2010-2011 University Catalog 
    Jul 22, 2024  
2010-2011 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, The Leading Edge, 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 work, recreation, friendships, traditions, and  ideals of the University. Orientation and discussion sessions are conducted by faculty members, administrators, resident advisers, and upper-class students. Attendance at orientation events is expected, and students are notified during the summer of the dates of the program. The First-Year Program also offers a variety of pre-orientation programs to allow students a head start on connecting with the University community through service, outdoor adventure, and academic programs. The Center for International Education conducts a specialized orientation for new international students, held prior to the regular orientation program. 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. Transfer students are acclimated to the University through the Office of the University Registrar.

Where Students Live

Washington and Lee believes that a residential experience for students is an important aspect of a liberal arts education. Therefore, all first-year students and sophomores are required to live in University housing.

The first-year students’ residences are divided into sections of 15 to 20 students, with each section supervised by a resident adviser, capable of giving sympathetic and 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.

Approximately 40 percent of the first-year students’ rooms in Gilliam, Davis, Graham-Lees, and Gaines Residence Halls are singles; the remainder are double rooms. 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.

Many upper-class students live either in fraternity houses, sorority houses, or in private homes or apartments. A variety of upper-class accommodations are offered by the University. For upper-class and law students seeking on-campus, apartment-style accommodations, the Woods Creek Apartments feature three-, four-, and five student apartment units, each with kitchenettes, living rooms, and single occupancy bedrooms. There are 40 such apartments accommodating a total of 178 students who live in a convenient, but somewhat secluded part of the central  campus. The Francis P. Gaines Residence Hall is a 208-bed facility that provides housing, primarily in attractive apartment-like suites, for first year and upper-class students. The International House, the Spanish House, the Outing Club House, and the John Chavis House also provide limited residential accommodations.

Since University liability insurance does not provide coverage for lost, stolen, or damaged property in University residences, students and their families are advised to seek insurance coverage adequate for such 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 and the Law School Brief Stop. The various venues are equipped with state-of-the-art equipment, and both the Marketplace and Café ’77/Emporium offer continuous service during their hours of operation. All first-year students are required to participate in the full-board plan. 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 and Gilliam Residence Halls. 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.

A staff of registered nurses assists the University physicians 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 University physicians have office hours by appointment, and are on call for after-hour emergencies and weekend care for students requiring infirmary care. The physician services and most medications dispensed at the Health Center are available to the students without charge. There is a nominal charge for administration of allergy injections done at the Student Health Center. Other services (such as lab tests sent to an outside lab, Pap tests, contraceptive supplies, and immunizations) are charged at cost.

Emergency medical situations beyond the scope of care at the Student Health Center are evaluated and treated at Stonewall Jackson Hospital, located just one mile from campus. Community or hospital-staff physicians care for students requiring emergency room care or hospital admission, and regular hospital and physician charges are assessed for such care. The University physicians maintain consulting privileges at Stonewall Jackson Hospital to assist the admitting physician in the event a student requires inpatient medical care.

Each entering, transfer, or exchange student is required to submit a health form that includes a complete health history, immunization record, and physical examination by the student’s own physician. The Washington and Lee form for this report is sent to students after admission to the University in the New Student Guidebook, and is also available from the Student Health Center website. Students are required to have the health history completed, 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 medical reasons must be documented on a form available from the Student Health Center website, and must be submitted by June 1 for entering students to allow for appropriate housing assignments.

Health records maintained by the Student Health Center on each student 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 healthcare provider with information from your medical record to assist him or her in treating you. This includes University Counseling staff, with whom the Student Health Center physicians 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. An exception when parents and the administration will be notified is 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 Dean of Students will be included in discussions as to the most appropriate course of action.

Individual and group counseling is available to all students on a confidential basis at the University Counseling Center located in Early-Fielding. 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. The counseling staff is on call for emergencies and can be reached through the Student Health Center after hours.

The Student Health and Counseling Services staff is also involved in educational programming for dormitory counselors, resident assistants, peer counselors, peer health educators, student leaders and 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.

