Washington and Lee University Recognizes Its Ties to Slavery

web-symbolWashington and Lee University, the highly rated liberal arts college in Lexington, Virginia, recently unveiled a historical marker on campus that recognizes the educational institution’s ties to slavery.

In 1826, a local landowner bequeathed 84 slaves to what was then Washington College. The slaves ranged in age from three months to over 80 years old. Most of the slaves were sold in 1836 but the college still owned three slaves as late as 1857. The new monument on campus lists the names, ages, and appraised value of each slave.

MarkerW&LIn ceremonies unveiling the new historical marker, Kenneth P. Ruscio, president of Washington and Lee University, stated that “somehow we have to try to come to terms with those parts of our past that we wish had never happened, those events that we have come to regret. We tell them so that we may learn from them.”

President Ruscio went to say that “we must ask ourselves how this could ever have happened. We wonder how reasonable people could have ever believed that it was acceptable to claim ownership of another human person. We wonder how the men who led this institution not only tolerated slavery but used these enslaved men and women to help maintain and fund a college. We must confront the knowledge that our institution has a history connected with the injustice of slavery.”

Dr. Ruscio, knowing that the university’s action would be criticized in some quarters, concluded that “a few will undoubtedly accuse us of being politically correct. They are wrong. This is not politically correct; it is historically correct.”

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Get the JBHE Weekly Bulletin

Receive our weekly email newsletter delivered to your inbox

Latest News

Elizabeth City State University Establishes Transfer Agreements With a Local Community College

Through three recently signed agreements, students at the College of the Albemarle now have the opportunity for a seamless transfer to Elizabeth City State University upon completion of their associate's degree.

Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia Reports on Demographic Disparities Within American Public Workforce

The report found that Black workers in overrepresented occupations make about $20,000 to $30,000 less than the compensation of White workers in overrepresented fields. African Americans were also found to be more likely than White Americans to work in a lower-wage, segregated occupations.

Christon Arthur Named First Black President of La Sierra University in California

Upon assuming his new role on July 1, Dr. Arthur will become the first Black president of La Sierra University. He has served as provost of Andrews University in Michigan for the past eight years.

Business Leaders Engaging in Same-Race Diversity Initiatives Are Perceived as Displaying Favoritism

When asked to measure their employers' effectiveness in same-race versus cross-race diversity efforts, participants were more likely to negatively rate leaders who engaged in diversity initiatives geared towards members of their own race.

Featured Jobs