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W&M faculty and alumni to take part in Presidential Precinct global issues forum

  • Globa Empowerment through Rule of Law.
    Globa Empowerment through Rule of Law.  William & Mary, along with its Presidential Precinct partners - UVa, William Short's Morven and the homes of Jefferson (Monticello), Madison (Montpelier and Monroe (Ash-Lawn Highland) - will host HRH Prince Charles for a discussion about rule of law and democracy March 18, 2015.  
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Britain's Prince Charles to meet with young international leaders in Washington, D.C. at 'Magna Carta 2015: Global Empowerment through Rule of Law'

Four members of the William & Mary community-- two faculty and two alumni--will have key roles in a day-long global issues forum highlighted by a discussion with Britain’s Prince Charles.

Presidential Precinct logoThe event, which will be held on March 18 at the National Archives Building in Washington, D.C., is sponsored by the Presidential Precinct, a consortium founded by W&M alumnus and former rector James B. Murray, Jr., J.D. ’74, LL.D. ’00. Founded in 2013, the Precinct is comprised of William & Mary and the University of Virginia, William Short’s Morven, and the homes of three Founding Fathers: Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello, James Madison’s Montpelier and James Monroe’s Ash-Lawn Highland.

“It’s wonderful that William & Mary will be represented throughout this signature event,” Murray said. “Since the inception of the Presidential Precinct, W&M has been an integral partner and strong supporter, adding valuable outreach to the Precinct's growing international community of young leaders. We look forward to a day of important discussion and dialogue.”

James B. Murray, Jr.“Magna Carta 2015: Global Empowerment through Rule of Law” will bring together young leaders from 20 nations with dignitaries and experts from academia, business, government, and civil society for a lively discussion about the rule of law and the vital part it plays in the development of democratic institutions and the world economy. The event will be live streamed on the Presidential Precinct website.

“The Presidential Precinct was founded to serve young leaders worldwide who aim to advance their ideas and generate positive global change,” said Neal Piper, Managing Director of the Presidential Precinct, in a press release about the event. “We are humbled and grateful for the opportunity to unite such leaders with His Royal Highness Prince Charles and additional world-renowned experts at 'Magna Carta 2015.' The forum will provide these young leaders, as well as thousands of peers participating online, unprecedented perspective and guidance regarding some of the most difficult challenges of our time.”

Davison M. Douglas, dean of William & Mary Law School, will moderate a discussion on “Economic Development and Transparency.” Douglas, a highly regarded constitutional historian, is the former director of William & Mary’s nationally Stephen Hansonacclaimed Institute of Bill of Rights Law. Stephen Hanson of William & Mary will serve as moderator for a session on “Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment.”  Hanson is vice provost for international affairs and director of the university’s Reves Center for International Studies. He is the author of numerous works on post-communist politics and comparative politics, and is a member of the Presidential Precinct’s Board of Directors.

Douglas said he was honored to take part in the discussion and that the involvement of William & Mary faculty and alumni in the forum provides an illustration of the university’s ever-increasing global reach and relevance.

Davison M. Douglas“How fitting to have a discussion about the global context of the Rule of Law hosted by universities and historic sites so closely linked to people who were among the architects of our democracy,” he said.

Three William & Mary alumni also serve on the Presidential Precinct Board: Murray, Timothy J. Sullivan ’66, William & Mary’s 25th president and Stewart Gamage ‘72, director of Morven programs at the University of Virginia.

Murray will provide the event’s introductory and closing remarks and will be joined by Gamage and others in sessions following the conclusion of a roundtable with Prince Charles and young leaders from across the globe. Prior to the roundtable, Prince Charles will visit the National Archives’ collections, which include the nation’s founding documents (the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights), and the 1297 Magna Carta.

In addition to forum participants, two William & Mary students -- Daria Grastara ’17 and Maizie Nelson ’16 -- and their professor, Jaime Settle in government, are working with conference organizers to help publicize the event on social media. The work is part of the Spring 2015 W&M in Washington class. The semester theme, “Politics in the Era of Social Media,” ties in with the conference theme of finding new ways to communicate enduring principles and values of democracy.   

William & Mary’s royal connections are strong. The university carries the names of the two British monarchs—King William III and Queen Mary II—who granted a royal charter in 1693 to establish what "shall forever be called and denominated, for ever, the College of William and Mary, in Virginia.”  A warm friendship with Great Britain has flourished over the years, with a number of visits to campus by members of the royal family. In 1993, the year of the university’s 300th anniversary, Margaret, The Lady Thatcher, former Prime Minister of Great Britain, became William & Mary’s 21st Chancellor.  The university’s academic exchange with Great Britain began in 1946, with an agreement between William & Mary and the University of Exeter for a regular exchange of students. This spring an international joint degree programme between William & Mary and the University of St. Andrews will grant diplomas to its first graduates.

Visit Presidential Precinct’s website for live streaming of the forum, which begins March 18 at 9 a.m. The hashtag for this event is #MagnaCarta.