50 Years of African Americans in Residence Walking Tour

The 2017-18 school year marked the College of William & Mary's yearlong celebration of 50 years of African Americans in residence. This walking tour serves as a brief history of African Americans at the College, from slavery to today.

More information about the year of remembrance can be found at wm.edu/50.

Wren Building

The College of William & Mary owned slaves from its very beginning. Slaves were an integral part to the College's everyday operations. Additionally, slaves worked on Nottoway Plantation, which was owned by William & Mary for several…

The Bray School

The Bray School was run in the Dudley Diggs House and was originally located where Brown Hall stands today. The Bray School, which was named after Reverend Thomas Bray and operated by Ann Wagner, was created "for the instruction of Negro…

Site of the Ku Klux Klan Flagpole

In 1926, the College of William & Mary was gifted and accepted a flagpole by the Ku Klux Klan. The unveiling ceremony was allegedly attended by thousands of individuals, many of whom were members of the KKK themselves. Originally erected here at…

Jefferson Hall

In the Fall of 1967 Janet Brown, Lynn Briley and Karen Ely began their freshmen year at the College of William & Mary. They lived together in the newly renovated basement of Jefferson Hall. Unbeknownst to them, that Fall they became the first…

Washington Hall

In the mid-twentieth century, Washington Hall was the home of William & Mary's education courses. This is where, during the summer of 1951, Hulon Willis Sr. began his master's degree and became the first African American to attend the…

Thomas Jefferson Statue

The statue of Thomas Jefferson was a gift from University of Virginia in 1992. Jefferson was a student at the College from 1760-1762 and his drawings of the Wren building aided the College in its rebuilding after one of its several fires. Jefferson…

James Blair Hall

Over the years the law school has had many homes. While Edward August Travis '54 and Miriam Carter attended, the program was housed in James Blair Hall. Though Edward August Travis began his studies a few months after the first African American…

Tucker Hall

The Tucker family serves as a prime example of the varying opinions on slavery held by the faculty at the College of William & Mary. Tucker Hall is named for St. George Tucker, who studied law at William & Mary under George Wythe (who also…

Western Union Building

The Western Union Building, which was built in 1930, is home to William & Mary's ROTC Program. Michael K. Powell, son of former Secretary of State Colin Powell, attended William & Mary on a ROTC Scholarship. Before graduating in 1985,…

Cary Field

A year after Janet, Karen, and Lynn began their studies at the College, Warren Winston began his college football career at William & Mary in 1968. He was the university's first African American scholarship athlete and the first African…

Lemon Hall & Hardy Hall

These two buildings, originally named Jamestown North and Jamestown South, respectively, are the first buildings on William & Mary's campus to be named after Black individuals. The rededication ceremony took place in the Fall of 2016. Lemon Hall…

Phi Beta Kappa Memorial Hall

William & Mary prides itself of being the home of Greek letter organizations. Phi Beta Kappa's Alpha Chapter has called William & Mary its home since the honor fraternity's founding in December of 1776. Phi Beta Kappa is considered,…