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Furman KA alumni seek to break ties with Robert E. Lee

Statue of Robert E. Lee in Gettysburg
A statue of Robert E. Lee in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.

The Kappa Alpha Order has for 100 years acknowledged Confederate general Robert E. Lee as its “spiritual founder.” Eighty-four alumni of Furman’s Iota Chapter have signed a letter aimed at severing ties with Lee, who also served as president of then Washington College (now Washington & Lee University). The story, which includes the letter from Furman’s Iota Chapter alumni, was covered in The Greenville News and also appeared in USA Today. Furman alums Jay Anthony ’05 (English and political science) and Brann Fowler ’11 (history) are quoted in the piece.

“What we really want is a public break and final break with the Confederacy, and Robert E. Lee,” Anthony told The News. The letter also asks for a committee to study KA’s past and develop future diversity efforts, similar to Furman’s Seeking Abraham project, which studies the university’s historical ties to slavery. Furman’s Neil Jamerson, assistant vice president for student development, is also quoted.

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