John Chichester, who served for nearly three decades in the Senate of Virginia and was a champion for higher education in the Commonwealth, has been named the 2009 Hunter B. Andrews Fellow in American Politics at the College of William & Mary. The fellowship, now in its ninth year, honors the late Hunter B. Andrews, a member of William & Mary's Class of 1942 and a longtime state senator in Virginia.
Chichester represented the 28th district in the state senate from 1978 to 2007, including serving eight years as president pro tempore of the Virginia Senate. He will be on campus on April 27 to meet with members of the campus community. Chichester is speaking to a William & Mary government class at 2 p.m. in room 20 in Morton Hall. That event is free and open to the public.
"Like his close friend and mentor Hunter Andrews, John Chichester has dedicated his life to public service and to making a real difference in the Commonwealth," said William & Mary president Taylor Reveley. "He has been a strong advocate for William & Mary and for all of Virginia's institutions of higher education. We're honored to bring him back to campus as the 2009 Andrews Fellow."
During his 29 years in the General Assembly, Chichester served in a number of leadership roles within the Virginia Senate. In addition to his tenure as president pro tempore, he was chair of the Senate Finance Committee, which deals with all appropriations and revenue issues for the Commonwealth. He also chaired the Commission on the Future of Higher Education in Virginia and co-chaired the Joint Subcommittee on Higher Education Funding Policies.
The former state senator is well known at William & Mary. In 2002, Chichester co-sponsored a $1.2 billion higher education bond package, which Virginia voters passed overwhelmingly. The package assisted public universities across the state, including William & Mary, with critical funding for capital projects. In 2004, Chichester served as keynote speaker of the College's annual Charter Day ceremony and was awarded the honorary degree of doctor of public service.
The Hunter B. Andrews Fellowship was established in 1998 by friends of the William & Mary alumnus and former state senator. Andrews had a strong connection to his alma mater and served on the College's Board of Visitors from 2003 until his death in 2005. The fellowship brings prominent journalists, politicians and academicians to campus each year to interact with students, staff and faculty. Washington Post columnist David Broder inaugurated the fellowship in 2001. Retired U.S. Senator John Warner was the Andrews Fellow in 2008.