From pre-orientation programs to service learning, volunteer opportunities to post-graduate fellowships, Washington and Lee offers many unique opportunities for students to engage their education beyond the classroom.
Volunteer Venture offers entering freshmen an opportunity to serve and learn through a weeklong pre-orientation program led by W&L students who have academic and firsthand knowledge of poverty and its effects. This program offers entering students an opportunity to make new friendships while introducing them to learning through service. Volunteer Venture and Appalachian Adventure, a parallel opportunity for outdoor activities, constitute the Leading Edge pre-orientation programs sponsored by the Office of the Dean of Freshmen.
The Shepherd Program for the Interdisciplinary Study of Poverty and Human Capabilty
This program of study and service learning supplements any undergraduate major or course of study in the law school. It offers courses at the introductory and advanced levels, volunteer opportunities in the Rockbridge County area, subsidized summer service-learning projects working with impoverished people and communities, and a variety of lectures and seminars presented by national and international visitors.
CARE strives to employ campus resources to address community issues related to disadvantaged populations in the Lexington-Rockbridge area and to offer students relevant learning experiences. CARE provides free research and analytical study to community agencies. Projects are advised by trained researchers (faculty) and executed by students. CARE partners the campus and community in a commitment to perform collaborative participatory research, while meeting community-identified needs and honing student skills. Research may be performed as a component of a University course, an independent study project, or a co-curricular project organized by a student, a group of students, or a student organization.
Bonner Leaders are selected from applicants passionate about becoming citizens engaged in actively serving their communities. These students form a corps of leaders who seek to sustain a campus culture for learning through service. To achieve this mission, Washington and Lee, in conjunction with the Bonner Foundation and the Corporation for National Service (AmeriCorps), provides service scholarships to approximately fifteen students annually. This scholarship aid frees students from the need to work for pay so that they can complete a 900-hour term of community service over two years, including remunerated service work during the summer.
The Campus Kitchen at Washington and Lee focuses on hunger relief and leadership development. Students, faculty, and staff of Washington and Lee and residents of Rockbridge County use surplus food collected from campus dining services, catering operations, and donations to cook and deliver meals to the hungry, homeless, youth, and elderly in Lexington and the surrounding areas. In addition to serving healthy and delicious meals, the Campus Kitchen at Washington and Lee also aims to provide companionship, mentoring, and educational nutrition lessons to its clients.
The Nabors Service League was established by the undergraduate Class of 2002 in memory of their classmate, Jonathan Nabors. Through the League, students identify and manage community service projects in the Lexington and Rockbridge area. They work with adolescents and younger children as tutors and mentors, with disadvantaged people of all ages by facilitating social services, and with elderly persons in need of special attention. They also work to protect the environment and animals. The League assists a network of other student organizations to coordinate and support all undergraduate and law efforts to serve the local community. The service learning coordinator and Nabors Service League student leadership work together to make service a cocurricular part of the students’ education at Washington and Lee.
The Sarah G. Ball Teaching Award, established in 2003 by the Ball family to honor Sarah Ball ’01, recognizes excellent preparation for teaching in elementary and secondary schools. The award is presented to a graduating senior who is committed to teach in a school which serves a community of learners with diverse needs. The recipient of the award will receive recognition in the graduation program and a salary supplement for the first year of teaching, renewable for the second year.
The John and Mimi Elrod Fellowship is a fellowship for recent Washington and Lee graduates (law and undergraduate). This competitive fellowship places high achieving Washington and Lee graduates in paid positions with innovative public service organizations addressing significant social issues such as healthcare, law, education, economic development and housing.