Nomination and Election of a member of the University Board of Trustees

The New Alumni Association University Trustee Election Process


Every other year since 2003, the Alumni Association Board has submitted a three-person slate to the Board of Trustees, from which they have chosen one person to become a trustee. In 2019, the Trustees asked that we make alumni better aware of and more directly involved in the election process. At that time, Board Secretary Jim Farrar ’74, Executive Director of Alumni Engagement and Trustee Emeritus Beau Dudley ’74, ‘79L, and then-Alumni Association president Stephanie Wolfe ’99, worked with Trusteeship Committee chair Dana Bolden '89 to develop the new process described in detail below.


  1. The Alumni Association, acting through the Alumni Board of Directors (Alumni Board) and the Alumni Engagement Office, will solicit nominees from all alumni for consideration to be one of three candidates on an alumni ballot for election to the Washington and Lee University Board of Trustees.
  2. Alumni Engagement will use various digital and print methods, including the W&L Magazine, Generally Speaking, W&L alumni social media platforms and emails to all contactable alumni, to give effective notice of the new process. For the current nomination cycle, nominations for consideration must be submitted by Oct. 15, 2021.
  3. The Individual Job Description and Responsibilities of the Board documents of the Board of Trustees, and the University’s 2018 Strategic Plan, are the Board’s controlling documents.
  4. Any alumnus or alumna may nominate a proposed candidate to Alumni Engagement by visiting the Alumni Trustee Nomination. Login to Colonnade Connections is required.
  5. Alumni Engagement will send each nominated candidate a link to the Trustee Job Description, Responsibilities of the Board and Strategic Plan documents. Each person wishing to become eligible for formal consideration as a nominee must accept the nomination and:
    • affirm an understanding and acceptance of those essential documents;
    • agree to serve faithfully if elected; and
    • assert qualifications and the desire to serve if elected.
    Candidates will be required to speak to their interest in the position, the perspective they bring and their involvement with W&L as a student and alumnus/alumna.
  6. Any alumnus/alumna may endorse any nominee at the Alumni Trustee Endorsement before the Oct. 15 deadline. Those endorsements will remain confidential to the Alumni Board.
  7. W&L will not provide alumni contact information to any nominee or supporter.
  8. From mid-November to mid-December, the Trustee Election Committee of the Alumni Board and the executive director of Alumni Engagement will conduct confidential due diligence on the nominees’ applications, including their individual statements and any materials submitted by other alumni. The Trustee Election Committee will develop a proposed slate of three alumni and provide relevant information concerning the committee’s work and the slate in confidence to the full Alumni Board. The Alumni Board shall deliberate in confidence and select by a confidential majority vote the final slate of three alumni who will stand as candidates for election as a Trustee.
  9. A short biography of each finalist will be shared with alumni, and every W&L alumnus/alumna will have an opportunity to vote in a secure environment for this three-person slate. Upon request, any alumnus/alumna may request a hard copy ballot from Alumni Engagement. We anticipate that voting will occur starting in January 2022. No proxy voting is allowed.
  10. The executive director and 2021-2022 Alumni Association President Nelson Bunn ‘08 will review the voting results and communicate the winner to the secretary of the Board of Trustees and the chair of the Trusteeship Committee at or before the Feb. 10-12, 2022 meeting of the Board of Trustees. The expectation is that the winner will be elected at that meeting absent extraordinary circumstances in which the Trustees, in the exercise of their fiduciary duties, find that the winner is disqualified from effective service as a Trustee.
  11. The Alumni Board anticipates the new Trustee will take the oath at the Board of Trustees’ meeting in May 2022.