William & Mary

Chancellor Robert Gates named chairman of Eisenhower Fellowships

  • Chancellor's remarks:
    Chancellor's remarks:  William & Mary Chancellor Robert M. Gates ’65, L.H.D. ’98 speaks at Commencement on May 12.  Photo by Stephen Salpukas
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William & Mary Chancellor and former U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates ’65, L.H.D. ’98 will become the chairman of Eisenhower Fellowships at its annual meeting and awards dinner on May 17 in Philadelphia.

Gates, who served eight American presidents spanning both political parties, will become the ninth chairman of the independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit international leadership organization, according to a press release. He succeeds Gen. Colin L. Powell.

Founded in 1953 as a tribute to President Dwight Eisenhower, Eisenhower Fellowships identifies outstanding midcareer leaders from all fields and brings them to the U.S. for individualized fellowships of meetings with top experts across the country, and sends ascendant American leaders overseas to do the same, according to the release.

Following the organization’s annual meeting, Gates will present the 2018 Dwight D. Eisenhower Medal for Leadership and Service and the foundation’s 2018 Distinguished Fellow Award at the awards dinner in the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Gates is W&M’s 24th chancellor and has held the post since 2012. He is the first alumnus to hold the position in the university’s modern era. As U.S. Secretary of Defense from 2006 to 2011, he became the only person in American history to serve under presidents from different political parties. Prior to that, he worked for the Central Intelligence agency for nearly 27 years, including serving as its director.

Gates was at W&M last weekend for Commencement. As part of that visit, he recorded an interview with “Face the Nation” on campus and commissioned seven W&M ROTC students as officers in the U.S. Army.