The Leading Edge Pre-Orientation Program

Students who participate in The Leading Edge program 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, or Diversity First. Each will prepare you for an amazing experience as a First-Year student at Washington and Lee.

The Leading Edge Pre-Orientation Program 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. The 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.

Registration for The Leading Edge trips is now open in the Student GHQ and will close Friday, June 4 at 4:00 pm (EDT).


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 introduces incoming students to the contributing factors of poverty in cities surrounding W&L through a service-learning experience.


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.

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