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New Book on the Role of Design in Marketing Praised by Industry

A veteran of the advertising industry, Bruce Macdonald currently teaches a course on Art in Business at the Williams School of Commerce, Economics, and Politics at Washington and Lee University. “I was looking for a book for my students that covered this area but could find nothing suitable. So I decided to write my own,” says Macdonald.

Titled The Bridge, the book offers a behind-the-scenes analysis of why the techniques of marketing work, and the role design plays in the art of persuasion. It begins with the origins of the logo in 1066, and moves forward quickly to modern times, looking at packaging, the birth of the brand, then into the store where brand warfare breaks out, then to advertising, where big bucks are spent to capture market share, etc.

REVIEWS

“In the 21st century , marketing will be the major force driving all commerce. Professor Macdonald’s fascinating book outlines valuable tools for success in this business. The winners will pay heed.”
— Peter Georgescu, chairman emeritus of Young & Rubicam Advertising.

“This insightful book argues persuasively that design is what really matters. Read it and you’ll gain a whole new perspective on the business.”
— Robert Lauterborn, professor of advertising, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

“Bruce Macdonald has walked the walk for a number of decades. Now that he is also talking the talk and saying it to the public, everyone who reads this book will emerge wiser and wealthier. He is a blessing to the business.”
— Jay Conrad Levinson, author of the Guerilla Marketing series of books and former creative director at J. Walter Thompson and Leo Burnett, Inc.

“Mastering the discipline of effective marketing is the gateway to unlimited growth for your business – and is well expressed in this book.”
— Andre LeCroix, CEO of Inchape, London.

“In The Bridge, Bruce Macdonald has grasped what has been the mantra of Young and Rubicam for some 30 years now – the concept known as the ‘whole egg.’ This book expresses it wonderfully well and I recommend it to all students and professionals interested in our business.”
— Edward Ney, Chairman, CEO of Young & Rubicam (1970-87), former ambassador to Canada, member of the Advertising Hall of Fame.

“So many works on advertising communications are either ‘how to’ books written by academics who have never ‘done it’ or ‘And then I wrote’ books by geezers celebrating their accomplishments. The Bridge is neither. It is both entertaining and enlightening. Anyone who creates or is exposed to advertising, marketing and design will find it a great read. I did.”
— Walter Bregman, former president of International Playtex, former president of Norman, Craig and Kummel Advertising, author of Spray Bear – Reminiscences from the Golden Age of Advertising.


Knopf to Publish Radulescu’s Debut Novel

Sitting in her book-lined office, papers strewn over her desk, Domnica Radulescu, professor of Romance languages and Women’s Studies at Washington and Lee University, has years of impressive academic research under her belt, but in August 2008 she will realize a life-long dream by becoming a published novelist, acclaimed even before publication.

Knopf will publish her novel, Train to Trieste, in the United States, and Doubleday will publish it in the United Kingdom (both are subsidiaries of Random House). Translation rights have already been purchased in France, Italy, Germany, Holland, Israel, Romania, Serbia and Greece. To sell so many translation rights before the novel was even fully edited is unusual, according to Radulescu’s European agent, and are a good indicator of its expected success.

“As soon as Knopf took it, that created a big buzz,” says Radulescu.

The novel has received rave reviews, including one from Arthur Golden, author of Memoirs of a Geisha, who describes Radulescu as a “new and astonishingly fresh voice” and says he was “swept away” by her debut.

Josip Novakovich, author of April Fool’s Day, calls Train to Trieste “Startling… a passionate narrative, intertwining political and love intrigues in the most thrilling ways… seductive and suspenseful, shimmering with linguistic brilliance and marvelous images… a story full of intelligence and beauty.”

Train to Trieste tells the story of 17-year-old Mona Manoliu, who falls in love in the summer of 1977 with Mihai, a mysterious, green-eyed boy who lives in Brasov, the romantic mountain city where she spends her summers. But life under the dictatorship of Nicolae Ceausescu is difficult. Hunger and paranoia infect everyone; fear, too. And one day, Mona sees Mihai wearing the black leather jacket that the secret police favor. Could he be one of them?

