Feature Stories Campus Events

Member of Arkansas’ Little Rock Nine to Speak at W&L

Dr. Terrance J. Roberts gained national prominence as one of the Little Rock Nine, the nine African American students who desegregated Little Rock Central High School, Little Rock, Ark. He will speak at Washington and Lee University on Monday, Feb. 11, at 7 p.m. in Lee Chapel, as the Black History Month speaker.

The talk and reception which will follow in Evans Dining Hall are open to the public without charge.

Roberts was a 15-year-old eleventh grader when he joined the other students to desegregate Central High School in 1957. The Little Rock Nine endured the opposition of the governor of Arkansas and citizen mobs before President Dwight Eisenhower sent in 1,000 members of the 101st Airborne Division of the United States Army to escort them to school.

The courage and commitment of these nine young people focused the attention of the nation on the challenge of race relations and desegregation of public schools. Despite daily harassment from some white students, Roberts completed his junior year at Central which was then closed during the next school year to prevent further desegregation. Roberts completed his senior year at Los Angeles High School in Los Angeles.

He received his B.A. degree in sociology in 1967 from California State University, his M.S.W. from the UCLA School of Social Welfare, and his Ph.D. in psychology from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale.

Roberts is currently chair of the master’s program in psychology at Antioch University in Los Angeles and is the founder and CEO of Terrence J. Roberts & Associates, a management consultant firm dedicated to improving human relations in the workplace. He also maintains a private psychology practice and, since 1998, is a desegregation consultant to the Little Rock School District.

Roberts has received numerous awards, including the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund Award, the Martin Luther King Jr. “Drum Major for Justice” Award, and the Spingarn Medal from the NAACP in recognition of his contributions to civil rights. In 1999, Roberts and the other members of the Little Rock Nine received the Congressional Gold Medal, the nation’s highest civilian honor, from President Bill Clinton.


W&L Professor Wins Outstanding Faculty Award

Suzanne P. Keen, professor of English at Washington and Lee University, has been recognized as one of 12 outstanding faculty members from Virginia. This year’s recipients were selected from a pool of 96 candidates nominated by their peers for their excellence in teaching, research and public service.

The Outstanding Faculty Awards program is the Commonwealth’s highest honor for faculty at Virginia’s public and private colleges and universities, and is administered by the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia.

Keen is the Thomas H. Broadus Professor of English and teaches courses on world fiction in English, British fiction after 1900, literary approaches to poverty, children’s literature and the novel.

“We in the English Department are very proud of Suzanne and the achievement this award represents. Her scholarly accomplishments are highly visible to the whole community; she has an international reputation in her field,” said Lesley Wheeler, head of the English department at W&L.

She adds that this award highlights Keen’s “substantial accomplishments in the classroom, her innovative use of service learning in her Children’s Literature course, her service to the Shepherd Program and to teacher education as well as the English department, her deep commitment to one-on-one writing instruction. Wheeler says Keen has the scholarly credibility to shine at a Research I institution but “she chooses to work here because she loves the emphasis on close student-faculty relationships that liberal arts colleges offer.”

Keen’s two most recent books, “Empathy and the Novel” (Oxford) and “Milk Glass Mermaid” (Lewis-Clark Press) were both released last June. Her earlier books include “Victorian Renovations of the Novel” (Cambridge, 1998), “Romances of the Archive in Contemporary British Fiction” (Toronto, 2001), and a textbook, “Narrative Form” (Palgrave, 2003).

Keen received her A.B. and A.M. from Brown University, and her Ph.D. from Harvard University.


Most Accurate Student Mock Convention Predicts Clinton as Democratic Nominee

After two days of political events at Washington and Lee University, the 2008 Mock Convention selected Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton as the Democratic presidential nominee. The prediction marks the 100th anniversary of the most accurate student-run mock convention in the nation.

Students at W&L, a historic liberal arts college, have picked the correct presidential nominee for the party out of power every time but once since 1948, and have a perfect record since 1972. Since its inception in 1908, the overall record stands at 18 correct predictions out of 23.

More than 90 percent of the student body is involved in running the convention. They spend over two years planning, researching and organizing the quadrennial event, which has consistently featured prominent political figures and received national media attention.

This year, the convention featured the following distinguished speakers:

  • Rev. Jesse L. Jackson
  • Democratic Leadership Council Chairman Harold Ford Jr.
  • Sen. Carol Moseley Braun
  • Rep. Geraldine Ferraro
  • Virginia Governor Tim M. Kaine
  • Sen. Jim Webb
  • Rep. Charlie Wilson
  • Former Georgia U.S. Sen. Max Cleland
  • Richmond (Va.) Mayor L. Douglas Wilder
  • West Virginia Governor Joe Manchin
  • Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden
  • Texas State Rep. Patrick M. Rose

The convention began with a parade through historic Lexington and concluded with a full roll call of state “delegations.”

