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Blue Ridge Assembly Statement on Lee Hall

In 2015, YMCA Blue Ridge Assembly changed the name of Lee Hall to Eureka Hall.  Here is the statement they released explaining the name change:

Statement on Lee Hall

As you know, over 100 years ago Dr. Willis D. Weatherford founded YMCA Blue Ridge Assembly.  The first conference was held in the summer of 1912, after construction of Robert E. Lee Hall was completed.  The name of the Hall was chosen by Dr. Weatherford, in honor of a devout Christian who spent the last years of his life as the beloved, reform-minded President of Washington College.  That institution is now known as Washington & Lee College.  The Hall here at Blue Ridge, however, will no longer retain his name.  For the next three years, it will be called “Eureka Hall,” referring to the words said by our founder when he first laid eyes upon this land.

This was not a quick decision.  After a great deal of research, twenty-five YMCA Board Members heard two days of reports on Dr. Weatherford, Robert E. Lee and the history of the Hall.  Everyone spent time in prayer and reflection, focusing on the past and the future of a place that means so very much to all of us. 

Nothing has changed concerning the character of Robert E. Lee, nor in his devotion to a wise and merciful God nor in his dedication to advancing not only an academic education but to expanding the character of young people, helping them to value honesty and humility.  

Neither has the mission of Blue Ridge changed.  It remains a place where everyone is treated with love and respect, as we all search to find peace and grow closer to one another and to our God.  Nothing should obstruct or impede this.  As Paul says, “Make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in the way of a brother or sister.” (Romans 14:14).     

We came to understand the wisdom of these words, and we decided that if a name is such an obstacle, it must change.  It is more important to remain focused on our mission for the future rather than cling to the history of our past.