McClung Opens Own PR Firm
After six years as a spokesman for Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, most recently as deputy chief of staff, Washington and Lee alumnus Brian McClung, of the Class of 1995, has left that position to start his own public relations company, McClung Communications and Public Affairs, L.L.C., in Minneapolis-St. Paul.
As a column in MinnPost.com, noted, “Six years is a long time for a press secretary to survive in the intense modern world of politics and media. Most reporters have had their ups and downs with McClung, which is true for any governor’s press secretary, but he generally maintained good humor with us.”
In addition to the new PR firm, Brian will also direct MN Forward, a new political fund backed by the heads of the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce and the Minnesota Business Partnership. On his LinkedIn page, Brian describes MN Forward as “working with a broad coalition of Minnesota job creators to elect candidates from both parties who support policies that enhance job growth in Minnesota.”
The Twin Cities Pioneer Press quoted Brian in its story of his move, “This really has been a dream job for me in many ways. “There’s really nothing I can complain about. I had an incredible boss and got to work with some smart reporters.”
Alum on ACFR Executive Committee
Frank M. Young III, a 1963 Washington and Lee alumnus, has been named to the executive committee of the Washington, D.C.-based American Committees on Foreign Relations (ACFR).
Frank is chair of the International Law and Immigration Practice Team of the Haskell Slaughter Young & Rediker, LLC..
ACFR is as a nonprofit association dedicated to facilitating debate on international events — primarily as they relate to the formulation and implementation of U.S. foreign policy — between Washington and the heartland(s) of the United States. ACFR serves as an umbrella organization for local Committees on Foreign Relations in locations throughout the country. Frank is a past president of ACFR and has also been chair of the Birmingham Committee on Foreign Relations.
Frank, who earned his law degree from Samford University’s Cumberland School of Law, founded Haskell Slaughter’s litigation practice in 1974 and currently serves as chair of its Litigation Practice Group. He also heads the firm’s international law practice and served as the first chair of the Alabama State Bar’s International Law Section. Frank was instrumental in establishing Haskell Slaughter’s China practice relationships with the firm of Baker & Daniels, an international law firm with offices in Beijing and Qingdao, China.
Earlier this month, two Washington and Lee alumni turned their cameras on the music festival, Bonnaroo. Taylor Crothers of the Class of 1993 has been documenting the work of musicians such as Dave Matthews since the early 1990s and was one of the two official photographers at Bonnaroo, the four-day mega-music festival in Manchester, Tenn., from June 10-13.
If you’re not familiar with Taylor’s work, the best place to start is his website, C. Taylor Crothers Photography. The galleries offer a rich collection of his work from all over the world, including one gallery devoted entirely to the Dave Matthews Band’s 2009 European Tour. Other galleries show the portraits and the live shows he’s shot, plus tearsheets displaying the variety of publications, Rolling Stone to Rock ‘n Roll, where his work regularly appears.
This year, another W&L alum, Morgan Harris of the Class of 2009, joined up with Taylor and came away with his own portfolio of images from the shows and the scene at Bonnaroo, such as the photo at the top of Michael Franti and Spearhead, or the one below of Ozomatli. You can watch a slide show of Morgan’s Bonnaroo photography at this link.
W&L Alum's Key Role in Frugal Millionaire Story
Washington and Lee alumni from the late ’60s and early ’70s who are careful viewers of ABC’s “World News with Diane Sawyer” might have seen a familiar face there on June 9: Guy Glenn ’67, ’71L. He was interviewed for a story about the frugal millionaire Verna Oller, who left $4.5 million to her hometown of Long Beach, Wash.
Guy has his own law firm in Long Beach, and a part of his practice involves estate planning. He was Oller’s attorney and, according to stories following her death, one of the few people who knew the extent of her wealth. As the Seattle Times told the story, Oiler was known for her frugality — clipping coupons and never paying to have her hair done — but no one expected the legacy she left.
Oller died in May at age 98. In her will, she donated $500,000 to a public-school endowment and another $500,000 to a foundation to be used for student scholarships and grants to teachers. The rest went to build an indoor swimming pool in the city of Long Beach.
