Feature Stories Campus Events

W&L Alum Named Bosch Foundation Fellow

Washington and Lee alumnus Richard M. Kyle, of the Class of 2007, a third-year student in the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, has been named a Robert Bosch Foundation Fellow for 2011-12. In that capacity, Richard will intensively study German as well as attend seminars with key German and European decision makers. He was one of 20 fellows chosen nationwide from among more than 600 applicants.

Richard, the subject of a recent Newsmaker profile in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, majored in German language and European history at W&L and received a Fulbright Teaching Assistantship to teach English in Germany during the 2007-2008 school year.  At Pitt, Richard has assisted law professor Ronald Brand, the founding director of the Center for International Legal Education and the Chancellor Mark A. Nordenberg University Chair, in training law students from Bahrain, Egypt and Qatar for the 2011 Vis Arbitration Moot, traveling to Qatar, Bahrain and Austria in a project for the Commercial Law Development Program of the U.S. Department of Commerce. Richard was a member of the Vis Arbitration Moot team in 2010 and has also received a Pitt European Studies Center Foreign Language Area Studies Fellowship.

According to the Tribune-Review profile, Richard plans to work in commercial legal reform and international dispute resolution in the German government and in a large German law firm.

Through the Bosch Fellowship Program, the Robert Bosch Stiftung (Foundation) contributes to the long-term stabilization and growth of German-American relations. It hopes that the American participants will foster their personal commitment to the common goal of greater transatlantic understanding.

Top Entrepreneur

Ted Kingsbery, of the Class of 2009, was named one of the top entrepreneurs under 25 in a contest presented by BroBible.com and reported on Sawyer Speaks, the online media company that focuses on entrepreneurs.

Ted is head of business development at Shark Branding, the company founded by Daymond John, who founded FUBU and appears on the ABC TV show “Shark Tank.” Shark Branding places products in music videos, TV and films; creates celebrity events; and puts brands and celebrities together. Ted joined Shark Branding in August 2009.

According to Sawyer Speaks, the entrepreneurs it selected “are not necessarily millionaires or living comfortably on some island right now because they sold a dot-com company for $50 million dollars.” Rather, they are young people who have taken the huge risk of starting their own company.

Running to Cure Alzheimer's

This past President’s Day weekend, if you were lucky, you took a brief vacation to a warmer clime. Alex Appel, a member of Washington and Lee’s Class of 2006, spent Saturday in Florida, but it wasn’t exactly a vacation — he competed in, and won, the Iron Horse Endurance Run, a 62-mile race. (Yes, you read that right, 62 miles.)

Alex is competing in a series of so-called ultra marathons as a tribute to his grandmother, who has Alzheimer’s. She inspired him with her volunteer service in her home of Montreal, Quebec, Canada. And so now the grandson is raising money for the New York City chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association by running four ultra marathons (at least 200 miles) in the course of one year. He writes, “Since I know personally how this disease has impacted our family, I wish to do something concrete to help all families whose lives and loved ones are affected.”

Alex, who works at Avista Capital Partners, a private equity firm in New York City, placed eighth in his first race last fall, the Can Lake 50 in upstate New York. Next up, in April, is the Zane Grey 50 Mile, in central Arizona. And in July, he’ll tackle the fourth race, the Leadville Silver Run, in Colorado, which starts at 10,000 feet and climbs to 12,000.

Among the many people cheering Alex on are his mother, Sarah Nash Sylvester, a current W&L trustee, and his sister, Lizzy Appel, of the Class of 2008.

You can read more about Alex’s mission at his website, Ultras to End Alzheimer’s.

W&L Profs Safe in New Zealand

When news of the devastating earthquake in Christchurch, New Zealand, began to circulate on campus, we turned our thoughts immediately to the three members of the Washington and Lee faculty who are in that country. Thankfully, all of them are fine, and no current students are studying or traveling there.

