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Our History: Featured Alumni: Godwin, Mills E., Jr., 1938

Over the decades our graduates have developed distinguished careers as justices, congressmen, ambassadors, educators, businessmen and women, and community leaders in many fields. This site features some of those late graduates.

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Mills Edwin Godwin, Jr.

Governor of Virginia

Mills Godwin was born in Nansemond County and educated at the Norfolk division of The College of William and Mary, now Old Dominion University. He then graduated from the University of Virginia School of Law in 1938. Godwin served in the Virginia State Senate between 1952 and 1962 and was the Lieutenant Governor between 1962 and 1966. In the state senate, Godwin was initially one of the leaders of the segregationist policy of "massive resistance," which aimed to prevent the implementation of federal court decisions such as Brown v. the Board of Education; however, his position became more moderate in the 1960s. Godwin served as Governor of Virginia from 1966 to 1970 and from 1974 to 1978. He is the only governor in the history of the United States to be elected as both a Republican and Democrat.

After the end of his second gubernatorial term, Godwin worked behind the scenes in the Virginia Republican Party until shortly before his death in 1999. Two schools in Virginia are named for him--Mills E. Godwin High School in suburban Henrico and Godwin Middle School in Prince William County. The Biology building on the campus of Old Dominion University is named Mills Godwin Life Science Building. Godwin Hall on the campus of James Madison University was completed in 1972 and was dedicated in honor of Mills E. Godwin and his wife Katherine, who was a graduate of the university.

Mills E. Godwin, Jr. Papers, 1712-1989, College of William and Mary

Godwin Gubernatorial Campaign Reports at the Library of Virginia

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