The Annual Fund

When you give to the Annual Fund, you and fellow donors are providing as much as 8% of the university's operating budget.

Your Gift

Fund the future. Use your voice. Make your mark on the university today.

Directed Giving

Your gifts shape W&L. Our future depends on the generosity of our alumni. Annual Fund donations directed to financial aid, academics, the arts, athletics, diversity and inclusion, and student opportunities let you fund the programs that matter to you most, while unrestricted gifts impact students wherever the need is greatest.

Last year, these gifts totaled approximately $9.2 million, including nearly $1 million dedicated to specific programs. Together, you are molding the W&L experience of the future.

Flexibility lets W&L thrive. By giving to W&L unrestricted, you impact students where the need is greatest, whether that means offsetting millions of dollars in COVID-19 expenses to safely conduct in-person instruction or helping fund an emergency trip home for a student. Your unrestricted gifts go to work immediately to benefit all parts of campus life and are especially helpful in responding to unforeseen circumstances.

W&L is distinguished by its generosity. Programs like The W&L Promise make the elite education you received accessible to the most deserving students, regardless of financial means. 

Annual Fund gifts contribute significantly to the university’s financial aid budget, and as W&L moves toward need-blind admissions and funding the full W&L experience for every student, annual giving to financial aid will have a major impact on W&L’s future.

A W&L education emphasizes analytical thinking, personal integrity and persuasive, evidence-based communication. Our professors and the classes they teach change lives. Our 36 undergraduate majors and 37 minors allow students to pursue their interests in depth, and our dedication to liberal arts education ensures that each student graduates with the skills and mindset to make an immediate impact in their graduate program or career

Your gifts to academics support:

  • Faculty Development and Recruitment
  • Curricular Innovation
  • Experiential and Community-Based Learning
  • Student Academic Support

and more.

A single performance at W&L can change a life — sparking a new interest, a creative leap or a career opportunity. The arts at W&L extend beyond the classroom, enhancing the vibrancy of campus life through performances and exhibits, showcases and master classes, community outreach and traveling acts. Small gifts add up quickly — a few thousand dollars can enable a student to produce award-winning work.

Your gifts to the arts support performances at the Lenfest Center for the Performing Arts, the university collections of art and history, museums, galleries, historical sites and more.

W&L athletics makes leaders. More than 1 in 4 students play a varsity sport at W&L, and your gifts to athletics support our student-athletes as they take on leadership roles, learn resilience in the face of adversity, postgraduate NCAA scholarships and more. Annual Fund gifts to athletics help cover the operational costs of our varsity, club and intramural teams, as well as our first-rate facilities, including the newly renovated Duchossois Athletic and Recreation Center

W&L enthusiastically embraces our future of diversity, equity and inclusion. We are encouraged by our progress toward becoming a more inclusive community, but also aware that much work remains. Your gifts to diversity and inclusion will help us get there, supporting the recruitment, enrichment and retention of students, faculty and staff who embody many experiences, cultures, points of view, interests and identities. When you direct your gift to diversity and inclusion, you support:

  • The Diversity and Inclusion Visit Experience (DIVE), which provides a tailored and personalized introduction to the liberal arts and residential campus life at W&L with an emphasis on the diverse voices and experiences of our students. 

W&L doesn’t end at the classroom door. From study abroad and Spring Term travel to career exploration trips and student-led events, Annual Fund gifts to student opportunities create chances to lead, work, travel and explore. On campus, in Lexington and around the world, these gifts help every student, regardless of family means, join in the life-changing opportunities available at W&L. Annual Fund gifts to student opportunities support:

  • Career exploration trips to New York City for finance, business and advertising and to Silicon Valley for computing and technology.
  • Programming provided by Student Activities and the many student-led clubs and organizations on campus funded by the student Executive Committee.
  • Financial support for students studying abroad or traveling for Spring Term courses.

and much more

You can also make a gift from your IRA: Learn More


Contact Us

Annual Giving
Office of University Development
Washington and Lee University
Development Building
Lexington, VA 24450

Thanks & Recognition

As a donor, your support has a great impact on the W&L community.

The President's Society

W&L's recognition club honoring our most generous donors to the Annual Fund. Leadership gifts, those of $2,500 or more, typically account for close to 80% of the Annual Fund. Membership is available to any donor who gives $2,500 or more per year to the Annual Fund, or at tiered giving levels for younger alumni.

The 1749 Circle

The 1749 Circle is a special philanthropic society recognizing and honoring the loyal alumni, parents and friends who support the university consistently over time. This society is not about how much you give; it's about the simple act of giving year after year. Membership in the 1749 Circle begins after three consecutive years of giving to W&L.

Annual Impact Report for Donors

The Annual Impact Report is a new way of celebrating the many people who made gifts to W&L during the prior fiscal year (July 1 - June 30) as well as thanking the volunteers who helped support the university. The Impact Report contains a link to the Honor Roll of Donors, and login credentials were included in an email introducing the Impact Report. For help, please contact

Class Agents Make the Annual Fund Work

Alumni Volunteers
Class agents inspire and connect with thousands of their classmates, sorority sisters, pledge brothers, teammates, and friends to make a lasting impact on the University through gifts to the Annual Fund.

Today's Students, Tomorrow's Leaders

Student Philanthropy
The Senior Gift Campaign is an education-based program that reinforces the sense of community among the Senior class and aims to increase participation in Annual Fund giving.

Annual Giving Team

From yearly support to reunion and parent gifts, the Annual Giving team works to raise funds and recognize our generous donors.

Fiscal Year 2020-2021 Recap

Despite a challenging year on many fronts, Advancement moved forward with raising funds and acquiring donors, and Washington and Lee alumni, parents and friends contributed generously to the university. The Annual Fund raised a total of approximately $9.2 million. Overall, the 2020-21 fiscal year ended with nearly $27 million in new commitments, gifts and estate intentions. More than 9,000 undergraduate alumni, law alumni, parents and friends supported the university with cash gifts.

Annual Fund volunteers totaled 498, including Annual Fund Council members, class agents, reunion volunteers and the senior class gift committee. This translated into 22 classes finishing the year at or above 40% participation. 

We are incredibly grateful for your support and leadership and look forward to welcoming alumni and parents back on campus.