Feature Stories Campus Events

Kevin Spirtas Presents One-Man Show at W&L

Kevin Spirtas brings his acclaimed one-man show to Washington and Lee University on Saturday, Feb. 6, at 8 p.m. in the Keller Theater.

Hailed as “Broadway’s most exciting new leading man” by the St. Louis Post Dispatch, and an “electrifying talent
and entertainment” by Las Vegas Magazine, Spirtas is probably more familiar to audiences from his role as Dr Craig Wesley in the soap opera “Days of Our Lives.” His more recent Broadway performances include “A Chorus Line,” “Hairspray,” and the “Boy from Oz.”

In “Night and Days, An Evening with Kevin Spirtas,” he returns to the stage in a musical evening of song and dance that celebrates his journey from Broadway to Hollywood, weaving together familiar material that showcases his vocal and acting talents.

Spirtas’ visit is supported in part by the Cynthia D. Klinedinst Endowment.

Tickets are available online at lenfest.wlu.edu or call the Lenfest box office at (540) 458-800.


Omicron Delta Kappa Relocating to Its Birthplace of Lexington

Omicron Delta Kappa, the national leadership honor society that was founded at Washington and Lee University in 1914, will be returning to its birthplace later this year when the national headquarters is relocated to Lexington, Va.

ODK plans to move into the historic Lexington train station on Nelson Street this summer once the organization’s purchase of the building from W&L is completed.

“We are excited at the prospect of moving the ODK national headquarters to Lexington,” said Thomas G. Goodale, the organization’s executive director. “This move permits us to return to the place where ODK was founded just as we are beginning to plan for the 100th anniversary of our founding in 2014.”

The relocation will also represent the first time in its history that ODK has had a headquarters facility of its own. Most recently it had operated out of facilities on campuses at the University of Kentucky and currently Transylvania University, both in Lexington, Ky.

“The decision by ODK to return to its roots here at Washington and Lee is wonderful news,” said W&L President Kenneth P. Ruscio. “We look forward to welcoming the national headquarters to Lexington and to continuing our historic relationship with the society.”

Membership in ODK is regarded as one of the highest honors that a college student can receive. The society has chapters, known as circles, on more than 320 college campuses around the country. Membership is awarded to undergraduate junior and senior students; to graduate students; to faculty, staff, and administration; alumni; and to persons qualifying for membership “honoris causa.” Students who are elected, or tapped, for membership must rank in the upper 35 percent in scholarship in their respective institutions and must show leadership in at least one of five phases of campus life: scholarship; athletics; campus or community service, social and religious activities and campus government; journalism, speech, and the mass media; and, creative and performing arts.

ODK alumni range from Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning to secretary of state Hillary Clinton to singer/songwriter Sheryl Crow. Washington and Lee alumni who are members of ODK include former national broadcaster Roger Mudd, the late Supreme Court Justice Lewis F. Powell Jr., and former New York Stock Exchange president William R. Johnston.

The Lexington train station was purchased by W&L in 1971 and has most recently been used to house the Facilities Management offices. Facilities management will move its offices to the old Rockbridge County courthouse.


New York Times Business Writer to Address Economy in W&L Talk

New York Times senior business correspondent Micheline Maynard will present a talk entitled “What Will We Look Like When The Recession Is Over?” at Washington and Lee University at 4:30 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 8, Room 327 of Huntley Hall.

The presentation, sponsored by the department of journalism and mass communications at W&L, is free and open to the public. Maynard will sign copies of her latest book, The Selling of the American Economy: How Foreign Companies are Remaking the American Dream, after the talk.

Maynard joined the staff of Times in 2004 as a reporter for the paper’s Business Day section. She was named Detroit bureau chief in 2005 and began covering national news and the auto industry. Three years later, she became a senior business correspondent for the Times, specializing in aviation and the airline industry.

In the meantime, she has also chronicled her adventures as a hybrid-electric car owner in “The Prius Diary,” part of a Times environmental business blog called “Green, Inc.” She also contributes regularly to the Times’ Culture and Dining sections.

Maynard began her career as a legislative correspondent for United Press International in Lansing, Mich., and served as an intern in the White House Press Office. She has also been a staff writer or bureau chief at a number of news organizations, including USA TODAY, Newsday, U.S. News & World Report, and the Reuters News Service.

In 1999-2000, she was a Knight-Wallace Fellow at the University of Michigan and holds a visiting lecturer position at the university, where she has taught at the School of Business Administration and the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy. Her extensive experience covering Michigan’s auto industry led to her 2003 book, The End of Detroit: How the Big Three Lost Their Grip on the American Car Market.

Maynard is a regular guest on NPR’s “All Things Considered” and “PBS Newshour.” She’s also available on both Twitter and Facebook.


W&L Tax Clinic Receives IRS Grant for Third Straight Year

Original story at:
http://law.wlu.edu/news/storydetail.asp?id=726.


Law Students Log Hundreds of Service Hours during Fall Semester

Original story at:
http://law.wlu.edu/news/storydetail.asp?id=724.


Super Bowl Stock Market Predictor Still a Winner, According to W&L Professor

Even before the New Orleans Saints and Indianapolis Colts step on the field for Super Bowl XLIV, one result has already been determined–stocks will be up for 2010. Or so says the Super Bowl Stock Market Predictor.

Washington and Lee University finance professor George Kester has authored a new study that determines that, over the course of the event’s 43-year history, the Super Bowl winner has correctly predicted whether the market will go up or down 77 percent of the time.

Beyond the up or down prediction, Kester, the Martel Professor of Finance in Washington and Lee’s Williams School of Commerce, Economics, and Politics, found using the Super Bowl model would have resulted in an impressive return on investment.

Kester will publish his results in the Spring 2010 issue of the “Journal of Investing,” and his work has already been reported in the Wall Street Journal and on “CNNMoney.”

Here’s what the Super Bowl Predictor maintains: If the team that wins the Super Bowl has its roots in the original National Football League, the market will increase. If the winning team was originally from the old American Football League, the market will decline.

“My very tongue-in-cheek explanation for this phenomenon is based on the first time that a team from the old AFL won, which was Super Bowl III in 1969, when the upstart New York Jets and quarterback ‘Broadway’ Joe Namath stunned the heavily favored Baltimore Colts,” Kester said. “Investors thought the Jets’ upset victory meant there must be something amiss in America and it was time to sell, and that’s been built into the American psyche ever since.”

Of course, that probably is as good an explanation as any for the phenomenon that began to be tracked in the mid-1980s and led two researchers to do a rigorous academic examination that was published in the prestigious “Journal of Finance” in 1990.

The researchers, Thomas M. Krueger and William F. Kennedy, found that the Super Bowl Predictor had been correct 91 percent of the time for the 22-year period of 1967 through 1988.

“For some time I had been interested in repeating and updating this study,” said Kester. “In addition to determining whether the predictor was correct in determining up or down markets, I was also curious whether the model could predict especially strong bull markets and especially bad bear markets and outperform a buy-and-hold strategy.”

Kester constructed a back-test with a beginning portfolio of $1,000 that he invested in S&P 500 stocks or Treasury bills, depending upon which team won the Super Bowl.

“Interestingly, over the entire history of the Super Bowl, my wealth would have been more than twice as great had I used this strategy rather than a passive buy-and-hold strategy with the S&P 500,” he said. “I took brokerage costs into account whenever I sold T-bills and invested in stocks and vice versa, and I also included dividends on the S&P stocks. The dollar values of the portfolios at the end of 2008 would have been $43,000 for a buy-and-hold strategy and $105,000 for the Super Bowl market-timing strategy.”

Along the way, Kester tried one other wrinkle. After the AFL and NFL merged in 1970, professional teams have played in two divisions of the NFL–the American Football Conference and the National Football Conference. So he ran a second test to see if using the teams’ current conference affiliation would have the same effect. It doesn’t. Overall prediction accuracy with the conference approach was about 58 percent as opposed to 77 percent accuracy using the old AFL and NFL affiliations.

“Of course, you have to do a research project like this with a sense of humor and realize that this is spurious correlation,” said Kester. “It would be difficult for me to recommend to any investors that they base their strategy on a football game. On the other hand, in hindsight, the superior investment performance of the Super Bowl market-timing strategy speaks for itself.”

Kester did not say whether he had called his broker when the New York Jets lost in this year’s conference championships. That Jets’ loss meant that the final two contestants in the Super Bowl, New Orleans and Indianapolis, are both rooted in the old NFL. So no matter who prevails on Super Sunday, investors may be the big winners.


Lacrosse Magazine on the Keiglers

A feature story in Lacrosse Magazine tells the story of Washington and Lee’s Keigler connection — father Tom ’77 is a National Lacrosse Hall of Famer; son Will ’10 enters his senior season tied for 16th on the all-time scoring list at W&L. See the story here. W&L lacrosse fans of all generations will enjoy reading about the father and son. As the story notes, former Washington and Lee lacrosse coach Jack Emmer called Tom “the best defenseman in the college game . . . one in a million” when he entered his senior season. Interestingly, son Will said that, growing up, he never really knew how good his father had been, telling Lacrosse Magazine: “He never would say that he was an All-American and played on a World Team. It was something I hadn’t seen before and it was pretty amazing.” Will, first-team All-ODAC and honorable mention All-America on the field, was also named to the CoSIDA/ESPN The Magazine College Division Academic All-District III At-Large squad. Will and the Generals open their lacrosse season on the road at Birmingham-Southern on Feb. 23.


