The Columns

Almost 600 W&L and VMI Volunteers Descend on Rockbridge County

— by on October 20th, 2008

The Rockbridge County community may be small, but when it came to looking for service projects for almost 600 student volunteers to undertake in just one weekend, the community was up to the task.

The weekend of Oct. 18 and 19, a variety of area projects benefitted from the hard work and enthusiasm of 300 students from Washington and Lee University and 274 cadets from Virginia Military Institute.

“This year, W&L’s Nabors Service Weekend and VMI’s Field Training Exercises fell on the same weekend,” said Robbie Turner, coordinator of the Bonner Leaders Program and community-based research at W&L, adding that “it was a great opportunity for both schools to work alongside each other in serving the community.”

Students and cadets painted, spread mulch, pulled weeds, groomed horses, cleaned paddocks, cleared brush, bagged leaves, re-painted lines in a parking lot, worked on a playground, helped construct a house, washed windows, rebuilt a willow trail, and renewed an orchard, among other activities.

The 25 local beneficiaries included Habitat for Humanity, New Market Battlefield, the Chamber of Commerce, Maury River Senior Center, two elementary schools, Rockbridge Area Occupational Center, Magnolia Center, Valley Mission, Hoofbeats Therapeutic Riding Center, Boxerwood Nature Center and Yellow Brick Road, to name a few.

The W&L Nabors Service League (NSL) is devoted to fostering a campus-wide spirit of service and community. Named in memory of Jonathan Nabors, NSL was created in 1999 as a network for volunteerism, connecting members of the W&L community with service opportunities and the Lexington/Rockbridge County community at large.