- The Washington Times - Saturday, September 6, 2008

RICHMOND | The College of William & Mary’s board appointed W. Taylor Reveley III as president for a three-year term, ending his interim status in a vote of confidence for his leadership after his predecessor abruptly resigned months ago.

The Board of Visitors voted Friday to make the appointment effective immediately. Mr. Reveley, dean of William & Mary’s law school, assumed the interim presidency in mid-February after the sudden departure of Gene Nichol.

The board of the Williamsburg school - the nation’s second oldest after Harvard University - decided to drop the interim designation and name him the school’s 27th president. The decision followed “careful consideration and with the benefit of input from the faculty, students and alumni,” Rector Michael Powell said in an e-mail to university employees, graduates and others.

Mr. Reveley, 65, signaled in prepared remarks after the board’s special session that he looked forward to the challenges ahead.

“Just as I have not been merely a caretaker while interim president, neither will I be simply a transitional president during the next few years,” Mr. Reveley said.

The Board of Visitors praised Mr. Reveley, saying the lawyer and constitutional war-powers scholar had succeeded in restructuring William & Mary’s financial model in times of uncertain state funding, leading the 7,600-student public university through substantial budget cuts.

Mr. Reveley also allayed parents’ concerns about the school’s direction during a period where there was no permanent president, which helped attract a “very strong and diverse incoming class of students,” the board said in a statement.

Mr. Nichol resigned Feb. 12 after learning that the Board of Visitors didn’t plan to renew his contract after a series of controversies, including the removal of a cross from a college chapel.

The board’s decision was met by protests by many students, faculty and staff members. He is now a professor at the University of North Carolina School of Law, where he was dean before taking the job at William & Mary.

Mr. Reveley had been one of three finalists in the national search to fill the job after the 2005 retirement of Timothy Sullivan, school officials said. Mr. Nichol succeeded Mr. Sullivan.

Before he was named William & Mary’s interim president, Mr. Reveley practiced law at Hunton & Williams in Richmond for 28 years and was a managing partner of the firm for nine years. He also was co-director of the National War Powers Commission, headed by former Secretaries of State James A. Baker III and Warren M. Christopher.

Mr. Reveley graduated from Princeton University in 1965 and the University of Virginia Law School in 1968. He clerked for U.S. Supreme Court Justice William J. Brennan Jr. during the 1969 court term.

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