2016-2017 University Catalog 
    Jul 22, 2024  
2016-2017 University Catalog archived

Student Life

The University’s curricular and extracurricular activities are so numerous and diverse that students must budget their time carefully to achieve a desirable balance among the academic, social and recreational phases of their college experience.

The same system of honor that governs academic life also governs student conduct. Over the years, the University has adopted rules and regulations covering academic matters and student deportment, but if students conduct themselves honorably at all times, they will have little trouble with the University’s disciplinary rules.

Washington and Lee students are courteous to each other and to visitors on the campus. Both students and faculty traditionally exchange greetings with one another and with others as they pass on the campus (the “speaking tradition”).

Washington and Lee graduates believe that the University’s superior academic preparation combined with the character-building responsibilities of student life mark Washington and Lee students with special distinction.

Orientation Program

Washington and Lee’s orientation program is conducted each year before the opening of the fall term to acquaint new students with different aspects of life at the University. The program provides an introduction to the academics, activities, friendships, traditions, and mission of the University. Orientation sessions are conducted by faculty members, administrators, resident advisers, and upper-division students. Attendance at orientation events is expected, and students are notified during the summer of the dates of the program. The First-Year Experience Program also offers a variety of pre-orientation programs to provide a head start on connecting with the University community through service, outdoor adventure, and leadership. The Center for International Education conducts a specialized orientation for new international students held prior to the pre-orientation programs. Any student coming to the campus from abroad, regardless of citizenship, is invited to attend; those students coming to the U.S. on a student visa are required to attend certain portions. 

Where Students Live

Living in campus residence halls is an essential part of the Washington and Lee undergraduate student experience. All first-years, sophomores, and juniors live in University housing, in a variety of group settings including traditional residence halls, apartments, townhouses, and themed housing. Rising seniors typically secure living arrangements off campus; however a limited number of rooms are usually available for seniors who wish to remain on campus.

First-year students live on a residence hall floor, with each group of 15-20 students supervised by a resident adviser, capable of giving informed guidance to new students. In keeping with the traditions of student life at the University, the facilitation of residence hall life is based on the principle of student self-government. Certain regulations governing residence hall life, for example, quiet hours and visitation policies, are formulated by the residents of each individual residence hall section in statements of social responsibility.

First-year students reside in Graham Lees and Gaines. Rooms with facilities for disabled students are available in both singles and doubles. Each student is provided with a closet, a study desk, a desk chair, a mirror and a single bed of extra-long length. Students provide their own bedding and other furnishings as desired.

The University offers a variety of living accommodations for upper-division students, including apartments, townhouses, theme and Greek housing. The new residential village contains two distinct residential areas - Augusta Square and Liberty Hall Common. Both areas provide modern apartment and townhouse living options. Woods Creek provides an array of apartment living options, and upper-division students may also live in a fraternity or sorority or one of several diverse theme houses, including: Casa Hispánica, John Chavis House, Sustainability, Global Service, Arts, Recreation and Culture (ARC), and Culinary House.

University liability insurance does not provide coverage for lost, stolen, or damaged property in University residences, therefore students and their families are advised to seek insurance coverage to cover those risks.

Where Students Dine

Dining together provides ongoing opportunities for intellectual and social exchange. Dining Services offers a full array of dining options to the entire campus community, including the Marketplace and Café ‘77/Emporium in the Elrod Commons, the Law School Brief Stop in Sydney Lewis Hall, and the E Café located in Hillel House. Dining additions for 2016-17 include a coffee house/pub space and a restaurant in the new residential village and a Tea House in the Center for Global Learning. Venues are equipped with state-of-the-art equipment, with both the Marketplace and Café ‘77/Emporium offering continuous service during their hours of operation. All first-year students are required to participate in the all-you-can-eat, full-board plan which offers a wide variety of choices, including vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, and international. Upper division students can choose from a variety of meal plans that offer meal exchange anywhere, anytime across campus for maximum value and flexibility. Dining Services is an important part of W&L’s sustainability initiatives serving locally grown foods, including some from the campus garden, and using only fair-trade coffee. We offer a reusable to-go container, use compostable paper products when possible, recycle, compost, and donate leftover food to the W&L Campus Kitchen project. For more information, visit the Dining Services website at diningservices.wlu.edu.

