The following message was sent to the campus community Feb. 8, 2022 – Ed.

Dear William & Mary Community,

We will gather to mark Charter Day this Friday, Feb. 11, at 4 p.m. in Kaplan Arena. I hope you will join us in celebrating 329 years of learning and discovery.

William & Mary’s annual Charter Day Ceremony showcases our remarkable community and, as befitting a birthday party, it celebrates paths to growth and positive change. In recent years, we’ve highlighted joyful milestones for the university. We will do so again this year, the year of our Asian Centennial.

  • For the first time, Virginia tribal leaders will join the ceremony; the president of the W&M American Indian Student Association will lead us in acknowledging the indigenous inhabitants of this land;
  • Excerpts from the royal charter will be read in Arabic, Korean, Mandarin Chinese, Vietnamese and English, affirming our multilingual and global campus;
  • Student and faculty award recipients will be recognized;
  • “Happy Birthday” will be performed by the Accidentals a capella group;
  • A Winter Carnival with international cuisine, a DJ and games will follow the ceremony on the Commons side of Kaplan Arena.

As is also our practice, we will bestow honorary degrees, including to the person elected by the Commonwealth’s citizens to fulfill the oath to “faithfully and impartially discharge all the duties incumbent upon [the Governor of Virginia].” Charter Day provides William & Mary an early opportunity with elected leaders to showcase the inclusive excellence of our community. Joining Governor Glenn Youngkin in receiving honorary degrees will be Congressman Bobby Scott – the first voting member of Congress of Filipino descent and the first African-American elected to Congress from Virginia since Reconstruction – and former professor and dean, Howard J. Busbee ’65, J.D. ’67, M.L.T. ’68.

Friday promises to be great fun and a great way to reconnect. Please join in.

Best regards,



Katherine A. Rowe