Washington and Lee University

Founded in 1749 as Augusta Academy, Washington and Lee University is the ninth oldest university in the United States. George Washington was the school’s first major benefactor, and General Robert E. Lee served as its president from 1865 until his death in 1870.  Of special note is the classical colonnade presiding over the front campus.  At its southern end is the Lee House, the president’s residence.  Directly opposite the colonnade is Lee Chapel and Museum, which owns the famous Charles Willson Peale portrait of George Washington and contains Edward Valentine’s recumbent statue of Lee and the Lee family crypt, as well as memorabilia of the Washington/Custis and Lee families.  The chapel’s Memorial Garden (1933) and brick arrival terrace (1977) were restored by the Garden Club of Virginia.  Both the front campus and Lee Chapel are National Historic Landmarks.  On the northern end of the colonnade is the Reeves Center, a resource center for students and visiting scholars, which houses one of the finest collections of Chinese Export porcelain in the nation.  The Watson Pavilion annex holds additional Asian and European ceramic collections, as well as a Japanese tearoom.