Feature Stories Campus Events

Dance Students Take Flight on Side of Wilson Hall

In a dazzling display of aerial artistry, Washington and Lee University students swooped, spun and flipped off the side of Wilson Hall at the Lenfest Center for the Arts Friday afternoon, introducing a crowd of about 300 campus and community members to an entirely new kind of performance.

The first-ever aerial dance concert, culminating a six-week spring term course, featured 13 students with varying degrees of dance background who represented a variety of different majors.

Friday’s performance will be repeated on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. The event is free and open the public.

Although they came at the class and the performance from decidedly different directions, there was no denying that all the performers shared in the combination of creativity and daring.

The course was led and the performance directed by Jenefer Davies, assistant professor of dance, who said she believes this is the first time aerial dance has been performed by students on a college campus. In an interview with the Richmond Times-Dispatch this week, Davies also said that although the students make it look easy, that is an illusion and that it is in fact “mind-blowingly hard.” Davies choreographed the first dance herself, but all the other dances were choreographed by students. Each performance was different.

The first dancers of the afternoon were dressed in brightly colored yellow, purple and red crinoline-type layered skirts. Each dancer had a 40-foot long piece of fabric that moved with them and extended down to the ground, adding texture to their dance. “It’s about the juxtaposition between the soft feminine side of women and their strong and powerful side,” explained Davies, who choreographed the piece to the song “Brand New Key” by Rasputina. The dancers were Elissa Hanson’09, a politics major in politics, Dana Fredericks ’12, a major in chemistry and engineering, and Mary Beth Edwards ’09, a French major.

The next group of dancers performed in white silk pants with wide bottoms that moved in the air, and had long ties attached to their waists. The dance was choreographed by Sophie Xiong ’10, an East Asian languages major, to the Joni Mitchell’s “Blue.” “Joni Mitchell never divulged what exactly “Blue” was about,” said Xiong. “So I created my dance out of a vague nothing, the not-necessarily-sad but empty feeling one gets on Sunday nights when the week is about to start again, and you feel tired but rich.” The dancers were A’rese Emokpae ’10, a major in studio art, Galina Yudovich ’09, an English major and Victoria Dickerson ’12.

Isaiah Goodman ’09, captain of the W&L basketball team and a business major, performed a dance he choreographed himself. Wearing his basketball uniform, Goodman bounced a basketball against the wall in a series of movements that was a combination of dance and sports. “I wanted to involve basketball in my piece because I knew I would have fun doing it, but the dance also demonstrates the hard work needed for both dance and basketball,” said Goodman. The dance was performed to “Second Coming” by Juelz Santanta and “Freestyle” by Africa Bambataa.

A trio of dancers then performed a love song choreographed by Kenneth Hopkins ’10, a business major, to the song “So High” by John Legend. “It is a love song about a man that has fallen completely in love and wants to show his new love everything,” said Hopkins. Adding a new twist, Hopkins surprised the audience by changing his rigging partway through the performance to dance backwards facing the audience. Joining Hopkins on the wall were Emily Wallace ’09, an art history major, and Hanson.

One of the most powerful and energetic dances was performed by David Doobin ’11, a pre-med major, and Fredericks, to the music “Battlefield” by Cirque Du Soleil. Doobin said his choreography was inspired by “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon,” and he used plenty of horizontal movement to make full use of the space the wall provided. “We wanted to use hand-to-hand combat and broad, sweeping battle effects and martial arts elements,” he said, “to explore conflict and the inevitable consequences.”

A dance with a cabaret feel came next, with the dancers wearing long frilly skirts in different colors. Choreographed by Wallace to the music “Spotlight (Into Twilight)” by Mute Math, it combined sharp hand movements with graceful flips, jumps and runs. Wallace said the smaller hand movements were designed to contrast with the more grandiose, sustained movements. “Aerial dance is a progressive form of performance art and is the dance of the future. So I wanted to maintain a futuristic effect in both the movements and the costumes,” said Wallace. The dancers were Margaret Ward ’09, a business major, Edwards and Xiong.

The aerial dance performance was rounded out by a lighthearted improvised dance at the end featuring the music “Brandinburg” by Black Violin. Dancers were Fredericks, Hanson, Xiong, Doobin, Wallace, Dickerson and Edwards.

The aerial dance project was made possible by a $7,000 Mellon Grant from the Associated Colleges of the South.


W.Va. and W&L

Nanya Friend, the editor and publisher of The Charleston Daily Mail, spun a wonderful story in The Daily Mail last week about the Lewis Scholarships at Washington and Lee. The article, titled “Lewis Scholarships target W.Va. kids,” tells the story of W&L alumnus J. Edward Lewis of the class of 1929 and his wife, Elizabeth, and how they came to establish an endowed scholarship program that has led generations of West Virginians from the Mountain State to Lexington. For Friend, the story is a personal one, since her son will graduate next week. As she explains, she had wondered for four years about the people who made it possible for her son to attend “this shining jewel of a school.”


Their Day


Their Day

by
Kenneth P. Ruscio
President, Washington and Lee Universit

At Washington and Lee University, the university president gives the commencement address each year. I strongly endorsed this custom until I actually had to write my first such address. My devotion to the tradition has further weakened each year since.

Washington and Lee imposes this annual duty on the president not because of some lofty principle, but rather to avoid a repeat of a memorable occasion nearly 80 years ago.

In the early 1930s, the university invited a politician who was also an alumnus to give the commencement address. As the story goes, the speaker approached the podium with a stack of jumbled index cards and held forth for several hours as he went through the cards — not once, not twice, but three times.

In response, the university’s faculty, which had endured this lengthy oration while wearing long, black academic gowns on a hot summer’s day, called an emergency meeting. The professors voted unanimously to have the president, not an outside speaker, give the commencement address from then on. W&L’s board of trustees agreed, ensuring that in future years our graduates and families should rest easy, knowing that if they had to endure a commencement address, it would at least be short and, as an added bonus, free.

Over the years, we have seen a few exceptions to this custom. A distinguished senator accepted our invitation to receive an honorary degree. He also accepted an invitation we did not extend, to speak to our graduates. In this instance, we were caught on the horns of an etiquette dilemma, which we resolved by listening ever so politely to a very thorough analysis of the problem of nuclear proliferation. (That undoubtedly set just the celebratory mood for graduates and their families.)

Each year at this time, as colleges and universities welcome celebrities to address their ceremonies, I know that our graduates must be envious. Their friends at these other institutions will report on having heard this actor or that politician at commencement and then ask who our speaker is. “The president,” our students will dutifully report and quickly add, “Not the President. Our president.”

I sympathize with the students’ plight. And yet, as we see every year, securing the biggest-name speaker is not without potential peril. Celebrity is relative. And, besides, complaining about commencement speakers is a time-honored tradition among graduates.

This is not to suggest that our custom makes us better than our peers, or that there are not impressive speakers whose memorable speeches make a graduation ceremony special. But the issue of who should be charged with providing graduates a last bit of advice is not an entirely frivolous question. To answer it, we ought to wonder what it is, after all, that we hope commencement to be.

We surely want the day to be memorable, but for the right reasons. A walkout in protest of the speech or the speaker, for example, certainly makes for colorful stories at the 50th reunion.

In my view, our primary goal is to create a setting in which our graduates and their families can celebrate together.

It is their day, not our day. It is a time for them to reflect on what they have achieved, a time for them to bask in the collective accomplishments that have brought them to this time and place in their lives.

When I sit down to write the words I will deliver to Washington and Lee’s Class of 2009, I will know that my words are almost certainly not going to make national network news. That is not my aim. I do want to say something meaningful, of course. But it may have meaning only to the students and their families who have taken the journey of these past four years with us. And if I can do that, if what I say has meaning to them and only to them, then that’s as it should be.

(This piece first appeared in Inside Higher Ed.)


Generals Sweep ODAC Honors

For the sixth consecutive year Washington and Lee’s varsity athletic teams won the Dan Wooldridge Overall Sports Champion Cup (sponsored by Farm Bureau Insurance®), emblematic of the top finishes in all conference sports. The Generals won six sports championships during the 2008-09 athletic season, and also claimed the Women’s Commissioner’s Cup for the sixth successive time. But there’s more. Two of W&L’s student-athletes won the conference’s scholar-athlete awards. Harry St. John (lacrosse) won the Harry G. “Doc” Jopson Scholar-Athlete Award as the league’s top male student-athlete, while Anne van Devender won the Marjorie Berkley Scholar-Athlete Award.


New Novel Features Lexington and W&L

You might recognize a few places around Lexington and Washington and Lee University in a new novel, The Widow’s Season, by Laura Brodie, visiting assistant professor of English at Washington and Lee.

Scheduled for publication on June 2 by Berkley Books (part of Penguin Books), the book is part ghost story, part marriage story, and is set in a town called Jackson (Lexington), with a river and college campuses and many recognizable sites.

“The story was inspired by a chapter from my doctoral dissertation at the University of Virginia on widows in literature,” said Brodie. “That chapter focused on husbands who fake their deaths in order to spy on their wives, something that shows up a lot in 17th century drama.”
 
Publisher’s Weekly reviewed the book in April 2009 and observed the author was “expertly walking the line between reality and fantasy, life and death, heartache and love, leaving readers hoping for the best and prepared for the worst—without ever really knowing the truth—until the final five pages.”

The Widow’s Season has had some early success. It won the 2005 Faulkner-Wisdom award for best novel-in-progress—a national contest sponsored by a New Orleans literary society. German and Dutch publishers have also purchased the book and it will appear in at least three languages.

The book will be released nationwide at Barnes and Noble, Borders and other book stores. Brodie will start a tour with a reading and a party at Lexington’s Books and Co., on Friday, June 5, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. She is also scheduled for a reading during W&L’s Parents’ Weekend in the fall of 2009.
 
“We in the English department feel very lucky to work with Laura Brodie,” says Lesley Wheeler, head of the English department. “As well as being an accomplished writer, she is an extremely popular teacher who covers an impressive range of fields, from Jane Austen to 20th-century poetry.  I remember hearing her tell the ghost story years ago that eventually blossomed into this novel, so I feel particularly excited about its publication.”

