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My W&L

"This community is made possible solely through the Honor System, which every student, professor, and alum holds so dear."

Lucy Wade Shapiro '15

Washington and Lee is community. Washington and Lee is liberating. Washington and Lee is tradition. Washington and Lee is honor. Washington and Lee is innovative. Washington and Lee is leadership. Washington and Lee is home.

I came to W&L excited and nervous. I didn't know what to expect. I didn't know what I would study. I didn't know who I was going to be. I didn't know who I wanted to be. When I decided to run for Freshman Representative of the Executive Committee, I was able to see the strength of our tight-knit community. I did not know many people yet, but my classmates encouraged and supported me to run for the position. It spoke volumes that upperclassmen who couldn't even vote for the freshman position would express their excitement that I was running. Those first weeks of my freshman year when I met so many caring people established the foundation of my W&L experience.

My education is not purely bound by the classroom, tests or grades. I have learned more through my interactions with our community than I ever would have learned studying for an exam. I firmly believe that this community has shaped me into the person I am today, and will continue to mold me in the years to come. This community is made possible solely through the Honor System, which every student, professor and alum holds so dear. It requires the very best of all of us. The Honor System is ingrained in this institution.

I have had the extreme honor to serve as the President of the Executive Committee beginning April of my junior year. In this position, I have come to learn what leadership really means--service for others. A year after the tragic accident that claimed a senior's life, the EC had the opportunity to organize an event to remember Kelsey Durkin's life and all those affected by the accident. Seeing the community gather in support of one another is something that I will never forget. I cherish that memory as a testament to the compassion of this community.

To me, Washington and Lee means service, honor, and community. It has taught me to be confident in my abilities as well as humble in the company of such outstanding individuals. I feel truly blessed to be a part of W&L and I will forever remember the values it has instilled in me.

Lucy Wade Shapiro '15

Hometown: Memphis, TN

Major: American History

Extracurricular Involvement:

  • Executive Committee
  • Peer Counselor
  • Women Interested in Technology & Science (WITS)
  • Volunteer at the Rockbridge Area Health Center
  • Tri Beta Member
  • Reformed University Fellowship
  • Kappa Kappa Gamma Sorority

Off-Campus Experiences:

  • Biology 464-Richmond Clinical Rotation Program, Spring Term
  • Medical Clinic Intern at the Church Health Center, Memphis TN

Post-Graduation Plans: I plan to take a gap year immediately following graduation. Ideally, I would work in a clinical setting in order to meet Physician Assistant program requirements.

Favorite W&L Memory: Dressing up as gnomes with my pledge class for Halloween of my sophomore year

Favorite Class: Fundamentals of Biology: Heart Attacks and High Fructose Corn Syrup with Professor Hamilton

Favorite W&L Event: Young Alumni Weekend

Favorite Lexington Landmark: The view from the Walmart Parking lot. I know that sounds odd but it is by far the best view of House Mountain in Lexington.

Why did you choose W&L? I chose W&L for the people, and I am so glad I did. Even as a senior, I still think W&L is the same community that I fell in love with the first time I came on campus. I have found some of the most caring and compassionate friends, professors and mentors here.

Why did you choose your major? I decided to study American History because I loved all of the introduction classes I took and I knew I could do that while taking science classes as prerequisites for PA school. I have had quite the liberal arts education. Not many other institutions allow students to take several classes in such different fields.

Advice for prospective or first-year students? Meet as many people--students, professors, and administration--as you can during your freshman year. They truly will shape your W&L experience.

A Foundation in
Ethics and Leadership

At Washington and Lee, leadership and integrity go way back--and hand in hand.