Student Health and Counseling Services

The Student Health Center is located on the lower floor of Davis Hall. The Student Health Center provides students with both outpatient and infirmary care of non-critical illnesses and injuries that occur during the academic year, excluding holiday periods. We serve as the primary health care providers for W&L students during the school year, and collaborate with home health-care providers to coordinate care as needed.

A staff of registered nurses assists the University physician and physician assistant in maintaining around-the-clock supervision of the Student Health Center when undergraduate classes are in session. At these times the Health Center is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and overnight care is available in the infirmary. When only the School of Law is in session, the Health Center is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Student Health Center is closed during part of the Thanksgiving and Winter breaks and during the summer. 

The University physician and physician assistant have office hours by appointment, and one of them is on call for after-hour emergencies and weekend care for students requiring infirmary care. Visits to the Student Health Center are billed to students’ health insurance plans, although co-payments and deductibles are considered pre-paid by the Student Health Fee, so payment is not collected at the time of a visit. Students must bring their health insurance card with them for all SHC visits. Separate charges are made for prescription medications dispensed from our formulary and for some other services (such as lab tests billed through the SHC or a linen fee when a student stays overnight in the infirmary) and may be charged to a student’s University account.

Emergency medical situations beyond the scope of care at the Student Health Center are evaluated and treated at Carilion Stonewall Jackson Hospital, located just one mile from campus. Hospital-staff physicians care for students requiring emergency room care or hospital admission, and regular hospital and physician charges are assessed for such care. Tertiary care hospitals for more complex or specialty care are located within one hour of Lexington in Roanoke or Charlottesville, Virginia.

Each entering, transfer, or exchange student is required to submit a health form that includes a complete health history, immunization record, and recent physical examination by the student’s own physician. The form for this report is made available to students after admission to the University and is also available from the Student Health Center website. Students are required to complete the health history, have the physical examination made promptly, required immunizations updated, and the Health Form returned to the Student Health Center prior to matriculation. Any special housing requests made for health reasons must be documented on a form available from the Student Health Center website, and must be submitted by May 31 for entering students to allow for appropriate housing assignments.

Individual and group counseling is available to all students on a confidential basis at the University Counseling Center, located in the Early-Fielding building. The Counseling Center is open Monday - Friday when undergraduate or law classes are in session. During these times, a counselor is on call for emergencies and can be reached through the Student Health Center after hours. The Counseling Center is closed during part of the Thanksgiving and Winter breaks and during the summer. The University Counselors work with students on a wide range of topics, including adjustment to college life, stress management, concerns with relationships, academic problems, sexuality issues, depression, eating disorders, incidents of sexual assault and substance abuse. Appointments are made through the administrative assistant for University Counseling.

Health records maintained by the Student Health Center and the University Counseling Center contain confidential information about past medical history, immunizations, allergies, illnesses, test results, diagnoses, medications and the plan of care. State and federal laws protect the confidentiality of personal information that is contained in the health record. The primary laws applicable to W&L’s Student Health Center are the Virginia Health Records Privacy Act and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. We will not release such health information without authorization, except in accordance with applicable laws and regulations. We will provide another physician or health-care provider with information from your medical record to assist him or her in treating you. This includes communication between University Counseling and Student Health Center professional staff, who meet weekly to discuss care of students. We do not release information about a student’s health status to parents, professors, or the university administration without permission, but encourage students to share such information as indicated or give us permission to do so. Parents and the administration will be notified in emergency / life-threatening situations when a student cannot give permission due to the severity of illness/injury, or when a student is determined to be at significant risk of harm to self or others. In such situations, parents (or guardians) and the Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students or the Dean of Student Life will be included in discussions as to the most appropriate course of action.

Student Health and Counseling staff members are also involved in educational programming for resident assistants, peer counselors, peer health educators, student leaders and other student organizations. A professional health educator in the Office of Health Promotion works with these student groups to plan and implement programs on substance abuse, sexual assault, eating disorders, sexuality, stress management, nutrition, and other health-related issues.

By University policy, all students are required to provide evidence of health and hospitalization insurance coverage each year to supplement the health care provided by the University. This coverage may be in the form of an individual policy already in effect, inclusion in a family policy or enrollment in the optional student health insurance plan offered to all Washington and Lee students. An online waiver must be completed annually for those who choose not to participate in the University-sponsored student health insurance plan. A Health Insurance Information Form must be completed by each entering student and returned to the University, along with a copy of all health insurance cards. Enrollment information for the student health insurance plan will be sent to all students during the summer. International students are required to purchase coverage through the University-sponsored student health insurance plan. The Administrative Assistant in the Student Health Center will assist students in filing claims for coverage under this plan. Students are responsible for updating their health record with any changes in insurance coverage.

