Feature Stories Campus Events

Jack Goldsmith to Give Lectures on Limits of Executive Power and on the Terror Presidency

Goldsmith, author of The Terror Presidency: Law and Judgment Inside the Bush Presidency and W&L alumnus, will deliver two lectures on Monday, Nov. 26. The first will be at 2:00 p.m. in the Millhiser Moot Court Room. It is titled “Are there Limits on Executive Power in an Age of Terror?” This talk is sponsored by the Lewis Law Center, the Transnational Law Institute, and the Department of Philosophy.

The second lecture, titled “Terror and the Presidency,” is at 8 p.m. in Lee Chapel with a question and answer session following the lecture. There will be a reception in the Alumni House following the 8 p.m. talk. Both the 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. events are open to the public without charge.

Published this September, Goldsmith’s book is shaking up intellectual circles in the United States, and has generated interviews on Sunday and late-evening talk shows, including a full hour on the Charlie Rose Show and a segment on the PBS Frontline series “Cheney’s Law.”

A central player in the Bush Administration, Goldsmith is the former chief of the office of legal counsel, whose duty it is to advise the president on what he can and cannot do legally. The position has been described as “the most important job in Washington that you never heard of.”

When appointed in October 2003, Goldsmith immediately began a review of the work of his predecessors. He found many of their opinions to be deeply flawed-in particular, the treatment and interrogation of prisoners and wire tapping laws-and began writing a series of opinions to reverse them.

Goldsmith resigned from chief of the office of legal counsel in August 2004, just 10 months after his appointment, and at approximately the same time that Attorney General John Ashcroft resigned. They were both unwilling to serve an administration, and notably the vice president and his chief counsel; the president’s counsel; the White House chief of staff; and others who were running rough-shod over the law and contrary to the opinions Goldsmith was providing them.

The timing of the resignations came after that nighttime trip to the critically ill Ashcroft’s hospital room, when Gonzalez and Card tried to persuade Ashcroft to re-authorize an executive order declaring that the Geneva Conventions did not apply to detainees taken in Afghanistan and Iraq. The acting attorney general had refused to agree, and Gonzalez and Card were putting pressure on the very ill Ashcroft. Showing a couple of minutes of high energy after appearing near death, Ashcroft declared that he was not the attorney general and then chastised Gonzalez and Card firmly.

Jack Goldsmith describes himself as a “philosophical conservative,” but he is troubled deeply by people doing things in violation of the United States Constitution, of treaty obligations of the United States and of laws enacted by Congress. He is cited by one commentator for his “unflinching insistence that we abide by the law,” and is known widely as a brilliant lawyer.

Jack Goldsmith is the Henry L. Shattuck Professor of Law in the Harvard Law School. He is a 1984 graduate of Washington and Lee University with a summa cum laude degree in philosophy. He earned B.A. and M.A. degrees at Oxford and a J.D. degree at the Yale Law School. He also holds a diploma in private international law from the Hague Academy of International Law.


W&L’s Contact Speaker’s Series Presents the Third Talk on the Middle East

The third lecture of Spotlight on the Middle East, Washington and Lee University’s Contact-sponsored speaker series will be on Tuesday, Nov. 27. The lecture on Spotlight on Religion in the Middle East will be given by Ambassador Akbar Ahmed, Ibn Khaldun Chair of Islamic Studies, American University in Washington, at 7:30 p.m. in Lee Chapel.

Ambassador Ahmed’s talk, which is free and open to the public, is co-sponsored by the religion department at W&L.

Ahmed is a non-resident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution in addition to his appointment at American University. He is an expert on global Islam and its impact on contemporary society, interfaith dialogue, Pakistan and U.S. relations with the Islamic world. According to the BBC, he is “the world’s leading authority on contemporary Islam.”

He has been a visiting professor at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton, and at Harvard and Cambridge Universities, and was the High Commissioner of Pakistan to Great Britain. Ambassador Ahmed was the principal investigator for the “Islam in the Age of Globalization” project, sponsored by the Brookings Institution, American University and the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life.

His books, films and documentaries have won awards and his books have been translated into many languages. His numerous books include “Discovering Islam: Making Sense of Muslim History and Society,” “Postmodernism and Islam: Predicament and Promise” and “Islam Today: A Short Introduction to the Muslim World.”

The final lecture of the series, Spotlight on War in the Middle East, will be Thursday, March 6, 2008, and will be given by Gen. Anthony Zinni (ret.).


