Feature Stories Campus Events All Stories

Teaching Manners

As captain of Washington and Lee’s 1988 national championship tennis team, David McLeod, of the Class of 1988, was a competitor whose name is etched in the Generals’ record books for career singles wins (70, tied for 6th) and doubles (59 with Bobby Matthews, 1st). He and his teammates were the first alumni to be inducted as a team into the Washington and Lee Athletic Hall of Fame.

Today, David is carrying on a tradition that has been part of his hometown of Augusta, Ga., for more than three-quarters of a century. He runs Social, Inc., which teaches etiquette and dance to local pre-teens and teenagers.

Sunday’s Augusta Chronicle featured a story about David and Social, Inc., which has more than 2,000 students from 6th to 11th graders participating in a variety of classes, ranging from a manners and life-skills class to several levels of dance instruction.

The tradition began in 1935 but disappeared when the founder retired. David’s mother, Dorothy, restarted and eventually expanded it in the 1970s. When his mother retired four years ago, it was David’s turn. After graduating from W&L and coaching tennis for the Generals and at Davidson, David got his M.B.A. at Vanderbilt.

As he told the Augusta Chronicle, it was while he was at Vanderbilt that David saw Social as a possible future:  “It never dawned on me that I would be doing this until I was in business school and I came back. I saw what it had developed into and saw the older students and how the program had really positively impacted them. I just thought it was amazing. I loved playing tennis and I loved teaching, but I saw in Social a way that I could impact more.”

If you know any W&L alumni who would be great profile subjects, tell us about them! Nominate them for a web profile.