Student Government

Washington and Lee students are accorded a large measure of self-governance. The student body’s structure of self-governance is outlined in the student-body constitution. The faculty and administrative officials work closely with the student government organizations to provide support in the discharge of their responsibilities.

The chief agency of student government is the student-elected Executive Committee (EC) of the Student Body. The Executive Committee (EC) of the Student Body administers the Honor System, allocates the student budget, and appoints students to a number of University committees, in accordance with the student-body constitution. Undergraduate and law students elect the following EC officers and the class representatives each year: President, Vice President and Secretary, one representative from the First-Year class, and each Law School class, and two representatives each for the Sophomore, Junior and Senior classes.

Consideration of possible breaches of the Honor System is a primary function of the Executive Committee. The Honor System at Washington and Lee is based on the fundamental principle that a spirit of trust pervades all aspects of student life. The freedom given students stems from the understanding that persons attending this University will act honorably. Any student found guilty of a violation of the Honor System is required to withdraw permanently from the University. The only appeal from the Committee’s finding of an honor violation is a hearing before the student body.

Any student who enters Washington and Lee agrees to accept the obligations of the Honor System as a way of life and conduct and to recognize the full responsibility of the Executive Committee for handling Honor System offenses.

A thorough Honor System orientation is provided by the Executive Committee for all entering students during the Orientation Program. All new students are expected to understand the Honor System prior to attending the first day of classes.

Other Student Committees

In addition to the Executive Committee (EC), five additional bodies adjudicate student conduct matters: Student-Faculty Hearing Board (SFHB), Student Judicial Council (SJC), Interfraternity Council, and the Panhellenic Council. Any appeal from these latter four bodies is heard by the University Board of Appeals (UBA). Complete information is available in the Student Handbook; students should be aware of their rights and responsibilities as outlined in the handbook

The EC makes appointments to a number of student boards and committees and to certain Faculty and University committees. These include the Generals Activities Board (GAB), Contact Committee, the Student Faculty Hearing Board, and the University Board of Appeals.

There are a large number of student organizations including the Nabors’ Service League, Multicultural Student Association, Student Association for International Learning (SAIL), the Outing Club, the Student Recruitment Committee, Mock Convention, Kathekon (student alumni association), Campus Kitchen Project, and other student committees. Student organizations may apply for official recognition and for funding through the EC, which oversees the allocation of the student activities fee. A complete listing of student organizations is available at www.wlu.edu/student-life/student-activities/clubs-and-organizations.

Honor Societies

Many honor and professional societies have branches at Washington and Lee.

The Phi Beta Kappa Chapter, Gamma of Virginia, was installed at the University in 1911. Each year it elects a limited number of students of outstanding character and superior academic records from all undergraduate divisions of the university.

Omicron Delta Kappa, a national honor society, was founded at Washington and Lee in 1914. The society recognizes leadership in campus activities—scholastic, athletic, social, religious, and literary.

Psi Chi is the national honor society in psychology, recognizing students for academic achievement in the discipline. The Washington and Lee chapter was established in 1930.

Beta Gamma Sigma is the honor fraternity for students having distinguished records in accounting or business administration. The purpose is to encourage and honor academic achievement and personal excellence in study and practice. The Washington and Lee chapter was founded in 1933.

Phi Eta Sigma is a national honor society for the recognition of high scholastic attainment among first-year students. The university’s chapter was founded in 1937.

Alpha Epsilon Delta is the national premedical honor society dedicated to the encouragement and recognition of excellence in preprofessional health scholarship, including medicine, dentistry, veterinary, and others. The Washington and Lee chapter was established in 1948.

The Order of the Coif recognizes distinguished scholarship among graduating students in the School of Law. The university’s chapter was founded in 1950.

Pi Sigma Alpha is a national honor society recognizing scholarship in the field of politics. The university’s chapter was founded in 1954.

Delta Sigma Rho-Tau Kappa Alpha is a national society to promote interest in and to award suitable recognition for excellence in forensics and original speaking, and to foster respect for and an appreciation of freedom of speech as a vital element of democracy. Washington and Lee’s chapter was founded in 1961.

Omicron Delta Epsilon is a national honor society that recognizes high scholastic achievement in economics. The Gamma Chapter of Virginia was organized at Washington and Lee in 1963.

