Former William & Mary Rector Jeffrey B. Trammell ’73 has been named one of Equality Virginia’s 2014 OUTstanding Virginians.
Trammell is among eight people and one organization selected to receive the award, which is presented annually to Virginians who have represented the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community with distinction. The awardees will be recognized at a banquet in Richmond on April 5.
Trammell, who was William & Mary’s first openly gay Rector, served two terms on the Board of Visitors from 2005 until 2013. He served as Rector, or chairperson of the Board, from 2011 to 2013. He has long been an advocate for LGBT issues nationally and in Virginia.
In 2013, he sent a letter to the presidents and rectors of public Virginia colleges, asking for their support in seeking health benefits for same-sex partners of their employees, something which Virginia currently doesn’t permit. Trammell argued that it puts Virginia universities at a competitive disadvantage with other institutions that do offer benefits.
That same year, Trammell wed Stuart Serkin, his partner of 36 years, in the Supreme Court building.
A native of Blountstown, Fla., Trammell came to William & Mary in 1969 on a basketball scholarship and graduated with a history degree in 1973. After receiving his law degree from Florida State University, Trammell worked for a number of years in the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives, where he was counsel to a subcommittee chair on the Committee on Energy and Commerce. He also founded Almanac Publishing, which produced annual references on government organizations. He has served on a number of boards, including that of the Human Rights Campaign and an advisory board to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. Currently, Trammell is the president and founder of Trammell and Company, an external communications and public affairs consulting firm in Washington, D.C.
Throughout the years, Trammell has remained actively involved with William & Mary. He was the founding chair and a board member of the university’s Thomas Jefferson Public Policy Program. He is also a former board member of the Greater Washington, D.C., chapter of the William & Mary Alumni Association. Trammell was first appointed to the Board of Visitors in 2005 and re-appointed in 2009.
According to its website, Equality Virginia is 25-year-old “statewide, non-partisan education, outreach, and advocacy organization seeking equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Virginians.”