Leading Edge

Students who participate in Leading Edge programs recall the time as one of their best college memories.

Choose one of the many program tracks this year: Appalachian Adventure, Volunteer Venture, Sustainability, Archaeology, Freedom Ride, Diversity First, Beyond LEADership, Around the World in Five Days, or Making Meaning. Each will prepare you for an amazing experience as a First-Year student at Washington and Lee.

Leading Edge Programs takes place the week before regular First-Year student orientation begins. The programs are small and inviting, a testament to the atmosphere of W&L. Leading Edge provides incoming First-Year students with the opportunity to begin their college career with friends, a sense of community, sharpened teamwork skills, and a memorable, meaningful, and challenging experience. The College Board recommends pre-orientation programs as a "great way for new students to get acclimated to their new environment and meet others with shared interests" in low pressure settings. Leading Edge programs engage incoming First-Years from the start of their undergraduate experience, emphasizing the community aspect of college life.

Questions? leadingedge@wlu.edu

Appalachian Adventure

Appalachian Adventure gives students the opportunity to challenge themselves and meet fellow First-Year and upper-division students, all while hiking the Appalachian Trail.

Volunteer Venture

Volunteer Venture allows participants to build meaningful relationships and explore issues related to poverty, injustice and opportunity through service with community-based agencies, guest speakers, and group discussion.


Sustainability introduces new students to sustainability issues in and around the W&L community.


The Leading Edge program in archaeology will introduce a select group of incoming first-year students to the research program in historical archaeology at Washington and Lee.

Freedom Ride

You will spend five days exploring black history and culture by discussing significant civil rights points of interest in Atlanta, Georgia; Athens and Monroe, Georgia; Greensboro, North Carolina; and Farmville, Virginia.

Diversity First

Will serve as an interactive educational experience discussing diversity, equity, and inclusion as it relates to student identities and the collegiate experience. This session will focus on community-centric dialogue that will provide students with the toolkit to engage in cross-cultural collaboration and communication.

Making Meaning

The Making Meaning trip invites students into an immersive, experiential exploration of how people create spiritual & religious communities in which they can seek and find answers to some of life's biggest questions.

Beyond LEADership

Beyond LEADership provides students with opportunities to develop their leadership skills and knowledge, as well as become familiar with the W&L community and campus!

Around the World in Five Days

Around the World in Five Days will help students explore, with cultural activities, field trips and restaurant experiences, what it means to prepare for an "engaged citizenship in a global and diverse society." This week around the world will inspire you to travel and study internationally and engage with our international community on campus during your four years at W&L.

Contact Us

If these resources do not answer your question, do not hesitate to reach out.


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