Feature Stories Campus Events

Simpson Honored with Award for Exemplary Achievement from SECAC

Dr. Pamela Simpson, Ernest Williams II Professor of Art History at Washington and Lee University, was recently recognized by the Southeastern College Art Conference (SECAC) with the Award for Exemplary Achievement. She was presented with SECAC’s highest honor at its annual meeting held October 17-20 in Charleston, W.Va.

Noting Simpson’s lengthy and distinguished service to SECAC, President Donald Van Horn, Dean of the College of Fine Arts at Marshall University said, “Dr. Simpson has given unselfishly of her time and expertise to SECAC for many years. She has helped shape SECAC into the organization it is today, and I don’t think there is anyone who has been more steadfast in his or her support of SECAC. We are grateful to Dr. Simpson and it is fitting that we recognize her in this way.”

Simpson joined W&L in 1973 and was chair of the Art Department for over 10 years. She is the author of Cheap, Quick and Easy: Imitative Architectural Materials, 1870-1930; co-editor of Monuments to the Lost Cause, Women, Art and the Landscapes of Southern Memory; the co-author of The Architecture of Historic Lexington; and author of many other articles, essays and publications.

She was president of Vernacular Architecture Forum, president of the Southeast chapter of the Society of Architectural Historians and board member of the Society of Architectural Historians. Simpson also received the Outstanding Faculty Award from the Virginia State Council on Higher Education.

An active member of SECAC since 1976, Simpson has participated in every annual meeting since then. She served as president and has held the second vice president position from 1993 to the present. Simpson was the editor of the organization’s peer reviewed journal, the Southeastern College Art Review, from 1979-1992, and served as guest editor of a special issue of the journal focusing on the New Deal Era.

She received her bachelor’s degree from Gettysburg College, her master’s degree from the University of Missouri in Columbia and her Ph.D. from the University of Delaware.

The Southeastern College Art Conference is a non-profit organization that seeks to promote the visual arts in higher education. SECAC facilitates cooperation and fosters on-going dialog about pertinent creative, scholarly and educational issues among teachers and administrators in universities, colleges, community colleges, professional art schools, and museums. Its membership comes from across the United States and abroad.


W&L’s Campus Kitchen Wins National Excellence Award

Washington and Lee’s Campus Kitchen was presented with the “Excellence in Operations” award at the national Campus Kitchen Project’s (CKP) conference this past weekend.

W&L’s Campus Kitchen, which celebrated its one year anniversary in September, is a service organization that uses surplus food collected from campus dining services, catering operations and donations and then provides nutritious and tasty meals to the hungry in Lexington and surrounding areas.

The award was given “in honor of your outstanding performance during the annual audit, your success in maintaining high capacity operations and your excellence in engaging strong student leaders,” according to the certificate.

Maureen Roche, eastern director of CKP, is thrilled with W&L’s Campus Kitchen and the great strides it has made. “I am so happy that we were able to give the Excellence in Operations award to Washington and Lee. It was not a hard choice, and we agreed without much of a discussion that they deserved the award.”

Robbie Turner, Campus Kitchen coordinator, is delighted at the recognition. “This award is a testimony to all the hard work done by many people – Dining Services, faculty, staff, our client-partner agencies and most especially our students; we are very pleased to receive it,” he said. “There are many fine Campus Kitchen operations at other colleges, so to be singled out for this award is a real honor.”


Two Public Events Dealing with Nuclear Power to be Held at W&L

Washington and Lee University will sponsor two public events in November dealing with nuclear power-a lecture on “How to Ensure Nuclear Energy Remains Peaceful” and a panel discussion on the future of nuclear power. They were organized by Dr. Frank Settle, visiting professor of chemistry at W&L and founder of ALSOS Digital Library for Nuclear Issues (alsos.wlu.edu).

Dr. Charles Ferguson, Fellow for Science and Technology at the Council on Foreign Relations and an adjunct assistant professor in the Security Studies Program at the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University, will speak on Monday, Nov. 5, at 7:30 p.m. in W&L’s Huntley Hall, room 327.

