The Spectator is currently in the process of raising funds for a speakership series at W&L in honor of Dr. Jefferson Davis Futch III, a longtime professor and champion of conservative thought. The series would aim to bring conservative, intellectual speakers to campus to foster civil discourse on important issues facing America today. To make a donation to this cause, please click on the button below or mail us a check at PO Box 446, Lexington, VA 24450.
Dr. J.D. Futch Biography
Dr. Jefferson Davis Futch, III greatly contributed to the intellectual vigor of Washington and Lee University during his years as a professor of history.
Dr. Futch was born in Baltimore ca. 1934 to Mildred Hopkins Futch and Jefferson Davis Futch, II. Dr. Futch attended Forest Park High School in Baltimore, then entered Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore where he ultimately received his MA and, after military service, his PhD in modern European History with a concentration is post W.W. I German history. While at Hopkins he was a member of Phi Beta Kappa.
Before receiving his PhD, he enlisted in the U.S. Army and was sent to Monterey, California to attend the prestigious U.S. Strategic Foreign Languages School to study Italian. He was then posted to Italy in the late 1950’s in Army Intelligence. After several years on active duty in Italy during the cold war, he was discharged from the Army and returned to Hopkins to finish up his doctorate degree.
Shortly after graduating from John Hopkins with his newly minted PhD he applied for an entry level assistant professor’s position at Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia. He was hired by Dr. Ollinger Crenshaw, then chairman of the W&L History department. His first year of teaching at W&L was 1962. He retired in 2007 after 45 years of teaching at W&L.
At W&L he taught Post W.W. I Germany and the Weimar Republic, and then German history up to W.W. II. He also taught very popular courses on Italian city-state history and also the Papacy. Dr. Futch was so popular as a W&L History professor that his courses were always oversubscribed in later years, which meant that he had to teach two sections of the same course. At W&L he was advisor to the local chapter of Phi Beta Kappa.
Dr. Futch is one of the most popular professors to ever come out of W&L. He continues to enjoy a wide circle of devoted former students. Many in this ‘Futch Family’ have gone on to national prominence as leaders in their respective professional fields (U.S. Congressmen, U.S. Federal Circuit Court judge, well known people in the financial advisory world) scattered throughout the United States.
For many years he lived in his home at 8 Sellers Avenue, but only recently he had to leave his home and enter the Kendal retirement community complex in Lexington.