Freedom Ride invites 21st century students to ponder their transition from high school to college by learning about individuals who experienced the same shift in the racially charged atmosphere of the 1960s. After spending one day on W&L's campus, the group embarks on a four-day bus trip where they discuss community building while visiting Civil Rights sites in Virginia, Georgia, and North Carolina. Journeys to Robert Russa Moton Museum, The King Center, and The International Civil Rights Museum illustrate both the daunting social realities and the transformative courage that defined Jim Crow America. Bearing witness to these blended truths, participants explore the features that tie an earlier era of freedom fighting to their own tumultuous age.
With a name inspired by a movement that challenged segregated living arrangements, Freedom Ride immerses students in unique episodes from Southern history. Doing this not only clarifies their entry into a peculiar regional legacy but also grants them poignant preparation for their matriculation at Washington & Lee.
"I loved how Freedom Ride allowed us to mentally put ourselves in the shoes of the actual Freedom Riders and understand how special it is for a group of strangers with diverse backgrounds to bond so quickly."
Arun Ghosh "26
"The lessons I learned on this journey were eye-opening and built upon my existing knowledge, inspiring me to take a look at our current world with a fresh lens."
Paige Gray ‘26
"The new perspectives and lessons I obtained from the Freedom Ride built the ideal foundation for my college experience. One aspect I really admired was that every single person on the trip was an active participant...From discussions, to museums, to dinners, every Freedom Rider was always engaged."
Owen Burns ‘26