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Washington and Lee University on Verge of Changing its Name After Years of Protest

Washington and Lee University on Verge of Changing its Name After Years of Protest

“two highly motivated groups … on either side of the issue, each with their own vision for change”

I’d like to take this opportunity to remind everyone that Yale University has not changed its name and never will, even though Elihu Yale was directly involved in the slave trade. Yale gets a pass because it’s a billion dollar brand and an institution of the privileged.

The College Fix reports:

Washington and Lee University may scrap its name next month after years of protest

Washington and Lee University’s renaming controversy has hit a fevered pitch as its Board of Trustees is scheduled to decide the matter in June.

Factions for and against the renaming issue are doing battle and tempers are running high, as evidenced by name-calling and banners being torn down, among other actions.

There’s “two highly motivated groups … on either side of the issue, each with their own vision for change and the infrastructure necessary to effectively advance their goals,” said student Dennis Hull, editor-in-chief of the Washington & Lee Spectator student newspaper.

“Both sides of this debate are admirably passionate about their goals … yet those opposed to a name change have consistently advocated civility, respectful discourse, and a calm approach to the discussion,” he told The College Fix.

Hull cited a column on the situation titled “A Plea for Civility,” noting how several comments slam the piece as “scream[ing] privilege,” “tokenism,” “a garbage piece of writing,” and “thoughtless centrism.”

The controversy over the school’s name has been ongoing for several years but ramped up in June 2020 with a petition calling for Confederate General Robert E. Lee’s name to be removed from the school’s moniker, with one faculty member saying its presence is an indicator of “an association and an allegiance with a dark past.”

While President William Dudley urged students in a May 17 email, obtained by The College Fix, to “be kind and generous to each other, and empathetic with those whose experiences and reactions differ from our own,” Hull pointed to reactions among the student body, indicating how “Those in favor of a name change … often went on the offensive against advocates of civility – even those who weren’t defending a position on the name.”


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Woke & Lost, they would be better served with a correspondence or distant learning program and they can name it whatever they like or is trendy for the moment.

The Friendly Grizzly | May 22, 2021 at 2:07 pm

Brown & Floud? Martin & King? Sharpton & Jackson? Hampton & Davis?

The Friendly Grizzly | May 22, 2021 at 3:47 pm

Come to think of it, let’s really anger them. Stoner & Faubus. Helms and Wallace. Thurmond & Byrd.

I remain perplexed as to why those same students chose to go to this school. Were they not “offended” prior to acceptance, or were they coerced by the woke crowd just recently?
How fickle.

How about Marx-Lenin Institute?

Old Soldier | May 24, 2021 at 4:30 pm

I attended W&L in its golden age (the early to mid-Eighties as an undergrad and back a few years later for law school). My son is starting at VMI in a few months and we made a quick trip to Lexington on Saturday to see the campuses after the schools let out for the summer (W&L and VMI border each other). We walked through W&L’s “University Commons”, a building housing a student eatery and the University Bookstore and saw the “all-gender” single-occupancy lavatories with heated seat bidets, and the fliers for “colonialist” this and “racist” that on the bulletin boards.
The University name controversy is just the latest in a long campaign to turn it into another just another private, liberal arts college with a billion-dollar endowment, no different from its competition in the Northeast but for better weather. Eighty percent of the faculty voted in support of a measure calling for a name change.

A few years ago, a kerfuffle erupted over the display of replica battle flags of the Army of Northern Virginia in Lee Chapel. The replicas came down (the originals are fortunately in the Museum of the Confederacy in Richmond).

Next, a student group wanted to remove the portraits of Washington and of Lee from diplomas, that failed to carry.

Last summer, the law faculty passed a resolution supporting BLM, egged on by an assistant professor whose legal experience in private practice is thin and whose accomplishments since joining the faculty five years ago seem to confined to tweets and raising awareness. Now, the university is using using buzzwords — antiracism, diversity, equity, and inclusion. No doubt to question any of it is to invite the wrath of the mob.

The school may survive this latest round of insanity but sooner or later, the mob will be back at it and will not settle until Traveller and Lee are exumed from their graves and the wooden likeness of “Old George” is pulled down from atop Washington Hall and dragged through the streets.

If I was University president for a year, I would line up an entire replacement faculty and tell the denizens of Lewis Hall, the Commerce School, and the Colonnade that any professor who regretted their decision to take a position at W&L was free to tender their resignations and they would be sent on their way with a severance and moving expenses, and to watch out as they clean out their offices because their hungry replacements are moving in. Any student who wants to transfer is welcome to do so. Faculty and staff who won’t work will be fired. Students who disrupt class or won’t come to class will be expelled.

Now, get to work and to class or hit the road.