Wednesday, September 28, 2022
HomeSchoolsWashington and Lee Votes to Keep Confederate Name in Moniker

Washington and Lee Votes to Keep Confederate Name in Moniker


The Washington and Lee University board of trustees voted on Friday 22-6 against the removal of Robert E. Lee from the institution’s name. Lee was a commander of the Confederate Army during the Civil War.

After a year of racial justice protests which have led to plenty of universities changing their names or the names of buildings on campus, this news came as a shock to many.

While the administration will not change the university’s name, they will work on reducing Lee’s prominence throughout the institution through a series of initiatives. These include renaming Lee Chapel to University Chapel, removing his image from diplomas, putting an end to Founder’s Day celebrations on his birthday, and allocating $225 million to “need-blind admissions,” internships, and enhanced curricula.

“We will continue to conduct rigorous and nuanced explorations of our history, with the humility and honesty to acknowledge both our successes and those moments when the university failed to live up to its ideals,” the university said.

Acknowledging Washington and Lee for ‘Direct Actions’

In a statement released by the university, it explained that discussions over the name change were filled with “sharp disagreements among people who love the university.”

They cited the history behind their association with George Washington and Lee, saying that these names were chosen to acknowledge the “direct actions” they undertook for the benefit of the school. 

“In 1796, George Washington made a gift to Liberty Hall Academy that ensured its survival, in recognition of which the trustees named the school Washington Academy. In 1870, immediately following his death in office as President of Washington College, the trustees added Lee’s name in recognition of his leadership in saving and transforming the school after the devastation of the Civil War,” they wrote.

You Might Also Like

Latest Posts

Emory to Launch Nationwide HIV Testing Program

Emory University is spearheading a project to deliver 1 million rapid HIV self-tests to areas with a high prevalence of the disease.

One Injured After Package Explodes at Northeastern University

A Northeastern University staff member suffered minor injuries after a package he opened exploded on the Boston campus. 

Columbia Admits Reporting Incorrect College Ranking Data

Columbia University admitted to using inaccurate data when submitting information to US News & World Report for the 2021 college rankings.