Brodie, whose first book Breaking Out: VMI and the Coming of Women was published in 2000, is working on a third book that is due for publication by HarperCollins in April 2010. It will feature Lexington in more obvious ways because it is a memoir of one year when she homeschooled her daughter Julia for the fifth grade. She says that every page of that book will be filled with Lexington places and people — Waddell, Lylburn Downing, VMI, W&L, the Lexington coffee shop, the Orchardside Yarn Cottage and Mark Cline’s Escape from Dinosaur Kingdom.


Vote Early and . . .

Washington and Lee’s Campus Kitchen has made a difference in the Rockbridge County community. Of that, there is no doubt. In 2008, for instance, Campus Kitchen served 13, 444 meals and recovered almost 2,000 lbs of food that would have otherwise gone to waste. Now it’s your turn to make a difference for Campus Kitchen with a few clicks of the mouse. True Hero is a non-profit organization that grants cash awards to student organizations based on votes it receives during the academic year. So your vote could mean as much as $4,000 for the Campus Kitchen program. As of last night, the Campus Kitchen had 728 votes, which was good for sixth place on the list. True Hero gives monetary grants to the top seven college program vote-getters — more votes, more money. The voting runs through June 30. So go to the True Hero page and vote today.


Sculpting Business as Usual

Even the still images on the Charlotte Observer Web site make artist Bob Trotman’s latest exhibition seem dramatic and eerie. In person, it must be an incredible exhibition at the Mint Museum of Art in Charlotte. The exhibition, titled Business As Usual, is not unfamiliar to members of the Washington and Lee community. Bob, a member of W&L’s Class of 1969, had the show in display in the Staniar Gallery last May. Now it’s in Charlotte, where it received a strong review in the Observer. Critic Mark Washburn made the connection between the AIG meltdown and Bob’s figures of businessmen and businesswomen appearing to sink in quicksand. Writes Washburn: “They look like figureheads of a clipper ship bound for purgatory. Anguished and agonized, wretched and woe begone, they are souls petrified in eternal torment.” If you’re in Charlotte, you can see the Mint Museum exhibition through November.


W&L Mourns Loss of Art Historian Joan O’Mara

June 24, 2009 Update:

At Homecoming Weekend on Oct. 9 and 10, the Art Department will sponsor a celebration of the late Joan O’Mara’s life and would especially like to invite her former students to participate in person or to send remembrances for sharing at the event. For more information, please contact Pamela Simpson, professor of art history, at simpsonp@wlu.edu.

The Art Department has created the Joan Hertzog O’Mara Award to recognize outstanding achievement in art history. To contribute to the award fund, contact the Development Office:

Phone: (540) 458-8410
Mail: 204 W. Washington St., Development Building, Washington and Lee University, Lexington, VA 24450-2116

May 25, 2009:

Joan O’Mara, associate professor of art history at Washington and Lee, died Sunday, May 24, 2009. She was 63.

The wake will be held at Harrison’s Funeral Home in Lexington, on Wednesday, May 27, from 5 to 7 p.m.. The Mass of Christian Burial will take place at St. Patrick’s Church at 11 a.m. on Thursday, May 28. Burial will take place at a later date in the Mausoleum of Our Lady of Sorrows on the campus of the University of Notre Dame.

“Professor O’Mara was dedicated to her students and her profession. She was a careful scholar who demonstrated how art can reveal so much about the history and culture of a society,” W&L President Kenneth P. Ruscio said. “She will be missed on our campus and among the community of East Asian scholars.”

O’Mara, the Elizabeth Lewis Otey Professor of East Asian Studies and former director of W&L’s East Asian Studies Program, joined the faculty in 1989. She held a B.A. from Carleton College and an M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Michigan.

O’Mara taught the history of Japanese art, the history of Chinese art, Asian art history and Western art history. Her areas of research included the Japanese tea ceremony; relationships between the Japanese print and 19th-century European art; and relationships between words and images in Japanese art.

O’Mara was active in ASIANetwork, a national consortium of undergraduate liberal arts institutions with Asian studies programs. She served as vice chair from 2003-2004, chair from 2004-2005 and ex-officio board chair from 2005-2006. She also belonged to the Japan Art History Forum; the Society for Values in Higher Education, where she was elected a fellow; and the Association for Asian Studies, among other associations.

She wrote many publications, including book chapters, reviews and papers. O’Mara also was the editor of ASIANetwork’s Exchange: A Journal for Asian Studies in the Liberal Arts, and the editor of W&L’s East Asian Studies Newsletter from 1998-2005.

She was a member of St. Patrick’s Catholic parish, where she served as a lector at Mass.

The daughter of the late Charles D. and Ruth Jarvis Hertzog, she was born in 1946 in Philadelphia, Pa., and is survived by her husband, Philip F. O’Mara of Lexington, her son, Philip Martin O’Mara of Brooklyn, New York, and her daughter, Caitlin Ruth Song O’Mara of Fort Wayne, Indiana. Other survivors include her sisters, Jan Neander of Pittsburgh, Pa., and Beverly Solow of New York City, and her brothers, Gene of Henderson, Nev., and Philip of Stuart, Fla.


Close, but…

Remember Max Adler? The 2004 Washington and Lee alumnus was the subject of a blog item way back in March when he announced that he was launching a bid to earn a spot next month’s U.S. Open golf championships at Bethpage Black in New York. Max, a former member of the W&L golf team, is currently a writer for Golf Digest and Golf World. So he has been writing an on-line diary about his quest. Last Saturday, in his tenth diary entry, Max was looking back with regret over a few missed putts that might have cost him a chance to realize his goal. As he explains, he’s still in the hunt for a qualifying spot, but only barely. By virtue of shooting a 70 and then winning a three-way playoff at the Misquamicut (R.I.) Local Qualifier, Max is now the second alternate. That means he could still make it if two people who finished ahead of him don’t show up on June 8 at the Sectional Qualifier at Purchase, NY. Max’s own assessment of that possibility: “fat chance.” But, you never know. You can read all of Max’s entries, including his account of his session with nationally regarded sports psychologist Bob Rotella, at the Golf Digest site.


W&L’s Doornbos Earns All-America Honors at the Division III NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships

Original story at:
http://www.wlu.edu/x32863.xml.


More Digging

The dig at Monticello, otherwise known as Anthropology 377: Field Methods in Archaeology, is entering its final days as Spring Term winds to a close. There is an open house at the site today as Alison Bell, assistant professor of archaeology, noted on the dig’s blog site. The students have had several visitors in recent days, including a group of grade school children plus a reporter and photographer from the Charlottesville Daily Progress. Look for a story on the dig this weekend. Despite the less than ideal weather (it’s rained a lot at Monticello this month), the students have unearthed an impressive array of artifacts, including some Chinese export porcelain. Have a look at the updated blog site for more information on the Monticello dig.


W&L Lax and the Wall Street Journal

OK, so Kelly Evans gets yet another shout-out on the W&L News Blog. This time Kelly, economics report for the Wall Street Journal and a member of W&L’s Class of 2007, has a video report on the surge in lacrosse’s popularity in which she talks about her college lax experience and her current club experience in New York City. In advance of this weekend’s men’s and women’s championships in Foxboro, Mass., Kelly talks about the fact that the sport has spread out geographically, especially on the women’s side. There’s another aspect of the video that makes it newsworthy for W&L since many of the photographs of Kelly that you’ll see were taken by Kevin Remington, a University photographer on the Public Affair staff. Kevin even gets credit. So be sure to have a look. Click here for a link to the video.


Jenefer Davies Discusses the Genesis of Aerial Dance at W&L

Theater and Dance at W&L presents Aerial Dance Performance, under the direction of Artistic Director Jenefer Davies, on May 29 and 30, 2009, at 3:30 p.m. The performance will take place on the exterior wall of Wilson Hall. Tickets are not required.

“I believe this is the first time aerial dance has been tried at a college,” says Davies, “especially one that is choreographed by students.” Davies says the purpose of the aerial dance is to increase the appeal of dance across the W&L campus. Thirteen students will be taking part. They come from many different areas and include athletes and climbers as well as dancers.

Students will be lowered from the roof in mountain climbing harnesses for the performance. An industry leader and top professional rigging company has been hired by the theater department for the performance. Their rigging credits include Broadway performances such as Peter Pan.

Davies will be working alongside James Dick, W&L’s director of campus recreation who oversees the Outing Club. The performance combines elements of dance and rock climbing. Difficulties include time constraints and physical and gravitational challenges required for aerial work. 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 because the push-off is very slow and they can do a lot of movements before they go back in again. The higher they are on the wall, the more limited their movements are because they are closer to the rigging.”

Davies has been interested in aerial dance for the past eight years. “I started looking into it because it’s fairly new in the history of dance and at the moment dance companies are playing around with it – there’s no established technique yet. When you take away 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 men in particular are drawn to aerial dance. They have this amazed wonder on their faces when they see it and feel a kinship with it right off the bat, because it contains elements that everyone can do such as pushing off a wall and spinning.”

The aerial dance project was made possible by a $7,000 Mellon Grant from the Associated Colleges of the South.


Rapids' Opener Rapidly Approaching

The Rockbridge Rapids of the Valley Baseball League, new summertime tenants of Washington and Lee’s Cap’n Dick Smith Field, are less than two weeks away from the home opener on June 6 against Staunton. The Rapids’ general manager is Ken Newman of W&L’s Class of 1971, and the roster includes one current General, pitcher Chuck Davidson ’10. The Valley League, featuring college players from all over the country, bills itself as the “Gateway to the Majors” since many of the players who have participated wind up being drafted by major league teams. In fact, 79 former VBL players were drafted in the June 2008 MLB draft. So chances are that some of the players who will be performing in W&L’s stadium this summer will eventually make it to the big leagues. For now, though, the Rapids promise to bring some new summer entertainment to Big Lex. The complete schedule is on the Rapids’ Web site.


