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Law Professor Testifies on Indigent Defense before Congressional Committee

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W&L Study Assesses Rockbridge Area Poverty

Tourists in Lexington see a small picturesque town with a thriving population.

But Lexington City Manager Jon Ellestad knows there are surprising pockets of poverty and that the services people need are not necessarily reaching them.

A year ago, Ellestad decided he needed a thorough report on what exactly poverty looks like in the Rockbridge area. He wanted to know how to provide more effective services and better prioritize spending. But he didn’t have the funds for that sort of costly research.

Enter Washington and Lee University’s Shepherd Program on Poverty and Human Capability.

Professor Harlan Beckley, program director, assigned two seniors, Melissa Caron and Chris Martin, to the project at no cost to the city. The result is a 91-page report titled Rockbridge Poverty Assessment 2008. It catalogues and impartially assesses existing efforts to meet the needs of underserved populations. It also lays out potential solutions and shows how service providers can more effectively cooperate and coordinate their efforts.

Don Dailey, W&L visiting associate professor of teacher education, was the students’ mentor for the project. He calls the report important for the community, saying “while it is primarily focused on long term trends and issues related to poverty in the area, short term issues are also addressed. Both sides of this story are important, but making decisions with a long term focus is the bigger and ongoing challenge.”

Dailey’s background is in research and he has worked with prominent institutions. “I think this report is comparable to what you would see coming out of a paid consulting agency for a fairly high price,” he says. “I haven’t seen students successfully pull together a report like this before, and in such a short time. It’s attracted the attention of some national agencies who didn’t realize that students can do something like this.”

“At first it was a little overwhelming but it was an amazing experience,” says Caron, a journalism major. She and Martin, a politics major, are both doing a concentration in poverty studies, and they devoted 12 weeks to the research during the fall of 2008.

Martin says he appreciated getting away from the campus and communicating with people in the community. “You see people around you every day in the community but you don’t really have a chance to interact with them. I think it’s fantastic to be able to do not only real social work, but also to build positive relations with people. Community-based research is the perfect combination of theory and practice and is what the college experience should be about.”

Ellestad received the final report in February 2009, and describes it as “very comprehensive,” pointing out that it is not just for the city of Lexington. “It covers the whole Rockbridge area of Lexington, Buena Vista and Rockbridge County,” he says.
The students engaged in field research, conducted focus groups and multiple interviews with the area’s prominent community leaders and service providers. “We looked at the types of services that are available for people experiencing some aspect of poverty,” says Caron. “We wanted to find out where the holes are, and the problems in meeting people’s needs.”

After quantifying what constitutes poverty in the area, the report identifies 10 areas that need to be addressed: affordable transportation; safe and low-cost housing; accessible health and human services; sustainable employment options; hunger and food security; problems faced by the disabled; available child care and day care; diverse educational opportunities; elderly issues; and challenges facing non-English speaking immigrant populations.

The report highlights a pressing need for more transportation, which prevents people from finding and keeping employment, visiting the doctor, buying groceries or taking children to day care. It also isolates people socially. Unfortunately, there is no stable public or private transit system in the area for non-emergency rides. This issue is most keenly felt in Buena Vista and Lexington, where the number of people who do not own a vehicle is double the state average (14.2 percent compared to 7.7 percent).

Duplication of existing transportation services is another issue. The Rockbridge Area Transportation System (RATS), Maury River Senior Center, Kendal retirement facility, Virginia Military Institute and W&L each has an independent transportation system. “Everybody is transporting all over,” says one community leader in the report, asking “How can we coordinate that? Are there common routes?”

The report recommends establishing a task force to look at ways to both expand transportation services and make them more efficient.

Caron says one of the biggest surprises of their research was the lack of coordination between services. “There is a need to work together. We found there are a lot of different services in the community but they need to collaborate and find ways to prevent overlap.”

While there are several resource books and referral systems that detail available services, they are not up-to-date and many residents do not know about them. Instead, they learn about them through word of mouth. Many people go without services due to lack of knowledge.

The report also illustrates a lack of awareness among service providers of the work of other agencies and their eligibility guidelines. As one community leader says in the report, “Nothing frustrates an applicant more than being sent by one agency to another agency only to be told that they do not qualify.” To overcome this, the report recommends creating an organization to fill a coordinating role.

In the same vein, the ingrained belief that Lexington, Buena Vista and Rockbridge County are independent entities prevents people from accessing services. One leader says in the report that she has a hard time getting area agencies to realize that they serve the whole area, not just the municipality they are located in. Likewise, individuals are deterred from seeking services outside where they live, simply because they associate themselves with the municipality they live in. As the report points out, when a family needs services and they go to the phone book, they say “That (service) is in Staunton so that’s not for us.” Then they don’t see services specifically for Rockbridge, get frustrated and give up.

Ellestad agrees, saying “We have such a broad array of services available, but no real central coordinating place to go to access them. I think the recommendation about more coordination has real potential.”

One result of the Rockbridge Poverty Assessment is a Community Forum on Poverty, scheduled for Tuesday, April 21 at the Virginia Horse Center. It is a joint effort of the W&L Shepherd Poverty Program and a core group of interested agencies –United Way, the Free Clinic and Social Services. This is possibly the largest such gathering in the community to address the issue of poverty.

The students’ report provides a solid basis from which to start.

Staniar Gallery Interns Mount Art Exhibit in Leyburn Library With Opening Reception

An opening reception on April 6 at 5 p.m. will celebrate a new exhibit of prints on display on the first floor of Leyburn Library on the campus of Washington and Lee University from April 1 to June 8.

“Echoing Gestures: Figural and Abstract” will primarily feature prints along with several mixed media works from Washington and Lee’s University Art Collection. Kept primarily in storage facilities until now, the images in the exhibit offer a unique introduction to art owned by the University.

The exhibit examines the relationship between two seemingly divergent modes of representation-the figural and the abstract. Through similarities in line, color and treatment of space, the exhibit demonstrates that abstraction ultimately compliments realism while the figural catalyzes viewer interpretation of abstracted forms. Thus, the figural and abstract worlds unite through their echoing gestures.

The remodeling of Leyburn’s first floor has provided the campus with both the occasion and the space to mount “Echoing Gestures: Figural and Abstract.” The exhibit seeks to encourage viewers to recognize the interrelationships between seemingly contradictory entities. By pairing works that demonstrate this phenomenon, the curators hope to convey the possibility of co-existence in an increasingly fractured world, evidence of which subsists even within the building of the exhibit’s location.

The exhibition is curated by W&L seniors and Staniar Gallery Arts Management interns Saya Clancy, Catherine Hook, Mallory Ruymann and Libby Spears. The project was guided by Clover Archer Lyle, visiting instructor of photography and director of the Staniar Gallery, and Patricia Hobbs, associate director and curator of the University Collections of Art and History.

Leyburn Library hours are Monday through Sunday 6 a.m. to 12 a.m. For further information about the exhibit, please contact Clover Archer at archerc@wlu.edu.

Lights Off for Earth Hour on Saturday

The lights will go out, but don’t be alarmed. There’s a simple explanation.

In response to a request from Washington and Lee’s Student Environmental Action League (SEAL), lights in Payne, Washington and Robinson Halls will be turned off between 8:30 and 9:30 p.m. Saturday, March 28, in observance of Earth Hour, which is expected to be the largest ever global demonstration of public concern for climate change. In a Campus Notice, SEAL urged students who live off campus to turn off the lights at their own houses during Earth Hour.

“It’s expected to be the largest international climate change statement ever made,” said Kara Fitzgibbon ’11, co-president of SEAL.  “This year the Earth Hour will happen in over 2,400 cities in 82 countries with an expected individual participation in the hundreds of millions. Buildings like the Empire State Building, the Acropolis in Athens, the Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, the Great Pyramids in Egypt and the Arch of Wembley Stadium in London will go dark.”

This year, Earth Hour has been transformed into the world’s first global election, between Earth and global warming. People of all ages, nationalities, race and background have the opportunity to use their light switch as their vote – switching off their lights is a vote for Earth.

The Earth Hour began in Sydney, Australia, in 2007, when 2.2 million homes and businesses switched off their lights for one hour. In 2008, the message had grown into a global sustainability movement, with 50 million people switching off their lights. Global landmarks such as the Golden Gate Bridge, Rome’s Colosseum, the Sydney Opera House and the Coca Cola billboard in Times Square all stood in darkness for that hour.

