Feature Stories Campus Events

New Mosbacher Memoir Released

In the foreword to “Going to Windward: A Mosbacher Family Memoir,” President George H.W. Bush writes this about Washington and Lee alumnus Bob Mosbacher: ” made life in Houston, life in Washington — life, period — more enjoyable and meaningful for Barbara and me than mere words can describe. Simply put, we hate to think where we would be without him.”

Bob Mosbacher died in January of complications from pancreatic cancer. A member of the Class of 1947 and the Law School Class of 1949, Bob received an honorary degree from the University in 1984.

The new book was just released this fall by the Texas A&M University Consortium Press. It was formally introduced at an event held at the George Bush Presidential Library earlier this month, when President George H.W. Bush and his wife, Barbara, attended the program, which featured Bob’s widow, Mica Mosbacher, his son, Robert A. Mosbacher Jr., and Texas First Lady Anita Perry, among others.

Bob served as the 28th U.S. Secretary of Commerce under the first President Bush and was an accomplished oilman who founded Mosbacher Energy Co. He was also a powerful Republican fund-raiser and a champion amateur sailor. The George Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University named the Mosbacher Institute for Trade, Economics and Public Policy in his honor.

In his memoir, which he wrote with James G. McGrath, Bob noted his decision to attend W&L. Having attended prep school in the Northeast, Bob wrote, “my thoughts turned more toward going to a southern school.” But he also wanted to attend a school with a calendar that would allow him to compete in a major yachting event, the Long Island International Class series, since he thought had a good chance to win the overall championship.

He told the placement officer at Choate, his high school, that he was looking for a “warm-climate university.” The placement officer named three schools: Tulane, Duke and W&L. “I was intrigued , and once I learned more about the school, its location, and its size I decided to go there…. In the end, I lost the International Class title — but by deciding for Washington and Lee, I gained something far more precious.” He’s referring to Jane Pennypacker, his first wife, who died of leukemia in 1970.

Campaign Priorities and Report Cards

The renovation of the Colonnade is a big part of the $500 million capital campaign that the University announced earlier this week. And a key factor in the renovation is the environmentally sensitive way in which we are conducting it.

Followers of the annual College Sustainability Report Card will have noticed that while Washington and Lee’s grade improved this year to B from last year’s C+, the University did not report any buildings that had received certification under the Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) program. That was the case even though we’ve been boasting that both of our most recent projects, Newcomb Hall’s restoration and Hillel House, were LEED projects.

In fact, Mike Carmagnola, chief facilities officer, says we do expect both of these projects to receive LEED certification, but the paperwork to complete the LEED scoreboard is still underway. Since we got a C last year on the Green Building component of the Sustainability Report Card even without the two LEED buildings, chances are good that all our hard work on various sustainability initiatives will continue to pay off. Next up for an environmentally sensitive restoration and eventual LEED certification: Payne Hall. Work on that project is underway.

Meantime, the largest single component of the campaign is to raise $160 million for need-based financial aid so that qualified students can attend regardless of financial circumstances. The work already done in this area and the University’s overall financial stewardship were recognized this week when Kiplinger came out with its annual list of best values among private institutions and placed W&L fourth among liberal arts colleges.

W&L's Mad Man

Big news in the ad world yesterday centered on a Washington and Lee alumnus. Andrew Keller, a 1992 graduate, has been named the CEO of Crispin Porter & Bogusky, one of the country’s premier ad agencies.

We’ve noted Andrew’s work before in What’s News, noting an interview that he did with Creativity in 2009 and then referring to the work that he had done in rebranding Domino’s pizza last year.

Andrew has been creative director for the company and was responsible for overseeing ad campaigns for big global clients like Microsoft, Burger King and Kraft. He started out as an art director in 1998 and has steadily moved up.