Lad Sessions, the Jo M. and James M. Ballengee 250th Anniversary Professor of Philosophy, was in Wanaka, which is on the same island as Christchurch but much farther south and west. He did not even feel the quake. His daughter was in Christchurch but is unharmed. She was apparently able to make it to Lyttleton, the quake’s epicenter, to join her fiancé and his parents, who also are all right. With so many communications disrupted, Lad was keeping up with his daughter via text messages.

Lesley Wheeler, professor of English, and her husband, Chris Gavaler, a visiting assistant professor of English, are living in Wellington, on the northern island. Lesley has a Fulbright Scholar senior research grant and is working at Victoria University. The quake did not hit Wellington, and the Gavaler-Wheeler family is fine.

Nabors Service in Birmingham

Fourteen Washington and Lee students are spending their Washington Break this week in Birmingham, Ala., on an alternative break trip organized by the Nabors Service League and members of the Birmingham Alumni Chapter.

According to Jenny Davidson, coordinator of the Campus Kitchen and advisor to both Volunteer Venture and the Nabors Services League, the students will be serving in different programs during their visit: Alabama A+, the Cornerstone Schools and Impact Alabama’s Focus First Program. Student chair Laura Steitz, a senior from Baton Rouge, helped recruit students on campus and acted as a go-between in the planning.

The trip was arranged, in part, as a result of W&L alum Bill (’63) and Becky Smith visiting campus earlier this academic year to talk to students about Alabama A+. “They are strong supporters of the program and garnered quite a bit of interest with our students, especially those in the Shepherd Program,” Jenny explained. In addition to the Smiths, Birmingham alums Josh Payne (’08) and Edmund Perry (’82) were instrumental in getting the trip underway.

Alabama A+ works with schools in the state to make sure that each of the students is accessing the highest-quality education possible. Some of W&L’s participants will be working to recruit students into higher-level courses and register them for summer enrichment programs. They will also tutor students in an afterschool program.

Focus First screens elementary-age children in Head Starts and lower-income daycare programs for vision and hearing impairments to ensure that students are able to learn to the best of their ability. W&L students will also be tutoring the children.

The Cornerstone School is located in an impoverished area, trying to break the cycle of poverty. W&L students will help tutor the children at Cornerstone.

The Nabors Service League at W&L is a student-run, community-service organization that strives to promote and encourage a spirit of service and to connect service with learning. It is named in honor of Jonathan O. Nabors ’02, who passed away in 1999.

Emeritus Trustee Drew Baur Dies at 66

Andrew N. “Drew” Baur, a trustee emeritus at Washington and Lee, died on Sunday morning, Feb. 20, in Jupiter, Fla. He was 66.

Drew, a member of W&L’s Class of 1966 and a history major, was elected to the board in February 2005 and took the oath of office in October 2005. He retired from the board in 2009. At W&L, Drew belonged to Sigma Nu fraternity, edited the Southern Collegian and worked on the Ring-tum Phi. Among many activities, he served on the IFC, as president of the University Publications Board and as a dorm counselor.

Following graduation, he entered banking at the First National Bank of Atlanta, where he was elected an officer, and earned an M.B.A. from Georgia State University. In 1970 he returned to his hometown of St. Louis and joined Mercantile Trust Co., becoming vice president of the commercial loan division. At age 30, he moved to Commerce Bank of St. Louis, becoming the youngest bank president in the city as well as board chairman. He later joined County Bank of St. Louis as chair and CEO, and County Tower Corp., its holding company, as president and COO. When he was 40, Baur headed a group that bought Southwest Bank.

In 1995 Drew became a part-owner of the St. Louis Cardinals, the major league baseball team, and served as treasurer of the club. He also sat on the boards of Baker Shoe Co., Marshall & Ilsley Corp., Wausau Paper Co. and Orgill Inc.  Drew’s civic honors included the 1996 Special Entrepreneurial Achievement Award and Sportsman of the Year. He was interviewed for the book “Staying Power: Thirty Secrets Invincible Executives Use for Getting to the Top . . . and Staying There” (2003).

