There have been a number of secret societies at William & Mary during its history. Groups believed to be currently active on campus include the FHC Society, 7 Society, Bishop James Madison Society, Thirteen, W Society, Wren Society, Alphas, Live Oak Society, Zodiac Society, and others.
The FHC was the first collegiate secret society in the United States. It was founded on November 11, 1750, faded away in the 1770s, was revived in the 1920s before fading away in 1943, and again being revived in 1972.
The first documented evidence by Swem's Special Collections of the Zodiac Society was a good luck note to students seen in Swem Library during December 2013 final exams.
Inactive Secret Societies
Groups such as PDA, which was a student group organized in the 18th century after the F.H.C. are among those no longer active on campus.
The B.B. Club was active in the mid-1920s.
Material in the SCRC
- Of all of the secret societies, the SCRC probably has the most material related to the FHC Society. A list of material related to the group is available at the FHC's SCRC Wiki page.
- Student Organizations Collection, includes material from several secret societies.
- Colonial Echo
- The Flat Hat
- Folder 50, College Papers Collection
- David Holmes Papers, includes some material related to the Bishop James Madison Society.
- University Archives Artifact Collection
- University Archives Oral History Collection
- Search for additional material in the SCRC Collections Database
- Office of the President - this would require a bit of searching.
- Katherine (Katie) Elisabeth Shields Oral History conducted on 03/23/05, this interview is available online.
In the News
- Various articles in the College of William and Mary student newspaper The Flat Hat; see also other student publications.
- Shhh! The Secret Side to the College’s Lesser Known Societies, Becca Millfeld, The DoG Street Journal, 2 November 2004.
- Secret, But (Probably) Not Sinister
- Secret society donates Sadler plaque, October 1, 2008.
- Eight figures you need to know, The Flat Hat, 19 August 2011.
The SCRC welcomes various forms of support from friends and supporters. Here at the SCRC Wiki we welcome visitors to share what you may know about our collections as well as the traditions, history, and people of William & Mary based on your research or personal experience.
If you would like to share your memories or what you have discovered while using the SCRC's collections, please contact us at email@example.com or 757-221-3090. We look forward to hearing from you.
To search for further material, visit the Special Collections Research Center's Search Tool List for an overview of the Special Collections Database, W&M Digital Archive, Flat Hat-William & Mary News-Alumni Gazette index, card catalogs, and other tools available to help you find material of interest in William & Mary Libraries Special Collections Research Center.
|A Note About The Contents Of This Wiki|
|The information available in this wiki is the best available from known documents and sources at the time it was written. Unfortunately, many of the early original records of William & Mary were destroyed by fires, military occupation, and the normal effects of time. Information in this wiki is not complete as new information continues to be uncovered in Swem Library's Special Collections Research Center and elsewhere. Researchers are strongly encouraged to use the Special Collections search tools for their research as the information contained in this wiki is by no means comprehensive.|