The International Relations Club welcomed Chancellor Gates back to W&M in today’s edition of the Flat Hat. The full text of the letter, penned by John, is below.
The investiture of Chancellor Robert Gates ‘65 is a milestone in the College’s ascent into the realm of international affairs. Students already study abroad in greater proportion than any other public university, the College’s Model United Nations team is arguably the best in the world, undergraduates conduct internationally focused research in outstanding numbers, and we welcomed our largest ever class of international students this year. In the tradition of internationalist alumni such as Thomas Jefferson ‘1762 (the first Secretary of State) and James Monroe ’1776 (ushered the US firmly into world affairs), Chancellor Gates highlights the strong global focus ofthe College. The International Relations Club would like to commend the Board of Visitors for their choice and welcome Chancellor Gates back to Williamsburg.
We hope that his presence will continue to inspire the widely popular international service trips, encourage even more record-breaking Peace Corps participants and Fulbright recipients, and lead to the further development of international resources at the College – as seen in the new Sultan Qaboos bin Said Professorship of Middle Eastern Studies,the new Confucius Institute, and the new joint-degree program with the University of St Andrews in Scotland.
However, Chancellor Gates should serve as more than a symbol of these accomplishments. The world is undergoing rapid political and economic transformation. W&M is well positioned to continue to train the leaders who guide the United States and the international community into a better tomorrow – but more can always be done. The College’s international programs must continue to grow and adapt to a changing future; we hope that Chancellor Gates will help lead the College as it firmly establishes itself at the pinnacle of international universities.
-John F. Kirn III (’12)
President, International Relations Club