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THE HISTORY OF WASHINGTON AND LEE

Thanks to a generous gift from the Washington and Lee Class of 1966, Washington and Lee will at last have a definitive chronicling of its history! Through many years of planning and hard-work, members of the W&L community commissioned noted historian Blaine Brownell to research and pen the forthcoming Washington and Lee University, 1930-2000. Brownell’s impressive career spans stints as a professor of history, senior academic administrator, university president, higher-education consultant, and author. He has written or co-edited several books, including The Urban Ethos in the South, 1920-1930.

To accompany the new release, the university has also commissioned a special reprint of General Lee’s College, the seminal early history of the institution that became Washington and Lee. Written by 1925 alumnus and former chair of the W&L History Department Ollinger Crenshaw, General Lee’s College was originally published in 1969 and chronicles the history of the university from its founding through the 1920s.

Together, the two volumes provide a comprehensive look at 251 years of Washington and Lee history – a full and complex depiction befitting of the nation’s 9th oldest institution of higher learning!

Both books will ship on or around August 1st. Pre-order both volumes and receive a special 10% discount. 

Washington and Lee 1930-2000 PRE-ORDER

Washington & Lee is consistently ranked as one of the top private liberal arts colleges in the United States. It is also well known for its school of law. The university is the alma mater of three United States Supreme Court Justices, over twenty United States Senators, over sixty United States Representatives, over thirty governors as well as a Nobel Prize laureate, winners of the Pulitzer Prize, the Tony Award, and the Emmy Award. Brownell’s history of Washington & Lee picks up the school’s story in 1930, where Oliver Crenshaw’s General Lee’s College, the university’s first published history, ends. In the period from 1930 to 2000, Washington & Lee experienced numerous critical changes, including the integration of its student body and a transition from being an all-male institution to a coeducational one. This objective and detailed history offers an expertly written account of Washington & Lee that will appeal to alumni and historians of higher education alike.

General Lee's College PRE-ORDER

General Lee’s College is a comprehensive account of the origins and development of Washington and Lee University from its founding as a small local academy, through its post-Civil War transformation under the leadership of Robert E. Lee, to roughly 1930. Ollinger Crenshaw describes the Virginia institution's founding in 1749 as Augusta Academy, its frequent changes of name and president, and its consistently moderate southern character. He stresses the importance of two events: the changing of the college's name to Washington Academy in 1798 (following a bequest from George Washington) and the arrival of Robert E. Lee as president in 1865. There is special mention of the law school and of the gradual broadening of the curriculum from the standard classical education to the now standard liberal arts cum science program.

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