This past weekend W&M celebrated its 324th birthday — a feat mostly unmatched by modern universities. Charter Day asks us to consider our Charter that established our great institution three hundred and twenty four years ago by King William and Queen Mary. We see our statues of TJ, Botetourt, Monroe, and the Tyler Garden decorated in green and gold spirit for Charter Day Weekend, uniting current students and alumni with our Founders. All of our Instagram feeds are filled with pictures of campus, and there are so many picturesque places to choose from. The variety of pictures and places and people around campus show just how many of us have Tribe Pride and how much we love this school.
Festivities are kicked off with the Charter Day Ceremony and, man, does President Reveley know how to bring the house down. The Queen’s Guard starts us off followed by the Choir. Current students from all classes read excerpts from the Charter itself and beloved professors, students, and alumni are honored. This year was unique for me in that I have had both professors being awarded with the Thomas Jefferson Teaching Awards. Professor Zuber taught my freshman seminar and was my first college writing experience. Prof. Zuber was extremely helpful, insightful, and kind in her teaching and sometimes even brought candy to class. Professor Thompson taught one of my American Literature courses, bringing much more knowledge and awareness to the Native American narrative and history and I am grateful to have learned so much from her. I am sure that I am not the only one with stories like these, about these professors or many others that go by without daily recognition, because it is our wonderful professors that make waking up at 8am or running from Wren to Morton worth it every week.
Charter Day also gives us the Gold Rush Game and concert. The Gold Rush Game is arguably the biggest men’s basketball game of the season here on campus, with free gold tshirts, a packed Kap, and the highly anticipated baby race. My friends and I love going to the game every year to cheer on our Tribe. The past couple of years we have been hosting a Charter Day comedian and later concert. These events, and many more, are all in celebration of W&M and its history, but as Charter Day Speaker and Honoree Micheal Clemons said, it is also in celebration of ourselves. W&M could not have survived its 324 year history without its students leading the way.
We should all be celebrating this Charter Day, and the many more to come forever, for the people that foster, create, learn, teach, and live W&M.