Davis Young Paschall was the twenty-second president of the William & Mary, from August 16, 1960 until his retirement in August 1971.
Paschall graduated from William & Mary in 1932 with a degree in history. While a student his activities including serving as treasurer of the Clayton-Grimes Biological Club (founded in 1921) in 1930-1931. (1931 Colonial Echo) He earned master's degrees in history and government from William & Mary as well, and completed a doctorate in education at the University of Virginia. Upon enlisting in the U.S. Navy during World War II, he trained at the Virginia Military Institute and the Naval School of Communications at Harvard.
After the war, Paschall served as principal of the high school in Victoria, Virginia, and held a position in the state Department of Education, directing teacher education programs. In 1957, Gov. Thomas B. Stanley appointed Paschall State Superintendent of Public Instruction in Virginia. For the next three years, Paschall oversaw Virginia public schools when Virginia public education is most remembered for Massive Resistance. The Virginia Historical Society provides this description of Massive Resistance:
"In 1954, the political organization of U.S. Senator Harry F. Byrd, Sr., controlled Virginia politics. Senator Byrd promoted the "Southern Manifesto" opposing integrated schools, which was signed in 1956 by more than one hundred southern officeholders. On February 25, 1956, he called for what became known as Massive Resistance. This was a group of laws, passed in 1958, intended to prevent integration of the schools. Pupil Placement Boards were created with the power to assign specific students to particular schools. Tuition grants were to be provided to students who opposed integrated schools. The linchpin of Massive Resistance was a law that cut off state funds and closed any public school that agreed to integrate."
Paschall resigned as Superintendent of Public Instruction in Virginia in 1960 to become the president at his alma mater until he announced his retirement in November 1970. He officially left office in August 1971.
An ex officio member of the Board of Visitors of all state-supported colleges and universities in Virginia, Paschall was the recipient of many awards for service and dedication. They include the Alpha Beta Distinguished Service Award by the Division Superintendents of Virginia Public Schools in 1959, the William & Mary Society of the Alumni Medallion for Service in 1968, and the first William & Mary Omicron Delta Kappa Distinguished Lifetime Service Award in 1998. Paschall is also credited with establishing the Thomas Jefferson Award presented on Charter Day, and the Heritage Fellow Award - both of which recognize faculty excellence in teaching.
Paschall died on October 25, 2001 at his home in Williamsburg at the age of 90.
Material in SCRC
- Davis Young Paschall, Special Collections Research Center, Earl Gregg Swem Library