For W&L, he had belonged to the Washington Society, the campaign leadership gifts committee, the reunion class committee and the alumni board, and he served as a chapter volunteer. He became an honorary member of Omicron Delta Kappa in 2000. Drew’s father, Andrew, was a member of the Class of 1937. He had three children, including Andrew, a member of the Class of 1990, and seven grandchildren.

Funeral arrangements are pending.

Appeals Court Win

Washington and Lee third-year law student Amanda K. Streff and the W&L Black Lung Legal Clinic successfully argued a case in front of the United States Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit in Philadelphia last month.

The decision, rendered earlier this week, denied a petition from Consolidation Coal Company to review the awarding of benefits to William S. Kusch Sr. under the Black Lung Benefits Act. Amanda’s argument led to the court’s awarding the benefits to Kusch. You can read details here.

Before the case was determined, Amanda talked about preparing for it with W&L Law professor Brian Murchison on an edition of WLUR’s “Equal Time” program. It’s a fascinating interview with both Amanda and Timothy C. MacDonnell, assistant clinical professor of law and director of the Black Lung Legal Clinic, and you can listen to it below.

Equal Time with W&L Law Professor Brian Murchison

In her conversation with Professor Murchison, Amanda noted that the experience was special: “I’ve talked to attorneys I’ve worked with over the summer, and they said they were jealous that they hadn’t been able to argue before a circuit court. This is an experience that a law student at most any law school isn’t going to get.”

Next month, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit will hold a day-long session in the School of Law, where one of the three cases on the docket will be another black lung case that the W&L clinic is handling. That session will be held on Friday, March 25, in the Millhiser Moot Court Room.

More Celebrations in Bardstown

There was another celebration in Bardstown, Ky., yesterday with Washington and Lee alumnus Max L. Shapira, of the Class of 1965, who operates Heaven Hill Distilleries. Back in December, we wrote about the 75th anniversary of Heaven Hill on the day that it filled its 6 millionth barrel of bourbon.

On Wednesday, Max cut the ribbon and was joined by Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear to roll the first 53-gallon, 500-pound barrel of Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey into Rickhouse “J,” the latest addition of a nearly $5 million expansion of the company’s barrel-storage capacity. With 49 warehouses in Kentucky’s Nelson and Jefferson Counties already filled to capacity with aging whiskey, the company constructed two new rickhouses, increasing  barrel storage by an additional 40,000.

Heaven Hill is the largest independent, family-owned and -operated bourbon distiller and distilled-spirits producer in the United States. The new warehouse is for its growing inventory of approximately 900,000 aging barrels, the second largest in the world. In 2010, for the first time in its history, Heaven Hill produced more barrels than anyone else in the industry.

Max represents the third generation of Shapiras in the business. His son, Andy Shapira, of the Class of 1996, joined Heaven Hill as director of sales analysis three years ago. Founded in 1934, Heaven Hill has a diversified portfolio of brands including The Christian Brothers Brandies, Evan Williams and Elijah Craig Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskeys, Burnett’s Vodkas and Gin, Hpnotiq Liqueur, PAMA Pomegranate Liqueur, Lunazul and Two Fingers Tequilas, and Dubonnet Aperitif.

And Meet My Guidedog, Too

Matt Simpson, from Smyrna, Ga., is a junior resident adviser at Washington and Lee. A politics and history major, he is also visually impaired. He shares his room in Davis Hall with his guide dog, Lacrosse.

This week Matt spoke with Beckie Supiano of the Chronicle of Higher Education for an episode of the Chronicle’s new audio web series, “Say Something,”  in which Chronicle writers collect interesting stories about students from all over the country. Matt described the way he’s managed to handle all his RA duties despite his blindness. You can listen to the story below or go to the Chronicle site.

