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University Chronology

(Includes material from Come Cheer for Washington and Lee: The University at 250 Years)

1749
Robert Alexander educates young men in the classics near Greenville in Augusta County, Va.

1774-1776
Augusta Academy is located in Mount Pleasant, about a mile southwest of Fairfield in Augusta (later Rockbridge) County. Captain Alexander Stuart and Major Samuel Houston (father of the hero of the Alamo) donate 40 acres of land at Timber Ridge.

1776
May 13: The Board of Trustees directs that the school's name be changed to Liberty Hall Academy, reflecting their Revolutionary sympathies.

Autumn: William Graham advertises in the Williamsburg Virginia Gazette that "An Academy to be distinguished by the name of LIBERTY HALL, is now established, for the liberal education of youth, on Timber Ridge, in Augusta county, where all the most important branches of literature, necessary to prepare young gentlemen for the study of law, physic, and theology, may be taught to good advantage, upon the most approved plan." College-level program begins.

1781
March 15: Liberty Hall students take part in the Battle of Guilford Courthouse, in North Carolina, with militias from Augusta and Rockbridge Counties.

Liberty Hall1782
The Virginia legislature grants a charter to Liberty Hall Academy. The school relocates just outside the new town of Lexington.

1785
September: Twelve men graduate with bachelor of arts degrees from Liberty Hall Academy.

1795
The first known African-American to attend the school, John Chavis, is enrolled in the winter session. Chavis became a teacher and Presbyterian minister.

George Washington1796
Congressman Andrew Moore, of Rockbridge County, trustee of Liberty Hall Academy and an alumnus of Augusta Academy, and Francis Preston, of Washington County, encourage President George Washington to make a gift of 100 shares of stock in the James River Company to Liberty Hall. Washington had accepted the stock from the Virginia legislature with the understanding that he would use it for philanthropic purposes. After considering several applicants, Washington gives the stock to Liberty Hall Academy.

1798
After an unsuccessful attempt by the legislature to transform Liberty Hall into a public college named in honor of President Washington, the name of Liberty Hall Academy is changed to Washington Academy. The college remains firmly in private hands under the direction of the trustees.

June 17: George Washington writes the trustees: "To promote literature in this rising empire and to encourage the arts have ever been amongst the warmest wishes of my heart, and if the donation which the generosity of the Legislature of the Commonwealth of Virginia has enabled me to bestow on Liberty Hall-now by your politeness called Washington Academy-is likely to prove a means to accomplishing these ends, it will contribute to the gratification of my desires."

1802
The Virginia division of the Society of the Cincinnati determines to leave the remainder of the funds under its control to Washington Academy. The Virginia society, composed of Revolutionary War officers, contributed to a fund that would be used for members and their families, should they find themselves in need. After all of these individuals are cared for, the balance is eventually turned over to Washington College and sustains a chair for the Cincinnati professor.

1803
Fire guts Liberty Hall, and the school is moved to its current site, within the limits of Lexington.

1804
Several students are suspended when a Lexingtonian complains that they "stripped naked in the public street in a clear moonlight night between the hours of 8 & 9" to bathe at a public pump. In August, senior George William Crump is suspended for the remainder of the session for running naked through the streets of Lexington. (Crump later becomes a congressman and the U.S. ambassador to Chile.)

1813
Jan. 2: The Virginia General Assembly renames the school Washington College.

1822
Thanks to a gift from John "Jockey John" Robinson, work begins on the Center Building, known for many years as Washington College Building, and later as Washington Hall.

1840
President Henry Ruffner introduces weekly faculty meetings, with recorded minutes, and issues the first annual report.

1841
Construction begins on homes for faculty on either side of the Colonnade.

1842
June 30: The board abolishes the grammar school long associated with the college, because other grammar schools are now in operation in Lexington and the county.

1844
Matthew Kahle's eight-foot-tall, carved wooden statue of George Washington is raised to the top of Washington Hall. Students affectionately dub the toga-clad figure "Old George."