Pi Mu Epsilon is a national honorary fraternity in mathematics whose purpose is to promote scholarly mathematical activity. Washington and Lee’s Virginia Theta chapter was chartered in 1993.

Lambda Pi Eta, granted to Washington and Lee in 1999, is the Speech Communication Association’s national honor society for scholarly achievement in the discipline of communication.

Delta Phi Alpha Deutsche Ehrenverbindung (German honor society) is a national association which “seeks to recognize excellence in the study of German and to provide an incentive for higher scholarship.” The Washington and Lee chapter was established in 2006.

Sigma Pi Sigma is the national honor society in physics, recognizing students for academic achievement in the discipline. The Washington and Lee chapter was established in 2007.

Lambda Alpha is the national honorary society recognizing achievement in anthropology. The Washington and Lee chapter was established in 2008.

Nu Delta Alpha established the Washington and Lee chapter in 2008. The dance honorary society advocates for quality dance education and for individuals and ensembles to express their devotion to the art by sharing, recognizing, and promoting dance education in meaningful ways.

Alpha Kappa Delta “seeks to acknowledge and promote excellence in scholarship in the study of sociology, the research of social problems, and such other social and intellectual activities as will lead to improvement in the human condition.” The Washington and Lee chapter was founded in 2008.

Beta Beta Beta is the national honor society of biology. The Washington and Lee chapter was founded in 2009.

Eta Sigma Phi is an honorary collegiate society for students of Latin and/or Greek, intended “to develop and promote interest in classical study; promote closer fraternal relationship among students who are interested in classical study; to engage generally in an effort to stimulate interest in classical study, and in the history, art, and literature of ancient Greece and Rome.” The Washington and Lee chapter was founded in 2009.

The Japanese National Honor Society recognizes and encourages achievement and excellence in the study of the Japanese language. The Washington and Lee chapter was started in 2010.

Phi Sigma Tau is the international honor society in philosophy, recognizing student achievement in that discipline. The Washington and Lee chapter was established in 2015.

Beta Alpha Psi is an international honor organization for students who have displayed academic excellence in the study of accounting and financial information. Founded in 1919, there are currently over 300 chapters on campuses around the world with more than 300,000 members initiated since the club’s formation. W&L’s Nu Mu chapter was installed in March 2016.

Professional Societies

Washington and Lee has chapters of several national professional societies. Members are elected on the basis of interest and distinction in the field related to the fraternity. The societies, with their years of affiliation at W&L, include American Chemical Society (1941); Society of Professional Journalists (1988); and American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (2008).

International Students

International students face unique challenges as well as opportunities, while pursuing their academic goals at Washington and Lee University. To enhance their educational experience, the university offers a variety of support services, including international student orientation, immigration advising, employment authorization information and assistance, federal income tax filing, counseling for personal and adjustment problems, and advocacy. The Center for International Education works closely with the Office of Student Affairs and student organizations to provide a wide range of extra-curricular activities which support the diverse interests of international students. The student organization Student Association for International Learning (SAIL), includes the International Student Alliance, which represents the needs and interests of our international student body, comprising approximately six percent of our total student population.

Elrod Commons

Dedicated in October 2003, the John W. Elrod University Commons serves as the campus “living room.” Elrod Commons houses the Marketplace dining area, as well as the Café ‘77/Emporium. It is also home to the University Store which offers trade books, textbooks, clothes, and supplies. Stackhouse Theater serves as an auditorium and offers movies during the academic year. The Student Affairs offices, the undergraduate Career Development office and the University radio station WLUR 91.5 FM are also located here. Elrod Commons has a variety of meeting rooms, student organization offices, lounges, and recreational spaces.

Athletics and Recreational Facilities

Washington and Lee boasts some of the finest athletics facilities for any NCAA Division III school, highlighted by several projects completed within recent years.

The Warner Athletic Center, which is connected to Doremus Gymnasium, the University’s original athletics center, comprises the indoor facilities. The five-story complex includes a 1,500-seat main arena; the Cy Twombly Pool and its 500-seat gallery; a state-of-the-art, 10,000- square-foot fitness center and aerobic/dance studio; a first rate athletics training facility; handball/racquetball/ squash courts; sauna, exercise rooms, and locker rooms.