In addition to everything else that he does, Matt has played on the U.S. Champion Goalball team. W&L news director Sarah Tschiggfrie wrote about his athletic career in a 2009 story on our website.

New Memoir by Mark Richard '80

“Say you have a ‘special child,’ which in the South means one between Down’s and dyslexic.”

So begins “House of Prayer No. 2,” the new memoir by Washington and Lee alumnus Mark Richard, of the Class of 1980, that was released today amid a flurry of positive reviews everywhere from Sunday’s New York Times Book Review to Entertainment Weekly.

In her New York Times review, Sarah Shun-Lien Bynum writes: “Richard was a ‘special’ child in several senses, and he beautifully demonstrates how this word, especially as it was used in the South, is roomy enough to accommodate contradictory meanings. The child is special because he bites strangers at parties but also because he sees an angel pass through the living room on Easter morning. One teacher predicts future greatness, while others suspect he ‘might be retarded.’ He can read aloud from a college chemistry textbook by the age of 6, but is considered ‘slow’ because he can’t correctly color the state bird. He is also special because of the congenital hip problems that land him for long spells in the Crippled Children’s Hospital, where he endures torturous operations and slow, immobile recoveries inside a body cast.”

A journalism and mass communication major at W&L, Mark was an assistant at Shenandoah: The Washington and Lee University Review. After W&L, he became an award-winning writer of short stories and novels, publishing two collections, “The Ice at the Bottom of the World” and “Charity”; and a bestselling novel, “Fishboy.” His short stories have appeared in The New Yorker, Harper’s, Esquire, GQ, The Paris Review, The Oxford American, Grand Street, Shenandoah, The Quarterly, Equator and Antaeus. He has received the PEN/Ernest Hemingway Award, a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship, a Whiting Foundation Writer’s Award, a New York Foundation for the Arts fellowship, the Mary Francis Hobson Medal for Arts and Letters and a National Magazine Award for Fiction.

Then there is his work in television and film, including being co-writer and actor in 2008’s Stop-Loss, a film that imdb.com describes as about “a veteran soldier who returns from his completed tour of duty in Iraq, only to find his life turned upside down when he is arbitrarily ordered to return to field duty by the Army.”

In advance of the publication of “House of Prayer No. 2,” Mark appeared on National Public Radio’s “The Diane Rehm Show,” where he referred briefly to his W&L career: “Probably not the best fit for me,” he said. “I didn’t go to prep school. I went to public high school, but I had great teachers there. I had a couple of really good teachers again. I had Jim Boatwright, who’s editor of Shenandoah magazine, who encouraged my writing, and a couple of maverick teachers, Bob De Maria in the journalism department. All you need is one or two teachers.” You can listen to the entire interview and read the transcript here.

Cowboys, Jets & Walt Michaels

An interesting connection occurred last week in Houston, where Washington and Lee’s Board of Trustees was holding its winter meetings at the Houstonian. Turns out that the board of the University of Wyoming also happened to be meeting at the same hotel, and the two universities share a bit of a history.

In 1951, W&L and Wyoming met in the Gator Bowl in Jacksonville, Fla. Behind quarterback Gil Bocetti ’51 and fullback Walt Michaels ’51, the Generals had compiled an 8-2 record and were unbeaten at 5-0 in the Southern Conference. Wyoming was the undefeated champion of the Mountain States Conference. As it happened, the Cowboys wound up handing the Generals a 34-18 defeat, and some W&L fans will always point to Walt’s having to miss the contest because of appendicitis. It was the first game Walt had ever missed, and conspiracy theories circulated because the doctor who treated Walt was from the University of Virginia.

More than 60 years later, Walt was back in the news, when New York Times writer George Vescey tracked him down at his home in Pennsylvania last month to talk about Walt’s seven seasons as coach of the New York Jets prior to the Jets’ playoff game at Pittsburgh. If you missed the column, you can read it here. It has a lot of good stories, including about the battles that Walt used to have with Oakland Raider owner Al Davis, whom he always suspected of spying on Jet practices.