1861
April: After Virginia secedes from the Union, students hoist a Confederate flag on a pole attached to Old George. President George Junkin demands its removal; the students refuse. When the faculty sides with the students, Junkin resigns his office and flees to Pennsylvania.

June 8: The Stonewall Brigade C.S.A., Company I, 4th Virginia Regiment, also known as the Liberty Hall Volunteers, marches from Lexington.

1864
June: During Hunter's Raid, the Virginia Military Institute is severely damaged, but Washington College is spared when, according to legend, Professor John Lyle Campbell points out Old George to Captain Henry DuPont, the officer charged with destroying the Colonnade. DuPont decides that he cannot fire upon a building that supports a statue of General Washington. The library and scientific apparatus are vandalized, however.

Robert E. Lee1865
Aug. 4: The Board of Trustees unanimously elects General Robert E. Lee as president of Washington College.

Sept. 18: Lee rides into town on his horse, Traveller, to accept the presidency.

1866
The Lexington Law School is incorporated into Washington College.

1867
Construction of Lee Chapel begins.

1868
The faculty abandons the traditional curriculum of uniform studies for all students in favor of a system of independent departments in which each student elects his own course of study.

J. B. Walker establishes a business school offering two courses of practical instruction in penmanship and the "Science of Accounts," given at times that do not conflict with the normal lecture schedule

1869
Jan. 8: President Lee proposes to the finance committee of the Board of Trustees the establishment of departments of agriculture (and the acquisition of a farm for teaching purposes), commerce and applied chemistry, as well as an expansion of the engineering school to include mechanical engineering, machinery and practical mechanics. The committee responds favorably.

Aug. 19: Washington College circulates a letter announcing 50 "press scholarships" intended to advance the profession of journalism. A concept suggested by President Lee, it is the first mention of instruction in journalism at any college in the world.

1870
Scholarships for free tuition are offered to young men who plan to make teaching or the Christian ministry their profession.

Oct. 12: Students and faculty mourn the death of President Robert E. Lee. Within days, the Board of Trustees votes to change the school's name from Washington College to Washington and Lee University.

1871
Feb. 4: The Virginia General Assembly formalizes the name change to Washington and Lee University.

Feb. 6: G.W. Custis Lee succeeds his father as president.

1873
The Graham-Lee Society debates coeducation, prompting one participant to question "who and what were the men who dared to advocate on the sacred soil of Virginia so astounding a proposition?"

1875
Students pull the wagon bearing sculptor Edward Valentine's recumbent statue of Robert E. Lee from the canal boat landing to the campus, where it is stored for eight years until the mausoleum behind Lee Chapel is completed.

1876
Wealthy industrialist Lewis Brooks, of Rochester, N.Y., donates $25,000 and his extensive collection of zoological, mineralogical, geological and botanical specimens to the University. In 1877, Robinson Hall is altered to house the Lewis Brooks Museum. The museum is dismantled in 1936.

1878
George Augustus Sykes, a native of Louisville, pitches the first curve ball in intercollegiate baseball history when he goes to the mound for Washington and Lee in a game against the University of Virginia.

1881
Josephine Louise Newcomb gives $20,000 to erect Newcomb Hall in memory of her late husband, Warren Newcomb. The building will house an art gallery, the library and reading rooms.

1887
June: The Board of Trustees establishes the Department of Geology and Biology, which includes "Animal and Vegetable Physiology, Hygiene, and Zoology."

1892
The Department of Physical Education is instituted.

1895
Calyx, the W&L yearbook, makes its first appearance.

1897
The Ring-tum Phi, the student newspaper, begins publication.

William Lyne Wilson, former congressman from West Virginia and former postmaster general under President Grover Cleveland, succeeds Custis Lee as University president.

In order to raise academic standards, the University discontinues preparatory classes. Incoming freshmen are required to meet new, strict standards for admission. Only graduates of accredited schools or students able to pass entrance examinations provided by Washington and Lee will be admitted.

1900
The new home of the School of Law is named as a memorial to John Randolph Tucker, a member of the faculty from 1873 to 1897. The building features three lecture rooms, each accommodating 100 students, the law library and reading room, and offices for professors.

