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From a resolution unanimously adopted by the W&M Board of Visitors on Nov. 17, 2006

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Untitled Document

The Facts Surrounding President Nichol’s Wren Cross Removal Order


1776 – During the revolution, The College of William and Mary broke from the official Church of England, but continued a relationship with the newly formed Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States . An informal relationship with the Episcopal Church, and its local unit, Bruton Parish Church, continues today.


1930s – After being renovated, Burton Parish Church gave its 2-foot tall brass altar cross for display behind the Wren Chapel altar and purchased a new cross for the Church. The older cross was on permanent display in the Wren Chapel until this year.

UPDATED: Click here for a detailed history of the Wren Cross by Susan Godson of Bruton Parish Church

# 3 

April 7, 2006 -- Gene R. Nichol inaugurated as the 26 th President of the College of William & Mary.  

# 4 

October 2006 -- An Assistant Director of William & Mary’s historic campus sent an email to Wren Building volunteer student tour guides noting that the cross had been removed.

That email can be found here.

# 5

October 27, 2006 -- President Gene R. Nichol confirmed his cross removal order in an email message to all students at College, confirming the change:   

That email can be found here.

# 6

November 17, 2006 -- Nichol reiterated his reasons for directing the cross to be generally stored away and put on display only during appropriate religious services before the Board of Visitors on November 16, 2006:

UPDATED: The full text of that speech can be found here.

# 7

December 20, 2006 -- President Nichol announced he was amending his decision and asking the cross to be displayed on Sundays only. The Cross will still remain in a storage room during the week. Nichol also commissioned a commemorative plaque to be placed in the Chapel noting the space's Christian and Anglican history.

Read the Press Release | Read Reactions from Students and Alumni | Read Gene Nichol's Email

# 8

Prior to President Nichol’s cross removal order, the policy governing the display of the Wren Cross was that any group or individual using the Wren Chapel was able to ask that the Wren Cross be removed for the duration of their event.  For example, during the 2005-2006 academic year, approximately 20 out of 111 wedding celebrations that took place in the Wren Chapel had asked that the Wren Cross be removed during the wedding celebration.

Will Nichol Next Order the Removal of this Video of the Wren Cross Displayed Above the Wren Chapel Altar?


Copyright 2006.