Asked what has changed about football since he was playing and coaching, Walt’s response was typical: “Nothing. If you hit people, you can win.”

Brain Freeze! Alumnus' Record Label Releases Benefit DVD

Peter Homans, a member of Washington and Lee’s Class of 1972 who has blended his musical and business skills, is practically a walking advertisement for a liberal arts education. In the Spring/Summer 2010 issue of the alumni magazine, we wrote about his PARMA Recordings, which had just released “Tendrils,” a CD containing music by Peter; Byron Petty, a professor in the W&L Music Department; and the late Robert Stewart, the founder of that department. You can read that article here.

And now Peter’s company has issued a new work, this time a DVD under the aegis of Big Round Records. Titled “Brain Freeze,” it’s a DVD of the stand-up act of comic John Kawie, who had a stroke at age 47. Kawie chronicles his recovery in his act. After startup costs, PARMA will donate 17 percent of retail sales to the American Stroke Foundation.

Peter has a B.A. in English plus two master’s of music degrees. He worked as assistant business manager and primary musical assistant to the famed composer and conductor Leonard Bernstein. He received two fellowships to the Tanglewood Music Center and won the Aaron Copland Prize for Composition. He also worked with Bear Stearns, the investment bank and brokerage. He founded his own broker/dealer research firm and branched out into the music industry as a composer and an investor in PARMA.

Book Burning Targets Alumnus

Authors want their books to garner notice: good reviews, robust sales, enthusiastic readers. Having one’s book burned in protest, however, isn’t usually on the wish list. Erik Curren, a member of Washington and Lee’s Class of 1987, found this out last week, when his 2006 book, Buddha’s Not Smiling: Uncovering Corruption at the Heart of Tibetan Buddhism Today, went up in flames during a Feb. 5 protest in Gangtok, Sikkin, India, located in the eastern Himalayan Mountains.

As one can surmise from his book’s subtitle, Curren touched a nerve, in this case with followers of Ogyen Trinley Droje, the head of the Kagyu sect of Tibetan Buddhism. Some Buddhists see him as the successor to the Dalai Lama; others back a different candidate. To complicate things, some Indians believe he has unsavory ties to the Chinese government. Curren examined the controversy in his book and found evidence for the charges of corruption. The group that organized the Feb. 5 protest told the Augusta Free Press that Curren’s book contained inaccurate information and that he did not contact them for comment, charges he denies.

Curren, a Buddhist himself, told Charlottesville’s WVIR-TV, “On the one hand I’m glad that people are taking my book seriously. On the other hand I’m appalled that in today’s day and age, something like a book burning is considered to be a valid form of communication about a controversial issue.”

Curren is the managing partner of the Curren Media Group in Staunton, Va.

A Plethora of Pulitzers

This past Monday on the campus of Washington and Lee, members of the Journalism Department, budding student journalists and two visitors had dinner together, courtesy of the Reynolds Foundation. It’s not unusual, of course, for W&L students to have face time with distinguished visitors. What made this dinner party out of the ordinary, however, was the number of Pulitzer Prize winners around the table.

One guest was reporter Daniel Gilbert. Now at the Wall Street Journal, he won the 2010 Pulitzer for public service when he worked at the Bristol (Va.) Herald Courier for his stories “illuminating the murky mismanagement of natural-gas royalties owed to thousands of land owners in southwest Virginia, spurring remedial action by state lawmakers,” as the Pulitzer website puts it.

Another guest was Jane Healy, the former editor of the editorial page at the Orlando (Fla.) Sentinel. She received her Pulitzer in 1988 for her editorial writing in protest of the overdevelopment of Orange County.

And then there was Charlotte Hall, W&L’s current Reynolds Distinguished Visiting Professor. In 1995, when she worked at Newsday (Long Island, N.Y.), she supervised a two-person team that took the Pulitzer for investigative reporting “that revealed disability pension abuses by local police.” Hall is teaching a course on opinion writing this term.

