We invite members-awaiting-initiation, active members, alumni, families and friends to come visit the National Administrative Office in beautiful Lexington, VA
While many towns of this valley have laid claim to immortality, many people consider the tiny, Blue Ridge Mountain town of Lexington a small piece of heaven. This town, that witnessed much of the Civil War, is the epitome of heritage and tradition. It is the site of Natural Bridge – one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World – it serves as the final resting place of Generals T. J. “Stonewall” Jackson and Robert E. Lee; it is the birthplace of famed “Texian” revolutionist Sam Houston; and it is the home of two great universities – Washington & Lee University and the Virginia Military Institute.
SOME OF THE ATTRACTIONS IN LEXINGTON INCLUDE:
National Administrative Office at Mulberry Hill – Mulberry Hill is the home of Kappa Alpha Order and the Kappa Alpha Order Educational Foundation (KAOEF).
Downtown Lexington – Lexington’s entire downtown is listed on the State and National register of Historic Places. As the Rockbridge County seat, it has long been the center of commerce and social activity for the area. The fascinating architecture of the downtown, as well as the surrounding residential district has been carefully restored. Thomas U. Walter, the architect that designed the dome on the U.S. Capitol, designed the Lexington Presbyterian Church and the former Rockbridge County jail, which now serves as Kappa Alpha Order’s national headquarters.
Washington & Lee University – Washington and Lee University was founded in 1749. It is a four-year liberal arts college with a well-respected law school. George Washington endowed the school with 100 shares of James River Company stock in 1796. This gift saved the school from closing. Robert E. Lee became president of the college after the Civil War in 1865. Because of his prestige and influence it became a university of national stature. After his death in 1870 it was renamed in recognition of his devotion and service. The Lee House (1869) on the Front Campus was designed by General Lee to be the home of the president of the school. The neoclassical front campus of the university was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1961. The Department of the Interior characterized W&L as “one of the most dignified and beautiful college campuses in the nation.”
Lee Chapel and Museum – a National Historic Landmark was built in 1867 under Robert E. Lee’s supervision. Lee and members of his family are buried beneath Lee Chapel on the Museum level.
Virginia Military Institute – Virginia Military Institute, founded in 1839, is the oldest state supported military college in the nation. Its mission is to provide an undergraduate educational program of the highest quality within a military environment. During the Civil War on May 15, 1864 the VMI Corps of Cadets was engaged as a unit in a pitched battle at New Market, Virginia. The Virginia Military Institute Museum is in the lower level of Jackson Memorial Hall. Jackson Memorial Hall houses the Cadet Chapel and has a large oil painting depicting the VMI Cadet charge at the Battle of New Market in 1864.
George C. Marshall Museum – George C. Marshall, a Kappa Alpha, graduated from VMI in 1901 and served his country as Army Chief of Staff during World War II, Ambassador to China, Secretary of State, President of the American Red Cross and Secretary of Defense. Exhibits in the museum trace the career of Marshall with particular emphasis on the eras of the two World Wars and the Marshall Plan. A 25-minute electric map presentation highlights the significant events of World War II. On display is the Nobel Peace Prize that was awarded to General Marshall in 1953. Visitors can also enjoy seeing the Academy Award Oscar presented to General Frank McCarthy (a VMI graduate and aide to Marshall) as producer of the movie “Patton.”
Stonewall Jackson Memorial Cemetery – The Stonewall Jackson Memorial Cemetery began as the burial ground for the old Lexington Presbyterian Church in 1789. General Stonewall Jackson, 144 Confederate veterans, two Virginia governors (John Letcher and James McDowell) and Margaret Junkin Preston, the Civil War Poet Laureate of the South are buried in the cemetery. The statue of Stonewall Jackson was sculpted by Edward V. Valentine and dedicated July 21, 1891. Jackson and his family are buried beneath the statue. A number of distinguished Kappa Alpha members are buried here including Samuel Z. Ammen, William S. Hamilton and William E. Forester.
Theater at Lime Kiln – Where master stone masons once plied their trade and kilns burned red hot with the making of lime, professional actors and musicians now entertain audiences on summer nights. With a sky full of stars for a roof, an earthen floor and stone walls for a stage, visitors to Theater at Lime Kiln quickly discover why it has been called “the most unusual theater setting in the United States.”
Stonewall Jackson House – Thomas Jonathan Jackson is known to the world as “Stonewall” Jackson. In Lexington, where Jackson lived and taught for ten years before the Civil War, he was known simply as Major Thomas Jackson, a professor of Natural Philosophy at Virginia Military Institute. The Stonewall Jackson House at 8 East Washington Street is the only home that Thomas Jackson ever owned.
Additional information about Lexington attractions is available at the Lexington and the Rockbridge Area Visitor Center, 106 East Washington Street / Lexington, VA 24450, (540)463-3777, fax (540)463-1105