Habitat Helping Haiti

Washington and Lee students continue to work on Haitian earthquake relief on several different fronts. W&L’s Habitat for Humanity chapter has received $2076.90 to donate for disaster relief in Haiti from the student Executive Committee. The EC allocated these funds based on both the historic success of W&L’s Habitat for Humanity andits innovative plans for the future. This donation will be combined with a $4,000 donation from the Rockbridge County Habitat for Humanity and will be earmarked specifically to help finance transitional shelters for the hundreds of thousands who have become homeless. Transitional shelters cost around $2500 and serve as both a temporary housing solution and a foundation on which inhabitants can build a permanent residence. W&L’s Habitat chapter, incidentally, recently won a matching grant from State Farm Insurance. Meanwhile, Change for Haiti has set up a raffle and has developed plans for a benefit concert. You can follow Change for Haiti on its Facebook page here. Dining Services has its special lunch tomorrow, Jan. 29, in the Marketplace. Dining Services will donate $3 for each lunch served to the American Red Cross for Haiti relief.


W&L’s Ellen Mayock Receives SCHEV Outstanding Faculty Award

Ellen C. Mayock, professor of Spanish at Washington and Lee University, has received a 2010 Outstanding Faculty Award from the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV). As Virginia’s highest honor for faculty at its public and private colleges and universities, the award recognizes superior accomplishments in teaching, research and public service.

“Professor Mayock is an accomplished scholar and a terrific teacher,” said W&L Provost June Aprille. “And her positive influence on students extends far beyond the classroom, as she organizes opportunities for them to use their language skills in service and outreach programs. The SCHEV awards provide wonderful recognition for outstanding educators in the Commonwealth. I am delighted that W&L is represented among the 2010 awardees.”

Mayock, who joined the W&L faculty in 1997, teaches Spanish language, literature, culture, translation and cinema. A member of the Romance Languages Department, she also is a core faculty member of two interdisciplinary programs, Women’s and Gender Studies and Latin American and Caribbean Studies, and teaches classes in those areas as well.

The professor holds a B.A. in Spanish and French from the University of Virginia; an M.A. in Spanish from Middlebury College; and a Ph.D. in Hispanic literature from the University of Texas. She also did graduate work at Temple University in Paris, France.

Mayock is the author of The “Strange Girl” in Twentieth-Century Spanish Novels Written by Women (University Press of the South, 2004) and the co-editor (with Domnica Radulescu, professor of French at W&L) of Ruptured Selves, Resisting Bodies: Feminist Activism in the Academy (forthcoming with McFarland).

Mayock has written many articles and book reviews for such publications as Letras Femeninas, Excavatio, Anales de la Literatura Española Contemporánea and Letras Peninsulares. She also has contributed chapters to books including Women in the Spanish Novel Today, Anuario 2006 de Estudios Celianos-La Obra del Literato y sus Alrededores: Estudios Críticos en Torno a Camilo José Cela and Latin American Writers: An Encyclopedia.

Mayock also has co-authored a Spanish textbook supplement and translated a play, and she has given numerous presentations at conferences in the U.S. and in Spain, Mexico, France and other countries. Among her many professional involvements, she serves on the board of directors of the Asociación Hispánica de Humanidades and directed its Fifth International Conference in Seville, Spain.

At W&L, she serves as a faculty adviser to English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL), a student organization that provides translation services and language classes for residents of Rockbridge County. One of ESOL’s signature activities is a service trip to the Dominican Republic, where W&L students work with local elementary school students and with young baseball players for the San Diego Padres.

From 2004 to 2006, Mayock served as associate dean of the College at W&L. During that time, she oversaw a year-long program, Celebrating Women at Washington and Lee, commemorating the 20th anniversary of coeducation at the University. She currently serves as a faculty representative from the College to W&L’s Board of Trustees and chairs the University Athletics Committee. In that capacity, she is the institution’s Faculty Athletics Representative for the ODAC and the NCAA.

She has received several grants for her scholarship, for instructional technology and for ESOL. In 2006, she won W&L’s Anece F. McCloud Excellence in Diversity Award, which goes to a member of the campus community who demonstrates commitment to promoting the awareness, acceptance and appreciation of diversity at the University.

Before coming to W&L, Mayock taught Spanish and French at the Germantown Academy, Fort Washington, Pa.; English at the Carmen Pérez private institute, Madrid, Spain; and Spanish at the University of Texas, Pennsylvania State University (Delaware County) and Saint Joseph’s University (Philadelphia).

Mayock will receive her award at a ceremony and luncheon on Feb. 18, at the Jefferson Hotel in Richmond. She and the other recipients will also receive an honorary introduction on the floor of the General Assembly.

SCHEV is Virginia’s coordinating body for higher education. Established in 1956, it promotes higher education in the Commonwealth by making public policy recommendations to the governor and the General Assembly and by administering educational programs. For more information, see http://www.schev.edu/.


General Knowledge 101: The Answer

And the answer is?

1895

The Calyx was first published in the same year that Virginia Tech’s yearbook, The Bugle, began. Both came after Harvard University’s was first published in 1889. But the oldest college yearbook is Yale University’s Banner, founded in 1841.

THE QUESTION

Earlier this week officials of Corks and Curls, the yearbook at the University of Virginia, announced that it was ceasing publication, a casualty of the digital times. The Calyx continues. Corks and Curls first published in 1888. So here is the first in an occasional series of trivia tests.

HERE’S HOW PEOPLE FARED.


From Tweeting to Wii, Technology Meets Dance in W&L Concert

Washington and Lee University’s upcoming dance concert will test the use of Twitter as a benefit to the audience and will demonstrate the use of a Nintendo Wii as a way to translate movement to sound.

“Technology is a significant element in this recital,” said Jenefer Davies, assistant professor of dance and theater at W&L. “We are using Twitter as a research project, while the use of the Wii is a collaboration with an Austin, Texas, composer who has used this technology with other dance companies.”

The concert is scheduled for Jan. 28 and Jan. 29 at 7:30 p.m. and Jan. 30 at 3 p.m. Performances are in Keller Theatre, and tickets may be purchased in advance on-line at lenfest.wlu.edu or through the Lenfest box office by calling (540) 458-8000.

According to Davies, Twitter, the microblogging service that enables its users to send and read 140-character messages known as tweets, will be employed as way to provide audience members with context that they might not otherwise have for the dances while they are in progress.

“We have established a Twitter feed, and David Doobin, a student, has done extensive background research on the dances that will be performed. He has interviewed the choreographers and has information regarding the inspiration behind the works,” said Davies. “Throughout the concert, he will be sending live tweets that provide insights into what is happening on the stage. Any member of the audience can subscribe to the Twitter feed and receive the information in real time during the concert.”

Davies said that dance lends itself to such an experiment because dance can be difficult for many people to understand. She added that one of her goals is to understand whether the use of this technology helps or hurts a viewer’s experience and how different audience members might respond.

“My hope is that is will create a more inclusive environment and make people feel that they are part of this experience,” she said.

The Twitter feed can be received by logging into Twitter and following wludanceconcert. (http://www.twitter.com/wludanceconcert).

Meanwhile, one of the pieces that the Twitter feeds will illuminate uses the Nintendo Wii in a novel way to transform the dancers’ movements and gestures into sound. Davies will be collaborating with William H. Meadows, a composer from Austin, Texas, who has constructed Kyma DSP software to exploit the buttons and accelerometers on the WiiMotes. Dancers will carry and wear the WiiMotes during the performance.

The concert will also feature Arachne Aerial Arts, combining the artistry of dance with the drama of aerial acrobatics. Arachne Aerial Arts specializes in high-impact duo performance for theaters, museums, galleries and events. The DC-based company performs from rafters throughout the region and has received praise from critics, clients and audiences alike, including awards from Metro DC Dance and the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities. Co-directors Andrea Burkholder and Sharon Witting, a Washington and Lee alumna, began flying together in 2000 and have continued their intensive training at the New England Center for Circus Arts with former members of Cirque du Soleil.

Altogether, nine guest artists will perform with the company. Immediately following each performance, Davies will invite the audience to join the company for guest artist talk-back sessions.

The performances will include faculty pieces and 11 student pieces, with the arrangement of dances varying over the three shows. For the Friday night show, The Xi Delta Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha and the Beta Beta Nu Chapter of Phi Beta Sigma will also perform step routines. Stepping has its roots in African percussive dance.


Working Simply in Charlotte

This month’s issue of Greater Charlotte Biz magazine features alumna Carson Tate’s company, Working Simply. Here is a link to the article. Carson, a 1998 graduate who majored in psychology, is president of Working Simply, which she founded in 2003 and has developed into an award-winning consulting firm that specializes in partnering with organizations, teams and individuals to improve performance and profitability. In short, they get you organized and have a client list that ranges from Duke Energy to Harris Teeter. As the Greater Charlotte Biz article puts it, “Working Simply’s sweet spot is comprehending a company’s big picture and translating it into tasks as detailed as managing an inbox or paper flow, designing a form, or a delegation process.” Check out the Working Simply Web site where there is a wealth of information about how to become more efficient.


Emily Coyle ’10 and Kevin Corn ’10 Recognized by Celebrating Student Success

Washington and Lee seniors Emily F. Coyle and Kevin T. Corn were recognized at the January Celebrating Student Success (CSS) reception in the Elrod Commons.

Kevin Corn, of Lawrenceville, Ga., is majoring in American history and minoring in African-American studies. As the head resident adviser for first-year students, he supervises 51 other resident advisers and serves on the Student Affairs Committee. A resident adviser since 2007, he coordinated the Academic Peer Tutoring Program for 2008-2009 and chaired the First-Year Orientation Committee.

