Anthony Washington

2011 President of the Graduate Education Association

Anthony WashingtonAnthony Washington
Bachelor of Music, Music Education- Norfolk State University
Master of Music, Music Performance & Composition- Norfolk State University
Ph.D. Student, Educational Policy, Planning & Leadership, Gifted Education
Band and orchestra director for 7 years in Detroit, MI., Richmond, VA & Portsmouth, VA before coming to William & Mary as a full-time Graduate Assistant in the Center for Gifted Education

Representing current students and our future alumni, and serving as the 2011 President of the Graduate Education Association, Anthony Washington spoke at the 50th anniversary of the School of Education on September 24.

"As I stand here, I have to realize that I stand on the shoulders of several individuals. Many of them you have heard speak this morning about their time at the college, Jones Hall and their stories are common in their exemplariness and in their scholarly attainment that has long been associated with those who attend William & Mary.

I also look back to African-American scholars who have attended the best institutions in the nation, very much like The College of William & Mary. Educators like W.E.B. Dubois & Carter G. Woodson have traversed the halls of some of our nation's finest educational institutions and bridged racial divides both in their personal achievement and in their professional efforts to gain equal access for all to the most powerful tool available to mankind, knowledge. I look back and think about the sacrifices they made and hardship they endured to make it possible for me to enjoy the academic freedoms available to me today.

I take special reverence in the story of Hulon Willis, the first African-American to attend the College. It is important to note Mr. Willis was a student in the school of education. The fact that the School of Education was on the front line of the fight for equality shows the dedication of William & Mary educators to do what is right. This is a fact that has not changed in the over 50 years since his matriculation. This reverence becomes increasingly personal, as I recently learned that one of the first African-American residential students here at the College, Lynn Briley, was my most recent building principal when I was a band director at I.C. Norcom High School.

Since I have entered the College of William & Mary, I have been exposed to no less rigor of coursework and research than has be associated with the College. And even though I have not had to endure classes in Jones Hall, I have also been exposed to the "William & Mary" experience that cannot be fully described in words.  In a meeting with BOV Rector Jeff Trammell, he asked what we like best about the College and to every enthusiastic story the student leaders in attendance told him, he replied "That's William & Mary". As I look forward to what my career opportunities, and look back to all those who have paved the way for me I hope to return here to the next SOE anniversary, when my professional accomplishments resemble those of the people you have heard speak before me this day, and I will also be able to take reverence in the fact that the School of Education at William & Mary has been an awesome support and springboard for my success."