Date Awarded


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




The purpose of this study was to trace the development of the relationship between the William and Mary College identity and its environment during the period 1865 to 1919. The pivotal point in the work was 1888, at which time the College experienced a revolutionary change in mission from liberal arts education to teacher training. The particular focus was on the effect of the change in mission on the set of historical traditions that constituted a major proportion of the institutional image and endowed the College with a distinctive identity.;The early achievements of the College in educating Thomas Jefferson and other Virginia statesmen furnished the school with a set of distinctive traditions that were based on outstanding institutional performance and a high level of public recognition. Between 1776 and 1861, however, William and Mary experienced modest budgets and was in many respects similar to the hundreds of other small colleges in the nation. The burning of the College and the destruction of most of its endownment during the Civil War nearly destroyed the institution. Because of the inability of the school to recover from the Civil War as a liberal arts college, the Board adopted a revolutionary change in curriculum in 1888. The school was converted into a teacher-training institution in order to secure an appropriation from the Virginia legislature that would preserve the institution.;In the thesis of the study, it was proposed that the officers of the College placed great emphasis on the historical traditions of the the adoption of the teacher-training mission. at that time, the aristocratic leaders of the Commonwealth opposed the development and expansion of the public schools and normal schooling. But many of the most notable Virginia leaders expressed great admiration for heroic pre-Civil War traditions such as those possessed by William and Mary.;By establishing a public identity based largely on its ante bellum traditions, the leaders of the College attempted to endow the school with an image that would (1) attract generous public benevolence and (2) inspire the students to develop high-minded and productive lives.;It was found that the unique ethos established by the College tradition was partly successful in achieving the desired goals. Legislators, wealthy individuals, and foundation officials for the most part were not inspired by the institutional tradition. . . . (Author's abstract exceeds stipulated maximum length. Discontinued here with permission of author.) UMI.



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