WILLIAMSBURG, Va. (AP) - The first black justice on Virginia's Supreme Court will welcome new students to William & Mary this fall.

The university says in a press release that John Charles Thomas will speak at the school's Aug. 30 convocation in Williamsburg. The event marks the beginning of the academic year.

Thomas was 32 years old when he was appointed to state Supreme Court. He was also the youngest person to sit on the bench, which he served on until 1989.

Judge John Charles Thomas was appointed to the W&M Board of Visitors in 2006 to fill an unexpired term and reappointed to two four-year terms in 2009 and 2013, making him the longest-serving Board member in modern history.

Thomas is now a senior partner at the Hunton & Williams law firm. He is also a longtime member of the school's board.

The convocation also coincides with the start of a yearlong set of events to commemorate the school's first black residential student 50 years ago.