This past summer, Corn interned in the Office of Student Affairs, researching sexual-misconduct policies at other member schools of the Associated Colleges of the South (ACS). He also learned about first-year procedures with the dean of first-year students and assisted new incoming students and families. And as coordinator of the Leading Edge Pre-Orientation Program, Corn organized nearly 250 student participants. For his work on the residential life staff, he received the 2009 Douglas C. Halstead Memorial Scholarship.

On the scholarly side, Corn has been a research intern as a Robert E. Lee Scholar, assisting Theodore DeLaney, professor of history at W&L, with research on school desegregation in western Virginia. Corn presented his findings at the 2009 Science, Society, and the Arts (SSA) Conference at W&L. For his academic achievements in history, he received the 2009 William A. Jenks Scholarship.

A three-time winner of an athletic letter for swimming, Corn was named a Student-Athlete Mentor in 2009-09 and 2009-10.

Emily Coyle, of Seattle, Wash., is a psychology major and a member of the University Scholars Program. She has worked as an assistant to several W&L psychology professors, as an R.E. Lee Research Scholar and as a Christian A. Johnson Scholar.

Her research focuses on children’s gender roles; her honors thesis is titled “Barbie as an Inhibitor to Occupational Aspirations in Black and White Pre-School Girls.” She has co-authored four articles, which are now under review for publication in such journals as The Journal of Social Psychology and The Journal of Career Development. Coyle has presented her work at the Virginia Social Science Association Annual Meeting, the Southern Anthropological Society Annual Meeting (where she won first runner-up for a student paper) and W&L’s SSA.

A member of Chi Omega sorority, Coyle is the current Panhellenic head recruitment counselor. She is the coordinator of End It, a movement to prevent sexual assault on campus. She also serves on the Student-Faculty Hearing Board and was the secretary of University Scholars in 2008-09.

Coyle is a member of Omicron Delta Kappa, the national leadership honor society; Psi Chi, the psychology honors society; and Phi Eta Sigma, the freshman honors society. She is also on the honor roll and the dean’s list.

An experienced equestrian, Coyle is in her second term as captain of W&L’s riding team. She has received the Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) Scholar-Athlete Award each term since fall 2006.

CSS is an initiative sponsored by the Division of Student Affairs to create ongoing dialogue about the positive accomplishments of individuals and organizations at Washington and Lee University, especially students who are not typically recognized for the depth and breadth they add to our campus community.

Corn and Coyle were selected by the CSS committee, which is composed of students, faculty and staff. Any member of the campus community can nominate any W&L student by filling out the online form on the CSS Web site. Nominations are always accepted and encouraged.

Future CSS receptions during the current academic year will occur from 2-4 p.m. in the Elrod Commons Living Room on Feb. 17, Mar. 17, Apr. 7 and May 5.


Robert Mosbacher '47, '84H Dies at 82

Robert A. Mosbacher, a member of W&L’s undergraduate class of 1947 and law class of 1949, who served as secretary of commerce for President George H. W. Bush and as general chairman of Sen. John McCain’s presidential campaign, died Sunday in Houston. He was 82 and had suffered from pancreatic cancer, according to the various news reports. A business administration major who entered W&L from Choate School, Bob Mosbacher built one of the largest private energy companies in the country, Mosbacher Energy Co., and eventually became known as a legendary political fundraiser. The University awarded him an honorary doctor of laws degreein 1984. According to the Washington Post’s obituary, he was one of the Bush Administration’s leading proponents of free trade with Mexico and instrumental in negotiations on NAFTA. Former President George H.W. Bush said: “Bob Mosbacher was an honorable and a first-rate businessman, and perhaps the shrewdest dealmaker I ever knew. But more than that, Bob was a true Point of Light, someone who generously helped so many different causes — but never seeking the limelight.” In addition to his success in business and his work in politics, he was a world-class sailer who won the U.S. men’s sailing championship in 1958 and world championships in 1969 and 1971. For details on his life and death, see these obituaries:


Washington and Lee Receives Record Applications for Class of 2014

For the second time in the last three years, Washington and Lee University has received a record number of applications for admission.

“At this point, we are 6 percent above a year ago and 3 percent above our all-time high,” said William Hartog, dean of admissions and financial aid at W&L. “We are extremely pleased, especially given the economic environment in which we are recruiting.”

As of Friday, Jan. 22, the University’s Office of Admissions had processed 6,588 applications for the Class of 2014. That compares with 6,222 applications a year ago and 6,386 in 2008, which had been the previous high.

W&L expects to enroll between 455 and 475 first-year students from this applicant pool.

Hartog attributes the increase largely to Washington and Lee’s aggressive financial aid program, along with a new partnership with Questbridge, a non-profit organization that assists low-income, high-achieving students with college applications.

“As far as we can tell, the uptick in the applicant pool is directly attributable to the availability of our financial aid resources, particularly the Johnson Scholarship Program,” said Hartog, referring to the program established in 2007 as a result of the historic $100-million gift to the University.

The Johnson Scholarship Program attracts students with exceptional academic and personal promise regardless of their ability to afford tuition and other expenses. About 44 entering students, or approximately 10 percent of the entering class, received the scholarships, which are awarded on a competitive basis. The scholarships provide at least tuition, room and board, and allow students to graduate debt-free. W&L invites up to 200 students to visit campus for the scholarship competition.

“The Johnson gift has enabled us to reach into communities and socio-economic levels that had been beyond our recruitment strategies in the past,” Hartog said. “As a result, we’ve been able to form new partnerships. One of these is with Questbridge, which this year has generated almost 500 applications.”

Questbridge is a private foundation in Palo Alto, Calif., which works with 27 partner colleges and universities around the country in its College Match program.

“We were actually rather late in finalizing our partnership with Questbridge and were not one of the students’ options until halfway through the program’s normal recruitment cycle,” said Hartog. “Consequently, we are most pleased to have had this kind of success this soon. The students who have applied, both during the early decision period and regular decision, are really quite remarkable, and we have enjoyed the chance to work with them.”

Applications for regular decision were due on Jan. 15, and students will be notified of admissions decisions on April 1.


Truth in Advertising?

If you happened to be watching NFL playoff games in the past few weeks, you’ve undoubtedly seen a new advertising campaign for Domino’s in which the company confesses that its pizza has been, well, bad. The spots show Domino’s employees reading customer comments like “Worst excuse for pizza I ever had” and “‘The sauce tastes like ketchup.” Andrew Keller, Class of 1992, is the executive creative director for Colorado-based Crispin Porter + Bogusky advertising agency, which created the campaign. In an interview with the Chicago Tribune, Keller said that social media creates a transparency “that can happen to you or you can take advantage of.” Experts disagree over whether the campaign will work, but Steven Colbert designated Domino’s his Alpha Dog of the Week for the commercial campaign. More on the Pizza Turnaround on the Creativity site.


Winter 2009 Edition of Shenandoah Features Barry Vance Paintings

The Winter, 2009 issue of Shenandoah: The Washington and Lee University Review (Vol. 59, No. 3) features both a seasonal cover and a portfolio of paintings of Blue Ridge landscapes and culturescapes by Winchester (Virginia) artist Barry Vance, each in dialogue with an Appalachian literary passage chosen by the author.

Included in the contents is work by 2009 Shenandoah/Glasgow Prize for Emerging Writers recipient Aaron Baker and poetry about hummingbirds, “deep red patches of dusted rubies,” Buck Owens bawling, a white bark pine cone and more . Also, a memoir by Robert Benson about his youthful experiences on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, a story about real and imagined events on a school playground, and a girl’s leg “amid the green and leafy plants that grow along the river bottom.”

Work by Shenandoah 59/3 contributors Greg Rappleye and Mary Oliver has been nominated to receive the annual Pushcart Prize.

Poetry Daily featured a poem from the issue, “Palimsest” by Natasha Saje, on its website on January 20, 2010, and Judith Cooper’s story “Sister-Light-of-Love Love Dove” will be published in the forthcoming anthology Best of the Midwest.

A review of Shenandoah 59/3 on New Pages.com notes that the issue’s contents “reflect[s] current ambient conversations: always with us are creatures of nature; acts of violence of one kind or another; the birth of something new, even land; abuse; prejudice – all reflect human states of consciousness, ransacking, empathetic, harsh, generous, etc. Whether poem, essay or story, all the pieces here stand as witness to the wide, raging vicissitudes of human perception, which are, as always, both real and imagined

Shenandoah 59/3 is 168 pages and sells for $12. Single copies 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 Avenue. The journal was founded in 1950. Subscription information and submission guidelines, as well as sample work, features and reviews, are available online at shenandoah.wlu.edu.


Dining Services Staging Haiti Fund-Raiser

Washington and Lee’s Dining Services operation is planning a fund-raiser for Haitian earthquake relief, and all anyone has to do is go to the Marketplace and eat! On Friday, Jan. 29, Dining Services will donate $3 for each lunch served in the Marketplace to the American Red Cross for Haiti relief. Students, faculty and staff are invited to participate. There will also be raffle tickets sold during the event for the opportunity to win items donated by local merchants.


Jarrett Brotzman Wins Schlegel Prize for International Studies

Washington and Lee University junior Jarrett Brotzman has received the Schlegel Prize for International Studies for the best paper on foreign affairs or international relations in a politics seminar. The prize honors a W&L alumnus who died during the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

The prize gives Brotzman support for research projects and participation in foreign affairs conferences, including the Student Conference on United States Affairs at West Point, and the Naval Academy Foreign Affairs Conference in Annapolis, Md.

