Alumni Services

Hotchkiss Alumni House Rules and Terms of Use

Revised and Effective October 1, 2019

Hotchkiss Alumni House is available only to W&L students, faculty, staff, alumni and their invited guests. For their events which complement the mission or goals of the University, there is no rental charge. Examples would include a departmental reception, a student group meeting, or an event for alumni. However, such groups may be required to post a security deposit, to be returned if the facility is left as it was.

For other personal or social events, including meetings, receptions and private parties, the fee schedule below applies. Our modest fees help defray the costs of maintaining the facility.

The sponsoring student, faculty, staff or alumnus/alumna must submit the Reservation Request Form well in advance, thereby agreeing to the terms of use. PLEASE NOTE: Submitting the form does not book the facility. It is not confirmed unless and until you receive a confirming email from Alumni Engagement.

All indoor and outdoor spaces at Hotchkiss Alumni House are reserved when the request for use is confirmed. Multiple events at the same time are not permitted. The facility is not an academic space or faculty office, but approval may be sought for an occasional, non-recurring use of the porch on the VMI side by calling Alumni engagement at (540) 458-8464.

Hotchkiss House is an old former home, which now includes the offices of Alumni Engagement. Note: 2019 renovations have reduced the available space on the first floor.

If you have any questions about these rules, you must raise them before written confirmation is received.


Revised and Effective as of October 1, 2019

  1. The facility is suitable only for light to moderate uses, not for large, raucous or late night parties or an amplified party band. Alumni Engagement reserves the right to deny any request deemed inappropriate for W&L or the facility. The operation and control of the Hotchkiss House is managed by the Executive Director of Alumni Engagement and his or her designee. That person will review any request, set any rental rates and deposits, provide electronic confirmation of the booking, and regulate the event pursuant to these rules.
  2. Only the first floor of Hotchkiss, the porches, and the exterior side yard inside the stone retaining wall are available for use. The porches do not have sidewalls or curtains for protection from wind or hard rain. A tent ordered through our approved vendor can be installed in the side yard at the user's expense. The patios of the adjacent Center for Global Learning are not included.
  3. Nothing can be removed from the premises to accommodate the event.
  4. No burning candles or other open flames.
  6. For a standing indoor reception, the maximum attendance is 75, up to 125 if and only if the outdoor patios, or the side yard with an approved tent, will be used. For a seated indoor dinner, the maximum attendance is 30, up to 85 if outside space is to be used and is reviewed and approved by Alumni Engagement and W&L Dining Services.
  7. The user must take every reasonable precaution to protect the house and its furnishings.
  8. FULL ADVANCE PAYMENT, INCLUDING ANY DAMAGE DEPOSIT, MUST BE RECEIVED BY ALUMNI ENGAGEMENT 21 DAYS BEFORE THE DATE OF THE EVENT. Rental rates for approved individuals and groups not qualifying above for rent-free use are listed below. The specified damage deposit must be made by separate check payable to Washington and Lee, which will be returned only if the facility is left clean and otherwise in the same condition in which it was found.
    A) $50 per hour plus a $50 damage deposit for smaller events or meetings of 75 persons or fewer.
    B) $100 per hour plus a $100 damage deposit for events of 76-100 persons.
    C) $100 per hour plus a $200 damage deposit for large events of 101-125 persons.
  9. Rice, confetti, birdseed, and similar substances are strictly prohibited.
  10. The second floor and attic are strictly off limits. The desk in room on VMI side of house is not to be used for any reason.
  12. Use of the flat screen monitor/TV is prohibited unless it is expressly authorized after a training session. If it is used, the individual submitting the form and the sponsoring group are jointly and severally liable for the full costs of repairing or replacing any damaged or malfunctioning equipment.
  13. All functions are under the jurisdiction of W&L Public Safety. Excessively noisy functions or any other disruptive or inappropriate behavior, including but not limited to exceeding the stated capacity limits, authorizes W&L Public Safety in its sole discretion to issue one warning and then to terminate the event if they return.
  14. By submitting the Reservation Request Form and using the facility, the individual submitting the form and the sponsoring/hosting group are jointly and severally responsible for all matters related to the event. The person submitting that form must be present at the event. That individual is also responsible for leaving the premises, including the yard, in good, broom-clean condition, and will use the vacuum cleaner located in the closet under the stairs and other cleaning supplies located under the kitchen sink as needed. This rule will be strictly enforced. If the House or yard is unclean, or if anything is damaged, it will be cleaned, fixed, and/or replaced at the group's expense, subject to a minimum charge of $50.00. If the damage deposit is insufficient to cover the full costs, those charges will be assessed jointly and severally against the person submitting the form and the sponsoring/hosting group.
  15. The person submitting the form is solely responsible for hiring and paying any caterers and bartenders. Virginia ABC and other laws apply, as do University policies and requirements regarding events involving alcohol. No alcohol is permitted unless the separate event form is submitted to and approved in advance by W&L Student Affairs. If that approval is not obtained, the event cannot be held, and it will be cancelled immediately. Service of any alcoholic beverages is strictly regulated. No alcohol can be served to or consumed by anyone under 21 years old.
  16. If any caterer will be used, W&L Dining Services has the first right of refusal. You must contact them at (540) 458-8025 and offer W&L the opportunity to cater the event. Should W&L Catering decline or be unavailable, area alternatives include:
    • Chef’s Catering (540) 462-7181
    • Southern Inn (540) 463-3612
    • Full Circle Catering (540) 463-1634
  17. For evening and/or weekend use, please call W&L Public Safety at (540) 458-8999 to unlock the doors and to relock them when the event ends.
  18. Hotchkiss Alumni House is rented "as is and where is." W&L assumes no responsibility for damage or injuries to persons or property occurring at or as a result of your event. By submitting the Reservation Request Form and using the facility, the individual submitting the form and the sponsoring/hosting group fully and finally release W&L, its trustees, officers, employees or agents, from any potential liability for damage or injuries to persons or property occurring at or as a result of such event.

Office of Alumni Engagement

Hotchkiss House
Washington and Lee University
Lexington, VA 24450