In the Warner Athletic Center, the Department of Athletics and Physical Education maintains a training room for the treatment of bruises, sprains and minor injuries that do not require the attention of a doctor. The training room is used primarily by participants in varsity athletic and physical education programs. A certified athletic trainer, who works closely with the University physicians, is in charge of the facility. Physical therapy services beyond the scope of care in the training room are available in the community by physician referral.

By University policy, all students are required to provide evidence of health and hospitalization insurance coverage to supplement the medical 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 plan of accident and health insurance offered to all Washington and Lee students. An annual health insurance information form must be returned to the University for those who choose not to participate in the University-sponsored student health insurance plan. 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 Washington and Lee group insurance plan, unless cleared by the Office of  International Education. The Student Health and Insurance Coordinator 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. Please send any changes in coverage to Washington and Lee University, Student Health Center, Davis Hall, 204 W. Washington St., Lexington, Virginia 24450 when they occur.

Student Government


Washington and Lee students are accorded a large measure of self-government. The faculty and administrative officials give organizations of student government full cooperation and 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 and its appointed official committees are responsible for administering the Honor System and supervising nearly all student-related campus activities. Academic and law classes elect officers and representatives each year.

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 decision in an Honor System case 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.

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

Other Student Committees

The Executive Committee (EC) of the Student Body administers the Honor System, allocates the student budget, conducts student body elections, and appoints students to a number of University committees. Its appointments include the Generals Activities Board, whose purpose is to provide entertainment and social activities for the student body; Contact, an organization designed to bring speakers to campus; and the Student-Faculty Hearing Board, which hears certain cases including alleged rape and sexual misconduct. Additionally, the EC runs elections for positions on the Student Judicial Council, a student-run committee composed of elected class justices. The SJC has jurisdiction in certain cases of alleged student misconduct at Washington and Lee and conduct engaged in while identifiable as a Washington and Lee student. Also serving the University are the Nabors’ Service League, Knowledge Empowering Women Leaders, 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.  A complete listing of student organizations is available at www.wlu.edu/x21626.xml.

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.

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 seniors 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.

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 2001.

Order of Omega is a national honor society recognizing members of social fraternities and sororities who have achieved high academic success and who promote a high standard of leadership within the Greek and Washington and Lee communities. The Washington and Lee chapter was founded in 2002.

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.

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

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’s Center for International Education (CIE) 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 also advises the Student Association for International Learning (SAIL). This umbrella organization includes the International Student Alliance, which represents the needs and interests of our international student body, comprising approximately seven percent of our total student population.

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 include Society of Professional Journalists in journalism; Alpha Epsilon Delta in premedical studies; Phi Delta Phi, Delta Theta Pi, and Phi Alpha Delta in law; and Psi Chi in psychology.

Elrod Commons

Dedicated in October 2003, the John W. Elrod University Commons serves as the campus “living room.” Elrod Commons is the central location for all constituencies of the University to come and feel at home. Elrod Commons personnel seek to enhance the learning experience,  promote social development, and foster collaboration.

Elrod Commons houses the Marketplace dining area, where all board-plan meals are served, as well as the Café ‘77/Emporium, a casual dining option and convenience store. The University Store offers trade books, textbooks, clothes, and supplies. A regular program of movies is offered throughout each week in the Stackhouse Theater, which also serves as an auditorium. On weekends the Film Society shows a variety of films. The undergraduate Career Services Office and 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. Social, recreational, and cultural activities for the campus community are provided under the direction of the Elrod Commons and Campus Activities staff. See www.wlu.edu/x1227.xml for more information.

