Tag Archives: Robert E. Lee

Beauty and Surprise in Mathematics

1 Nov

One of my favorite things that happens at W&L are professor public lectures. Even if it’s the extra credit that brings you to the lecture, it will never be the only thing you take away. All the professors at W&L are not only extremely knowledgable about their field of study, but they are more passionate and excited about their work than any adults I have ever met. And when they get a chance to convey that passion and enthusiasm, they never disappoint.

This afternoon my calculus professor, Nathan Feldman, gave a talk about the beauty of math. I know, beauty in math? I was confused as well. The notes I take in class are definitely not always beautiful. But during this lecture I learned and saw many interesting patterns that can be found in math.Did you know?

  • There are over 500 proofs of the Pythagorean theorem, and former president James Garfield came up with one.

But what made the lecture really interesting was Professor Feldman’s passion and love for math.

And if you couldn’t take anything else from this post, here’s a Robert E. Lee Fun Fact I learned in Professor Feldman’s lecture: Robert E. Lee was actually an assistant math professor at West Point during his sophomore year of college!

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The Halloween Spirit!

26 Oct

Trident Pumpkin!

Feeling in the Halloween spirit? Check out these awesome stencils that you can print out to carve your pumpkins with images of George or Bob or the Trident- the symbol used for our Generals Athletics teams!

Happy Birthday Robert E. Lee!

19 Jan

Today one of our two namesakes turns the big 2-0-4! To honor Robert E. Lee’s birthday, Omicron Delta Kappa‘s Alpha Circle is inducting twenty-eight new members in Lee Chapel as we speak. Omicron Delta Kappa (ODK) was founded here at Washington and Lee in 1914 to recognize exceptional leadership on college campuses, as demonstrated by George Washington and Robert E. Lee. W&L is lucky to have these three honorary and twenty-five student initiates who have all contributed to making our school a better place through the clubs, organizations, and teams they lead and the examples they set. Some ODK alums who may sound familiar include President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Sheryl Crow, and Peyton Manning. Not too shabby, huh?

Graham-Lees: The Legend Continues

23 Mar

The one, the only, the legendary, Graham-Lees Dormitory!

So, I was walking through the Graham-Lees archway this morning (not through the middle columns), and realized this particular W&L legend is one a lot of people haven’t heard. So, without further ado, I present the humble, amazing origins of W&L’s main home for new first-year students, the Graham-Lees Dormitory:

As you may know, shortly after Robert E. Lee became president of what was then Washington College, interest in the school exploded. Applications and the number of enrolled students skyrocketed. Predictably, this left the school with somewhat of a problem: where were all these students going to live?

One evening, while playing poker with an architect, Lee happened to mention this particular problem. As the play continued, and the other players gradually faded away, eventually only Lee and the architect remained at the table, still playing poker. Eventually, Lee found himself with a favorable hand, and seeing a ready way to both beat the architect and solve one of the school’s problems, bet the architect a dormitory. Clearly, the architect lost the hand, and was bound by honor to design and build a dormitory for the school. Obviously, the architect, vexed at this task, designed the dormitory to be as confusing and difficult to navigate as possible.

This dormitory eventually became either Graham or Lees Hall (exactly which is unclear), which was later joined to the other in 1940 to form the confusing, maze-like, labyrinthine Graham-Lees Dormitory, which now houses about 250 W&L first years.

Neat story, huh?