Let Them Eat … the Colonnade

You never know what you’ll might find on Facebook — like not one, but two wedding cakes in the shape of the Colonnade. Sarah Dozier of the Class of 2007 had posted pictures of the wedding of her classmates, Hartley Meric and Blair Crunk, which was held in New Orleans on April 4. Prominent in several of the pictures was a cake that is a dead ringer for the Colonnade. When Sarah was contacted to talk about the cake, she replied that she’d been to two weddings that feature Colonnade cakes. In addition to the Crunks’ ceremony, the Colonnade was also memorialized in cake at the wedding of Megan Hunt and Joel Carter, also both Class of 2007, which was held in Sea Island, Ga., on April 18. Sarah notes that both couples first met and started dating at W&L. There’s apparently a trend afoot when it comes to Colonnade cakes. Have a look:


Thinking Big

If you haven’t already stumbled upon the Web site that Sean McManus of the Class of 1999 runs as executive, you need to make a point of finding it. The site is called Big Think, and it bills itself as “a global forum connecting people and ideas.” Big Think encompasses a broad range of topics, and features postings by and video interviews with all kinds of experts, in categories ranging from science and technology to architecture and design. You can join Big Think and get in on the conversations. Look for some of Sean’s own posts on his ideas page, plus find his Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn addresses on this page. And once you’ve found Big Think and Sean, be sure to check out some of the Ricky Gervais videos. The British comedian is the most popular expert on the site at the moment, and his videos explore everything from religion to Twitter to bullfighting.


Timothy Lubin Receives Two National Fellowships

Timothy Lubin, associate professor of religion at Washington and Lee University, has received two national fellowships for work on his research project “Authority, Law and the Polity in India, 300-1700.”

He will spend 2009-2010 in India supported by a Fulbright-Hays Faculty Research Abroad Fellowship, from the U.S. Department of Education, which is aimed at strengthening area and foreign language expertise among U.S. educators.
While in India, Lubin will review documents and materials that reveal how law was practiced in India before the French and British colonized the country and changed the legal system to reflect the European model.

The following year, Lubin will continue his work back in Lexington, with the support of an American Philosophical Society Sabbatical Fellowship. During this period, he will visit archives in the U.S. and Europe, do the final analysis and begin writing on his findings.

While India has a rich tradition of scholastic texts in Sanskrit that explore the principles of justice, Lubin said it’s not always clear who followed those rules or even who was expected to follow them. “It’s always been difficult to find any evidence of how justice was actually practiced, and this has been a neglected area mainly because the documents are inaccessible and difficult to understand,” he said.

Lubin explained that for the earlier periods, available records of law in practice are restricted to surviving inscriptions on temple walls and on copper plates (often copies of palm-leaf documents). But from the later years, 1200 to 1700, a wider range of actual legal documents have been preserved.

“One goal of this project is to recover an area of India’s cultural history that has been a bit of a terra incognita for a long time because the materials are scattered, hard to use and hard to correlate with the Sanskrit scholastic tradition,” he said. “Part of my job is to try and bridge that gap. But then there’s the larger question of how to draw out the big picture from that and bring it into conversation with religion and law and comparative legal theory beyond India.”

Lubin said one of the most enjoyable aspects of his work is the opportunity to go out in the field. “With this research project, I can commit a sizeable amount of time to looking at evidence of what people have done in the past and the bearing that has on the present,” he said.

For the most part, Lubin’s research will be a solitary activity, but he will be working at the Department of Indology at the French Institute of Pondicherry and will have colleagues there and at the Pondicherry Center of the École française d’Extrême-Orient whom he can call upon. Lubin has been an affiliated researcher at the Institute since 2003. “I read Sanskrit and Classical Tamil, but I’m always improving my skills, and it’s good to have scholars here I can consult with,” he said.

Lubin also lectures in law and religion at W&L’s school of law.


Tracking the Auto Industry

If you want to stay abreast of the rapidly changing automobile industry, W&L economics professor Mike Smitka’s blog, Autos and Economics, is a good place to go. Smitka has been studying the auto industry for decades, and his posts fill in the blanks of daily news coverage about the problems the industry is facing. Earlier this week, before Chrysler announced its plans to close a quarter of its dealerships, Mike wrote at length about the relationship between manufacturers and dealers. He was also interviewed yesterday for a story on WDBJ in Roanoke about the closing of area dealerships. You can watch the story here.


W&L Magazine, Spring 2009: Vol. 84 | No. 2

In This Issue:

  • Retirement Plan
    By Wendy Lovell ’90
  • It’s All Greek to Samantha Copping ’11
    By Julie Cline
  • Public Safety Officer Prevents Tragedy During Pi Kappa Phi Fire
    By Jeff Hanna

Alumni President’s Journal

  • The Age of Wisdom

Letters

  • Thumbs Up
  • Thumbs Down
  • Walt Michaels ’51
  • Correction

The Colonnade

  • Family Adventures with W&L
  • It’s All Greek to Samantha Copping ’11
  • Public Safety Officer Prevents Tragedy During Pi Kappa Phi Fire
  • Creditworthy
  • Phi Beta Kappa Inducts New Members
  • Johnson Opportunity Grants
  • Faculty/Alumni Books and CDs
  • Shenandoah

W&L Law

  • Portrait of an Artist

Generals’ Report

  • Neil Cunningham: An Unwavering Passion

Alumni News

  • Let the Gates be Opened: Becoming a Buddhist Priest
  • Beau Knows
  • New Trustees

The Book(s) on Scouting

Earlier this week Alvin Townley’s second book on scouting and its impact was published, and it’s already got one pretty impressive review on Amazon. All-Pro quarterback Peyton Manning has called Spirit of Adventure “a compelling story about a new generation and America’s future.” In his first book, Legacy of Honor, Townley, a member of W&L’s Class of 1997 and an Eagle Scout, told the stories of Eagle Scouts he interviewed during a year-long tour of the country. The stories in that volume include some familiar names — New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, Defense Secretary Robert Gates, J.W. Marriott, Jr., Bill Gates, Sr., and Capt. Jim Lovell of Apollo 13. In his new volume, Alvin has traveled the world to gather stories about the lives being led by a rising generation of leaders who all shared in the scouting experience. You can watch a short YouTube presentation about the first book below:


W&L Alumnus Matthew Loar Wins CIC Fellowship

Matthew Loar, a 2007 graduate of Washington and Lee University, has been named the winner of an American Graduate Fellowship from the Council of Independent Colleges.

Loar will receive an award of $50,000 for a year of graduate study, renewable for a second year. He has accepted an offer to study classics at Stanford University.

The American Graduate Fellowships (AGF) program, now in its third year, is designed to promote and support advanced study in the humanities by talented graduates of small and mid-sized, private liberal arts colleges and universities. Two AGF Fellows were selected in a competition that included candidates from 31 colleges and universities.

Fellowships may be used to support doctoral study at any of 23 leading private research institutions in the U.S., Great Britain, and Ireland. The eligible fields of graduate study include history, philosophy, literature and languages, and fine arts. 
A summa cum laude graduate from W&L where he majored in classics, Loar has subsequently completed post-baccalaureate studies in Greek and Latin at the University of Pennsylvania in preparation for his pursuit of a PhD in classics. He is currently completing a master’s degree in women’s studies at the University of Oxford.

Loar is a member of Phi Beta Kappa and was awarded the Beinecke Fellowship for Graduate Studies in 2006. While in graduate school at Stanford, Loar plans to study gender and sexuality in ancient literature.

“Matthew was truly one of the most outstanding students I have encountered in my ten years of teaching.  He combines enthusiasm for his subject matter with meticulous preparation and real technical mastery of Greek and Latin,” said Kevin Crotty, professor of classics at W&L. “Matthew possesses ‘teacherly generosity’—that is, he delights not only in mastering a topic, but in sharing it with others. He will one day be an inspiring teacher, able not only to offer sound instruction in the Classics, but to move students to better, more dedicated lives.”

The American Graduate Fellowships support the graduate education of a few stellar graduates of small colleges and also advance two larger purposes: encouraging the best students at small and mid-sized independent colleges to apply for Ph.D. work in the humanities at top-tier private research institutions and raising awareness at leading graduate schools that small colleges are a rich source of future doctoral students. The Fellowships, funded by a generous grant from the Wichita Falls Area Community Foundation in Wichita Falls, Texas, draws attention to the best graduates of small liberal arts colleges who possess the education and ability to excel in the doctoral programs that train tomorrow’s leading scholars.


W&L Trustees Meet Challenge to Complete Hillel House Funding

Mark Eaker, a 1969 graduate of Washington and Lee University and a member of its Board of Trustees, has made a $235,000 challenge gift to the University’s Hillel House project that was matched by fellow trustees in a matter of hours, permitting the project to move forward with groundbreaking in September.

Hillel House is a $4 million project that will create a physical home for Jewish life on the W&L campus. Plans are to locate it on Washington Street, just east of the R.E. Lee Memorial Episcopal Church where the Howard House currently stands.

“I had been frustrated that we were close to finishing the funding for this project but had not been able to get it finished as quickly as I had hoped,” said Eaker.

At a reception prior to the Board’s dinner on May 8 in Lexington, Eaker told Dennis Cross, vice president for advancement, that he would provide half of the $470,000 that remained to be raised to complete the funding as a one-to-one challenge.

“I wanted this challenge to have a relatively short fuse and indicated to Dennis that I would like to have it met within two months,” said Eaker.

As it turned out, Eaker didn’t need to wait nearly that long.

Donald Childress, the rector of the W&L board who had committed $500,000 to the Hillel project in the fall, announced Eaker’s gift when the trustee dinner began. Before the apple dumplings were served for dessert, members of the board had committed the remaining $235,000 to complete the funding.

“It was truly remarkable,” Eaker said. “I had no idea that two of my fellow trustees were gathering the pledges as the dinner was going on.”

Indeed, Trustees Warren Stephens and Fred Cooper conferred and wound up getting pledges on the backs of trustees’ place cards.

“We are elated over the amazing generosity that Mark and his fellow trustees have displayed in order to help us get this very important project underway,” said W&L President Kenneth P. Ruscio.