The Duchossois Athletic Complex comprises the University’s outdoor practice and competition facilities. Wilson Field, completely renovated in 2008, is the center of the outdoor facilities. The turf field and 400-meter artificial-surface track are bordered by a 3,500-seat stadium, with new press-box facilities, visitors seating, and lights. It is the home venue for the Generals’ track, football, and men’s lacrosse teams. The stadium features locker-room facilities for all outdoor teams. Other sites include the Cap’n Dick Smith Baseball Field; 14 outdoor tennis courts, two of which are lighted; the four-court Duchossois indoor tennis center; Alston Parker Watt Field, a championship-quality field for men’s and women’s soccer and women’s lacrosse; the Richard Miller five-mile, cross-country course; a lighted, artificial turf field; and four renovated practice fields.

Washington and Lee students may play golf at Lexington Golf and Country Club and Buena Vista’s Vista Links, and may skate and ski at The Homestead, Massanutten, Wintergreen, and other nearby resorts.

Athletics and Recreation

The Department of Intercollegiate Athletics, Physical Education, and Recreation administers a program which features intercollegiate athletics and physical education courses for men and women and offers sports clubs, group fitness classes and intramural sports through Campus Recreation. These programs provide students fitness and recreation which complement the academic curriculum. A University Athletics Committee, composed of faculty, alumni, and students, oversees the intercollegiate athletics program and advises the director of athletics and the president of the university.

Intramurals: The focus of the intramural program at Washington and Lee is to provide an arena where participants can compete recreationally with fellow students, faculty, and staff. Teams comprised of men, women, first-year, and upper-class students compete yearly for the IM Cup, which is awarded to the overall intramural champion. Participants pay a small fee, which covers equipment, payments to officials, and trophies.

Sports Clubs: The sports clubs program includes 23 different sports which compete on an intercollegiate basis and/or for recreation. The current clubs that are chartered through the Campus Recreation Department include baseball, cheer, dance, disc golf, eventing, fencing, fly fishing, handball, ice hockey, jiu jitsu, men’s basketball, men’s lacrosse, men’s soccer, men’s volleyball, paintball, polo, racquetball, rugby, running, squash, swimming, tennis, and yoga. Of these clubs, several belong to national governing bodies and compete against surrounding colleges. The remaining clubs compete either amongst themselves and/or hold scrimmages or tournaments against other schools during the year. The Campus Recreation Department, which oversees these clubs, funds them twice annually and makes sure they abide by all the policies and procedures set forth in the W&L Sports Clubs Handbook.

Group Exercise: Classes are offered throughout the academic year providing organized fitness opportunities for the University community. Participants can take advantage of a variety of classes including yoga, pilates, sports circuit, kickboxing, group cycling, zumba, and step aerobics taught by instructors seven days a week throughout the day.

Physical Education: All undergraduates, unless physically disqualified by the university’s physician, must satisfactorily complete four activity courses and a swimming test to qualify for their degrees. More than 45 skills courses are offered. The courses emphasize physical skill development, sportsmanship, and game rules and regulations.

Intercollegiate Athletics: The University’s intercollegiate teams all follow the guidelines and philosophy established for the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division III, which calls for an institution’s financial aid to be awarded on the basis of family need and academic merit. The result at Washington and Lee is a strong, diverse athletic program in which participants are motivated by their love of the game and their desire to excel in competition.

Washington and Lee sponsors 12 varsity sports for men: cross country, football, golf, soccer and tennis in the fall; basketball, swimming, indoor track, and wrestling during the winter; baseball, golf, lacrosse, tennis, and track and field in the spring.

Washington and Lee sponsors 12 varsity sports for women: cross country, field hockey, golf, riding, soccer, tennis, and volleyball in the fall; basketball, swimming, and indoor track during the winter; golf, lacrosse, riding, tennis, and track and field in the spring. The women’s sports program will continue to grow as student interest dictates.

All teams are directed by coaches who hold faculty rank. Student-athletes enjoy first-quality equipment, uniforms, facilities, and support-staff attention. Sports schedules feature challenging opponents from colleges along the Eastern seaboard and Appalachian regions.

The University is a charter member of the 14-college Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC), founded in 1976 and comprised of small, private institutions which belong to the NCAA Division III. W&L sports which compete in the ODAC are men’s baseball, basketball, cross country, football, golf, lacrosse, soccer, tennis, indoor track, and outdoor track and field. Men’s swimming competes in the Blue Ridge Mountain Conference, and wrestling competes in the Centennial Conference. The women’s sports that compete in the ODAC are basketball, cross country, field hockey, golf, lacrosse, riding, soccer, swimming, tennis, indoor track, outdoor track and field, and volleyball. The conference recognizes team champions, a player-of-the-year, rookie-of -the- year, and coach-of-the-year in each sport and selects a recipient for scholar-athlete awards for men and women.