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PHOTOGRAPHS can be downloaded from http://newsoffice.wlu.edu/mockcon/

Please give photo credit to Washington and Lee University.

Video archives of each session are available online:

  • Session One
  • Session Two
  • Session Three

Press coverage highlights:

For further information on Mock Convention please visit www.mockconvention.org.

Student contacts: Y. Eugina Huang (770) 630-6136 and Mike Fahey (781) 500-9398

W&L News Director: Sarah Tschiggfrie (540) 480-4888 or e-mail stschiggfrie@wlu.edu


W&L Inducts 31 into Omicron Delta Kappa at Jan. 17 Convocation

Washington and Lee University’s annual Founders’ Day/Omicron Delta Kappa (ODK) Convocation was held on Thursday, Jan. 17 at 11:45 a.m. in Lee Chapel.

John Maguire, senior fellow of the Institute for Democratic Renewal and senior consultant of Project Change, gave the convocation’s keynote address, “Catching Up With Martin: The ‘Fierce Urgency’ of King’s Vision for Current and Future Leaders.” Maguire is a member of the W&L class of 1953.

Twenty undergraduates and eight law students, as well as three honorary initiates, were inducted into the prestigious ODK leadership society at the convocation.

  • View the full Convocation video with keynote address
  • View the ODK induction ceremony video

Both Maguire and his wife Lillian (Billie) Maguire are Woodrow Wilson Fellows who visited W&L to connect a liberal education with the world beyond the campus by having talks and discussions with students and faculty.

Billie Maguire has dedicated herself to the promotion of children’s issues and working with nonprofit organizations benefiting children and currently chairs the Claremont Youth Partnership. She has received awards as a result of her work advocating the well-being of children. She also advocates women’s issues, religion and the role of women in community organizing.

She is an advocate for children’s issues who brings her experience as a teacher and curriculum coordinator to nonprofit organizations benefiting children. Billie Maguire co-chaired the 25th National Conference of the Children’s Defense Fund in Los Angeles, founded the Pomona Valley Kid’s Care Fair, currently chairs the Claremont Youth Partnership, and sits as vice president of the Children’s Advocacy Center.

John Maguire spent 28 years as a college president beginning with the State University of New York College at Old Westbury, and later at Claremont University Consortium and Claremont Graduate University (CGU) in California. Since his retirement in 1998, Maguire has been a senior fellow in the Institute for Democratic Renewal in CGU’s School of Politics and Economics and a senior consultant to Project Change, where he engages in a range of racial and social justice activities and democratic community building projects.

He serves on the boards of Union Theological Seminary, the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, the Tomás Rivera Policy Institute, the Eureka Communities, and the JL Foundation. He is senior consultant in poetry at California’s Idyllwild School of the Arts and senior advisor to the Claremont Museum of Art.

2008 honorary inductees into Omicron Delta Kappa are William F. Connelly Jr., John K. Boardman Professor of Politics at Washington and Lee University, Lexington, Va.; David “Zeke” Ellington, M.D., of Lexington, Va.; and Col. Thomas C. Greenwood, U.S.M.C., of Quantico, Va. Greenwood is a member of the W&L class of 1977.

Students inducted into ODK include:

Class of 2008: Elizabeth Alison Brandler of Camp Hill, Pa.; Jordan C. Campbell of Dallas, Texas; Nicole Conkling of Ossining, N.Y.; Lindsay Claire Erickson of Silver Spring, Md.; Christine Grace Giordano of Mercerville, N.J.; Philip Jameson Graber of Arlington, Texas; Robert Hayne Hollis of Dothan, Ala.; Michael Keenan of Chicago, Ill; James Arthur Madden II of Dallas, Texas; Andrew Edward McEnroe of Hockessin, Del.; Adelaide Ng of San Diego, Calif.; Anne Katherine Ritchey of Fairfax, Va.; Mark Christopher Snoddy of Atlanta, Ga.; Jennifer Lynne Sproul of Tully, N.Y.; and Andrew Richard Zengilowski of North Andover, Mass.

Class of 2009: Melissa Rose Caron of North Conway, N.H.; Richard Simon Cleary Jr. of Louisville, Ky.; Jennifer Vaughn Lysenko of Voorheesville, N.Y.; Wesley Ben O’Dell of Millwood, W.Va.; and Jessica Reynolds Shaw of Wimberley, Texas.

