Historic Washington and Lee University and Virginia Military Institute in Lexington, VA

Exterior curved brick wall with Washington & Lee University letteringHome to three prestigious and historic colleges and universities (Washington & Lee University, W & L School of Law, and Virginia Military Institute), Lexington, Virginia is a popular travel destination. Do you have a friend or family member preparing to graduate in the spring or attend in the fall? Or perhaps you’re an alumnus planning to return to your old stomping (or marching) grounds. If so, we have the perfect accommodations for your overnight visit. Our convenient location allows you to walk to all three. Or call an Uber to transport you back and forth.

HISTORY

Washington and Lee University – The name alone indicates the deep roots attached to this top-ranked university. Commonly known as W&L, this respected university is the ninth oldest in the the United States. W&Ls beginning goes back to 1749 when a group of Scotch-Irish pioneers founded Augusta Academy, a small classical school, roughly 20 miles north of what is now Lexington. In 1776, patriotic trustees changed the name to Liberty Hall and then moved the school to Lexington in 1782. In 1796, after George Washington provided the school with its first major endowment of $20K worth of James River Canal stock, the trustees changed the name to Washington Academy to show their appreciation. In 1813, the name was changed again to Washington College and was established on its present grounds. The greatly admired general, Robert E. Lee, accepted the position of president of the College in 1865. As president, he contributed a great deal of education leadership until is death in 1870, at which time the trustees voted to change the name to Washington and Lee University. This great Institution is also well known for its long history of mock conventions to predict the presidential nominee who will run for President of the United States.

Large college classroom with rows of desksW & L School of Law – Founded in 1849 and part of Washington and Lee University, this small but highly regarded law school has been educating students that include countless governors, Supreme Court justices, ambassadors, cabinet members, etc. 

Virginia Military Institute – On November 11, 1839, 23 young Virginians were assembled in service of the state, and the first cadet sentry, John B. Strange, took his post (a walking guard tradition that continues there today). In 1851, Thomas J. Jackson joined the Institute’s faculty, serving until the start of the Civil War. He became a renowned Confederate general during the Civil War and earned the name, “Stonewall” Jackson. He is viewed as one of the greatest commanders in military history. Just before he died in the Battle of Chancellorsville, Jackson surveyed the field, and after seeing so many VMI men in position, he said, “The Institute will be heard from today.” Fast forward to today, and VMI not only offers a rigorous education, but also one that cultivates leadership and character development.

Evening Brierley Hill Front

University Lodging

Located just 1 to 2 miles from the all three campuses, Brierley Hill Bed & Breakfast offers a quiet place to relax away from the city noise. You’ll start each day with a delicious breakfast to enjoy by the fire or on the veranda. After a day of visiting or touring, you’ll come back to our country inn to relax in your elegant and comfortably-appointed guest room where you can enjoy amazing views of the surrounding mountains, gardens, and Shenandoah Valley from every window. Brierley Hill Bed & Breakfast is the perfect home away from home. Reserve your room today and experience southern hospitality at its finest.

Directions from Brierley Hill Bed & Breakfast

To Washington & Lee University

  • Head northwest toward State Rte 670 (0.2 mi)
  • Turn right onto State Rte 670/Borden Rd
  • Continue to follow Borden Rd (1.0 mi)
  • Continue onto W Denny Cir (56 ft)

To Virginia Military Institute

  • Head northwest toward State Rte 670 (0.2 mi)
  • Turn right onto State Rte 670/Borden Rd (1.0 mi)
  • Turn right onto W Nelson St (0.4 mi)
  • Turn left onto W Washington St (0.3 mi)
  • Turn left onto N Main St (0.2 mi)
  • Turn left onto N Jefferson St (256 ft)
  • Turn right onto Letcher Ave (0.1 mi)

Commencement Ceremonies 2020

IMPORTANT: Due to COVID-19, the commencement ceremonies may be canceled. Visit the links below to verify times, dates and locations.

Washington and Lee University – 204 W Washington St, Lexington, VA 24450
All W&L ceremonies will be held on the Front Lawn of the main campus.

  • Undergraduate Commencement – Thursday, May 28, 2020, at 10:00am
  • Baccalaureate Service – Wednesday, May 27, 2020, at 10:00am
  • W & L School of Law – Friday, May 8, 2020, at 10:00am

Virginia Military Institute – 319 Letcher Ave, Lexington, VA 24450
Commencement ceremony held at Cameron Hall (ticket holders only)
Commencement ceremony simulcast at Marshall Hall’s Gillis Theater (non-ticket holders)

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