Room 124, in the midst of the long corridor of four large lecture halls at William & Mary Law School, has a new name: The W. Taylor Reveley, III Classroom.
Christened in honor of William & Mary President and former Law Dean Taylor Reveley, the 70-seat lecture hall was officially dedicated on Friday, November 10. The W. Taylor Reveley, III Classroom was given by Hunton & Williams, alumni and friends.
“This is a joyous occasion, as we have the chance to celebrate one of the seminal leaders of this law school and who has also been, I think, one of the great presidents of the College of William & Mary,” said Davison M. Douglas, Dean of the Law School and Arthur B. Hanson Professor of Law.
Reveley, the John Stewart Bryan Professor of Jurisprudence, served as Dean of the Law School for almost a decade, starting in August 1998. He was sworn in as William & Mary’s 27th president in September 2008 after serving as interim president since February of that year.
Douglas explained to guests that it has been a Law School tradition to dedicate its main classrooms for its most distinguished leaders. Thanks to the generosity of the Class of 1983, for instance, Room 119 was named for Dean William Spong; the Class of 1975 named Room 120 in honor of Law Dean and William & Mary President Timothy J. Sullivan; and Randy S. Hawthorne A.B. ’67, J.D. ’70, M.L.T. ’71 and Shelby M. Hawthorne A.B. ’67, M.A.Ed. ’75 named Room 127 in honor of tax professor John E. Donaldson J.D. ’63.
Douglas recounted how Deans Spong and Reveley, whom he considered to be “natural leaders,” shared much in common, beginning with coming to William & Mary from outside the legal academy.
“What that meant is that they came with a tremendous amount of practical wisdom, practical judgment, and understanding of the law,” Douglas said. “The students loved Reveley, partly because they knew who he was; he understood the legal profession.”
Reveley received his A.B. from Princeton University in 1965 and his J.D. from the University of Virginia in 1968. During the United States Supreme Court’s 1969 term, he clerked for Justice William J. Brennan, Jr.
He has extensively studied and written about the constitutional division of the war powers between the President and Congress. In 1972-73, he spent 13 months studying the war powers while an International Affairs Fellow of the Council on Foreign Relations in New York City and a Fellow of the Woodrow Wilson Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C. He is the author of War Powers of the President and Congress: Who Holds the Arrows and Olive Branch? (University of Virginia Press, 1981).
Before assuming leadership of the Law School, Reveley was a longtime partner and managing partner at Hunton & Williams LLP in Richmond, where he specialized in energy matters, especially those involving commercial nuclear power.
Offering warm remarks about his former colleague at Hunton & Williams, Mark S. Dray J.D. ’68, M.LT. ’69 said that “Hunton & Williams’ loss was William & Mary’s gain.”
Reveley’s decision to retire as William & Mary President in June 2018 made it easy for his former associates at Hunton & Williams to honor him and support the Law School, first with a $400,000 gift to upgrade Room 124 and other gifts in support of the Dean’s Discretionary Fund and the Taylor Reveley Law Scholarship Fund.
Known for being the master of ceremonies at myriad William & Mary dedication events, Reveley said it felt different to be the one honored for a change. He was visibly moved by the newly renovated classroom that bears his name.
“Having this room is extraordinarily meaningful to me, and I am tremendously grateful to those of you who made it possible,” Reveley said. “This is a transformed room, and I hope it will be a place rich with learning and good feeling.”
For more information about the For the Bold Campaign at the Law School, please visit https://forthebold.wm.edu/schools/law.html. If you are interested in making a gift to support the Reveley Scholarship, please contact the Law School's Office of Development and Alumni Affairs at (757) 221-3795.
Thomas Jefferson founded William & Mary Law School in 1779 to train leaders for the new nation. Now in its third century, America's oldest law school continues its historic mission of educating citizen lawyers who are prepared both to lead and to serve.