The panel discussion will be held on Monday, Nov. 12, at 7:30 p.m. in Huntley Hall, room 221. Panelists are Dr. Brice Smith, assistant professor of physics at SUNY Cortland and author of “Insurmountable Risks: the Dangers of Using Nuclear Power to Combat Global Climate Change;” Dr. Andrew Cook, senior vice president of sales and marketing for the AREVA North American Nuclear Power group; and Mr. Albert Carr, adjunct professor of law, Washington and Lee University School of Law.

Both the Nov. 5 talk and Nov. 12 panel are free and open to the public.

At the Council on Foreign Relations, Ferguson researches and writes on nuclear security and energy topics. In particular he authored the Council Special Report Balancing the Benefits and Risks of U.S. Nuclear Energy Policy. He is also currently an adjunct lecturer in the Homeland Security Certificate Program at the Johns Hopkins University.

Prior to his work at the Council, Ferguson was the Scientist-in-Residence in the Washington office of the Monterey Institute’s Center for Nonproliferation Studies where he co-directed a project that systematically assessed how to prevent and respond to nuclear and radiological terrorist. He is also the lead author of the award-winning report titled Commercial Radioactive Sources: Surveying the Security Risks, which assessed the threat of radiological dispersal devices such as “dirty bombs.”

Dr. Brice Smith, a member of the Nov. 12 panel discussion, was a senior scientist at the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research in Takoma Park, Md. He has authored or co-authored works on nuclear weapons policy, nuclear waste management, uranium enrichment technologies and the economics of wind power in the western U.S.

Dr. Andrew Cook, experienced in the nuclear field, served as the advanced nuclear fuel and methods development manager for Westinghouse. He was also the total quality manager for the Westinghouse Nuclear fuel division. He served as the Westinghouse nuclear services project manager for the western half of the U.S. and the Nuclear Service Division Total quality manager for Westinghouse. He has debated many antinuclear speakers on television and radio.

Albert Carr is a graduate of VMI and W&L School of Law with a distinguished career in nuclear regulation. His early career was in government with the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission and Nuclear Regulatory Commission before joining Duke Power.

Dr. Settle will moderate the panel.


Jailed Reporter Vanessa Leggett to Give Keynote for W&L’s Ethics Institute

Vanessa Leggett, a lecturer and freelance writer who was jailed in 2001 for her refusal to betray confidential sources for her book, will be the keynote speaker for Washington and Lee University’s 44th Institute of Ethics in Journalism. The talk is on Friday, Nov. 2, at 5:30 p.m. in the Stackhouse Theater of Elrod Commons.

The title of Leggett’s talk, which is free and open to the public, is “Subpoenas, Sources, and Jail: Journalism in the 21st Century.”

After 168 days in jail, Leggett was released when the grand jury’s term expired and the government was forced to release her. Hers was the first subpoena the Justice Department issued to a writer in 10 years. Since then, the Justice Department has served a flood of subpoenas on numerous news organizations.

Leggett was able to maintain agreements with sources, refusing to name them or to surrender confidential material. Her stance earned her several awards from a number of organizations, including the Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas’ James Madison Award and the Society of Professional Journalists’ First Amendment Award.

She has taught literature, criminology and writing at the University of Houston-Downtown’s English Department, Criminal Justice Department and Professional Writing Division. She has given talks to the New York City Bar Association, the National Press Club and the FBI Academy’s Behavioral Science Unit, among others.

This annual event is sponsored by the Knight Program in Journalism Ethics and the University’s Department of Journalism and Mass Communications.


Washington and Lee University Adds to Art Collection

Washington and Lee University has recently added to its art collection with the unveiling of a copy of a Frank Buchser portrait of Robert E. Lee, the original of which is displayed in the Swiss Embassy in Washington, D.C.

In the early fall of 1869, the Swiss artist, set out for Lexington to paint Lee. The original is now in the collection of the Swiss Confederation and is hanging in the Swiss Embassy.

