Central and Western Virginia Sights

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Washington and Lee University

Washington and Lee University Review

The ninth-oldest college in the United States, Washington and Lee University was founded in 1749 as Augusta Academy and later renamed Washington College in gratitude for a donation from George Washington. After Robert E. Lee's term as its president (1865–70), it received its current name. Today, with 2,000 students, the university occupies a campus of white-column, redbrick buildings around a central colonnade. Twentieth-century alumni include the late Supreme Court Justice Lewis Powell, newsman Roger Mudd, and novelist Tom Wolfe. The campus's Lee Chapel and Museum contains many relics of the Lee family. Edward Valentine's statue of the recumbent general, behind the altar, is especially moving: the pose is natural and the expression gentle, a striking contrast to most other monumental art. Here you can sense the affection and reverence that Lee inspired.

    Contact Information

  • Address: 204 W. Washington St., Lexington, VA, 24450 | Map It
  • Phone: 540/458–8400
  • Cost: Free
  • Hours: Chapel Apr.–Oct., Mon.–Sat. 9–5, Sun. 1–5; Nov.–Mar., Mon.–Sat. 9–4, Sun. 1–4. Campus tours Apr.–Oct., weekdays 10–4, Sat. 9:45–noon; Jan.–Mar., weekdays 10 and noon, Sat. 11
  • Website:
  • Location: Lexington

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