William and Mary News announced today that former U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates ’65 will be invested as Chancellor of the College on Friday, February 3 at the College’s 2012 Charter Day celebration. Gates will also serve as keynote speaker of the event.
“This year’s Charter Day will be one to remember,” President Taylor Reveley said in a press release. “Not only will we get to celebrate William & Mary’s 319th birthday, but we will also welcome back to campus Secretary Gates, one of our most distinguished alumni, and install him as our next Chancellor.”
It was announced earlier this year that Gates would replace former Supreme Count Justice Sandra Day O’Connor as the 24th Chancellor of the College. Gates served under George W. Bush and Barack Obama, making him the first Secretary of Defense on the cabinet of a member of an opposing party. He was awarded an honorary doctorate from the College in 1998 as well as the Alumni Medallion in 2000, the Alumni Association’s highest honor.
Professor Emeritus of Government James A. Bill will also be honored at the event and receive an honorary degree of doctor of humane letters. Bill served as the College’s first director of the Reves Center for International Studies from 1987 to 1998.
“As the founding director of the Reves Center, Jim Bill had a great impact on international education at William & Mary,” Reveley said.