The announcement of the appointment in AdWeek refers to the somewhat unusual path that Andrew has taken — that is, moving up on the creative side rather than the sales side. (Don Draper lives!): “To be sure, Mr. Keller isn’t cut from the same Brooks Brothers suit fabric as many of his peers in CEO posts at other shops in the industry — the majority of whom came up through account management, planning or operations roles. The creative-to-CEO transition is rare, though there are some prominent examples, such as Wieden & Kennedy CEO Dan Wieden, who among other creative feats wrote Nike’s ‘Just Do It’ tagline.”

For his part, Andrew is quoted as saying, “At the very beginning, I felt like I did something different than what the industry teaches us to do … I wasn’t thinking about my book, I was thinking about how to make the agency the best it could be.”

We’ll take a moment here to point out that Andrew was an English major at W&L. And to congratulate him.

New Names for the Benefactors' Wall

In 1983, when the University created the Honored Benefactors’ Wall in Washington Hall, the idea was to include the names of those individuals whose gifts to Washington and Lee had exceeded $1 million. The wall contained 15 names when it was first unveiled.

Last Thursday, Oct. 21, the University added six more names during a ceremony as part of the Board of Trustees’ meeting in Lexington. That brought the number of donors on the wall to 109.

In his remarks during the event, W&L President Ken Ruscio noted that, starting with George Washington’s 1796 gift to Liberty Hall, the University has stories — “almost legends, really” — about the difference that individuals’ philanthropy has meant over the years.

The newest names on the wall:

  • John and Ruth Huss. John is a 1965 law graduate. In 2008, the Husses gave significant support to the new third-year law program by establishing the Huss Challenge.
  • Hap and Brooke Stein. Hap is a 1974 W&L graduate. He and Brooke have established the Martin and Brooke Stein Professorship, one of the more than 35 endowed professorships.
  • Tom and Callen McJunkin. Tom is a double-degree holder, 1970 undergraduate and 1974 law. Among other initiatives, the McJunkins established the McJunkin Endowment for Student Engagement.

New Award for Nobel Laureate Joseph Goldstein '62

Washington and Lee alumnus Joseph Goldstein along with his longtime collaborator Michael Brown has been named winner of the inaugural Earl and Thress Stadtman Distinguished Scientist Award from the American Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.

The two scientists won the 1985 Nobel Prize in Medicine and the National Medal of Science in 1988 for their pioneering work concerning the regulation of cholesterol metabolism — work that led to the development of statin drugs, the cholesterol-lowering compounds in use today.

The Brown/Goldstein laboratory at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas is unique in medical research because it has been supervised jointly by two scientists for 33 years. According to the lab’s website, the laboratory is devoted to solving a fundamental problem: how do animals regulate the synthesis of cholesterol and other lipids so as to maintain constant membrane composition?

A 1962 graduate of W&L and an honorary degree recipient in 1986, Joe is a past president of the American Society for Clinical Investigation and belonged to the Governing Council of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences. He also served as chairman of the Medical Advisory Board of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and is a member of the boards of trustees of The Rockefeller University and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

Alumna Honored by New York City YWCA

Megan Taylor, a member of Washington and Lee’s Class of 1996, will be honored next month at the YWCA of New York City’s 37th Annual Salute Luncheon.

Megan, chief operating officer of private wealth management in the Investment Management Division (IMD) of Goldman, Sachs & Co., will join the Academy of Women Leaders Class of 2010 during the luncheon on Nov. 5.

The YWCA-NYC Academy of Women Leaders (AWL) is a distinguished network of nearly 3,000 women whose companies and organizations have chosen to recognize women for their leadership, achievement and contributions to their companies, institutions and communities. The AWL dates back to 1973, and anywhere from 40 to 70 honorees are inducted every year. New honorees are spotlighted in the “Salute Journal” and the New York Times.

Megan serves on the IMD Divisional COO Committee, the IMD New Products Committee, the IMD Business Practices Committee and the IMD Strategic Infrastructure Committee.  She also chairs the Private Wealth Management Risk Committee.

Megan is the senior female sponsor of the IMD Women’s Network, which provides career development, networking and training opportunities for women across the division. Megan is also IMD’s Summer Women’s and Diversity Champion,  assisting the division in the recruitment and retention of new analysts and associates.