Law Class of 2008: Christopher John Brady of Millington, Tenn.; Benjamin DeKalb Byrd of Lexington, Va.; Ryan Benjamin Gardner of Vienna, Va.; Kimberly Lynn Herb of Lexington, Va.; David Layne Hillman of Raleigh, N.C.; Anna Ku of Charlottesville, Va.; and Rachel Anne Sederquest of Chester, N.H.

Law Class of 2009: Thomas Hayden McElroy of New Orleans, La.


W&L’s German and Russian Dept. Presents Russian Folk Trio

Washington and Lee University’s German and Russian Department will presents the Russian Folk Trio, ZOLOTOI PLYOS on Thursday, Feb. 7 at 8 p.m., in Lee Chapel on the campus of Washington and Lee University.

Admission is free and open to the public.

This colorful and popular Russian ensemble presents a concert of folk songs and instrumental music. The ensemble members (Sergei Gratchev, Elena Sadina and Aleksandr Solovov) are all graduates of the Saratov Music Conservatory. They perform authentic Russian Folk music in costume and play on a wide variety of folk instruments.


W&L Celebrates Honors for Benefactors

Three of Washington and Lee University’s most generous benefactors, Gerry and Marguerite Lenfest and the Lettie Pate Whitehead Foundation Inc., received awards for their philanthropy to institutions of higher learning from the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC), on Jan. 6 at the CIC’s annual Presidents Institute, in Marco Island, Fla.

The Lenfests received the CIC’s Award for Philanthropy (Individual). Gerry Lenfest, a member of the W&L undergraduate class of 1953 and law class of 1955, last spring gave $33 million to support faculty salaries at his alma mater. Previously, the couple had made possible W&L’s Lenfest Center for the Arts and John and Anne Wilson Hall.

CIC recognized the Lettie Pate Whitehead Foundation Inc. with the Award for Philanthropy (Foundation and Corporate). The foundation’s president, P. Russell Hardin, accepted the honor. Since 1986, W&L has received more than $1,400,000 from the foundation for scholarships.

W&L President Kenneth P. Ruscio and his wife, Kim, attended the ceremony, along with Tom Touchton, a member of the class of 1960 who served on the W&L Board of Trustees from 1982–1992, and his wife, Lee; and Rodney A. Smolla, dean of the W&L School of Law.

“Not only were we delighted to celebrate with our friends at this moving ceremony,” said President Ruscio, “but we also took pride in knowing that one of our own, Gerry Lenfest, was held up as a model of dedication to higher education.”

The Council of Independent Colleges is an association of 570 independent colleges and universities, based in Washington. The organization supports college and university leadership, advances institutional excellence and enhances the societal contributions of private higher education. For more information, see http://www.cic.org.


Bob Woodward to Talk on Moral Responsibility and the Modern American Presidency

Bob Woodward, renowned Washington Post reporter and author, will talk on Moral Responsibility and the Modern American Presidency at the Institute for Honor symposium at Washington and Lee University, Friday, Jan. 18.

His keynote address will given be at 11:15 a.m. in Lee Chapel and is open to the public.

Woodward has worked for The Washington Post since 1971. He has won nearly every American journalism award, and the Post won the 1973 Pulitzer Prize for his work with Carl Bernstein on the Watergate scandal. In addition, Woodward was the main reporter for the Post’s articles on the aftermath of the September 11 terrorist attacks that won the National Affairs Pulitzer Prize in 2002.

Woodward won the Gerald R. Ford Prize for Distinguished Reporting on the Presidency in 2003. The Weekly Standard called Woodward “the best pure reporter of his generation, perhaps ever.” In 2003, Albert Hunt of The Wall Street Journal called Woodward “the most celebrated journalist of our age.” In 2004, Bob Schieffer of CBS News said, “Woodward has established himself as the best reporter of our time. He may be the best reporter of all time.”

Woodward has authored or co-authored 11 No. 1 national best-selling non-fiction books–more than any contemporary American writer.

For more information on Bob Woodward follow this link http://www.bobwoodward.com/

Now in its seventh year, the W&L Institute for Honor promotes the understanding and practice of honesty as an indispensable element of society. The Institute’s annual symposium features talks by noted authors, journalists, diplomats and scholars as a focal point for extended discussions of honor in American public and private life.


“Scanner as Camera” Opens at Staniar Gallery

An exhibition of works by eight contemporary artists who use the flatbed scanner as a digital camera will open in Washington and Lee University’s Staniar Gallery on Monday, January 7, 2008 and will remain on view until Friday, February 15.

