the post in the university's history.

2006, May 14

Archbishop Desmond Tutu delivers the 2006 commencement address at the university.

2007, May 4

More than 6,000 students, faculty, staff, alumni and members of the public gathered at William & Mary's Wren Yard to welcome Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth on her visit to Virginia. The visit marks 50 years since Her Majesty last came to the university.

2007, May 20

U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates, a member of the Class of 1965, delivers the 2007 commencement address at the university.

2007, July 1

W&M successfully completes its $500 million goal for the Campaign for William & Mary with a total of $517.55 million.

2007, September 16-19

In conjunction with Jamestown 2007, William & Mary helps host the World Forum on the Future of Democracy. The conference's signature event on Sept. 17, 2007 at W&M Hall features a panel discussion moderated by PBS news anchor Jim Lehrer. Panelists include Sandra Day O'Connor, former associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court and chancellor of the university, Lawrence S. Eagleburger, former U.S. Secretary of State and a senior policy advisor, and Ali M. Ansari, director of the Institute for Iranian Studies at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland.

2008, February 12

Mike Tomlin Gene R. Nichol resigns as president of the university. W. Taylor Reveley, III, dean of the William & Mary Law School, is named William & Mary Interim President.

2008, May 11

Pittsburgh Steelers Head Coach Mike Tomlin, a member of the Class of 1995, delivers the 2008 commencement address.

2008, September 5

Taylor Reveley, IIIRector Michael K. Powell names W. Taylor Reveley, III the 27th president of William & Mary.

2009, February 3

William & Mary's undergraduate admission applications for the fall 2009 entering class surpass 12,000 for the first time in the university's history.

2009, February 27

President Reveley puts together a committee of faculty, staff, students and alumni to search for a new mascot for William & Mary.

2009, March 27

Michael R. Halleran, dean of the College of Arts & Sciences at the University of Miami, is named the university's fifth provost, effective July 1, 2009.

2009, July 21

With gifts totaling nearly $51 million, William & Mary set a new institutional record for private support during the 2008-2009 giving year.

2009, July 31

William & Mary Chancellor and former Supreme Court Justice, Sandra Day O'Connor, receives the Presidential Medal of Freedom, America's highest civilian honor.

2009, October 2

Alan B. Miller Hall William & Mary's Mason School of Business hosts a dedication of its new environment-friendly home, Alan B. Miller Hall.

2009, November 22

Kira Allmann, a senior from Williamsburg, was named William & Mary's sixth Rhodes Scholar.

2009, December 5

The William & Mary football team took down No. 1 Southern Illinois on the road to reach the NCAA semifinal playoff game and Coach Jimmye Laycock earned his 200th head-coaching victory.