Cable 18

Cable 18, a fully equipped television studio and control room used in Reid Hall as a laboratory for journalism courses, presents news and public affairs programming to the Lexington and Rockbridge County communities through the Lexington cable television system, including award-winning local news every Thursday on The Rockbridge Report. The station is operated entirely by students under the direction of journalism faculty members. It is equipped with the latest high-definition digital production systems.

Concerts and Dances

Student Affairs and student organizations sponsor concerts, activities, comedians and other entertainment during the academic year. General Activities Board (GAB) events include a Homecoming concert, winter concert, Battle of the Bands, and Spring Music Festival, in addition to monthly comedians and periodic small concerts. Other notable events include the Black and White Ball at Homecoming, Lip Sync, and Cabaret. W&L attracts performers with local, regional and national name recognition.

The tradition of the Fancy Dress Ball dates back to 1907. The Warner Athletic Center and Doremus Gymnasium are transformed with elaborate props and decorations into a setting appropriate to the theme for the year. Entertainment often includes a dance orchestra, as well as, contemporary musical entertainment. Guests dress formally for the event, and a few participate in costumes derived from the theme.

Greek-Letter Organizations

The Washington and Lee community includes 21 national/international Greek-letter organizations. The 13 fraternities include Alpha Phi Alpha, Beta Theta Pi, Chi Psi, Kappa Alpha Order, Kappa Sigma, Lambda Chi Alpha, Phi Beta Sigma, Phi Delta Theta, Phi Gamma Delta, Pi Kappa Alpha, Pi Kappa Phi, Sigma Chi, and Sigma Nu. The eight sororities include Alpha Delta Pi, Alpha Kappa Alpha, Chi Omega, Delta Sigma Theta, Kappa Alpha Theta, Kappa Delta, Kappa Kappa Gamma, and Pi Beta Phi.

Seventeen of these organizations maintain a chapter house that is supervised by a live-in house director. These houses operate dining rooms and provide housing for many members. Additionally, chapter meetings and social gatherings are hosted at the houses.

Interfraternity and Panhellenic Councils govern most of the Greek-life organizations. The Student Affairs office and the Student Affairs Committee oversee functions of the Greek-letter community.

Music Organizations

The Washington and Lee University Singers continues to be recognized as one of the finest mixed a cappella choirs in the region. Routinely touring both nationally and internationally, the University Singers perform a wide variety of literature at major performance venues throughout the United States and abroad. The University Singers also regularly performs at music festivals and conventions and serves as the centerpiece of the University’s annual Candlelight Lessons and Carols Service. Student members of the ensemble represent a wide cross-section of the majors offered at the University and serve as artistic ambassadors for the school. Membership in the University Singers is chosen by a competitive audition process each year.

Cantatrici (“Excellent female singers”) is the newest choral ensemble at W&L. Made up of women from first-years through law-school students, Cantatrici sings a wide variety of literature regularly throughout the campus and community, focusing on regional touring and community outreach. Auditions for the ensemble are held each September and January.

The Men’s Glee Club is the oldest choral ensemble at W&L, dating back to the 19th century. Based on the time-honored tradition of men’s choral singing, the Glee Club performs regularly on campus, at athletic events, and in the community. Auditions for the ensemble are held each September and January and are open to any male singer in the W&L community.

The Concert Guild, a student organization, sponsors the appearances of internationally renowned classical artists in the Lenfest Center for the Arts. Artists who have performed on the series include included Schola Cantorum de Venezuela, Valentine Lisitsa, the Emerson String Quartet, the Kings Singers, and Chanticleer.

Sonoklect is a series of concerts presenting the eclectic sounds of the past hundred years. World premieres and landmark works are performed by soloists and ensembles that specialize in the performance of contemporary music. Included with many of the programs are lectures and workshops given by the visiting artists.

The University Orchestra is comprised of university students and residents from the community as well as professional musicians from the area. Students who play wind, percussion, or orchestral string instruments may join the Orchestra. The Orchestra performs a wide variety of repertoire in concerts on campus during the fall and winter terms. In the past, the Orchestra has hosted internationally known guest soloists and conductors and has presented concerts in collaboration with the University choruses. Student string players have also toured abroad.