As food shortages worsen, as more and more of her loved ones disappear in “accidents,” Mona comes to understand that she must leave Romania. She escapes in secret—narrowly avoiding the police—through Yugoslavia to Italy, and then to Chicago, a city she calls “fit for my hunger.” But she leaves without saying a final good-bye to Mihai. And though she struggles to bury her longing for the past—she becomes a doctoral student, marries, has children—she finds herself compelled to return to her country, determined to learn the truth about her one great love.

Radulsecu herself escaped from Romania as a young student in 1983. “I was at a point where I felt things were not going to work out for me,” she says. “Censorship, oppression and lack of freedom, all the aspects of living under a dictatorship were getting too much for me–and I felt that I didn’t have much of a future there. So I devised a plan and applied for a tourist visa to Italy.

“People always ask me how much of my novel is autobiographical, but almost everybody writes autobiographically, it’s just a matter of degree. To me, ultimately, that doesn’t matter,” says Radulescu. “Yes, it emerged from some lived experiences, but a lot of it didn’t. In the end it is all fiction, and there a lot of things that are a complete invention. For instance, it’s called Train to Trieste, and I had never been to Trieste until after I wrote the novel.”

It took Radulsecu four years to write the book, including many rewrites. “It has always been my greatest dream, since I left Romania, to become a fiction writer. So I’ve always been writing and going through various drafts of short stories and novels. But at some point something happened and I found my voice,” she said. “That was a crucial moment for me. I found I had matured to the point where I found an authentic voice, that sounded real, evocative, and then I went ahead and wrote the first draft.

“I sent it to a literary agent because I know you can’t get into the big time publishing world without one. She wrote back, a handwritten note, ‘I love your writing but it needs more work. Send me the whole thing.’

“I sent her the whole novel, and she agreed to represent me. And then I went through several rewrites under her guidance. I just had some strokes of luck, good matches, good encounters and a lot of perseverance. And then she tried to market it, and it got several rejections. Then I worked on it some more, and my agent advised me to send it to writers that I admire a lot to maybe give me guidance or endorsement.” So Radulescu sent the novel to Sandra Cisneros, a writer she greatly admires, who supported the new author and gave warm advice on plot and character development, which Radulescu followed. Finally, the novel was ready to send to Knopf.

Radulescu, who has a two-book deal with Random House in UK (Transworld-Doubleday), says she has lots of other stories in her head, acknowledging that many of them will probably involve Romania and exile experiences and strong women characters. “In Train to Trieste, Mona is a courageous, passionate, complicated character, capable of making radical, life-changing decisions, but with a lot of humor. She’s a combination of courage and naivety, and maybe that’s one of her flaws, causing her to sometimes throw herself into experiences headfirst. So she may get herself into trouble but she also gets into exciting experiences and forges her life and creates herself.

“These are the kind of heroines I like to create; female characters who don’t depend on men for their sense of self fulfillment, who have a strong creative voice or drive, but at the same time can throw themselves into passionate loves. My next heroine is actually going to be a painter, since I like to write about creative women.”

REVIEWS

“I was swept away by Domnica Radulescu’s debut novel. It’s at once a haunting journey to a faraway country, beautiful and terrifying, and an odyssey straight to the heart of a young girl and the remarkable woman she becomes. Deeply moving and deeply felt, Train to Trieste is an unforgettable story that introduces a new and astonishingly fresh voice.”
— Arthur Golden, author of Memoirs of a Geisha

“A spirited, passionate, funny look at the world in the time of the new millennium. Domnica Radulescu is a remarkable writer enriching American letters with her Romanian perspective. We are lucky to call her ours.”
— Sandra Cisneros, author of The House on Mango Street

“A page-turner. I read Train to Trieste breathlessly and quickly, with multitudinous gasps of delight.”
— Andrei Codrescu, author of The Blood Countess and commentator, All Things Considered

“Startling … A passionate narrative, intertwining political and love intrigues in the most thrilling ways. Train to Trieste is seductive and suspenseful, shimmering with linguistic brilliance and marvelous images. Lovers seem to be spies, and informants fall in love, in this story full of intelligence and beauty.”
— Josip Novakovich, author of April Fool’s Day

Watch a video of Radulescu reading an excerpt from her novel.


