The Sustainability pre-orientation will have four trips that aim to:

• Create an environment where members of the incoming class can get to know each other.

• Introduce students to issues related to sustainability.

• Connect incoming students with upper-division students, W&L staff, and community members who can provide information about the different ways to get involved in sustainability both on campus and in the surrounding community.

On-campus trips:

1. Sustainable Development

Dive into a daily theme around sustainable development, which may include energy and climate change, water use, people and places, buildings, and environmental policy. Some highlights of this trip may include exploring sustainability through day trips to neighboring locales to learn about downtown revitalization, growth in mixed-use areas, community activism and engagement, renewable energy companies, and government offices.

2. Sustainable Water

How do our actions on the earth impact our water? Participants in this experience may visit the Maury River, a fish hatchery, learn about water sources on our campus, tour a water treatment plant, and participate in discussions about plastics in our oceans. Some of these visits may require day trips to neighboring areas.

3. Environmental Justice

Do environmental issues impact certain people more regularly and harshly than other groups of people? Absolutely. Participants of this theme will investigate the intersection of sustainability and social justice. Activities may include discussions around food systems and access to healthy food, equitable energy sources, and community development and impacts of climate change on neighborhoods.

4. Sustainable Food Systems

Investigate the sources of our food, the energy it takes to grow and manufacture food, equitable food access, and questions about health and nutrition. Some highlights of this trip may include; touring local and sustainable farms, getting your hands dirty in the W&L Campus Garden, learning new cooking skills, and working with equitable food access in the area.

*Though the four experiences have different focus areas, all participants will come together for various activities and shared meals during the week. All groups will enjoy guest speakers, a tour of campus sustainability initiatives, a combined field trip to a local agricultural operation, and meals straight from the W&L Campus Garden and other locally sourced eateries. At the end of the week, students will discuss their various definitions of and experiences with sustainability.

We look forward to your participation in these ventures! We hope to make your introduction to Washington and Lee a memorable and meaningful experience.

Questions or comments, please contact Kim Hodge at