Ruscio, who announced his decision to the campus community on May 26, will have completed a decade as president when he leaves the position on June 30,
2016. He intends to take a one-year sabbatical leave for the
2016-17 academic year and then return to the faculty.
In a letter to the University community, Ruscio said
It has successfully funded most of the initiatives included in
that while he had no timetable in mind when he became
president in July 2006, “a decade now seems about right —
enough to have achieved many of our goals and the right
moment for the University to start anticipating the new
Ruscio’s decision came as W&L neared the June 30
conclusion of its historic, $500 million fundraising campaign.
the University’s current strategic plan, which was formally
adopted in May 2007.
“The board has accepted President Ruscio’s decision
with reluctance, but with deep appreciation and admiration
for his exceptional leadership,” said Rector Donald Childress
’70. “Washington and Lee is a stronger institution today by
virtually every measure because of the way President Ruscio
has combined his vision with his devotion to Washington
In his message to the community, Ruscio praised the
quality of the people who compose Washington and Lee:
“The strength of this community has always been its people
— the thousands of alumni who remain dedicated to their
alma mater, the creative teacher-scholars on the faculty, the
devoted and highly competent staff, the parents and families
of the students, and most important, our students. I certainly
knew that before assuming the presidency. That is affirmed
every day I go to the office.”
President Ken Ruscio ’76
to Step Down in 2016
◗ The $50 million renovation and restoration of the historic
◗ The development of the Johnson Program in Leadership
◗ The creation of such new academic initiatives as the Roger
Mudd Center for Ethics, the J. Lawrence Connolly Center for
Entrepreneurship, the reinvigorated, four-week Spring Term,
and the innovative, nationally regarded third-year curricu-
lum in the School of Law.
◗ The $66 million Lenfest Challenge, which created 15 of the
20 new endowed chairs and 10 term professorships and
improved faculty compensation. The University has also
introduced major work-life initiatives for faculty and staff.
◗ A strong commitment to sustainability initiatives that in-
cludes an energy-education program and a solar-panel array.
◗ The construction of new facilities: the Center for Global
Learning, Hillel House, upper-division housing neighbor-
hood and natatorium.
Among the numerous achievements of Ruscio’s presidency:
◗ A major expansion of the University’s financial aid pro-
gram that has made W&L’s distinctive education available
to qualified students regardless of their family’s financial
◗ The renovations to first-year housing, Leyburn Library and
◗ The development of the Duchossois Athletic Complex,
featuring Wilson Field.
◗ The support for the communities of Lexington and Rock-
bridge County through the creation of the Community
Grants Program, the relocation of the national Omicron
Delta Kappa headquarters to Lexington, and the partnership
that has resulted in the restoration of the historic former
courthouse and jail into University-leased buildings.
You can read President Ruscio’s complete message to the com-
munity about his decision, as well as his messages on other topics,