What Guy and his wife, Carolyn, knew— and other residents of Long Beach didn’t — was that Oller was a savvy investor who picked her own stocks and, apparently, made a killing. According to Guy’s comments in the Seattle Times, she was a total equity investor. She did research in the public library, and she’d “borrow” Guy’s Wall Street Journal when he was finished with it.
In more than a typical attorney-client relationship, Guy and his family were among Oller’s closest friends, according to the media reports. When she died she wanted neither funeral nor obituary. As Guy told the Seattle Times, “She said that all cost money, and she didn’t want anybody to feel like they had to do anything for her.” Guy wrote a death notice for his friend anyway.
You can see the ABC News interview with Guy and Carolyn by clicking on the link below:
Author Sam McLeod, known to his Washington and Lee law school classmates as Steve Johnson of the Class of 1981, has just published his newest book, Big Appetite: My Southern-Fried Search for Life. It’s his fourth book, following a trilogy , and . The next edition of the W&L Law Alumni Magazine will have additional details about the books and author.
In the meantime, you’ll find some entertaining examples of Steve’s writing on Sam’s Blog at the Sam McLeod website, where he writes about everything from his publisher’s insistence that he get a cell phone that both Tweets and Facebooks to tales of life on Detour Farm where he lives near Walla Walla, Wash.
Steve’s writing has also led him to a new gig as a storyteller, which he has been doing in front of all different kinds of audiences in his home state. To get a sense of what those stories are like, have a look at this YouTube video:
With its W&L Traveller program, the University’s Office of Special Programs tours the world, allowing alumni and other adventurers to explore countries from Vietnam to Turkey, cities from New Orleans to Madrid. What you may not know is that they also make a point of meeting up with other W&L sojourners while they are on the road—and have the photos to prove it.
This past January, the trip was Antarctica: Voyage to the Seventh Continent Aboard the Corinthian II. The guest lecturer was Ed Spencer, W&L’s Ruth Parmly Professor of Geology Emeritus (at right in photo). Ed is also a member of the Class of 1953. When the trip reached Ushuaia, Argentina, where they boarded a ship to cross the Drake Passage, Ed was delighted to have a brief reunion with Jesse Smith (center), Class of 2003, and Jesse’s dad, Herb Smith (left), undergraduate Class of 1964 and law Class of 1967.
Jesse and fellow alumni Frank Burnside (Class of 2004) and Willie Thompson (also 2004) are sailing around the world on board the Obelisk (http://www.svobelisk.com/). At the time, Herb was also on board his son’s ship. “When they saw that W&L had a trip to Antarctica planned, they contacted Rob Fure, director of Special Programs, who put them in touch with me,” says Ed, who taught geology to Jesse. “They found our ship and were waiting for our group to appear.”
And this past May, during a cruise of the Rhine and Moselle rivers, the group met up in the ancient town of Trier, Germany, with Dan Kramer, professor of German at W&L, and his 12 students. “We had planned to meet in Cologne but our boat was delayed,” says Susie Thompson, associate director of Special Programs. “So thanks to cell phones, we planned the Trier rendezvous, and it worked.”
To learn more about W&L Traveller, see http://www.wlu.edu/x10943.xml.
A Successful NightOwl
Andrea Wallack planned to pursue a career in biochemistry after her graduation from Washington and Lee in 1989. But plans change, and today Andrea is the CEO of NightOwl Document Management Services, the company she founded when she was only 24 and already managing director of two affiliated companies, Miralex and archiving company, ImageXe LLC.
Finance & Commerce, a business publication in Minnesota, recently profiled Andrea and her companies. The story describes Andrea’s 1991 decision to leave her career path. she had completed postgraduate work in chemistry at Harvard and obtained her field certification in biology at the Darwin Research Centre in Guyaquil, Ecuador. She and a friend decided instead that there was a future in helping law firms manage their flow of documents.
Based in the Twin Cities, NightOwl’s niche is in combining “world-class technologies with the practice of law,” and the company offers “document solutions for litigation, compliance and risk management.” At a time when the legal system is awash in electronic documentation, the services that Andrea’s company offers are in even greater demand. But, as the article in Finance & Commerce notes, the road was bumpy. Andrea told the newspaper that to be a successful entrepreneur, “You need tenacity and be able to overcome adversity, because there is no easy ride. You have to have the stomach to handle the ups and downs.”
