A Chronological List of Links of Interest

Our community shares articles vigorously. Some focus on W&L’s history with Robert E. Lee. Others focus on the name of the school and the negative effects it has on our community and the world outside it. Yet others are focused arguments with solid rationale and citations behind their arguments for changing the name.

Links by Year


“Can the South Be Redeemed”
The Bitter Southerner
March 5, 2020
A Podcast from The Bitter Southerner featuring John Lewis.

“A Tale of Two Portraits”
Chandler Gray
The Vigil
May 7, 2020

Mindful of the Future: Washington & Lee and its Wider Community Must Address Racism and Inequality.”
Leah E. Gose
June 12, 2020
A piece written by  a 2015 graduate

The toxic masculinity behind Civil War monuments.” 
Laura Brodie
The Washington Post
June 19, 2020
An Op-Ed by an English professor at W&L. 

Why My Alma Mater’s Brand Name, Washington and Lee, is Becoming Untenable.” 
Katharine Fraser
The Sage Leopard.
June 22, 2020 

Letting Go of Robert E. Lee at Washington and Lee University.” 
Toni Locy
The Nation
June 25, 2020
An Op-Ed written by a current professor in the J-School

Yes, Even George Washington.”
Charles M. Blow
The New York Times
June 28, 2020

“Both namesakes of Washington and Lee University perpetrated racial terror. The school should be renamed.”
Brandon Hasbrouck
The Washington Post
July 4, 2020
An Op-Ed by an assistant professor at Washington and Lee University School of Law

“Let’s talk about a new name for Washington and Lee University
Doug Cumming
Richmond Times-Dispatch
July 6, 2020
An Op-Ed from an associate professor of journalism at Washington and Lee University, where he has taught since 2003.

White Saviors
Brandon Hasbrouck
Washington & Lee Law Review
July 15, 2020
Washington and Lee University School of Law

Should Washington and Lee Remove Lee from its Name…
Demystifying Organizations
July 15, 2020
A podcast discussing the name of the University

“Don’t get too attached to your institution’s name. It’s only for now.”
Kate Cohen
The Washington Post
July 20, 2020 
An Op-Ed about renaming institutions in general.

”Robert E. Lee should not be part of an institution dedicated to advancing knowledge”
Nick Ramsey
Think, from NBC News
July 15, 2020
An Op-Ed from an alumnus.

“A Liberal Town Built Around Confederate Generals Rethinks Its Identity”
Reid J. Epstein
The New York Times
July 25, 2020

A Call to Purposeful, Sustainable Action for the Washington and Lee University Community
Leah E. Gose
August 1, 2020
Another Op-Ed from an Alumnae

“Letter to the Editor, Aug. 2, 2020: School should honor Lee but remove his name”
Hullihen Moore
Richmond Times Dispatch
August 2, 2020
A response to Professor Morel’s article from a 1965 alumnus.

“What Change and Progress Really Means”
Dannick Kenon
The Vigil
January 23, 2019

Robert E. Lee, American Traitor.” 
Jeff Jacoby
The Boston Globe
January 28, 2019

“Sweet Home Alabama: Where the N Word Shines Right Through”
Harleigh Bean
February 1, 2019

“W&L should change its name”
Alex Christensen
The Roanoke Times
April 24, 2019
An Op-Ed written by a graduate from the class of 1998

What do we do with Robert E. Lee.” 
Abigail Covington
The Delacorte Review
November 4, 2019

Response to the Report of the Commission on Institutional History and Community : Washington and Lee University
August 2018
President Dudley’s response to the report of the Commission on Institutional History and Community.

Why universities should be on the front lines of the monument wars.” 
Michelle Brock, Molly Michelmore, Sarah Horowitz.
The Washington Post
September 6, 2018
An Op-Ed by three Professors in the W&L History department.

At 63, I Threw Away My Prized Portrait of Robert E. Lee.” 
Stanley A. McChrystal
The Atlantic
October 23, 2018 

The Myth of the Kindly General Lee.” 
Adam Serwer
The Atlantic
June 4, 2017

A Myopic View of Robert E. Lee.” 
Dan McLaughlin (A response to Serwer)
National Review
June 5, 2017

Lee’s Reputation Can’t Be Redeemed.” 
Adam Serwer (Serwer’s counter response)
The Atlantic
June 6, 2017 

“Preaching to the Choir”
July 22, 2017
Blog post from a former student

Lee was not the Washington of his time. But a lot ties them together.” 
Anne Simmons
Los Angeles Times
August 18, 2017 

Why Lee Should Go, and Washington Should Stay.” 
Jon Meacham
The New York Times
August 21, 2017

My University Is Named for Robert E. Lee?” 
Pasquale S. Toscano
The New York Times  
August 22, 2017
This piece was written by a W&L class of 2017 student–one of the most beloved of his class and a Rhodes scholar. 

The Inheritance of Generals Washington and Lee” 
Charless Correll, III
The National Review
August 30, 2017
This article in the National Review was also written by a member of W&L’s class of 2017. It can be read as a counter argument to Pasquale’s.

The Making and Breaking of the Legend of Robert E. Lee.”
Eric Foner
The New York Times
August 28, 2017
A short overview of the Lost Cause’s treatment of Lee and its legacies in historical scholarship.

“Robert E. Lee & Me: Reflections on Confederate Memory by a W&L Grad, Soldier & Scholar”
Ty Seidule
September 28, 2017
A video of a public lecture on Constitution Day by Colonel Ty Seidule ’84U

Arlington, Bobby Lee, and the ‘Peculiar Institution.’” 
Ta-Nehisi Coates
The Atlantic
August 13, 2010

Washington and Lee Struggles With New Realities
Ev Zibart
The Washington Post
September 16, 1985
An article about the “controversy” over coeducation

Robert E. Lee: His Brutality to His Slaves.” 
Wesley Norris
National Anti-Slavery Standard, Vol. XXVI. No. 49
(April 14, 1866). Whole No. 1,349. Ed. Parker Pillsbur. 

Lee letter to Thomas Rosser
A letter declining to participate in a Stonewall Jackson memorial
December 13, 1866

A Letter from Robert E. Lee to David Mcconaughy
A letter declining an invitation to Gettysburg
August 5, 1869

Not Unmindful