William and Mary Law School

W&M Chancellor Robert Gates Visits Law School

  • Charter Day Weekend VIsit
    Charter Day Weekend VIsit
    W&M Chancellor Robert Gates visited the Law School as a guest of the International Law Society during Charter Day weekend. Joining Chancellor Gates are, from left, ILS members Yetnayet Demissie '12, Polina Zvyagina-Taber '13, Mariel Murray '12, Erica Woebse '14, Laura Bain '13, Sophia Chase '12, and Andrea Gregory '13.
    Photo courtesy of the International Law Society

During Charter Day weekend, students and faculty filled room 120 to greet William & Mary Chancellor Robert Gates who visited the Law School as a guest of the International Law Society on Saturday, Feb. 4.  Gates, a 1965 graduate of the College, had a long and distinguished career in public service during which he served as Director of the CIA and later as U.S. Secretary of Defense under Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama. In 2011, President Obama awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor. Gates shared with the audience his perspectives on national security and international diplomacy gained during his more than 40-year-career.

"Secretary Gates' visit was enthralling and fascinating," said Polina Zvyagina-Taber '13, the 2011-12 President of the International Law Society. "He surprised the Law School community with his extreme candidness, strong character and soft demeanor. He spoke openly about the current state of national security, his position as the Secretary of Defense and what it takes to be the leader of two government agencies. His most impressive statement was that he was willing to put his career on the line for his beliefs and opinions. Secretary Gates put the country before all else: his career, politics and the quest for power; this made him an impressive Secretary of Defense for a Democratic as well as a Republican president."

The International Law Society promotes the professional and academic pursuits of William & Mary law students interested in all aspects of international law, from transnational insolvency to human rights. The ILS also fosters interaction among students, faculty and visiting scholars from around the world who are concerned with global issues.