Conservative Campus Hero: Exposed an Egregious Attack on Religious Liberty

Joe Luppino-Esposito

College of William and Mary

The Virginia Informer

Activism Highlight on Campus:

Exposed an Egregious Attack on Religious Liberty

            While attending the College of William and Mary, Joe Luppino-Esposito founded and served as Editor in Chief of the Virginia Informer, a conservative student news publication. The creation of a conservative student publication was founded just in time to cover the political controversy that would soon arise.

            The Wren Chapel which was built in 1732 housed a alter cross which had been donated by a nearby Episcopal church in the 1930s. In 2006, William and Mary College released this statement, “In order to make the Wren Chapel less of a faith-specific space, and to make it more welcoming to students, faculty, staff and visitors of all faiths, the cross has been removed from the altar area.” In October, William and Mary College President Gene Nichol removed the cross from the Wren Chapel.

Joe and many other students at William and Mary united to start an opposition to this horrific assault on religious liberty. They started a campaign and website called  The group released a statement, “This web site – and the growing ad hoc coalition of individuals supporting it – is dedicated to the return to the policies that governed the display of the Wren Cross in Wren Chapel prior to President Nichol’s order to remove it.”

As a result of the determination and hard work of campus activist Joe Luppino-Esposito and other students, William and Mary College lost millions in funding and the college announced that the cross would be returned to the Wren Chapel in a glass case. Due to the controversy, William and Mary President Gene Nichol resigned on February 12, 2008.