The fundraising for the Hillel project has included gifts and commitments from 170 individuals and couples. Childress’s gift had been issued as a challenge to raise the final $1 million. That had resulted in $530,000 before Eaker’s gift and the trustees’ response completed the Childress Challenge.

According to Joan Robins, director of W&L’s Hillel, current plans for the house feature a library, a lounge and conference spaces appropriate for studying and socializing, a kosher café, a large multi-purpose room that is flexible enough to be used for worship services, lectures, films, concerts and other celebrations, and offices for the current and planned Hillel staff. The large multi-purpose room will include an ark with a Torah.

“My strongest feeling about having done this is that this is not just a part of Washington and Lee, but it’s a gift to the Jewish community in Lexington,” said Eaker. “When I was student at W&L, there were only two Jews in Lexington other than students. I understand there are close to 50 Jewish families now, many of them on the W&L faculty. Those families must go to Roanoke, Staunton or Charlottesville for many religious activities.

“With the Hillel House, we will have a facility in Lexington where the Jewish families will be able to have services. In talking with people in the community, that is something that is very important to me.”

Eaker added that the entire campus community will be served by the new facility, something that Robins has emphasized in envisioning programming for the new Hillel House.

“We hope that all students, faculty and staff will enjoy delicious, healthy food in the café,” said Robins. “We want the multipurpose room to be used by all student groups for meetings, performances and even classes.”

Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life is an international organization that fosters Jewish social and cultural life on college campuses.  W&L is among a group of seven national liberal arts colleges included in a pilot initiative being undertaken by Hillel to enhance the experience for Jewish students on smaller campuses.


A Social Media Headhunter

How can you use Facebook to hire? Is Twitter a sales tool? Can LinkedIn help your business grow? Those are just some of the questions that Jim Durbin of the Class of 1995 is answering through his firm, Durbin Media, which explores all the ways companies can deploy social media. And Jim deploys plenty of social media tools himself.  On Social Media Headhunter, for instance, he aims to match people who have become adept in the ways of social media with companies that want to use these tools.Then there is his brandstorming site, where Jim blogs about social media issues and has a series of DVDs that are designed to help companies understand, for instance, the differences between Facebook and MySpace or between MySpace and LinkedIn when it comes to making connections.And there’s yet another blog, stlrecruiting.com, which is specific to employment information specific to the St. Louis area.  To be a better idea just what a social media headhunter is or does, check out Jim’s LinkedIn site.


Hilary Craig ’09 Wins Sarah G. Ball Teaching Award

Hilary Craig ’09 of Georgetown, Ky., is this year’s Sarah G. Ball award recipient. She is a double major in journalism and mass communications and psychology at Washington and Lee University.

The Sarah G. Ball Teaching Award was established in 2003 by the Ball family to honor Sarah Ball ’01. It recognizes excellent preparation for teaching in elementary and secondary schools and a commitment to community service. The award is presented to a graduating senior who is committed to teach in a school, which serves a community of learners with diverse needs.

The recipient of the Sarah G. Ball award will receive recognition at Washington and Lee University’s graduation ceremony and a $4,000 salary supplement for their first year of teaching, which is renewable for the second year. The school/program where she will work will be determined this summer.

Craig has been accepted into the Teach for America program and has plans to teach in an early childhood education program in Washington, D.C., in the fall. “This award will make it possible for me to ensure that the students in my class have the appropriate resources needed to help them achieve,” said Craig.

“Many schools in low-income areas have fewer tools to aid students in their learning. It’s especially important in early childhood for students to have an engaging environment, and I hope to be able to use the award to create an classroom that will stimulate the students’ learning.”

As part of the TFA program Craig will be going through alternate certification and earning a master’s degree in education from George Mason University. She is a member of the Nabors Service League, a member of the residential life staff, a writer for the Ring-Tum Phi and a leader in the Generals’ Christian Fellowship. She was recently inducted into Phi Beta Kappa.


Fulbright Awards and French Government Teaching Award Announced

Four Washington and Lee University seniors have been awarded grants for postgraduate study under the Fulbright Programs while a fifth student has won a teaching assistantship through the French government through a Fulbright application.

They are:

• Katherine (Kassie) Bagley of Midlothian, Va., has been awarded the Fulbright Teaching Assistantship in Germany;

• Katherine Bastian of North Wales, Pa., has been awarded a distinguished Fulbright Research Fulbright in Germany;

• Paul Stack of Baltimore, Md., who has been awarded the Fulbright Teaching Assistantship and will be teaching English in the Lorraine region of France;

• Elizabeth Webb of Middleburg, Va., has been awarded a distinguished Fulbright Research Grant at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia.

In addition to those four Fulbright winners, Kelly Bundy of Moseley, Va., has been awarded a Teaching Assistantship in English through the French government.

“We are delighted with the results of the Fulbright applications this year,” said George Bent, head of the department of art and art history and W&L’s liaison to the Fulbright Programs. “These students will be excellent ambassadors for the University. They have all worked extremely hard on their applications and are deserving of these honors.”

Katherine (Kassie) Bagley is a German and politics double major. She will be an English teaching assistant in Hamburg, Germany, where she hopes to be involved in volleyball coaching at the school where she’s placed. Bagley chose as her research project Germany’s unique experience of reunifying as a country while politically and economically integrating within the European Union.

While at W&L, Bagley played varsity volleyball four years, was captain of the volleyball team and was the volleyball representative to the Student Athlete Advisory Council. She has a radio show on WLUR, has worked with the Peer Tutoring program and is a member of Kappa Alpha Theta. Bagley is unsure of post-Fulbright plans but is considering either law school or a graduate program for international affairs.

Katherine Bastian is a politics and German language double major. She will be studying and taking classes at the University of Bonn for 10 months and will explore how Germany’s energy policies affect its foreign policy choices. According to Bastian, “The subject dovetails nicely with the work I have done for my honors thesis on alternative energy development in Germany.”

Bastian is a member of Phi Beta Kappa, Pi Sigma Alpha politics honor society and the University Chorus. She is active in the German Club and was a recipient of the James Wood Prize in German. After the Fulbright in Germany is over, Bastian will attend law school at the University of Virginia where she hopes to study international or corporate law.

Paul Stack is an English and French double major. While teaching English in France, he will pursue a research project on the interplay between contemporary music and culture as it relates to France’s “banlieues” or suburbs. “I plan on focusing on immigrant communities’ appropriation of the French language through the medium of music,” Stack says, “and how different ethnic groups have effectively used music to give shape to their own ethnic consciousness while at the same time redefining French national identity in terms of multiculturalism.”

Stack is president of Students Against Rockbridge Area Hunger which raised roughly $7,000 for local food pantries this year, and is a member of Phi Beta Kappa and Sigma Chi fraternity. He is public relations chair for Traveller (W&L’s safe-ride home transportation system) and a Writing Center tutor and a Peer tutor.

Elizabeth Webb, a biochemistry major, will use her research grant to explore the connection between the KITLG gene and malignant melanoma at the University of Queensland. Webb is interested in this research because of a high incidence of melanomas in her family. Her mother’s case inspired her project. There is also a high incidence of melanomas in Australia and she will work at the Institute for Molecular Bioscience at the University of Queensland.

Webb has run varsity cross country and track for the past four years, serving as captain of the teams the past two years. She is also a member of Phi Beta Kappa, Phi Eta Sigma freshman honor society and Alpha Epsilon Delta premed honor society. She’s also a member of the student chapter of the American Chemical Society. Webb plans on attending medical school next fall after her Fulbright in Australia.

Kelly Bundy is a French and politics double major. Through the assistantship she will be teaching English and is awaiting her placement. “The Fulbright Program forwarded my application to the French Embassy,” said Bundy. “The Institute of International Education (IIE) gives only a few grants a year, including the Fulbrights, but the embassy gives more so I’m delighted to be able to have this opportunity.” Unlike the Fulbrights, this program does not request a research project but Bundy is hoping to volunteer with at risk youth and learn about, investigate and analyze the differences in penal systems.”

Bundy has been a member, officer and president of Chi Omega sorority, was a Bonner Leader Volunteer at Natural Bridge Juvenile Detention Center, volunteered at Hoofbeats Therapeutic Riding Center, has participated in two Mock Trials and had a Shepherd Poverty Alliance Internship in London, Ky. She also studied abroad in Paris at the Sorbonne. After teaching in France, Bundy plans to attend law school and is interested in studying international criminal law and human rights law.

The Fulbright Program, administered by the Institute of International Education (IIE), offers fellowships to U.S. students for study, research, and/or teaching assistantships abroad. Established in 1946, the Fulbright Program aims to increase mutual understanding between the peoples of the United States and other countries, through the exchange of persons, knowledge and skills. The Fulbright teaching assistantship program places students in host countries to teach English and complete a research project. The host country provides the student with international travel expenses, a living stipend and in some cases, tuition assistance.


Philadelphia Fetes Lenfests

On Wednesday night at The Philadelphia Museum of Art, Gerry and Marguerite Lenfest will receive the prestigious Philadelphia Award for their service to that city. Of course, folks at Washington and Lee are well aware of the Lenfests’ generosity. Among numerous acts of philanthrophy directed toward his alma mater, Gerry ’53, ’55L has established the Lenfest Challenge for Faculty Compensation. But to appreciate the scope of the Lenfests’ work, you need to read the feature story on them from Sunday’s Philadelphia Inquirer. One quote in the story sums it up. Rebecca W. Rimel, president of the Pew Charitable Trusts is quoted as calling the Lenfests “philanthropic rock stars.”


Two Alumni Sworn In to W&L’s Board of Trustees

Washington and Lee University swore in R. Allen Haight and Bennett L. Ross to the University’s Board of Trustees on May 8, at the board’s spring meeting in Lexington.

R. Allen Haight graduated from W&L in 1984, magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, with a B.S. in business administration and European history. He worked for KPMG in New York before attending the Darden School at the University of Virginia, receiving an M.B.A. in 1989. That year, Allen moved to London, England, and joined Permira, a European private-equity firm. He was a partner at the time of his 2008 retirement.