“If anything, it’s an honor and a humbling opportunity to take part in such a monumental, historical event that truly stands for something,” Fitzgibbon went on to say. “At first it seems daunting to think of how much ought to change and how much is ahead of us in terms of improving the climate and environment, but it also seems the further you get involved, the more you realize how much you can play a part in this important change. This is one of those parts.”

W&L Law Symposium to Explore African Women’s Rights and Health Issues

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The Challenge of D.C. Representation: Opinion Piece by W&L’s Mark Rush in Times-Dispatch

The Challenge of D.C. Representation
Mark Rush
Robert G. Brown Professor of Law and Politics at Washington and Lee University.

LEXINGTON — It’s hard to find anyone who disagrees in principle with the current efforts to grant the District of Columbia representation in the House of Representatives. The population of the District of Columbia is bigger than that of several states. Yet, those states have representation in the House and Senate and the District does not. This just doesn’t seem fair.

Unfortunately, it is completely and unquestionably unconstitutional. The Constitution says that states — and no other political entity — may be represented in the Congress. That’s it. D.C. can’t have representation. Neither can Puerto Rico or Guam. If you want voting representation in the House (and Senate) you need to be admitted to the Union as a state.

Critics might contend that this is as impractical as it is unfair. The process of admitting new states to the union is tedious. To admit a new state to the union requires as little as a simple majority vote in the Congress or as much as an amendment to the Constitution. To give the District of Columbia voting rights in the Electoral College required the passage of the 23rd Amendment. To give it voting rights in the Congress (without granting it statehood) would require a similar amendment.

Such an amendment already failed once. The D.C. Voting Rights Amendment did not get the support of the 38 states necessary for its passage and therefore expired in 1985.

THE CURRENT controversy surrounding the D.C. Voting Rights initiative demonstrates why it is better — though much more tedious — to seek statehood or representation via the amendment process. Altering the composition of the Congress (and therefore the federal balance of power) is not a garden variety political matter. It embodies a fundamental and enduring change to the manner in which the federal government will operate. The Framers of the Constitution agreed and therefore said that profound matters such as this should require more effort and deliberation than goes into the passage of ordinary laws. The controversy surrounding the current legislative initiative serves only to endorse the Framers’ wisdom.

The process by which legislation is made invites the influence of and interference by special interests. This is in keeping with the vision of politics that informed James Madison’s writing in the Federalist. In order to make it difficult for any one group to rise up and dominate our politics, Madison envisioned that the constitutional system — replete with separated national powers, a division of powers between the federal and state governments, and staggered electoral terms for the president and Congress — would make it difficult for majorities to govern efficiently or to pass laws quickly. Madison expected that the legislative process would be besieged my many interest groups with conflicting interests. They would check and balance one another in the same way that the three branches of the federal government would.

So, it should come as no surprise that the gun lobby would show up in the midst of the debate about granting the District of Columbia voting representation in the House, and demand that any representation for the District be premised on the repeal of some of its restrictions on firearms.

This is Madisonian politics at its best.

Of course, it seems unfair — or at least, foul play — that something as constitutionally fundamental as the representation of the District of Columbia in the House should be predicated on a Faustian bargain regarding gun control. But this is the nature of the legislative process. Since the current proposal to grant D.C. voting rights entails ordinary legislation, it is subject to all of the interest-group politics that afflicts any other piece of legislation.

WERE D.C. to seek and gain statehood (via the amendment process or via a congressional vote), a proposal such as that to repeal D.C. gun laws would be unconstitutional. Since all states have equal status under the constitutional system, it would be unconstitutional to attempt to admit a state with a gun law condition that would render it essentially a “second-class citizen.” The state of “New Columbia” would have all of the rights that the other 50 states have.

So, the current proposal to give D.C. voting representation may be doomed. It will either founder on the shoals of interest-group politics or, even if it passes, it will probably be declared unconstitutional.

Nonetheless, it is important to note that the Constitution does provide two ways to grant the District representation and voting power in the Congress. The real question is whether Congress has the political will or desire to use the means required by the Constitution to grant the representation its residents deserve.

(This piece originally appeared in the Richmond Times-Dispatch.)

W&L Senior Awarded Project for Peace

As far as Washington and Lee University senior Eduardo Rodriguez is concerned, communication is the key to peace.

That basic premise underlies the proposal that won Rodriguez a $10,000 grant from the Kathryn Wasserman Davis 100 Projects for Peace program.

This is the second time in as many years that a W&L student has won one of the grants. Last spring Andrew McWay, an accounting and business administration major from the Class of 2008, received money to partner with a small microfinance group in Peru.

Rodriguez is a business administration major concentrating in poverty and human capabilities studies. He is also a self-described technology supporter who works in the Tucker Multimedia Center at W&L. His winning project combines his passion for technology with his interest in using language instruction as a way to promote peace.

His project consists of setting up a language laboratory in his home town of Pehuajo, Argentina, where students will be able to use the latest technology, including video-conferencing, that will permit them to interact in virtual space with students from other cultures and countries as they learn languages.

Rodriguez had attended secondary school in Wales at the United World College of the Atlantic and found that, when he returned to Argentina, friends were quick to stereotype the people with whom he had been interacting.

” ‘Brits are all cold,’ was one of the things that I would hear when I’d come home,” Rodriguez said. “It really upset me, because these were my friends they were talking about. Most of the stereotypes are negative and could be avoided if people actually interacted with one another.”

Rodriguez has secured space at the Escuela Media 207, a public school in Pehuajo, where 15 interconnected computer workstations will be established. Funds from the grant will pay for six, while the school will provide the others.

According to Rodriguez’s plan, the laboratory will not only provide language instruction directed by professors at the school, but also connection to the Internet. The ensuing videoconferences with students learning Spanish at Washington and Lee will establish partnerships.

“There is no substitute for these one-on-one conversations in learning a language,” said Rodriguez. “Enabling these conversations to occur in a virtual way will provide the students in Pehuajo an opportunity many would otherwise not have.”

Although the project is focused largely on language instruction at Escuela Media 207, Rodriguez said that the computers will also be available to professors of other public and private schools in the community. Rodriguez intends to conduct on-site setup and training in July.

Projects for Peace is part of the Davis United World College Scholars Program, based in Middlebury, Vt. Kathryn Davis, a philanthropist and the widow of Shelby Cullom Davis, a businessman and former United States ambassador to Switzerland, has put up $1 million in each of the past two years to fund 100 Projects for Peace.

Now 102 years old, Mrs. Davis launched the initiative on the occasion of her 100th birthday in 2007 and now renews her challenge to today’s generation of college students to undertake innovative and meaningful projects. Designed to encourage and support motivated youth to create and implement their ideas for building peace throughout the world in the 21st century, each of the more than100 projects will receive $10,000 in funding.

“The competition on nearly 100 campuses was keen and we congratulate the students who proposed the winning projects,” said Executive Director of the Davis UWC Scholars Program Philip O. Geier. “Kathryn Davis has been a lifelong internationalist and philanthropist, and has left her mark on a wide range of institutions and countless students. The wisdom of her years has led her to look to young people for new ideas and fresh energy to improve the prospects for peace.”

The Davis program encourages students to use their imaginations to determine their projects and promotes “creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship.”

W&L is one of more than 90 colleges and universities whose students are eligible for Project for Peace funds because it participates in the Davis program, which provides scholarships to students who attend the United World Colleges, a series of international high schools around the world.

2009 Lewis F. Powell Jr. Lecture On a Supreme Court Advocate’s Perspective

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Recipients of the 2009 Woolley Fellowships Announced

The Center for International Education (CIE) at Washington and Lee University has announced the recipients of the 2009 Woolley Fellowships, provided through the generosity of Dr. and Mrs. Paul Woolley in honor and memory of their son, Erik.

Washington and Lee supports a number of summer internship opportunities abroad through the Shepherd Poverty Program, the Latin-American and Caribbean Studies Program and the CIE.

Each fellowship provides up to $3,000 toward travel and living expenses to support an educational internship experience overseas. Proposals must demonstrate how projects will prepare students better for deeper global engagement, foster learning within an international professional practice and deepen students’ understanding of another culture.

This year’s recipients are:

Carolyn Small of Houston, Texas, and Natalie Bunnell of Clarendon Hills, Ill. , will both be working at the Netherlands Institute for Cultural Heritage in Amsterdam. Last spring term, both studied with W&L Chemistry Professor Erich Uffelman in Amsterdam, combining chemistry and art through a technical examination of 17th-century Dutch painting. Both members of the W&L class of 2010, they have been invited to work this summer with Dr. William Wei, a leading conservation scientist who works at the Institute for Cultural Heritage.

