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A Category of One


a university in a college setting...... 2 an exemplary culture.................. 4 a legacy of leadership............. 6 a place of beauty................ 8

Washington and Lee University, one of the nation’s oldest and most respected institutions of higher learning, possesses a combination of opportunities, attributes and assets that places it, unequivocally, in a category of one. While successfully maintaining the integrity of its most valued traditions, W&L embraces the emerging technologies, ideas and perspectives necessary to prepare students for lives of consequence in a rapidly changing world. W&L is distinctive in the expansiveness and quality of its academic and cocurricular offerings; in its traditions of civility, integrity and trust; and in its commitment to shaping the national conversation on leadership. Each profoundly affects the undergraduate experience. Each is vital to our mission of examining, understanding and addressing the needs of the 21st century.


— A University in a co llege setting —

A Washington and Lee education combines the best Visiting Scholar Barry Lopez (top)

leads a seminar in W&L professor Jim Warren’s class. Lopez, winner of the National Book Award for Arctic Dreams, engaged students with his environmental essays and short stories. Professor Warren’s most recent book focuses on nature writing between the Civil War and World War I. One-On-One guidance of student projects is common, not only in a lab (bottom), where biology professor Fiona Watson works closely with a student, but across all majors, for all students.


aspects of both college and university life. Students enjoy small classes and close relationships with professors, while choosing from a remarkable variety of majors and minors, courses, and in-depth study opportunities—a spectrum of options usually found only at large universities. Additionally, they have access to accredited journalism and business programs, law school resources, and funding for independent or collaborative research. Outside of class, on a beautiful and historic campus, students form a lively community, pursuing rich residential and cocurricular lives.

sorority row supports an

active Greek life, offering lodging, lounges and dining facilities. Some 80 percent of W&L students are affiliated with sororities or fraternities.

a university . . . W&L students choose from 38 majors, 21 minors and more than 1,100 courses—an astonishing curricular breadth that rivals that of many larger institutions. For instance, the AACSBaccredited Williams School offers majors in public accounting, business administration, economics and politics. In addition to such specialized fields as engineering, neuroscience and East Asian studies, undergraduates have access to advanced and professional training seldom available at liberal arts colleges through a variety of internship and research programs. . . . in a college setting Collegial relationships between students and faculty stem from long tradition and from resources that allow a studentfaculty ratio of 9-to-1 and an average class size of 16. W&L faculty members are respected teachers and scholars; 95 percent hold the highest degrees in their fields, and almost all are engaged in research or writing at the frontiers of their disciplines. Yet in many cases—often over coffee or dinner—faculty and students share friendship and intellectual exchange outside the classroom.

an uncommon approach In a deliberate departure from the traditional two-semester college format, W&L maintains a 12-12-4 calendar— fall and winter terms of 12 weeks each, followed by a four-week spring term. The spring term represents an opportunity for curricular experimentation, focused pursuit of a single topic, faculty-supervised study off campus and abroad, research, or internships stateside or abroad. The flexibility afforded by the spring term is one reason more than half of W&L students graduate having studied abroad. a busy life Washington and Lee attracts students who are not only smart, but whose passions and interests fuel busy lives outside of class. Something is always going on in art studios and galleries, in student-run media, in the outdoors program, and in club sports or Division III athletics. There are ample opportunities for involvement and leadership with 130-plus clubs and organizations from which to choose, including cultural, international, creative, governmental and activity and service-related organizations.

W&L is the only top liberal arts school in the nation to have a journalism program recognized by the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications, and it was among the first colleges in the country to create digital classroom and laboratory systems for its journalism students.

Committed to fostering the student-faculty relationship, W&L professors are teacher-scholars who are knowledgeable in their fields, skilled in pedagogy, and committed to the intellectual and personal development of their students. One example: popular art historian Pamela Simpson wrote the first scholarly book about linoleum. Its colorful title, which must be considered in context, is Cheap, Quick and Easy. It’s just one of the many articles, essays and publications she’s penned in her 35 years at W&L.

Lexington attracts the famous. Recent campus visitors and events have included Jesse Jackson, Helen Thomas, Dick Gregory, Roger Goodell, Bob Woodward, David McCullough, Cornel West, Christopher Buckley, Clarence Thomas, the Russian National Ballet, Neil Berg’s “100 Years of Broadway,” Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Paula Vogel, the Juilliard String Quartet, The Roots, Blues Traveler, Busta Rhymes and W&L alumnus Tom Wolfe.

renovated and expanded science facilities

(right) include state-of-the-art classrooms, labs and high-end, specialized research equipment for teaching, as well as student and faculty research.


By tradition, for programs in Lee

Chapel, men wear a coat and tie, and women wear a skirt, slacks or a dress. Dressing up on such

— An exemp la ry Culture —

occasions is a common sign of respect at W&L. In less formal garb, students hang

out with friends (middle) or cheer for the Generals (right).

