Our 大学’s name recognizes the pivotal roles of George 十大网赌软件 and Robert E. 李 in the institution’s history — 十大网赌软件 for his gift that rescued the struggling school in the 18th century and 李 for his transformative presidency of 十大网赌软件 College from 1865 to 1870.
The 大学’s name was changed on several occasions during its early history. 成立于1749年, the tiny school was initially known as Augusta Academy and was located in Augusta County, 维吉尼亚州. 在随后的几十年里多次搬迁, 奥古斯塔学院在Timber Ridge运作, 离列克星敦大约10英里, 1776年更名为自由厅学院, 以回应当时席卷殖民地的爱国热情. In 1782 the academy moved into a small frame building on the edge of what is now the W&L校园.
1796年，自由大厅学院陷入了严重的财政困境.S. President George 十大网赌软件 chose the school as the beneficiary of 100 shares of James River Canal Company stock. He had received the stock as a gift from the 维吉尼亚州 General Assembly in recognition of his service to the commonwealth. The stock was one of the largest donations to any educational institution at the time. 直到今天，它仍然是该机构捐赠的一部分, 为大学的运作预算作出贡献.
解释礼物的用途, 十大网赌软件 wrote that the time had come "when a plan of universal education ought to be adopted in the United States.“教育, 十大网赌软件进一步断言, 不仅为我们的个人成功和公共服务做准备, but also unifies diverse communities of students and teaches them to live in harmony.
十大网赌软件 College was one of the few southern colleges to remain open throughout the Civil War. Fewer than 50 students were enrolled in 1865, when the college awarded only one degree.
8月. 1865年4月4日，罗伯特. 李将军向尤利西斯投降. 格兰特在阿波马托克斯, the 十大网赌软件 College board of trustees invited 李 to become president of the college. The trustees believed that his dedication to principle and duty would inspire students and faculty. 除了, they hoped his reputation as the leader of the Confederate army could help attract students and funding from both the north and the south, 从而使学校从危险的处境中恢复过来.
对他来说, 李 described his motivation for accepting the presidency in an 1865 letter to his wife: "Life is indeed gliding away and I have nothing good to show for mine that is past. I pray I may be spared to accomplish something for the benefit of mankind and the honour of God." He elaborated in another letter the following spring: "So greatly have [educational] interests been disturbed [in] the South, 它的未来在很大程度上取决于正在崛起的一代, that I consider the proper education of its youth one of the most important objects now to be attained, 而且可以从中获得最大的好处."
在内战之前, 李 had been superintendent of the United States Military Academy at West Point. 在十大网赌软件学院的五年里, he proved to be a creative educator whose curricular innovations transformed the classical college into a modern university. He incorporated the local law school; instituted undergraduate courses in business and journalism; introduced modern langu年龄s and applied mathematics; and expanded offerings in the natural sciences.
李还支持学生自治的持久传统, putting the students in charge of the honor system that the faculty had previously overseen. “作为一般原则，你不应该强迫年轻人履行他们的职责,李说, 但让他们自愿去做，从而发展他们的性格." That principle remains part of the foundation for a campus culture that fosters honor, 完整性, 和文明.
李于10月10日去世. 12, 1870, the college had regained its financial footing and enrollment had grown to more than 400 students. Upon his death, the faculty requested that the trustees rename the college in 李’s honor. 校董会同意了，将校名改为十大网赌软件与李大学.
Once an all-male institution, 十大网赌软件和李 first admitted women to its law school in 1972. 1985年第一批女大学生入学. 今天, 十大网赌软件和李 is nationally recognized as one of the top liberal arts colleges in the United States.
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Decisions to honor historic figures through naming conventions are understandably subject to debate. 我们的价值观反映在我们选择尊重的人以及出于何种原因.
乔治。十大网赌软件和罗伯特. 李是相当复杂的历史人物. They are recognized for their pivotal roles in the history of 我们的国家 and in the history of our institution. 然而他们也是奴隶主. 大学并不认为他们无可非议. They deserve and require careful, critical examination of their lives, their words, and their deeds.
李, 特别是, has become the subject of increasing scrutiny for his central role as the military leader of the Confederacy. We unequivocally denounce the motivations behind the Confederate cause that 李 chose to defend as well as the views of individuals and groups who employ Confederate im年龄ry to promote an 年龄nda of white supremacy, 种族歧视, 和仇外心理.
We are committed to educating our community and the public about our namesakes and their role in shaping the history of this institution, 我们的国家, 这些价值观继续影响着我们今天的世界. 这包括承认罗伯特. 李 chose to fight on the side that sought to preserve the institution of slavery.
As an educational institution we take seriously our responsibility to teach that history fully and honestly, and to understand both the contributions and the failings of those for whom our institution is named. 2018年，W&L appointed a director of institutional history to develop a museum to explore our history and its many connections to American history, and to create dynamic educational programming for the campus community and the public. 这项重要的工作仍在继续.