The inaugural Washington and Lee University Women's Leadership Summit was held on October 2 and 3, 2009 at Grave's Mountain Lodge in Syria, VA. The Summit brought together W&L faculty, staff, undergraduate and law students, alumnae, and Lexington ccommunity leaders. The keynote speaker, the Honorable Pamela J. White, who currently serves as a circuit court judge for Baltimore City, MD. From the Lexington community, Mayor Mimi Elrod and Nanalou Sauder, who served several terms on and chaired the Rockbridge County Board of Supervisors, led discussion sessions as did recent alumnae Jane Ledlie '03 and '08 law and Trenya Futrell '05 law. Student participants included 21 seniors, 14 juniors, 5 sophomores, 1 3rd-year law student and 11 2nd-year law students. Twelve women faculty and staff served as facilitators resulting in a total of 70 participants.
Discussions included exploration of the history of women's leadership generally and more specifically an in-depth look at women as leaders at Washington and Lee. The group examined the historically all-male roots of the institution on the impact this heritage has on women's leadership, particularly the formal student governance structure. The dialogue resulted in many outcomes, most importantly, the creation of a network of women who can support one another in achieving their leadership goals.