The University Wind Ensemble consists of wind and percussion players who perform symphonic band repertoire in concerts on and off campus. In the past, the wind ensemble has toured during the break between winter and spring terms.

Chamber Ensembles are small musical groups that are created from the student body to perform music from various historical periods. Such groups include the Bluegrass Ensemble, the Brass Ensemble, the Percussion Ensemble, the Woodwind Ensemble, and the String Ensemble.

The University Jazz Ensemble is comprised of student instrumentalists playing the many styles of big band music from early swing era works to modern jazz compositions. The Jazz Ensemble takes a tour every other year.

The Production Club is a newly established student organization that provides sound, recording, and lighting services for on-campus events. The club offers an exciting and challenging hands-on environment for learning event production and managerial skills. Students run the events, manage other students, and maintain all the day-to-day operations.

Student-Led Music Groups

JubiLee is composed of specially auditioned women who work with an array of musical genres from present day pop to oldies to alternative rock. The group performs at University and alumni events and tours regularly with Southern Comfort.

General Admission is composed of specially auditioned male and female students. The group performs pop hits from the ‘60s to the present for alumni and University events. They also host an annual a capella festival where groups from other colleges and universities are invited to perform on the W&L campus.

Southern Comfort is composed of specially auditioned male singers who perform everything from barbershop to The Beatles. The group performs regularly for the university and other surrounding colleges.

The Washingtones is an a cappella group composed of specially auditioned male and female students. The group performs popular music from the past five decades at concerts and other events on campus.

Outing Club

The W&L Outing Club promotes the safe, low impact exploration of the mountains, rivers, and trails of the southeast. It offers students, faculty and staff a variety of outdoor activities, classes, service opportunities, and environmental projects. W&L students lead most of the activities, which include backpacking, fly fishing, scuba diving, canoeing, kayaking, rafting, rock climbing, mountain biking, caving, and skiing. Trips vary in length from day hikes to week long trips held during the Washington Break in February and Spring Break in April. An international trip is offered for students during the summer each year. Equipment and trip planning resources are available to all Outing Club members for their own trips. As the largest student organization on campus, the Outing Club has something for everyone.


The Muse is a student literary magazine published two times a year. It contains works of poetry, prose, and artwork. Any student may submit manuscripts for consideration.

The Calyx is the University’s undergraduate yearbook. It is a pictorial summary of student life and events during the year.

inGeneral is an innovative news magazine that engages and informs the University community.

The Ring-tum Phi, a student newspaper established in 1897, is published and staffed entirely by students. It is independent of direct control by the faculty or administration. It reports on all campus matters and provides a forum for University opinion.

W&L Political Review is a nonpartisan student publication devoted to the consideration of current political issues.

See also WLUR 91.5 FM.

Religious Life

Washington and Lee University supports all religious traditions by providing opportunities for transformative interfaith dialogue and deepening the awareness of the spiritual and moral dimensions of human wholeness.

The University recognizes the importance of religious holidays and encourages all faculty to make reasonable accommodations necessary for students’ observances. Students should provide faculty reasonable prior notice of religious holidays on which they will be absent.

The Hillel House provides cultural, social, and religious activities for Jewish students and for students interested in Judaic studies. Events include - weekly Shabbat dinners, lectures, films, discussions, a Passover Seder, High Holy Day services, and social functions. Jewish congregations in Roanoke, Staunton, and Lynchburg welcome students to attend services at their synagogues. Also located in the Hillel House is the Interfaith Office, which contains books and other resources about all of the major world religions so that students can explore their own religion or learn about others.

Washington and Lee’s Generals’ Christian Fellowship and Reformed University Fellowship are campus-wide organizations open to Christians of all backgrounds. The purpose of both groups is to provide meeting times on campus for both fellowship and instruction to help students better understand their faith.

Salaam is a student organization for Muslim students and those interested in learning more about Islam.

A variety of other faiths are represented in the student body, particularly among international students. Working with the Center for International Education and dining services, these students routinely hold celebrations of holy days. The Elrod Commons has a meeting room that can serve as an all-faith worship space.

Lexington churches also serve the religious needs of Washington and Lee students. Several of these churches have ministers whose primary work is with students at Washington and Lee and the Virginia Military Institute. Centers of worship in Lexington include Anglican, Assembly of God, Baptist, Church of Christ, Church of God in Christ, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Episcopal, Lutheran, Methodist, Presbyterian, Roman Catholic, and various independent churches.

