Scene on Campus, Parents and Family Weekend, Start of Fall Term and other news from W&L.
Family Connection: September 2021
This publication is designed to communicate the latest news for W&L parents and families. W&L Family Connection is distributed monthly and complements other university channels to help keep parents and families informed about life on campus. Please send your suggestions for future issues to
First-year students get assistance from upper-level students during pre-orientation move-in!
Scene on Campus: 09.09.21
Every week during the academic year, university photographers Kevin Remington and Shelby Mack capture the scene on campus through their lenses. In this recent edition: Photos from move-in, pre-orientation activities, sweet summer afternoons on campus and much more!
View Slideshow
Parents and Family Weekend Oct. 1-3, 2021
W&L is looking forward to welcoming students' families back to campus for Parents and Family Weekend, which will combine informational and recreational activities, giving parents the opportunity to meet with members of the faculty, review campus life and participate in social events. Attire for the weekend is informal.
Online registration is now closed. If you have not yet registered, please visit the registration table in Elrod Commons when you arrive on campus to register in person. The university continues to update the event website frequently with new programming information for this special weekend. Please continue to check the site regularly once you arrive in town.
Although the W&L campus is a highly vaccinated community, due to the size of Parents and Family Weekend and the number of visitors in attendance, all attendees, including those who are fully vaccinated, are expected to wear masks in all public indoor spaces while on campus and in all buffet food lines, both indoors and outdoors. While not required, we strongly encourage attendees to wear masks at outdoor events. We appreciate our alumni, families and friends helping us keep our campus safe.
For specific questions about the event, please email
Update on COVID-19 Cases and Environment Level
On Sept. 16, the university's COVID-19 Committee provided an update to the W&L campus community about a sharp increase in positive COVID-19 cases among our undergraduate students, resulting in a substantial number of close contacts. Most cases have been very mild, but some have experienced serious symptoms.
The rise in cases resulted in significant pressure on the university's Isolation/Quarantine (I/Q), Student Health, Facilities and COVID Care capacities. In addition, transmission rates in the surrounding area continue to be high and our local and regional hospitals are at or above capacity. For those reasons, the university's COVID-19 Environment Level was raised to yellow-middle.
The university responded to these increased pressures in several ways. We added I/Q capacity and are expanding both our COVID Care and Student Health staffing to meet the additional demand. We expanded our screening testing program to offer optional PCR testing up to once per week for non-symptomatic students, faculty and staff who wish to be tested. We continue to encourage all individuals to wear masks in public indoor spaces, and we've asked students to also wear masks in common areas in on-campus residences.
W&L remains committed to in-person instruction this year. As we saw last academic year when we had COVID case spikes, encouraging COVID-safe behaviors has helped bring our case numbers down in recent days. Further information about the university's COVID-19-related guidelines and safety measures are featured on the COVID-19 Resources website.
Feature Stories
Welcome Back, Students!
The W&L campus is buzzing with life again as students arrive for athletic practice, Pre-Orientation trips and other adventures to usher in Fall Term.
Meet the Class of 2025!
Washington and Lee's newest class moves in, talks about why they chose W&L and gets ready to rock this academic year.
First Day of Fall Term
Regardless of how many you've experienced, everyone loves first-day-of-class pics!
20 Years Later
Twenty years ago this September 11, our nation was subjected to one of the most unthinkable events in its 243-year history. Two Washington and Lee University alumni were among the 2,997 lives lost that day, while countless other lives were forever changed. On this milestone anniversary, we take a look back at the impact of the terrorist attacks, both in the days following and two decades later.
Scene on Campus 09.16.21
Fall Convocation, Student Activities Fair and the signing of the honor book. It must be the start to the new academic year in this edition of Scene on Campus!
Katana Evans ’22
An Advocate for Recovery Resources
Katana Evans '22 used summer enhancement funds to intern with Rep. Julia Brownley's office and Recovery Organization Resources.
Featured Events
Convocation to Kick Off New Academic Year
The W&L community participated in the 2021 Convocation on the Front Lawn on Sept. 9.
The Class of 2024 Begins a More Typical Year
The Class of 2024 participated in multiple events as the academic year began.
W&L Gathers to Honor Fallen in 9/11 Attacks
The Washington and Lee University community remembered the tragedy of Sept. 11, 2001, with a memorial ceremony and placing of 2,977 American flags on Stemmons Plaza.
W&L Hosts Constitution Day Panel
The panel’s reenactment was titled “Reliving the Constitutional Convention."
W&L’s Native American and Indigenous Cohort Focuses on Sustainability
This year’s series revolves around revitalization of Indigenous lifeways and is titled "Indigenous in Rockbridge and the Interior: First Peoples, Land and Sustainability."
W&L Museums Host Grand Reopening and Reception
The Museums at W&L invite the public to their grand reopening reception on Sept. 24 at 4:30 p.m.
Washington and Lee Athletics
W&L offers 24 varsity sports, 12 for men and 12 for women. All sports compete at the NCAA Division III level, and most participate in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC). Competition is well underway for our fall sports teams. Go Generals!
Alumni Engagement
Washington and Lee has planned a special weekend for our graduates of the last 11 years. Join your classmates, meet new friends and enjoy the fall splendor of the beautiful campus, Oct. 22-23, 2021. We will celebrate the 5th and 10th reunions for classes of 2011 and 2016, as well as last year's cancelled reunions — now the 6th and 11th for the classes of 2010 and 2015. All alumni from 2010-2021 are invited!
Alumni Engagement Events
Thank you, W&L Parents!
Support from parents goes to work immediately to enhance the educational experience for all students. Contributions last year were as important as ever, and 1,249 generous parents contributed an outstanding $3.37 million to multiple funds across campus, including $1.45 million for the Parents Fund. Many thanks to all who supported W&L so generously. Gifts to the Parents Fund help provide the distinctive experiences and opportunities that students and parents expect from W&L and that help prepare students to make a meaningful impact on the world. Please visit our website to learn more about the W&L Parents Fund and our Parents Leadership Council or contact Ronni Gardner (director of Parent Giving).
Program Spotlight: The Outing Club
For many students at Washington and Lee, the Outing Club is about more than an outdoor adventure — it's about finding a place that feels a little bit like home. What began decades ago with a few students who were into the outdoors, the Outing Club is now a rich, multilayered community that enfolds students of all backgrounds, interests and personalities.
Membership in the club comprises more than 50% of the student body. Whether male or female, Greek or independent, left-brained or right-brained, these students share at least one passion: the Outing Club.
"The Outing Club can serve students in whatever way fits them best, whether it's a way to try something new, relieve anxiety, get off campus or meet different people on campus," said James Dick, director of outdoor education. "The Outing Club allows students to explore and bond in a place completely outside of the academic environment. The goal is to have fun and push your limits. We are in the business of adventure."
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Featured W&L Social Media Platform
Follow @wluoutingclub on Instagram
The W&L Outing Club offers students, faculty and staff a variety of outdoor activities and classes. W&L students lead most of the activities, which include backpacking, fly fishing, canoeing, kayaking, rafting, rock climbing, mountain biking, caving, skiing and outdoor cooking.
Additional Social Media Accounts to Follow
Follow along with all of campus' social media channels with the W&L social media directory! Click here for a full list.
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