Alumni Board Statement

MAY, 2021    

Washington and Lee University is fortunate to have many dedicated and engaged alumni. There are wide differences of opinion and perspective among us, including our 24 member Alumni Board, about our time on campus, the University’s past and present, its name, and what is best for our future. 

Alumni Board members are grateful for positive aspects of our W&L experiences - educational rigor, service and leadership opportunities, lifelong friendships, fun, challenges, faculty, coaches, staff, mentors, and core values shaped by the University. We respect the extended alumni community, and we believe the University has a bright future. 

Our mission asks us to be communications ambassadors, and to strengthen alumni connections with each other and with our university. As we approach the Board of Trustees decisions, the timing and substance of which is unknown to any of us, the Alumni Board hopes that alumni will consider joining us to embrace these aspirational principles:   

  • We will read and reflect on the Trustee decisions. Let us consider the decisions and the reasoning behind them before making judgments. 
  • We respect the right of each person to evaluate and decide. Everyone has the right to honest, firmly held opinions, and the right to decide their future involvement with the University. 
  • We will respect those who disagree with the decisions. Differing opinions call us to look for common ground, and to refrain from untoward celebrations of who ‘won’ or ‘lost.’ Disagreements do not warrant attacking any individuals or groups.  
  • We will encourage respectful discourse about the decisions, decision makers, and the University. We will not engage in inflammatory or personal criticism. We will not ascribe improper motives to people who feel differently, or to the Trustees who have worked very long and hard to fulfill their sworn fiduciary obligation to act in the best interests of the University.
  • The University’s mission remains paramount. We will not undermine the University’s ability to keep attracting, enrolling, and educating qualified and diverse students, faculty and staff. We will not do anything to impact negatively the student experience. 

To be sure, Washington and Lee faces important challenges, but it has many strengths as it pursues the vital goal of preparing students for impactful lives in a global and diverse society. We will work with the  Alumni Engagement Office to provide meaningful ways for you to connect with us, with each other, and with our University. We hope you will help build bridges to an even stronger community and come together to ensure the best possible institution for rising generations.  

Respectfully Submitted,
The 2020-2021 and 2021- 2022 Alumni Association Boards of Directors