He is a former member of W&L’s Williams School Board of Advisors. Haight, of Old Greenwich, Conn., and his wife, Franziska, have three children, Madeleine, Richard and Charlotte.

Bennett L. Ross is a partner with the law firm of Wiley Rein L.L.P. in Washington, chairing the firm’s telephony practice. He graduated from W&L in 1983, magna cum laude, with a B.S. in commerce.  As a student, he served on the Student Recruiting Committee and as president of the Executive Committee, and belonged to Pi Kappa Phi fraternity.

After graduation, Ross worked as an admissions counselor at W&L, helping to select the last all-male and first coed classes. In 1988, he received a J.D. from Vanderbilt University, where he was elected to Order of the Coif and served as editor in chief of the Vanderbilt Law Review. He was a partner with the law firm of Bass Berry & Sims, in Nashville, Tenn., practicing general litigation. In 1995, Ross began a 12-year career with BellSouth Corp., including as general counsel of Georgia operations and general counsel of the D.C. office.

Ross has been a W&L class agent and served on the steering committee of the On the Shoulders of Giants capital campaign and on the steering committee for his 25th reunion.  He chairs the W&L Alumni Admissions Program Committee in D.C. and is vice chairman of the Founders Committee of the W&L Institute for Honor.  Ross, of Cabin John, Md., and his wife, Alyson, have two children, Jacob and Samuel.


School of Law Honors Graduates at 2009 Commencement Ceremony

Original story at:
http://law.wlu.edu/news/storydetail.asp?id=570.


Cy Twombly '53 Returns to Chicago

When The Art Institute of Chicago opens its new Modern Wing this week, the first show in the special exhibition space will feature the work of Cy Twombly ’53 in an exhibit titled “Cy Twombly: The Natural World, Selected Works 2000-2007.” Called “one of this generation’s greatest painters” by the museum’s director in an article in the Chicago Sun-Times, Twombly’s first solo exhibition in 1951 was in Chicago. In its story about the show, the Chicago Tribune calls it fitting that Twombly would open the Art Institute’s new gallery, writing that “No artist of his generation relied less on the publicity of Manhattan to make his high reputation.” The Web site of the Art Institute has a gallery with images of the work. You can also find many of Twombly’s images on his artist’s page at the Gagosian Gallery. The exhibit opens on Saturday, May 16, and continues through Sept. 13. The 81-year-old artist is expected to attend the opening.


W&L Receives $2.5 Million Endowment in Honor of Larry C. Peppers

Washington and Lee University has received a $2.5 million gift from E. Mac and Linda T. Crawford of Nashville, Tenn., to establish an endowment in honor of Larry C. Peppers, dean of the Williams School of Commerce, Economics and Politics.

The Crawford Family Deanship at W&L will support the dean and faculty in the Williams School by providing income for competitive salaries of its faculty.

In addition, the Crawford gift will be matched through the Lenfest Challenge, through which W&L benefactor and alumnus Gerry Lenfest (classes of 1953 and 1955 law) has committed $33 million to an endowment in support of undergraduate and law faculty compensation, and will match gifts designed for that purpose.

Mr. and Mrs. Crawford are the parents of 1996 W&L graduate Andrew (Drew) D. Crawford. They have designed their gift to recognize the extraordinary contributions that Peppers has made during the 23 years of his deanship at the Williams School. Mr. and Mrs. Crawford are 1971 graduates of Auburn University.

“This is a wonderful gift that appropriately pays tribute to Larry Peppers’ many accomplishments at the University and at the Williams School, in particular,” said W&L President Kenneth P. Ruscio. “In addition, that the gift comes from parents of one of our graduates is a significant vote of confidence in the work of our faculty and staff, whose focus is on personalized attention and one-on-one interactions with students.”

Mac and Drew Crawford are co-founders with Bill Spalding, a 1984 graduate of W&L’s School of Law, in the Nashville, Tenn., firm of CrawfordSpalding, which focuses on financial and crisis management, mergers, acquisitions and divestitures, operational effectiveness, strategic planning and business development.

Prior to establishing CrawfordSpalding, Mac Crawford served as chairman of CVSCaremark Inc., a Fortune 20 company formed by the 2007 merger of CVS and Caremark. Previously, Mr. Crawford was chairman, president and chief executive officer of Caremark Rx Inc.

Drew Crawford began his career with Arthur Andersen in Atlanta before joining Caremark in 1998. He left Caremark in 2000 to become the chief financial officer of Emageon, an information technology company. He rejoined Caremark in 2001 and held several executive positions there prior to its merger with CVS, and then served as SVP of underwriting and analytics for CVSCaremark Inc., a Fortune 20 company. He was responsible for all underwriting and the analytic and outcomes operations of the company’s pharmacy benefits management, specialty and disease management businesses. He also led development efforts to bring new products to the marketplace by combining the strengths of Caremark and CVS.

“We are very pleased to be able to make this gift in recognition of both Larry Peppers and Washington and Lee University,” said Mr. and Mrs. Crawford. “Washington and Lee has been a very special place to us, beginning with Drew’s first year, in 1992. Dean Peppers was an important part of enhancing Drew’s experience at W&L, and to be able to honor him for all of his accomplishments throughout his tenure is something that we embraced when we were presented the opportunity.”

Peppers joined the Washington and Lee faculty in 1986 as dean of the school of commerce and professor of economics. He had been chairman of the economics and finance department at Creighton University prior to coming to W&L.

A graduate of Grinnell College, Peppers received his Ph.D. in economics from Vanderbilt University. His areas of specialization include economic forecasting and macroeconomics. Peppers’ wife, Fran, has enriched the lives of countless generations of students by curating art exhibitions in Huntley and Holekamp Halls. Their son, Todd Peppers, a 1990 graduate of W&L, is professor of politics and law at Roanoke College, while their daughter, Susan Peppers-Bates, is associate professor of philosophy at Stetson University.

Under his leadership, the Williams School has added five endowed professorships, three term professorships and a number of new programs for students, including the Williams School spring term internship programs in Washington and New York, the Law and Commerce Leaders program, the Williams Investment Society and Washington and Lee Student Consulting. Peppers was instrumental in the successful fund-raising drive that resulted in the opening of Holekamp Hall in 2007.

In addition, Peppers developed the Executive-in-Residence program, which brings to campus outstanding executives from all sectors of society — business, government, nonprofit groups and the international community — to meet and work with students and faculty. In 2007, Mac and Drew Crawford served as Executives-in-Residence, sharing with students and faculty the details of the successful merger of Caremark and CVS, which they had led. Drew Crawford is on the Williams School Board of Advisors, another of the initiatives that Peppers established in the school.


Professor of Ethnobotany Robin Kimmerer to Give Public Reading at W&L

Robin Kimmerer, author and professor of ethnobotany at State University of New York-Environmental Sciences and Forestry in Syracuse, will be giving a public reading from her recent work at Washington and Lee University on Tuesday, May 12, at 7:30 p.m. in Northen Auditorium in Leyburn Library.

The title of Kimmerer’s presentation is “Mishkos Kenomagwen: The Teachings of Grass,” which is the working title of her new book. It is free and open to the public.

Kimmerer combines the professional knowledge of a trained botanist, the Native American perspective on land and environment that comprises an indigenous way of knowing our place in the world, and her own personal sense of place and perspective as a writer.

She is the author of a book of essays, “Gathering Moss,” published in 2003, which won the prestigious John Burroughs Medal for Natural History Writing in 2005.

She also authored or co-authored 10 articles including “Maintaining the Mosaic: The Role of Indigenous Burning in Land Management” in the Journal of Forestry; “Traditional Ecological Knowledge: a Resource for Cross-Cultural Education in Biology” in BioScience and “Intellectual Diversity – Bringing the Native Perspective Into Natural Resources Education” in Winds of Change.

Kimmerer will also lecture in the two courses Professors John Knox and Jim Warren co-teach, Field Biogeography and Species Conservation. The Web site about the courses is sciencelit.wlu.edu.

Kimmerer’s Web site is esf.edu/efb/faculty/kimmerer.htm.


Covering Dixie

A lynching in Coweta County, Ga., is the subject of a wonderful, if grisly,  piece titled “Leaving Atlanta” that Washington and Lee journalism professor Doug Cumming has contributed to a new Web site called “Like the Dew.” Cumming is an alumnus of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and former AJC writers have established “Like the Dew,” referring to the tag line that was once used to describe the Atlanta Journal, which boasted that it “covered Dixie like the dew.” Doug studies and writes about Southern journalism, and his piece on “Like the Dew” starts with an interview that Ralph McGill, former editor and publisher of the Atlanta Constitution, had with W.E.B. DuBois. Doug’s piece is fascinating and, if you’re interested in Southern culture, it’s a good way to start reading “Like the Dew.” Hopefully Doug will continue to contribute.


William H. Webster, Distinguished American Lawyer, Jurist and Public Servant, to Speak at W&L

Judge William H. Webster, chairman of the Homeland Security Advisory Council and the only American to serve as director of both the Central Intelligence Agency and Federal Bureau of Investigation, will speak at Washington and Lee University on Tuesday, May 12, at 7:30 p.m. in Lee Chapel.

Webster’s speech is sponsored by the Contact Committee, a student organization that brings prominent speakers to the campus each year. The talk is free and open to the public.

Webster began his career in public service when appointed a judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri. In 1973, he was elevated to the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit.

Webster was appointed director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation by President Jimmy Carter in 1978 and served until 1987 when President Ronald Reagan chose him to be director of Central Intelligence (CIA). He led the CIA until his retirement from public office in 1991.

Webster practiced law at the Washington office of Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy and retired in 2005 but remains active in the practice of law. Judge Webster was named in 2006 as the chair of the Homeland Security Advisory Council which provides advice and recommendations to the Secretary on matters related to homeland security.

In 1991, Webster was presented the Distinguished Intelligence Medal, the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the National Security Medal. He is the recipient of the 2001 Justice Award of the American Judicature Society and the 2002 ABA Medal, its highest honor. He is listed in The Best Lawyers in America and has also received NASA’s Distinguished Public Service Medal.

