A Movement to Defend and Honor William & Mary’s History
“William and Mary belongs to all Virginians, to the nation, and to the world.”
From a resolution unanimously adopted by the W&M Board of Visitors on Nov. 17, 2006

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Virginia Gazette: Sex show draws crowd

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Topless women weren't the only thing keeping students at the College of William & Mary focused Monday night at the Sex Workers Art Show. Sparkling nipple adornments, feather boas, bare bottoms, erotic dances, striptease music and sex toys entertained a crowd of more than 400 who were packed into the auditorium of the University Center. Another 300 were turned away. The show attempted to empower the actors by portraying the realities of their careers. [Read More!]

Virginian-Pilot: Kaine says he didn't think W&M needed to remove Wren cross

Gov. Timothy M. Kaine didn't see a need to remove the cross from permanent display in the College of William and Mary's historic Wren Chapel, but he respected the rights of college presidents to make such decisions, he said today.
[Read More!]

Washington Times: Bow to diversity leaves altar empty

WILLIAMSBURG -- The simple altar at the College of William & Mary's Wren Chapel befits the austerity of the Anglican tradition in which the school was founded. There are no ornate icons or stained-glass windows, just a few candles and an empty space where a brass cross once stood. [Read More!]

AP/Newschannel 3: Students Weigh In On Wren Cross

Students are speaking out on a controversial decision to remove a cross from a chapel at William and Mary's campus. [Read More!]

Daily Press: Will Nichol, pundit cross verbal swords?

WILLIAMSBURG -- Controversy continues over the decision by College of William and Mary President Gene Nichol to remove the Wren Chapel cross from permanent display on the chapel altar. Conservative pundit Dinesh D'Souza confirmed Thursday that he hopes to debate Nichol - or another William and Mary representative - at a campus forum on Feb. 1. [Read More!]

Associated Press/WDBJ7: Conservative writer wants to debate W&M cross removal

WILLIAMSBURG, Va. A nationally known conservative author is challenging William and Mary President Gene Nichol to a debate -- the latest development in an ongoing saga over a cross removed from the altar of a school chapel. [Read More!]

Washington Post: Upset About Cross's Removal, William and Mary Alumni Mount Online Protest

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WILLIAMSBURG -- The cross is small, perhaps no more than 18 inches above its base, its gleaming brass surface marked only by an inscription. But the cross, which has graced the altar table in a chapel at the College of William and Mary for decades, has come to symbolize a passionate debate about religious tolerance ever since the school's president ordered the cross removed from historic Wren Chapel. [Read More!]

World Net Daily: College prez backtracks on cross removal

The president of the College of William and Mary College has begun backtracking over his decision to remove a donated bronze cross from the school's historic Wren Chapel, but students and alumni say his proposal for a "permanent plaque" just isn't enough. [Read More!]

CNS News: Christians Decry College 'Compromise'

(CNSNews.com) - In a move aimed to appease Christians who were offended by the removal of a cross from the campus chapel, College of William and Mary President Gene Nichol on Wednesday announced a "compromise" that acknowledges the chapel's Christian roots - but keeps the cross stored most times. [Read More!]

WTKR 3: William & Mary President Offers Compromise On Cross Controversy

Gold does not glitter on the altar of the Wren Chapel this Christmas season, but a compromise over the controversial gold cross may bring it back to the historic altar for at least one day of the week.

Video is available at this link [Read More!]

Richmond Times-Dispatch: W&M to restore cross to chapel

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WILLIAMSBURG -- Battered by criticism, the College of William and Mary will resume display of a cross in the school's Wren Chapel -- on Sundays.

President Gene R. Nichol said in an e-mail to students and staff yesterday that he will make two changes to the policy he created in October that removed the 2-foot-high symbol of Christianity from routine display in the historic chapel. [Read More!]

Daily Press: Wren Cross Will Reappear on Sundays

WILLIAMSBURG -- The Wren Chapel cross will be back on the altar - on Sundays, at least.

College of William and Mary President Gene Nichol said Wednesday that the bronze cross would be displayed on the altar Sundays and that the university was commissioning a plaque honoring the Wren Chapel's origins as an Anglican chapel. [Read More!]

Associated Press/WVEC: W&M cross will return to chapel on Sundays

WILLIAMSBURG (AP) -- A cross that was removed from a College of William & Mary chapel to help welcome non-Christian visitors will return to the altar on Sundays, the school's president announced Wednesday. [Read More!]

World Net Daily: Chapel cross issue stands 5,000 to 1, but who's counting?

Students, alums still trying to convince college prez to restore historic symbol

The dispute over the placement of a historic cross in the Wren Chapel at William & Mary College now stands at more than 5,000 people seeking the restoration of the antique, and one against, but who's counting?
[Read More!]

