100 Years of Student History

If you’re a senior at the College, you may know the Colonial Echo through their emails reminding you to get your portrait taken. If you’re an underclassman, perhaps you’ve seen the Colonial Echo up for grabs around campus at the end of the Spring semester. For those still unfamiliar, the Colonial Echo is William & Mary’s student yearbook; it’s a record of the events throughout the year and the students who matriculated. The Colonial Echo was first published in 1899, and has been published every year since then except for 1900 and 1904. That means there have been over 100 editions of the yearbook, and Special Collections has a copy (or multiples) of every edition. While physical copies are available, you don’t have to actually come into Special Collections to view the Colonial Echo – the 1899-1995 yearbooks have been digitized. To give you a glimpse into W&M’s history, we pulled the 1917 Colonial Echo. Exactly 100 years from the current academic year, this yearbook is a great example of what has – and has not – changed on campus since its publication.

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Walk This Way: Introducing the TribeTrek Walking Tour App

Swem Library’s Special Collections Research Center is excited to introduce TribeTrek, a new app that showcases the history of our campus. Photographs from the University Archives illustrate self-guided campus tours, allowing users to see how buildings and landmarks have changed through the years, while at the same time learning about the many traditions at William & Mary. Continue reading

Phi Beta Kappa

Phi Beta Kappa Hall, 1926The first Phi Beta Kappa Hall was erected in 1926 to mark the 150th anniversary of the founding of the Phi Beta Kappa Fraternity, the first Greek letter fraternity, and to honor the 50 founders.  All but one were Virginians and with one exception were students the College.  Elisha Parmele of Connecticut was conducting a school in Virginia after his graduation from Harvard in 1778.  When he returned to the north in 1780 he took two charters, one for the Alpha of Massachusetts at Harvard and the other for an Alpha of Connecticut at Yale. These 2 branches were organized within 18 months and saved the fraternity from extinction.  The Alpha at William and Mary was forced to disband on January 6, 1781, when a British force began devastating the peninsula during the American Revolution.

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