President Obama on Tuesday congratulated former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates on his appointment as chancellor of the College of William & Mary.

"I congratulate Robert Gates on his selection as the twenty-fourth Chancellor of the College of William & Mary," Obama said in a statement. "In Bob, one of our nation’s oldest colleges has found one of our nation’s finest public servants. I’m confident that Bob will bring to this new role the same sense of duty and personal integrity that I and other Presidents valued during his distinguished career in government."

Obama noted that Gates previously served as president of Texas A&M University before he agreed to serve as secretary of Defense, in praising the former secretary's new appointment.

"As he did at Texas A&M and the Department of Defense, Bob will again help lead an institution devoted to our nation’s most precious resource — our young men and women," Obama said. "I wish Bob the very best as he begins this new chapter at his alma mater, which helped to inspire his commitment to public service five decades ago."

On Tuesday, William & Mary announced that Gates would serve as its chancellor.

"I am deeply honored to have been asked to return to the College of William & Mary, my alma mater, to serve as Chancellor," Gates said Tuesday, according to a press release from William & Mary. "William & Mary is known around the world as an exceptional school which produces up and coming national and world leaders. In addition to an outstanding education, William & Mary instills in its students a sense of duty to community and country. I look forward to doing all that I can to continue and build on these traditions."

Gates was succeeded by Leon Panetta, who formerly served as head of the CIA.