DePersia Wins Fulbright to Teach in Austria

Robert DePersia, a 2008 graduate of Washington and Lee University, has received a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship in Wels, Austria, for the 2008-09 school year.

“Wels looks beautiful,” says DePersia, “and with a population of 55,000, it will be a perfect fit for me to immerse myself in the city and the language.”

A politics major with a concentration in German from Haddonfield, N.J., DePersia studied in Germany during his junior year. “He returned to Washington and Lee with a new focus and determination to work on his German in order to return to Europe,” says Daniel J. Kramer, assistant professor of German.

DePersia says it was his desire to see the world, experience another culture and to improve his German speaking abilities that inspired him to apply for the Fulbright. “I had not really considered it until the start of my senior year but I was encouraged by the German department and am so grateful for their support throughout the whole process. They went above and beyond the call of duty for me and have shown why W&L is consistently held in such high regard: outstanding, accessible, and dedicated professors.

“The application process was very simple and the professors were all very helpful and more than willing to write recommendation letters on my behalf or discuss the application essays, even on short notice in some cases. I could tell that they really wanted me to get it and were a great resource to have.”

As well as teaching English to young Austrians, DePersia says that, above all, he would like to convey a positive image of the United States in Europe.

Kramer says that is something he has no doubt DePersia will achieve. “What made him such a strong candidate in my mind was his enthusiasm for engaging in discussions about contemporary topics and his ability to think critically about them. I think he’ll be a superb ambassador for America today.”

After his Fulbright year, DePersia hopes to continue his education at the post-graduate level, and eventually begin a career in international marketing.


Jeffery G. Hanna Named Executive Director of Communications and Public Affairs

Washington and Lee University announced that Jeffery G. Hanna will join its staff on Sept. 1 as the executive director of the Department of Communications and Public Affairs. Hanna is currently senior director for public affairs at the University of Virginia.

“This is an extraordinary opportunity, and I am grateful for the invitation to return to Washington and Lee and to join a talented communications staff,” said Hanna. “W&L is a special institution with a clear sense of its mission. I look forward to having a role in telling the University’s story, especially as the new strategic plan is being implemented.”

Hanna worked at W&L from 1981 to 1988 as the news service director, University editor and director of communications. From 1988 to 2000, he was the executive director of college relations and then associate vice president of college relations and marketing at the College of Wooster, in Wooster, Ohio. From 2002 to 2005 he served as vice president for public relations of Illinois Wesleyan University, in Bloomington, Ill. In 2005, he came to the University of Virginia.

“I am thrilled we have attracted Jeff back to Washington and Lee,” said President Kenneth P. Ruscio. “He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience accumulated during the course of his career at different institutions, and he has a clear understanding of W&L’s mission, culture and goals. He will be a great addition to the staff.”

“A national search sought a congenial colleague and an experienced professional who can enhance communications in a rapidly changing technological environment,” said Dennis Cross, vice president for University advancement, of which Communications is a part. “I am confident Jeff will bring deserved attention to the distinctive characteristics of Washington and Lee and its community in a way that is mindful of the national leadership of the University in liberal arts and legal education. We could not be happier to welcome Jeff.”

Hanna also worked as a newspaper reporter for the Norfolk Virginian-Pilot and the Nashville Tennessean. He has a B.A. in religion from Oberlin College and studied for a master’s of divinity at Vanderbilt Divinity School.


Journalism Professor Toni Locy Receives Press Freedom Award

Toni Locy, a veteran of 25 years covering the American justice system at all levels, has been recognized by the National Press Club with its John Aubuchon Freedom of the Press Award.

She received the award at a Press Club dinner and awards ceremony July 14.

“Reporters, editors and publishers must be ready to fight for a principle that is at the heart of the newsgathering process, and that is the use and protection of confidential sources,” Locy told an audience of more than 100 journalists in her acceptance speech. “In post-9/11 America, where secrecy is an epidemic, this principle is more important than ever.”

Locy joined the faculty of the Department of Journalism and Mass Communications July 1 as its first Donald W. Reynolds Professor of Legal Reporting.

She was recognized by the Press Club after defying a federal district judge’s order to reveal the names of confidential sources when she was covering the Justice Department for USA Today in 2001 and 2002.

