If I was to ever forget the cache that W&M possesses, all I need do to remind myself is to look at the famous people we can attract to campus. Our recent Commencement speakers have been a virtual Who’s Who of pop culture, political leaders, and world changers. When I graduated from W&M the first time, my Commencement speaker was Queen Noor of Jordan. She was followed by W&M Alumnus and Daily Show host Jon Stewart, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, and SuperBowl Champion Coach and W&M Grad Mike Tomlin. They have shared the stage with W&M’s Chancellors including Lady Margaret Thatcher, Dr. Henry Kissinger, and our current chancellor, former Supreme Court Justice, Sandra Day O’Connor. When I graduated W&M for the second time, my Commencement speaker was Tom Brokaw, revered journalist and former anchor of NBC‘ Nightly News.
As if that wasn’t cool enough, W&M was prominantly featured on NBCNightly News’ annual Graduates piece which features the best of commencement addresses from across the nation. Of the 230 universities featured, Brokaw’s address to the College’s Class of 2009 received top billing as the third commencement address featured (he even beat out clips of the President’s and First Lady’s respective remarks)!
Towards the end of the segment, an individual W&M student was interviewed. In her sound byte she remarked, “I’m going to miss this place, there’s something magical about it.” I couldn’t have said it better myself.
– Wendy Livingston