From the Alumni Association By Laws: “Every alumnus or alumna of Washington and Lee University, as defined herein, shall be a regular and voting member of the Alumni Association. The words alumnus and alumna as used here shall mean a person who: 1) received a Washington and Lee degree; or who: 2) (a) was officially enrolled for not less than one full term in a degree-seeking program at the University; and (b) had final grades for at least one full term entered on the records of the University, and (c) honorably and voluntarily withdrew from the University, without any unresolved honor or disciplinary matters pending.
Any person who: a) has received an honorary degree from Washington and Lee, or b) has been elected an honorary member of the Association by a two-thirds vote of the Alumni Board of Directors, for conspicuous service to the University or the Association, or c) was for 20 years or more: i) a tenured member of the faculty, or ii) an exempt level member of the administration, shall be an honorary, non-voting member of the Association.
Others who attend the University for a period of time, including those who attended under any exchange program with another college or university, are not “alumni” per se - but shall be carried on University records as friends of the University, and shall be eligible to receive W&L communications according to the internal protocols of University Advancement as revised from time to time.”
The first meeting of the Alumni Association is believed to have taken place on or about June 20, 1840. The association was incorporated under Virginia law on June 29, 1910. There are approximately 27,000 living undergraduate and law alumni.
The association seeks to involve as many alumni as possible in satisfying experiences with W&L. The Association communicates alumni views to the University and keeps alumni informed of University issues, events and policies. A greater understanding of and engagement with W&L is cultivated through varied educational, cultural, travel, and reunion programs on and off campus.
The association is managed by a board of directors of 24 alumni, each of whom serves a staggered four-year term. The president of the association for 2018-19 is Alicia Hay Matthai, Class of ‘91, from Baltimore. The president for 2019-2020 is Stephanie Wolfe, Class of ‘99, from Randolph, New Jersey.
The Alumni Board and the Alumni Engagement Office operate under Alumni 2020, a written strategic plan updated annually. Areas of emphasis include supporting 75 alumni chapters, lifelong learning, careers and networking, and diversity and inclusion. The chapters are a primary vehicle for local alumni engagement through a variety of programs and activities. The board is also responsible for choosing the winners of the Distinguished Alumni Awards, the Association’s highest honor, and for submitting a confidential slate of three alumni every other year for consideration by the Trusteeship committee of the Board of Trustees.
The Alumni Engagement office is a division of University Advancement. The Executive Director of Alumni Affairs is senior university administrator Waller T. Dudley ‘74, ‘79L, a former president of the Alumni Association and former University trustee.
Alumni Engagement has primary responsibility for Alumni Weekend, Young Alumni Weekend, the Five-Star Festival for senior alumni, and affinity reunions. The office also includes Lifelong Learning programs on campus and educational travel programs around the globe. Alumni Engagement also manages Kathekon, the student-leaders-in training group, the alumni dashboard at alumni.wlu.edu, and is the primary administrator of Colonnade Connections, Washington and Lee’s online alumni directory and community. It works with local alumni volunteers in the Alumni Admissions Program (AAP), and co-sponsors the Athletic Hall of Fame with the Department of Physical Education and Athletics.
The Alumni Engagement Offices are located in the historic Hotchkiss House at the northern end of the Colonnade. This former faculty residence was renamed in 2008 to honor beloved University official Farris Hotchkiss and his wife, Judy. Hotchkiss House also hosts social events for faculty, staff, students, and alumni.
Law Alumni Association
Alumni of the Washington and Lee University School of Law created the Law Alumni Association in 1953 in order to support and promote the School of Law as an institution of service to its students, the legal profession, the judiciary and the general public. The association assists the School of Law in pursuing the goals of academic excellence, protection of its heritage and traditions, and development and maintenance of close and continuous relationships with its alumni. The association assumes a leadership position in supporting the School of Law in its fund raising efforts, in each case by initiating, promoting, and sponsoring programs consistent with the attainment of the School’s goals. The association serves as an important link between the School of Law and its alumni.
The Law Alumni Association is governed by the Law Council. The president for 2019-2020 is Meg Campbell, Law Class of 1981. The Council consists of up to 40 elected members who serve staggered four-year terms, plus three officers who serve ex officio and are elected for a term of one year. After serving the four-year term, Law Council members are asked to serve for an additional four years as emeriti members of the Council. The Law Council advises the Dean of the School of Law on matters related to law student placement, admissions, curriculum, alumni relations, and fund-raising. The council undertakes special projects from time to time. In addition, the council plays an active role in encouraging admitted law students to enroll at W&L, with assisting students with their career searches, and with sponsoring law-oriented alumni programs in various geographic areas.