African Americans at William & Mary

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See African American Students.

Administration and Administrators

Lillian Poe, a doctoral candidate in history, was hired as assistant dean of admissions in summer 1970, becoming the College’s first black administrator.

"In 1974, the office for Minority Student Affairs was established to serve African-American students at the College and, eventually, the office evolved into the Office of Multicultural Affairs (OMA) as the population it served began to expand."[1]

1977-2 African Americans faculty members

The first African American member of the Board of Visitors was Henry T. Tucker, Jr. ’72, appointed in 1978.

1982-2 African Americans faculty members

1983-7 African Americans faculty members


African American alumni organized the Hulon Willis Association of the Society of the Alumni in 1992.


The 1969-1970 course catalog includes the class "The Negro in the United States Since 1861" course 466 taught by Department of History Professor Helen C. Walker. Description: "An examination of the role of the black man in American society from the Civil War to the present. The course will consider political, economic, and social developments within the black community, as well as problems in black-white relations."

According to an intern in the Virginia Division of Legislative Services in the Civil War Commission in July 2009, the College of William and Mary was one of the earliest, if not the first, college or university in Virginia to offer African American history courses before the late 1970s.

Material in the Special Collections Research Center


  • Initial content compiled by Nancy Hadley in 2002. Sources from the University Archives include: University Archives Subject File Collection, Students--African Americans and Students--Minorities, especially see "The Black Presence at William and Mary" for Willis and Tucker, and "Jump" for Ely, Briley, and Brown; Faculty-Alumni files of Edward Augustus Travis, Oscar Houser Blayton; Colonial Echo 1971, p. 165 for Black Student Organization; Subject file, Alumni Association—Hulon Willis Association; The College of William and Mary: A History, vol. 2, pp. 829-830 and footnotes, for Poe and the Black Student Organization.

External Links

Need help?

To search for further material, see Finding Materials in the SCRC for an introduction to the SCRC Collections Database, card catalogs, Flat Hat-William & Mary News-Alumni Gazette index, etc.

Questions? Contact the SCRC at or 221-3090, or visit the Special Collections Research Center in the Earl Gregg Swem Library at the College of William and Mary (hours).

A Note About The Contents Of This Wiki
Unfortunately, many of the early original records of the College of William and Mary were destroyed by fire, military occupation, and the normal effects of time. The information available here is the best available from known documents and sources at the time it was written. Information in this wiki is not complete as new information continues to be uncovered in the SCRC's collections and elsewhere. Researchers are strongly encouraged to use the SCRC's access tools for their research as the information contained in this wiki is by no means comprehensive.