Rounding out this illustrious group was W&L’s own Pam Luecke, the Donald W. Reynolds Professor of Business Journalism. When Pam was an editor and the senior vice president of the Lexington (Ky.) Herald-Leader, the paper won the 2000 Pulitzer for editorial cartooning, and she has supervised two Pulitzer projects during her editorial career. Pam joined W&L in 2001 and is now the head of the Journalism Department.

Perhaps the influence of all these superb yet modest journalists rubbed off on the students in attendance, and one day we’ll be writing about their Pulitzer Prizes.

Cliff Holekamp '96 Honored

Ten years after the St. Louis Business Journal named Cliff Holekamp, a member of Washington and Lee’s Class of 1996, as one of its 30 Under 30 honorees, the same publication has tabbed him one of its 40 Under 40.

The honorees — all younger than 40, as you might guess — were chosen by a panel of Business Journal editors and former winners based on their career achievements and community work. A record number of nominations — more than 450 — were received for this year’s awards.

When he was first honored as a 30 Under 30, Cliff had left a sales executive position at IBM and had founded Foot Healers Podiatry Centers. He opened five locations in six years and sold a controlling interest in the company to an investor. In 2003, Foot Healers was named by Inc. Magazine as one of the top “Five Ideas to Watch.”
Today he is a member of the faculty at Washington University’s Olin School of Business, where he received his M.B.A. in 2001. Cliff is a senior lecturer in entrepreneurship at Olin,  and he teaches courses in that subject, consults start-ups and small businesses, is a frequent guest lecturer, and is a judge and advisor in the Olin Cup business plan competition and the social entrepreneurship and innovation competition.
In the December 2010 edition of Octane, Cliff wrote that one of the keys to starting a successful business was to have an exit strategy in mind at the outset. “For me, the end goal was not to build a business that I would want to sell, but to build a business that others would want to buy,” he wrote.
In addition to being profiled in the Jan. 28 edition of the St. Louis Business Journal, Cliff and his fellow honorees will be recognized at a banquet on Feb. 17 at the Renaissance Grand Hotel.

W&L Faculty on the Air Today

Three members of Washington and Lee’s faculty will make talk-show appearances on National Public Radio today:

Jasmin Darznik, assistant professor of English, will discuss her new book, “The Good Daughter,” on the “Diane Rehm Show” today from 11 a.m. to noon. The “Diane Rehm Show” originates from WAMU in Washington and is available throughout the country on NPR. To find a station in your area, consult this web page. This is the latest of several recent appearances that Jasmin has made in promoting her book. Last week she was on BBC’s “Outlook” show and on “The Takeaway” from WNYC. You can also read a review of “The Good Daughter” from the Cleveland Plain Dealer and can read an interview on Iranian.com.

George Kester, the Martel Professor of Finance, presents today’s “Academic Minute” on WAMC. His spot, which examines the phenomenon known as the Super Bowl Stock Predictor, airs twice today. If you didn’t catch George live at 7:37 a.m  and aren’t near a radio at 3:56 p.m., you can hear him at this link. George, who teaches managerial finance, corporate finance and corporate mergers, will make you feel better about your stock portfolio whether your team won the Super Bowl yesterday or not.

Ed Wasserman, the Knight Professor of Journalism Ethics, will appear on NPR affiliate WMRA’s “Virginia Insight” at 3 p.m. today to discuss the lack of media coverage of poverty. Ed is teaching Poverty in the Media this semester. He and the students are exploring the portrayals of poverty, chiefly in the United States, from the late 19th century to the present, through an intensive review of distinguished print journalism, nonfiction books, documentary film and movies. In addition, Ed directs several W&L students in the development of the website OnPoverty.org, which is a resource for journalists who cover issues related to poverty, class and economic justice. You can listen to Ed today on WMRA at 89.9 in Lexington, 90.7 in Harrisonburn, 103.5 in Charlottesville and online at http://www.wmra.org

A Rising Star

Congratulations to Timothy R. Moore, a 1997 graduate of the Washington and Lee School of Law, who was recently named to the 2011 Rising Stars list by North Carolina Super Lawyers magazine.