Melissa Deokaran of Husser, La., and Felice Herman of Fairfield, Pa., members of the W&L class of 2011, will be traveling to Italy to join work on the archeological site at Gabii, near Rome. Gabii, where excavation began only in 2007, was an important Roman city-state of the first millennium B.C., and its excavation will provide pertinent information about the city-life of ancient Latin civilizations. The project is overseen by Dr. Nicola Terrenato of the University of Michigan and includes on its team Dr. Hilary Becker, visiting assistant professor of classics at Washington and Lee University.

Gaby Bucheli of Quito, Ecuador, will be interning in Manaus, Brazil, working on a project that examines the economic valuation of the environmental impact of oil extraction procedures. A member of the W&L class of 2011, Bucheli will be working with a multinational and multidisciplinary group of professionals from the fields of economics and geology, including Professor Jim Kahn, professor of economics at Washington and Lee.

Government Bailouts Topic of Federalist Society Panel

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W&L Safety Officer Praised for Quick Action in Pi Phi Fire

In the six months since Jamie Brown joined Washington and Lee’s Public Safety Office last September, he’d never spent a longer — or more critical — seven minutes.

As one member of the four-person security detail on duty in the early hours of last Thursday morning, March 12, Brown had been conducting his rounds as usual. He’d just checked the Pi Kappa Phi house on East Washington Street and was across the parking lot at Kappa Sigma when he got the call: a fire at Pi Phi.

It was 4:17 a.m.

Brown sprinted across the parking lot, where he saw the flames crawling up the front of the three-story brick-and-frame house.

Trained as a member of Lexington’s Volunteer Fire Department, Brown immediately entered the building to check the house director’s apartment on the ground floor. He found the apartment empty and discovered that the house director, Geneva Davenport, had already managed to leave.

Back in front of the burning house, Brown saw the fraternity members pointing to the third floor and shouting that they thought someone was still in the building.

It was now 4:19 a.m.

“By then, it was all adrenalin,” said Brown, a Rockbridge High School graduate who had spent the past four years working as an officer at the Rockbridge County Jail.

Just as he was figuring his next move, Brown saw Sgt. Scott Bedell, of the Rockbridge County Sheriff’s Department, getting out of his patrol car and heading up the hill toward the scene.

“There must have been an angel,” Brown said. “I had worked as a sheriff’s reserve deputy and knew Sgt. Bedell. He was coming toward the building and hearing what I was hearing about someone still on the third floor. We made eye contact, and I said, ‘Come on, I know the way in.’”

So Brown and Bedell headed back into the building by the side entrance, past the front door where the fire was now centered and up the stairs. Since Brown knew the layout of the house, he led the way, pausing at a coat rack to grab T-shirts for himself and Bedell and finding a water cooler to douse the shirts with water and put them over their mouths.

“I’d gone into burning buildings before,” Brown said, “but I’d always gone in with the proper gear. This was just what we could find, and it had to do.”

Once they got to the third floor and found a student still sleeping on a couch, Bedell led the student toward safety while Brown swept the remaining rooms.

“I think there were two more rooms on the floor, and I went through and patted the beds to make sure no one was there,” Brown said.

Bedell, meantime, had gotten the student to the first floor and narrowly prevented him from exiting into the flames.

“The student was just about to go out that front door, which would have brought a burst of oxygen into the building and caused a huge explosion,” said Brown. “He really saved him twice.”

By the time Brown made it back out, the first fire trucks were on the scene.

It was 4:24 a.m. Seven minutes had passed—the longest seven minutes Brown could ever remember.

“It felt like an eternity,” said Brown, the father of two boys, ages three and 15 months.

Several days later, Bedell wrote a two-page letter of commendation on Brown’s behalf, saying that his actions represented “a superior level of selflessness and dedication to duty.”

Bedell wrote that many people deserved credit for averting a tragedy — from the students passing by who called 911 to the house director to the fraternity members and to all the emergency responders.

However, Bedell added, “in performing his role, Officer Brown did so without the aid of expensive equipment, bright lights, elaborate gear, strong backup support and most importantly before the outcome was certain. I hope the Washington and Lee community will recognize Officer Brown for his actions for keeping his promise to safeguard the students and the campus community.”

In addition to Brown, the other W&L officers on the night shift were Sgt. Tony Stinnett and Officers Brian Watts and Kevin Booze. Denise Neuhs was the dispatcher.

“They all deserve credit, as does everyone who responded,” said Brown. “Everyone played a critical role.”

Mike Young, the director of public safety at W&L, said that while the list of people who provided invaluable support was long given the circumstances, he believes the actions of Brown and Bedell are as heroic as he could imagine.

“When I talked with Jamie about his actions, he simply said that he was doing his job,” said Young. “But that hardly begins to give proper credit to what happened that morning.”

W&L President Kenneth P. Ruscio, who was on the scene of the fire and was apprised of Brown’s role, said that Brown exemplified the best qualities of the University’s staff. “It has always been the case that the University’s staff have the highest standards of professionalism and are invested in the lives of our students. What Jamie did at the Pi Phi house is the clearest example of those qualities that I can imagine,” Ruscio said.

Members of the Pi Phi house will spend the remainder of the winter and spring terms living in the Kappa Sigma house. All indications are that the Pi Phi building will be ready for occupancy by the beginning of the fall 2009 term.

Death Penalty Topic of Law School Panel Discussion

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W&L’s Sixth Annual Tom Wolfe Lecture/Seminar Features P.J. O’Rourke

The opening talk of Washington and Lee University’s sixth annual Tom Wolfe Weekend Seminar will be given by political humorist and author P.J. O’Rourke on Friday, March 27, at 4 p.m. in Lee Chapel.

This year’s seminar, “The Lighter Side of Pain: What’s Up with Our Global Economy?” will examine the current economic crisis. O’Rourke’s talk is free and open to the public.

With more than one million words of trenchant journalism under his byline and more citations in The Penguin Dictionary of Humorous Quotations than any living writer, O’Rourke has established himself as America’s premier political satirist. Both Time and The Wall Street Journal have labeled O’Rourke “the funniest writer in America.”

After earning his B.A. at Miami University of Ohio and his M.A. at Johns Hopkins, he worked on small newspapers in Manhattan and Baltimore. In 1972, O’Rourke went to work at National Lampoon, where he became editor-in-chief in 1978. He was responsible for the high school yearbook parody and the Dacron (Ohio) Republican-Democrat newspaper parody, among other things. In 1980, he moved to Hollywood and to begin scriptwriting. Soon afterwards he joined Rolling Stone.

Since that time and in addition to his current position as Foreign Affairs Editor for Rolling Stone, O’Rourke has written for everything from Esquire to Car and Driver. He has been cheered by sources ranging from Richard Nixon to Vogue which named him “one of the five men you’d most want to sit next to at a dinner party.”.

He is the best-selling author of 12 books, including Parliament of Whores, Give War a Chance, Eat the Rich, The CEO of the Sofa and Peace Kills. Of his 2007 release, On the Wealth of Nations, Publishers Weekly writes: “A witty Cliff Notes, with plenty of challenges for the armchair economist to wrap his head around.”

O’Rourke is the H. L. Mencken Research Fellow at the Cato Institute and is a regular correspondent for The Atlantic Monthly, The American Spectator and The Weekly Standard, and frequent panelist on National Public Radio’s game show Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me!

To attend the weekend seminar (March 27-28), please contact W&L’s Office of Special Programs at 540-458-8916.

Applications to School of Law Buck National Trend, Up 29 Percent This Year

A weak economy generally leads to an increase in law school applications as college graduates try to ride out the stingy job market. But the economic downturn is also affecting the legal market, especially big law firms in urban centers, and concerns over this instability may be holding applications down nationally.

Washington and Lee School of Law is a notable exception, with applications up 29% over last year, far outpacing the national average of 4%. Earlier reports from the Philadelphia Inquirer and the National Law Journal had applications running flat compared to last year. But a March 19 report from the Wall Street Journal shows that tension has eased, with several schools reporting above average increases, though still running far less than W&L.

Sidney Evans, associate dean for student services at the School of Law, thinks long-term fear over the economy and concerns about the job market may explain the national trend in applications falling short of expectations. She also notes that because of its size, W&L tends to experience trends at the extremes.

“Our statistics are almost always more volatile than the national number, although usually not to this extent,” says Evans, who oversees admissions and career planning.

Law Dean Rodney A. Smolla sees the increase as a vote of confidence in the School of Law’s new third- year curriculum.