May: Herbert Welsh, a visitor from Philadelphia, receives a favorable impression of the University and its faculty on a visit to Lexington and conceives the idea of raising a fund to increase the general endowment. Five months later, after the death of President William Lyne Wilson, Welsh increases his efforts in order to endow a chair of economics and political science. By 1902, $100,000 is raised by Welsh and other generous friends in the North for the Wilson Memorial Fund.

1902
June 17: George H. Denny, chairman of Latin at Washington and Lee, is inaugurated as president during commencement exercises.

For the first time, the Honor System is explained in detail in the catalog: "Every student is assumed to be a man of honor, and is treated as such. In the performance of duty he is wholly free from espionage, and his word is accepted without question. This system is traditional in Washington and Lee University, and any abuse of it is quickly and rightly resented by the body. In the few cases in which a student has had the hardihood to cheat in class or examination he has been required by his fellow students to leave the institution as soon as detected. This feature of student self-government has the entire approval of the faculty."

1904
A new, modern dormitory named to honor the generosity of Susan P. Lees, of New York, is completed. Students must make private arrangements to secure meals. Additional housing for about 30 students is offered at an older dormitory, formerly known as the Blue Hotel, where meals are provided at reasonable rates by the family who operates the facility.

The William H. Reid Hall of Engineering and Physics is constructed. It features an elevator shaft, probably the first in Rockbridge County.

1905
June: The Board of Trustees passes a resolution to organize the School of Commerce in order to prepare students for careers in law, business, banking, journalism and public service.

Andrew Carnegie gives the University $50,000 "upon the usual conditions" to be used in the erection and maintenance of a library.

1907
A $1 million endowment campaign is launched, with a new gymnasium as one of its goals.

Jan. 19: During the celebration of the centennial of Robert E. Lee's birth, President George H. Denny presides over ceremonies in Lee Chapel, the "building conceived in his own mind, constructed under his watchful eye, and consecrated forever to his memory, in full view of the recumbent figure, representing him so faithfully in majestic repose."

Fancy Dress BallFeb. 12: Annie Jo White hosts the first Fancy Dress Ball.

1908
The first Mock Convention is held.

September: Crowned by a copper dome, the new Carnegie Library opens with 40,000 volumes and the capacity for five times that number.

1910
June 14: A tablet commemorating service by the Liberty Hall Volunteers is unveiled in Lee Chapel.

Thornton W. Allen '13 publishes "The Washington and Lee Swing." The song caught on, and by 1924 is popular all over the country, "being sung, played, and danced to in every important city from coast to coast," according to the alumni magazine.

1911
A dining hall opens between Lees Dormitory and the library. Students who live in Lees take their meals there at a cost of $4 per week.

May 5: Edwin A. Grosvenor, president of the United Chapters of Phi Beta Kappa, delivers the charter of Gamma Chapter to the first initiates at Washington and Lee.

June 10: The faculty approves students' efforts to organize an athletic association responsible for intercollegiate competition in baseball, football, field and track, tennis and crew.

President Denny resigns to accept the presidency of the University of Alabama.

1912
Feb. 27: Dr. Henry Louis Smith, president of Davidson College in North Carolina, is named to succeed Denny as president of Washington and Lee.

1913
Feb. 27: Fire destroys the gymnasium. Plans are already under way for construction of a new gym; in the meantime, a clubhouse is quickly built near Wilson Field with lockers, showers and new equipment.

The Automatic Rule makes its first appearance in the catalog: "If at the close of any term a student's record is F in more than half of his courses, he thus severs automatically his connection with the University. He can not be reinstated during the same scholastic year except by faculty action; but he may be re-admitted at the opening of the next year at the discretion of the president and dean."

G.W. Custis Lee, president emeritus, dies and is interred in the mausoleum in Lee Chapel. In his will, he leaves Charles Willson Peale's portraits of George Washington and Lafayette to the University, plus $5,000 in cash to be used for the preservation and improvement of Lee Chapel.

