William & Mary President Fired After Porn Controversy

The following are excerpts from an February 12, 2008 article appearing on

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“Cross-banishing college president quits” – February 12, 2008

Gene Nichol, the president of the historic College of William & Mary who ordered a cross removed from the campus chapel and approved presentation of a sex show, has quit after being told his contract would not be renewed this summer.

A report in the Virginian-Pilot said Nichol abandoned any responsibilities he would have had during the remaining few months of his contract when the rector of the Williamsburg, Va., college’s governing Board of Visitors told him his contract would not be renewed on its expiration in June.

The cross controversy developed first. WND broke the story in 2006 when one of Nichol’s administrators ordered the donated brass cross removed from the chapel in order to make the structure “less faith-specific.”

But nearly 20,000 alumni and students eventually signed a petition seeking its restoration to the historic structure on what is the second oldest university in America, and an institution that began as a Christian ministry.

What the Board of Visitors, however, likely found more compelling was the decision by a college supporter to withdraw a promised $12 million donation because of Nichol’s actions.

The sex show controversy followed soon after, with a 2007 show that included a 200-pound-plus performer named Dirty Martini who did a striptease, finishing her routine in only a G-string and pasties.

Several professors objected, citing studies indicating pornography incites sexual violence. But Nichol defended the show in the name of free expression. He did the same for the event this year.

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