Webster earned bachelor’s degrees in history and political science, as well as an honorary Doctor of Laws degree, from Amherst College. He received his law degree from Washington University. He served as a lieutenant in the United States Navy in World War II and again in the Korean War.


New Last Lecture Series

Washington and Lee senior Eddie Rodriguez was so impressed with the famous last lecture presented two years ago by the late Randy Pausch, then a professor at Carnegie Mellon University, that he wanted W&L to have such a tradition. So he’s taken it upon himself to create a similar series here. Starting tonight, and each Thursday night for the next four, a different member of the W&L community will present what would be a hypothetical last lecture. Jim Warren of the English department will be the first lecturer. His presentation is at 7 p.m. in Huntley Hall 221. It’s free and open to the public.  As Eddie has explained, the only guideline given was to consider the lecture as his very last one. After Warren, the other lectures will be:

May 14 — Patrick Hinely, former professor of photography and university photographer.
May 21 — Dick Kuettner, professor of Romance Languages and director of the Tucker Multimedia Center
May 28 — James Casey, professor of economics


Law Student Wins Top Scholarship Award Honoring Virginia Civil Rights Champions

Original story at:
http://law.wlu.edu/news/storydetail.asp?id=568.


Law Professor Elected Vice-President of American Bankruptcy Institute

Original story at:
http://law.wlu.edu/news/storydetail.asp?id=565.


Law Professor Russell Miller Receives Fulbright Research Grant

Original story at:
http://law.wlu.edu/news/storydetail.asp?id=564.


Contact Gig for Sharpshooting Alum

Anyone in the Lexington area today (5/6) who is interested in either photography or the Appalachian Mountain ranges should consider stopping by the Outing Club Room in Elrod Commons at 7 p.m. to hear (and see) a special presentation by Harrison Shull, a member of Washington and Lee’s Class of 1993 who is currently a freelance photographer specializing in outdoor and adventure photography. Harrison’s presentation is sponsored by the Contact Speakers Committee, but will have a more casual atmosphere than many Contact events. Harrison is going to talk about his work. More than talk, though, he’s going to show his work, and you can get a preview of it by going to his Web site, Shullphoto and Appalachian Aerial Photography. Be sure to look at Harrison’s gallery of images under “Projects” to see a set of stunning aerials that he has taken in West Virginia to illustrate two mountaintop removal coal mines. His other aerials are every bit as remarkable. Harrison is also considered one of the top photographers of rock climbers and climbing and self-published a book. You can read an interview about his climbing photography on The Southeast Climbers Coalition Web site.


Head of British Supreme Court to Deliver Law Commencement Address

Original story at:
http://law.wlu.edu/news/storydetail.asp?id=559.


Washington and Lee Names Four Distinguished Alumni

Washington and Lee University bestowed its Distinguished Alumnus Award on three recipients: William A. Jenks, Lexington, Va., a retired W&L history professor; David H. Stovall Jr., Jacksonville, Fla., president and CEO of Stein Mart Inc.; and Russell W. Chambliss, Birmingham, Ala., president and CEO of Mason Corp.

The university also gave the Distinguished Young Alumnus Award to W. Ansel Sanders, Greenville, S.C., assistant principal of Greenville’s Mauldin Middle School. The award ceremony was part of the university’s reunion weekend.

William A. Jenks, a member of the class of 1939 who celebrated his 70th reunion, is the William R. Kenan Jr. Professor of History Emeritus at Washington and Lee, where he taught European history from 1946 to 1983. He earned his M.A. and Ph.D. from Columbia University.

Former students have endowed two awards and one scholarship at W&L in Jenks name. Last year, several alumni, including W&L President Kenneth P. Ruscio and broadcaster Roger Mudd, contributed to a Festschrift to the professor, Ending with a Flourish: A Celebration of Essays Celebrating William A. Jenks.

David H. Stovall Jr., a member of the class of 1969 who celebrated his 40th reunion, earned a B.S. from Washington and Lee and an M.B.A. from the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia.

Stovall began his retail career at age 14 at the Leggett department store in his hometown of Lynchburg, Va. He later worked as an executive for the department stores Woodward & Lothrop, Bloomingdale’s and Belk, from which he retired last December after 20 years, as chairman of the central division. A few days later, he joined Stein Mart as president and CEO.

For his community service to Charlotte, N.C., Stovall received the Schley Lyons Circle of Excellence Award from Leadership Charlotte. As an alumnus of W&L, Stovall has hosted many chapter events, served on campaign committees and sat on the Advisory Board of W&L’s Williams School of Commerce, Economics, and Politics. A member of the W&L Parents’ Council, he is the father of two alumni, Courtney Stovall and Nathan Stovall.

Russell W. Chambliss, a member of the class of 1974 who celebrated his 35th reunion, has a B.A. in economics from W&L. In 1977, after a stint in the Army, he joined his family’s business, Mason Corp., which manufactures aluminum building products. He became president and CEO in 1989.

Chambliss plays leadership roles in many community organizations, including the Birmingham Area Chamber of Commerce, Junior Achievement of Greater Birmingham and the Literacy Council in Birmingham. As an alumnus of W&L, he has led his local alumni chapter, a campaign committee, his 25th reunion committee and the Alumni Board of Directors, among other volunteer organizations.

W. Ansel Sanders is a member of the class of 2004 and celebrated his fifth reunion. As a student-athlete at W&L, he starred in lacrosse and won the Frank J. Gilliam Award for his contribution to student affairs.

After graduation, he joined Teach for America, a national organization that sends recent college graduates to teach for two years in public schools. During his stint, Sanders taught and coached at a Baltimore middle school and co-founded Baltimore’s Athletes and Authors Summer Academy.

He earned an M.A. in teaching from Johns Hopkins University and is enrolled in a teacher-education program at Furman University. The assistant principal of Mauldin Middle School in Greenville, S.C., Sanders also serves as head boys’ lacrosse coach at that city’s Eastside High School. He serves on W&L’s local alumni chapter and on the committee for his class reunion.

Washington and Lee has given the Distinguished Alumni Award since 1974 and added the Distinguished Young Alumni Award in 1994. The awards recognize contributions to W&L, community service and personal and professional achievement.


Battle of the Branches—Washington Term Symposium at D.C. Press Club

Washington and Lee University’s Second Annual Washington Term Symposium will be held Friday, May 15, from noon to 3 p.m. at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., where a panel of political scientists and political journalists will tackle the subject, “President vs. Congress: An Imbalance of Powers?”

The symposium will be held in the Holeman Lounge of the National Press Club. Lunch is included. The event is free and open to the public. Please RSVP by May 6 to John Muncie, Reynolds Program Coordinator with Washington and Lee’s Journalism Department, at munciej@wlu.edu or call 540-458-8240.

A congressional leader decries the president’s deficit-stretching budget, then opposes his deficit-cutting measures. Other members of Congress attack the president’s strategy for passing a greenhouse gas emissions bill and a health care reform measure.

In each case the contrary congressmen came from the president’s own party. It’s politics as usual on Capitol Hill and more proof that the United States Congress is the most independent and powerful legislative branch in the world.

However, conventional wisdom suggests that politics may be changing and that, in recent years, the executive has tipped the balance of power. Is this simply part of the two branches’ 200-year-old tug-of-war, or are we entering an age of the imperial presidency? And will Barack Obama accept or reject the precedent established by George W. Bush?

This struggle is the topic of the Washington Term Symposium which is made possible by a grant from the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation and features another distinguished line-up of political observers:

* Terry Eastland – Publisher of the opinion magazine The Weekly Standard; he is author of numerous books on politics and law, including “Energy in the Executive” and “Freedom of Expression in the Supreme Court.”

* Shailagh Murray – Currently congressional correspondent for The Washington Post; she has also covered the White House and Congress for The Wall Street Journal and written extensively about congressional and presidential elections.

*Chip Reid – Chief White House correspondent for CBS News; he has also covered Capitol Hill for both CBS and NBC and anchored political coverage for MSNBC. He was an embedded reporter in the first Iraq war and has filed stories on the war on terror worldwide.

* Don Wolfensberger — Director of the Congress Project at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington; he is a well-known Congress scholar, author of “Congress and the People,” and a former chief of staff of the House Rules Committee.

The symposium will be led by William F. Connelly Jr., professor of politics at W&L and Director of the University’s Washington Term Program, which for more than 20 years has introduced students to the workings of Washington politics. He’ll moderate as the panelists handicap the current contest of wills between the branches and how it fits into the historic debate over the separation of powers.

The symposium is being conducted with special funding from the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation, 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.

Seating is very limited — you must reserve a place to attend. The National Press Club is located at 529 14th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20045.


Science of Cooking Course Provides Useful Skills

Do egg whites really foam better in a copper bowl? Do powdered egg whites work as well as real egg whites?

If any of Washington and Lee University professor Marcia France’s students in her course “The Science of Cooking” ask her those questions, she won’t answer them.

Instead, she will send them to find out for themselves.

“This is one aspect of the course that I’m really excited about,” says France. “Students will think of their own food-related question, come up with a hypothesis, test it out in the kitchen and write up the results as part of their homework.”

But this isn’t a home economics course. France is a chemistry professor, and the course, designed for non-science majors, will examine the chemicals and scientific principles involved in food and cooking.

The course has attracted a wide range of students. “I want to learn chemistry in an applicable manner and this is the perfect class for me to do it,” says sophomore Maria Gabriela Albuja Bucheli, who rarely cooks. On the other hand, Caitlin Foster, a first year student, says she is interested in learning the science behind the cooking she does almost daily.

They are not alone in their interest in the course.

France originally designed it for just 20 students but has since expanded the enrollment to 26. “It’s definitely more students than I expected,” she says. “I think it has attracted some students who love cooking and think it will be fun.

“Cooking is something they will do for the rest of their lives. The better they understand the cooking process, the better cooks they will be. Making bread is a good example – it’s useful to understand what is happening chemically when you are kneading the dough and letting it rise.”

France adds that while students will need some chemistry background, she plans to limit the chemistry topics to what they need to know to understand cooking processes.

