Monday, October 28, 2013

Washington & Lee University 12.4.1949

This 3¢ ultramarine stamp on the cover was issued by the US to commemorate the Washington & Lee University. The first day of issue postmark was appropriately done on 12.4.1949 at Lexington, Virginia where the University is located. 

In 1749, Scotch and Irish immigrants founded Augusta Academy, a small classical school deep in the Virginia valley. Inspired by patriotism, the academy trustees changed the name to Liberty Hall. The school relocated to nearby Lexington four years later and was empowered by the Virginia legislature to grant degrees.

In 1796, George Washington saved the struggling academy with an endowment of $20,000 worth of stock. In gratitude, the trustees changed the school’s name to Washington Academy. The donation was one of the largest in its time and continues to offset the university’s operating budget today.

General Robert E. Lee served as the president of the university in 1865. Under Lee’s direction, the university offered the first college courses in business and journalism in the United States. After Lee’s death in 1870, trustees changed the name toWashington and Lee University.

Thank you Merja for this nice FDC.

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