Chi Psi social fraternity created the Schlegel Prize in 2002 in honor of its member, Navy Cmdr. Robert Allan Schlegel, a 1985 alumnus who died at the Pentagon. He was serving there as deputy of current operations and plans branch head for the chief of naval operations.

Over the next year and a half, Brotzman plans to research a general development initiative with James F. Casey, associate professor of economics. It is “a microfinance initiative designed to work as a tool to alleviate poverty through microloans,” explained Brotzman. “It is also an educational and professional development opportunity for students at W&L to learn about the international issues related to economic development and the emerging field of microfinance.”

Brotzman already attended the Student Conference on United States Affairs and will apply to the Naval Academy Foreign Affairs Conference. “I really enjoyed my trip to West Point,” he said. “It was a great experience to discuss issues like the entire global financial structure with students from all across the country and the world.”

Schlegel, the prize’s namesake, graduated with a degree in French and journalism from W&L. He then earned a master’s degree in international affairs from Old Dominion University, Norfolk, Va. In 1986, he completed Officer Candidate School in Newport, R.I., and was commissioned as an ensign in the Navy. He received a Naval War College diploma in 1998 after completing the Joint Professional Military Education program.

During his 15-year naval career, Schlegel received a Meritorious Service Medal, four Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medals, the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, five Sea Service Deployment Ribbons, the Armed Forces Service Medal, a NATO Medal, an Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, a Meritorious Unit Commendation, a National Defense Service Medal and a Purple Heart.

“I feel very grateful to receive opportunities through the Schlegel Prize. The level of devotion and support W&L receives from alumni and other members of the community is incredible, and I think it speaks very highly of the experience and education that W&L provides,” Brotzman said. “If I could, I would like to thank Cmdr. Schlegel for his service. His record of leadership and honorable duty is one to admire and aspire to.”

-Maggie Sutherland ’10


Law Professor’s New Book Explores Climate Change Litigation

Original story at:
http://law.wlu.edu/news/storydetail.asp?id=714.


W&L Alumna Records with Porterfield Rose

Lovancy Ingram, a 2001 alumna, is part of a relatively new instrumental group called Porterfield Rose, which was formed in late 2008 and has just released its first CD, Echoes of Rose. A journalism and mass communications major who lives in Washington, D.C., Lovancy served as assistant concertmaster for the University Shenandoah Symphony Orchestra. Porterfield Rose performs jazz/pop instrumentals. In addition to Lovancy’s violin, Porterfield Rose features clarinet, saxophone, piano, bass and guitar. What’s pretty cool about this group is that the clarinetist is Lovancy’s father, Vedoster “Spike” Ingram. You can read more about the group and sample its music on its Facebook fan page. You can also order or download the album from the CDBaby Web site.


Studying Sleep — Or Lack of It

A story in the Arkansas Democrat Gazette earlier this month focused on the research being conducted at Hendrix College in Conway by Jennifer Peszka, a 1994 Washington and Lee graduate and an associate professor of psychology and head of the department at Hendrix. Jennifer received the M.A. and Ph.D. in psychology from Southern Mississippi and joined the Hendrix faculty in 1999. Her current research is examining whether or not there is a connection between college students’ grades and sleep (or lack thereof). Jennifer and two other researchers, including her husband, David Mastin, associate professor of psychology at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, have been studying a group of students since 2006. The group was divided into owls, who do their best work at night, and larks, who do their best work in the morning after going to bed early the night before. The study is scheduled to be completed this year. In the Arkansas Gazette piece, Jennifer explained how she first got interested in sleep research. It was back at W&L. She was studying for a test in the middle of the night when she noticed a poster that was promoting the importance of sleep.


NPR Reporter to Address Afghanistan Situation in W&L Lecture

You may have never seen her, but you probably know her voice.

For more than two decades, Jackie Northam has covered the world as a radio correspondent, working for such networks as CBC Canada, Monitor Radio, and the BBC. Since 2000, her home base has been National Public Radio, where she is currently National Security Correspondent.

Northam will be at Washington and Lee University on Tuesday, Jan. 26, at 5 p.m. in Room 327 of Huntley Hall where she will give a talk entitled “Afghanistan: Surge Without a Cause.” The event, which is sponsored by the department of journalism and mass communications, is free and open to the public.

Over the years, Northam has specialized in hot spots, so it’s unsurprising that, for the past two years, she has spent much of her time in Pakistan and Afghanistan, reporting on the war, the Taliban, al Qaeda, and the international military forces in the region. Her reporting resume includes Rwanda during the genocide, Iraq after the fall of Saddam Hussein, Guantanamo Bay, Beirut, Israel, and Saudi Arabia. Two days after the recent devastating earthquake in Haiti she was on a plane to Port-au-Prince.

A native of Canada, Northam began her career as a radio correspondent based in London. For seven years, she reported on the Britain of Margaret Thatcher as well as the creation of the European Union and other stories from the continent. Northam’s next stop was Budapest, where she covered the fall of communism in Eastern Europe. After that, it was on to Bangkok, from where she covered Southeast Asia and Indochina.

In 1993, working from Phnom Penh, Cambodia, she reported on the United Nations’ effort to bring democracy to the country, and disarm the Khmer Rouge. It was a year later, while based in Nairobi, Kenya, that she began covering Rwanda, entering the country days after the massacres had begun.

Northam has received a number of awards for her reporting, including three regional Edward R. Murrow awards, a Unity award, a Gabriel award, and several Associated Press awards. She was part of a team that won an Alfred I. du Pont-Columbia University award.


Local Food Policy at W&L Benefits All Involved

When students at Washington and Lee University eat at the on-campus dining facility, the Marketplace, they are benefitting not only themselves — the food is both delicious and nutritious — but also local food vendors, the local economy and the environment.

In 2009, the percentage of local food used by W&L’s dining facilities increased to an estimated 32 percent, up from 25 percent the previous year and 8.5 percent in 2007-2008. While W&L has been actively pursuing its own local food program, the University has also assisted other colleges, schools and hospitals with the notion.

Christopher Carpenter, special projects coordinator for W&L Dining Services, finds and works with the local vendors. “I call him my forager,” said W&L chef Geraldine McCutcheon. “He finds farmers, visits them and makes sure their farming practices are good. It’s a fun program, and it keeps growing as we look for new farmers.”

This year, according to Carpenter, W&L has added milk from Homestead Dairy, outside Roanoke, and increased the amount of local chicken, pork and beef it offers. “I think we will continue to increase each year, and one of the reasons we can do this is a program we started called cost-transfer economics,” Carpenter said.

For example, chicken bought through more traditional means costs $1.10 per pound, while local chicken costs $2.49 per pound. On the other hand, apples from Washington State cost $44 per case, but Virginia apples cost just $17 per case. Carpenter takes the savings from one vendor and applies them to another, more expensive vendor.

“I think it’s been a very successful program and makes the county’s food system stronger,” he said, adding that every dollar spent locally yields $1.80 in economic benefit to the area. The area he purchases within is generally the Shenandoah Valley.

It’s not only the economic benefits that are important. Purchasing locally also enhances the bond between W&L and the community. For instance, W&L Dining Services employees visited Orchardside Berry Farm in nearby Raphine, Va., in August to pick blackberries for freezing. “One of the things I love,” said McCutcheon, “is when the farmers deliver their own product and I can talk with them. They know the people who work here because they are neighbors in the community, and that’s really exciting. This program is one of the reasons I came to W&L a year ago.”

Carpenter pointed out another benefit: he obtains food that is free of hormones and antibiotics. It is also fresher, tastier and more nutritious, partly because it hasn’t traveled a great distance. “The chicken tastes better. It’s the same with the potatoes. Last year when we ran out of local potatoes, everyone noticed the difference. And the students often comment on the richness of the local milk,” he said.

And fewer miles mean a smaller carbon footprint. Carpenter likes to crunch the numbers to track how many miles W&L saves by purchasing local food. For example, when W&L bought apples from Washington State they traveled 3,562 miles to Lexington. Now, the apples from Nelson County travel only 68 miles.

Honey from the Whistle Creek Apiary saves 2,534 miles, chicken from Stuart’s Draft saves 697 miles, pork from Baker’s Farm saves 919 miles, and flour from Wades Mill travels 1,353 fewer miles than when purchased from North Dakota.

W&L used to purchase beef from Argentina but now uses beef from Buffalo Creek Farm in Lexington, owned by Charlie Potter. “Buying Charlie’s beef in some volume helped him to expand, and it contributed to the re-opening of Donald’s meat processing plant in Lexington that was last open in 1988,” said Carpenter. “At that time it was a private facility, but now it’s USDA-approved and right here in town.” Potter found that the new facility also gives local people the opportunity to purchase meat directly from him. “People want to know where their meat comes from,” he said.

Christi Huger from Mountain View Farm, in Fairfield, sells cheese, yogurt and butter to W&L. “It’s not a huge amount,” she said, “but we usually sell them two or three wheels of cheese a week and several gallons of yogurt, depending on the menus they are offering. It’s been good for us economically, and W&L has been very easy to deal with.”

Huger is surprised by how receptive W&L has been to new products. “We had a new yogurt-like product we call Moogurt, and W&L has started using it in recipes,” she said.

McCutcheon likes to work new products into the program. “Sometimes the challenge is that it’s a neat product, but what can I do with it? Some of our students have really broad culinary horizons and some less so,” she said.

McCutcheon uses new foods in creative ways so that students make good food choices, beyond burgers and fries. “They think it’s delicious once they get started,” she said, “so we try to make it more interesting, such as doing greens Brazilian-style.”

