Feature Stories Campus Events

A Paris Photo Blog

For proof that students in the spring term course, Photography and the City, taught by Washington and Lee art professor Christa Bowden are hard at work, look no further than their blog, W&L Photography. You will find a selection of the images they have taken since they arrived in the city — and the city in question just happens to be Paris.

The class is spending the first three weeks in Paris, where they will each undertake a substantial photographic project of their own while also taking field trips to museums, galleries, and other relevant sites. The last week will be devoted to printing the images and curating an exhibition of the work.

Below are just a few samples of the images you’ll find on the blog at http://wluphoto.com/


New Site for New Students

As members of Washington and Lee’s Class of 2014 begin to prepare to enter the University in the fall, there is a great new website resource available to make that transition as smooth as possible.

The New Student Dashboard, created by W&L’s Web team and maintained by Kati Grow in the Division of Student Affairs, maps out an almost day-by-day plan for the transition. Anyone who has been involved with getting ready to take that step (or helping a student get ready for that step) recognizes that the questions can be endless — from to how long the room curtains should be to what restaurants are available near the campus. The dashboard not only provides the questions and answers in a blog form, but there is a live chat option, too.

A checklist lets students know what they need to be thinking about from the time they send in their deposit until they arrive in Lexington.

Be sure to have a look at the new page even if you or your son or daughter aren’t in the new class.

Here’s the link: For New Students.


Jack Goldsmith Elected to AAAS

Washington and Lee alumnus Jack Goldsmith of the Class of 1984 has just been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, one of the nation’s oldest and most prestigious honorary societies.

Jack is the Henry L. Shattuck Professor of Law at Harvard University. He was among 229 leaders in the sciences, social sciences, the humanities, the arts, business and public affairs elected this year. This year’s inductees include winners of the Nobel, Pulitzer, and Shaw Prizes; MacArthur and Guggenheim fellows; and Grammy, Tony, and Oscar Award winners. The new class will be inducted at a ceremony on October 9, at the Academy’s headquarters in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

AAAS was founded by John Adams, James Bowdoin, John Hancock, and other scholar-patriots and has elected leading “thinkers and doers” from each generation, including George Washington and Benjamin Franklin in the eighteenth century, Daniel Webster and Ralph Waldo Emerson in the nineteenth, and Albert Einstein and Winston Churchill in the twentieth. The current membership includes more than 250 Nobel laureates and more than 60 Pulitzer Prize winners.

A philosophy major at W&L, Jack presented the Founders’ Day/ODK speech at W&L in 2009. He is the author of The Terror Presidency: Law and Judgment inside the Bush Administration and many other books and articles related to terrorism, national security, and international law. Before joining Harvard Law, Jack was assistant attorney general, Office of Legal Counsel, and as special counsel to the general counsel to the Department of Defense.


Carnegie Mellon Honors Chad Ellis '03

Chad Ellis, a 2003 Washington and Lee graduate and currently a Ph.D. candidate in chemistry at Carnegie Mellon University, has been named the recipient of CMU’s  Graduate Student Service Award, which recognizes “service to his fellow students at Carnegie Mellon, and to his colleagues around Pittsburgh and the nation.”

Chad, a chemistry major at W&L, served as 2009 Vice President of External Affairs for CMU’s Graduate Student Assembly.

An announcement of Chad’s award on the CMU news blog cited the work he did in arguing on behalf of international graduate student who face visa problems — an argument that he made to the U.S. Congress, where he met with legislators on the issue.

Chad was also involved in the fight to keep the city of Pittsburgh from taxing the tuition of all students at city universities, including Carnegie Mellon.

Rea Freeland, associate dean of the Mellon College of Science and associate head of the chemistry department, said of Chad: “In my 17 years of working with graduate students in many departments at Carnegie Mellon, including several past student leaders, I have never met anyone with such breadth of commitment to the Carnegie Mellon community in particular and to serving the broader society as a whole.”


Retiring After 253 Years

Washington and Lee celebrated the careers of seven retiring members of the University staff at the annual Employee Recognition Banquet on Thursday. Altogether, the seven have a combined 253 years of service to W&L. The winner in that category, by quite a distance, is Kathleen H. Dunlap, or Miss Kitty as she has been known to generations. She first joined the University in 1959.