OAndrea has that tenacity. In April, she was named to Finance & Commerce’s list of 2010 “Minnesotans on the Move.”
Todd Brown, a 1985 graduate of Washington and Lee and a 23-year resident of Culpepper, Va., just received a major award from his home community — the 11th annual Good Scout Award.
The Piedmont District Boy Scouts of America give it to residents who embody scouting principles through their work and community service.
Todd moved to Culpeper to open an Edward Jones investment office. As he told the Culpepper Star-Exponent, he was given his choice of 15 towns in the Southeast and chose Culpepper as the place to spend the rest of his life.
An Eagle Scout himself, Todd has been involved in numerous community activities, including Culpeper Renaissance, the Windmore Foundation for the Arts, the Chamber of Commerce, the Knights of Columbus, the Dawn Lions, the Rotary Club and the Soap Box Derby. He also performed as a drummer in the local band, Short Biggie.
Thanks to Todd’s classmate, Bruce Potter, regional publisher for Media General’s Northern Virginia Community Newspapers, for sending us the news about Todd.
Tallahassee artist W. Stanley (Sandy) Proctor, of Washington and Lee’s Class of 1961, has forged a impressive reputation in the art world, including election to the Florida Artists Hall of Fame (joining such other luminaries as Ernest Hemingway, Ray Charles, Tennessee Williams, and Zora Neale Hurston). He began as a painter and stone carver, and his work has been displayed in the Smithsonian, among other museums.
He is best known for his bronze sculptures, which are on display throughout the country. In the past few days, Sandy and his work have garnered attention on sports pages in Florida and beyond, since he has been commissioned to create bronze statues of the University of Florida’s three Heisman Trophy-winning quarterbacks, Tim Tebow, Danny Wuerffel and Steve Spurrier. The installation will be outside Florida Field in Gainesville and is scheduled for completion next year.
This will not be the only Florida football stadium where Sandy’s work appears. His statue of former Florida State coach Bobby Bowden stands outside Doak Campbell Stadium in Tallahassee. As a columnist in the Palm Beach Post noted, Florida Gator fans might think twice once they know that the same sculptor who created the Bowden sculptor is also doing their Heisman heroes — and doing them in Tallahassee, no less.
The Gainesville installation will be the latest in a series of the public and private commissions of monumental and portrait bronzes. These include a monumental sculpture of two Navy SEALs killed in the line of duty entitled, “The Guardians,” for the Veteran’s Memorial Park in Cupertino, Calif.; the “Spartan” for the University of Tampa; “Eddie Stanky” for the University of South Alabama; and “The Sunday Paper” for The Tallahassee Democrat in Florida.
One of his works, “Bandanna,” is currently located in the Roosevelt Room in the White House as a gift in 1995 from the Governor of Florida to the President of the United States.
To get an appreciation of the variety of Sandy’s work, you need to take a look at the galleries on his website.
The Rockbridge Rapids, the summer league baseball team that calls Washington and Lee’s Smith Field home, are well into their second season in the Valley League. Washington and Lee alumni Jim Crothers ’66 and Ken Newman ’71 are the team’s president and general managers, respectively. The Rapids are composed of college players from around the country, and the 12-team Valley League operates a 44-game schedule during which the players use the wooden bats that they’ll use if they make it to the Major Leagues.
In their first season, the Rapids struggled to a 9-33 record. But the early returns this year have been a little stronger. Heading into a game at home tonight, the team is 4-6. If you’re going to be in Lexington over the summer, check out a Rapids game. Here’s the schedule.
More Honors for Reggie Aggarwal '94L
In May, Reggie Aggarwal, a 1994 graduate of W&L’s School of Law and founder and CEO of Cvent, was honored by the Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies (APAICS), which presented him its Distinguished Corporate Achievement Award.
This latest recognition comes a year after Reggie was named Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year in the Greater Washington area and was also selected as one of the “Top Tech Titans” by the Washingtonian magazine.
When he founded the business 10 years ago, Cvent was a local startup company in the D.C. area. Today, the company is global and has more than 600 employees who provide online event management, venue sourcing tools and web survey solutions in 29 countries. Marriott Meeting News, the largest magazine in the industry, named Reggie one of the 25 most influential people in the $100 billion dollar meetings industry.
