royal charter

21 Sep

An over-arching theme

By Silver Blue

The building I work in on campus, though renovated in 2000-2002, has some beautiful architectural aspects. As with every building on campus that is new construction, or renovation, it includes arches:

Former University president Rosanne Runte said that the arches are a salute to our past — our “college” (now University) was formed in 1930 as the Norfolk Campus of the College of William and Mary (the second oldest institution of higher education, after Harvard, and one of only 2 to have a Royal Charter (W&M’s was from King William III and Queen Mary II in 1693; the other is Columbia University, chartered in 1764 as “Kings College” by King George II.) Some would argue that there is a third, but in actuality (from the Wikipedia): Dartmouth College 1769 – was founded by Letters Patent by King George III via the Governor of the province of New Hampshire. The distinction between the Letters Patent forming Dartmouth versus those documents founding William & Mary or Kings College (Columbia) is that the seal of the Province of New Hampshire appears on the Dartmouth document, while the Great Seal of the Realm appears on the William & Mary and King’s documents.

I’m not sure if Columbia had to give up their royal charter when they changed names; I do know that W&M qualifies as a University (due to the number of Doctoral programs it offers) but will not change its name from College of William and Mary to William and Mary Univeristy due to the charter issue.

Interestingly enough, even though Old Dominion University is now autonomous from William and Mary, we carry another part of our past formation by them with us to this day.

The William and Mary Seal:

and the Old Dominion University Seal:

as you can see, the center of our seal is the seal of William and Mary. The break wasn’t easy. ODU awarded its first bachelor’s degrees in 1956, became Old Dominion College in 1962, and attained university status in 1969.

Silver Blue, who sometimes thinks I know too much trivia.

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