“First, I’m going to introduce the students to the most important molecules in food-water, carbohydrates (sugars), proteins, fats and oils-and how they interact with each other. Then we’ll study different foods such as meat, vegetables, fruits and eggs. What are the chemical changes that happen when you cook them? Why are vegetables crunchy? Why do they go through different color changes during cooking? The material will not just cover chemistry. The students will need to learn about cell structure in order to understand meat and vegetables. They will be exposed to some physics to understand heat transfer in the oven, on the stove, or in the microwave” she says.

Two field trips will add to the fun.

The first field trip will be to the Red Hen, a restaurant in Lexington, Va. The chef is keen on experimenting in molecular gastronomy, a trendy and relatively new direction in cooking. It involves bringing laboratory techniques and instruments into the kitchen, and using an understanding of chemistry to create new and unusual dishes.

“I won’t be discussing molecular gastronomy in my lectures, but I have prepared a handout and I think the students will enjoy seeing the chef demonstrate this new area of cooking,” says France.

The second will be to Lexington Valley Vineyards. “I chose that particular vineyard because the proprietor is a biochemist. He really understands the science behind the wine-making process,” says France.

Some students have opted not to take the Science of Cooking course this year, but to wait for the 2010 version. That’s only understandable since that version of the course will take place over four weeks in Sienna, Italy.

France says that although the lectures will remain similar, the 2010 course will be affiliated with a cooking school that will also give students 12 three-hour cooking lessons. “I arranged it through the Institute for the International Education of Students (IES), which helped me with the contacts. They also provide classrooms and living arrangements with kitchens so the students can practice cooking.”

Three daytrips are already planned-to a gelato maker, a cheese production facility and a winery, and to a pastry and cookie factory. She also plans to add a trip to see how pasta is made.

The Science of Cooking course has evolved from a small one-credit class aimed at science and chemistry majors into one that appeals to all students who want to improve their knowledge of what really happens in the kitchen.


Hall of Fame Speech

If you were among the fortunate alumni in Lee Chapel Saturday morning, then you already know that former Sen. John W. Warner of the Class of 1949 presented a once-in-a-lifetime moment when he responded to being presented The Washington Award. If you weren’t there, then you are in luck because Sen. Warner’s remarks are available both as a video on the University’s YouTube channel and as audio in the Seen and Heard section of the Web. His story of how his graduation from W&L won the last debate of his first political campaign is priceless.


Roddy Roediger ’69, Glynn Family Visiting Professor, to Give Public Lecture

Washington and Lee University’s psychology department will host Glynn Family Visiting Professor and psychology alumnus Dr. Henry L. ‘Roddy’ Roediger ’69 and his spouse, Dr. Kathleen McDermott, for part of the 2009 spring term. Roediger will give a public talk on Tuesday, May 5, at 5:30 p.m. in the Stackhouse Theater in the University Commons.

The title of Roediger’s talk is “The Power of Testing: Enhancing Retention via Repeated Retrieval.” It is open to the public.

Roediger and McDermott, who are both on the faculty at Washington University in St. Louis, are eminent researchers in the field of human memory. While in residence at W&L and in the psychology department, Roediger and McDermott will deliver several talks about their recent research, and Roediger will co-teach a special seminar on human memory with Visiting Assistant Professor Dr. Jay Frye.

Roediger, who published several papers while an undergraduate research assistant with retired Dr. Dave Elmes, professor of psychology, has been an influential and highly visible figure in the cognitive psychology of human memory. Roediger is perhaps best known for his work on the development of false memories, which are erroneous memories that people misperceive as being accurate.

“Dr. Roediger is one of the most important figures in memory research today,” said Dr. Frye. “The classic Roediger and McDermott experiments lead to a task that is now one of the most studied paradigms in false memory research, and our students have an amazing opportunity to study with one of the most cited names in memory literature. As a false memory researcher, teaching with him will be a once in a lifetime experience. No one who studies, or has any interest in, false memory would not be thrilled to work with or study under Dr. Roediger.”

McDermott, who is an associate professor in the departments of psychology and radiology at Washington University, explores human memory function using behavioral and brain imaging techniques. Roediger is the James S. McDonnell Distinguished University Professor of Psychology and Dean of Academic Planning in Arts and Sciences at Washington University.

The Glynn Family Visiting Professorship was established through the benefaction of John and Barbara Glynn. Their generosity has allowed undergraduate departments and programs to bring eminent figures to W&L for extended visits to benefit both students and faculty.


Scranton's Cartoonist

A few weeks ago the Scranton Times-Tribune posted a short item noting that the newspaper’s editorial cartoonist, John Cole, was going to be featured on a live TV show. The notice also included the fact that John had gotten his start in drawing cartoons during four years at Washington and Lee. A 1980 W&L graduate in journalism, John started out in Durham, N.C., at what was then The Morning Sun, where he moved up from a general news artist to the editorial cartoonist. He moved to Scranton in 2005 and does five to seven full-color cartoons each week, which is much, much easier said than done.  In 2004, he won first place in the John Fischetti Editorial Cartoon Competition at Columbia University. (His winning cartoon, “Strom Thurmond’s South,” is on the competition page.) Last fall one of John’s cartoons resulted in a protest outside the newspaper building. You can follow John’s work and comment on it at his ‘Toon Blog. Check it out, and you’ll find there’s lots more to Scranton than the Dunder-Mifflin Paper Company.


W&L Men’s Lacrosse Knocks Off Top-Ranked Roanoke, 15-14, in ODAC Championship Game

Original story at:
http://www.wlu.edu/x27943.xml.


W&L Presents Former Sen. John W. Warner with The Washington Award

Washington and Lee University today presented former Sen. John W. Warner, a 1949 graduate of the university, with its highest honor, the Washington Award. The presentation occurred during Washington and Lee’s reunion weekend and the annual meeting of its Alumni Association.

The Washington Award recognizes distinguished leadership and service to the nation and extraordinary acts of philanthropy in support of Washington and Lee and other institutions.

“The life that he has led exemplifies ideals that W&L has instilled in generations of students,” said Washington and Lee President Kenneth P. Ruscio, who gave Warner the award. “Honor and service, duty, civility and leadership.”

“This is a very deeply moving moment in my life,” said Warner, the second-longest-serving senator from Virginia in the 218-year history of the Senate. He especially noted the influence of W&L’s student-run honor system, saying, “That system has given me enormous strength throughout my public life.”

Warner, who was celebrating his 60th class reunion, told the appreciative audience that when he visits W&L, the first thing he does is walk along the historic Colonnade, just as did his father, a member of the class of 1903. “It re-instills in me the strength that he gave me,” he said, “and the strength that this university gave me.”

Warner began his public service during World War II, when he enlisted in the U.S. Navy at the age of 17. He served on active duty until the summer of 1946 and, following his honorable discharge as a petty officer third class, entered Washington and Lee on the GI Bill and received a B.S. in basic engineering.

After graduating from W&L, Warner entered law school at the University of Virginia but left to begin a second tour of active military duty, this time as an officer in the Marine Corps, when the Korean War broke out in 1950. He served for two years in Korea before returning to U.Va. to complete his law degree in 1953.

From 1953 to 1956, Warner served as law clerk for Chief Judge E. Barrett Prettyman of the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. He was appointed an assistant U.S. attorney in 1956, and served four years in the trial and appellate divisions before entering private practice in 1960.

In February 1969, Warner was appointed undersecretary of the Navy, and, three years later, he succeeded John H. Chafee as secretary of the Navy. He participated in the Law of the Sea talks and negotiated the Incidents at Sea Executive Agreement with the Soviet Union.

Warner was appointed by President Gerald Ford to coordinate the celebration of the bicentennial of the founding of the United States, directing the federal role at events in all 50 states and in 22 foreign countries.

Warner began his five terms in the U.S. Senate in 1978. He chaired the Armed Services Committee and served on the Intelligence Committee, Environment and Public Works and the Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs.

In August 2007, Warner announced his decision not to seek re-election to a sixth term.


W&L Endowed Professorships Announced

On July 1, four members of the Washington and Lee University faculty will step into endowed professorships. They are Theodore C. DeLaney Jr., associate professor of history; Marcia B. France, professor of chemistry; Dennis M. Garvis, associate professor of business administration; and Elizabeth G. Oliver, professor of accounting. These promotions reflect their outstanding contributions to their disciplines and the classroom.

A fifth faculty member, the late Joan O’Mara, associate professor of art history, was named the Elizabeth Lewis Otey Professor of East Asian Studies earlier this spring. O’Mara died on May 24.

Theodore C. DeLaney Jr. has been named the first Harry E. and Mary Jayne W. Redenbaugh Term Professor, which is funded by an endowment established in 2008 by Mary Jayne W. Redenbaugh. The Redenbaugh professorship is for a three-year fixed term, and, like other term professorships, honors a long-standing member of the University faculty, typically at the associate professor rank, who is held in the highest regard as a teacher.

DeLaney has been a member of the W&L faculty since 1995. He received his B.A. from Washington and Lee University and his Ph.D. from The College of William and Mary. The head of the history department since 2007, DeLaney co-founded the African-American Studies Program at W&L in 2004. He served as its first director.

DeLaney began his research on the school desegregation of four counties in western Virginia in 2004, the 50th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education. The project is titled “Telling Our Stories: An Oral History of Desegregation in Western Virginia.” He plans on publishing a monograph based on this information.

He is also the author of articles, book chapters and book reviews, including “Surviving Defeat: The Trials of Mrs. Ex-President Tyler” in Virginia’s Civil War; “John Chavis” in American National Biography; and a review of A Class of their Own: Black Teachers in the Segregated South, by Adam Fairclough, in the Virginia Magazine of History and Biography.

Marcia B. France has been named to the first John T. Herwick M.D. Professorship in Chemistry, which was funded by an endowment established in 2009 through the estate of Mr. John T. and Mary Herwick.

As an organic chemist, her research focuses on the development of transition metal complexes of chiral Schiff base ligands as catalysts for the asymmetric cyclopropanation of olefins by diazo compounds. At W&L, she has supervised 41 Robert E. Lee Research students. She developed and taught a new course this spring, the chemistry of cooking.

