This blog post by Joe Wheeless, Coordinator: Fraternity/Sorority Life, is written from the perspective of Benjamin Stoddard Ewell, 16th President of the College of William and Mary and is not meant as an actual letter. Benjamin Ewell dedicated his life to the survival of William and Mary during the 19th Century. As you reflect on these words, ask yourself how this relates to the concept where one does not need a title to practice leadership.
Dear Mr. Grigsby,
As our long tenure of friendship continues, I must write you of personal reflections in this time where our beloved College is without students. Each morn I embark on a short venture with Gardiner to the Main Building and President’s house. The matter of my venture is to see the condition of the buildings, greet passersby, and engage in correspondence.
As the Royal Charter states, the College Bell is rung abundantly to remind the citizens of Williamsburg their beloved students will return. Overheard from citizens about Duke of Gloucester this has given me the reputation as a ‘bell-ringer,’ as the same of the celebrated ‘Swiss bell-ringers.’ I occasionally enjoy a laugh at this comparison but do not engage in contradiction of this metaphor.
My true intent with these daily visits to the College is tied to keeping the spirit of this majestic spot on this earth and in our hearts alive. I would take on the accounts even in denial of my position bestowed upon me but in support of my eternal love for the College. Alas, many responding letters are filled with wishes of hope and luck in my success for the College to return. For as long as I walk this earth, my love for William and Mary will not falter. And it is forever my dream to see her return to the prominence of which she deserves.
Benj. S. Ewell
Heuvel, Sean M., and Heuvel, Lisa L., College of William and Mary in the Civil War. Jefferson, NC, USA: McFarland & Company, 2013. ProQuest ebary. Web. 31 October 2014.