President Reveley has sent a special message to the William & Mary community located far and wide. It is that special time of the year when students are finishing exams and preparing for winter break with family and friends. The campus and Williamsburg are abuzz with activity. The Yule Log ceremonies graced the Wren Courtyard Saturday night with much holly cast into a roaring fire in the Great Hall. It’s one of William & Mary’s best annual traditions – each person at the ceremony is given a sprig of holly and asked to brush it against the yule log as it passes by for good luck. Later, we throw the sprig into the fire, symbolizing the disposal of all cares and troubles of the past year.
This year our holiday greeting to all here and around the world is sent with grieving hearts for those families in Connecticut who were so terribly hurt last Friday and whose pain is so enormous. Like millions of others, we grieve with Connecticut and those who have experienced Hurricane Sandy and other difficulties.
The Wren Chapel is a quiet place for reflection on campus. We hope you have quiet moments along with festive ones and extend wishes for a safe holiday season and a wonderful year ahead.
December 1 was the annual Williamsburg Christmas Parade. This year’s themes was Lights, Camera, Christmas…Capturing the Season. More than 100 floats were displayed with the parade route going down Duke of Gloucester Street (DoG Street) in Colonial Williamsburg, Richmond Road, and through William & Mary’s main undergraduate campus.
I participated in the parade for the first time with Young Emerging Professionals of Williamsburg (YEP). We had members carve a sleigh that we painted red and decorated with movie reels, stars, popcorn, and of course, holiday garland.
It was a great way to come together with young professionals in the Williamsburg area to start celebrating this holiday season!
For more than 70 years, Colonial Williamsburg’s Christmas festivities have begun with Grand Illumination, a wonderful celebration filled with twinkling lights, sparkling firecrackers, candlelit buildings, and music. Thousands of locals, tourists, and students alike turn out to watch the beautiful fireworks display.
This year’s Grand Illumination will take place on December 2nd at 5:15 p.m. in the historic area of Williamsburg. The fun begins with performances on the outdoor stages, then at 6:30 p.m. guests illuminate the Revolutionary City with glow sticks in preparation for the 7:00 p.m. spectacular fireworks show.
Don’t miss out on one treat for your ears; make sure you get a chance to listen to the Colonial Williamsburg Fifes and Drums, who provide 18th century holiday music.
Consistent with the historical flair of Williamsburg and knack for traditions, officials say that in the 18th century, firing guns into the air, lighting fireworks, and otherwise illuminating the sky, were commonly used to celebrate major events.
With the Fourth of July approaching, tons of explosive ordnance will soon be bursting in the skies of Colonial Williamsburg (just two blocks from the Law School), Busch Gardens, and Yorktown. If your summer schedule permits, please join us as we salute those who fought for American independence and created this great nation. Everyone is invited, and there’s something for everyone to enjoy!
Below are the activities happening in Williamsburg and the surrouding areas on the Fourth:
Salute to the States behind the Courthouse at 10:00 a.m. A special militia muster salutes the 13 original states with Colonial Williamsburg’s Fifes and Drums, musket and cannon fire.
The Declaration of Independence is read to the citizens at the capitol at noon. The news arrives only a few weeks after Virginia’s representatives have adopted their own Declaration of Rights and a constitution for the new state. This special presentation gives voice to “the People’s” document.
Sentara Williamsburg Regional Medical Center Auxiliary is sponsoring the 30th anniversary of the July 4th Ice Cream Social. The event will be held from 4:30-7:00 p.m. (rain date July 5), at the Wren yard in front of William & Mary. Music will be by the Smith Wade Band, with ice cream, cake, hot dogs, soft drinks, raffle prizes, games, and face painting available. The public is invited to this community family event.
The Colonial Williamsburg Fifes and Drums march from the Capitol to Market Square at 5:30 p.m.
The U.S. Air Force Heritage of America Band performs on Palace Green at 6:00 p.m.
The Yorktown beach picnic area will be open to the public and annual Fourth of July fireworks will take place along the Yorktown waterfront. Performances on the Riverwalk Landing Stage begin at 7:00 p.m. and fireworks begin at 9:15 p.m. over the York River.
Colonial Williamsburg’s Fifes and Drums perform on Palace Green at 7:45 p.m.
Colonial Williamsburg welcomes the Virginia Symphony Orchestra, led by JoAnn Falletta, to the Independence Day Celebration on Palace Green at 8:00 p.m. Recognized as one of the nation’s leading regional symphony orchestras, the Virginia Symphony Orchestra has enriched the cultural life of the Hampton Roads community for more than eight decades.
Fireworks fill the sky and the Colonial Williamsburg event is best viewed from Market Square or Palace Green at 9:30 p.m.
Gambols at Chowning’s Tavern – Sing along and play popular games of the day while snacking on Virginia peanuts, light fare, local wines and ales, and a variety of other refreshments at 10:00 p.m.
We’ve posted before about the matchmaking powers of law school, and now we’re happy to present our latest story – just in time for Valentine’s Day! Below, Lauren Fibel, one of our Student Admission Ambassadors, tells how she and her fiancé, Matt, found love in law school.
“Matt and I met five days into law school at the student activities fair. He was working the Jewish Law Students booth and I was signing up for clubs. As I walked up to his booth, Matt began to turn on the charm. We chatted for about thirty minutes before I had to leave. He claims that after I left, he told his buddy that he had just met the woman he was going to marry.
Our first date was to Blue Talon, a delicious restaurant in Colonial Williamsburg. It only took one date for us to become inseparable, and on June 8th, 2011, Matt proposed! We plan on tying the knot on September 1st, 2013, after we take the bar exam. Who knew that coming to W&M law would give us an amazing education and enable us to find each other? It can be described as nothing less than fate!”