The University also maintains Sacred Space, a dedicated and consecrated room set aside for prayer, contemplation, and meditation, located in Leyburn Library 218. It is available for individuals during regular library hours, and may be reserved in advance for small group gatherings.

Community-Based Learning Opportunities

Service-Learning Courses enrich students’ education through their volunteer work in Rockbridge area communities. Service-learning courses within the Shepherd Program curriculum require approximately two hours of volunteer work each week. Service-learning and community engagement provide students with co-curricular experiences that complement the academic goals of a course, major, or minor. Each professor assigns course requirements that may include a journal, project, or paper that demonstrates students’ understanding of the relation of service work and observations to their academic studies.

Community-based Research (CBR) supported by the Community-Academic Research Alliance (CARA) enables students to conduct faculty-supervised research projects addressing community needs, with an emphasis on the needs of persons disadvantaged by their circumstances. Research projects are designed and conducted in partnership with community groups and agencies. This community-based research puts students’ analytical skills to work in partnership with and support of residents within the partnering area (especially Lexington, Buena Vista, and Rockbridge County).

Volunteer Venture offers entering first-year students opportunities to serve and learn through a week-long pre-orientation program led by W&L students who have academic and firsthand knowledge of the problems associated with poverty. Trips to six different geographical areas provide students chances to make new friendships and to become immersed in efforts to diminish poverty. Volunteer Venture and Appalachian Adventure, a parallel opportunity for outdoor activities, constitute the Leading Edge pre-orientation programs sponsored by the Assistant Dean for First-Year Experience.

The Bonner Scholars Program is a unique leadership development program for students with an interest in service and civic engagement. Bonner Scholars commit to 1,800 hours of service and leadership training over the course of their four years in college. Bonner Scholars commit not only to service, but also to development as a leader both on campus and in the community. In an effort to provide students with the financial framework to continue serving while making their educations more affordable, Washington and Lee, in conjunction with the Bonner Foundation and the Corporation for National Service, provides Bonner Scholars with work-study funding and AmeriCorps educational awards. Applications are due in March, and all incoming first-year students and rising sophomores are eligible to apply.

The Campus Kitchen at Washington and Lee (CKWL) uses service to strengthen bodies, empower minds and build communities. CKWL recovers food from W&L and VMI Dining Services and local stores and restaurants to fight hunger. Washington and Lee student volunteers serve and share meals with low-income members of the Rockbridge County community. They also initiate and implement new programs such as backpacks filled with food for local, low-income school students to take home on weekends. These students develop leadership skills and meaningful relationships with clients and become civic leaders.

The Nabors Service League (NSL), established by the undergraduate Class of 2002 in memory of their classmate, owes its origins to the spirit of optimism, love and friendship that characterized Jonathan Nabors’ short time at Washington and Lee. NSL students identify and manage community service projects in the Lexington and Rockbridge area, including annual Fall and Spring Nabors Service Days. The NSL coordinates local volunteer opportunities with children, adolescents, disadvantaged people of all ages and the elderly. It also works to protect the environment and animals. NSL sponsors alternative-break service-learning trips in cooperation with alumni chapters in many cities. Finally, NSL promotes a network of student organizations to coordinate and support university-wide efforts to serve society and address current social issues.

Theater Activities

University Theater activities are open to all students who may wish to participate in theater or dance in any capacity. Auditions are held at the Lenfest Center for the Arts and are open to all members of the student body, faculty and staff.

WLUR 91.5 FM

WLUR 91.5 FM, Lexington, is a noncommercial educational radio station owned by Washington and Lee and directed by the university’s Office of Communications and Public Affairs. Undergraduate and law students and members of the faculty and staff generate most of WLUR’s diverse programming, which covers a wide range of musical genres, public affairs, news, and commentary for W&L athletic events. WLUR also airs Radio IQ, BBC News, and NPR talk programming 10 to 12 hours daily. A full-time general manager supervises the day-to-day operations of the station, while students occupy management positions.

The station is located in the John W. Elrod University Commons. WLUR transmits at 91.5 megahertz on the FM radio frequency band, with an effective radiated power of 175 watts. The station is on air 24 hours a day throughout the year. WLUR’s programming is also streamed live over the Internet at wlur.wlu.edu