“Particularly in these challenging economic times, I believe applicants want a legal education that integrates theory and practice, and positions them to enter the marketplace with a solid grounding in professionalism and the actual application of legal knowledge to solve problems for clients,” says Smolla.

Announced in March of last year, the Law School’s new third-year curriculum marks a dramatic departure from traditional legal education by engaging all third-year law students in a broad array of real-world and simulated applications of legal knowledge in order to provide a bridge from the study of legal theory to the actual practice of law.

Professor Jeremy Sarkin to Give Public Lecture on Genocide

Professor Jeremy Sarkin, distinguished visiting professor of law at Hofstra University, will deliver a lecture at Washington and Lee University on Thursday, March 26, at 4 p.m. in Room 327, Huntley Hall.

The title of his talk is “Is Genocide A New Crime or An Old Crime With A New Name?” It is free and open to the public.

Sarkin received his B.A. and LL.B. degrees from the University of Natal (Durban, South Africa), an LL.M. from Harvard Law School and a Doctor of Laws degree from the University of the Western Cape (Cape Town). He is an attorney in South Africa and in New York and has worked in Washington and at the International Commission of Jurists in Geneva, Switzerland.

In addition to being senior professor of law at the University of the Western Cape from 1990 to 2008, Sarkin has been a visiting professor at Washington and Lee University School of Law, the University of Maryland Law School, the University of Cincinnati Law School, the University of Oregon Law School, the University Aix-Marseille in France and the Fletcher School at Tufts University.

Sarkin served as the national chairperson of the NGO Human Rights Committee of South Africa from 1994 to 1998 and was the director of the organization’s advocacy project. He was nominated for appointment to the South African Truth Commission in 1995. He has worked on constitutional transitional issues (including truth commissions) in various countries, including Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Sierra Leone, Angola, Namibia, Sudan and Burma, and has served as an acting judge in 2002 and 2003 in the Cape High Court in South Africa.

Sarkin is the author of books, book chapters and journal articles in the areas of human rights and transitional justice. Among his recent books are Colonial Genocide and Reparations Claims in the 21st Century: The Socio-Legal Context of Claims Under International Law by the Herero Against Germany for Genocide in Namibia, 1904-1908 (November 2008), Human Rights in African Prisons (2008) and Reconciliation in Divided Societies (2007).

Sarkin serves on the editorial board of a number of journals including Human Rights Quarterly; Law, Democracy, and Development; and Human Rights and International Legal Discourse: International Review of Criminal Law. He also is a series editor on transitional justice for Intersentia Press.

In March 2008, Sarkin was elected by the Human Rights Council to be a special rapporteur and member of the United Nations Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances.

Sarkin’s talk is being sponsored by the Williams School of Commerce, Economics, and Politics and Hillel at W&L.

School of Law Welcomes New Faculty for 2009-10 Academic Year

Washington and Lee University School of Law will welcome five new teachers to the permanent faculty for the upcoming academic year.

James E. Moliterno will join W&L as Vincent Bradford Professor of Law. One of the nation’s leading educators in experiential learning and legal professionalism, Moliterno was the architect of William and Mary law school’s award winning ethics, skills and professionalism program, which won the 1991 American Bar Association Gambrell Professionalism Award, as the best law school or bar association program for the teaching of ethics and professionalism.

Moliterno is the author of numerous works examining legal education and professional responsibility, including The Law of Professional Responsibility, Cases and Materials on the Law Governing Lawyers and Ethics of the Lawyers Work. Among his recent projects, Professor Moliterno has worked with USAID Rule of Law project in Serbia to establish legal skills training programs. At W&L, Moliterno will teach all sections of professional responsibility and a third-year practicum course. He will also have a leadership role in guiding the school through the implementation of its new third-year curriculum.

Several of the incoming professors served as visiting professors at the School of Law this year. Erik Luna, Hugh B. Brown Professor of Law and Co-director of the Utah Criminal Justice Center at the S.J. Quinney College of Law at the University of Utah, will join W&L as professor of law. An expert in the U.S. criminal justice system and comparative criminal justice, Luna’s varied experience includes service as a Fulbright Scholar teaching restorative justice in New Zealand and as a visiting scholar in Germany at the Max Planck Institute for Foreign and International Criminal Law, the world’s foremost center for the comparative study of criminal law and procedure.

Christopher Bruner, who visited at the School of Law last semester and is currently conducting research in the area of comparative corporate law as a visitor to the faculty of law at Cambridge University, will join W&L as an associate professor of law. Bruner is a corporate law specialist and will teach courses in securities regulation, business entities, and business ethics, among other courses. Prior to entering academic life, he practiced with Ropes & Gray LLP in Boston, where he worked with private and public companies on a range of corporate, transactional, and securities matters.

The School of Law will also add two tax specialists to the permanent faculty. Jeffrey Kahn, currently at Penn State Dickinson School of Law, will join W&L as professor of law. Kahn teaches and researches in the area of federal taxation. He has taught personal income tax, corporate tax, partnership tax and international tax courses and has published articles in many law reviews including pieces on tax policy and horizontal equity, the taxation of gifts, the charitable contribution deduction, and the tax consequences to a reality television candidate.

The final addition to the faculty, Michelle Drumbl, is a familiar face and already a great asset to the law school and the W&L community. Drumbl has served W&L as a visiting professor of law and special assistant to the provost. She joins the permanent faculty as assistant clinical professor of law and director of the Tax Clinic. Her dedication to growing the clinic has already lead to back-to-back annual grants from the IRS to help offset operating costs for this important community service.

Prior to joining Washington and Lee, Drumbl worked at the Internal Revenue Service Office of Chief Counsel, where she focused on legal interpretation of bilateral income tax treaties and other cross-border taxation issues.

Law Professor Expert Witness on Mutual Fund Case Headed to U.S. Supreme Court

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Public Talk With American Playwright Lucy Thurber at W&L

Playwright Lucy Thurber will give a talk at Washington and Lee University on Friday, March 27, at 3:35 p.m. (H hour) in the Keller Theater of Lenfest Hall. It is free and open to the public.

The title of her talk is “Public Talk and Discussion with Provocative American Playwright Lucy Thurber.”

Lucy Thurber is the author of seven plays: “Where We’re Born,” “Ashville,” “Scarcity,” “Killers and Other Family,” “Stay,” “Bottom of The World” and “Monstrosity.” Rattlestick Playwrights Theater in New York City has produced three of her plays, “Where We’re Born,” “Killers and other Family” and “Stay.” The famed off-Broadway theater, Atlantic Theater Company, opened their ’07 season with her play “Scarcity.”

Thurber was the recipient of the 2000/2001 Manhattan Theatre Club playwriting fellowship. She was a guest artist twice at Alaska’s largest professional theater, The Perseverance Theater, where she helped to adapt both “Moby Dick” and “Desire Under The Elms.”

Thurber has had readings and workshops at Manhattan Theatre Club, Primary Stages, MCC Theatre, Encore Theatre in San Francisco, New River Dramatists and SOHO Rep, among others. Her ten-minute play “Dinner” is published in a collection called, Not So Sweet, 16 plays from SOHO Rep’s 10-minute play festival. Her produced plays are published by Dramatists Play Service.

Thurber is a member of MCC Playwrights’ Coalition, Primary Stages writing group, 13P and New Dramatists. She is currently writing a new play under commission from Playwrights Horizons and a film project for Vox3 and director Deborah Granik.

Washington and Lee Welcomes New Members into Phi Beta Kappa; Renames Award for Retired Professor

When the Washington and Lee University chapter of Phi Beta Kappa inducted 47 members of the classes of 2008, 2009 and 2010 into the academic honor society on March 12, a former W&L faculty member was also recognized when the chapter’s award for the top sophomore was named for J. Brown Goehring.

The Sophomore Award, which goes to the student who has achieved the highest academic average during his or her first four terms at W&L, is now called the Phi Beta Kappa J. Brown Goehring Sophomore Award. The new name honors the retired professor of chemistry who, during his 38-year career at W&L, spent 22 years as secretary/treasurer of the Phi Beta Kappa chapter. Goehring was in the audience for the surprise announcement.

“He truly exemplifies Phi Beta Kappa at Washington and Lee,” said chapter president Marcia France, professor of chemistry. “He is responsible for the high level of organization at which our chapter continues to function. Professor Goehring was, and remains to this day, the institutional memory of Phi Beta Kappa at W&L.”

The winner of the Goehring Award is Frank Andrew Tessier Jr., of New Orleans, La.

