The Roger Mudd Center for Ethics

The Roger Mudd Center for Ethics advances dialogue, teaching, and research about issues of public and professional ethics across all three of the University's schools - the College, the Williams School, and the School of Law. 

In Memoriam:

Washington and Lee University mourns the passing of Roger Mudd '50, the award-winning journalist whose generous gift endowed The Roger Mudd Center for Ethics in 2010. When he made his gift, Mudd said that "given the state of ethics in our current culture, this seems a fitting time to endow a center for the study of ethics, and my university is its fitting home." 

Read more about Roger Mudd's life:


  • Roger Mudd on Ethics: On the eve of the inaugural lecture for Washington and Lee University's Roger Mudd Center for Ethics, Angela Smith, inaugural director of the Mudd Center and the Mudd Professor of Ethics, sat down with Mudd to discuss his views on ethics and the role of the center at his alma mater. 
  • Roger Mudd Receives Individual Philanthropy Award: In 2015, Mudd was honored by the Council of Independent Colleges for his contributions to independent higher education.
  • Roger Mudd Receives The Washington Award: Mudd received The Washington Award, W&L's highest honor, from President Kenneth P. Ruscio during the Opening Assembly of Alumni Weekend 2011 in Lee Chapel. Watch his remarks.

Yearly Ethics Theme

2020-2021: Global Ethics in the 21st Century: Challenges and Opportunities

As the COVID-19 pandemic works its way across the globe, few if any nations are immune from unprecedented threats to health and economic stability. One commentator posits that the crisis is forcing us to “rethink how the world works together.” And other daunting questions arise: What ethical, political, and economic questions about the international world order were being framed before the pandemic, and have those questions changed in nature or become all the more important? In 2020-21, the Mudd Center for Ethics and the Center for International Education will collaborate on a vital series exploring the nature of ethical responsibilities in international relations pre- and post-pandemic, the moral consequences of various approaches to foreign policy, and the potential replacements for the post-World War II liberal international order. Speakers from different perspectives and disciplines will probe the implications of the crisis for public health, the global economy, and continuing concerns over climate change and food shortages. We hope to prompt serious discussion of these and other issues that appear to have put “global ethics” at the top of the current policy agenda.

Upcoming Public Events