While every Mock Convention is memorable, this timeline will alow you to explore a few especially intriguing years, as well as expand upon our history and our legacy.

1908: The Beginning

In the spring of 1908, presidential candidate, William Jennings Bryan, visited Lexington, VA. His visit created quite a stir on the politically-minded, all male campus of the early 1900s. To welcome his visit, The Forum, W&L’s leading political group at the time, organized a replica of the 1908 Democratic Convention, which concluded with an accurate prediction of Bryan and the nominee.

1916: Switching Things Up

In the Winter of 1916, W&L Mock Con held the first ever Convention for the Republican Party, in which they correctly predicted the nominee to be Charles Evans Hughes, Supreme Court Justice, for the Republican Party. Thus, extending the legacy of accuracy to both the Democratic and Republican parties.

1920: Nobody's Perfect

The 1920 Convention was the first of only two conventions that did not come to fruition, the other being in 1944 because of WWII. In 1920, it was due to lack of interest, a fact we try not to hold against the students of the time. This was also the year that women earned the right to vote, which did not inspire much political activism given the all-male nature of campus at that time.

1948: Bigger Is Always Better

Prior to the 1948 Convention, the student body organized their own events to celebrate their work. However, this was the first convention to hold a Convention Parade and include the city of Lexington in the fun.

1956: Heroic Speakers

The 1956 Convention was host to some impressive speakers, including the honorable former Vice President Alben Barkley who died during his speech at the convention.

1972: Just Another Day In The Office

In 1972, then-governor Jimmy Carter's speech at Mock Con was missed by his own press secretary, who had been celebrating with a group of W&L students and alumni.

1980: A Hallmark Parade

A particularly interesting year for the parade: a poorly-timed firework display from one of the state floats resulted in the Iowa float being set aflame. Other parade highlights included the Budweiser Clydesdales and the celebrity elephant Jewel, who entertained the crowd with tricks along the route.

1988: A Presidential Encore

Four-years before he was the predicated nominee for the Democratic Party in 1992, then-governor Bill Clinton was a key note speaker at the 1988 convention. He is best remembered for his impromptu concert for students at an off-campus venue.

1996: The Big Leagues

By 1996, the Mock Convention was acknowledged by the Washington Post as "one of the nation's oldest and most prestigious mock conventions." 1996 was additionally the first year the Convention garnered coverage from C-SPAN.

2016: Taking The Cake

In the most recent convention, W&L made waves as being one of the first organizations to predict Donald Trump as the Republican nominee. Although the decision was controversial, our meticulous research did not lie. The accurate prediction was made sweeter by a custom cake made for the Convention, featuring the Colonnade and the Republican Candidates for that cycle.