Commission Meeting: October 8-9, 2017
The 12 members of the Commission were present for an on-campus meeting that took place over two days, October 8-9. Discussion was wide-ranging, organized around the President's charge to consider how W&L teaches, discusses, and represents its history. The meeting included a tour of Lee Chapel and Museum and a stop at the Robinson obelisk and the historical marker between Robinson and Tucker Halls.
Sub-groups were created: Legacy, Physical Campus, On-Campus Outreach, Off-Campus Outreach.
The Legacy group will examine Robert E. Lee's impact as President, including his contributions to the curriculum and honor system and the facts of his slave ownership.
The Physical Campus group will examine the Chapel and Museum, other physical objects, and the messages they convey. The groups will consider the experience of other schools with similar issues. Some issues may take less time than others in reaching a consensus, but at this time we have no definite timetable for specific matters.
The On-Campus outreach effort will solicit input from students, faculty, and staff; and the Off-Campus Outreach effort will focus on alumni and Lexington-Rockbridge residents. All such efforts will pose the same five or six questions, centered around the President's charge to examine issues concerning the University's history and the physical campus. Details of how the outreach efforts will proceed will be posted here as they are coordinated by each working group. There may be future outreach efforts that focus on additional topics. Meanwhile, Commission members are continuing to read and review the messages sent to the Commission's email address.
Throughout the meeting, a recurring theme was the educational mission of Washington and Lee, the role of the campus in serving the educational function, and the importance of addressing the nuances of our history.