Official’s Decision to Reject Chapel Wall Shielding Lee Statue Upheld
(Southern Partisan) Conservative voices in Lexington carry a new cry, “Build no wall,” not on the southern U.S. border, but inside the University Chapel at Washington and Lee University.
The university’s effort to erect a wall inside the chapel that would shield a statue of one of its former presidents, Robert E. Lee, from public view is the latest focus of an ongoing campus struggle over past, present and future.
The statue of Lee reclining, asleep and dressed in his Confederate military uniform has occupied an alcove behind the chapel’s rostrum since 1883. For decades it was surrounded by Confederate battle flags, all plainly visible to generations of university event attendees.
However, the flags are gone from the chapel, along with portraits of W&L’s patriarchs George Washington and Lee, as the privately funded university, which for much of its existence was all-male and all-white, grapples with its 21st-century identity.
Overall, its current 1,860 undergraduate population is more racially diverse and split evenly between male and female students.
After a vigorous debate among students, faculty and alumni over the cultural legacy…