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This is an incomplete compilation of some of the religious beliefs of students at William & Mary.

19th Century

1865-1866 session: one Catholic and two Disciples of Christ students, while all others were Episcopalians, Baptists, or Methodists.

It is unclear who was the first Jewish student at William & Mary.

Throughout the 1870s, students were overwhelmingly Episcopalians, Baptists, or Methodists with a few scattered Presbyterians and Disciples of Christ "enrolled from time to time." There were also two Catholics, one "Christian," and the sole Jewish student, Zach Hofheimer of Norfolk attended the College for two sessions from 1869 to 1871.(Godson, et al., The College of William & Mary: A History,p. 394)

Samuel Myers (1790-1829) attended William & Mary in 1808-1809. He was a lawyer in Norfolk and Pensacola, Florida, and the son of Moses Myers. There are two collections of papers from the Myers family in the Special Collections Research Center and one includes correspondence with Jewish merchants in Richmond and other cities (see Meyers Papers and Samuel Meyers Papers).

20th Century

A 1932 list of students and their faiths indicates that there were 95 "Hebrew" students. ("Religious Preferences," University Archives Subject File Collection) See also Godson, et al., notes p. 725.

The Gibbons Club was organized in the early 20th century for Catholic students as there was not yet a Catholic Church in Williamsburg. It was replaced in the 1940s by the Newman Club.


  • "Religious Preferences," University Archives Subject File Collection.
  • The College of William & Mary: A History, Godson, et al.
  • Meyers Papers and Samuel Meyers Papers.

Material in the Special Collections Research Center

  • The Flat Hat student newspaper.
  • Colonial Echo yearbook.
  • Student Handbook.


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Questions? Have ideas or updates for articles you'd like to see? Contact the Special Collections Research Center at or 757-221-3090.

A note about the contents of this site

This website contains the best available information from known sources at the time it was written. Unfortunately, many of the early original records of William & Mary were destroyed by fires, military occupation, and the normal effects of time. The information in this website is not complete, and it changes as we continue to research and uncover new sources.