Grounded in the timeless ideals of its legendary namesakes, George Washington and Robert E. Lee, the W&L community thrives on an ethic of honor and civility. An air of respect enables frank debate, resulting in a culture of open exchange and intellectual freedom. A revered, studentadministered Honor System underpins it all, creating conditions for an education based on integrity and trust. a place of trust Robert E. Lee set the tone during his presidency (1865-70) when he insisted that the University’s only rule was that “every student must be a gentleman.” Accordingly, the W&L Honor System is not a codified set of rules. It is a concept of community based on a fundamental understanding that students will not


violate others’ trust through acts such as lying, cheating or stealing. The resulting atmosphere of responsibility and mutual respect affects life from the classroom to the soccer field to the coffee shop. Exams are self-scheduled and unproctored, most buildings are accessible 24 hours a day, and students respect each other’s personal belongings.

selfless service and the pursuit

of solutions to the world’s problems are principles to which W&L is committed. No program better exemplifies that vision than the University’s Shepherd Program for the Study of Poverty and Human Capability. The Shepherd Program combines the study of poverty with direct involvement in communities in need—throughout the United States and abroad. Other organizations, such as the Nabors Service League, stimulate W&L volunteerism within the surrounding community. Critical national and international issues are addressed by initiatives such as the Society and the Professions Program in Ethics, which focuses on social responsibility in business, law, medicine, journalism and the environment.

the speaking tradition By longstanding tradition, members of the W&L community regularly say “hello” to one another, whether passing on the Colonnade or meeting in the Commons. This simple courtesy, which affects and reflects the warmth and civility of life on campus, is also extended to visitors—who instantly are made to feel a part of the community. an open community The uncommonly inclusive character of W&L informs both intellectual and extracurricular life. The campus-wide commitment to openness extends to clubs, organizations and even fraternity and sorority events, to which all students are invited. Respect for one’s peers leads, in part, to deep, lasting friendships. W&L students enjoy sharing their

artistic and musical talents, tales of international travels, and victories on the field. They represent such a wide diversity of backgrounds, perspectives and interests­that just getting to know one’s fellow students is a major part of the education here. As a result, graduating seniors head out into the world with an extensive network of friends from coast to coast and around the world who are united by their love of W&L and share a distinctive set of values and sensibilities.

The speaking tradition, integral to the W&L experience, is one of the first lessons learned by first-years upon arriving on campus.

Serious resources, including the fully staffed Center for International Education, support an important part of a comprehensive Washington and Lee education—the international experience. W&L’s numerous spring term courses allow intensive overseas experiences. Recent offerings: Drawing Italy; Science and Art in the Netherlands; Chinese Language and Culture in Beijing, Shanghai and Xi’an; Regional Geology of New Zealand; British Politics in London; and Economic Development of Sub-Saharan Africa. For longer international studies, W&L maintains relationships with dozens of approved programs and universities abroad.


Phil Flickinger ’97

W&L’s Mock Convention (above) is a nationally recognized simulation in which the entire student body participates in predicting the non-incumbent party’s nominee for the U.S. presidency. The predictions have been correct 18 of 24 times since the beginning in 1908.

Campus Kitchen (above), which

started as a student project within W&L’s Shepherd Program, has become an independent service organization, attracting student, faculty and staff volunteers. Surplus food collected from campus dining and catering services is packaged into nutritious meals (more than 75,000 since the program’s inception in 2006) and delivered to the hungry in Lexington and surrounding areas. In this and more than 130 other organizations, students have the opportunity to develop leadership skills.


— A Legac y o f Lea dership —

Washington and Lee plays an important role in shaping the national conversation on leadership—carrying forward a rich institutional legacy that predates the nation’s founding. Today, members of its faculty publish extensively on topics related to leadership and honor. The first national college honor society to recognize leadership and extracurricular service, Omicron Delta Kappa, was founded and continues to thrive at W&L and has spread to more than 300 other campuses. And to encourage a new generation of outstanding scholars and leaders, the University recently created the generous Johnson Scholarship Program. No wonder high numbers of Washington and Lee graduates rise to positions of national prominence.

preparing for the future W&L’s motto, “not unmindful of the future,” underlies the University’s commitment to providing a liberal arts education that is vital and relevant in the 21st century. By combining the benefits of a liberal arts foundation with emerging technologies and interdisciplinary perspectives, our students head into life after college equipped with the habits of mind, strength of character, and essential knowledge needed to pursue lives of consequence.

in good company For 262 years, Washington and Lee graduates have been making landmark contributions to the world. Its alumni are leaders in business, journalism, medicine and many other fields. The number who have held top posts in government—27 U.S. senators, 67 U.S. representatives, 31 state governors, and four Supreme Court justices—is testament to the University’s commitment to fostering the ideals of visionary leadership.