1914
May 9: Jessie R. Doremus of New York promises $75,000 to build a gymnasium as a memorial to her husband.

Dec. 3: Fifteen members of the Washington and Lee community, including President Henry Louis Smith and Rupert Latture '15, form a new honor society, Omicron Delta Kappa, publicly known as The Circle. Members are elected for special achievements in scholarship, athletics, service, publications and literary society work.

1915
Beginning with the academic year 1915-1916, all freshmen and sophomores are required to take prescribed hygiene and physical education courses.

1917
May 12: President Henry Louis Smith announces to the student body that the War Department has requested 36 men to volunteer immediately. Seventy-five students respond, and the faculty selects 36 from among them. The Washington and Lee ambulance unit serves with distinction in France under Top Sergeant Forest Fletcher, a member of the Athletic Department.

1918
September: The Student Army Training Corps program to prepare students for service in World War I gets underway.

Dozens of students fall victim to the epidemic of influenza sweeping the United States.

1919-1920
The dramatic club, glee club, mandolin club, orchestra and band merge to form one united organization called the Troubadours.

1920
Graham Dormitory, built for $116,000, opens with a capacity for 116 residents.

The School of Law requires three years' resident study for the first time. Before, only two years' attendance was necessary to earn a law degree.

1924
Spring: After four years and $43,000, improvements to Wilson Field, including a 432-foot-long stadium with a seating capacity of 3,000, are completed by the Athletic Association.

John W. Davis, class of 1892, 1895L, is nominated as a candidate for president of the United States, first by the W&L Mock Convention and then by the Democratic Party, on the 103rd ballot.

November: The first alumni magazine is published by Washington and Lee Alumni Inc. and offered at $2 per year for bi-monthly issues.

The new chemistry building opens on the site of the old gymnasium.

Nov. 7: The first annual Homecoming for alumni proves a big success, as President Henry Louis Smith and former President George H. Denny address 200 graduates at the meeting held in Carnegie Library.

1926
January: The Board of Trustees votes to establish a museum in the basement of Lee Chapel for pictures of the Lee family and "such other relics and mementos of General Lee as are now in the possession of the University."

April 5-6: Professor Roscoe B. Ellard, head of the Lee Memorial Journalism Foundation, launches the first Southern Interscholastic Press Association Convention, in Lexington.

Concrete footbridge1927
The student body pledges $25,000 toward a footbridge to span the railroad cut between the gymnasium and Wilson Field. Architect Horace Peaslee states that the bridge "will be the longest and highest concrete footbridge in the country and, in his opinion, the most beautiful." The bridge will be 550 feet long, 12 feet wide and 68 feet high at one point. Construction costs are estimated at $35,000.

Thanksgiving: The Southern Collegian is revived, with the first edition since 1917.

1930
Jan. 8: A journalism laboratory opens, carrying out President Lee's ideal for a practical working department to further the profession.

Oct. 25: Francis Pendleton Gaines begins his 29-year presidency.

1931
The ruins of Liberty Hall Academy are given to the University by the daughters of James J. White, former professor of ancient languages.

Sept. 25: Thousands of spectators crowd the front lawn to watch the unveiling of a statue of Cyrus H. McCormick, the Rockbridge County native who invented the reaper and was a generous friend of the University.

1934
Dec. 16: Fire destroys Tucker Memorial Hall as students, townspeople and VMI cadets protect other buildings along the Colonnade with fire extinguishers and buckets of water.

1935
Jan. 25: The Columbia Broadcasting System carries the festivities at the Fancy Dress Ball live to 93 stations across the United States, prompting dozens of letters from appreciative alumni from coast to coast.

The new Troubadour Theatre opens at the corner of Main and Henry Streets with a production of The Merchant of Venice.

1936
Old George descends from his perch atop Washington Hall while the building is modernized and made fireproof. Newcomb Hall and Carnegie Library also undergo remodeling and fireproofing, and a new Student Union is constructed on the site of the former alumni house at the corner of Lee Avenue and West Washington Street.

