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.
New-Student 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 Leading Edge occurs at the beginning of orientation and offers a variety of 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 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 University housing is an essential part of the Washington and Lee undergraduate student experience. All first-years, sophomores, and juniors live on campus, 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 (RA), capable of giving informed guidance to new students. In keeping with the traditions of student life at the University, the facilitation of residence life is based on the principle of student self-governance. Certain regulations governing residence life, for example, quiet hours and visitation policies, are formulated by the residents of each individual residence hall section in statements of community standards.
First-year students reside in Graham-Lees Hall and Gaines Hall. There are rooms within each of these facilities to accommodate students with disabilities. Each student is provided with a closet or wardrobe, a study desk, a desk chair, a dresser, and a single twin bed of extra-long length. Students provide their own bedding and other furnishings as desired. Wireless internet is provided in all campus housing.
The University offers a variety of living accommodations for upper-division students, including apartments, townhouses, theme, and fraternity/sorority housing. Similar to RAs, community assistants (CA) provide guidance and support to upper-division students. The 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 within three facilities - east, central, and west - that comprise the complex. Upper-division students may also live in a fraternity or sorority house or one of several diverse theme houses, including: Casa Hispánica, Chavis House, Global Service, Arts, Recreation and Culture (ARC), Outing Club, Nuestro Hogar Latino, Sankofa House, and Washingtonian 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 renter’s insurance to cover those risks.
Direct questions about university housing or the residential experience to email@example.com.
Where Students Dine
Dining together provides ongoing opportunities for intellectual and social exchange.
We offer a full array of dining options across the entire campus community:
- The Marketplace (Elrod Commons)
- Café ‘77/Emporium (Elrod Commons)
- Brief Stop (Sydney Lewis Hall)
- the E Café (Hillel House)
- Foodside (Fieldside Restaurant, Upper-Division Housing)
- Fireside (Fieldside Restaurant, Upper-Division Housing)
- Tea House (Center for Global Learning)
Venues are equipped with state-of-the-art equipment, with both The Marketplace and Café ‘77 offering continuous service during their hours of operation. All first-year students are required to participate in the all-you-can-eat, full-board meal plan, which offers a wide variety of choices, including vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, and international options. 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 also 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 compostable to-go ware and recycle, compost, and donate leftover food to the W&L Campus Kitchen project to reduce our food-waste footprint. For more information, visit the Dining Services website at my.wlu.edu/dining-services.
Student Health and Counseling Services
The Student Health Center (SHC), located in Davis Hall, provides outpatient primary healthcare services for all Washington and Lee students. When undergraduate terms are in session, the SHC is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and overnight bed care is available when needed. At other times during the academic year, the SHC is open daily from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm but closed during the Thanksgiving and Winter breaks and during the summer. The medical providers have office hours by scheduled appointment Monday to Friday, and a provider is on call for after-hour emergencies and weekend care for students requiring infirmary care. Visits to the SHC are billed to students’ health insurance plans, although co-payments and deductibles are considered pre-paid by the Student Health Fee. Charges are made for prescription medications dispensed from the SHC dispensary and for some other services (e.g., a linen fee for overnight care), and may be charged to a student’s university account. A professional health educator is also available to meet with individuals who want to make changes to health behaviors, and to work with students to plan and implement campus health promotion programs.
Entering students are required to submit health forms that include a complete health history, immunization record, recent physical examination with home provider, and a health-insurance information form with a copy of all health-insurance cards. New students must complete all required immunizations and submit all required health forms to the SHC by July 31.
All students are required to provide evidence of health and hospitalization insurance coverage annually. This coverage may be in the form of an individual/family policy or enrollment in the optional student health insurance plan offered to all full-time Washington and Lee students. Every student must complete an online waiver or enrollment form by July 31 each year, depending on whether or not they choose to enroll in the university-sponsored plan. International students are required to purchase coverage through the university-sponsored student health insurance plan. The SHC can assist students with enrollment, coverage, and claims under this plan.
