THE POSITION OCCUPIED BY WASHINGTON AND LEE AMONG SOUTHERN INSTITUTIONS There are 208 colleges and universities in the fourteen Southern States, according to the last report of the U. S. Department of Education. Among these Washington and Lee occupies a position entirely its own. Of the unshared possessions which thus set it apart three are especially worthy of mention.
1. Its unique Location and ennobling Associations. The institution, as is well known, was practically founded by a gift of $50,000 from George Washington and was by him formally authorized to bear his name. It was his chosen institution, and as Washington College trained a long succession of men whose eminent services to Virginia and the nation bore witness to the abiding inspiration of his character and example.
In the wreck which followed the Civil War, the illustrious leader of the Southern armies, seeking where and how he could best serve his devastated and impoverished land, rejected offers of wealth and ease for his services in other directions and chose Washington's college as the most fruitful opportunity for his own investment. Having no money, he gave himself to the institution. With unmurmuring faith and resignation, with unremitting diligence and keenest interest, with pedagogic wisdom and magnetic leadership, he re-founded and re-built Washington College, gathered friends, students, buildings, and endowments on Washington's foundation, and then, worn out with his incessant labors, bequeathed to it his sacred dust and incomparable name.
Here, too, in the little town of Lexington, "Stonewall" Jackson lived and labored, and here his ashes rest, not far from those of his great commander.
At one end of Lexington, in the very center of her city of the dead, and at the other, on the parade-ground of the Virginia Military Institute, bronze figures of the great Captain look out over the historic "Valley of Virginia" where his armies marched and fought. From the cupola of the old Washington Building the statue of the "Father of his Country" looks down on the campus of the University which he endowed not only with his money but his immortal name; and in the Chapel just opposite is the mausoleum which holds the sacred dust of Lee and the marvelous recumbent statue which so impressively embodies in marble the simple majesty of his character.
Truly "the heart of the South beats at Lexington!" Washington, Lee, Jackson! It is no wonder that Rockbridge county