WorldNetDaily: 2,000 names on petition seek restoration of cross

William & Mary officials had removed it 'to make chapel more welcoming'

November 17, 2006

A student-organized petition has been presented to the Board of Visitors at William & Mary College, seeking the restoration to the historic Wren Chapel of a two-foot-tall bronze altar cross that had been present for decades.

It had been removed recently on the order of school managers to make the chapel "more welcoming" to visitors, but students and alumni are protesting.

The petition at the start of the day had about 1,400 signatures, but by the end of the day the count was nearly 2,100 calling on the school's governing board to return the cross, according to a current count on the website for the SaveTheWrenCross.org campaign. [Read More!]

Daily Press: W&M chapel cross plan defended

Despite an online petition and some alumni opposition, the university's board stands by the president's decision to remove the symbol.

November 17, 2006

WILLIAMSBURG -- College of William and Mary President Gene Nichol defended on Thursday his decision to remove a cross from permanent display at the Wren Chapel. He told the school's Board of Visitors that displaying the Christian symbol in the historic building excluded students of other religions.

His statements came after a petition with more than 1,400 signatures calling for the bronze cross to be put back was presented to the board, the college's governing body, Thursday morning.

"Some have thought that my steps disrespect the traditions of the college, or, even more unacceptably, the religious beliefs of its members," Nichol said. "That perception lies heavy on my heart." [Read More!]

Virginian-Pilot: Backers of Wren Chapel cross take their case to W&M board

November 17, 2006

Members of The College of William and Mary Board of Visitors were met Thursday morning with petitions and letters urging that a cross be returned to the historic Wren Chapel.

Three students opposing last month’s decision by school President Gene Nichol handed packets with more than 1,400 names to board members arriving for their first meeting since the controversy arose.

“They said 'thank you’ and said they’d take a look at it,” said William Coggin, a senior from Vienna.

In a report to the board Thursday, Nichol defended the removal of the cross, saying that regularly displaying it would send “an unmistakable message that the chapel belongs more fully to some of us than to others.” [Read More!]

Richmond Times-Disptach: W&M president reiterates reasons for cross removal

Nov 17, 2006

WILLIAMSBURG -- W&M President Gene R. Nichol removed the cross from Wren Chapel because its presence made some students insiders and others outsiders, he said yesterday.

Nichol spoke to the College of William and Mary's governing board of visitors a few hours after some students and alumni presented the board with an Internet petition with 1,400 names of people who want the cross restored.

The 2-foot-high symbol of Christianity was removed from the historic chapel last month. [Read More!]

Daily Press: Petition: Bring back the Wren Chapel cross

November 16, 2006, 1:04 PM EST

WILLIAMSBURG -- A petition signed by more than 1,400 members of the College of William and Mary community calling for a bronze cross to be put back in the Wren Chapel was presented to the school's governing board today.

The governor-appointed Board of Visitors is meeting today and tomorrow for its first quarterly meeting.

Last month, College President Gene Nichol ordered a small, century-old bronze cross to be removed from the historic Wren Chapel to allow the space to be more welcoming for all faiths. The 274-year-old chapel has secular uses, including annual school-wide events for freshmen and seniors. [Read More!]

CBN News: Cross Removal: A Dangerous Precedent?

Sarah K. Cron
November 16, 2006

CBNNews.com - The removal of an historic chapel cross at the College of William & Mary is not taking well with many alumni and students. They're fighting back with petitions and appeals to school leaders.

The school's president had the cross removed in an effort to be less "faith-specific." Students and alumni fighting for the cross are concerned about where such thinking regarding the removal of a religious symbol might lead.

Several petitioners, from various belief backgrounds, claim that the logic used to remove the cross sets the precedence for removing any offending symbols. [Read More!]

CBN News: Alum Fights to Restore Chapel Cross

By: Sarah K. Cron
November 14, 2006 -- Direct Link

CBNNews.com - A William & Mary College alum is fighting to restore a two-foot tall gold cross to the college's Wren Chapel where it had been on display for more than 75 years.

Vince Haley, a 1988 graduate, is seeking to overturn a policy decision by college President Gene R. Nichol that required the cross be taken down in an effort to be less faith specific. The cross was removed in October from its place behind the chapel altar and locked in a nearby closet. [Read More!]

AP/Virginian-Pilot/WDBJ7: W&M graduate wants cross returned to school chapel

Associated Press
November 12, 2006

WILLIAMSBURG - A graduate of the College of William and Mary wants his alma mater to bring back the gold cross that until recently was displayed in a school chapel, and he's reaching out through the Internet for supporters. Vince Haley, a 1988 graduate who is now research director for former House Speaker Newt Gingrich at the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research, said he has also enlisted some current college students to help him bring back a traditional symbol "honoring faith in the heart of the college." [Read More!]

Virginia Gazette: Cross over the Wren cross

By Sharon Schiff
November 11, 2006

WILLIAMSBURG — A surprisingly intense reaction to the College of William & Mary's decision to remove a cross from permanent display in the Wren Chapel took a new turn this week when an alum in Northern Virginia launched an online petition to return the religious symbol to its spot atop the altar. [Read More!]