Counseling and psychiatric evaluation and treatment services are available to all students through the University Counseling Center (UCC), located in the Early-Fielding building. UCC staff work with students on a wide range of topics, including adjustment to college life, stress management, anxiety, depression, concerns with relationships, sexuality, eating disorders, trauma, and substance abuse. During the academic year, the UCC is open Monday to Friday from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm but closed during the Thanksgiving and Winter breaks and during the summer. Individual appointments may be scheduled by contacting the UCC, but many other care options are available for support. Let’s Talk is a drop-in program that provides easy access to informal, confidential consultations with a counselor at various locations across campus. My SSP (My Student Support Program) is a free, confidential, online counseling service offering mental health support and well-being resources via text, phone, or video 24/7 and regardless of location.
The Carilion Rockbridge Community Hospital’s Emergency Room and Velocity Care urgent care are located nearby for urgent or emergency medical situations beyond the scope of care of Student Health and Counseling. Specialty medical care is limited in Lexington; larger hospitals/healthcare systems with more complex or specialty care services are located nearby in Fishersville, Roanoke, or Charlottesville.
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 primary administrator of student government is the Executive Committee of the Student Body (EC). 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 undergraduate Sophomore, Junior, and Senior classes.
The EC administers the Honor System, allocates the student budget, and appoints students to a number of University committees, in accordance with the Student Body Constitution and the EC’s student-organization Budget and Recognition Policy. Over 100 student organizations have been recognized. 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 go.wlu.edu/ec-recognized-student-orgs.
The primary function of the Executive Committee is consideration of possible breaches of the Honor System. 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 by the Executive Committee may appeal or withdraw permanently from the University. The only appeal from the Executive Committee’s finding of an Honor Violation is a hearing before the Student Body. Any student found guilty of a violation of the Honor System in a Student Body Hearing will be dismissed from the University.
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
The Executive Committee (EC) and four additional bodies adjudicate cases of possible student misconduct. The four bodies that consider misconduct not under the jurisdiction of the Honor System are the Harassment and Sexual Misconduct Board (HSMB), the Student Judicial Council (SJC), the Interfraternity Council (IFC), and the Panhellenic Council (PHC). Any appeal from the SJC, IFC, or PHC 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 some student-organization leadership positions and to certain faculty and university committees. These include the Generals Activities Board, Contact Committee, Fancy Dress, University Board of Appeals, Hearing Advisor Leadership, the Student Advisory Group to the Harassment and Sexual Misconduct Board, and others.
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.
Alpha Mu Gamma, the National Collegiate Foreign Language Honor Society, recognizes exceptional achievements in all world languages, primarily honoring students for outstanding achievement during their first year of world-language study in college. The Washington and Lee chapter, designated as Alpha Alpha Delta was established in 2019.
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); American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (2008); and Public Relations Student Society of America (2016).
International students face unique challenges as well as opportunities, while pursuing their academic and co-curricular goals at Washington and Lee University. To enhance their educational experience, the university offers a variety of support services, including advising on student visa regulations, international student orientation, assistance with obtaining employment authorization, tax filing, and general assistance with navigating unfamiliar bureaucratic systems and adjustment to student life. The Center for International Education works closely with the Division of Student Affairs and student organizations to provide a wide range of extra-curricular activities, which support the diverse interests of international students.
Dedicated in October 2003, the John W. Elrod University 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, and to Stackhouse Theater that serves as an auditorium. The Student Affairs offices, the Class of 1994 Center for Inclusion and Engagement, the undergraduate Career and Professional Development office, the Executive Committee offices and meeting room, the Hearing Advisors Office, Dining Administration offices, and the University radio station WLUR 91.5 FM are also located here. Elrod Commons has a variety of meeting rooms and lounges.
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 Duchossois Athletic and Recreation Center, which is connected to a newly renovated Doremus Gymnasium, was fully rebuilt and opened in August 2020. The renovated facility features a new recreation gymnasium, expanded fitness center, expanded Athletic Training Clinic, a full-sized wrestling room, indoor golf putting and driving practice rooms, four squash courts, three racquetball courts, separate faculty and staff, general and visiting locker rooms, a Hall of Fame room, and a conference room.
