Washington and Lee University to Keep Robert E. Lee Namesake, Promises to Make 'Symbolic Changes' to Campus

Washington and Lee University to Keep Robert E. Lee Namesake, Promises to Make 'Symbolic Changes' to Campus


Washington and Lee University’s (W&L) Board of Trustees voted in a 22-6 decision to keep the school’s Robert E. Lee namesake, but also promised to “expand diversity and inclusion initiatives and make changes to campus buildings, practices, and governance.”

According to a Friday letter from the University’s Board of Trustees announcing their decision, “Last summer, in the midst of the nationwide protests in search for racial justice, the Board of Trustees received requests” calling for changes of the school’s name and diploma design, among other things. Despite the calls, the University “found no consensus about whether changing the name of our university is consistent with our shared values.”

W&L, the country’s ninth oldest institution of higher education, has maintained its current name for over 150 years, after then-former Confederate General Robert E. Lee’s “transformative presidency of Washington College from 1865 to 1870.”

Upon accepting the position as

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