The chapter also made H.F. “Gerry” Lenfest, a member of the undergraduate class of 1953 and the law class of 1955, an alumnus member, and it named Marguerite Lenfest an honorary member. The memberships recognize the Lenfests’ outstanding contributions to the worlds of business, education and the arts.

Also announced were the winners of the Edward Lee Pinney Prize. The W&L Student Affairs Committee gives it to an undergraduate or undergraduates who demonstrate extraordinary commitment both to personal scholarship and to the nurturing of intellectual life at Washington and Lee. Sophomore Emily T. Mathews, of Baltimore, and senior Wesley B. O’Dell, of Millwood, W.Va. are the 2009 recipients.

Following the introduction of the honorees, the audience heard from Steven W. Squyres, the Goldwin Smith Professor of Astronomy at Cornell University and the principal investigator of NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover Project.

The inductees into Phi Beta Kappa:

Aaron P. Albert of Hebron, Conn.; Sarah L. Atkinson of Memphis, Tenn.; Erik N. Ball of Sammamish, Wash.; Olivia Claire Barrett of Mobile, Ala.; Katherine M. Bastian of North Wales, Pa.; Jessica N. Bergquist of Huntington, W.Va.; Rebecca R. Bratu of Arad, Romania; Melissa R. Caron of Effingham, N.H.; Hilary L. Craig of Georgetown, Ky.; Melissa L. Dolan of Centennial, Colo.; Scott C. Ennis of Newark, Del.; Robert L. Frasco of Suffield, Conn.; Briana C. Gapsis of Ellicott City, Md.; and Leann A. Gerlach of Rocky Mount, N.C.

Also, Phillip S. Golladay of Waxhaw, N.C.; Elissa N. Hanson of Boca Raton, Fla.; Anthony L. Ives of Charlotte, N.C.; Lisa P. Luu of Monterey Park, Calif.; Jennifer V. Lysenko of Voorheesville, N.Y.; Christopher L. Martin Jr. of Shreveport, La.; Kaitlin M. Simpson of Scottsdale, Ariz.; Andrew M. Sims of Silver Spring, Md.; Aaron L. Toomey of Round Rock, Texas; Alexandra E. Utsey of Orangeburg, S.C.; Anne M. Van Devender of Jackson, Miss.; and Emily K. Wallace of Roanoke, Va.

Hiba M. Assi of Baalbeck, Lebanon; Natalie I. Bunnell of Clarendon Hills, Ill.; Whitney R. Burns of Moorefield, W.Va.; William J. Cooper of Lynchburg, Va.; Josiah W. Davis of Warrenton, Va.; James C. Dick of Schenectady, N.Y.; Neville L. Fogarty of West Windsor, N.J.; Stephanie A. Marks of Frederick, Md.; and Joseph P. McDonald of San Antonio, Texas.

Also, Christin E. Quinn of Beaumont, Texas; Holly L. Ratliff of Oxford, Ohio; Rachel M. Skains of Charlotte, N.C.; Dorothy R. Todd of Watkinsville, Ga.; Sarah J. Trimble of Jacksonville, Fla.; Darinka Truebutschek of Koblenz, Germany; Bena Tshishiku of Martinez, Ga.; John R. Weems of Greenville, S.C.; and John T. Wren of Richmond, Va.

From the Class of 2008:
Jessica C. Cobb, of Washington; Logan Gibson, of Charlottesville, Va.; and Audrey M. Horn, of Arlington, Va.

Stacy Doornbos Earns All-America Honors in Pentathlon

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Authors Explore the Vietnam War If Kennedy Had lived

James Blight and janet Lang, professors at Brown University’s Watson Institute for International Studies, will give a talk about their new book, Vietnam If Kennedy Had Lived, on Monday, March 23, at 3:30 p.m. in Room 345 of Washington and Lee University’s Elrod Commons. There will be a book signing after the lecture.

On Tuesday, March 24 at 7:30 p.m. in the auditorium of Marshall Hall, the VMI Center for Leadership and Ethics, there will be a showing of a film by Koji Masutani called Virtual JFK. There will be an opportunity to ask the authors further questions after the showing of the film.

Both the talk and the film showing, which are sponsored by the W&L Johnson Lecture Series and the VMI Center for Leadership and Ethics, are free and open to the public.

Both the book and film raise a fascinating issue. Would John F. Kennedy have made the same decisions that Lyndon Johnson made in 1964 and 1965, decisions that resulted in the escalation of American military involvement in the Vietnam War?

This is one of the great “counterfactual” questions in recent American history. When Lyndon Johnson took over the presidency following Kennedy’s assassination, he promised to follow the same foreign policy priorities as his fallen predecessor. He kept most of Kennedy’s team of foreign policy advisers. Democrats kept their majorities in the House and Senate. This is the rare presidential transition where the only major change was the person sitting at the head of the table. What difference did that change make? What is the evidence that Kennedy would have acted differently than Johnson on one of the most important challenges facing the United States in the 1960s.

Lang and Blight are trained psychologists who have written extensively about international relations and recent American foreign policy decisions, including the Cuban missile crisis, the collapse of détente, the end of the Cold War and Vietnam. They collaborated with filmmakers on the Academy Award-winning documentary Fog of War: Lessons From the Life of Robert S. McNamara.

John Montgomery to Speak about Business and Philanthropy at W&L

John Montgomery, founder and CEO of Bridgeway Capital Management, Inc., will present an address at Washington and Lee University on Thursday, March 19, at 7 p.m. in Northen Auditorium in the Leyburn Library.

The title of the talk is “A Unique Model of Business and Philanthropy: Is it your work life or your Life’s Work?” It is free and open to the public.

Montgomery worked with computer modeling and quantitative methods as a research engineer at MIT in the late 1970s and later, while working towards his M.B.A. at Harvard, Montgomery investigated methods to apply modeling to portfolio management. This investment style proved more successful than he had expected.

Montgomery left his position in the transportation industry at the end of 1991 to perform full-time research on his investment models, study the mutual fund industry and write a business plan for Bridgeway – devising a business model that included a philanthropic component. All the partners agree that every year the company will give half of its profits to philanthropic investments. He will talk about this during his speech at W&L.

“Bridgeway Foundation is an outlet through which, along with others associated with Bridgeway, I carry out some of my most important life goals,” said Montgomery. “These include giving back to our community and world (part of the “bridge” in Bridgeway), investing in future generations and building on the fragile efforts of others for reconciliation, human rights and fighting genocide. Moving from dream to reality is never easy, but by working together it becomes not only excitingly possible.”
Bridgeway’s philanthropic investments include poverty studies in higher education. They have made contributions to the intern program of Shepherd and to three schools starting poverty studies: Baylor University, Rice University and Furman University.

He earned his B.A. from Swarthmore and graduate degrees from M.I.T. and Harvard Business School.

Montgomery’s talk is sponsored by the Shepherd Program, the department of business administration, Leadership Development, Religious Life and the Howerton Fund.

Fire Damages Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity

All residents of Washington and Lee University’s Pi Kappa Phi fraternity house were safely evacuated this morning (Thursday, March 12) when a pre-dawn fire caused major damage to the building at 201 East Washington Street in Lexington.

The house was occupied by 17 students and a house director. One resident was transported to Stonewall Jackson Hospital, where he was treated for smoke inhalation and released.

The fire reportedly began at approximately 4:15 a.m. and was brought under control at about 5:30 a.m. According to fire department officials, both the fire alarm and sprinkler systems worked, and much of the damage to the house will be from the water from the sprinklers. The fraternity members had participated in a regularly scheduled fire drill earlier in the week. An investigation into the cause of the fire is underway.

University officials have arranged for the students to relocated to the Kappa Sigma fraternity house. In addition, arrangements are also being made for the residents to take their meals in the University’s dining center.

Topic of W&L’s Annual Sexual Assault Summit is Peer Education and Bystander Intervention

Washington and Lee University will host its third annual Sexual Assault Summit on Friday and Saturday, March 27-28, in the John W. Elrod Commons on W&L’s campus in Lexington, Va.

The summit provides a forum for students, professionals and administrators from a range of colleges to collaborate about efforts to address sexual misconduct with an emphasis on peer education. It is sponsored by Washington and Lee University and NASPA Region III (Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education). The summit will include over 100 students and administrative representatives from 17 colleges and agencies.

The W&L student groups helping the sponsors with the logistics of the summit are One in Four, SPEAK, KEWL and The Moustache Society. Two members of One in Four, a student organization whose purpose is to prevent sexual misconduct by educating men, and to prepare men to support women who are victims of assault, also are presenting at the summit.