The Natatorium is located near the Law School and upper-division housing and includes a “fast” 25-yard by 39-meter pool with all-deep racing course, mechanical systems for a clean, healthy, and safe swimming experience, and great spaces for spectators, locker rooms, offices, and training.
The Duchossois Athletic Complex comprises the University’s outdoor practice and competition facilities. Wilson Field 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 state-of-the-art press-box facilities, visitors seating, and lights. It is the home venue for W&L’s football, men’s and women’s track, and men’s lacrosse teams. The stadium features locker-room facilities for all outdoor sports. Other sites include the Cap’n Dick Smith Baseball Field, one of the finest baseball facilities in DIII, 13 outdoor tennis courts, two of which are lighted; the indoor four-court Duchossois Tennis Center; Alston Parker Watt Field, a championship-quality lighted competition field for men’s and women’s soccer and women’s lacrosse; a championship-quality lighted artificial turf field for field hockey; and Fuge practice fields: one grass, one artificial turf with lights.
Washington and Lee students may play golf at Lexington Golf and Country Club.
Washington and Lee offers a program which features physical education courses, group exercise, intramurals, sports clubs, and intercollegiate athletics. These programs provide students physical education, fitness, and recreation, which are integral to 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.
Courses: All undergraduates, unless physically disqualified by the university’s physician, must satisfactorily complete four activity courses to qualify for their degrees. More than 45 skills courses are offered. The courses emphasize development of physical, motor, social, and mental skills, sportsmanship, and rules of the game.
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 field, and wrestling during the winter; baseball, golf, lacrosse, tennis, and outdoor 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 and field during the winter; golf, lacrosse, riding, tennis, and outdoor 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 throughout the Mid-Atlantic, South, Midwest, and Northeast regions.
W&L 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. Men’s sports that compete in the ODAC are men’s baseball, basketball, cross country, football, golf, lacrosse, soccer, tennis, indoor track and field, outdoor track and field, and wrestling. 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, scholar-athlete-of-the-year and coach-of-the-year in each sport and selects a conference-wide scholar-athlete award recipients for men and women.
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, and Spring Music Festival, in addition to periodic small concerts. Other notable events include the Equality Gala and Black and White Ball. W&L attracts performers with local, regional, and national name recognition.
The tradition of the Fancy Dress Ball dates back to 1907. The Duchoissois Athletics and Recreation Center and/or 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.
The Washington and Lee community includes 18 national/international Greek-letter organizations and two local organizations. Our one local organization is the Delta Society (sorority), which is an affiliate of the Panhellenic Council.
Fifteen of these organizations maintain a chapter house, which provides housing for many members, additional dining facilities, and space for hosting chapter meetings and/or social gatherings.
Interfraternity, Panhellenic, and National Pan-Hellenic Councils govern their respective Greek organizations and the Student Affairs Office supports functions of the Greek community.
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 Mudd Journal of Ethics is a peer-reviewed academic journal that publishes undergraduate work on a wide range of topics in ethics. Each spring, the Mudd Center sponsors an Undergraduate Conference in Ethics featuring papers that will be published in that year’s journal. For more information, see my.wlu.edu/mudd-center/mudd-journal-of-ethics-and-annual-undergraduate-conference.
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.
Pluma supports creative expression and discussion in Spanish about the cultures of the Spanish-speaking world. Through this forum, students share their creative works of prose, poetry, music, and the plastic arts and actively participate in the process of writing, analyzing, selecting and publishing the works for the magazine.
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.
The Washington and Lee University Singers is the University’s SATB touring choir. Recognized as one of the finest mixed a cappella choirs in the region, the University Singers perform a wide variety of literature at major performance venues throughout the United States and abroad. 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 and the Glee Club (C/GC) are treble and tenor/bass choirs, respectively, that perform together as a mixed choir as well as independently. C/GC form the backbone of the W&L choral program and perform at multiple events throughout the year. C/GC’s also provides the student members of the Choral Conducting Mentorship Program (CCMP) real-world experience, as they help decide the concert programming and assist in running both ensembles. Auditions for the ensembles are held each September and January.
