As you may have heard, W&M celebrated a pretty big birthday last weekend! We’ve reached the ripe old age of 320…that’s a lot of candles! For the past few decades, W&M has been celebrating Charter Day, or the day when W&M received its royal charter from King William and Queen Mary (the only college in America to claim this distinction!). To me, Charter Day represents one of William & Mary’s best features because it merges centuries old traditions with fun activities to engage the student body. Tradition with a twist, we’ll call it. On Charter Day, the school’s original charter is ceremoniously read aloud with all the pomp and circumstance you would expect. However, the day is also celebrated with a concert at Kaplan Arena! This year it was Gavin DeGraw (love him, hate him, utterly ambivalent-no one can deny the catchiness of “Chariot.” No one.). W&M does a great job of keeping traditions alive by infusing them with new spirit. Here, traditions are more than creaking buildings or musty documents; they include moments such as high-fiving hundreds of eager fellow students at Convocation, or celebrating a birthday with government luminaries AND the man who gave us the One Tree Hill theme song.