“We in One in Four feel that this is an issue that we need to tackle as a united community and not only provide services for survivors, but work towards better collaborative solutions for the prevention of sexual assault,” said Greg Lennon, vice president of training in One in Four.

“We will be speaking on how sexual assault is not only a women’s issue but also a men’s issue, and how men can get involved and help prevent sexual assault. Once again we are excited about this great opportunity for collaboration and learning, and look forward to both the Sexual Assault Summit and Take Back the Night the preceding Thursday.”

The topic of this year’s Sexual Assault Summit is Peer Education and Bystander Intervention.

“Research has shown that peer to peer education is the most effective way to deliver messages about sexual assault,” said Jan Kaufman, director of health promotion at Washington and Lee. “One in Four research shows this to be an effective means of educating men about the impact of sexual assault and how to support female friends who have been assaulted. A key piece in the peer to peer approach is bystander intervention – speaking up when one sees a situation developing that does not feel comfortable with.”

The program will begin on Friday evening with student presentations and discussions. The opening session on Saturday will be given by Robert Franklin, male outreach coordinator for sexual violence prevention in the Virginia Department of Health. Franklin has worked on issues of sexual and intimate partner violence since the early 1990s.

Franklin has appeared on CNN’s American Morning, CBS’s Evening News and Voice of America discussing a statutory rape campaign in Virginia that targets men with the slogan “Isn’t She a Little Young? Sex with a Minor, Don’t Go There.” Franklin was awarded the National Sexual Violence Resource Center’s 2007 National Award for Outstanding Response to and Prevention of Sexual Violence.

The general session talk will be given by representatives from the Rape Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN). The nation’s largest anti-sexual assault organization, RAINN has helped more than one million people affected by sexual violence through the National Sexual Assault Hotline and Online Hotline.

“There will be two discussion-based interest sessions following the general session and then another after the luncheon keynote speech,” said Kaufman. “The interest sessions focus on sexual misconduct prevention with specific emphasis on working with first year students, men and athletes. These sessions will be given by students and faculty/staff from various colleges and universities.”

The luncheon keynote speech will be given by University of Mary Washington Professor Christopher Kilmartin, an internationally-recognized expert on gender and violence prevention. In addition to psychology professor, Kilmartin is an author, stand-up comedian, actor, playwright, consultant and professional psychologist.

Kilmartin participated as a consultant in the U. S. Department of Education’s 2001 Meeting on Violence Prevention in Higher Education. He is the author of Men’s Violence Against Women: Theory, Research, and Activism (co-authored by Julie Allison, Ph.D., Erlbaum, 2007); The Masculine Self (3rd edition, Sloan, 2007); and Sexual Assault in Context: Teaching College Men about Gender (2005, Erlbaum) – a manual based on his consultation experiences.

The day will conclude with a closing session to be given by Dr. Dorothy Edwards, the founding director of the University of Kentucky’s Violence and Prevention center, the designated unit on the UK campus to address power-based personal violence (including sexual violence, partner violence and stalking).

In the past 10 years, Edwards has emerged as a passionate voice committed to the right of every person to live free from violence and fear of violence. To that end, she provides education, training and consultation to universities, non-profits, community and state organizations around the country on community mobilization, strategic planning and program development in the area of violence prevention.

“This year’s summit will be an excellent opportunity for students, faculty and staff to collaborate with other schools about sexual assault prevention,” said Dr. Jennifer M. Sayre, Washington and Lee University counselor. “The emphasis on bystander behavior and peer education will be particularly relevant to the efforts already in place on our campus.

“Additionally, the schedule is full of very strong programs and we have two nationally prominent speakers. I am most excited about the breath of participation–we already have registrants and presenters from 16 different colleges and universities across the county. As in past years, I expect the Summit will be an invigorating opportunity for collaboration and the development of new ideas for our work to prevent sexual violence.”

KEWL will sponsor Love Your Body week that same week, and as a part of Love Your Body Week will be promoting Take Back the Night on Thursday before the summit.

Other days during that week will be devoted to different women’s interest topics, starting with a media-awareness day on Monday. There also will be a sexual health day, an “indulgence” day and various activities to promote solidarity and empowerment for women on campus. The main goal is to bring awareness to problems specific to W&L, including sexual assault and eating disorders. On Wednesday, Drs. David and Leslie Novack will be giving a presentation regarding problems with women’s health and body image at W&L. Dr. David Novack is the head of the sociology department at W&L and Dr. Leslie Novack is a developmental psychologist at Mary Baldwin College in Staunton, Va.

SPEAK, W&L’s women’s organization aimed at decreasing and preventing sexual misconduct and assault on campus through outreach and education, will be sponsoring the national Take Back the Night Rally in conjunction with the summit. The rally, which will be held on Thursday, March 26, at 7 p.m. in the Cohen Amphitheater adjacent to the W&L Commons, is meant to raise awareness about sexual assault at W&L and support survivors of assault on W&L’s campus. SPEAK will also distribute pink rubber bracelets bearing the slogan “Snap! Women Supporting Women” to the campus community. These bracelets will be available in the sorority houses and at the security desk and in the living room of the Elrod Commons.

“The events preceding the Sexual Assault Summit, particularly the Take Back the Night Rally, are crucial components of Washington and Lee’s fight against sexual assault on our campus,” said Taylar Hart, president of SPEAK. “It is imperative to the success of such initiatives that students, faculty and staff attend the events and show that our community will not tolerate acts which violate the system of honor upon which our University was built.”

Steven W. Squyres to Speak at Phi Beta Kappa Convocation

Steven W. Squyres, the Goldwin Smith Professor of Astronomy at Cornell University and the principal investigator of NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover Project, will be the speaker at the Washington and Lee University Phi Beta Kappa/Society of the Cincinnati Convocation on Thursday, March 12. The convocation will be held at 11:40 a.m. in Lee Chapel.

The convocation, which is open to the public without charge, also will recognize and honor 47 W&L members of the classes of 2008, 2009 and 2010 who were recently accepted into the Phi Beta Kappa society based on their exceptional academic achievements.

Squyres has participated in a number of planetary spaceflight missions. From 1978 to 1981 he was an associate of the Voyager imaging science team, participating in analysis of imaging data from the encounters with Jupiter and Saturn. He was a radar investigator on the Magellan mission to Venus, a member of the Mars Observer gamma-ray spectrometer flight investigation team and a co-investigator on the Russian Mars `96 mission.

Squyres’s work involves analysis of data from both spacecraft and ground-based telescopes, as well as a variety of types of geophysical modeling. Areas of particular interest include the tectonics of Venus, the history of water on Mars, and the geophysics of the icy satellites of the outer planets. Data analysis and theory are used together to examine the processes that have shaped the surfaces and interiors of these bodies.

W&L students being inducted into Phi Beta Kappa:

Aaron P. Albert of Hebron, Conn.; Sarah L. Atkinson of Memphis, Tenn.; Erik N. Ball of Sammamish, Wash.; Olivia Claire Barrett of Mobile, Ala.; Katherine M. Bastian of North Wales, Pa.; Jessica N. Bergquist of Huntington, W.Va.; Rebecca R. Bratu of Arad, Romania; Melissa R. Caron of Effingham, N.H.; Hilary L. Craig of Georgetown, Ky.; Melissa L. Dolan of Centennial, Colo.; Scott C. Ennis of Newark, Del.; Robert L. Frasco of Suffield, Conn.; Briana C. Gapsis of Ellicott City, Md.; and Leann A. Gerlach of Rocky Mount, N.C.

Also, Phillip S. Golladay of Waxhaw, N.C.; Elissa N. Hanson of Boca Raton, Fla.; Anthony L. Ives of Charlotte, N.C.; Lisa P. Luu of Monterey Park, Calif.; Jennifer V. Lysenko of Voorheesville, N.Y.; Christopher L. Martin Jr. of Shreveport, La.; Kaitlin M. Simpson of Scottsdale, Ariz.; Andrew M. Sims of Silver Spring, Md.; Aaron L. Toomey of Round Rock, Texas; Alexandra E. Utsey of Orangeburg, S.C.; Anne M. Van Devender of Jackson, Miss.; and Emily K. Wallace of Roanoke, Va. 

Hiba M. Assi of Baalbeck, Lebanon; Natalie I. Bunnell of Clarendon Hills, Ill.; Whitney R. Burns of Moorefield, W.Va.; William J. Cooper of Lynchburg, Va.; Josiah W. Davis of Warrenton, Va.; James C. Dick of Schenectady, N.Y.; Neville L. Fogarty of West Windsor, N.J.; Stephanie A. Marks of Frederick, Md.; and Joseph P. McDonald of San Antonio, Texas.

