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The current duties and responsibilities of the Board of Visitors are described in the board's by-laws and additional information about the Board of Visitors is available at its website The Board of Visitors of William & Mary elect a Rector, Vice-Rector, and Secretary from its membership.

The charter of William & Mary named "the trustees and their successors as "the true, sole and undoubted Visitors and Governors of the said College for ever." The Board of Visitors, or Visitors and Governors, was required to have a minimum membership of eighteen, which was the size of the original group, but could be expanded to as many as twenty. A majority of the sitting board could elect their successors or fill vacancies from "The Principal and better sort of Inhabitants" of Virginia." (Godson 1993, 13)

In March 1960, the BOV was expanded from 11 to 15 members by Gov. Lindsay Almond, Jr. The expansion was justified because of the BOV's expanded responsibilities for the Colleges of William & Mary (the Richmond Professional Institute (what later became VCU), Richard Bland College, and Christopher Newport).

16 Pages
  • Board of Visitors Members

    Board of Visitors members and officers listed alphabetically and chronologically.
  • Edward E. Brickell

    Edward E. Brickell was a member of the Board of Visitors from 1976 to 1984 and was Rector of the Board of Visitors from 1978 to 1982. He was Grand Marshall of the Homecoming Parade in 1980.
  • Harriet Nachman Storm

    Harriet Nachman Storm, William & Mary class of 1964, was president of the Alumni Association in 1978-1979. Storm was a member of the William & Mary Board of Visitors in 1979-1988. She served as the Secretary of the Board in 1987-1988. Storm received the Alumni Medallion in 1981. Storm…
  • Hugh Blair Grigsby (1806-1881)

    Biographical Sketch Hugh Blair Grigsby, nineteenth-century Virginia historian, lived from 1806-1881. He served on the Board of Visitors and as Chancellor of William & Mary. From the Virginia Historical Society
  • James N. Stubbs

    Major James N. Stubbs (James New Stubbs) attended William & Mary (1858-1860), was a member of its Board of Visitors (1888-1919, Vice-President 1890-1906, Vice-Rector 1906-1919), was trained as a lawyer, served as a major in the Confederate Army during the Civil War, and was a member of the…
  • Jeffrey B. Trammell

    Jeffrey B. Trammell was elected as Rector of William & Mary's Board of Visitors from 2011-2013, serving as the first openly gay board chair of a major university in the United States. Trammell attended William & Mary on a basketball scholarship, graduating in 1973 with a B.A. in history.
  • John Johns

    Raised in a prominent political family in Delaware, John Johns graduated from the theological seminary at Princeton University in 1815. Ordained deaconate in the Episcopal Church, Johns began his evangelical ministry in Philadelphia and Maryland, until his election by the Virginia Episcopalians as…
  • John Tyler, Sr.

    John Tyler, Sr. studied at William & Mary and later served on the Board of Visitors. He served as a judge on various Virginia courts and was elected governor in 1808. His son, also John Tyler, was the 10th President of the United States and later served as Chancellor of William & Mary.…
  • Kate Waller Barrett

    Kate Waller Barrett was a member of the William & Mary Board of Visitors in 1921-1925. She was the second woman to be a member of the Board of Visitors. She was a prominent figure in Virginia political and social circles and a number of buildings across Virginia were named in her honor. She was…
  • Littleton Waller Tazewell

    Littleton Waller Tazewell (December 17, 1774 - May 6, 1860) was a U.S. Representative, U.S. Senator, and governor of Virginia. Tazewell, son of Henry Tazewell, was born in Williamsburg, Virginia. He was privately tutored by John Wickham and later graduated from William & Mary in 1791. He…
  • Norborne Berkeley, 4th Baron de Botetourt (1718-1770)

    Norborne Berkeley, 4th Baron Botetourt (1718 - October 15, 1770) was governor of the Virginia Colony from 1768 to 1770. He was also a member of the Board of Visitors of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia. Biography Contents
  • Pamela Harriman

    Pamela Harriman was a member of the Board of Visitors of William & Mary. Harriman was awarded an honorary degree and spoke at the 1996 Charter Day ceremony. The Pamela Harriman Foreign Service Fellowships are awarded in her honor.
  • Peyton Randolph (c. 1721-1775)

    Born as the third child of (Sir) John Randolph and (Lady) Susannah Beverly Randolph, Peyton Randolph attended William & Mary Grammar School c. 1739. He also was elected to the W&M Board of Visitors c. 1758.
  • Rector of the Board of Visitors

    The Board of Visitors of William & Mary elect a Rector, Vice-Rector, and Secretary from its membership. The duties and responsibilities of the Rector are described in the board's by-laws. Contents
  • Robert Morton Hughes

    Robert Morton Hughes was an alumnus of  William & Mary (1870-1873) and also attended the University of Virginia Law School. He was the son of Robert William and Eliza M. (Johnston) Hughes. He practiced law in Norfolk, Virginia. Hughes was the president of the Virginia Bar Association;…
  • Roy R. Charles

    Roy R. Charles, College of William & Mary class of 1932, was a member of the Board of Visitors, and member of the Endowment Association, chairman of the Campaign for William & Mary, and the principal donor behind the Roy R. Charles Center. References Alumni Gazette

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A note about the contents of this site

This website contains the best available information from known 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. The information in this website is not complete, and it changes as we continue to research and uncover new sources.