Regarded as an important period painting by an exceptional artist, Captain Robert C. Peniston, former director of Lee Chapel, and David Vogelsanger, Swiss Consul General, Milan, worked to fund a copy of this portrait, to be displayed at W&L. They were successful.

The artist, Bradley Stevens, is recognized as one of America’s leading realist painters. He received both his B.A. and M.F.A. degrees from The George Washington University and has taught at both his alma mater and Georgetown University. His landscapes and portraits can be found in corporate and institutional collections across the country.


Editor of Shenandoah, R.T. Smith, Authors New Poetry Collection, Outlaw Style

R.T. Smith, editor of Shenandoah: The Washington and Lee University Review, is the author of Outlaw Style, a newly released collection of narrative and lyric poems. Outlaw Style is Smith’s 23rd book of poetry and was published by the University of Arkansas Press.

The landscape and the culture of the American South are presented for the reader’s both interrogation and understanding in Outlaw Style. Organized into three sections, the collection takes us from the history of American racial intolerance, to a séance of voices of those involved with John Wilkes Boothe, to an exploration of the roots of traditional music.

Outlaw Style was selected by a panel of judges from a pool of over 600 submissions and is one of the four to receive this year’s University of Arkansas Prize in Poetry.

“I guess this collection is about the shadowy presences and outlaw characters who haunt the margins of American, particularly Southern, history. The central section explores the impact John Wilkes Booth had on the lives of those around him, and that alone gives it a dark, creepy feeling, but I hope the book’s overall symphony says that, as close as the monsters loom, we have no better option than to dance and sing.”

Smith’s collections of stories are Faith and Uke Rivers Delivers. His collections of poetry include The Cardinal Heart, Messenger, Trespasser, Split the Lark, The Hollow Log Lounge and Brightwood.

His fiction has appeared in reviews including The Pushcart Prize, Best American Short Stories and New Stories from the South; his poetry has appeared in The Pushcart Prize, Atlantic Monthly and Georgia Review, among others. He has received awards for his poetry from Ploughshares, Southern Humanities Review and Poetry Northwest. Messenger was named Poetry Book of the Year by the Library of Virginia.

Well-known poet and Pulitzer Prize winner Natasha Trethewey said about Outlaw Style, “An elegant music undergirds the poems in R.T. Smith’s new collection, as these poems seek and find the ‘blood harmony’ in the mongrel that is history. Outlaw Style is a brave and accomplished book.”


DeLaney Lectures on “Telling Our Stories: School Desegregation in Western Virginia”

Prof. Ted DeLaney, associate professor of history at Washington and Lee University, will present a lecture entitled “Telling Our Stories: School Desegregation in Western Virginia” as part of the Chavis Lecture Series on Wednesday, Nov. 7, at 7 p.m. in the Stackhouse Theater of the University Commons.

This lecture, which is free and open to the public, is part of DeLaney’s evolving work on school integration in this part of Virginia. This presentation will be somewhat different from the one he delivered to the Rockbridge Historical Association in July 2007.

Oral history forms the basis of much of DeLaney’s work, but it is an elusive voice because it does not include those people whose opposed desegregation-those people who favored Virginia’s policy of “massive resistance.” Many white residents did express their opposition to integration through letters to the governor, and DeLaney has now examined samples of those documents. School board minutes and local newspapers also add to this study.

Virginia politicians vowed to close the state’s schools rather than submit to court ordered desegregation, but no jurisdiction in the study area closed its schools. Rather than prompt compliance with the Brown v. Board of Education decision, the strategy was to delay desegregation as long as possible.

Yet desegregation proceeded in Western Virginia, DeLaney’s study area, without serious problems. There were, however, negative long term consequences which are part of the troubled legacy of Brown v. Board of Education.

The Chavis Lecture Series, which began at W&L in fall 2005, is named in honor of the first African-American student to attend Washington and Lee University, and by some historical accounts was the first African-American to attend college in the nation’s history. This series highlights Washington and Lee faculty and their work in the areas of African-American Studies, diversity and social justice.