From [HERE] The William & Mary Board of Visitors passed a resolution Friday that apologizes for the college’s use of slave labor and its past discrimination.
The apology was included in a resolution to extend the Lemon Project, which explores the college’s role in perpetuating slavery and racial discrimination. It is named for a man named Lemon, who was enslaved by the college in the 19th century.
“The board profoundly regrets these activities, apologizes for them, expresses its deep appreciation for the contributions made by the African-American members of its community to the vitality of William & Mary then, now and for all time coming, and commits to continue our efforts to remedy the lingering effects of past injustices,” William & Mary President Taylor Reveley read from the resolution at a meeting of the Board of Visitors.
The resolution was passed at Reveley’s urging.
The timing of the resolution is important. Throughout the 2017-18 academic year, William & Mary has commemorated the 50th anniversary of the first three African-American students in residence on campus. On Thursday, Reveley and the Board of Visitors joined members of the university community to dedicate two plaques at the Wren Building – one honoring first African-American residential students, Lynn Briley ’71, Karen Ely ’71 and Janet Brown Strafer ’71, M.Ed. ’77, known as the “Legacy 3,” and a second honoring the first 24 women to enroll at W&M as students in 1918. Starting next fall, the university will mark the 100th anniversary of that occasion with a yearlong celebration.
“By the plaques on the wall on the Wren just erected, we are recognizing the role of African Americans and of women over the vast sweep of William & Mary’s history,” Reveley said. “They played significant parts since the beginning. The parts they will play going forward will only continue to grow.
“Indeed, for William & Mary to thrive in this century and succeeding centuries, the parts played by African-Americans and women at William & Mary must not just continue to grow. They must grow robustly, vibrantly. It’s good and long overdue that we are here today.”