While some of the students and professors are away from campus over the summer, a small yet dedicated group of students and staff keep the Sir Christopher Wren Building, the oldest college building in the nation, open to the public. Many visitors to Williamsburg from all over the globe discover the Wren Building to be a beautiful, scenic, and air-conditioned spot to tour on a hot summer day. The Wren is open from 10 am to 5 pm on weekdays, 9 am to 5 pm on Saturdays, and 12 to 5 pm on Sundays. There are free 1/2-hour organ concerts every Saturday morning at 10 am in the Wren Chapel. During most of the summer, student-led tours are available, although there will be some days in August where we will be open for self-guided tours.
The group of students who work in the Wren Building are known as the Spotswood Society. Most of them are volunteers who give their time to help lead Wren tours during the academic year, but a smaller group of students are also proctors. Wren proctors are student employees who help us run the Wren Building. New members of the Spotswood Society are chosen for the summer and upcoming academic year before the end of each spring semester. There are both undergraduate and graduate students amongst the ranks of the Spotswood Society.
The Spotswood Society shares the history of William & Mary during their Historic Campus tours. While the Wren Building is the only building open as part of the tour, they also share the history of the President’s House and Brafferton, formerly the colonial American Indian education program and currently the offices of the President and Provost of the university.
During tours, the Spotswood Society members are adept at working around other events that may be happening in the Wren Building. These events include weddings of alumni and faculty/staff members, dissertation or thesis defenses, meetings, luncheons, and summer classes.
This fall, we will be celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Spotswood Society. This group was started by Louise Lambert Kale, Director Emerita of the Historic Campus. We are looking forward to gathering current members and alumni members of the Spotswood Society in the Wren Building during Homecoming weekend this fall. Alumni members of the Spotswood Society, please contact me to ensure that you receive an invitation to this event.