“Scanner as Camera” was co-curated by Assistant Professor of Art Ruth Adams, at the University of Kentucky, in conjunction with Washington and Lee University Assistant Professor of Art Christa Kreeger Bowden. The eight artists in the exhibition use this experimental, computer-generated photographic medium in diverse ways but share the common denominator of the scanner’s eccentric and unique visual means of recording and interpreting objects and images.

A joint lecture by Adams and Bowden will take place in Wilson Hall on Thursday evening, Jan. 10, at 5:30 p.m., followed by a reception in the gallery and Wilson Hall atrium. The public is invited to attend the opening lecture and reception and to visit the exhibit while it is on view.

The artists in “Scanner as Camera,” who are based in various regions of the United States, include Ruth Adams, Stephen Althouse, Christa Kreeger Bowden, Darryl Curran, Valerie Mendoza, J. Seeley, Rhona Shand and Maggie Taylor. Each artist uses the medium in a different way and with distinct intention and subject matter.

Bowden and Taylor, for example, at times begin with 19th century photography such as ambrotypes or tintypes, which are then scanned and digitally manipulated. Taylor’s resulting artworks have an almost fantastical narrative content, while Bowden’s work, whose most recent series has tracked the chance finding of small dead birds and insects, conveys a kind of luminous melancholy. Darryl Curran considers the photographic rendering of three-dimensional space through the placement of objects on the scanner’s bed in front of or behind each other. Rhona Shand fuses illustration with photography by scanning both her drawings and photographs.

All of the artists in the exhibition combine and manipulate images in various ways through the sophisticated use of the scanner, digital imaging and digital printing. J. Seeley, for example, “pokes things around with a chopstick” to improve the composition, while Valeria Mendoza digitally manipulates the scanned self-portraits re-enacting her insomnia into a kind of periodic table of sleepless nights.

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, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. during the academic year. For additional information please call (540) 886-8861.

Image credit:

Christa Kreeger Bowden
Antheraea polyphemus, 21st century
2007
40″ x 40″
pigmented ink jet print from scan


W&L Students Predict Obama to take New Hampshire Primary

Students at Washington and Lee University have predicted that Barack Obama will win New Hampshire, a preliminary prediction weeks before the highly anticipated 2008 Democratic Mock Convention, which will mark the 100th year of the school’s most time-honored tradition.

“We believe that Obama’s strong momentum from his Iowa Caucus victory will propel him to a win in New Hampshire,” said Political Chairman Wesley Little.

According to New Hampshire State Chairman, “We believe Obama’s strong push from independent voters will put him over the top in New Hampshire’s open primary.”

The New Hampshire prediction is a prelude to the actual prediction, which will be made at the Mock Convention on January 25 and 26 at Washington and Lee’s historic campus in Lexington. There, students will attempt to maintain their unparalleled record of accuracy in predicting the next presidential nominee for the party not currently in the White House.

The W&L Mock Convention boasts 18 correct predictions out of 32 total attempts, with only one incorrect prediction since 1948, making it the most accurate student-run mock convention in the nation.

With over 90% of the student body involved in a two year effort involving national polls, field research, A-list political speakers, and a fair share of fun, the W&L Mock Convention represents one of the nation’s brightest examples of student involvement in the political process.


Student Team Reaches Finals for $25,000 Grant

A team of W&L students who submitted a grant proposal for the Campus Kitchens Project has been chosen as a finalist in the 2007-2008 J.P. Morgan Good Venture Competition, bringing them a step closer to the $25,000 grant.

Over 100 teams from around the world submitted proposals and nine were chosen as finalists.

“The next step is going to New York to present our proposal in front of a panel of investment bankers at J.P. Morgan headquarters,” says Casidhe Horan (’09), who wrote the proposal along with Caroline Mann (’08) and Kelly Will (’08).

The finals will take place Jan. 18, 2008, and each team will have 30 minutes to make their presentation. They will be judged on format and creativity, connection to the organization they are supporting, alignment to J.P. Morgan and the J.P. Morgan Chase Foundation platforms, financials, projected impact on people and future funding plans.

“Regardless of whether they win the $25,000 grant or not, we’re very proud of them for being chosen to be finalists,” says Robert W. Turner, Campus Kitchen coordinator.

The Campus Kitchen Project is a W&L service organization that uses surplus food collected from campus dining services, catering operations and donations, and then provides nutritious and tasty meals to those in need in Lexington and the surrounding areas.