In addition to all this, Reggie founded and is now chairman emeritus of the Indian CEO High Tech Council, which the Washington Post called “maybe the singularly most successful association in the past decade.”
Hoops and Hope
PeacePlayers International aims to use the game of basketball to unite and educate children and their communities, and Washington and Lee alumna Marina Vasilara, of the Class of 1995, is managing director of PeacePlayers International in her home country of Cyprus.
According to the PeacePlayers’ website, the program that Marina manages in Cyprus hopes to “facilitate positive dialogue and interaction between Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot youth, with the ultimate goal being improved relations between the Greek and Turkish communities in Cyprus.”
Marina attended W&L as a Fulbright Scholar and received a B.A. in German and a B.S. in business administration and accounting. She had worked in banking in Washington, both at the World Bank and at a private bank, before returning to Cyprus. She became managing director for PeacePlayers International-Cyprus in March 2009.
ABCs of Fundraising
Washington and Lee junior Chloe Bellomy is in the news in her hometown of Beaufort, S.C., for a cool project that she has developed there.
An English major with a creative writing minor, Chloe is a Johnson Scholar at W&L, and the story about her novel idea in The Island Packet begins by notig that she has “loved reading and writing for as long as she can remember.”
So when Chloe wanted to raise money to support the schools in Beaufort, rather than go the typical route of selling car washes and candy sales, she naturally turned to reading and writing. She has started an organization called “ABCs for Change.”
Her idea, as reported in the newspaper story, is to create a series of children’s books that would be sold to benefit the schools. The first book, “D for Diversity,” was illustrated by students at a local Montessori school in Beaufort. She combined her writing with the illustrations and published the 45-page, full-color book. She anticipates a variety of subjects for future books and has a website in the works, too.
Racing in Florida
Loranne Ausley, a 1990 graduate of Washington and Lee’s School of Law, is racing in Florida. Not only is she running to become the state’s chief financial officer, one of three members of the Florida cabinet, but she also competed in the North Florida Olympic Triathlon as part of an unusual campaign fund-raising effort.
Loranne Ausley is a former member of Florida’s House of Representatives, where she served from 2000-2008. Her statewide race for CFO is garnering media attention, and her campaign website reports a steady stream of endorsements.
But it was her triathlon challenge that caught our eye. Loranne and her 28-year-old campaign manager were both training for the event and became fairly competitive in their approach. Feeling competitive, they asking followers to give $28 to the campaign if they thought the younger campaign mangers would win (he’s 28 years old), or $46 to the campaign if they thought Loranne would prevail.
The race, held May 22, consisted of swimming (.93 miles), biking (24.8 miles) and running (6.2 miles). Not only did Loranne beat her campaign manager (by a full 68 minutes), but she also finished second in her age group and was ninth overall among women, with a total time of 2:52:38.1.
Meanwhile, the race for CFO goes on. This week, Loranne’s campaign received an important endorsement from the Police Benevolent Association. Loranne has made a name for herself in Florida as a champion of children’s issues. She chairs the Florida Healthy Kids Corporation, which provides health insurance for low-income children and is a senior adviser to the Lawton Chiles Foundation, which works to support children’s health issues in Florida.
W&L's CBS Connection
A Washington and Lee journalism student and a W&L journalism alumna have connected in the Washington bureau of CBS News this summer, and the initial result is a story, both print and video, on how music is helping New Orleans to heal.
Alicia Budich, who will be a senior at W&L in the fall, is spending the summer as an intern with CBS News in Washington. She worked there last summer as well. Kaylee Hartung, a 2007 alumna, is an associate producer of “Face the Nation with Bob Schieffer” and also a reporter on “Washington Unplugged,” a daily web-based program.
Earlier this week, Alicia wrote the post, New Orleans Residents Raise their Spirits with Music, which was based on Kaylee’s interview with musician Paul Sanchez at a Washington fund-raising concert for New Orleans. Kaylee’s interview ran on the June 7 edition of “Washington Unplugged,” and you can see the segment below.