Also, Christin E. Quinn of Beaumont, Texas; Holly L. Ratliff of Oxford, Ohio; Rachel M. Skains of Charlotte, N.C.; Dorothy R. Todd of Watkinsville, Ga.; Sarah J. Trimble of Jacksonville, Fla.; Darinka Truebutschek of Koblenz, Germany; Bena Tshishiku of Martinez, Ga.; John R. Weems of Greenville, S.C.; and John T. Wren of Richmond, Va.

From the Class of 2008:
Jessica C. Cobb, of Washington; Logan Gibson, of Charlottesville, Va.; and Audrey M. Horn, of Arlington, Va.

The winner of the Phi Beta Kappa Sophomore Award, which is given each year to the sophomore who has attained the highest cumulative scholastic average through the end of the fall term of the sophomore year at W&L, also will be announced, as will the names of an honorary member and an alumni member of Phi Beta Kappa and the winner(s) of the Pinney Prize.

Philosopher Thomas Pogge to Addresses Issues of Poverty in W&L Lecture

Thomas W. Pogge, the Leitner Professor of Philosophy and International Affairs at Yale University, will present a lecture titled “Do the Global Poor have Human Rights?” at Washington and Lee University on Tuesday, March 17, at 7:30 p.m. in Northen Auditorium of the James G. Leyburn Library.

Pogge’s lecture is free and open to the public.

His presentation at W&L is sponsored by the Shepherd Program for the Interdisciplinary Study of Poverty and Human Capability and the Class of 63 Endowment.

Pogge’s work on political philosophy, especially the work of philosophers John Rawls and Immanuel Kant, examines issues of extreme poverty, justice in health care, and human rights, among other topics.

He is the author of the 2002 volume, “World Poverty and Human Rights,” which is widely considered one of the most important works on global justice. This book articulates Pogge’s argument that the world’s wealthy have a duty not to harm the poor and that this “negative duty” requires those of us who benefit from global institutions that harm the poor to take positive actions to reform those institutions. 
Satisfying our “negative duty” is sufficient to fulfill human socio-economic rights for the vast majority of the one-third of the world population in severe poverty.

Pogge earned his undergraduate degree at Hamburg University in Germany and his Ph.D. in philosophy at Harvard University where he studied under Rawls. He taught at Columbia University from 1983 until he moved to the professorship at Yale in 2008. He currently holds adjunct appointments at the Australian National University’s Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics and the philosophy department at the University of Oslo, Norway.

Pogge is also the author of “Realizing Rawls,” “John Rawls” and “John Rawls: His Life and Theory of Justice.” He is the co-editor of “Freedom from Poverty as a Human Right: Who Owes What to the Very Poor?” and “Real World Justice,” and is co-author of “The Health Impact Fund: Making New Medicines Accessible for All,” among other volumes.

Students in business administration and politics, as well as in W&L’s Shepherd program, have been assigned Pogge’s book. The Shepherd program integrates academic study and learning through service and reflection. It endeavors to inform our students about poverty and what can be done to foster human capabilities for communities and individuals who have been left behind in domestic and international development.

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas to Speak at W&L on March 16

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas will speak as part of Washington and Lee University’s Contact series of speakers on Monday, March 16, at 7:30 p.m. in Lee Chapel. The program is free and open to the public.

• Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. Seating is first-come, first-served. Overflow seating will be in Northen Auditorium.
Thomas, an associate justice, was nominated to the Supreme Court by President George H.W. Bush and took his seat on October 23, 1991. He became the second African American to serve on the court following Thurgood Marshall, whom he replaced.
Born in the Pin Point community of Georgia, near Savannah, in 1948, Thomas attended Conception Seminary and received an A.B., cum laude, from Holy Cross College, and a J.D. from Yale Law School in 1974.  He was admitted to law practice in Missouri in 1974, and served as an assistant attorney general of Missouri from 1974–1977, an attorney with the Monsanto Company from 1977–1979 and a legislative assistant to former Missouri Senator John Danforth from 1979–1981.
From 1981–1982, he served as assistant secretary for civil rights of the U.S. Department of Education and as chairman of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission from 1982–1990.  He became a judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in 1990.
Thomas is the author of the 2008 volume, My Grandfather’s Son: A Memoir.
Contact is a non-partisan, all-student committee under the jurisdiction of the executive committee of W&L’s student body. Its mission is to bring prominent speakers to the Washington and Lee campus in events that are both educational and entertaining.

W&L’s Van Devender Awarded an NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship

Washington and Lee senior forward Anne Van Devender (Jackson, Miss./Choate Rosemary Hall) has been awarded a National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Postgraduate Scholarship. The award is a $7,500 scholarship for academic work beyond the baccalaureate degree as a full-time or part-time graduate student.

Van Devender was one of 29 female student-athletes from all NCAA Divisions to receive the scholarship after participating in a fall sport. The NCAA awards 174 scholarships annually in the fall, winter and spring seasons. Van Devender’s selection gives W&L nine winners in the last seven years and 28 W&L athletes have been so honored since 1970.

“It feels a little bittersweet to see the word ‘Postgraduate’ associated with an athletic award, but I am honored to be one of the selected athletes,” said Van Devender. “The award is really a testament to the support of the W&L community. Student-athletes are able to thrive at W&L because of the cooperation of the athletic department and faculty. I would like to specifically thank Coach Neil Cunningham, Dr. Ellen Mayock, Jan Hathorn and Dr. Kenneth Lambert for their endorsement in the scholarship process.”

A computer science major with a concentration in women’s studies, Van Devender was a four-year letterwinner and a team captain for the W&L women’s soccer team. She led the squad and finished fourth in the ODAC in scoring during the 2008 season with 45 points on 17 goals and 11 assists. Van Devender was named the 2008 Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) Scholar-Athlete of the Year and was tabbed to the First Team CoSIDA Academic All-America squad.

A three-time First Team All-ODAC, All-State and All-Region honoree and a two-time All-America selection, Van Devender finished her career ranked second all-time at W&L in career goals (64), career assists (33) and career points (161).

Van Devender plans to pursue a Ph.D. in Computer Science following graduation from W&L.


W&L School of Law Receives $2 Million Gift for Third-Year Reform

After announcing a sweeping reform of the third-year curriculum last year, Washington and Lee’s School of Law has received strong endorsements for the novel approach from many quarters. Now the school has received a major financial boost with the announcement of a $2-million gift to support the efforts to change the way third-year students prepare for transition from law students to legal practitioners.

John Huss, a member of the law class of 1965, and his wife Ruth, gave the money for unrestricted use within the third-year program. The gift provides $1.5 million in cash to support the immediate needs of the program in its first years of operation plus an additional $0.5 million to match additional funds raised.

“John’s extraordinary gift comes at a critical time in the history of the law school,” said Dean Rodney A. Smolla. “The faculty and administration have designed an exceptional and transformative third-year experience. A full third of the permanent faculty will join with distinguished judges and practitioners from a variety of top firms to provide this inaugural class with a unique and unparalleled selection of real practice experiences and advanced training in professionalism. John’s gift will help ensure that this new program will be absolutely first-class in every respect.”

The School is making final plans for the inaugural year of the program, which will begin in the 2009-10 academic year. Recently, 75 second-year students, more than half of the class, volunteered to be the first group to go through the program, which seeks to provide a bridge from the study of legal theory to the actual practice of law by engaging students in a broad array of real-world and simulated applications of legal knowledge.

Announced in March of 2008, the Law School’s new third-year program marks a dramatic departure from the way law schools traditionally educate third-year students. The new third-year curriculum is entirely experiential in nature. Traditional classroom instruction will be replaced by practice simulations, real-client interactions and the development of law practice skills. At the same time, students will be immersed in a year-long professionalism program that explores what it means to “live one’s life in the law.” This part of the curriculum features study and reflection on legal ethics, civility in practice, civic leadership, pro bono service, and law firm economics.

The Huss gift will support clinical activities, a variety of students needs, and technical and administrative support for the new third-year program. It will also fund faculty positions and visiting professors of practice.

W&L already has made significant additions to its faculty and administration to support the program. Last year, Smolla elevated clinical professor Mary Z. Natkin ’85L to Assistant Dean for Cinical Education and Public Service and charged her with ensuring that each student graduates with a real practice experience. In addition, Smolla brought in a number of accomplished practitioners, including Virginia Supreme Court Justice Donald W. Lemons and well-known criminal defense attorney Judy Clarke, to help teach the school’s new practice-based simulation courses.

