Some William and Mary College Alumni Hold Back Donations After Cross Removal

February 5, 2007

Source: Fox News,2933,250340,00.html

WILLIAMSBURG, Va. - Some College of William and Mary alumni are holding back donations until an 18-inch cross that was removed from the campus' Wren Chapel altar after more than 60 years is permanently restored.

Campus President Gene Nichol ordered the cross removed in October to make the chapel more welcoming to students of all faiths.

Nichol told the Board of Visitors in November that he ordered the cross to be removed because it “sends an unmistakable message that the chapel belongs more fully to some of us than others,” reported the school’s newspaper, The Flat Hat.

The Board of Visitors will meet on Thursday and Friday. Some alumni are urging the panel to override Nichol’s decision. But the board has thus far yielded to Nichol.

Despite the college being a public institution, the cross has been on display since about 1940. It could previously be removed by request and now it can likewise be returned by request.