The retirees are:

  • Dora B. Coleman, Marketplace cook, 1989–2010
  • John H. DeCourcy, director of financial aid, 1983–2010
  • Kathleen H. Dunlap, Washington Hall receptionist, 1959–2010
  • Emory W. Higgins Jr., HVAC/plumber, 1979–2010
  • Frances E. Moore, custodian, 1995-2010
  • Brenda D. Reese, textbook buyer, 1966–2010
  • Carole M. Shorter, executive assistant to the dean of the School of Law, 1983–2009
  • Kenneth F. “Digger” Swink, paint shop supervisor, 1972–2010

In addition, 55 employees were recognized for their years of service to the University:

Fifty Years Service

  • Kathleen H. Dunlap

Forty-Five Years Service

  • Linda H. Agnor

Thirty-Five Years Service

  • Raymond E. Bryant
  • Ernest R. Hostetter

Thirty Years Service

  • Bernard F. Butler III
  • Julia S. Cline
  • Emory W. Higgins, Jr.
  • Martha C. Rowsey
  • Wanda R. Scott
  • Judith S. Stinson

Twenty-Five Years

  • Eldridge H. Alderman
  • Linda G. Hall
  • Peggy C. Pugh
  • Larry W. Stuart

Twenty Years Service

  • William F. Clark
  • Ricky G. Clifton
  • Dora B. Coleman
  • Melissa M. Cox
  • Claude E. Floyd III
  • David C. Glassford
  • Deborah A. Hattersley
  • John B. Hellmuth
  • Larry D. Hostetter
  • Andrew L. Martin
  • Sheryl F. Salm
  • Deborah M. Stoner
  • Wanda K. Swartz
  • Michael H. Tolley
  • Michael F. Walsh

Fifteen Years Service

  • Lynda G. Bassett-deMaria
  • Lisa J. Dunlap
  • Patricia S. Johnson
  • Frances E. Moore
  • Judith W. Owens
  • Penny O. Patterson
  • Susan L. Thompson
  • Diederik A. van Assendelft
  • Denise M. Watts

Ten Years Service

  • Christopher G. Adkins
  • Elizabeth O. Branner
  • Thomas G. Contos
  • Gregory J. Cooper
  • Zola S. Goodbar
  • Nicholas D. Gualtieri
  • Adolph H. Humphreys
  • Janet Ikeda Yuba
  • James D. Kaster
  • Cynthia M. Lawson
  • Paul S. Merchant
  • Emily H. Nicely
  • Suzanne G. Noonan
  • Daniel R. Rexrode
  • Rhonda H. Rhodenizer
  • Dean E. Tallman
  • Charles L. Updike

A Canceled Check

During last weekend’s School of Law reunion, returning members of the Class of 1960, back for their 50th, received special recognition during a Saturday morning gathering in the Millhiser Moot Court Room. Once they had been received a commemorative medal and greetings from W&L President Ken Ruscio and Law Dean Rodney Smolla, one of the class members, George Anthou, from Canonsburg, Pa., asked to address the assembly.

It seems George had brought a rather unusual bit of memorabilia from his law days with him: a canceled check from the First National Bank of Lexington in the amount of $282.50, made out to Washington and Lee University. The check, written on Feb. 1, 1960, was his payment for his final semester of tuition, plus the charge for his Davis Hall room.

As George correctly noted in a letter written to classmates: “Today, perhaps it might not even cover the cost of a couple of law books.”

George, who spent 46 years in private practice in his hometown of Canonsburg (the home of both Perry Como and Bobby Vinton), had numerous fascinating stories in his letter to classmates. One, in particular, stands out. He recalls how law professor Charles P. McDowell lectured the students on what their grades would really mean. George quotes Prof. McDowell as telling them: “Don’t worry about what grade may result from your studies because the ‘A’ students become judges, the ‘B’ students work for the state or federal government and the ‘C’ students become trial lawyers and earn all the big fees.” Fees large enough, no doubt, to make that $282.50 in tuition and room fees worth the cost.


A Must Read

Denizens of pre-renovation Reid Hall from the mid-1980s can certainly relate to much of the portrait of Mike Allen (Class of 1986) that is painted in the fascinating cover story on Mike and Politico in the New York Times Magazine. You can read that piece online today, and it’s worth every minute you spend. Here is the link.

Literally within minutes of the story’s posting on the Times website, about half a dozen people had e-mailed to point it out. Among the many details that ring true in Mark Lebovich’s piece is the description of Mike’s “showing up out of nowhere, around corners, at odd hours, sometimes a few time zones away.” That was true back during his days as editor of the Ring-tum Phi, when Mike would appear suddenly, out of nowhere, in the doorway of the news office.  Instead of his now omnipresent BlackBerry, he had a legal pad under his arm and would be chewing on a pen.

Here are just a few of the other descriptions of Mike that you’ll find cited in the Times piece:

From Bob Woodward on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe”: “You don’t have to do anything else, just read Mike Allen.”