1939
Autumn: The School of Law publishes the first issue of the Washington and Lee Law Review.

1940
Carnegie Library loses its dome in renovations but gains a new name that honors the McCormick family, who funded the improvements.

1942
An experimental summer school includes 24 women.

Dec. 6: The Army School for Special Services (later Special and Morale Services, and still later, the School for Personnel Services) begins operations on campus.

1944
To keep the sports program going, Athletic Director Cy Twombly inaugurates a program of intramurals, which includes baseball, football, basketball, volleyball, Ping-Pong, handball, swimming, wrestling, golf and tennis.

1946
April 18: The Army School for Personnel Services presents a bronze plaque in commemoration of its sojourn on campus. Between December 1942 and January 1946, 22,000 men and women in the armed forces completed the program.

1947
June 6: Mrs. Alfred I. duPont, a major benefactor of the University, receives a doctor of humane letters degree and becomes the first woman ever awarded a degree of any kind by Washington and Lee.

James G. Leyburn assumes the position of dean of the University.

1949
May 10: John W. Davis-alumnus, prominent attorney and one-time presidential nominee-gives the first annual John Randolph Tucker lecture at the School of Law.

1950
Students and faculty join forces to publish a new literary magazine, Shenandoah.

June 8: The Order of the Coif, a law honorary, initiates its first student members at Tucker Hall. W&L is the smallest law school so recognized for the quality of its scholarship.

The 1951 football team1951
Jan. 1: The football team loses to Wyoming 20-7 at the Gator Bowl in Jacksonville, Fla.

September: The Reserve Officer Training Corps begins operations on campus. Graduates will receive commissions as second lieutenants in the U.S. Army Reserve.

1954
Spring: The Executive Committee holds almost constant sessions over four days, as a cheating scandal disrupts the campus and the Honor System sustains its greatest challenge. Fifteen undergraduates, many of whom are athletes, withdraw from the University.

July 7: The Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees, the University Committee on Intercollegiate Athletics, and administrators decide to gradually de-emphasize intercollegiate athletics and cease all subsidization of athletes. "It has been apparent for some time that subsidized football is inconsistent with our academic purposes," President Gaines writes in an open letter to alumni and students.

1956
April 30: While giving the keynote address at Mock Convention, Senator Alben W. Barkley collapses and dies at the podium after proclaiming, "I would rather be a servant in the house of the Lord than to sit in the seats of the mighty!"

1957
The Cadaver Society, a social club dedicated to providing anonymous financial assistance to Washington and Lee, forms.

1959
Letitia Pate Evans Dining Hall opens.

Fred Carrington Cole, dean of the college of arts and sciences and academic vice president at Tulane University, is named to succeed Francis Pendleton Gaines as president of Washington and Lee.

1960
May 2: Former President Harry S Truman gives the keynote address at Mock Convention.

1961
Nov. 6: Sports Illustrated features the widely acclaimed Washington and Lee football team as "students who play football rather than football players who study."

1962
January: W&L installs its first computer, a 1620 IBM data processor, in the old Beanery behind Washington and Robinson Halls.

Duke Ellington and his orchestra play for almost 1,400 attendees at the Fancy Dress Ball where, for the first time, the "High Society" theme calls for costumes of formal ball gowns for the ladies and white tie and tails for the gentlemen. The setting is Evans Dining Hall, another first.

September: The Physics and Biology Departments occupy a new building (later named Parmly Hall), while Chemistry and Geology move back into a completely remodeled Howe Hall. At the same time, the Journalism Department leaves Payne Hall and takes up residence in Reid Hall. All of these improvements were capitalized by the campaign of 1959-1961, which raised $3 million.

Fall: Dr. Fred Feddeman '40 and nurse June Agnor open a student infirmary in the new freshman dormitory.

1963
A new electronic language laboratory accommodates students of French, German, Italian, Russian and Spanish.

August: Lee Chapel reopens after a $370,000 renovation, made possible by a generous grant from the Ford Motor Company Fund.

1965
February: President Fred Cole and the Interfraternity Council establish CONTACT, a three-day series of lectures, seminars and panel discussions by outstanding visiting speakers.