Athletic and Recreational Facilities


Washington and Lee boasts some of the finest athletic 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 athletic 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 athletic trainer’s 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 and Physical Education administers a program which features intercollegiate athletics and physical education courses for men and women. Sports clubs, group fitness classes and intramural sports are administered by the Campus Recreation Department in Student Affairs. These programs provide students fitness and recreation which complement the academic curriculum. A University Athletic Committee, composed of faculty, alumni, and students, oversees the intercollegiate athletic 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. The current intramural program offers 19 different activities ranging from flag football and basketball, to ping pong and poker. 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 20 different sports which compete on an intercollegiate basis and/or for recreation. The current clubs that are chartered through the Campus Recreation Department include the following: baseball, boxing, cheerleading, crew, cycling, eventing, cricket, dance, fencing, ice hockey, mixed martial arts, men’s lacrosse, ping pong, polo, rugby, soccer, squash, tennis, ultimate Frisbee, and volleyball. Of these 20 clubs, seven 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 Fitness: 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.

The Athletic Department sponsors 11 varsity sports for women at Washington and Lee: cross country, field hockey, riding, soccer, tennis, and volleyball in the fall; basketball, swimming, and indoor track during the winter; lacrosse, riding, tennis, and track and field in the spring. The women’s sports program will continue to grow as student interest dictates.

Most 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 13-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, 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 electronic journalism courses, presents news and public affairs programming to the Lexington community 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 all-digital production systems.

Concerts and Dances

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 Buffalo Creek Music Festival, in addition to monthly  comedians and periodic small concerts. Other notable events include the Black and White Ball at Homecoming. W&L attracts performers with local, regional and national name recognition. The Office of Student Activities and Greek Life works closely with student organizations and individuals to support their efforts, in addition to providing regular late-night entertainment in the form of free midnight movies and Generals’ Rallies, including lunch and musical entertainment, held prior to home football games in the fall.

The biggest event of the year is the Fancy Dress Ball. The tradition of Fancy Dress 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, contemporary musical entertainment, and other entertainers and performers who provide moments of surprise. Guests dress formally for the event, and a few participate in costumes derived from the theme.

Film Society

The Washington and Lee Film Society, an organization including both students and faculty, each year presents a motion picture series which includes critically acclaimed foreign and American works. The series is designed to present to the campus and the community noteworthy film achievements and to present students with a variety of perspectives on social and cultural issues.

Greek-Letter Organizations


The Washington and Lee community includes 24 national/international Greek-letter organizations. The 17 fraternities include Alpha Phi Alpha, Beta Theta Pi, Chi Psi, Kappa Alpha Order, Lambda Chi Alpha, Omega Psi Phi, Phi Beta Sigma, Phi Delta Theta, Phi Gamma Delta, Phi Kappa Psi, Phi Kappa Sigma, Pi Kappa Alpha, Pi Kappa Phi, Sigma Alpha Epsilon, Sigma Chi, Sigma Nu, and Sigma Phi Epsilon. 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.

Nineteen of these organizations maintain a chapter house that is supervised by a live-in house director. These houses operate dining rooms and provide lodging for many members. Additionally, chapter meetings and social gatherings are hosted at the houses. The Greek-letter community plays a large role in campus life.

Interfraternity and Panhellenic Councils govern most of the Greek-life organizations. The Panhellenic Adviser, Interfraternity Council Adviser, and the Student Affairs Committee supervise functions of the Greek-letter community.

Music Organizations

 The Washington and Lee Chamber Singers continue to be recognized as one of the finest mixed a cappella choirs in the region. Routinely touring both nationally and internationally, the Chamber Singers perform a wide variety of literature at major performance venues throughout the United States and abroad. The Chamber Singers also regularly perform at music festivals and conventions and serve 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 Chamber 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 early 20th 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 Performing Arts. The events of the past two seasons included Cantus, Chamber Orchestra Kremlin, Di Wu, “Porgy and Bess,” Valentina Lisitsa, 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 who specialize in the performance of contemporary music. Included with many of the programs are lectures and workshops given by the visiting artists.

The University-Shenandoah Symphony Orchestra is comprised of university students and residents from the community, as well as professional musicians from the area. Students who play an orchestral string instrument may join the USSO. The orchestra performs three or four times a year and plays a wide variety of literature. In the past, the USSO 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 outstanding band repertoire in concerts on and off campus. In the past, the wind ensemble has toured overseas during the break between winter and spring terms. Select wind ensemble members are asked to play in the USSO, as needed.

