The Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library and Museum today announced that it will name the first annual St. Albans School Woodrow Wilson Scholar at a ceremony on Friday, January 29, at 2:00 p.m. in the Trustees Room in the Presidential Library’s Dolores Lescure Center.  A Presidential Library panel, led by President and CEO Don W. Wilson, will name the scholar after interviewing the three finalists, all juniors at the Washington, D.C., school, and reviewing the essays the students have written about President Wilson.   

The Presidential Library and St. Albans established the scholarship due to the special relationship between President Wilson and the school.  St. Albans is affiliated with the Washington National Cathedral, where President Wilson is buried (and remains the only President buried in Washington, D.C.).   Both the National Cathedral and St. Albans School have long-time connections to descendants, friends, and advisors of President Wilson.   

The Woodrow Wilson Scholar will undertake a research project based on documents in the Presidential Library’s digital archive, the Wilson eLibrary, which the scholar can access at St. Albans.  The Scholar will present a paper on his project at functions at the Presidential Library and St. Albans.  His paper will be posted on the Presidential Library’s website and published in the newsletter.  In addition, the Woodrow Wilson Scholar will be honored at the Presidential Library’s Board of Trustees meeting and Annual Luncheon in November.  Next winter, the Scholar will be part of the panel that chooses the next Woodrow Wilson Scholar among next year’s St. Albans finalists.   

The three finalists, St. Albans juniors Ned Downie, Conor Goetz, and Ed Mahaffey, will be accompanied to Staunton by Dr. Rob Shurmer, Chair of the History Department at St. Albans.  The students will tour the Presidential Library on Friday morning.  After lunch, each finalist will be interviewed by a panel headed by Dr. Don W. Wilson, President and CEO of the WWPL and former Archivist of the United States.  Dr. Joel Hodson, the WWPL’s Director of Education, and Scott Ballin, a Washington health care lobbyist, Presidential Library advisor, and St. Albans alumnus, will assist Dr. Wilson on the panel.   

The students’ essays are on the following topic:   President Woodrow Wilson lies entombed in a bay along one side of the nave of the Washington National Cathedral.  On two walls are inscribed four excerpts from his public papers that suggest his aspirations.  Indeed, the term "Wilsonian" comes down to us nearly a hundred years later and promises to go forward into the future because of the singularity of vision and idealism of this man.  Go to the National Cathedral and find the tomb of Woodrow Wilson.  Choose one of those excerpts and, locating it in particular time and circumstance, discuss Wilson's intention, the outcome of that intention, and any continuing significance his words and intention carry.  

For more information about the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library and Museum and St. Albans School, see below.        

About the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library and Museum  

The Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library and Museum, located in Staunton, Virginia, is open 360 days a year for guests from around the world to tour the President’s Birthplace, the historic gardens, and the Woodrow Wilson Museum, including the President’s 1919 Pierce-Arrow limousine.  The WWPL is constructing a World War I exhibit to be completed in the next month.  The WWPL also sponsors educational programming for thousands of schoolchildren each year and hosts teachers’ institutes and a variety of other education symposia.  In addition, the WWPL attracts top-flight speakers, including Scott Berg, Larry Sabato, Cokie Roberts, Bill Schneider, Robert Samuelson, and Walter Russell Mead.  

The WWPL has a large collection of Wilson and Wilson-era documents and has established the Wilson e-Library, an on-line digital archive through which students, teachers, scholars, and the public can access these documents for free.  Recently, the WWPL purchased an historic building next to the Museum and began the process of turning it into the Library and Research Center.  

For more information, visit the Presidential Library’s website at              

About St. Albans School

St. Albans School opened its doors in the fall of 1909.  A bequest of Harriet Lane Johnston, the niece of President James Buchanan, provided for the establishment of an all-boys School and for a scholarship endowment to educate boys in the National Cathedral Choir.  Beginning with fifty-nine boys in its inaugural year, St. Albans now educates approximately 565 boys in grades four through twelve, over twenty of whom serve as Cathedral Choristers.

The campus, too, has grown, adding four classroom buildings, two gymnasiums, two libraries, a theater, a refectory, a dormitory, six science laboratories, computer facilities, three art studios, and an indoor swimming pool.  But the spirit of the School—an intimate community that thrives on close relationships between faculty and students, on daily family style lunches, on a challenging yet caring environment—remains the same.

As an Episcopal School, St. Albans requires all students to attend Chapel several days each week.  Spiritually rooted in the life and teachings of Jesus Christ, St. Albans strives to develop in its boys an awareness and love of God and a sense of moral responsibility.  With a pastoral commitment to all, St. Albans welcomes students of all faiths and respects the religious beliefs of all members of the diverse School community.

St. Albans, along with the National Cathedral School for Girls, Beauvoir School, and the Washington National Cathedral, is part of the Protestant Episcopal Cathedral Foundation.  St. Albans sits in the shadow of the National Cathedral, on the fifty-seven acre Cathedral Close in residential Northwest Washington.

For more information, visit the school’s website at


did you know?

Wilson was president throughout World War I. He sought a neutral position for the United States and even won reelection with the slogan “He kept us out of war.” Nonetheless, actions by the Central Powers (notably Germany) threatened this neutrality. Following years of attacks on American shipping and citizens on the high seas, particularly the sinking of the RMS Lusitania, public opinion began to turn. The final straw came with the release of the Zimmerman Telegram, forcing the United States to declare war on the Central Powers in April of 1917, joining the war on the side of the UK, Russia, and France.

Woodrow Wilson was President when the 19th amendment was ratified in 1920 giving women the right to vote.

Wilson piloted the ship that brought America onto the world stage. He made the first steps of leading us out of isolationism, violating Washington's tenet of avoiding foreign entanglements.

He led America during World War I. His fervent hope was for the US to join a League of Nations, the precursor to the United Nations.

A Woodrow Wilson Quote: "Life does not consist in thinking, it consists in acting."

A Woodrow Wilson Quote: "The Constitution was not made to fit us like a straitjacket. In its elasticity lies its chief greatness."

A Woodrow Wilson Quote: "I believe in democracy because it releases the energies of every human being."

The Seventeenth Amendment was formally adopted on May 31, 1913. Wilson had been president for almost three months at the time. The amendment provided for the direct election of senators. Prior to its adoption, Senators were chosen by state legislatures.

Wilson was the first president to receive a PhD which he got in Political Science from Johns Hopkins University. He had received his undergraduate degree from the College of New Jersey, renamed Princeton University in 1896.

Woodrow Wilson could not read during the first decade of his life. Though undiagnosed, he may have suffered from a learning disability

Woodrow Wilson was known as "Tommy" until his college years.

Woodrow Wilson during his boyhood, helped establish the "Lightfoot Baseball Club" with his friends. Wilson played second base and was an avid sport fan throughout his adult life.

Woodrow Wilson was the first president to attend the Major League Baseball Fall Classic. He saw the debut of a young 20 year old pitcher by the name of George Herman "Babe" Ruth.

Woodrow Wilson was a graduate of Princeton University and Johns Hopkins University and the only president to hold an earned doctoral degree.

Woodrow Wilson image is on the $100,000 bill although it is no longer in circulation