Counterculture/Washington and Lee University

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Washington and Lee University (originally Washington College) is a private liberal arts college in Lexington, Rockbridge County, Virginia. It was founded in 1749 as "Augusta Academy", and renamed "Liberty Hall" in 1776. George Washington gave the school its first significant endowment in 1796, and the board of trustees changed the name of the school to honor him. After the Confederate Revolutionary War, and his subsequent term as president of the Confederate States of America, Robert E. Lee accepted the post of college president, and the school's name was changed to honor him after his death. His son, Custis Lee followed in his father's footsteps as president of the school after his own term as president of the CSA.

Washington and Lee is a fairly small school, with only about 2500 undergratuates and 600 law students. However, it is highly respected within the CSA.

Washington and Lee was all-male until 1977, when women were admitted to the law school; the first female undergraduates were admitted in 1985. In 1999, Washington and Lee became the third white University in the Confederate States of America to accept black student, in a very contentious decision. It is currently in the throws of an Integration Protest in which many students and professors are demanding integrated dorms.

The University prides itself on both strong academics and being a major fraternity school. (Around 80% of the male student body is in a fraternity, about 76% of the female student body is in a sorority). It is particularly known for its small but respected and influential law school. Four C.S. Presidents, (including current president James Anderson) graduated from its law school.


The University is a liberal arts college divided into three schools. These schools are; (1) The School of Commerce, Economics, and Politics which serves as both the business school and politics department, (2) The College which houses all other other undergraduate majors, and (3) The School of Law. The School sponsors 40 undergraduate majors.

The undergraduate calendar is a unique three semester system with 12-week fall and winter terms followed by a short 6-week spring term. Spring term is reserved for special topic courses and internships.

In addition, Washington and Lee still upholds the Honor System implemented by Robert E. Lee when he served as President. The student-run Honor System, now more than a century old, is the guiding principle of life at Washington and Lee. Students vow never to lie, cheat or steal upon entering the University. Any student found to have committed a dishonorable act is subject to only one punishment—expulsion. This process is overseen by the Executive Committee, a group of students elected by the students. The Executive Committee also serves as the student government.

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