University of Leicester
2011KaleWphdl.pdf (1.18 MB)

“The Student is Converted into the Warrior”— The College of William and Mary in Virginia and its Association with the Military from the French and Indian War to the Present Day

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posted on 2012-03-27, 10:37 authored by Wallace Wilford Kale
In this first comprehensive study of the military history of the College of William and Mary in Virginia, it is easy to appreciate how the rich and varied military accounts have played important roles in the institution’s history. Beginning with the French and Indian War (1754), when students left the College to fight, and continuing to the present warfare in Afghanistan, military encounters have woven through the tapestry of the College’s history. The citizen-soldier, breaking away from life’s routine to fight for liberty and for their state or nation, is vividly demonstrated here. The College was directly involved in two wars—the American Revolution and the American Civil War—with events on, near, or surrounding the campus. Other United States wars, continuing to the present day, and a number of military events and quasi-military situations are involved, some not really of the College’s own making, but thrust upon the school as a matter of course. During the Revolution and Civil War the institution was forced to temporarily close. In other cases of military conflict, the school lost significant numbers of students and was pushed to near bankruptcy. Public service of students and faculty demonstrated by military involvement pervades the culture of the College throughout the centuries, along with the keen sense that military service is an individual responsibility. The actions of the William and Mary presidents at times of national military crisis demonstrate the school’s ability to survive and sustain itself during times of crisis. A number of individual students, who achieved significant reputation during military conflicts and activities, are described here. They have been identified as evidence of William and Mary’s ability to educate the citizen-soldier, and in doing so, promote the belief that public service—governmental and military—is a noble calling.



Aston, Nigel; James, Campbell

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University of Leicester

Qualification level

  • Masters

Qualification name

  • Mphil



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