Faculty at Washington and Lee U. Vote to Remove Lee’s Name from School
“in response to continuing protests for racial justice”
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It’ll be fascinating to hear what the school will be called if they actually go through with this.
Washington And Lee Faculty Vote To Remove ‘Lee’ From University’s Name
Washington and Lee University, a small liberal arts university in Lexington, Virginia, has moved a step closer to being the first American institution of higher education to change its name in response to continuing protests for racial justice.
Yesterday 79% of more than 260 faculty members meeting over Zoom voted to drop the name of the confederate general. For the change to take effect, the school’s board of trustees will have to vote yes.
Today Mike McAlevey, who heads the board, said a committee would review the proposal. “We are aware that many of you think it should be easy to make a quick decision, but that is not the case,” he wrote. “We have been known as Washington and Lee University for 150 years. Reviewing the name of a distinguished and historic institution is a task not to be taken lightly.” He also said that the trustees were committed to building a diverse, inclusive community.
Only 2.7% of the school’s 1,829 undergraduates are black.
Dropping Lee’s name from the university has been under discussion since August 2017 when white supremacists marched in nearby Charlottesville. At the time, the trustees formed a committee and issued a report that rejected a name change. The trustees also voted to keep the “Generals” name for its sports teams. But the committee also said the school should acknowledge that Lee supported enslavement and the idea that the school admit only white men.
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The name “Washington & Lee” honors the men for their service to the school. “Washington” for George Washington, a generous benefactor, and “Lee” for former President Robert E. Lee, who put Washington College on its path from a post-Civil War funk to a respected university. Both were good, decent men who deserve better than they’re getting from the institution that bears their names.
Speaking of white guys under attack, I just happened to notice this on the magazine rack of a local store.
This is sure going to punch a hole in that 1619 thingie.
Sad, saddened, ensaddened. I am living through The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down…again. The evening approached mannerly as evenings tend to do down here; pretty lulling twilight, soft pine-scented breezes, birds tweeting, frogs croaking, crickets annoying and then, all of a sudden…. a long dark night of riot, pillage, and rapine descends that isn’t over yet.
Mad, maddened, enmaddened….
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