As we celebrate Presidents Day this year, alumna Megan Davis '99 reminds us that W&L's namesake, George Washington, was not only the country's first president and an early benefactor of Washington and Lee, but also is credited as one of the nation's first engineers.
Megan works at Techbridge, a program to expand the academic and career options for girls in science, technology and engineering. As program manager of Girls Go Techbridge, a partnership with Girl Scout councils to bring hands-on engineering challenges to girls in grades 4–12, she wrote a heartfelt blog about Washington's early work as a surveyor, and how his tinkering in the garden likely mirrored the very process that Techbridge advocates for girls interested in engineering.
She goes on to write:
"George went on to do a great many other amazing accomplishments, but I'm afraid his budding engineering career gets lost amidst his military victories and visionary leadership. However in 1951, the National Society of Professional Engineers recognized an opportune time to celebrate all engineers would coincide with Old George's birthday (the man collaborated on and contributed to the engineering of our nation, after all!), and they began National Engineers Week to always be celebrated around President's Day."
You can read Megan's full blog post, "I Heart an Engineer," on the Techbridge website.
Happy Presidents Day!