Alvin Duke Chandler

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Alvin Duke Chandler

Alvin Duke Chandler was the twenty-first president of the College of William and Mary. Following the resignation of John Pomfret, he served from October 9, 1951 until May of 1960, when he became Chancellor of the Colleges of William and Mary system. The system included the original William and Mary campus in Williamsburg, what is now Old Dominion University in Norfolk, the current campus of Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, as well as Christopher Newport College and Richard Bland College. The General Assembly disbanded the system in 1962, but Chandler stayed on as William and Mary Chancellor, then Honorary Chancellor until 1974. His father, Julian A.C. Chandler, was also president of William and Mary.

A native of Richmond, Virginia, Chandler attended William and Mary in 1918, but shortly left for the Naval Academy. He graduated in 1923 and spent the next 28 years in active service. In the 1930s, he alternated between postings at sea and teaching at the Naval Academy, authoring several textbooks. During World War II, he served in the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations and as a staff member of the Commander in Chief, U.S. Fleet in the South Pacific. Chandler was a commander of five destroyer groups and participated in campaigns in Africa, Guadalcanal, the Solomon Islands, New Guinea, Iwo Jima, and Okinawa. He earned a number of honors for his naval service, including the Legion of Merit Gold Star. After the war, Chandler assumed command of the U.S.S. Des Moines in 1948, attended the Imperial Defense College in London, England in 1950, and returned to the office of Chief of Naval Operations as Director of the Logistics Plans Division. He retired from the Navy as a Vice-Admiral in November 1951 to assume the presidency at William and Mary.

A member of Theta Delta Chi fraternity and the Rotary Club, Chandler was active in a variety of organizations, including the Jamestown Foundation and the Jamestown Corporation, the Peninsula Bank and Trust Company, the Advisory Council of the U.S. Naval Academy Foundation, and the John Marshall Bicentennial Commission. He also held honorary law degrees from the University of Pennsylvania, Brandeis University, and the College of William and Mary.

He died on May 26, 1987, in Virginia Beach, Virginia at the age of 84.


Material in SCRC


Preceded by College of William and Mary President Succeeded by
John Edwin Pomfret

Jaunary 1, 1943 - September 13, 1951

Alvin Duke Chandler

October 9, 1951 - May 1960

Davis Young Paschall

August 16, 1960 - August 1971

A note about the information in 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.