Senator Jim Webb (D-Va.) will deliver the keynote address at the Charter Day ceremony Feb. 7. The Charter Day ceremony marks the 316th anniversary of the royal charter from King William III and Queen Mary II which established the College of William and Mary.
Webb, who was elected to the senate in 2006, recently became Virginia’s senior senator with the election of former governor Mark Warner in November.
Webb’s time in the senate has been marked by his efforts on the Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2008. The legislation expanded upon veterans’ education benefits detailed in the G.I. Bill. Webb’s new legislation provides the entire cost of attending a four-year public institution.
In addition to delivering the keynote address, Webb will receive an honorary Doctorate of Public Service.
“Sen. Jim Webb has dedicated his life to public service. We are delighted to have him as our Charter Day speaker and to be able to award him an honorary degree,” College President Taylor Reveley said in a press release. “Few new members of the United States Senate have been as effective during their first two years in office as Sen. Webb.”
Webb graduated from the Naval Academy in 1968 and served as a Marine in the Vietnam War. After earning a law degree from Georgetown University, Webb went on to serve as an Assistant Secretary of Defense under Ronald Reagan. He also served as Secretary of the Navy in 1987 and 1988. Between then and his recent senatorial campaign Webb worked as an author — he has published nine books — and journalist.
The College will also bestow honorary degrees on Muscarelle Museum of Art founder Glenn Lowry, currently the director of New York City’s Museum of Modern Art, and Duke University professor John Hope Franklin, a nationally recognized expert in African-American history.
The Charter Day ceremony will take place Feb. 7. Tickets are required.