1966
March: The Southern Collegian loses the University's endorsement when the faculty votes unanimously to deny funds to support the publication, citing poor taste and "the embarrassment suffered by the University as a result, and the committee's opinion that the magazine serves no useful educational purpose." "Let's admit it," writes one senior to the Ring-tum Phi, "the Southern Collegian is garbage."

May 13: The new Alumni House opens at 34 University Place, former home of Professor Fitzgerald Flournoy.

1967
Feb. 27: WLUR begins broadcasting. The 10-watt radio station is picked up throughout much of Lexington and Rockbridge County, and one man reports receiving it in South Dakota.

Robert E. R. Huntley1968
Oct. 18: Robert E. R. Huntley '50, '57L, dean of the School of Law, becomes the only alumnus during the 20th century inaugurated as president of the University.

1969
June 6: Leslie Devan Smith Jr. is the first African-American to receive a bachelor of laws degree from the Washington and Lee School of Law.

1970
May: For eight days, tension pervades the campus as students protest the U.S. invasion of Cambodia and the deaths of four students at Kent State University. After the faculty refuses their request to close W&L, many students turn their attention to a free university forum offering non-credit seminars on the war and other social issues.

Autumn: Students from eight colleges-including four women's schools-participate in an exchange program geared to broaden their educational opportunities. The following year, 26 women attend classes at Washington and Lee.

1971
May 8: The skeleton of Robert E. Lee's horse, Traveller, which had been on display and then in storage for many years, is laid to rest in a grave just outside Lee Chapel.

1972
The first women students enroll in the School of Law.

Walter Blake and Carl Linwood Smothers become the first African-American students to graduate from Washington and Lee University.

1973
Oct. 12: Virginia Governor Linwood Holton '44 is the principal speaker at a ceremony designating the front campus as a National Historic Landmark.

1974
February: After a three-year hiatus, Fancy Dress returns, with a Mardi Gras theme. More than 1,700 students, dates, professors, spouses and friends attend the event in Evans Dining Hall.

1975
The Woods Creek apartments triple on-campus housing facilities for unmarried upperclassmen and law students.

Channel 9, W&L's new television station, begins broadcasting with more than two hours of local and syndicated public-affairs programming.

1977
The Warner Center addition to Doremus Gymnasium is dedicated to honor the generosity of Jack Warner '41.

May 6-7: The formal dedication of Lewis Hall, the new $8 million, 121,600-square-foot home of the School of Law, takes place. Supreme Court Justice Lewis F. Powell Jr. '29, '31L and donors Frances and Sydney Lewis '40, '43L attend.

Mr. and Mrs. Leslie Cheek Jr., of Richmond, give Skylark, their 365-acre mountaintop estate on the Blue Ridge Parkway, to Washington and Lee. Skylark becomes the site of many University meetings, forums, symposia, picnics and retreats. (Mrs. Cheek is Mary Tyler Freeman Cheek, daughter of Douglas Southall Freeman, the well-known biographer of Lee.)

1979
Jan. 10: Seventeen hundred volunteers help move thousands of books into the new, $9.2million undergraduate library, which was begun in 1976. Renovations to the old library begin; the $3.25 million project transforms McCormick Library into the new home of the School of Commerce.

1980
The Department of Buildings and Grounds prepares Newcomb Hall, former home of the C-School, to house history, sociology, philosophy and religion faculty members.

1981
A major, two-part capital campaign concludes, having surpassed the original goal of $62 million by $5.5 million.

1982
Sept. 11: Director James W. Whitehead officiates at the dedication of the Reeves Center for Research and Exhibition of Porcelain and Paintings. Located in a former faculty home, the museum features the collections of Euchlin D. Reeves '27L and his wife, Louise Herreshoff Reeves, including paintings by Mrs. Reeves.

John D. Wilson1983
John D. Wilson, executive vice president and provost of Virginia Tech, succeeds Bob Huntley as president of Washington and Lee.