WAVY/AP: William and Mary alumnus launches effort to return cross to chapel

Associated Press
November 9, 2006

WILLIAMSBURG, Va. A College of William and Mary graduate has launched an Internet petition to bring back the gold cross that was recently removed from the school's Wren Chapel.
[Read More!]

Richmond Times-Disptach: Petition: Help save W&M's Wren cross: Discussion is lively as bid is launched to return relic to chapel

By Andrew Petkofsky
November 9, 2006

WILLIAMSBURG -- A College of William and Mary graduate has launched an Internet petition to bring back the gold cross that was recently removed from the school's Wren Chapel. [Read More!]

WTKR: Cross Causes Controversy On William & Mary Campus

By Stacy Davis
November 9, 2006

Cross? Or no cross? That's the question causing some controversy on the campus of the College of William and Mary.

A gold cross has been on the altar of the Sir Christopher Wren Chapel for more than sixty years, but now the college president has ordered it removed in the spirit of diversity and to make the chapel more "welcoming to all." [Read More!]

World Net Daily: Save the Wren Cross' campaign is launched

'Save the Wren Cross' campaign is launched: School officials removed symbol to make chapel 'less faith-specific'

November 8, 2006 -- Direct Link

A graduate of the historic William & Mary College has launched a website campaign, including a petition, a blog and the history of the situation, in an attempt to persuade university officials to return the cross to the famous Wren Chapel on campus. [Read More!]

Baptist Press: Cross Removed from Chapel

By Erin Roach
November 8, 2006

At the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Va., school officials have removed the 2-foot-high gold cross from the front of a chapel in the Sir Christopher Wren Building. [Read More!]

Virginia Informer: Pres Nichol orders cross to be removed from Chapel

By Jon San
Staff Writer
11/6/2006 - INTERNET EXCLUSIVE -- Direct Link

At 3:37 p.m. on October 27, President Nichol sent out an email that briefly announced to the college community that the cross in the Wren Chapel had been removed. In the email, Nichol cited recent complaints about the cross’s appropriateness and the desire for a chapel that is “welcoming to all” as reasons for making the decision. [Read More!]

The Flat Hat: College removes cross from Wren altar to make more ‘welcoming’

By Angela Cota
Flat Hat Staff Writer
November 4, 2006

The cross formerly displayed on the altar of the Wren Chapel was relocated to the chapel’s sacristy Oct. 26 to make the room more welcoming to all faiths.

Upon request, the cross is available for placement on the altar for services, private prayer or events.

“It is important to emphasize that the cross remains in the chapel and it is still there, but instead of being placed always on the altar, it is on the sacristy,” Director of News Services Brian Whitson said. [Read More!]

Cavalier Daily: W&M removes cross from Wren Chapel

The College of William & Mary has removed the cross from the altar in its chapel in response to the structure's frequent use for nonreligious events. William & Mary President Gene Nichol released a statement to the college community saying that he has "not banished the cross from the Wren Chapel. The Chapel ... is used for religious ceremonies by members of all faiths. The cross will remain in the Chapel and be displayed on the altar at appropriate religious services." [Read More!]

AP: William and Mary officials remove cross from changing chapel

Officials at the College of William and Mary have removed a two-foot-high gold cross from a campus chapel that they say is increasingly used for nonreligious events. The Sir Christopher Wren Building, finished in 1699, is used for some of the school's biggest ceremonies. It is where incoming freshmen take the honor pledge during orientation, and where seniors march through the campus landmark on their way to commencement. [Read More!]

Daily Press: Gold cross is removed from W&M chapel altar

WILLIAMSBURG -- College of William and Mary officials removed a 2-foot-high gold cross from the altar of the Sir Christopher Wren Building chapel this week, in an effort to modify the historic chapel into a nondenominational space. [Read More!]

World Net Daily: Faith Under Fire: O'Connor new chancellor of cross-removing college

Former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor is the new chancellor of the College of William & Mary, which has taken the unusual step of removing a cross from its chapel in an effort to ensure the area is seen as a "non-denominational area." [Read More!]

Flat Hat: Updated: Cross removed to make Wren Chapel less 'faith-specific'

The cross from the altar area of the Wren Chapel has been removed to ensure that the space is seen as a nondenominational area, Melissa Engimann, assistant director for Historic Campus, said in an e-mail to Wren building employees. [Read More!]

Richmond Times Dispatch: W&M removes chapel cross to be inclusive

Officials at the College of William and Mary have removed a 2-foot-high gold cross from a campus chapel they say is increasingly used for nonreligious events. "In order to make the Wren Chapel less of a faith-specific space, and to make it more welcoming to students, faculty, staff and visitors of all faiths, the cross has been removed from the altar area," read a recent e-mail to Wren Building employees. [Read More!]

Copyright 2006.