The Editor's Corner

July 8, 2020 (Updated August 23, 2020)


So much has happened in the last month or so, both at the national level and at our university, that it is difficult to keep up with all of it, much less comprehend and respond to everything.We will be focusing here on developments at Washington and Lee, and posting items which pertain to the ever changing environment there. Most of you are aware of the various petitions and actions by the majority of the faculty and some alumni and students calling for a change to the name of Washington and Lee. Below you will find a copy of our response to all of this. We think that our position represents that of a vast majority of alumni, parents, and students taken together. 

Under the "Letters" section of the website, we have posted a very strong letter from the vast majority of the emeritus trustees of Washington and Lee to the current Board of Trustees opposing a name change to the University. In addition, there are four extraordinary letters sent to the Board by other individuals regarding the importance of maintaining the name of Washington and Lee and preserving the history, values, and traditions of the university. 

Under the "Articles" section, there is an essay by Garland Tucker, class of 1969, which was recently published in The National Review. There is also an article "Defending Lee" by Al Eckes, W&L class of 1964, accompanied by an addendum by Neely Young, class of 1966. Dr. Eckes has also produced a YouTube video on maintaining the name of the university which is available at the following link.

We have provided a link to a balanced analysis of the issues at hand which was recently published in the student newspaper, The Ring Tum Phi. The authors merely ask for a balanced and civil discussion of the issue of a name change. Despite this, some of the proponents of a name change have stated that civility  must be done away with, and no discussion can be had on this issue. 

We have also provided a link to a brief, inspiring video produced by the University about seven years ago. The  video reminds us that we should always honor and respect the namesakes of our beloved university


Neely Young,

Editor, The Generals Redoubt 

June 27, 2020

To the Board of Trustees and Alumni:

The Generals Redoubt unequivocally opposes the changing of the name, in any form, of Washington and Lee University; it opposes the removal of the Founders’ portraits from the diploma of any student, graduate or undergraduate; it believes a recent resolution by tenured faculty calling for removal of Robert E. Lee’s name from that of the university poses a serious challenge of financial and reputational sustainability; and it notes the lack of serious and believable scholarship in Toni Locy’s article ‘Letting Go of Robert E. Lee at Washington and Lee University’ published recently in The Nation. We believe the Honor System at Washington and Lee should be mandatory for students as well as for its faculty. The Generals Redoubt is preparing definitive responses on a number of matters to be published in the near future. These include President Dudley's most recent letter on racial issues and observations of younger alumni on their current and active petition.

The Redoubt is most appreciative of the overwhelming support expressed by our alumni and friends for our efforts of the past year, and those we ardently pursue now to save the traditions and values bestowed on the University by our revered Founders.

The Generals Redoubt

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