1984
April 11: A lethal fire consumes the Phi Gamma Delta house at Preston Street and Jackson Avenue. The event becomes a catalyst for the Fraternity Renaissance program.

July 14: Meeting in special session, the Board of Trustees ends nine months of intensive study by voting 17 to 7 in favor of coeducation at the undergraduate level.

1985
September: The freshman class includes 105 women.

1987
June 4: For the first time in its history, Washington and Lee awards bachelor's degrees to women.

1988
May: After more than two years of construction, Gaines Hall, a residence for 250 upper-class students, is officially dedicated.

The Board of Trustees unanimously approves the Fraternity Renaissance program to renovate 17 fraternity houses and strengthen the Greek system.

1990
The On the Shoulders of Giants capital campaign is launched with a goal of $127 million.

April: The original Old George leaves his post atop Washington Hall forever. Deterioration to the 700-pound statue is so extensive that a bronze replica is cast, painted white, and placed on the pedestal. After repairs, the 146-year-old carved wooden figure is displayed in the Boatwright Room of the Leyburn Library.

June: The last five ROTC cadets receive commissions just before the program ends after 40 years.

December: Supreme Court Justice Lewis F. Powell Jr. '29, '31L announces his intention to donate his personal and professional papers to Washington and Lee.

1991
May 24-25: The Lenfest Center for the Performing Arts is dedicated.

1992
April: Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist gives the keynote address at the dedication of the Lewis F. Powell Jr. Archives at the School of Law.

1993
May: The Board of Trustees memorializes former dean and professor James G. Leyburn, who died on April 28, by naming the undergraduate library in his honor.

April: The Trident, the independent student newspaper, begins publishing.

Three alumnae become the first women to hold both undergraduate and law degrees from Washington and Lee.

1995
The enormously successful On the Shoulders of Giants campaign concludes, having amassed $147 million for Washington and Lee.

John W. ElrodFeb. 24: John W. Elrod, dean of the college since 1984, is named president of the University.

Sept. 23: The C-School becomes the Ernest Williams II School of Commerce, Economics, and Politics to honor the generosity of Ernie Williams '38 and his wife, Marjorie.

1996
June: The Chemistry and Geology Departments and a consolidated science library occupy the new Science Center.

1997
February: The Biology and Physics Departments move into a renovated Howe Hall.

The Shepherd Program for the Interdisciplinary Study of Poverty and Human Capability is established. Nancy and Tom Shepherd '52 underwrite the program, which enables students both to study poverty and to work for its alleviation.

Work begins on a $1.5 million renovation of the Lee Chapel museum.

August: The Departments of Computer Science and Psychology move into Parmly Hall, completing the $22 million project.

October: The indoor tennis pavilion, a gift from Richard L. Duchossois '44, is dedicated.

1998-1999
Washington and Lee University celebrates its 250th academic year.

2000
David F. Partlett, professor and acting dean of law at Vanderbilt University, is named dean of the Law School.

2001
July 27: President John W. Elrod dies.

Aug. 3: Laurent Boetsch '69, professor of Romance languages, vice president for academic affairs and dean of the college, is named acting president of the University.

Oct. 1: The $225 million For the Rising Generation Campaign is officially launched.

2002
March 27: The Board of Trustees names Thomas G. Burish, chief academic and administrative officer at Vanderbilt University, as the 24th president.

The first class of Heinz Scholars is named. With backing from the H.J. Heinz Company Foundation, the program brings students from disadvantaged backgrounds whose academic work, public service and leadership reflect their promise as fresh thinkers, active citizens and future leaders.

Fall: Reid Hall reopens after a major renovation to the building that houses the Department of Journalism and Mass Communications.

2003
Philip Norwood, of the Class of 1969, becomes the rector of the University.

The new Alston Parker Watt Field, named for the 1989 alumna of the first coeducational class, opens.

October: The John W. Elrod University Commons is dedicated.

December: The For the Rising Generation Campaign concludes with a grand total of $242,748,842, which exceeds the original goal by $17.7 million.

