Commission Recommends Keeping Lee in Washington & Lee University Name

May 21, 2018

Robert E. Lee and his family are buried inside Lee Chapel on the campus of Washington & Lee University.
Credit Matt Turner/flickr.com

A commission at Washington and Lee University was tasked with examining the school’s history. A report issued Friday made a number of recommendations. But it stops short of calling for a removal of Lee’s name.

After the violent white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, communities across Virginia have done soul searching. Washington & Lee is no exception. The university is named in part for Confederate General Robert E. Lee, its former president and a slave owner.

The commission’s report recommends considering renaming three campus buildings. The recommendations include continued research on those enslaved people who were owned and sold by the university, and better educating students about that history.

One big recommendation is to increase diversity on campus. According to the university, there are about 1,800 undergraduate students. Of those, 41 are black.

Click here to read the full report from the Washington and Lee Commission on Institutional History and Community