Unidentified sources told several reporters, including Locy, that former Army scientist Steven Hatfill was a possible suspect in the 2001 anthrax attacks that killed five people. In 2002 then-Attorney General John Ashcroft called Hatfill a “person of interest” in the investigation.

Hatfill sued, with his lawyers contending that his reputation had been damaged. On March 7, in response to a motion by Hatfill’s lawyers, Federal District Judge Reggie B. Walton ordered Locy to reveal her sources or pay up to $5,000 a day in fines from her own pocket. Four days later a higher court granted a stay while Locy appeals the ruling.

Hatfill’s lawyers have since settled out of court with the Justice Department, but the contempt citation has not been rescinded. Locy is still waiting for the appeals court to rule.

“Confidential sources are not traitors — as the proponents of more government secrecy want Americans to believe,” Locy said in her acceptance speech. “In my experience, most confidential sources provide reporters with information out of a sense of duty, and, yes, even patriotism, because they care about the quality of our government.”

At Washington and Lee Locy will teach courses in reporting on the civil and criminal justice systems. Some of those courses will be offered in collaboration with the university’s School of Law and its legal clinics.

In addition to her five years at USA Today, Locy has covered the Supreme Court and legal affairs for the Associated Press, federal courts for The Washington Post, criminal justice for The Philadelphia Daily News and federal courts for The Pittsburgh Press. She has also worked for The Boston Globe and U.S. News & World Report. She has a master’s degree in the studies of law from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law.

The Aubuchon Award is named in memory of former National Press Club President John Aubuchon. It recognizes members of the media who have, through the publishing or broadcasting of news, promoted or helped protect the freedom of the press.

The Donald W. Reynolds Foundation is a national philanthropic organization founded in 1954 by the late media entrepreneur for whom it is named. Headquartered in Las Vegas, Nev., it is one of the largest private foundations in the United States.


W&L Announces First Recipients of Community Grants

Washington and Lee University’s Community Grants Committee met recently to evaluate its first round of proposals from local agencies and organizations. Established this spring, the purpose of the program is to support non-profit organizations in the Lexington/Rockbridge community.

“I am very gratified by the response the community has had to the Community Grants Program,” said W&L President Ken Ruscio. “We know the need is there, and W&L is proud to continue to play an important role as a partner in supporting an array of community needs and programs.”

A total of 22 proposals for a combined $204,945.00 in requests were submitted from 21 organizations. “The committee received a broad spectrum of requests,” said committee chair Jim Farrar Jr. “We wish we had resources to support all requests for assistance, but, of course, that simply isn’t possible. Going forward, we look forward to learning more about local needs so that W&L can determine how best to respond.”

The committee made $25,000 worth of grants in the initial round. Ten organizations received grants averaging $2,500. Those organizations are:

  • Boxerwood Education Association, for its general operational support and education
  • Central School PTA, for playground equipment
  • Rockbridge Area Hospice, to help create a fund to assist those who cannot pay for services
  • Project Horizon, for public education, volunteer training and hot line support
  • Rockbridge Area Conservation Council, to upgrade their computer and communications
  • Rockbridge Area Occupational Center, to help establish their new product venture, College Care Packages
  • Rockbridge Area Relief Association – Valley Program for Aging Services partnership, to help create a fund to assist those who cannot pay utility bills
  • Rockbridge County Fair, to help bring the Va. Science Museum’s Space Travel exhibit to the fair
  • YMCA, to help fund a fundraising feasibility study
  • Youth Literacy Program, to help Rockbridge County library train volunteer reading tutors and purchase books for children

The program will begin its first full year on July 1, coinciding with the start of the University’s fiscal year. The University will award $50,000 during the program’s 2008-09 cycle. While there is no minimum request amount, the committee expects grants to range from $500 to $25,000. Requests above $25,000 will require additional review processes.

Proposals may be submitted at any time but will be reviewed semiannually, at the end of the calendar year and at the end of the fiscal year. Submission deadlines for the 2008-09 fiscal year are November 14, 2008 and June 12, 2009.

Requests for the proposal guidelines should be sent to kbrinkley@wlu.edu or call 540-458-8417.