But if the students do want more traditional comfort foods, they can always make their own local peanut butter. The Marketplace offers a machine with peanuts from Southside Virginia. “The nuts are in the machine,” explained Carpenter proudly. “You press the button and it grinds up the amount you want. There’s nothing better.”


W&L Student Groups Begin Haitian Relief Efforts

Several students groups at Washington and Lee are joining forces to support Haitian earthquake relief. The Bonner Leaders Program, the Caribbean Society, the Nabors Service League and the Student Association for International Learning (SAIL) are joining together to take the lead in developing fundraising strategies that will kick off at Sunday night’s (Jan. 17) MLK Keynote address, which will feature Julian Bond at 7 p.m. in Lee Chapel. According to Caitlin Edgar, a sophomore from De Pere, Wisc., and a member of Bonner Leaders Program, the groups will place donation receptacles at strategic locations around the campus beginning with Lee Chapel for the MLK event. “We have some additional fundraising strategies in mind and hope to get those launched during the next week,” Caitlin said. Listen to her remarks at the MLK Celebration Keynote in Lee Chapel Sunday night:

Caitlin and Yasmine Espert, vice president of the Caribbean Society, are spearheading the coordination efforts. Yasmine of Dix Hills, N.Y., was born in the U.S. to Haitian parents. The funds raised by the effort will be distributed equally to three different organizations involved in Haitian relief — Yele Haiti, the Salvation Army, and the Fellowship International Mission’s Haiti Relief Fund. For information, contact Caitlin at edgarc12@mail.wlu.edu or Yasmine at esperty11@mail.wlu.edu .


All About the Shirts

An article in the Richmond Times-Dispatch last month reported on Washington and Lee alumnus Paul S. Trible’s new venture — an online store selling men’s shirts offering “European quality, English fit and American style; all at an attainable price.” Paul and his business partner, Paul Watson, planned Ledbury while they were in Oxford, pursuing M.B.A. degrees and getting accustomed to shirts tailored by the London shirtmakers of Jermyn Street. Not only did they create their business plan, they worked with a British tailor to learn the trade before launching the store. You can read the story of the company’s founding  on both the Web site and on their Facebook fan page. And be sure to check out the video in which Paul discusses the shirts here on YouTube.


National Expert to Address Impact of Recreational Drugs and Alcohol on the Brain and Behavior

Dr. Scott Swartzwelder, professor of psychiatry and psychology and neuroscience at Duke University Medical Center, will speak at Washington and Lee University on Thursday, Jan. 28, at 7 p.m. in the Stackhouse Theater of Elrod Commons.

Swartzwelder’s talk, which free and open to the public, is sponsored by the Office of Health Promotion, Interfraternity Council, Panhellenic and LIFE at W&L.

In addition to teaching courses at Duke, Swartzwelder is a licensed clinical psychologist who is co-director of the brain research laboratory, DukeLEARN, which is committed to helping people understand the brain-how it works, how to use it for maximum achievement, and how to keep it healthy.

Swartzwelder’s areas of expertise include the effects of drugs on the brain and on cognitive function. He has published more than 100 research papers in scientific and professional journals related to drug effects on the brain and behavior, and has served on multiple scientific review panels for the National Institute of Drug Abuse, National Institute of Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse, and the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Swartzwelder’s recent studies have focused on the specific effects of alcohol on the developing brain. In particular, he has assessed the unique effects of alcohol on the brain during prenatal and adolescent periods of development. He has taught courses in physiological psychology, psychopharmacology, behavioral pharmacology, learning and memory and others.

In addition to his research, teaching and clinical consultation, he lectures and consults to promote effective education about the developing brain, alcohol and other drugs. This will be his sixth visit to W&L.

Swartzwelder earned his B.S. from Towson State; his M.A. in general/experimental psychology from Loyola College; and his Ph.D. in biopsychology from American University.


W&L Mourns Loss of Phil Cline, Emeritus Economics Professor

Philip L. Cline, the Lewis Whitaker Adams Professor of Management and Economics Emeritus at Washington and Lee University, died Tuesday at his home in Lexington. He was 64.

The family will receive friends at a visitation from 5 until 7 p.m. on Saturday, January 16, 2010, at Harrison Funeral Home, 714 Main Street, Lexington, Virginia. A memorial service will be held at Harrison Funeral Home at 2 p.m. on Sunday, January 17, 2010.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to the Rockbridge Area Free Clinic, 25 Northridge Lane, Lexington, VA 24450.

Born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma on July 10, 1945, Cline was the son of the late Natha and Maurice Cline. He graduated from Washington and Lee in 1967 with a degree in economics. After earning his master’s and Ph.D. degrees from Oklahoma State University, he returned to his alma mater in September 1975 and taught until his retirement from the faculty last May.

“Phil was a dedicated teacher, a generous colleague and a devoted alumnus of Washington and Lee,” said Washington and Lee President Kenneth P. Ruscio. “His many contributions to academic and student life constitute his legacy. I join faculty, staff, alumni and students who will remember him with respect and affection.”

An award-winning teacher, Cline’s specialties were in statistics, quantitative models, business in a changing world, economics and management information systems.

“As an alumnus who returned to Washington and Lee because of his love of teaching, it is appropriate that Phil Cline was the first W&L faculty member to win the Outstanding Teaching Award from the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia,” said Larry Peppers, dean of the Williams School of Commerce, Economics, and Politics. “Phil be remembered as a wonderful colleague who had what he called an ‘Okie sense of humor.’ We will all miss him as a colleague and a friend.”

In 1987, Cline received the prestigious SCHEV teaching award, the Commonwealth of Virginia’s highest honor for faculty at Virginia’s public and private colleges and universities. The SCHEV awards recognize superior accomplishments in teaching, research and public service.

That was one of a number of awards that Cline received during his 34-year tenure at W&L. He was named a Fulbright senior scholar at the University of the West Indies in Trinidad and Tobago for 1999-2000. He was also the recipient of grants from the United Nations, the National Science Foundation, the Ford Foundation and the W&L Class 1965 Endowment for Excellence in Teaching, among others.

Cline was elected to Beta Gamma Sigma, national business honor society; Omicron Delta Epsilon, national economics honor society; and Phi Kappa Phi, national academic honor society.

Cline’s expertise in computing systems led to his co-authoring in 1989 a long-range plan for administrative computing at W&L. In addition, two of the NSF grants that he received were to develop computer-assisted instruction modules for macroeconomics courses and an interactive linear programming package.

Active in the Lexington and Rockbridge County communities, he was a volunteer with both United Way and the American Cancer Society and served as a youth league soccer coach. He was also a strong supporter of efforts to preserve the Chesapeake Bay.

Cline is survived by his wife, Julie; two children, Benjamin L. Cline and wife, Elizabeth, of Lexington; and Susan E. Cline Lucey and husband, Mark, of Burlington, Vt.; and two grandsons, Emmett and Zinn.


Alum's Bright IDEA Moving Forward

A story in reports that Bright Automotive, the Indiana-based company of which Washington and Lee alumnus Reuben Munger ’95 is chairman, is set to sign an agreement with a major automaker for the company’s plug-in hybrid vehicles. Bright Automotive made a big splash last April when it unveiled the prototype of its plug-in electric hybrid delivery van, the Idea — i.e., the Bright IDEA — on Capitol Hill. Reuben has been managing director of The Baupost Group, L.L.C., a $16 billion investment firm, and also founded Vision Ridge Partners in 2008. Reuben is also a member of what is called the Electrification Coalition, a group of business leaders led by the CEO of Nissan Motors that issues a report last fall, setting a national goal of having electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles account for 75 percent of all light-duty vehicle miles traveled in the United States by 2040. This week’s Automotive News article said that an agreement with a major automaker is likely to come in the next six months. In addition, Bright waiting for a U.S. Energy Department decision on its application for a $280 million loan to build a manufacturing facility and develop its vehicles. Bright hopes to produce its first electric vehicles in 2013 and believes it will be able to sell about 50,000 in a year. In reporting on the IDEA last year, Forbes magazine noted that Bright’s strategy to get more plug-in hybrids on the road was to concentrate not on consumers but fleet operators who can save with their delivery vehicles.


Survey Shows Surge of ‘Smart Phones’ among W&L Students

Although cell phones have been a staple of college students’ communications gear for some years now, the smart-phone revolution is taking over campuses.

A survey of students who entered Washington and Lee University last fall found that 99 percent of them had brought at least one cell phone. Of those with cell phones, 43.3 percent were using one of the smart phones, most frequently the BlackBerry (18.2 percent) and the iPhone (17.5 percent).

To compare that figure, a similar survey of the entire W&L student body in the spring of 2009 found that only 23.6 percent were using smart phones then.

“I’m sure that the number of upperclassmen who came back this year with smart phones has increased as well,” said Richard Peterson, chief technology officer at W&L. “It’s quite clear that we must factor these devices into the mix as we think about our technology strategies.”

The same survey of the Class of 2013 found a continuing move toward Macintosh computers. Essentially half of the respondents (49.3 percent) reported using Macintosh computers and operating systems; included in that number were 9.7 percent who used Macintosh computers to run the Windows operating system. Again comparing these figures to data from the entire student body in 2008-09, the shift is significant – 68 percent used Windows system as opposed to 34 percent who used the Macintosh OS.

Among other findings: 96.2 percent brought laptops, while 6 percent brought two computers. Only 1.3 percent of the first-year students had an e-reader, while 88.7 percent had an iPod. When it came to gaming devices, 29 percent indicated that they had either a handheld or console system, with the Xbox 360 getting the most use (48 percent).