“Jeggings” and the Economy
Washington and Lee alumnus David Stovall Jr. of the Class of 1969 was always headed for the retail sales business. That’s one of the takeaways from a wide-ranging Q and A with David, the president and CEO of Jacksonville-based Stein Mart, that appeared in the Financial News & Daily Record (Jacksonville, Fla.) earlier this month.
As he mentions in the piece, David has been in retail for all but one summer. He recalls how his father, assistant manager of the Leggett store in downtown Staunton, Va., would swing by the store when he drove David to kindergarten: “I would go into the store with him in the morning. And the trash cans were on wheels and he would make sure all the trash cans were pulled up to the aisle and I would push them to the front door. As a kindergartner. He was an ex-Marine dive bomber pilot and (there was) not much variance, not much room from that center line.”
David joined Stein Mart in December 2008 after spending 22 years with Belk Inc. He also had retail experience with Woodward & Lothrop, Bloomingdale’s and Stewart’s in the Washington, DC/Baltimore area. Stein Mart, which operates 265 stores from California to Massachusetts, offers the fashion merchandise, service and presentation of a better department or specialty store, at prices competitive with off-price retail chains.
Financial News notes that David guided Stein Mart from a loss of more than $70 million in 2008 to a profit of almost $24 million in 2009. But beyond the numbers, the story provides fascinating background on how David and his team decide what shoppers are going to want to buy from store to store and region to region. And you can also find out what “jeggings” are.
W&L Alum Confirmed as U.S. Attorney
The U.S. Senate unanimously confirmed Washington and Lee law alumnus R. Booth Goodwin II (Class of 1996) as U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of West Virginia. Formerly an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the office since 2001, Booth was nominated by President Obama in January.
In announcing the confirmation, both West Virginia U.S. senators cited the role Booth and his office will have in the investigations of the recent tragedy at the Upper Big Branch mine in Montcoal, W.Va. “There are a variety of investigations taking place which require immediate attention — including the recent mine disaster in Montcoal which took the lives of 29 West Virginia coal miners. I believe the people of the southern coalfields deserve the competent and vigilant representation that Mr. Goodwin will bring to the table,” Sen. Robert C. Byrd said in a statement.
In an article in the Charleston Gazette, Booth cited his particular interest in the issue of mortgage fraud. “That’s a key initiative by the Department of Justice, and that’s something we’ll be looking very closely at as well,” he said.
In 2007, Booth received a U.S. Department of Justice Director’s Award for his directions of a case involving political corruption in Logan County. The four-year investigation resulted in nine convictions, including convictions of senior county officials and politicians.
Booth is a native of Ripley, W.Va., and received his bachelor’s degree from West Virginia University.
As their capstone course in journalism, four teams of students in Washington and Lee’s In-Depth Reporting class prepared major projects on topics of local significance.The teams spent the four-week spring term reporting on those subjects and creating interactive websites that included video as well as a series of newspaper stories.
You can view the final products on the journalism site. The topics were:
• Black in Lexington: Endurance and Hope in a Vanish Community
The team focused on how Lexington’s black community has shrunk from 30 percent of the city’s population to 10 percent.
• Portrait of Rockbridge: Developing a snapshot of the place we call home
Using the 2010 U.S. Census as a jumping-off point, this series of stories examined what the numbers show.
• Building on the Past for a Bright Future
In an examination of the future of Lexington’s downtown and its architecture, the team focused on the future of the R.E. Lee Hotel.
• Helping Heroes Heal
The VA Medical Center in Salem is the focal point of this series.
There's an App for W&L
Jeff Knudson, senior technology architect in Washington and Lee’s Information Technology Services, has just built a new W&L-specific application for the iPhone and iPad, and the University’s redesigned Spring Term gets an assist.
Jeff built the app while auditing the spring term course taught by Simon Levy, associate professor of computer science, in which students learned how to create their own iPhone apps.
The application that Jeff created allows users to look up directory information and also to see current news and calendar information. Here is the full description of the app:
- Find People directory search: Provides the ability to do online searches for W&L faculty, staff and students in the online web directory.
- Employees by Name: Provides the ability to look up details on W&L faculty and staff, sorted by name.
- Employees by Department: Provides the ability to look up details on W&L faculty and staff, sorted by department.
- Emergency Numbers: Provides the current emergency contact numbers.