The Rising Stars selection process involves a rigorous evaluation of candidates by Law & Politics, a publication of Key Professional Media Inc. No more than 2.5 percent of attorneys in a given state are named to the Super Lawyers Rising Stars list.

Tim practices in the Winston Salem, N.C., office of Spillman Thomas Battle, P.L.L.C., where he specializes in banking and finance, bankruptcy and creditor’s rights, corporate law, real estate and wealth management.

He recently initiated the formation of Spilman’s newest practice group, the Community Banking Group, which is a diverse cross-section of the firm’s corporate and litigation attorneys that serves the needs of community banks. In 2009, Tim was named a Triad “Mover & Shaker” by Business Leader Magazine. He serves on  various boards for Junior Achievement, The Winston-Salem Foundation, The Children’s Home and United Way of Forsyth County.

Theater of War

Theater of War Productions, which presents readings of ancient plays to military communities across the U.S., will be staging readings of Sophocles’ “Ajax” on Friday and Saturday, Feb. 4 and 5, at VMI. W&L’s Johnson Lecture Series is one of the event’s sponsors.

The event, which will include a panel discussion with audience participation, will take place Friday, Feb. 4, at 8 p.m. and be repeated Saturday, Feb. 5, at 1 p.m. in Gillis Theater in VMI’s Center for Leadership and Ethics, located in Marshall Hall on the VMI post.

Over the past year, Theater of War has delivered more than 100 performances at more than 50 military sites throughout the U.S. and Europe. Nearly 25,000 service members and veterans of every rank, from high-level Department of Defense and Veterans Affairs officials to Special Forces and Army and Marine Infantry, have attended the performances.

Watch the story about Theater of War from the PBS Newshour:

Think June. Think Nashville.

What better time than Groundhog Day to begin thinking of summer? And thinking of summer for Washington and Lee alumni means thinking of the next Alumni Road Trip. This year, it’s to Nashville, from June 16-18.

It’s not too early to begin planning for the Alumni Road Trip to the Athens of the South. The schedule has been set, and the trip will have a little something for everyone — and a lot of music, for sure. In addition to a panel on the music industry, there will be visits to recording studios and, of course, an opportunity to see the Grand Ole Opry.

Check out the schedule and make plans today while those of you not in Lexington are digging out from one more winter storm.

Go to the Alumni Road Trip page to register.

Studying Abroad

Tonight, Tuesday, Feb. 1, is the first annual Study Abroad Fair for Washington and Lee students that the students themselves have organized. Rather than having outside agencies promoting their particular programs, this event features students who have been abroad talking about their experiences. The fair is organized by destination and is not specific to programs or majors. It’s in the Science Center from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Currently, 57 W&L students are studying abroad in 15 different countries. We hope they’re all having the kind of experience that Kate Cancelmo is having in Paris. A journalism and mass communication major, Kate, a member of the Class of 2012, is keeping up her blog, Joie de vivre, during her time in Paris. It’s not only a good read but has some excellent photography, too.

Here’s a section from her latest post: “Everyday I have a moment when I can’t believe I’m actually living in Paris until May. Sometimes that moment comes walking in Ladurée or while riding the metro, but today it came crouched in my tiny Euro shower. What I love most so far is not knowing what to expect the next day. I learn and see something new every single day.”

Back in December, before they left for their foreign destinations, several students appeared on “Radio IE,” the WLUR program hosted by Larry Boetsch, director of international education and a member of the W&L Class of ’69, and talked about their upcoming trips. You can listen to an archive of that program below:

And you can listen to “Radio IE” every Monday from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. on WLUR. All the archives from the current year are also available online.