Washington and Lee Names New Academic Center for Teaching Race after Ted DelaneyHistorians in the News
tags: African American history, teaching history, Washington and Lee University, Ted Delaney
Washington and Lee University announced Tuesday it will name a new academic center for teaching and research on race after one of its late, influential history professors, Ted DeLaney.
DeLaney, who died in December at age 77, had a nearly 60-year career at Washington and Lee University, joining the institution as a custodian, eventually earning enough credits to graduate at 41, and then returning a decade later to be a history professor and serve as the school’s first Black department head. He was at the front of a push for the university to reckon with the university’s ties to the Confederacy, especially Gen. Robert E. Lee, after which the school is named.
The university announced the creation of the center for the study of Southern race relations, culture and politics last month when the W&L Board of Trustees voted to keep Lee in the school’s name. Part of earnings on $40 million of the school’s endowment over the next five years will support the new academic center, the university previously announced.
The new center will improve recruitment and retention of underrepresented minority faculty at the school, according to the university. In the wake of the white supremacist Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville in 2017, the university created a commission to consider its troubled history with the Confederacy and make recommendations, and the panel noted the university has struggled to recruit students and faculty of color. DeLaney served on the commission.
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