Please read through these materials carefully after reviewing the Facility Use Policy.
This site provides basic information about who is eligible to use the Lee Chapel and important guidelines to assist you in planning your event here. If you wish to check the availability of a date and time, please call the Chapel office, Monday through Friday between 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., or check the Lee Chapel calendar.
When may we schedule an event in the Lee Chapel auditorium?
- The Lee Chapel & Museum is open daily for public tours between the hours of 9 AM and 5 PM (4 PM in the winter), except Sunday, when doors open at 1:00 PM. Whenever possible, use of the auditorium will be restricted during operating hours to ensure visitor access to the main floor exhibition space (statue chamber and portraits).
- Major University events, including Freshman Orientation, convocations and academic ceremonies, honor trials, alumni events and emergencies will continue to take precedence over public tours.
- To ensure a positive museum experience for public visitors, group tours will be scheduled in no less than one hour increments; time must be allotted between group tours to accommodate individual visitors.
- The Chapel will remain in use for public tours up to 15 minutes before the scheduled event, unless otherwise indicated, and tours will resume immediately after the event ends. The Chapel Auditorium will not close all day, except for special University events or at the discretion of the Museum Manager.
Who may schedule an event in Lee Chapel?
The Lee Chapel Auditorium is not available for public rental. The exception is for weddings (see Weddings). Individuals cannot reserve the auditorium for any reason. The following is a prioritized list of eligible users:
- University Academic Activities and University Sponsored Events. Washington and Lee University administrative offices, academic departments and University student organizations listed in the Student Organization Directory have priority in scheduling events.
- University Related Events. Academic camps, conferences and workshops arranged by students, faculty or staff that charge a registration fee. The programs must be developed by the University staff and are not affiliated with any outside organization/association. Fees will apply.
- University Co-Sponsored Events. Academic programs, conferences and/or meetings involving two entities - a W&L school, academic department, administrative unit or students organization and an outside organization such as a professional association in which the University holds membership or maintains a relationship that directly benefits the University community. Because of the historic nature of the building, these may include, but not be limited to, historic preservation associations and national fraternities / sororities associated with the University. Activities must relate directly to the University's educational goals. Approval of such requests lies solely with the Museum Manager. If an exception is recommended, it must also bear the endorsement of the Vice President for Administration. If the external organization requires registration fees to go through their operation, the event will no longer be considered co-sponsored but will be considered strictly external and must comply with the Town/Gown program description below. Fees will apply.
- Town/Gown programs are those events, which are an integral part of the relationship between the University and the community. Requests for these organizations MUST be submitted by a W&L sponsor, generally a board member of the organization, who will assume full responsibility for the group's event and who will guarantee his or her attendance. Because of the historic nature of the building, these will be limited to those organizations which bear a direct relation to the museum's mission and will include only local museums, historical societies, cultural institutions and historic preservation organizations. Any exception must be approved by the Museum Manager and the Director of University Collections, and may require the endorsement of the Vice President for Administration. Fees will apply.
- Religious Services. The Lee Chapel auditorium is an unconsecrated and non-denominational space. Requests for use of the auditorium for religious services, including memorial services and funerals, must fulfill the same eligibility requirements and procedures outlined in this policy. Approval of requests for religious services lies solely with the Museum Manager and the acting University Chaplain, and may require the endorsement of the Vice President for Administration. Fees will apply.
Because most major events are planned well in advance, it is unlikely that the University would require the Lee Chapel auditorium if it has not been previously scheduled. However, for the rare exception, usually an emergency, the University always has priority. Scheduled users will be notified as early as possible in order to accommodate a change in venue.
What Are The Guidelines For Using the Chapel Auditorium?
For information on permitted uses, equipment, safety issues and other relevant materials, please see Guidelines.
How Do I Reserve The Lee Chapel Auditorium?
For information on reserving the auditorium, please see Reservations.
What Do I Do If I Need to Cancel An Event?
If a reservation is cancelled, a minimum of 24 hours notice to the Lee Chapel Office is requested. Fees will be refunded, with the exception of the administrative fee of $50.
Are There Any Rules or Restrictions for the Use of Lee Chapel?
Yes. Because of fire codes and the historic nature of the building, there are a number of restrictions to which you must strictly adhere. For a complete list, see Restrictions.