Burr Datz '75 Moves to New Position

Burr Datz ’75, director of leadership development and coordinator of religious life at Washington and Lee since 2000, has been named the campus minister for Lexington’s St. Patrick’s Catholic Church. His last day in his W&L position was Dec. 31, but he’s still going to be much in evidence around his alma mater since he’ll be working with both W&L and Virginia Military Institute students in the new position. Burr held a number of positions at W&L, including assistant food service director under Jerry Darrell from 1977 to 1979 and then assistant proctor and later assistant director of security under the late Charles F. (Murphy) Murray from 1979 to 1988. He previously served as St. Patrick’s campus minister from 1988 to 2001. Generations of alumni will remember Burr in all those different positions, but they will also know him for his music. He has played guitar with a number of different groups, including Greenhouse, Loose Change and Monrovia. The community will have a chance to thank Burr for his years of service at a reception in the Elrod Commons Living Room on Jan. 21 at 2 p.m.


W&L Alum Honored by S.C. Bar Foundation

Congratulations to Dewey Oxner, ’56, 58L, on his selection to receive the 2009 DuRant Distinguished Public Service Award from the South Carolina Bar Foundation. Dewey is a Shareholder Emeritus of Haynsworth Sinkler Boyd, P.A., in the firm’s Greenville office. He will receive the award on Jan. 22 at the South Carolina Bar’s Annual Convention’s plenary luncheon. The award is the most prestigious statewide award members of the Bar can bestow on a fellow attorney. Dewey served as president of the South Carolina Bar and is know nationally for his defense of medical malpractice, products liability and consumer litigation cases. Here is a link to the official announcement.


Chris Dyson '00 Leading Race Car Team

A recent article on the auto racing blog, AutoRacing1.com, highlighted the accomplishments of Washington and Lee alumnus Chris Dyson ’00. Dyson Racing: The Legacy Continues described the way that Chris’s father, Rob, has moved away from day-to-day leadership of the team, leaving it to Chris, who serves as an owner-driver. Another feature story about Chris appeared in Motorsports.com last month.  Chris’s official biography on the American LeMans Series (ALMS) site reports that his first time in a race car cockpit was as a 17-year-old, but his record as a driver actually starts in 2002. Since then, he has four wins, 31 top-three finishes and has won the 2003 LMP675 championship. One of the interesting notes in the AutoRacing1.com piece is that Chris has led the Dyson team to experiment with a new eco-friendly fuel, bio-butanol, at a time when sports car racing is exploring green initiatives. According to the article, “this relatively unknown fuel seems to strike a balance between the toxicity of methanol and the more fume-friendly but low-power ethanol, and can seemingly be produced from just about anything that we grow or throw away.” For more information about Chris, you can watch his tour of his Mazda Lola Coupe here on YouTube.


Lord Butler to Discuss Iraq and Intelligence in Johnson Lecture

The Right Honourable Lord Frederick Edward Robin Butler of Brockwell, who led a major investigation into the British decision to go to war in Iraq, will give a public lecture, “Iraq and the Lessons for Intelligence,” at Washington and Lee University on Tuesday, Jan. 19, at 4 p.m. in Stackhouse Theatre.

The presentation is free and open to the public.

Earlier on Tuesday, W&L will award Butler an honorary doctorate of humane letters during the University’s annual Founders’ Day/Omicron Delta Kappa Convocation.

Butler served as private secretary to five British prime ministers, including Margaret Thatcher, John Major and Tony Blair. He had a long career in the British civil service and was Cabinet Secretary to Margaret Thatcher, John Major and Tony Blair. In addition, he was head of the Home Civil Service from 1988 to 1998.

When he retired from government service, he was made a “life peer” of the House of Lords and was also appointed the Master of University College, Oxford. In this latter position, he was host to a long list of Washington and Lee students and faculty who took advantage of an exchange program between the institutions.

In 2004 he led a major investigation of the British decision to go to war in Iraq. The document produced by that investigation, known as the “Butler Report,” concluded that some of the intelligence about Iraq’s possession of weapons of mass destruction was flawed.

Butler’s lecture is part of the Johnson Lecture Series, which aims to bring the world’s leaders to campus so that our students may learn from their experiences the qualities of honor, leadership and integrity.


W&L Journalism Professor Sees Possible ‘Digital Divide’ in Social Media Campaigns

When a Virginia Tech student disappeared at a Metallica concert in Charlottesville last fall, her friends and family turned to social media to find her. A few months later, when a Utah woman went missing, supporters launched what some claimed was the most extensive use of online technology in a missing-person search, enlisting close to 40,000 Facebook and Twitter members in three days. Thus far, neither campaign has led to the two missing women.

Nevertheless, said Claudette Artwick, associate professor of journalism and mass communications at Washington and Lee University, another way to assess the success or failure of these efforts is by looking at the media coverage they generate.

“In the case of the Utah woman, Susan Powell, for instance, there have been nearly 1,500 stories about her since she disappeared,” said Artwick, who specializes in new media and is the author of Reporting and Producing for Digital Media. “In the days leading up to the social-media blitz, 300 stories covered the case, most about the blitz itself. What that means is that you’re getting interest from the media concurrent with interest from people all over the country, even the world, through the social media.”

Artwick notes that in the pre-social-media days, the goal was to get a missing person’s photo on television and in the newspaper. Social media now allow friends and family to put that photo in front of millions and millions of eyes with or without the help of traditional media, said Artwick, who is concerned that this valuable new tool may not be equally available.

“Getting that photo on TV may not be all that easy today unless the story or the person who is missing meets certain criteria,” said Artwick.

Both Susan Powell and Morgan Harrington, the Virginia Tech student, meet that profile, said Artwick. They’re both young, attractive, Causasian women who disappeared under intriguing circumstances. In contrast, she points to the case of Cassandra Morton, a 23-year-old African-American woman from Lynchburg, Va., who disappeared on Oct. 10, about a week before Harrington. Morton’s body was found in Campbell County, Va., in late November.

Morton received very little news coverage, and not until a month after she disappeared, said Artwick.

“We didn’t see a social media blitz to draw attention to her disappearance,” Artwick said. “What concerns me is that people who don’t have the resources or technical ability to use Facebook, Twitter, or blogs, may be at a disadvantage – that we may see a widening of the digital divide.”

Artwick said that social-media tools are not without their pitfalls in these cases. Primarily, speculation can run rampant and hinder investigations.

“I think we have to be very aware that this could be a place for simmering of rumors, and there may not necessarily be the checks-and-balances system that we would have in our traditional media sources,” she said. “People may use Twitter, for instance, in a way that gets rumors percolating or spreads false allegations that are not helpful.”

In the Harrington case, for instance, police officials recently addressed unfounded rumors in a news conference. “I don’t know that the postings in social media drove the news conference,” said Artwick, “but I think it’s noteworthy that police did address them publicly.”

On the other hand, the Powell campaign dealt with the issues of rumor and speculation head-on. “The Friends and Family of Susan Powell Facebook page states that ‘All comments deemed speculative, accusatory, negative or hurtful will be deleted and the poster may be banned. ‘ The Powell blitz has been an example of a very savvy use of these tools and, maybe, a model for what we’ll see in the future.”

Artwick said that the rapid rise of social media as an integral part of traditional media work became clearer than ever this week when the Associated Press, one of the largest media organizations in the world, named its first manager of social networks and news engagement.

“Appropriately enough, I learned of that new appointment on Facebook,” Artwick added.


W&L Hosts “A Conversation with Jane Mayer,” Author and Writer for The New Yorker

“A Conversation with Jane Mayer,” author and staff writer for The New Yorker will be held at Washington and Lee University on Thursday, Jan. 21, at 5 p.m. in Stackhouse Theater in the Elrod Commons.

The title of the conversation, which is free and open to the public, is The Dark Side: How the U.S. Became Enmeshed in Detainees, Water-Boarding and War Crimes Liability. Mayer will initially take questions from the moderator, Robert Strong, associate provost at W&L, and then from the audience.

Mayer will talk about her newest book, The Dark Side: The Inside Story of How the War on Terror Turned into a War on American Ideals (2008). It was a Critics Circle and a National Book Award finalist and one of the “Best Books of the Year” from Salon, Slate, The Economist, the Washington Post and The New York Times. She also is the co-author of Strange Justice: The Selling of Clarence Thomas (1994) and Landslide: The Unmaking of the President, 1984-1988 (1989).

Mayer worked for The Wall Street Journal, during which time she was a White House correspondent, senior writer and front page editor. She also served as a war correspondent and foreign correspondent for the Journal reporting on the fall of the Berlin Wall and the last days of Communism in the former Soviet Union. Mayer was nominated twice for the Pulitzer Prize for feature-writing.

She has also contributed to the New York Review of Books, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times and American Prospect. She has appeared as a guest on The David Letterman Show, the Bill Moyers Journal and the Colbert Report, among others.

Mayer was awarded the John Chancellor Award for Excellence in Journalism, the Ridenhour Book Prize, the Helen Bernstein Book Award for Excellence in Journalism and in 2008 was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship.

Mayer’s visit is sponsored by the Johnson Lecture Series and the Fishback Fund for Visiting Writers.


Watch W&L's Jost on C-SPAN

Tim Jost, the Robert L. Willett Family Professor of Law at W&L, will among the experts on a live panel discussion about health insurance exchanges on C-SPAN Friday (1/8) afternoon. The show will air from 12:15 p.m. to 2 p.m. Throughout the debate on health care reform, Tim has been in demand for comment from media and has had numerous essays published in national publications. You can see a list of his media performances and essays here. Joining Tim on the C-SPAN panel will be Jon Kingsdale, head of the Massachusetts Connector Authorityand Philip Vogel of the Connecticut Business and Industry Association. The co-moderators are Sara Collins, The Commonwealth Fund, and Ed Howard, The Alliance For Health Reform. This link will take you to the show, and it will be archived there as well.


