Spring 2024 Issue

Bunch, Trammell Awarded Honorary Degrees

By Gabriela Trauttmansdorff ’26

When the William & Mary community gathered in February to celebrate the founding of the university 331 years ago, two exemplary individuals received honorary degrees.

W&M Chancellor Robert M. Gates ’65, L.H.D. ’98 conferred upon Lonnie G. Bunch III an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree and upon Jeffrey B. Trammell ’73 an honorary Doctor of Public Service degree during the Charter Day ceremonies in Kaplan Arena.

Bunch is the secretary of the Smithsonian Institution and was founding director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History & Culture. Trammell, who served as W&M’s rector from 2011-2013, is a leader in strategic counseling, politics and education and an advocate for LGBTQ rights.

In his keynote address, Bunch reflected on the power and purpose of history. “Ultimately, for me, when I think about the power of history … it’s a mirror to America. It is a mirror that makes those who are invisible, more visible. It is a mirror that gives voice to those who are silent. It’s a mirror that says, ‘Let us live up to the founding ideals of this nation. Let us celebrate and revel, but let us also live up to those ideals.’”

Read more on W&M News.