2004
February: Ground is broken for Wilson Hall, the new facility for art and music.

October: The building that houses the Williams School is named Huntley Hall in honor of Robert E.R. Huntley '50, '57L, president of the University from 1968 to 1983.

2005
The University marks the 20 years since coeducation with a multifaceted yearlong event, Celebrating Women at W&L.

Aug. 15: President Burish leaves for the provost's job at Notre Dame University. Harlan Beckley, professor of religion and head of the Shepherd Program, becomes the acting president.

2006
Kenneth P. RuscioMarch 7: Kenneth P. Ruscio '76, dean of the Jepson School of Leadership Studies at the University of Richmond, becomes the second alumnus to be named president of the University. He had previously served W&L as assistant dean of students, dean of freshmen, professor of politics and associate dean of the Williams School.

The Williams School celebrates its centennial.

September: W&L's Campus Kitchen begins operations. An offshoot of the national Campus Kitchens Project, it prepares and serves meals to needy citizens of the city and county.

Oct. 21: The inauguration of President Ruscio.

Oct. 27: The dedication of John and Anne Wilson Hall, the new home for art and music. Its namesakes are the former president of W&L (from 1983-1995) and his wife.

2007
A year-long commemoration of the 200th anniversary of President Robert E. Lee's birth gets underway.

March 10: The 100th anniversary of Fancy Dress is celebrated.

April: H.F. "Gerry" Lenfest '53, '55L issues the Lenfest Challenge by committing $33 million to W&L to increase and maintain faculty salaries. The gift requires $33 million in matching donations.

May: A new, 10-year strategic plan takes effect.

June 7: The $100 million Johnson Scholarship Program is launched with a gift from an alumnus. Of that sum, $85 million will provide scholarships; $15 million will underwrite professorships, lectures and programs focused on leadership.

July 1: Jan Hathorn becomes the seventh athletic director of W&L-and the first woman in that post.

July 1: Rodney A. Smolla becomes the dean of the Law School. He had been dean and George E. Allen Professor of Law at the T.C. Williams School of Law at the University of Richmond.

October: The renovated Co-op opens as Holekamp Hall, housing the Shepherd Poverty Program and part of the Williams School.

2008
Mock ConventionJanuary: Mock Con turns 100. The student delegates pick Hillary Rodham Clinton as the Democratic presidential nominee-and are incorrect for the first time in years.

May: J. Donald Childress '70 becomes the rector.

May: The Alumni House is renamed the Hotchkiss House to honor Farris Hotchkiss '58, longtime W&L development officer, and his wife, Judy. Hotchkiss' classmates underwrite the honor.

Wilson Field undergoes a complete renovation.

2009
Work begins on the restoration of Newcomb Hall, the first step in the overall restoration of the historic Colonnade.

May: The University bestows its highest honor, the Washington Award, on just-retired U.S. Senator John Warner '49.

Fall: The Law School kicks off its new, innovative third-year curriculum. Students in their final year of study will spend less time in the classroom and more time in practicum courses and externships, getting real-world experience before they graduate.

2010
January: Omicron Delta Kappa, the national leadership honor society founded at Washington and Lee in 1914, relocates its national headquarters to Lexington.

Spring: The revised four-week Spring Term is implemented for undergraduates.

September: The University cuts the ribbon on the 7,000-square-foot Hillel House, a resource for Jewish students, local residents and the entire W&L community.

October: W&L rededicates Newcomb Hall, the first building to be completed under a program to renovate the University's historic Colonnade.

December: Award-winning journalist Roger Mudd '50 gives $4 million to establish a new center to study ethics at Washington and Lee.

2011

May: The University bestows its highest honor, the Washington Award, on journalist Roger Mudd '50.
July: The English department returns to Payne Hall, the second building to be renovated on the Colonnade.

2012

September: The University opens a new Global Service House. Housing 17 students and the permanent home for W&L's Campus Kitchen, the house is designed to provide a focus for internationalism, a locale for increased cross-cultural engagement, and a visible home for service activity.

December: The University awards its first Certificate of International Immersion to Danielle Breidung '12.

December: Restoration work on Washington Hall is completed.