On Saturday, March 14, Washington and Lee University adopted several policies based on the most current guidance from the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). The purpose of these policies is to stem the spread of the COVID-19 virus to the greatest extent possible by limiting our community's contact with individuals who may have been exposed to the virus and with those who are at the highest risk from exposure.
Based on the most recent recommendations of the VDH and CDC and the example set by fellow educational institutions in Virginia, President Will Dudley has announced that Washington and Lee University will be taking a two-week recess before transitioning to virtual instruction with classes resuming March 30. During this time, the W&L campus will be closed to all visitors and all events will be postponed/cancelled.
In accordance with these policies and the actions of many of our museum colleagues along the East Coast, the Museums at W&L – Lee Chapel & Museum, the Reeves Museum, and Watson Gallery – will be closed to all visitors through April 18. We will reevaluate our access policies then. The Reeves Center and Watson Pavilion will be open only by appointment for W&L faculty, staff, and students with a valid W&L ID.
Even during these uncertain and unsettling times, the Museums at W&L remain committed to the mission of advancing learning through education and engagement with collections. Museums staff will be working particularly diligently towards the goal of providing as much digital content for our audiences as possible while the museum doors are closed to the public. For this and future operational updates, be sure to follow our Facebook (facebook.com/wlu.museums) and Instagram (@wlu.museums) pages and reach out with any questions through direct message or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hours and Admission
Lee Chapel and Museum is open on Monday-Saturday from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM and Sunday from 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM from April 1 through October 31. Winter hours are Monday-Saturday from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM and Sunday from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM from November 1 through March 31.
Lee Chapel and Museum is closed on Easter Sunday, noon on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving Day through the following Saturday, and December 24 - January 1. Other closures are posted in advance on our website whenever possible.
Tours are given throughout the day in the auditorium on a rolling basis. During our summer hours, the last tour will begin at 4:30 p.m. During our winter hours, the last tour will begin at 3:30 p.m.
Attire: The university's stated practice has been, and continues to be, that individuals or groups not affiliated with the university may not use our campus as a platform for their own personal or political displays or statements. This includes, but is not limited to, historical or replica uniforms.
Security Measures: Visitors will be asked to open large bags or purses for inspection by the Public Safety Officer on duty. Additionally, all visitors to campus must comply with the University weapons policy, which prohibits the use, possession and storage of all firearms, dangerous weapons, explosives or other dangerous articles on all properties owned, leased or otherwise controlled by Washington and Lee University. Law enforcement officers duly authorized to carry such instruments are excepted.
Flags: University policy does not allow flags on campus; please visit our Frequently Asked Questions page for more information.
Photography: The Lee Chapel staff wants to insure you enjoy your visit to the Chapel and share the experience with your friends. In order to make it a pleasant experience for all our visitors and to protect the parts of our collection that are under copyright, the photography policy must be observed.
All tours are free of charge, though we encourage donations. If you are bringing a group, we ask that you consider a donation of $4 per adult and $2 per child. Please arrange group tours at least 24 hours ahead of time by completing our Adult Group Reservation Form.
Tours larger than 30 people may want to consider splitting the time with the Stonewall Jackson House two blocks away OR half of the group may tour the museum downstairs while the other half takes the auditorium tour and then each half would switch places. We suggest you allow an hour for your visit.
Groups that want to visit other sites in Lexington as well as Lee Chapel & Museum should contact the Lexington Visitor Center at www.lexingtonvirginia.org or call (540) 463-3777. The Visitor Center will arrange your itinerary for free and if you wish, provide a step-on guide for a fee.
If you are traveling by motor coach, there is no available parking at Lee Chapel. Riders may be discharged on Jefferson St. in front of the entrance and handicapped individuals may be let off on Letcher Avenue, but in both cases, the bus will need to park elsewhere until the tour is over. Please contact the Lexington Visitor Center for suggested bus parking.
Please see Directions if you need further assistance or please call our offices at (540) 458-8768.
Lee Chapel offers multiple tour options for your school group. Each tour includes a museum activity and pre-and post-visit materials. Lee Chapel is no longer just a place for history; our variety of tours can cover English, science, math, art, and family life SOLs.
To learn more about School Group tours, visit our Education page.