Campus Programs

March 1 – 2, 2019

The Institute for Honor Symposium: Civility and Public Discourse

Established in 2000 at Washington and Lee by a generous endowment from the Class of 1960, the Institute for Honor includes an array of initiatives and specific programs designed to promote the understanding and practice of honor as an indispensable element of society. The Institute for Honor Symposium is dedicated to the advocacy of honor as the core value of personal, professional, business and community relations. The symposium is directed by Sam Calhoun, the Class of 1960 Professor of Ethics and Law.

June 30 - July 5, 2019

The Golden Age of Athens

One of the most astonishingly creative periods in human history occurred in a small city-state, Athens, in the fifth and fourth centuries before Christ. We will begin by looking at two events that ushered in the great successes of Athens' Golden Age: the rise of democracy in Athens, and the jaw-dropping military encounters between Athens and the Persian Empire. We will then look at the rise of the Athenian empire and the relations between democracy and empire. The golden age of Athens is associated above all with Pericles. We will consider not only his political leadership, but also his magnificent building program on the Acropolis, and its embodiment of the distinctive classical style in architecture and sculpture.

July 7 - 10, 2019

A Family Adventure in Science Outdoors

Come share W&L and Lexington with your children and grandchildren in our special family-oriented campus program, built around amazing explorations and discoveries with the W&L faculty. Now in its 11th year, this program is specially designed for children ages 8-14, their parents and grandparents.

July 14 - 19, 2019

The Life and Times of Mark Twain

In this program, we'll examine Twain's key works, including Huckleberry Finn, essays and short stories, and Pudd'nhead Wilson. We will also engage Twain's time and place, placing him in the context of 19th-century America. Serving as lead faculty in the program are Marc Conner and Jim Warren.

July 21 - 24, 2019

Bush 41: The Pivotal Presidency

George H. W. Bush had an unusual political career. He won two terms to the House of Representatives in a safe seat near Houston and then lost two statewide races for the Senate. That kind of electoral record should have ended his career in politics, but instead he went on to serve as ambassador to the United Nations, head of the Republican National Committee, U.S. envoy to China and then director of the CIA. Leading the Republican Party at the height of Watergate and the CIA during a period of scandals should have ended his political career for a second time. It did not.

July 24 - 27, 2019

Witches, Monsters, and Madmen: Our Fascination with Evil

Of all the topics that have flummoxed and fascinated human societies, few have been more powerful or pervasive than evil. Evil has been conceptualized as a supernatural force, personified by Satan, and as a profoundly human characteristic that reveals the inner demons of our natures. From cases of demonic possession in the early modern era to the inhumane atrocities of the Third Reich, the Western world has been obsessed with the questions of the nature and cause of evil.

October 25 - 26, 2019

Law and Literature Weekend Seminar: Celeste Ng's "Little Fires Everywhere"

The Law and Literature program for 2019 will focus on Celeste Ng's latest novel, Little Fires Everywhere. Set in Shaker Heights, Ohio, a tidy, if not entirely immaculate suburb of Cleveland, Ng's gripping narrative describes the clash of lifestyles and values in the lives of two women, one who epitomizes the status and privilege of inherited wealth, and one who is an itinerant, though intensely dedicated, photographic artist.