Charting a Diverse Course for the Law

Formed in May 2009, the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD) held its first annual meeting in Washington earlier this month. Its first executive director, Washington and Lee alumnus Robert J. Grey Jr., of the Law Class of 1976, concluded that the higher-than-expected attendance showed how important the new initiative is to the profession.

“This attendance level is hard evidence of the importance that the leaders of the preeminent legal organizations in the country assign to this task of advancing legal diversity,” Robert said in a a story on the LCLD website. “And the attendance is especially noteworthy since general counsel and managing partners themselves had to be in attendance and could not send substitutes. In fact, we were very strict in enforcing that.”

The conference was titled “OPEN,” with the four letters standing for “Obligation, Power, Engagement, Now.” LCLD’s self-stated vision is “to significantly advance diversity and inclusion in our profession.”

Robert, a partner with Hunton and Williams, in Richmond, Va., and former president of the American Bar Association,  discussed the LCLD’s work and the state of diversity in the profession in a question-and-answer article in the “AmLaw Daily.” You can read his remarks here.

IFC, Panhel Underwrite Community Fun

In Lexington, Fridays are alive in the summer. That’s because of a series of concerts that the Lexington-Rockbridge Jaycees host in W&L’s Davidson Park.

As a result of the series, the Jaycees recently announced a $10,000 donation to three local charities —  the Blue Ridge Autism and Achievement Center (BRAAC), the Rockbridge SPCA and the Rockbridge Relief Association (RARA). And Washington and Lee gets credit for a big assist.

Not only did W&L make Davidson Park available for the events on those lazy Friday evenings last summer, but both the Interfraternity Council and the Panhellenic Council sponsored them, to the tune of $500 — another instance of W&L student organizations’ engagement in the Lexington community.

Honors for Tom Wolfe '51

To the surprise of no one, Washington and Lee alumnus Tom Wolfe ’51 was named one of literature’s 10 best-dressed authors by Flavorpill, a culture guide for New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago and London. Here’s what the Flavorwire wrote:

“The ‘man in white’ has perhaps the most idiosyncratic style, having, since 1962, never made a public appearance without being decked out in a bright white suit that is seemingly exempt from the effects of bad weather (either that or Wolfe has the world’s greatest dry-cleaner). As someone who has chronicled co-eds, astronauts, electric acid-testers, and Masters of the Universe, this Southern Gentleman seems to embrace the philosophy shared by many of his characters: wear what makes you identifiable as part of a unique subculture.”

Joining Tom on the list were, among others, Edmund Spencer, Edith Wharton, William S. Burroughs and Jane Austen.

It wasn’t Tom’s white suits that got him another honor; it was his work on behalf of New York’s Upper West Side. Tom and his wife, Sheila, are being recognized as one of “three families who have gone beyond the call of duty on behalf of the Upper West Side … and beyond.” Landmark West: The Committee to Preserve the Upper West Side will present the award on Dec. 14 at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. Former NBC anchor Tom Brokaw will serve as master of ceremonies.

Tom has written three New York Times op-eds (here is the link to one) about the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission, which is charged with administering the city’s Landmarks Preservation Law. Two years ago, the New York Observer had a Q&A with Tom about his role in the preservation issues.

W&L Law Alum Named Volunteer of the Year

Kevin White, a 2004 graduate of the School of Law, has received the Pro Bono Clearinghouse Volunteer Service Award from the Greater Richmond Bar Foundation.

Kevin is an associate in the Richmond office of Kaufman & Canoles, where he practices corporate and public finance law. According to the announcement, Kevin provided 58 hours of pro bono work in 2009, with services valued at $14,500.

One of Kevin’s clients is the Elegba Folklore Society, which promotes African and African-American culture and is developing a heritage trail in Richmond related to slavery. Kevin has licensed intellectual property for the society.

He also has worked with Gateway Homes, which develops residential programs for mentally ill adults. He is now set to join Gateway’s board of directors.

Congratulations to Kevin.