The statue of Lord Botetourt that currently stands in front of the Wren Building is a 1993 reproduction of the original located on the ground floor of Swem Library. One of the traditions at William & Mary is to dress up the statue for the holidays, such as hanging a wreath on the statue's outstretched hand. From the 1920s to the 1970s, campus tradition dictated that all freshman had to salute Lord Botetourt as they passed the statue.
Lord Botetourt was a figure so revered by Virginians that they erected a statue in his memory which stood first at the Old Capitol building and then was purchased by William & Mary in 1801. Barring a brief period during the Civil War when it was kept in the Public Asylum for safety, it stood in the Wren Yard until 1958, when it was removed to protect it from the elements. In 1966 it was installed on the ground floor of the newly erected Earl Gregg Swem Library. A bronze replica by Gordon Kray, class of 1973, was installed in the Wren Yard in 1993.
Who was Lord Botetourt?
Norborne Berkeley, 4th Baron Botetourt (1718-1770), was governor of the Virginia colony from 1768 to 1770. He was also a member of the Board of Visitors. Previously he had been a member of parliament for Gloucestershire, England, 1741-1763. He died suddenly while still in office and was buried in the crypt under the chapel in the Wren Building. He had the reputation of being a generous, courteous, and sympathetic gentleman and was greatly loved by his constituents. Today, the top prize given to a graduating senior for scholarship is the Lord Botetourt Medal.