Culture and Diversity

Washington and Lee is committed to the recruitment and retention of a broad, inclusive student body, faculty and administration who represent a wide range of interests, abilities and cultures. The Office of Diversity and Inclusion offers programming and student support in the areas of multicultural, religious, LGBTQ and international life.

Students interested in multicultural life have a wide variety of extracurricular options, including a number of vibrant student organizations, as well as two Historically Black Greek Fraternities and two Historically Black Greek Sororities.

Those interested in getting involved with religious life have a number of options as well, ranging from campus-based Bible studies to student groups affiliated with local congregations. The University's Hillel chapter offers community Shabbat services, dinners, social and community service events in a dedicated facility, opened in 2010, which also features a kosher dairy café.

The LGBTQ Resource Center supports gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered and questioning students through peer counseling, programming, education and advocacy, and students can participate in several LGBTQ campus organizations which also offer programming, support and education.

International students are jointly supported by the Office of Diversity and Inclusion and the Center for International Education, which assists with the transition to life in the U.S., helping students attain Visas, prepare tax returns and find a host family for their time in Lexington. There are a number of international student organizations on campus, open to all students, which focus on global awareness and cultural exchange. Students who are interested in global learning and service learning are eligible to live in the University's Global Service House, a theme house that sponsors international- and service-based events throughout the year.

Related News

Initiatives and Events

University Committee on Inclusiveness and Campus Climate

University Committee on Inclusiveness and Campus Climate (UCICC) reports to the President and is charged to provide guidance to the President and other members of the university as we build a supportive, inclusive and diverse community and create a climate open and welcoming to persons from diverse backgrounds.

Global and Diverse Society

As part of the first-year Orientation Week, entering students participate in a the "Global and Diverse Society" program that has featured national speakers on topics of diversity.

Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration

W&L hosts an annual week-long celebration of the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., including a Remembrance Concert, a birthday party, a Community Reflections Dinner, lectures and panel discussions and an annual keynote address.

Race and Justice in America

In 2014-15, fifty years after the landmark passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the 1965 Voting Rights Act, W&L's Mudd Center for Ethics engaged in a year-long examination of race and justice in America. Through a series of speakers and events, the W&L community examined continuing racial inequalities and how, if at all, a just society should respond to them.

The History of African-Americans at W&L

In August 2013, Washington and Lee President Kenneth P. Ruscio asked a special working group to begin examining the role of African Americans in the history of the University. This group has developed a preliminary timeline as one of its first projects.