- Quick Reference Numbers: Provides departmental contact numbers.
- University News: Provides access to the University home page’s news RSS feed and the ability to browse the news stories.
- University Events: Provides access to the University home page’s campus events RSS feed and the ability to browse the event details.
- Provides access only to the search, news and events if network access is available.
- Caches the employee, emergency and quick reference lists on the device for use even when network access is not available.
- Includes a rotating display of several W&L campus images on the Find People screen.
The free application is now available for downloading from the iTunes store.
Brewing in Birmingham
As Hatton Smith tells the story, he got his start in the family business, Royal Cup Coffee, by decree: “My mother forced my brother to hire me.” He joined the company in 1973, right after graduating from Washington and Lee.
That is one of the stories you’ll find in an entertaining and informative piece about the company and Hatton, who is now its president and CEO, that appeared this week in The Birmingham News, home to Royal Cup.
Some interesting facts about Royal Cup that Hatton, a former member of W&L’s Board of Trustees. In that capacity, he chaired what he called the “Good News Committee,” aka the Development and External Relations Committee. In the interview, he reveals some interesting facts about Royal Cup. For one, the company roasts about 45 million pounds of coffee beans a year and is the leading supplier to the resort and lodging industries. If you’ve had coffee at Cracker Barrel or the Ritz-Carlton (or Cafe 77 in Elrod Commons, for that matter), you’ve had Royal Cup.
As Hatton relates the company’s history in the piece, his father, Billy Smith, and a group of investors bought the Batterton Coffee Co. in 1950, when it was in bankruptcy. In 1958, Royal Cup established a route service to restaurants and hotels and began selling to offices in 1968. Royal Cup is currently on track for $250 million in revenue in 2010.
Traveling Through Time
During the recently completed spring term at Washington and Lee, Nathaniel Goldberg’s students in Philosophy 375 explored the philosophy of time travel: the philosophical possibility and implications.
Through the miracle of film, you can join their time-travel explorations. For their final project, the students created their own time-travel movies, and all four are available on Washington and Lee’s YouTube channel.
- Fairchilds’ Worst Day
Elizabeth Brassfield, Greg Bekiaris, Mike Drago, Max Hagler, and Joe Stockmeyer produced this movie about Fairchild van Waldenburg, a time-traveling student who has strong opinions about Mariah Carey movies.
Danielle Maurer, Dewey Mixter, Jeni Pritchett, Alex Rosenfeld, and Ian Sturdy produced this movie about a Jeopardy! contestant, the name of a dessert and time travel.
- The Power of Love
Eric Gehman, Jamie Goodin, K. C. Jones, Richard Knack, Paul Matteo, and Joe Stusek produced this still-action movie about W&L students traveling back in time to the Civil War to meet Robert E. Lee.
- There’s Somethin’ Happenin’ Here
Blake Grady, Kenton Jones, Taylor Magrath, Taylor Melanson, and Meg Weigel produced this movie about James McFly Traveler, a student whose life changes dramatically when he meets a mysterious bartender.
Big River Rolling
When the economy was heading down and advertising firms were losing clients left and right, Richmond’s Big River Advertising was going in the opposite direction. The company’s president, Fred Moore, of the Class of 1980, told the Richmond Times-Dispatch of their Navy SEAL approach: “We’re small, but we’re effective.” Read the recent feature story on the company, which Fred founded in 2001.
According to the story, Big River has increased the size of its company from 16 or 17 to 20 people and moved into a new office on Tobacco Row in Richmond, all while competitors were having to downsize. The biggest recent news involved some of the new clients that Big River has signed in recent months, especially a $24-million-per-year account with the Virginia Lottery.
In addition to the Virginia Lottery, some of Big River’s accounts include the Podium Foundation, investment banker Harris Williams, the National 4-H Council, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, and Moon Pie.
Big River and Moon Pie bring a couple of W&L alums together, since Moon Pie is the signature product of Chattanooga Bakery Inc., of which Sam Campbell, of the Class of 1981, is president and CEO. You can see how Big River is marketing its clients by going to the Big River YouTube page. In addition to the company’s radio and TV ads for the Virginia Lottery and Anthem Blue Cross, you can find out how Moon Pie is changing the world: