Feature Stories Campus Events All Stories

We Believe A note from Beau Dudley '74, '79L, Executive Director of Alumni Engagement

Hello from your beautiful campus. For the first time in two weeks, on Monday I came to Hotchkiss Alumni House briefly to get some materials I need to continue working from home. It was one of those glorious spring days in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. I smiled to see the campus, especially the red and white majesty of the Colonnade, but reality set in quickly. There were no students or faculty in sight.

I remembered seeing our lacrosse teams in uniform gather somberly on the front lawn just a few days after their seasons were canceled abruptly. I remembered the sadness of having to cancel Law Alumni Weekend and Alumni Weekend. Chapter events are on hold for now. More recently, law school and undergraduate commencements were postponed. Our seniors and third-year law students will miss springtime in Lex, and they must wait for their hard–earned celebrations.

Many of you remember the special feeling of this campus. It is a powerful ingredient, but we are building the incoming first-year class without being able to host our successful admitted student days here.

There is encouraging news. President Dudley is leading with compassion and judgment. Admissions has moved quickly and creatively to design digital outreach to engage all admitted students. Over 270 years of disciplined management and extraordinarily generous alumni allow us to sustain the recent blows to our endowment with confidence that we will recover and then some. Our faculty and the talented IT staff successfully crafted and launched online courses on just two weeks’ notice. Of course, students would much rather be in Lexington, but a great team effort allows them to complete the academic year.

Like alumni everywhere, staff from all parts of the university are advancing their work through digital meetings and conversations. One writer likens the different way we are working these days to ‘blowing on the embers until we can throw a big log on.’ For us, that means when the W&L campus is bustling again! Meanwhile, we are focused, and mindful of our goals.

Underlying all of these efforts is our deep belief that this special university has a very bright future. Take care of yourself and your loved ones. Keep a good thought for your alma mater, as we do for you. Be well.