From Democratic consultant Tracy Self: “ is part mascot and part sleepless narrator of our town. He is an omnipresent participant-observer, abundantly kind, generous and just unpredictable enough to make him an object of curiosity to even the most self-interested. Everything about him is literary.”

And from Mike himself, this anecdote that will no doubt resonate with his former journalism teacher at W&L: ” became animated when discussing a long-ago reporting job in Fredericksburg, Va. His favorite story there was headlined, ‘Hot Dog: A Meal or a Snack?’ The county board of supervisors was debating whether hot-dog sales should include a meal tax. ‘Every single thing that I’ve written since then,’ Allen said, ‘whether it’s about a mayor or a governor or senator or president, it all boils down to, “Hot Dog: A Meal or a Snack?” All great questions come from small questions.’ ”


W&L and Purchasing Power

Purchasing Power, an Atlanta-based company that has been ranked on Entrepreneur magazine’s list of the Top 100 fastest growing companies, has added to its Washington and Lee connections with the announcement that Chad Delp of the Class of 1993 is the new chief financial officer.

At Purchasing Power, Chad is joining fellow W&L alumnus Keith Calhoun, of the Class of 1979, who is the company’s CEO.

Prior to joining Purchasing Power, Chad was senior vice president in the consumer group of Stephens Inc., in Little Rock, where he executed client transactions, including mergers and acquisitions and capital raises. Chad is currently a director of Purchasing Power, Morrell Wine Group, 5 Star Sports Calendar and ACCESS schools, a non-profit organization that serves the needs of children with learning disabilities. After receiving his bachelor’s degree in economics at W&L, Chad went on to earn a master’s in business administration in finance with distinction from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, where he was named a Palmer Scholar.

Keith, meantime, has been a member of the management team of Purchasing Power since it began in April 2000 and is credited with changing the business model of the company by developing the employee computer purchase program. Now the company helps employees purchase name-brand products with manageable monthly payments through payroll deduction and is licensed in all 50 states as a reseller of personal computers, consumer electronics, and home appliances and maintains relationships with major manufacturers, as well as resellers, distributors and other suppliers.

In 2008, Keith was named one of the Catalyst magazine’s “Top 25 Entrepreneurs & Ones to Watch” and, in a video you can watch here, described the way the company has evolved from the idea he originally had during a fly fishing trip.


W&L Alumna One of 15 Visionaries

Robyn O’Brien, the 1993 Washington and Lee alumna who has been labeled “food’s Erin Brockovich” by the New York Times, earned another significant honor this month when Planet Green, part of the Discovery Channel, named her one of its 15 visionaries — people who are providing “big ideas that will shape our world going forward.” Robyn is founder of AllergyKids.com, which aims to protect American families from the chemicals now found in our food supply.

Robyn is joined on the list by musician Moby, former Sierra Club president Adam Werbach and oceans advocate Phillipe Cousteau. You can see the entire list on the Planet Green site. Robyn is No. 13 on the slide show.

You can stay in touch with Robyn’s work by following her Twitter feed, @UnhealthyTruth, or going to her website, Shedding Light on the Food Industry. She also writes a blog for the Huffington Post.


Books in the Attic

You know how when you’re spring cleaning, you find all kinds of interesting stuff you didn’t even know you had? Well, that happened the other day in the attic of Washington Hall. Mike Carmagnola, executive director of facilities and capital planning, was rummaging around up there in preparation for the building’s eventual renovation, part of the ongoing project that will spiff up the entire Colonnade. He bumped up against four long, narrow wooden boxes—filled with a complete set of The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies (OR for short). The multivolume reference work was published from 1880 to 1901.

A tag on the dusty boxes read, “Property of Dr. Bean.” That would be the late W.G. Bean, professor of history at W&L who arrived in 1922 and was one of the school’s signal personages until his death in 1974.

Carmagnola’s colleague Lucy Raney and her crew moved the boxes from the attic of Washington Hall to “the attic of the University”—that’s how Vaughan Stanley, Special Collections librarian, refers to his domain in Leyburn Library. He called up Prof. Bean’s son, William Bean Jr., who lives in Lexington and has been updating his father’s 1964 book, The Liberty Hall Volunteers: Stonewall’s College Boys. As best as Stanley (at left in the photo) and Bean (at right) can figure, the senior Bean must have stashed the books in Washington Hall’s attic when he retired in the 1950s, and they have been there ever since.

Since Leyburn Library already has several sets of the OR, Stanley is trying to find a good home for this one. He expects Special Collections will be the beneficiary of other discoveries, however, as attics and basements along the Colonnade get tidied up over the next few years. “Good things turn up that way,” says Stanley.