One of William & Mary’s annual traditions is the Yule Log Ceremony in December. Each person at the ceremony is given a sprig of holly and asked to brush it against the yule log as it passes by for good luck. Later, we throw the sprig into the fire, symbolizing the disposal of all cares and troubles of the past year. Once again the Yule Log is aflame at William & Mary. We have tossed holly with our cares into the roaring fire and have great expectations for the new year. Wherever you are, we hope you will toss away the troubles of the past year and have a wonderful year ahead.
Do enjoy the musical greeting from William & Mary students, featuring the undergraduate Jazz Ensemble and two a capella groups: the Accidentals and the Gentlemen of the College.
Best wishes for a safe holiday season and festive beginning for 2012.
Mine includes making the trek 10 hours north to Buffalo. I look forward to the delicious food, but I am most excited to see family and continue our traditions. Growing up in a large Italian family, holidays aren’t just celebrated with parents and siblings but with cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents, and the like. Thanksgiving included everyone, and we gave thanks to our large community and family.
The end of last week, our Legal Skills firms came together (albeit in friendly competition) to celebrate one of our traditions, the annual Thanksgiving Basket Competition. Last year, these baskets provided 22 families in Williamsburg with complete Thanksgiving meals, and I imagine these baskets will allow more families a Thanksgiving feast this year.
Before the baskets are donated, Legal Skills firms show off their artistic skills and decorate the law school lobby for the day. The baskets were displayed with as much creativity as possible. I saw the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on one table, a papier-mâché turkey on another, an overflowing cornucopia, and donations shaped into a slice of pie (whipped cream included). It was a wonderful way to see our citizen-lawyers come together to make a local family’s Thanksgiving better along with witnessing the community and camaraderie among students as these baskets were constructed and as they admired the handy work of their peers.
Whatever your own traditions are, take time to enjoy them and to give thanks. Happy Thanksgiving!
Everyone is invited to Williamsburg for the holiday weekend! Independence Day offers us the chance to celebrate our country’s freedom by participating in special events and taking in fantastic fireworks displays. Colonial Williamsburg offers several events on July 4, including militia parades and performances by the renowned Fife & Drum Corps, capped with a nighttime fireworks display. Yorktown and Jamestown each round out the Historic Triangle with their own events as well. Some other things you can do throughout the weekend are:
New Town After Hours. Thursday, June 30 at 6:30 p.m. Food, drink, vendors, children’s activities, and a performance by The English Channel.
Prince George Movies. Sunday, July 3 at 7:30 p.m. on Prince George Street.
Shagging on the Riverwalk. Thursday, June 30 at 6:30 on the Yorktown Waterfront. Performance by The Catalinas.
Corvettes for Vets. Sponsored by the Williamsburg Winery. Sunday, July 3. Exhibit of Corvettes and wine-paired lunch with music and raffles.
Liberty Celebration. Saturday-Monday, July 2-4, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. daily in Yorktown. Revolutionary War reenactors and interpreters, hands-on historical activities for all.
Stars, Stripes & Song. Friday, July 1 at 7:30 p.m.; Sunday, July 3 at 2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. An All-American musical revue by ShowStoppers Productions. Call 1-800-HISTORY for box office.
Independence Day Concert. Saturday, July 2 at 7:00 p.m. in Merchants’ Square. This free concert will showcase the United States Air Force Heritage of America Band.
29th Annual Ice Cream Social. Monday, July 4, 4:30 – 7:30 p.m., Wren Courtyard, College of William & Mary. Variety of activities for children and adults, featured performance by the Smith-Wade Band.
Fireworks: Busch Gardens, Yorktown Waterfront, and Colonial Williamsburg.
Have a great time, and we’ll see you out celebrating – HAPPY FOURTH!!!
I have blogged for Valentine’s Day in the past and here it comes again. I keep enjoying the fun and loving stories of how our students meet and develop friendships. In many cases they find their life’s mate while learning the law. I remember fondly two late summer admits who are now Mr. and Mrs. Edward Nickel. Here is their William & Mary Law School admission story.
“Nora and I met our first year of law school, but did not begin dating until our second year. During our courtship phase, we spoke about our bumpy paths to William & Mary Law School. I told Nora that Dean Shealy called me as I crossed into South Carolina, traveling to Miami for law school, and offered me admission off the wait list. I told Nora how I immediately turned around and drove to Williamsburg to accept. Nora screamed, “You’re the Florida guy?!?” Nora then told me how she had moved into her apartment in Northern Virginia and was ready to start classes up there when she was contacted by the Law School and offered admission off the wait list. Nora stated that she was unsure about the move, but was inspired by the story Dean Shealy told her about a student who turned around on the highway on the way to Florida and accepted admission the day before. As it turns out, fate truly brought us together at William & Mary! Coming to W&M Law School is one of the best decisions we ever made. We found each other, made lifelong friendships and received an incredible education. Who knew fate could be so sweet?”
I love snow. If I could change one thing about Williamsburg, it would be more snow during the holiday season. My husband, who is from Massachusetts, is not quite as enamored with snow as I am. But, growing up in Virginia, snow is a special event to me. So, I have been so excited for all the snow that has fallen already this year! We have experienced two bouts of winter weather this December, with another possible snowfall this Sunday. The roads are slick, but it is worth it to see the campus transformed under a blanket of glistening snow. Here’s hoping that Lord Botetourt and the W&M squirrel stay warm!