I’m adding my voice to the growing chorus from the alumni about the need for the University to address its name.
First, I treasure my time there. Without it I wouldn’t be where I am today. The education I received was without par. The professors I remember fondly, and they taught me well. The friends I made are still friends today.
However, I’ve been drifting away from the University for a while now, especially since Charlottesville. I realized that the University is the largest confederate moment there is, at approximately 400 acres, and I could no longer countenance being too closely associated with it in the diverse industry in which I make my career. Thankfully, I have a master’s degree, so I have something to respond with when a colleague asks, “Where did you go to school.” I answer, William & Mary.
This does not have to be the case. I want to be proud of my Alma Mater again. I want to cling to the house that was built on the foundation of rock, my education, and let go of the house that was built on sand, the mythology of Lee. Because that’s what I’ve learned it is. Pure mythmaking.
The university cannot move forward while retaining our explicit association with the name Lee. It is time to bold and lose that name to be mindful of the future.