McCardell and Wall Elected to W&L Board of Trustees

Washington and Lee University recently announced the election of John M. McCardell Jr., professor and former president of Middlebury College, and Thomas R. Wall IV, managing director of Kelso & Co., to its Board of Trustees. Both McCardell and Wall will join the board at its February 2008 meeting.

“John McCardell and Tom Wall are very talented and enthusiastic alumni,” said W&L President Ken Ruscio. “They are knowledgeable about both the world of education and Washington and Lee. They are devoted to the mission and the core values of the University and I know they will be very valuable members of the Board of Trustees. I look forward to working with them.”

A 1971 graduate of Washington and Lee, McCardell was a member of Lambda Chi Alpha, Omicron Delta Kappa, the Debate Team, and was editor of the 1971 Calyx. He also served as a dorm counselor and was the recipient of the Sullivan Medallion at Commencement. He was a recipient of the 250th Chapter Honoree Award in 1999, and currently serves on W&L’s Parents Council.

“I am deeply honored to have been asked to join the Board of Trustees,” McCardell said. “Washington and Lee did so much to shape me as a student, indeed as a human being. Serving in this way allows me, however insufficiently given the benefits I have received, to give something back, with deep gratitude and sincere commitment, to our beloved alma mater.”

McCardell joined the faculty of Middlebury in 1976, and served as dean for academic development and planning, dean of the faculty, provost and vice president for academic affairs and acting president before being named the Vermont college’s15th president in 1992.

He retired from the presidency in June 2004, and following a year’s sabbatical returned to the classroom in the fall of 2005. While president he served as chairman of the Division III Presidents’ Council of the NCAA in 2003-04 and led a successful, comprehensive, division-wide reform effort.

Outside the classroom, McCardell serves as a director of The National Bank of Middlebury and its parent company, The Middlebury National Corporation; the Community Financial Services Group LLC of Barre, Vt.; and as a board member of Vermont Public Radio and the American Civil War Center at Historic Tredegar in Richmond, Va. The Burlington Free Press named him the 2001 “Vermonter of the Year”.

Most recently, McCardell became a founder and director of the non-profit group Choose Responsibility, which aims to promote general public awareness of the dangers of excessive and reckless alcohol consumption by young adults and to engage young people, their parents and public officials in serious deliberation on the role of alcohol in American culture.

McCardell and his wife, Bonnie Greenwald McCardell, have two sons, John M. McCardell III, and James B. “Jamie” McCardell, W&L ’09.

A 1980 graduate of W&L, Wall was a member of the golf team, Sigma Chi fraternity, Contact, and was involved with the University’s quadrennial Mock Convention. He served as a member of his 25th Reunion Committee and as a member of the New York Area Capital Campaign Committee from 1992-95.

“I am thrilled at the opportunity to serve Washington and Lee as a trustee,” Wall said. “I am deeply grateful to the board for the confidence placed in me and I look forward to working with the W&L community to advance the mission of the University.”

Wall joined the private investment banking firm of Kelso & Co. in 1983, and was named managing director in 1990. Prior to joining Kelso & Co., Wall spent three years as a lending officer in the corporate division of Chemical Bank, where his responsibilities included the analysis and evaluation of lending proposals for numerous leveraged buyouts.

He is a director of BWAY Corporation, Ellis Communications Group, LLC, Endurance Business Media, Inc., Renfro Corporation and U.S. Electrical Services, LLC. He is also a Trustee of Choate Rosemary Hall and The Sacred Heart School in New York City.

Wall is married to Nancy Rees Wall, a graduate of St. Lawrence University and the Foxcroft School. They have three children, Kelsey, T.R., and Natalie, and live in New York City.

“Tom Wall and John McCardell are two outstanding individuals who will make enduring contributions to Washington and Lee during their tenure on the Board of Trustees,” said Phil Norwood, rector of the Board. “While their professional accomplishments have been achieved in very different fields, they share a common devotion to their alma mater and a commitment to serving as stewards of the University. I am delighted they have accepted the invitation we extended for them to become trustees.”


Gerald Donato: Reinventing the Game Opens in Staniar Gallery

“Gerald Donato: Reinventing the Game” opens in Staniar Gallery at Washington and Lee University on Friday, Nov. 9 with a gallery talk and reception at 5:30 p.m. The exhibition, curated by Amy Moorefield, assistant director and curator of collections at VCUarts Anderson Gallery, comes to Staniar Gallery as a cross-section of the major retrospective of the Donato’s work at VCUarts Anderson Gallery last winter.

The catered reception to celebrate the opening of the exhibit will feature an in-gallery lecture by Moorefield and artist Richard Roth, chair of the department of painting and printmaking at VCU. The exhibition will remain on view in Staniar Gallery until Dec. 14.

