The revolutionary spirit that George Washington embodied continues to inspire the college named in his honor.
Learning from Legacy
George Washington inherited slaves from his father at the age of 11. While he wrestled with his desire to end the institution of slavery, he bought more enslaved people throughout his life. Washington made the decision to free all of his slaves in his 1799 will, signaling that he did not have the power to overcome the inertia of slave culture in his own lifetime.
The colonial heritage of Washington College brings with it a legacy of social injustice that, as an institution, we stand firm in addressing. Beyond empowering students to become citizen-leaders who exemplify Washington’s virtues, our community of faculty, staff, and alumni is passionate about modeling a culture of diversity and inclusion. We believe in empowering all members of our community to cultivate a vibrant life experience in accord with universal human equity. Taking our position in the context of personal and environmental resilience, we leverage our strength as an institution to revitalize the world.
The George Washington Connection
Adam Goodheart, Director of the Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience, offers a brief history of George Washington's involvement in the founding of Washington College.