Charter Day Speakers

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19th Century

1859 John Tyler – former U.S. President, Rector of the Board of Visitors

1893 J. Allen Watts

1893 Robert M. Hughes

20th Century


1923 Albert Bushnell Hart – former President of American Historical Association and former President of the American Political Science Association

1939 George Arents – former chairman of the Syracus University Board of Trustees

1940 Charles Warren – Former Assistant Attorney General of the United States, and Pulitzer Prize winning author

1941 Max Lerner – Author and syndicated columnist

1942 James T. Shotwell - Bryce Professor of the History of International Relations at Columbia University

1943 Oliver C. Carmichael – Chancellor of Vanderbilt University

1944 Lindsay Rogers – Burgess Professor of Public Law, Columbia University

1945 Kenneth Chorley – President of Williamsburg Restoration and Colonial Williamsburg

1946 James William Fulbright – U.S. Senator (Arkansas)

1947 The Right Honorable the Lord Inverchapel – British Ambassador to the U.S.

1948 Paul Eliot Green – Playwright

1949 Frederick D.G. Ribble – Dean, Department of Law, The University of Virginia


1950 Ceremony cancelled by President Pomfret

1951 John A. Krout – Dean of Graduate Studies, Columbia University

1952 Raymond B. Pinchbeck – Professor of Applied Economics and Dean of Richmond College, The University of Richmond

1953 Douglas S. Freeman – Journalish and Historian

1954 John A. Krout – Vice-President and provost, Columbia University

1955 Bolitha J. Laws – Chief Judge of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia

1956 Lewis A. McMurran – Member of the House of Delegates, The General Assembly of Virginia

1957 Julian P. Boyd – Princeton University, Editor, “The Papers of Thomas Jefferson”

1958 Harold Lees Fowler, - Professor of History, College of William and Mary

1959 Graves Glenwood Clark – Chancellor Professor of English,

1960 Walter Spencer Robertson – Former Assistant Secretary of State for Far Eastern Affairs

1961 Carlisle H. Humelsine – President, Colonial Williamsburg

1962 Dr. Harold L. Fowler – Chairman, Department of History College of William and Mary

1963 Julian Parks Boyd – Editor, “The Papers of Thomas Jefferson”

1964 Julius Adams Stratton – President, M.I.T.

1965 Lewis F. Powell, Jr. – President, American Bar Association

1966 Marjorie Hope Nicolson – Professor of English, Emeritus, Columbia University, and Institute of Advanced Study, Princeton

1967 John Walker – Director, National Gallery of Art

1968 Sir Patrick Henry Dean – Her Britannic Majesty’s Ambassador to the U.S. The Right Reverand and Right Honorable Robert Wright Stopford, Bishop of London

1969 Robert Quarles Marston – Director, National Institutes of Health

1970 Arthur Lehman Goodhart – University College, Oxford

1971 Davis Y. Paschall – President of the College of William and Mary

1972 Thomas Ashley Graves, Jr. – President of the College of William and Mary

1973 Colgate W. Darden, Jr. – Former Congressman, Former Governor of Virginia, Former Chancellor of College of William and Mary

1974 Edgar F. Shannon, Jr. – President of the University of Virginia

1975 Virginius Dabney - historian, author, journalist and winner of the Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing

1976 Sir Peter Ramsbotham, British Ambassador to the U.S.

1977 Carter O. Lowance, Special Assistant to Virginia Governor

1977 Mills E. Godwin, Jr., Former Virginia Commissioner of Administration

1978 Ernest L. Boyer – U.S. Commissioner of Education

1979 Lewis F. Powell, Jr. – Associate Justice of the Supreme Court

1980 Reverend Theodore M. Hesburg – President of the University of Notre Dame

1981 John W. Warner, U.S. Senator (Virginia)

1982 Hays T. Watkins – President, CSX Corporation

1983 Charles S. Robb – Governor of Virginia

1984 J. Carter Brown – Director The National Gallery of Art Washington, D.C.

1985 Donald W. Pritchard – Professor, Marine Sciences Research Center State University of New York, Stony Brook

1986 Clark Kerr – President Emeritus, The University of California

1987 Warren E. Burger – Chancellor of the College of William and Mary, former Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court

1987 Gerald L. Baliles – Governor of Virginia

1988 Robert Wedgeworth - Dean of the School of Library Service, Columbia University

1989 The Right Honorable. The Lord Mackay of Clashfern – The Lord Chancellor or the House of Lords

1990 Eric Sevareid – CBS News Consultant

1991 Fang Lizhi – Professor of Astrophysics and Former Vice Chancellor of China Science and Technology University

1992 D. Allan Bromley – Assistant to the President of the U.S. for Science and Technology

1993 His Royal Highness The Prince Charles, Prince of Wales

1994 Margaret, The Lady Thatcher – Former Prime Minister of Great Britain, Chancellor of the College of William and Mary

1995 David S. Broder – National political correspondent and columnist for The Washington Post

1996 Pamela Churchill Harriman – U.S. Ambassador to France

1997 David McCullough – Pulitzer Prize winning author

1998 Robert M. Gates (’65) – Director of the Central Intelligence Agency

1999 Richard G. Lugar – U.S. Senator (Indiana)

21st Century


2000 Margaret, The Lady Thatcher – Former Prime Minister of Great Britain, Chancellor of the College of William and Mary

2001 Henry A. Kissinger – Former Secretary of State, Chancellor of the College of William and Mary

2002 Michael K. Powell (’85) – Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission

2003 Kofi A. Annan – Secretary-General of the United Nations

2004 David D. McKiernan, Lieutenant General, Commanding General, Third U.S. Army Commander, Coalition Land Forces – Second Gulf War

2005 James H. Billington – The Librarian of Congress

2006 Timothy M. Kaine – Governor of Virginia

2007 Chuck Hagel, U.S. Senator (Nebraska)

2008 James B. Comey (1982), former Deputy Attorney General of the United States, 2003-2005; General Counsel and Senior Vice President of Lockheed Martin, 2005-present

2009 Jim Webb - U.S. Senator (Virginia)