France has co-authored more than 15 articles for journals, including the Journal of Organic Chemistry, Tetrahedron, Organometallics and the Journal of Chemical Education. France also holds several patents.

France also developed the W&L-St. Andrews Educational Partnership Program for Students in the Sciences and Preparing for the Health Professions, which provides a study-abroad opportunity in Scotland for pre-medical students, as well as chemistry and biology majors.

France has been a member of the W&L faculty since 1994. She received her B.S. in chemistry from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, her M.S. in chemistry from Yale University and her Ph.D. in chemistry from the California Institute of Technology.

Dennis M. Garvis has been named the first Ehrick Kilner Haight Sr. Term Professor. The professorship was funded by a gift to the Lenfest Challenge from Richard Allen Haight ’84 to honor his father.

Garvis has been a member of W&L’s faculty since 1998 and is head of the business administration department. He earned his B.B.A. from the University of Iowa College of Business, his J.D. from the University of Iowa College of Law, and his Ph.D. from Georgia State University.

He is the author of more than 10 publications, including “Characteristics of Entrepreneurial Collaborations: The Effects of Innovativeness and Risk” in Management Research and “Internal and External Influences on New Product Development Partnerships” in Proceedings of the American Society of Business and Behavioral Sciences.

Garvis also authored book chapters and paper presentations and has been on the review staff of the Journal of Legal Studies in Business.

He started the Corporate Governance Project, which collects and disseminates governance data for small to medium-size, publicly held firms. In addition to corporate governance, his past research interests include entrepreneurial collaboration and business bankruptcy.

Elizabeth G. Oliver has been named to the Lewis Whitaker Adams Professorship in Commerce, which was funded by a gift from Lizinka M. and F. Fox Benton Jr., W&L class of 1960, to honor the memory of Lewis Adams, former dean of W&L’s School of Commerce, Economics, and Politics. She will succeed Philip Cline, who held the Lewis Adams Professorship before retiring at the end of June.

Oliver joined W&L’s faculty in 1991. She received her A.B. from Mary Baldwin College; her M.A. in English from the University of Kansas; her M.S. in accounting from the University of Virginia; and her Ph.D. from Texas A&M University.

Oliver has served as associate dean of the Williams School from 1998-2003 and as head of the accounting department since 2003.

She is co-author of Financial Accounting, an introductory textbook, and more than 10 papers and research projects. She served as an ad hoc reviewer for Issues in Accounting Education and currently is ad hoc reviewer for the Journal of the Academy of Business Education.

For the American Accounting Association, Oliver currently serves on the finance committee and education committee. She also is a member of the Technical Working Group: Fraud and Forensic Accounting.


More than 10 Cases of H1N1 Influenza Confirmed at W&L

As of Sunday, May 10, the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) had confirmed 11 cases of the H1N1 influenza, or swine flu, among patients at Washington and Lee University. The first cases were announced on May 1.

All of the confirmed cases were mild illnesses, and the individuals were recovering quickly after being treated appropriately by the Student Health Center at W&L.

Student Health has seen individuals presenting flu-like symptoms in higher numbers than is usually the case at this time of year, But Dr. Jane Horton, director of the Student Health Center, has said that the cases are similar to a busy seasonal flu season.

Once the Centers for Disease Control began to change its guidance on the flu, including its recommendation that K-12 schools that had closed reopen, the University altered its approach to the cases accordingly and stopped testing for the virus except in the case of high risk patients.

Beginning even before the first case was seen at Student Health, the University has been communicating with members of the W&L community about taking appropriate measures to stay health and avoid spreading the virus.

A special Web site has been established to provide updates: http://go.wlu.edu/health


Richard Bresnahan to Present Lecture on Ceramics

Ceramicist Richard Bresnahan will give a public lecture on Wed., May 13, at 5 p.m. in Wilson Hall, Room 2018, on the campus of Washington and Lee University. Bresnahan’s work is on display in the art department display cases on the third floor of Wilson Hall through May 29.

The lecture, which is sponsored by the East Asian Studies Program and the William Hollis Visiting Artist Program, is free and open to the public.

Bresnahan, an internationally renowned potter and environmentalist, is the director of the Pottery Program at Saint John’s University in Collegeville, Minn. He will be visiting in conjunction with the exhibit of his ceramic tea ceremony utensils.

After graduating from college in the mid-1970s, Bresnahan studied in Japan with the Nakazato family who has been creating pottery for 13 generations.

Since 1979, Bresnahan has been an artist-in-residence at St. John’s University where he manages the largest wood fired ceramics kiln in North America using local materials and natural resources. Bresnahan’s commitment to sustainability informs his work in Japanese influenced ceramics. In 1988, Bresnahan was the subject of a PBS documentary entitled Clay, Wood, Fire, Spirit: The Art of Richard Bresnahan.

For more information, please call 540-458-8860.


Olivia Burr ’12 Selected as Kemper Scholar

Olivia B. Burr ’12 has been selected from a group of finalists for the Class of 2012 of the prestigious Kemper Scholars Program. She joins current W&L students, Rebecca Taylor (’09), Cale Grove (’10), Eric Hamscher (’11) and Chengpeng Mou (’11) as Kemper Scholars.

Each year, the James S. Kemper Foundation selects one first-year student from each of its participating schools to serve as Kemper Scholars. Washington and Lee University is one of only 15 schools invited to participate in the program. The scholarship-mentorship program has been sponsored by the James S. Kemper Foundation of Chicago, Ill., since 1948.

At W&L, Burr holds a Johnson Scholarship providing her with full tuition and room and board. From Chevy Chase, Md., Burr is also a member of FYOC (First Year Orientation Committee), and both member and officer of Alpha Delta Pi sorority. Burr is a member of Students for Life and was on the entertainment committee for Fancy Dress 2009.

“I am excited about every single aspect of the Kemper Scholar Program,” Burr said. “As a habitual goal-setter, I like the way that the Kemper Program is designed to hold scholars accountable to their highest aspirations. Entrepreneurship is my ultimate goal, so the practical business experience that the Kemper Scholarship offers through two summers of internship is essential for the chance to explore different industries and to learn from professionals before I even graduate from college.

“The Williams School seeks to provide interested students the opportunity for an in-depth exploration of business, economics, and politics within the context of a top-notch liberal arts education,” said Professor Rob Straughan, associate dean of the Williams School and the W&L coordinator of the Kemper Scholar program.

“We share the view of the James S. Kemper Foundation that a liberal arts education provides the ideal foundation on which to build an understanding of the role of not-for-profit and for-profit leadership and management. Olivia Burr is certainly a worthy recipient and will carry on that tradition,” said Straughan.

Kemper Scholars receive financial aid during their sophomore through senior years and participate in an annual fall conference in Chicago. They are also employed as a not-for-profit intern in Chicago following their sophomore year, and a for-profit internship in a mutually agreed upon location following the junior year.


Spring/Summer 2009 Issue of Shenandoah Released

The Spring/Summer 2009 issue of Shenandoah: The Washington and Lee University Review (Vol. 59 No.1) is now available.

Included in its contents is work by Lee Smith, Stephen Dunn and Arthur Sze, as well as an excerpt from The Widow’s Season by W&L English professor Laura Brodie and an interview with Domnica Radulescu, professor of Romance Languages, about her novel Train to Trieste.

Also included is an essay about losing a farm, a story shaped by the war in Iraq and poems about Dickinson, Poe and an old horse, “the fireflies revolving about him/ the universe’s center still unspooling.”

Cover art is by author, songwriter and musician Billy Edd Wheeler.

Single copies of Shenandoah 59/1 are available at the Washington and Lee University Store, Books & Co. at 29 W. Nelson St., The Bookery at 107 W. Nelson St. and the Shenandoah office in Mattingly House, 2 Lee Ave.

Subscription information and submission guidelines are available on-line at shenandoah.wlu.edu.


Shannon-Clark Lecture Presents A Reading by Physician and Poet Dr. Rafael Campo

The 27th Shannon-Clark Lecture in English presents A Reading by Dr. Rafael Campo, director of medical humanities at Harvard University, on Thursday, May 7, at 8 p.m. in Stackhouse Theater in Elrod Commons. A reception will follow the talk in the Living Room of Elrod Commons.

The reading is free and open to the public.

Dr. Campo, who teaches and practices general internal medicine at Harvard Medical School and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, is the author of six books and collections, including The Other Man Was Me, which won the 1993 National Poetry Series Award; The Poetry of Healing: A Doctor’s Education in Empathy, Identity and Desire, a collection of essays available in paperback under the title The Desire to Heal; and his latest book of poems, The Enemy.

Campo’s poetry and prose have appeared in major anthologies and in periodicals including the Kenyon Review, the Los Angeles Times, the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), the New Republic and the Washington Post Book World.

His work has been featured on the National Endowment for the Arts Web site and the National Public Radio, and he is the recipient of the Annual Achievement Award from the National Hispanic Academy of Arts and Sciences. Campo also lectures widely and has served as a visiting writer at various universities and colleges including Hollins University in Roanoke, Va.

The Shannon-Clark Lectures in English, established by a gift from a Washington and Lee alumnus who wishes to remain anonymous, honor the memories of Edgar Finley Shannon, chairman of Washington and Lee’s Department of English from 1914 until his death in 1938, and Harriet Mabel Fishburn Clark, a grandmother of the donor and a woman vitally interested in liberal education.


Atlanta's Arch and W&L

Careful readers of Wednesday’s New York Times, especially those from the late 1970s, will likely have recognized a familiar figure standing in front of the Millennium Arch in downtown Atlanta.  The Times’ story, “An Elaborate Arch, an Opaque Significance,” is the latest story about the work of Rodney Mims Cook Jr., W&L Class of 1978. The 82-foot-high stucco and limestone version of the Arc de Triomphe in Paris opened last July 4 and is in the middle of a shopping, business and residential community near downtown. The story in the Times quotes Rodney as saying that “no one has built anything like this since the Jefferson Memorial.” Before the arch was finished, Forbes magazine christened it “Arc of Dixie” in the article’s headline. So next time you’re in Atlanta, be sure to check it out.