In support of these efforts, W&L has opened a new, state-of-the-art building for the arts and music. It recently dedicated a technologically advanced journalism center and has invested more than $33 million in renovating its science facilities. It has added a 10,000-squarefoot health-club-quality fitness center and has opened the Hillel House as a center for Jewish life on campus. Underway: a multi-year, multi-million-dollar renovation of the historic Colonnade and significant new construction for other academic, living and recreational spaces.

investing in leaders Each year, Washington and Lee selects 44 students for the Johnson Scholarship Program, each of whom receives free tuition, room and board and graduates debt-free—meaning that he or she can make generous and liberating life decisions after college. These students come to W&L with outstanding leadership records in their high schools and home comunities, as well as exceptional academic accomplishments.

The alumni community—more than 24,000 strong—is a resource for information and advice as well as internships and jobs. Alumni of note include Dr. Joseph L. Goldstein ’62 (Nobel Prize winner, medicine); Roger Mudd ’50 (news correspondent); Tom Wolfe ’51 (novelist); Cy Twombly ’53 (abstract artist); Paul Maslansky ’54 (Hollywood producer); Bill Johnston ’61 (former New York Stock Exchange president); Meriwether Lewis 1790s (explorer); Lewis Powell Jr. ’29, ’31 law (Supreme Court justice); Sascha Burns ’83 (political strategist, commentator); Terry Brooks ’69 law (fantasy fiction author); John Warner Jr. ’49 (retired U.S. senator, former Navy secretary); Tricia Coughlin ’95 (TV/ Web producer); John M. McCardell Jr. ’71 (former Middlebury College president, current Sewanee president); Walt Michaels ’51 (former NY Jets head coach); Kerry Egan ’95 (author); Lyrae Van Clief-Stefanon ’93 (poet); John Chavis 1795 (missionary, preacher, and possibly the first black graduate of any American college); David Low ’78 (astronaut). George Washington’s 1796 gift

of James River Canal stock, valued at $20,000, was at the time the largest-ever gift to an educational institution. His generosity began a long tradition of giving to W&L by those who benefited from its legacy and believe in its mission. Two recent gifts underscore this commitment: $33 million from Gerry Lenfest ’53, ’55 law, in support of faculty salaries, and $100 million—also from an alumnus—to create the Johnson Scholarship Program. Mindful of the world’s needs

at the start of the 21st century, Washington and Lee has outlined an ambitious and exciting blueprint aimed at ensuring that W&L will educate leaders prepared for the challenges of a complex and changing world. The details may be found at


The mountains and streams

of nearby ranges are favorites for hiking, camping and fly fishing. The Appalachian Trail, just off the Blue Ridge Parkway, is minutes away. Goshen Pass, a spectacular river gorge 15 miles from campus, attracts warm-weather tubing enthusiasts. The whitewater of the Gauley River and ski resorts of Virginia, West Virginia and Pennsylvania are in day-trip range.

— a p lace o f beauty —

Lexington, Virginia, is a warm, welcoming and historic college town located in the Great Valley of Virginia between Quebe thec Blue Ridge and the Allegheny Mountains. Lexington is energized by its two universities (Virginia Military Institute is also N ew trade. located here) and a lively tourist Brunsw ick to a The surrounding area gives way stunning physical setting that affords students many recreational opportuniME biking, golf and fishing ties—from hiking, toVjust lounging with a good book. T

Visit us. Have a meal in the Commons or at oneNofH the many fine area restaurants. NY





New York City OH









Washington DC


Charlottesville Charleston






Richmond 95

Norfolk 77





The drive to Roanoke, Richmond and DE

Washington, D.C., takes one, two and three hours, respectively, so the urban experience is always available to students. In practice, off-campus forays are relatively rare: the Lexington community pulses with things to do, and other than outings into the surrounding countryside, students generally report that they don’t feel the need to leave town.

Grab a coffee and fresh baked goods along Washington Street. Enjoy our on-campus bookstore or the two downtown. Tour Lee Chapel, the nearby Cyrus McCormick historic site, or the George C. Marshall Museum. Stay for a play, a concert, an art show. Truly, the only place to experience the unique character of life available at W&L is on our campus and in our town.


degrees offered

The ninth-oldest institution of higher education in the country, Washington and Lee University recognizes and embodies the direct contributions of two of American history’s most selfless and influential figures, George Washington and Robert E. Lee.

Undergraduate—Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Science with special attainments in chemistry, Bachelor of Science with special attainments in commerce.


