W&L’s Director of Institutional History Presents 2020 Founders Day Address The title of Lynn Rainville’s talk is “Untold Stories of Founders, Leaders and Other Visionaries at W&L.”
Lynn Rainville, Washington and Lee University’s director of institutional history, will be the featured speaker at W&L’s Founders Day/Omicron Delta Kappa Convocation on Jan. 21 at 5 p.m. in Lee Chapel. The event will be available to watch live here.
The title of her talk, which is free and open to the public is, “Untold Stories of Founders, Leaders and Other Visionaries at W&L.”
Rainville is a public historian and anthropologist with a bachelor’s degree in anthropology and history from Dartmouth College and a master’s degree and a doctorate in anthropology and archaeology from the University of Michigan. Prior to joining the faculty at W&L, Rainville was a member of the faculty at Sweet Briar College from 2001-08, and a research professor in the humanities and director of the Tusculum Institute for Virginia history and historic preservation from 2008-2019. She served as dean of Sweet Briar from 2018-19. She also held previous teaching positions at the University of Michigan, Dartmouth College and the University of Virginia.
Rainville is a member of the Virginia General Assembly’s African American Cultural Resources Task Force and treasurer of the Virginia History Forum. Her research is focused on sharing the untold stories of overlooked Virginians, studying enslaved communities, graveyards and cemeteries, segregated schools, World War I and town poor farms.
Her talks, articles and exhibits have been featured in dozens of national newspapers, local publications and television and radio shows. Her grant-funded research has produced numerous articles and books, including “Hidden History: African American Cemeteries in Central Virginia”(University of Virginia Press, 2014); “Sweet Briar College” (Arcadia, 2015); “Virginia and the Great War” (McFarland, 2017); and “Invisible Founders: How Two Centuries of African American Labor Transformed a Plantation into a College” (Berghahn Press, 2019). Her personal website, www.lynnrainville.org, lists additional publications and research interests.
She has received numerous grants and fellowships from organizations including Virginia Humanities, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the National Endowment for the Humanities and the National Science Foundation. Her research has been featured in a variety of online publications and blogs, as well as on National Public Radio and in newspapers including The New York Times and The Washington Post.
Founders Day is the formal convocation of Washington and Lee’s winter academic term, and a time at which Omicron Delta Kappa, the national leadership honor society founded at W&L in 1914, annually inducts new members. In accordance with university bylaws, Founders Day is held on or close to the anniversary of the birth of Robert E. Lee, who served as the university’s president from 1865 – 1870.