Most recently, the School announced the addition of James E. Moliterno as Vincent Bradford Professor of Law. One of the nation’s leading educators in experiential learning and legal professionalism, Moliterno was the architect William and Mary law school’s award winning ethics, skills, and professionalism program.

“This is an enormously consequential addition to the faculty at Washington and Lee,” said Smolla. “For the past three decades, Professor Moliterno has been one of the leading national and international voices in his field. There is no academic in the United States better suited to help lead us into our new third-year program.”

All third year students in the program will be required to obtain a Virginia practice certificate. The program will remain voluntary through the 2010-11 academic year before becoming mandatory for all third-year law students in 2011-12.

James F. Childress to Deliver Inaugural Johnson & Johnson Lecture

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Students to Dance on Side of 40-Foot Building

Imagine pushing off from the side of a building high above the ground, executing a graceful spin, all while trying to point your toes.
Students at Washington and Lee University, and not just dance students, will get the opportunity to try this in a new six-week class that begins this May.

Jenefer Davies, W&L visiting assistant professor of dance, will be recruiting students across campus for an aerial dance performance on the side of 40-foot high Wilson Hall.

“I believe this is the first time aerial dance has been attempted at a college,” says Davies. “I really want to expand the appeal of dance to other students on campus, so anyone who is interested in athletics, climbing, rappelling, gymnastics, cheerleading, basketball, diving – they would be perfect for this.”

Davies thinks about 30 students will take part, judging from the buzz she’s heard.

Students will be lowered from the roof in mountain climbing harnesses. “Obviously, the safety aspect is very important,” says Davies, “which is why we’ve hired a professional rigging company. We chose an industry leader and one of the top flying companies in the world which has rigged Broadway performances such as Peter Pan. They will provide and supervise the heavy-duty equipment and accept liability. I feel totally comfortable with them.”

In an unusual pairing, Davies will be working alongside James Dick, W&L’s director of campus recreation who oversees the Outing Club. “The performance will combine elements of dance and rock climbing,” says Dick, “so my job is to work with the students on the technical aspects. They’ll learn many of the techniques used by professional rock climbers, from how to tie their ropes to how to balance in a harness. There will definitely be physical challenges.”

The biggest challenge as far as Davies is concerned will be preparing the dancers’ bodies. Normally she would take a year to build up their muscle groups, but this time she will get them ready in just six weeks. “It’s going to be intense. Aerial work is all about the abdominals, because for so much of the dance your feet are on the wall and you’re parallel to the ground. Your abdominals are what hold you up. The students will have to be at a certain level physically before they can perform safely.”

Davies says that the hardest part for the students will be adapting to the change in gravitational forces. “You have to know how much force to use to push off against the wall and how to accomplish the movements before retuning to the wall. It’s hard to avoid scraping yourself against the wall when you are first learning.”

The performance will last 45 minutes, with up to three dancers at a time on the wall for a series of five to eight minute dances. Students will wear special costumes, and Davies is planning to use very long pieces of fabric to add another level of expression to the dance. “It’s really beautiful,” says Davies “especially when the dancers are low to the ground because the push-off is very slow and they can do a lot of movements before they swing back in again. The higher they are on the wall, the more limited their movements are because they are closer to the rigging but those limitations allow for more specificity.”

Davies has been interested in aerial dance for the past eight years. “I started looking into it because it’s fairly new within the dance continuum and at the moment dance companies are playing around with it – and there’s no established technique yet. When you alter the element of gravity, it completely changes what you’ve been taught about the nature of dance. It’s also imbued with an athleticism that’s certainly always contained in dance but not always apparent. I think people are drawn to aerial dance. They have this amazed wonder on their faces when they see it and feel a kinship with it immediately, because it contains elements that everyone, not just dancers, can do such as pushing off a wall and spinning.”

Students who want to sign up for the class are doing so now. The performance will take place in May. The aerial dance project was made possible by a $7,500 Mellon Grant from the Associated Colleges of the South.

W&L Presents Speaker on Iconoclasm

James Simpson, the Douglas P. and Katherine B. Loker Professor of English at Harvard University, will give a public lecture on Monday, March 23, at 7 p.m. in Northen Auditorium in the Leyburn Library at Washington and Lee University.

The title of the talk, which is free and open to the public, is “Learn to Die: Late Medieval English Images Before the Law.”

“Simpson is one of the three or four most influential people in his field,” said Edwin D. Craun, Henry S. Fox Jr. Professor of English at W&L. Simpson has written over eight books including volume two of the “Oxford English Literary History,” entitled “Reform and Cultural Revolution, 1350-1547.” His most recent book, “Burning to Read: English Fundamentalism and its Reformation Opponents,” examines how early Protestant attitudes toward reading the Bible led to fundamentalism in both early modern culture and modern culture.

Simpson also is an editor of the “Norton Anthology of English Literature.” He is currently at work on a book on iconoclasm in England and America from Medieval culture down to contemporary painting.

His lecture is sponsored by the Department of English and the program in Medieval and Renaissance Studies.

William Christenberry to Present Artist Talk at Washington and Lee

Artist William Christenberry , whose work is currently featured in exhibition in Washington and Lee University’s Staniar Gallery, will present an Artist Talk at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, March 11, in the Concert Hall of Wilson Hall at W&L. The lecture is free and open to the public.

“William Christenberry: Site/Possession” features paintings, photographs, constructions, “dream buildings” and the “Klan Room Tableau.” The exhibition originated at the University of Virginia Art Museum in Charlottesville, where it was curated by Dr. Andrea Douglas, curator of collections and exhibitions.

Christenberry’s work focuses on his native South, and the majority of his paintings, drawings, sculpture, and photography capture the region around Hale County, Alabama, where he was born and raised.

Born in 1936 in Tuscaloosa, Ala., Christenberry attended The University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, where he received his B.F.A. and M.F.A. and studied under noted abstract expressionist Melville Price. Since 1968, he has taught at the Corcoran College of Art and Design in Washington, D.C.

Although the Staniar Gallery exhibition offers a broad range of Christenberry’s works, including the photographs for which he renowned, the show features drawings from as early as 1959 when Christenberry was honing his artistic skills and from as recently as 2006. The subjects of the drawings range from Southern gourd trees to tenant houses to his eerie “dream buildings.”

One of the particular features of the exhibit that Christenberry will address in his lecture is his controversial “Klan Room Tableau,” a multi-media presentation that features paintings, drawings, found objects, sculptures and series of fabric klansmen in hooded robes. The story of his fascination with the Klan is a deeply personal one, dating to his attendance at a Ku Klux Klan meeting.

Asked about the tableau during an interview on National Public Radio’s Studio 360 in 2006, Christenberry said, “I’ve been criticized for even undertaking this but my feeling and my argument is how can I turn a blind eye to racial prejudice and injustice?…It’s a tough piece. It’s meant to be. You’re not meant to be comfortable in there.”

Both Wilson Hall, site of the Artist Talk, and Staniar Gallery are located in Washington and Lee University’s Lenfest Center for the Arts. The exhibit continues through April 10. Gallery Hours are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday or by appointment (540/458-8861).

Yale Law Professor Robert W. Gordon to Lecture at Ethics Institute

Robert W. Gordon, Chancellor Kent Professor of Law and Legal History at Yale Law School, will deliver the keynote speech at Washington and Lee University’s Legal Ethics Institute on Friday, March 27, at 4:30 p.m. in Classroom A at the Washington and Lee University School of Law (Lewis Hall).

The title of Gordon’s talk is “Are Lawyers Guardians or Subverters of the Rule of Law?” It is free and open to the public.

Gordon will discuss why lawyers’ interests and ethical orientations “sometimes reinforce and sometimes subvert the rule of law, and how professional ethics and actions might be brought into closer alignment with public values.”

Gordon is currently visiting professor at Stanford Law School. He has written extensively on contract law, legal thought and on the history and current ethics and practices of the American Bar Association (ABA). He has served on several ABA and Connecticut Bar Task Forces on professional ethics and practice and on the Advisory Board of the Legal Profession Program of the Open Society Institute (Soros Foundation). He also is a past president of the American Society for Legal History.

Gordon’s law teaching career began at SUNY/Buffalo Law School. He later taught at the University of Wisconsin and Stanford Law Schools, and as a visitor at Harvard, Oxford and the University of Toronto, before joining the Yale faculty in 1995.

He received his A.B. from Harvard University and his J.D. from Harvard Law School.

Joshua Fairfield Named Director of the Frances Lewis Law Center

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