William & Mary

All That and They Can Walk Backwards

Forget the facts and figures. The guide is the most important part of the tour.

  • The Campus Tour
    The Campus Tour  A volunteer student guide describes the Wren Yard with the President's House as a backdrop.  Photo by Stephen Salpukas
  • The Lobby of the W&M Admission Building
    The Lobby of the W&M Admission Building  Students and families gather in the lobby of the admission building prior to an information session and campus tour.  Photo by Stephen Salpukas
  • The Tour Continues
    The Tour Continues  Though not visible, the campus visitors are led by a backwards-walking guide as the group approaches the Wren Building.  Photo by Stephen Salpukas
  • A Stop at the Library Sundial
    A Stop at the Library Sundial  The unscripted, but reliable, guide stops in front of Swem Library to respond to questions from prospective students and parents.  Photo by Stephen Salpukas
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William & Mary tour guides, bless their voluntary souls, work for free. But their value as recruiting tools is immeasurable, kicking the pants off of direct mail, glossy view books and college fairs combined.

Our tour guides are some of the most candid, least scripted, unpaid authorities you’ll meet on campus. A good tour isn't so much the definitive story of William & Mary as the personal story of a William & Mary student.

Sidebars about the guide's friends (“My roommate just won a Marshall Scholarship!"), famous alumni ("Jon Stewart is more like a god than a role model.") and colorful faculty ("But if you think he's funny, you should hear a lecture by Professor Morreall.") show how the tour guide, like all W&M students, is eagerly enmeshed in this dynamic campus community.

What our tour guides provide more effectively than any other source of information is a concrete example of student experience. Watch the tour groups as they crisscross our scenic campus. Surrounded by historic buildings and manicured gardens, all eyes are on the tour guide. In this case the messenger is the message.

During most of the school year and throughout the summer, the Undergraduate Admission office runs twice-daily information sessions followed by campus tours. Check out the calendar for hours and details.