Saturday Feb. 13, 2021’s Smile of the Day: College of William & Mary

On this Day:

In 1693, the College of William & Mary opened in Williamsburg, Virginia.

The College of William & Mary (also known as William & Mary, W&M, and officially The College of William and Mary in Virginia) is a public research university in Williamsburg, Virginia. Founded in 1693 by letters patent issued by King William III and Queen Mary II, it is the second-oldest institution of higher education in the United States, after Harvard University.

William & Mary educated American presidents Thomas Jefferson (third), James Monroe (fifth), and John Tyler (tenth), as well as other key figures pivotal to the development of the United States, including the first President of the Continental Congress Peyton Randolph of Virginia, the first U.S. Attorney General Edmund Randolph of Virginia, the fourth U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Marshall of Virginia, Speaker of the House of Representatives Henry Clay of Kentucky, sixteen members of the Continental Congress, and four signers of the Declaration of Independence, earning it the nickname “the Alma Mater of the Nation.”[9] A young George Washington also received his surveyor’s license at the college in 1749, and he would become the college’s first American chancellor in 1788.

William & Mary is notable for its many firsts in American higher education. The F.H.C. Society, founded in 1750, was the first collegiate fraternity in the United States, and W&M students founded the Phi Beta Kappa academic honor society in 1776, the first Greek-letter fraternity. W&M was also the first school of higher education in the United States to install an honor code of conduct for students, dating back to 1736. The establishment of graduate programs in law and medicine in 1779 makes it one of the first universities in the United States. The Marshall–Wythe School of Law is the oldest law school in the United States, and the Sir Christopher Wren Building is the oldest academic building in continuous use in the United States (per Wikipedia).

What is remarkable about the College of William & Mary is the fact that, despite the American Revolution when virtually all the colleges in the Americas severed their ties with the Crown, the College never renounced its charter from, and relationship with, the Royal Family.

Throughout the second half of the 20th century, William & Mary has retained its historic ties to the United Kingdom and their royal family. In 1954, Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother visited William & Mary as part of her tour of the United States, becoming the first member of the royal family to visit the college. In 1957, Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh visited the college to commemorate the 350th anniversary of the landing at Jamestown. Elizabeth gave a speech from the balcony of the Wren Building that drew over 20,000 people, the largest crowd ever seen in the city. In 1981, Charles, Prince of Wales visited to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Yorktown. In 1988, the United States Congress selected William & Mary to send a delegation to the United Kingdom for the 300th anniversary of the ascension of King William III and Queen Mary II. Prince Charles would return to the college in 1993 for the 300th anniversary of William & Mary, and that same year William & Mary sent a delegation to meet with Queen Elizabeth II. Former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher would be made the Chancellor of the College of William & Mary that same year. In 2007, Elizabeth II and Prince Philip would visit the college for a second time to recognize the 400th anniversary of the landing at Jamestown (per Wikipedia).

[Editor: And I happened to be there to see the Queen and Prince Philip in 2007 at William & Mary along with friends Tom & Elaine and others…]

First, a Story:

If America bound pilgrims traveled on the Mayflower, what do college students going to William & Mary travel on? Scholar-ships.

Second, a Song:

Here is the Morning Song from the viral star and rapping teacher, Mr. Dwayne Reed. 

His website states:

Mr. Reed is the teacher you always wished you had! He is America’s Favorite Rapping Teacher and Chief Enthusiasm Officer (CEO) of TeachMrReed, the global education company inspiring the world to make learning fun again. 

The passionate educator, prolific author, and speaker is also the widely-acclaimed host of the celebrity YouTube series Mr. Reed Reads, and animated facilitator of the popular U.S. book club tour Reed-A-Long.

Catapulted into notoriety by his blockbuster video, “Welcome to the Fourth Grade”, Mr. Reed and his work have been featured on Good Morning America, World News Tonight, BBC News, The Jimmy Kimmel Live Show, and in The Washington Post and Time Magazine.

As a viral phenom, Reed spreads his message of inspiration and empowerment that reaches a weekly audience of more than 50,000 followers, subscribers, readers, listeners, and fans. Each month, hundreds of new and aspiring teachers attend his engaging live seminars and rousing, interactive workshops, to experience the thrill of teaching via Mr. Reed’s riveting accounts of and cautionary tales of teaching in inner-city Chicago.

As an avid philanthropist, Mr. Reed has partnered with iconic brands that include 3M, Old Navy, Arby’s and Abbott Laboratories to celebrate educators and raise awareness of youth issues. Mr. Reed also supports countless youth charities, after-school programs, and educational nonprofits dedicated to student-centered learning and academic achievement.

Here is Dwayne Reed and students performing The Morning Song.  I hope you enjoy this!


Thought for the Day:

“Ensuring quality higher education is one of the most important things we can do for future generations.” – Ron Lewis


Have a great day!

Dave & Colleen

© 2021 David J. Bilinsky and Colleen E. Bilinsky

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