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W&L Awarded $50,000 Grant for Campus Recovery Program A two-year grant of $50,000 will help the Washingtonian Society, Washington and Lee University’s collegiate recovery program for substance abuse and addiction.

Picture1 W&L Awarded $50,000 Grant for Campus Recovery ProgramStudents relax on the front porch of the Washingtonian House.

A two-year grant of $50,000 will help the Washingtonian Society, Washington and Lee University’s collegiate recovery program, reach more students and grow services for students who are in recovery or thinking about seeking help for substance abuse and addiction.

Only eight universities across the state, including W&L, were awarded the grant funded by the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services.

The Washingtonian Society started as an informal group in 2008. During Fall Term 2017, the members decided to gain Executive Committee recognition and funding, and the additional support and recognition helped the Washingtonian Society swiftly transform into a widely known and utilized resource.

“The Washingtonian Society allows me to be at W&L,” said Graham Pergande ’20, a senior student leader in the society. “It has given me and many of my friends the connection and support we need to thrive. The group is a blessing, and every person we encounter is a miracle. It is miraculous that college students show up voluntarily with the insight to recognize a problem and the courage to actively pursue change. Those students who arrived out of desperation now offer advice, support and hope to newcomers as we pay our recovery forward. I hope this grant will continue to support the development of our collegiate recovery community by expanding our social reach and inclusion.”

The Washingtonian Society will also participate in a statewide collaborative network that will include:

  • twice-yearly site visits to support collegiate recovery efforts
  • monthly recovery support conference calls and individual calls
  • twice-yearly statewide conferences
  • annual statewide student-focused Collegiate Recovery Retreat

The eight schools funded by the grant program are Washington and Lee, University of Virginia, Virginia Tech, Longwood, Virginia Union, Mary Washington, University of Richmond and Radford University. Together the individual recovery programs on those campuses will form a consortium to share resources and build effective programming for future students.

“My main hope is that the grant funds can be used to augment our efforts to increase outreach to diverse students on campus who might have problems related to substance use,” said Kirk Luder, university psychiatrist. “I would also like to see the group continue to grow into one that serves not only as a source of mutual support for students trying to make changes with alcohol and substance use patterns, but also as a vibrant, active source of regular and enjoyable social connection.”