The public is invited to attend both the opening gallery talk and reception (on Nov. 9) and to visit the exhibit while it is on view.

Gerald Donato’s work is whimsical, ever-changing, and culturally relative, and this selection of work reflects his lengthy and influential career. His work has been exhibited nationally and internationally, and “Gerald Donato: Reinventing the Game” contains work that spans more than thirty years, including paintings, drawings and prints. Rife with iconic, recurring images-such as “Mr. Man,” inspired by Mickey Mouse’s early appearance as Steamboat Willie-the artist’s playfully inventive work combines the visual heritages of popular culture and expressionistic painting.

A Chicago native who received his MFA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Donato moved to Virginia to teach printing and painting at Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts (VCUarts) and has continued for 38 years.

He is a central figure of the Richmond arts scene. He has been the recipient of two National Endowment for the Arts grants and his work is in many permanent collections including the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, the Federal Reserve Bank in Richmond, the Chrysler Museum, the University of Wisconsin and Loyola University.

Staniar Gallery is dedicated to the exhibition of contemporary and art historical works in all media by regionally, nationally and internationally recognized artists. Its central purposes is to serve as a teaching space, presenting multi-disciplinary topics through art and dialogue. Located on the second floor of Wilson Hall in the Lenfest Center for the Arts on Washington and Lee’s campus, the gallery is open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. during the academic year.

For additional information please call 540-886-8861.


Rebecca Blank to Lecture on Improving Poverty Measurement in the U.S.

Rebecca M. Blank, Robert V. Kerr Visiting Fellow at the Brookings Institution for 2007-2008, will discuss how poverty is measured in the United States and her various research on this subject in a lecture at Washington and Lee University on Monday, Nov. 12, at 7 p.m. in the Northen Auditorium in Leyburn Library.

The title of her talk is “Improving Poverty Measurement in the United States.” It is free and open to the public.

Blank authored and edited books including Working and Poor: How Economic and Policy Changes are Affecting Low Wage Workers (co-editor and co-author on two articles in the volume); Measuring Radial Discrimination (co-author); and It Takes a Nation: A New Agenda for Fighting Poverty. She is also the author of many journal articles and book chapters.

The Henry Carter Adams Collegiate Professor of Public Policy and professor of economics at the University of Michigan, Blank is on leave from Michigan this year. She is the co-director of the National Poverty Center at the Ford School at Michigan which is funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. She was dean of the University of Michigan’s Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy from 1999 to 2007.

She previously taught at Northwestern University, Princeton University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and was a visiting fellow at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She was also a member of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers.

Blank received her B.S. in economics from the University of Minnesota and her Ph.D. in economics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Her lecture is sponsored by the Shepherd Program on Poverty and Human Capability.


W&L’s Contact Speaker’s Series Presents the Second Talk on the Middle East: Spotlight on the Culture

The second lecture of Spotlight on the Middle East, Washington and Lee University’s Contact-sponsored speaker series will be on Tuesday, Nov. 13. Spotlight on the Culture will be given by Davar Ardalan, author of My Name is Iran, at 7:30 p.m. in Lee Chapel.

Ardalan’s talk, which is free and open to the public, is co-sponsored by the Fishback Program for Visiting Writers.

Ardalan is Iranian American. Although born in the U.S., she moved to Iran as an infant, returning to the States as a teenager. She agreed to return to Iran and to an arranged marriage at age 18, agreeing to this marriage because she wanted to live the Iranian culture.

The hurdles of her particular dual identity are intriguing. She has worked as a news anchor in Iran, presenting all the news the Iranian government wanted to share, and then, upon her return to the U.S., became the producer of NPR’s Morning Edition.

Ardalan traces her personal experiences after the 1979 Islamic revolution and the struggle of a nation-Iran-as reflected in her family’s remarkable story in her talk as well as her book. Traveling and drawing insight from the cultural, geographical and philosophical boundaries between Iran and America, her talks give, as Middle East scholar Vali Nasr puts it, “a rare glimpse into the many layers of life in that nation and the aspirations and frustrations that have shaped its recent history.”

Spotlight on Religion in the Middle East will be the third lecture on Tuesday, Nov. 27, and will be given by Ambassador Akbar Ahmed, the Ibn Khaldun Chair of Islamic Studies at American University in Washington D.C. The final lecture of the series, Spotlight on War in the Middle East, will be Thursday, March 6, 2008, and will be given by Gen. Anthony Zinni (ret.).