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Lawsuit Dismissed In William & Mary Cross Case

June 20. 2007

A federal judge in Norfolk Wednesday dismissed a William & Mary graduate's lawsuit against the school demanding that the Wren Chapel cross be returned permanently to the chapel altar.

George Leach, a 1975 graduate of William & Mary's law school, sued Gene Nichol, the university president, and the Board of Visitors in February.

The judge presiding over the case said that Leach "utterly failed to demonstrate" that he had standing to bring the suit. Leach calls the ruling a tragedy saying that he "suffered pain and weeping" after the removal of the cross.

Nichol removed the cross from permanent display at the chapel last fall, in hopes of making it more inclusive to people of all religions. Controversy surrounding the decision led to an agreement to display the cross in a glass case in the chapel.

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