Washington and Lee’s historic, continually updated campus in Lexington, Virginia, consists of 55 acres, plus 40 acres of playing fields and 210 acres of woodland, streams and countryside. students

Undergraduate—1,759 students from 48 states (85 percent from outside Virginia), representing citizenship in 50 countries. Ratio of men to women is 50:50. Ethnic minorities: 14 percent. The School of Law—400 students. faculty

187 full-time undergraduate faculty members. 95 percent hold terminal degrees. Student:teacher ratio, 9:1. Average class size, 16. Classes with fewer than 25 students, 90 percent; with fewer than 10 students, 22 percent. divisions

The College—where all undergraduate students begin with a broad study of the liberal arts and sciences (arts, humanities, and natural and social sciences). W&L is the only top liberal arts college with a nationally accredited journalism program. The Williams School of Commerce, Economics, and Politics—politics, economics, accounting and business administration, business administration, public accounting. W&L is the only top liberal arts college with a nationally accredited business school. The School of Law—among the nation’s top-ranked law schools.

The School of Law—Juris Doctor, Master of Laws. programs of study

The University offers more than 1,100 courses and majors in 38 areas: Accounting and Business Administration Accounting: Public Accounting Art History Biochemistry Biology Business Administration Chemistry Chemistry with Special Attainments Chemistry-Engineering Classics Computer Science East Asian Languages and Literature Economics English Environmental Studies French Geology German Language German Literature History Independent Work Journalism and Mass Communications Mathematics Medieval and Renaissance Studies Music Neuroscience Philosophy Physics Physics-Engineering Politics Psychology Religion Romance Languages Russian Area Studies Sociology and Anthropology Spanish Studio Art Theater

Office of Admissions

Lexington, Virginia 24450-2116

Minors are also available in AfricanAmerican studies, art history, computer science, creative writing, dance, East Asian studies, environmental studies, French, German, Latin American and Caribbean studies, mass communications, mathematics, museum studies, music, philosophy, poverty and human capability studies, Russian language and culture, studio art, theater, and women’s and gender studies. student life

More than 130 student activities and organizations, including drama, music and dance; media, including yearbook, newspapers, and WLUR, our campus radio station; political action and advocacy organizations; cultural awareness groups; groups with religious focus; service-oriented clubs and initiatives; Outing Club; and the nationally celebrated Mock Convention, among others. Eighty percent of all students are members of one of W&L’s 16 fraternities and eight sororities. athletics

The Generals play in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference, NCAA Division III. Varsity teams—men’s and women’s basketball, crosscountry, golf, lacrosse, soccer, swimming, tennis and track and field (indoor and outdoor); men’s baseball, football, and wrestling; women’s field hockey and volleyball; and equestrian (coeducational). Intramural and sport clubs— baseball, cheerleading, cricket, cycling, disc golf, eventing, fencing, ice hockey (men’s), lacrosse, martial arts, paintball, polo, rowing, rugby, running, skiing, soccer, squash, triathlon, ultimate Frisbee and volleyball. residence life

40 percent of rooms for first-year students are singles; students must live in on-campus residence halls or Greek housing (all owned

and maintained by the University) through sophomore year. after w&l

Typically, about 89 percent of W&L students graduate in four years. Approximately 25 percent of W&L alumni go directly to graduate school; overall, within a year of graduation about 95 percent of W&L alumni are employed, are in graduate school, or are otherwise productively occupied. financial aid, scholarships

W&L will provide more than $32 million in undergraduate financial aid in 2011-12. The competitive Johnson Scholarship Program provides debt-free education to 44 students in each class. All admitted students meeting financial aid deadlines receive an aid package covering the family’s institutionally determined need with grant, not loans. applying Due dates

Regular decision—January 2 Johnson Scholarship—December 1 Early decision, Round I—November 15 (for December 22 decision) Early decision, Round II—January 2 (for February 1 decision) Required—SAT or ACT (and its writing test); two SAT subject tests of applicant’s choosing are recommended Of the 6,487 who applied in 2010-11, some 1,183 were admitted. The first-year class size is usually 460-470. Typically, 80 percent of enrolling students are among the top 10 percent of their high school classes. In 2010, the middle 50 percent of enrolling students scored between 1310 and 1460 on the SAT. visiting campus

Washington and Lee University is located in Lexington, Virginia, just off I-81 and I-64. See for information to help you plan your visit to W&L.

(540) 458-8710

In compliance with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and all other applicable non-discrimination laws, Washington and Lee University does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national or ethnic origin, sex, sexual orientation, age, disability, veteran’s status, or genetic information in its educational programs and activities, admissions, and with regard to employment. Inquiries may be directed to the Interim Provost, Robert A. Strong, Washington Hall, (540) 458-8418, who is designated by the University to coordinate compliance efforts and carry out its responsibilities under Title IX, as well as those under Section 504 and other applicable non-discrimination laws. Inquiries may also be directed to the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Education. 2011-12

A Category of One  

A brief look at Washington and Lee University.