Collecting Early Tweets

The Roanoke Times recently highlighted the vintage postcard collection of Robert F. Stauffer, a 1965 graduate of Washington and Lee who retired in 2008 after 25 years on the faculty of Roanoke College. The Times article quoted Stauffer as calling these postcards “the tweets of the early 20th century” and reproduced 12 of the cards, which offer a fascinating glimpse into the history of the Roanoke Valley. You can see all of the cards at this link but here’s a sample:


Pulitzer Prize Winner Gordon S. Wood to Address W&L Founders’ Day

Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Gordon S. Wood will address Washington and Lee University’s annual Founders’ Day/Omicron Delta Kappa Convocation on Tuesday, Jan. 19, at 11:45 a.m. in Lee Chapel.

The title of Wood’s lecture is “Why the Founders Matter.” The lecture is free and open to the public.

Watch the Webcast

As part of the convocation ceremony, Omicron Delta Kappa, the national leadership honor society founded at W&L in 1914, will hold its annual inductions of both law and undergraduate students. ODK was the first college honor society of a national scope to recognize and honor meritorious leadership and service in extracurricular activities, and to encourage the development of good campus citizenship.

In addition, the University will award honorary degrees to Wood and to The Right Honourable Lord Frederick Edward Robin Butler of Brockwell.

Wood is the Alva O. Way University Professor and Professor of History Emeritus at Brown University. In addition to winning the 1993 Pulitzer Prize for history for The Radicalism of the American Revolution, he received the 1970 Bancroft Prize for The Creation of the American Republic, 1776-1787.

His most recent book, Empire of Liberty: A History of the Early Republic, 1789-1815, was published last October as part of the Oxford History of the United States series. A New York Times review calls the book “a tour de force, the culmination of a lifetime of brilliant thinking and writing.”

A native of Concord, Mass., Wood received his A.B. degree from Tufts University and both the master’s and Ph.D. degrees from Harvard. He joined the Brown faculty in 1969 after teaching briefly at Harvard, the College of William and Mary and the University of Michigan.Woods will receive an honorary doctorate of humane letters.

A retired British civil servant who now sits in the House of Lords as a life peer, Lord Butler of Brockwell served from 1997 to 2008 as master of University College, Oxford University, and hosted many Washington and Lee exchange students and faculty. He served from 1961 as private secretary to five prime ministers and was secretary of the cabinet and head of the Home Civil Service from 1988 to 1998. In 2004, Butler headed a five-member committee that studied the use of intelligence in the lead-up to the 2003 Iraq War.

Butler will receive an honorary doctorate of laws.


Julian Bond Headlines Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration at W&L

Julian Bond, chairman of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) since 1998, will present the keynote address for the Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration at Washington and Lee University on Sunday, Jan. 17, at 7 p.m. in Lee Chapel.

The title of Bond’s talk, which is free and open to the public, is “The Road to the Dream: From Alabama to Obama.” A reception will follow at 9 p.m. in Evans Dining Hall.

Bond’s keynote is the centerpiece of a series of events to honor the memory of Martin Luther King Jr. Other events include:

  • A special showing of the movie “Crash” on Jan. 12 at 6 p.m. in Stackhouse Theatre.
  • A community service project will be held on Saturday, Jan. 16.
  • A birthday party for the children of Rockbridge County will be held in the Elrod Commons from 12 to 2 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 18.
  • A showing of “Four Little Girls,” Spike Lee’s 1997 documentary about the Birmingham church bombing, will be held in the Lewis Hall Moot Courtroom at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 19, and will be followed by a discussion facilitated by W&L history professor Molly Michelmore and law professor Scott Sundby.

Julian Bond has been an active participant in the movements for civil rights and economic justice from his student days to his current chairmanship of the NAACP. While a student at Morehouse College in Atlanta he was a founder of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) in 1960. As SNCC’s communications director, Bond was active in protests and registration campaigns throughout the South.

He was elected in 1965 to the Georgia House of Representatives but was prevented from taking his seat by members who objected to his opposition to the Vietnam War. He was re-elected to his own vacant seat and un-seated again, and seated only after a third election and a unanimous decision of the United States Supreme Court.

He was co-chair of a challenge delegation from Georgia to the 1968 Democratic Convention and was nominated for vice-president, but had to decline because he was too young.

Bond helped found the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), a public interest law firm based in Montgomery, Ala., along with Morris Dees. He was that organization’s president from 1971 to 1979.

Bond has been a commentator on America’s Black Forum, the oldest black-owned show in television syndication. His poetry and articles have appeared in numerous publications. He has narrated numerous documentaries, including the Academy Award winning “A Time For Justice” and the prize-winning and critically acclaimed series “Eyes On The Prize.”

In 2002, he received the prestigious National Freedom Award.

Bond is a Distinguished Adjunct Professor at American University in Washington, and a professor in the history department at the University of Virginia.


W&L Emeritus Professor's Art Decorates Florida Restaurant

Washington and Lee alumni of the 1970s or 1980s who happen to dine at the new Chinese restaurant open now in Cape Coral, Fla., may be familiar with the artwork that they see at Chen’s China Bistro. A feature story on the new restaurant in the North Fort Myers Neighbor spends almost as much time discussing W&L emeritus art professor I-Hsuing Ju’s Chinese brush paintings as the menu. Professor Ju taught art and was artist-in-residence at W&L from 1969 until his retirement in 1989. He and his wife, Chow-Soon,  established the Art Farm in Lexington in 1975 and he gave private lessons there. The newspaper piece quotes the restaurant’s owner, Jeff Chen, as saying that “I used the professor because there’s no type of art work like his in Lee County, and it is difficult to find artwork like this anywhere in the states. It’s real Chinese artwork.” When the restaurant had its grand opening, Professor Ju gave a demonstration of his brush painting techniques. According to the story, the Jus have wintered in North Fort Myers seasonally for the past five years, and Professor Ju is currently working on a 20-panel panorama of the Yellow Mountains of China. If you’re in Southwest Florida, stop by Chen’s China Bistro and send back a review — of the food and Professor Ju’s brush paintings.


W&L Trustee, Alumnus Named Sewanee President

John M. McCardell Jr., a 1971 graduate of Washington and Lee and a member of the Board of Trustees since 2008, was named today as the vice chancellor and president of the University of the South-Sewanee. John is president emeritus of Middlebury College in Vermont, where he served from 1992 to 2004. Sewanee’s announcement, including a video interview with John, is available on the Sewanee Web site.

“This is clearly a wonderful opportunity for John and an excellent decision by Sewanee,” said Washington and Lee President Kenneth P. Ruscio. “Washington and Lee has benefited from John’s experience, wise counsel and steadfast support as a trustee, and I will now look forward to working with him as a fellow president of a peer institution.”

Noting that the appointment will mean that John will be stepping down from W&L’s board, J. Donald Childress of Atlanta, Ga., rector of the W&L board said: ”During his tenure on the W&L Board, John has given us the unique perspective of a professional academic. We will miss his wisdom, judgment and collegiality. We congratulate Sewanee on its insightful selection of John.”

Since stepping down as Middlebury’s president, John had returned to the classroom. He specializes in 19th-century U.S. history and is the author of The Idea of a Southern Nation. In addition, John is nationally known for having founded Choose Responsibility, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to engage the public in informed and dispassionate debate about the effects of legislation mandating a legal drinking age of 21. Additionally, he co-sponsored the Amethyst Initiative, a statement signed by 135 college and university presidents that challenges the effectiveness of current drinking-age laws. According to the announcement from Sewanee, he will remain as president of Choose Responsibility through June 30 but will remain active in the issue.


Staniar Gallery Features Exhibition by Artists Jeff Louviere and Vanessa Brown

Artists Jeff Louviere and Vanessa Brown will present a public lecture on Wednesday, Jan. 20, at 6 p.m. in the Concert Hall of Wilson Hall at Washington and Lee University in conjunction with their current exhibition at Washington and Lee’s Staniar Gallery.

Louviere + Vanessa: Persistence of Vision, an exhibition of photographically based works, will be on display at Staniar Gallery from January 4 to February 11. The talk will be followed by a reception in Lykes Atrium.

The husband and wife team have been collaborating artistically as Louviere + Vanessa since 2004. Bringing together Louviere’s background in painting and printmaking and Brown’s experience with photography, the artists take a multidisciplinary approach to making photographs and films. Their surreal images make reference to dreams, memories and imagined narratives. They often scratch, bury or otherwise distress their negatives, layering their images with alternative materials such as blood, wax and gold.

The artists will be spending a week in the art department at Washington and Lee University working with students as part of the Hollis Visiting Artist Program.

Louviere + Vanessa’s work has been shown in over 50 shows and film festivals including the Postdam International Film Festival in Germany and the Tribeca Film Festival in New York. Their work is included in the prestigious collections of the Museum of Fine Art in Houston, the New Orleans Museum of Art and the George Eastman House. The couple lives and works in New Orleans.

Staniar Gallery is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, or by appointment. For more information, please call 540-458-8861.


ODK to Initiate Three Honorary and 28 Student Initiates during Founders Day/ODK Convocation

Washington and Lee University’s Alpha Circle of Omicron Delta Kappa will recognize three honorary initiates in addition to 28 student initiates at the Founders Day/Omicron Delta Kappa Convocation on Tuesday, Jan. 19, at 11:45 a.m. in Lee Chapel.