The Concert Guild sponsors the appearances of internationally renowned classical artists in the Lenfest Center for the Arts. Artists who have performed on the series include Schola Cantorum de Venezuela, Valentine Lisitsa, the Emerson String Quartet, the Imani Winds, 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 choirs. 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. The wind ensemble takes a tour every other year.
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.
Opera Workshop is offered in alternate spring terms and gives students the opportunity to perform excerpts from operas as well as complete operas.
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 W&L Outing Club (www.wlu.edu/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.
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.
Intramurals: Washington and Lee intramurals offer competitive league play or informal recreational activities that provide exercise, fun, and healthy competition for students, faculty, and staff in a relaxed, yet structured environment. There are multiple ways to engage in this program and participate at a level that is right for you. Engaging in intramural activities can enhance social relationships, wellness, sportsmanship and development of mind and body. (See also Outing Club below.)
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, overseen, and funded through the Outdoor Education and Recreation Department include baseball, cheer, cycling, disc golf, fencing, women’s field hockey, fly fishing, team handball, men’s basketball, men and women lacrosse, men and women soccer, volleyball, paintball, racquetball, rugby, running, squash, swimming, tennis, triathlon, ultimate frisbee, 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. Policies and procedures are set forth in the W&L Sports Clubs Handbook.
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. See the full religious-holidays policy under Academic Regulations and at go.wlu.edu/religious-holidays.
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 InterVarsity Christian Fellowship and Reformed University Fellowship are campus-wide Christian organizations open to students 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. Working with the Office for Inclusion and Engagement, Center for International Education and dining services, these students routinely hold celebrations of holy days. The University also maintains Sacred Space, a dedicated and consecrated room set aside for prayer, contemplation, and meditation, located in Elrod Commons 233. It is available for use by individuals whenever Elrod Commons is open and may be reserved in advance for small group religious gatherings. 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.
Dance and Theater
The award-winning W&L Repertory Dance Company is hailed as a company of outstanding artistic excellence by the American College Dance Association. The company performs two fully produced concerts annually on the Keller Theater stage, as well as a Spring Term aerial dance concert. The company travels to perform at arts festivals and concerts, including such locations as New York City; Chattanooga, Tennessee; Williamsburg, Virginia; Wilmington, North Carolina; Galway, Ireland; and the International Fringe Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland. The company attends the annual American College Dance Festival, a four-day conference of performances, workshops, master classes ,and panels taught by instructors from around the country. Choreography and performances are adjudicated by nationally recognized dance professionals to support and promote dance within universities.
The W&L Repertory Dance Company’s fall show is called “W&L Dancers Create”. It is a fully produced concert that integrates students’ choreography, performance, and design work featuring pieces in classical and contemporary ballet, modern, aerial dance, jazz and theater dance, as well as native dance forms such as classical Indian and Chinese dance. Auditions are held the first Tuesday of fall term in the dance studio at 109 S Jefferson Street. Auditions are open to all students. The company also holds auditions for a winter term concert which features internationally acclaimed faculty and guest artists’ choreography to provide provides students with the opportunity to expand and diversify their dance experience by working directly with professionals in the field. Auditions are held the first Tuesday of winter term in the dance studio at 109 S Jefferson Street and are open to all students.
The Theater Program offers opportunities for students who wish to deepen their understanding of theater and hone their craft by participating in plays and musicals, staged readings, and script writing. On a rotating basis, two plays (or one play and one musical) are offered in the fall term and two more in the winter term. In general, auditions are held the first week of fall term for fall productions and the first week of winter term for winter productions. Past performances include Dracula, Sense and Sensibility, The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet, Legally Blonde, Spamalot, and The Addams Family. Auditions are held in one of the Lenfest theaters and participation is open to all students.
Theater students have the opportunity to participate in the annual Washington Break trip each February to Los Angeles, New York City, or Chicago to see live theater and to meet actors, directors, and playwrights. Students can also participate in the three-day Southeastern Theatre Conference to audition for summer theater internships and/or technical theater and acting jobs.
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.