There have been a number of secret societies at William & Mary during its history. Groups believed to be currently active on campus include the FHC Society, 7 Society, Bishop James Madison Society, Thirteen, W Society, Wren Society, Alphas, Live Oak Society, Zodiac Society, and others.
The FHC was the first collegiate secret society in the United States. It was founded on November 11, 1750, faded away in the 1770s, was revived in the 1920s before fading away in 1943, and again being revived in 1972.
The first documented evidence by Swem's Special Collections of the Zodiac Society was a good luck note to students seen in Swem Library during December 2013 final exams.
Inactive Secret Societies
Groups such as PDA, which was a student group organized in the 18th century after the F.H.C. are among those no longer active on campus.
The B.B. Club was active in the mid-1920s.
Material in the SCRC
- Of all of the secret societies, the SCRC probably has the most material related to the FHC Society. A list of material related to the group is available at the FHC's SCRC Wiki page.
- Student Organizations Collection, includes material from several secret societies.
- Colonial Echo
- The Flat Hat
- Folder 50, College Papers Collection
- David Holmes Papers, includes some material related to the Bishop James Madison Society.
- University Archives Artifact Collection
- University Archives Oral History Collection
- Search for additional material in the SCRC Collections Database
- Office of the President - this would require a bit of searching.
- Katherine (Katie) Elisabeth Shields Oral History conducted on 03/23/05, this interview is available online.
In the News
- Various articles in the College of William & Mary student newspaper The Flat Hat; see also other student publications.
- Secret, But (Probably) Not Sinister
- Secret society donates Sadler plaque, October 1, 2008.
- Eight figures you need to know, The Flat Hat, 19 August 2011.