In Action People and Programs

"My wish is that in the near future and far beyond, our students will say that their lives were enriched by having had the opportunity during their time at W&L to grapple with challenging moral and ethical dilemmas as preparation for those that they will inevitably face throughout their lives, and that they develop courage of their convictions, but also the humility to question their own assumptions and learn from others." -- President Kenneth P. Ruscio

At Washington and Lee, leadership and integrity go way back-and hand in hand. Grounded in the timeless ideals of its legendary namesakes, the Washington and Lee community thrives on an ethic of honor and civility. An air of respect enables frank debate, resulting in a culture of open exchange and intellectual freedom. The revered, student-administered Honor System creates ideal conditions for an education based on integrity and trust. Exams are self-scheduled and unproctored, most buildings are open 24 hours a day, and students respect each other's personal belongings.

Washington and Lee also places high value on equipping its students to assume leadership roles in college and beyond--helping them carry forward our rich institutional legacy. Members of the faculty publish extensively on topics related to leadership and honor. Students interested in fostering their leadership skills will find countless opportunities on campus, in student organizations, student government and athletics, as well as programs and events like the Leadership Development Program and the Women's Leadership Summit. The first national college honor society to recognize leadership and extracurricular service, Omicron Delta Kappa, was founded and continues to thrive at W&L, and has spread to more than 300 other campuses.

To encourage a new generation of outstanding scholars, leaders and ethical citizens, the University recently created both the Johnson Program in Leadership and Integrity and the Mudd Center for Ethics. Funded by a $100 million gift from a W&L alumnus, the Johnson Program awards full tuition, room and board for about 10 percent of each class, endows two professorships, brings distinguished speakers to campus, and provides generous research stipends to students during the summer. The Mudd Center, established by a gift from the distinguished, award-winning journalist Roger Mudd, Class of 1950, provides a forum for dialogue, teaching and research about important ethical issues in public and professional life among students, faculty and staff. No wonder high numbers of Washington and Lee students rise to positions of prominence in their communities and around the world.

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At a Glance Facts and Figures

472 (roughly 75%) of the student body, participates in organized sports at the intramural, club or varsity level.
95% of the student body gets involved in the quadrennial Mock Convention.
1 rule in W&L's student-run, single-sanction honor system: no lying, cheating or stealing. Period.
W&L alumni include 31 governors, 26 senators, 67 congressmen and 4 supreme court justices.

Visit, Interview, Apply See Yourself Here

Ready to learn more? Come visit us in Lexington for a campus tour and class visit, or connect with one of our admissions counselors in a city near you. We look forward to meeting you.

Visit Tours and Interviews

Step One:

Schedule your visit with a campus tour and/or info session online.

Step Two:

Call our office to schedule your interview and/or class visit (for high school seniors only). We will coordinate your interview and class visit with your already scheduled visit. (540) 458-8710.

Can't make it to Lexington?

There are various ways in which you can still connect with Washington and Lee University and the Office of Admissions:

Apply Now

Apply Quick Guide

  • Early Decision is a binding commitment; enrollment is required if you are accepted.
    • ED-1: Nov. 1
    • ED-2: Jan. 1
  • Regular Decision is for students who want to maximize options.
    • Deadline: Jan. 1
  • Johnson Scholarship (additional essay required, instructions on the W&L Writing Supplement to the Common Application.)
    • Deadline: Dec. 1
Application Materials:

Financial Aid and Scholarships

We seek to ensure that the cost of attending W&L does not prevent outstanding students from choosing to enroll. A generous need-based aid program and merit-based scholarships can make that investment more manageable than you may think. Visit Financial Aid for more information.

The Johnson Scholarship Program awards over 40 full tuition, room and board scholarships annually. Read More

Admitted students who meet financial aid deadlines and are found to have need will have their full need met with grant funds and a work-study job -- no loans.

The W&L Promise guarantees free tuition to any undergraduate student admitted to Washington and Lee with a family income below $100,000. Learn More

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Washington and Lee University provides a liberal arts education that develops students' capacity to think freely, critically, and humanely and to conduct themselves with honor, integrity, and civility. Graduates will be prepared for life-long learning, personal achievement, responsible leadership, service to others, and engaged citizenship in a global and diverse society.