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Washington and Lee University

Undergraduate School

Mailing Address
204 W Washington St
Lexington, Virginia 24450
Phone
(540) 458-8400
School Information
"Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia, is a nationally ranked, small, private, liberal arts university nestled in the mountains of western Virginia. As one of the oldest schools in the nation, we believe in the education of the whole person, and value students who are intellectually curious, eager to engage with their communities, inclined to critical thinking and prepared to lead lives of consequence." The university enrolls over 1,800 students, employs over 210 faculty, and has 36 majors and 37 minors. (Source: https://www.wlu.edu/) (Source: https://www.wlu.edu/the-w-l-story/at-a-glance/)
General Information
Washington and Lee University has not yet implemented a university-wide program of antiracist education or mandatory training. However, it has offered a course entitled "How to Overthrow the State". The exact contents of the course are not yet clear, although the description of the writing seminar appears to have Marxist themes. No mandatory Critical Race Training sessions are yet required of students. However, see developments below:

Actions Taken

Anti-Racism, Bias, and Diversity Training
  • As part of the First Year Readings, the university provided three articles by Ibram X. Kendi to all first-year students arriving at the university as the common reading assignment for students to engage in conversation and discussion sessions.
  • As part of the Provost’s Office Initiatives, Activism and Black Life is a yearlong series of events and discussions featuring topics on Anti-Racism, Race and Policing, and American Racial Injustice.
  • First-year students will undergo a Diversity First Pre-Orientation program “as an interactive educational experience discussing diversity, equity, and inclusion.”
Curriculum Changes and Requirements
  • At the Washington and Lee School of Law, “students in the Civil Rights and Racial Justice Clinic address racial and economic justice using critical race theory as their foundation.”
Program and Research Funding
  • Following the nationwide protests of 2020 and requests from students, faculty and alumni, the Board of Trustees at Washington and Lee University “decided to expand diversity and inclusion initiatives and make changes to campus buildings, practices, and governance” by specifically dedicating $225 million for Strategic Plan priorities, redesigning the university diploma, and renaming Lee Chapel to University Chapel.
  • As part of the Washington and Lee University Strategic Plan, the university has invested in diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives and has “allocated $10M in additional funding from the endowment to accelerate this work.”
Resources
  • University is offering a writing seminar on "How to Overthrow the State".
Last updated July 26th, 2022
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