- Associated Press - Tuesday, October 27, 2020

LEXINGTON, Va. (AP) - Virginia’s Washington and Lee University says that there are deep divisions over its name as the nation continues to grapple with its racial past.

The school in Lexington said in a statement last week that it received 14,000 responses to a survey it has conducted as it examines issues of diversity, equity and inclusion on campus.

The school was named for founding father George Washington, an early benefactor, and Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee. Lee was a president of the university and is buried in a campus chapel.

“While it is still early, it is evident that these issues evoke strong emotions, particularly in this historical moment, and that our community is deeply divided about the university’s name,” rector Mike McAlevey wrote.

The school surveyed students, parents, faculty and alumni.



In July, faculty at the small liberal arts school voted to remove Lee’s name and sent a recommendation to the school’s board of trustees.

The issue of racial injustice has regained intensity since demonstrations erupted following the death in late May of George Floyd, a Black man who was in the custody of Minneapolis police.

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