Lee Chapel At 150: A History

Front Cover
Mariner Publishing, Apr 5, 2018 - Chapels - 320 pages
In September 1865, five months after his surrender at Appomattox that effectively ended the Civil War, Robert E. Lee came to Lexington, Virginia, to begin a new life, to rebuild Washington College that had called him as its president, and to restore what peace and prosperity he could to a nation devastated by the most brutal conflict in its history. After one year, he had succeeded so well on his first two goals that, regarding the second, the college quickly outgrew its facilities. Lee called for a new chapel large enough to allow the growing faculty and student body to meet together for religious and academic gatherings. By June 1868, it was finished.Two years later, Lee died. He was interred in that building. At the same time, the college renamed itself Washington and Lee University.Over the 150 years of its existence, the association between Lee and the structure he was responsible for creating made it more than another college building. It has been used for many purposes: a place for celebrations, lectures, and academic assemblies; a mausoleum, shrine, museum, and even a place of pilgrimage. For some, it is the ┐heart┐ of the university.This is its story.

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About the author (2018)

David Cox is an author, professor of history at Southern Virginia University in Buena Vista, Virginia, and an Episcopal priest. He specializes in religious and American studies and was recently named SVU┐s Phi Kappa Phi Professor of the Year for 2017┐18. His most recent book, The Religious Life of Robert E. Lee (2017) won critical acclaim for his understanding of Lee┐his religion, and his times. David has published works on holy matrimony and the Anglican ministry.After graduating from the University of Virginia and Yale Divinity School, David served congregations in Connecticut and Virginia, including R. E. Lee Memorial (now Grace Episcopal) Church in Lexington, Virginia, from 1987 to 2000. He left that position to complete his doctoral studies, receiving fellowships at Harvard Divinity School and Virginia Theological Seminary. He then ministered to parishes in Arlington, Richmond, Annandale, and, from 2006┐13, Hot Springs, Virginia. David graduated from two programs of the Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership at the University of Virginia, and in 2008 was elected to the Lexington City Council and served a four-year term.David and his wife, Melissa, reside in Lexington, Virginia, and have three children, four grandchildren, and one happy dog.

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