William & Mary’s 2019 Charter Day ceremony will include two important moments in the university’s history: the official inauguration of William & Mary President Katherine A. Rowe and the re-investiture of Chancellor Robert M. Gates ’65, L.H.D. ’98.
The annual Charter Day event, which will be held on Feb. 8, 2019, in Kaplan Arena at 3:30 p.m., celebrates the university’s founding by British royal charter in 1693. The ceremony will mark the 326th “birthday” of William & Mary. President Rowe will serve as the keynote speaker.
“As a scholar, educator and an entrepreneur, I am naturally drawn to William & Mary’s royal charter for both its history and its vision,” Rowe said. “I’m honored to share my inauguration with the celebration of William & Mary’s foundational document. Leading this university’s next chapter is exciting and humbling. I’m also looking forward eagerly to honoring our exceptional chancellor, Robert Gates.”
William & Mary’s Board of Visitors voted unanimously last February to elect Rowe as president of the university. She assumed the role on July 1, becoming the first woman to helm W&M. Rowe brings a strong background in digital innovation, entrepreneurship, scholarship and leadership to the university.
Gates was invested as W&M’s 24th chancellor in 2012, becoming the first alumnus to serve as chancellor of the university in the modern era.
The former U.S. defense secretary and CIA director will begin his second seven-year term on July 1, 2019.
“Both President Rowe and Chancellor Gates demonstrate an abiding commitment to William & Mary,” said Rector John E. Littel P ’22. “They share a rare ability in leading institutions with deep historical roots during rapidly changing and demanding times. They are wonderful to work with, great partners and will continue to make for a dynamic leadership duo.”