President Katherine A. Rowe sent the following message to the William & Mary community on Aug. 30, 3023. – Ed.

Dear W&M Community,

At Fall Convocation we will open the university’s 331st academic year by welcoming our newest students. This tradition is among the most cherished by our community, as we celebrate what is so distinctive about the William & Mary educational experience.

For centuries, W&M has prized the strength of our academic community, where close mentoring of students by world-class faculty inspires lifelong learning. That intentional approach to human connection leads to lives of meaning and distinction by alumni who, in turn, remain deeply engaged with alma mater. No other public university can claim that personal scale and focus, an increasingly rare distinction across all of higher education. For this, W&M is recognized as the quintessential “Public Ivy.”

In the year ahead, we will celebrate the Year of the Arts, with the dedication of our new Arts Quarter during Homecoming & Reunion Weekend. Consistent with Vision 2026’s goal to evolve to excel, three campus planning processes are underway to preserve our beautiful campus for the next 100 years and transform our student living and learning spaces. Please look for messages this fall welcoming your insights and ideas in these university-wide processes.

This evening, our new students will pass through the Wren Building into a joyful crowd of returning students and community members, spilling out into the Sunken Garden. Whether you are near or far from Williamsburg, I hope you will cheer anew those aspects of a W&M education that we prize most deeply.

Warm Regards,

Katherine A. Rowe