The Reverend James Blair (1655-1748) was the founding president of William & Mary. A statue of James Blair was installed between Tyler Hall and Blair Hall during Homecoming Week 1993 as part of the William & Mary’s Tercentenary celebration. The statue was sculpted by Lewis Cohen, professor of art and art history at William & Mary.
James Blair was born in Scotland and educated at Marischal College (University of Aberdeen) and the University of Edinburgh where he received a Master of Arts. Blair was president of the university from its founding in 1693 until his death on April 18, 1743. While president of William & Mary, Blair also served as rector of Bruton Parish Church. As commissary of the Bishop of London, James Blair had a tremendous influence on the established Virginia church.