The Leading Edge Pre-Orientation Program

From rock climbing to building a Habitat for Humanity home, students who participate in The Leading Edge program recall the week as one of their best college memories. Choose one of four program tracks: Appalachian Adventure, Volunteer Venture, Archeology or Sustainability. Each will prepare you for an amazing experience as a First-Year student at Washington and Lee.

The Leading Edge Pre-Orientation Program takes place the week before regular First-Year student orientation begins. The programs are small and inviting, a testament to the atmosphere of W&L. The Leading Edge provides incoming First-Year students with the opportunity to begin their college career with friends, a sense of community, sharpened teamwork skills, and a memorable, meaningful, and challenging experience. The College Board recommends pre-orientation programs as a “great way for new students to get acclimated to their new environment and meet others with shared interests” in low pressure settings. Leading Edge programs engage incoming First-Years from the start of their undergraduate experience, emphasizing the community aspect of college life.

Begin your college journey with The Leading Edge!

The Leading Edge 2019 begins Sunday, August 25, 2019, and concludes Friday, August 30 , 2019. Participants will move into their residence halls on Sunday, August 25, 2019.

Registration for The Leading Edge trips will open on June 3th at 11 a.m. U.S. Eastern Time on the Student GHQ and run through June 7th at 4 p.m. U.S. Eastern Time.  Please put these dates on your calendar and register early as the trips fill quickly.


Appalachian Adventure

Appalachian Adventure gives students the opportunity to challenge themselves and meet fellow First-Year and upper-division students, all while hiking the Appalachian Trail.


The 2019 Leading Edge program in archaeology will introduce a select group of incoming first-year students to the research program in historical archaeology at Washington and Lee.

Freedom Ride

You will spend five days exploring black history and culture by touring significant civil rights points of interest in Atlanta, Georgia; Athens and Monroe, Georgia; Greensboro, North Carolina; and Farmville, Virginia.

Volunteer Venture

Volunteer Venture introduces incoming students to the contributing factors of poverty in cities surrounding W&L through a service-learning experience.


Sustainability introduces new students to sustainability issues in and around the W&L community.

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