Chamber Ensembles
, small musical groups, are created from the student body to perform music from various historical periods.

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 Production Club, a newly established student organization, provides sound, recording, and lighting services for on-campus events. The club provides 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. and performs light and pop music for University and alumni events.

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 and appears at enviable locations such as The Homestead every New Year.

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 University Media Board, composed of student representatives, a staff adviser, and a representative from the Executive Committee, provides guidance and monetary support to University publications and media organizations. Though the role and membership of the board is being reviewed, participating organizations, as of February 2010, are listed below.

Ariel 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 strives to establish a new tradition in Washington and Lee student publications by producing an innovative news magazine that engages and informs the University community.

The Journal of Science is a student publication dedicated to the discussion of current scientific, psychological, sociological, medical and bioethical issues.

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 coordinator cultivates respect among religious faith groups, affirms the connection between intellectual and spiritual life, and nurtures religious faith on and off campus. Information is shared through the office with the local faith communities which are primarily responsible for meeting the religious and worship needs of students. The coordinator designs comprehensive programming to deepen faith, broaden vision, develop character, and support capabilities for servant leadership, ever mindful of the university’s tradition as a non-sectarian institution.

Washington and Lee University will fulfill this mission by recognizing six areas of religious-life development: counseling, pastoral care, programs, morality, community building, and social justice. Washington and Lee University maintains its commitment to moral and spiritual values in an atmosphere free of sectarian favoritism, inviting and serving individuals of all faiths.

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 Association provides cultural, social, and religious activities for Jewish students and for students interested in Judaic studies. Events include monthly Sabbath dinners, lectures, films, discussions, a Passover seder, High Holy Day services, and social functions. Faculty and staff serve as advisers to Jewish students. Jewish congregations in Roanoke, Staunton, and Lynchburg welcome students to attend services at their synagogues.

Washington and Lee’s Generals’ Christian Fellowship is a campus-wide organization open to Christians of all backgrounds. Its purpose is to provide a meeting time on campus for both fellowship and instruction to help students better understand their faith.

There is a joint campus ministry for Washington and Lee students and VMI cadets who are members of Eastern Orthodox churches. The Greek Orthodox congregations in Roanoke and Charlottesville welcome the group. Local services are held on occasion, including Bible study,  special services, and fellowship, and the group carpools to church during the Lenten season.

A variety of other faiths are represented in the student body, particularly among international students. Working with the Center for International Education and the dining service, these students routinely hold celebrations of holy days. The John W. Elrod University Commons has a meeting room which can serve as an all-faith worship space. Student groups may schedule this room for services through the Elrod Commons staff.

Lexington churches also serve the religious needs of Washington and Lee Christian 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 through the Office of Religious Life.

Service Learning Opportunities

Service Learning Courses engage students in serving the Rockbridge community through their coursework. Service learning courses ideally require two hours of service per week, a journal, and a final, graded project demonstrating students’ understanding of the relation of service work to their academic studies.

Campus-Community Partnerships for Research (CCPR) enable 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 put students’ analytical skills to work in the Rockbridge area.

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 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 Office of the Dean of First-Year Students.

Bonner Leaders are selected for their passion about learning through active engagement in their communities. These student leaders develop leadership skills through service. To achieve this goal, Washington and Lee, in conjunction with the Bonner Foundation and the Corporation for National Service (AmeriCorps), provides work-study funding and Americorps vouchers for approximately twenty students annually. This financial support frees students to complete a 900-hour term of community service over two years, including remunerated service work during the summer.

The Campus Kitchen at Washington and Lee
uses service to strengthen bodies, empower minds, and build communities. It combats hunger and promotes nutrition by recovering and preparing for balanced meals food that would otherwise go to waste or that is grown in our on-campus organic garden. Washington and Lee student volunteers serve and share these 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 an annual Nabors Service Day. 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 and 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 Performing 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 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 10-12 hours daily. A full-time general manager supervises the day-to-day operations of the station, while students occupy various 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