Gordon S. Wood, the Alva O. Way University Professor and professor of history emeritus at Brown University, will speak on “Why The Founders Are Important” at the convocation.

The ODK honorary inductees are Leroy Cole (Buddy) Atkins of Lexington, Robert Jackson Kelly of Atlanta and Joan Nancy Robins of Lexington.

Buddy Atkins, director of donor relations at W&L, graduated from W&L in 1968. He taught at Virginia Episcopal School (VES) in Lynchburg before serving in the Navy for three years, and returned to VES as athletic director before returning to W&L as assistant alumni director. He became associate alumni director in 1983 and associate dean of students in 1986, serving as the University as a point person for the Fraternity Renaissance, the establishment of sororities and the planning and construction of the sorority houses. Atkins was instrumental in the planning and construction of the Elrod Commons and served as acting director of it for the first year. In 2004 he joined University Development.

Atkins has served the community as chair of the American Cancer Society, on the board and as president of the Lexington-Rockbridge Chamber of Commerce, coach of the Lexington Lacrosse Club, coach of the Lexington High School lacrosse team (two years), first lacrosse coach (two years) at Rockbridge County High School and volunteer coach and official for the Youth Soccer League. He has served as treasurer of R.E. Lee Memorial Church, with a term on the vestry. He has also served since 1978 as chapter advisor, university advisor and alumni house corporation member of the Virginia Sigma Chapter of Sigma Alpha Epsilon social fraternity.

Robert Jackson Kelly, from Atlanta, Ga., is a vice president for Coca-Cola Co. and investor relations officer. A 1987 cum laude graduate of W&L, he earned an M.B.A. from Duke University. He served at Coca-Cola as special assistant to the office of the president and CEO, vice president and director of international marketing services, vice-president of business development and marketing director. In 1994, Kelly was the associate brand manager responsible for launching the company’s first sports drink, Powerade. He has also served as president of Brand Atlanta Inc. He is a certified public accountant and is registered in Virginia.

He is involved in the Atlanta community, serving on the boards of the Atlanta Speech School, the Midtown Alliance and the Georgia Trust. He is currently chairman of the board of trustees for the Atlanta Botanical Garden and has previously served on the board of the Metro Chamber of Commerce. He is also a trustee of the National Health Museum.

Joan Nancy Robins, director of W&L’s Hillel, has been instrumental in the revitalization of Jewish life at Washington and Lee. Starting as a volunteer in 2001, Robins quickly developed innovative student programs, rekindled relationships with alumni and has seen the number of Jewish students enrolled on campus triple. In 2007, she helped lead a fund-raising campaign to build a physical home for Jewish life; in October 2009, having raised more than $4 million, Robins, along with the campus community, broke ground on the Hillel House, the first spiritual center of its kind in Washington and Lee’s history.

An R.N. for much of her 40-year career, she created the first intensive-care unit at Stonewall Jackson Hospital. Robins is a founding member of the Rockbridge Area Hospice, where she developed its first patient-care program. She has served on the boards of the Mental Health Association, the Association for Retarded Citizens and the Community Services Board. She holds a B.S. from Boston University.

Class of 2010:

William Douglas Baker from Alpharetta, Ga.; Brandon Lee Barnds from Misson Hills, Miss.; Kathryn Paige Boiles from Nacogdoches, Texas; Natalie Ida Bunnell from Clarendon Hills, Ill; Alexandra Caritis from Pittsburgh, Pa.; Gustaf Robert Cavanaugh from Alexandria, Va.; Samara Tinette Melia Francisco from Cordova, Tenn.; Cale Grove from Oak Hill, Va.; Caroline Louise Head from Edmond, Okla.; Grace Buckley McGee from Virginia Beach, Va.; Marquita Julia Robinson from Oklahoma City, Okla.; Aparajita Singh from Patna, India; Katherine Sinks from Ivy, Va.; Daniel Frederick Thornton from Dumfries, Va.; and Kimber Wiggs from Lakeland, Fla.

Class of 2011:

Crighton Thomas Allen from Thomasville, Ga.; Stephanie J. Brown from Centerport, N.Y.; Devin S. Cooper from Alpharetta, Ga.; Katherine E. Donnelly from Houston, Texas; Michael Todd Kuntz from Stafford, Va.; and Emily Taylor Mathews from Baltimore, Md.

Law School Class of 2010:

Edward Stewart Crosland from Bethesda, Md.; Michael Preston Gardner from Martinsville, Va.; Gene Patrick Hamilton from Lexington, Va.; Edward Benton Keatley from Kansas City, Mo.; and Andrew Aaron Spievack from Cincinnati, Ohio.

Law School Class of 2011:

Christopher J. Hartsfield from Durham, N.C. and Meghan Monoghan from La Plata, Md.


Exhibit in Williams Gallery in Huntley Hall by Kathleen Olson: “Inside Out”

The Williams School of Commerce, Economics, and Politics at Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Va., is pleased to present the solo exhibition “Inside Out,” paintings by Kathleen Olson. The exhibition will show through June 30, 2010, in the Williams Gallery, Huntley Hall.

Olson has had numerous one-person exhibitions and her work has been exhibited widely in regional and national exhibitions. In 2007 and 2005 she had solo exhibitions at the Accademia dell’ Arte in Arezzo, Italy.

She has been the recipient of numerous awards and grants including a Hewlett-Mellon Fellowship; the Ford Foundation Grant; Artist in Residence, The National Centre Frans Masereel, Kasterlee, Belgium; and Visiting Fellow, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. She has also received many Glenn Grants from Washington and Lee University for Faculty Development, allowing her to paint in the South of France, Greece and Italy.

Olson’s paintings have dealt with an interior/exterior theme for some time, with strong emphasis on light, color and pattern. Windows and doorways reappear in her paintings, as a means of passing from one space to another and as a device for incorporating various dimensions of time and place.

In her painting Olson strives to balance her gestural brush stroke with formal structuring, resulting in a sense of ordered chaos. Her current work features landscapes and interior/exteriors from her travels to Italy.

Olson taught painting and drawing in Louisiana for four years before joining the faculty at Washington and Lee University in 1987. She is currently a full professor, teaching all levels of drawing and painting.

Olson received her bachelor of arts degree in 1979 from the University of California at Berkeley where she studied with the renowned painters, Elmer Bischoff and Joan Brown. She spent a year in the graduate program at Pratt Institute in New York before joining the master of fine arts program at Yale University, where she received her master of fine arts in painting in 1983.


W&L Students in Israel

The four Washington and Lee students who participated in the 10-day trip to Israel during their December break through Taglit-Birthright Israel returned with glowing descriptions of their experience. Wrote Zach Segall, a senior from Owings Mills, Md.: “I expected to be amazed by the sights, people, culture, food, etc. — such expectations were both met and incredibly exceeded.  What I did not expect, and what truly made this an unforgettable — perhaps, even life-changing — experience, was the connection I now feel to the Israeli state and the Jewish people. The message of Birthright is both subtle and nuanced, allowing for individual participants to answer the ‘big questions’ themselves, such as: Is prayer a requirement to being Jewish? Is it possible to be a Jewish atheist? Or, what is my allegiance to the state of Israel? But, what every participant walks away with is the same: each individual realizes the significance of his or her Jewish identity in a whole new way. One realizes that there is no such thing as Jewish history; rather, we have ‘memories’ — making the pilgrimage to Israel an imperative in any quest for a fuller understanding of one’s heritage.” Below is a photograph of the students taken atop Masada.


Campus Kitchen at Washington and Lee Makes Snack Packs for Kids

The Campus Kitchen at Washington and Lee University (CKWL) has added a weekend snack program for children to its hunger-relief services in Rockbridge County. More than 100 eligible students (those who receive free or reduced-price lunches) at Natural Bridge Elementary School now take a backpack full of nutritious food home every Friday.

In operation since 2006, CKWL uses student volunteers to prepare and deliver meals to individuals in need all over Rockbridge County. It accepts donations of food from W&L’s main student-dining facility, the Marketplace; Walmart; Kroger; Virginia Military Institute (VMI); fraternities; restaurants; and caterers.

“After this school year is over, we’ll check and see if we have the food resources to expand the program to an additional school next year. We definitely have the extra backpacks,” said Jenny Sproul, coordinator of CKWL. She’s heard positive feedback from participating kids and their parents. “For some it’s probably a nice little bonus, and for others, I’m sure it’s the difference between eating or not.”

CKWL modeled the backpack program after a similar one run by the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank in Verona, Va. With recent extra resources coming to the Campus Kitchen from the Lexington Walmart, Sproul decided to start one here.

The students take the full backpacks home from school on Friday and bring them back on Monday or Tuesday. A teacher brings them back to Lexington to the Campus Kitchen. W&L student volunteers pack them again on Tuesday nights during a regular cooking shift. They deliver the packs to the school on Thursday afternoon, and a teacher puts them in the designated students’ lockers on Friday.

Campus Kitchen staffers don’t know who gets the backpacks; 105 students are now on the list. The school takes care of this detail to preserve the students’ privacy. The Marshall Foundation at VMI donated the backpacks (more than 250).

Because the backpacks sit in lockers overnight and are not refrigerated, the food is different from that in CKWL’s typical meal-snack program. Sproul said it has been a good opportunity to use the non-perishables that Walmart has been donating.

Sproul said, “It’s wonderful to see the food travel through the community, from the different places who donate it to Campus Kitchen, to be redistributed into backpacks, and then passed along to Natural Bridge Elementary School students with need. At the Campus Kitchen we’re thrilled to be a part of this puzzle and to see food that used to be thrown away serving a purpose in our community.”


How Do You Say 2010?