- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 17, 2007

WILLIAMSBURG (AP) — Officials at the College of William & Mary have settled on a place in a college chapel to display the case that will house the Wren Cross.

A committee appointed to make a recommendation announced Monday that the cross and its case will be placed near the east door at the front of the chapel.

The recommendation was endorsed by college President Gene R. Nichol and Michael Powell, who as college rector heads the Board of Visitors.

The school said that the display case is still under development, adding that it “will be accompanied by a plaque commemorating the college’s Anglican roots and its historic connection to Bruton Parish Church.”

The school says the design of the case and the wording of the plaque are still being worked out.

Mr. Nichol ordered the 18-inch cross removed from permanent display on the chapel’s altar last fall, saying students of all faiths should feel comfortable using the chapel.

In response to protests from some alumni, Mr. Nichol formed the committee to make recommendations.

Last month, the 14-member committee, co-chaired by religion professor James Livingston and law professor Alan Meese, recommended that the cross be returned to the chapel but in a display case.

The removal of the cross made headlines and stirred protests by students, faculty and alumni of William & Mary, the nation’s second-oldest college after Harvard.

An online petition to reinstate the cross garnered 18,000 signatures.

Threats by an unnamed donor to withdraw $12 million in funding from the college forced Mr. Nichol to change his decision on March 7.

Religious symbols from all faiths now will be available in the sacristy of the college chapel.

William & Mary was chartered in February 1693 by King William III and Queen Mary II.

It became state-supported in 1906 and coeducational in 1918, according to the university. The college has roughly 7,500 undergraduate and graduate students.

Alumni include four U.S. presidents: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Monroe and John Tyler.

Copyright © 2019 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide