Another 40 Under 40 Honoree
Last month two Washington and Lee alumni, David Foster, of the Class of 1998, and Paul E. Wright, of the Class of 1995, were named to Philadelphia Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 list. That caused us to start looking for other examples of alums who have been so honored recently.
So far, we have located one other — Billy Poynter, of the Class of 1998, in Norfolk, but we’re confident that there are more and invite you to let us know of others.
Billy was named to the list of Inside Business: The Business Journal of Hampton Roads in October. A partner in the Virginia Beach law firm, Williams Mullen, Billy specializes in intellectual property litigation, including patents, trademarks, copyrights and trade secrets. He’s been instrumental in making the firm a leader in intellectual property practice and is co-editor of the company’s blog, Rocket Docket IP Litigation. Billy received a B.S. in chemistry and a B.A. in medieval and renaissance studies as an undergrad, then received his law degree from the University of Virginia.
In addition to the 40 Under 40 honor, Billy has also been named to the Virginia Super Lawyers Rising Stars in intellectual property litigation. He’s secretary of the board of the Virginia Opera.
Here’s a link to Billy’s listing in Inside Business.
Be sure to let us know of others on the 40 Under 40 lists.
W&L Student Wins 2nd in Video Contest
A video created by Garrett Koller of Washington and Lee’s Class of 2014 has won second place in a national contest to create awareness on information security.
The 30-second video is entitled “How to Create a Secure Password” and won second place in the public service category of the 2011 Information Security Awareness Poster & Video Contest. Koller earned $1,000 in the contest sponsored by EDUCAUSE/Internet 2 Higher Education Information Security Council, CyberWatch, and National Cyber Security Alliance.
The video provides practical guidelines for creating a secure but easy-to-remember password. The video is featured on YouTube channel of Information Technology Services, which has promoted secure passwords as a vital part of an overall strategy to keep data private and secure. Koller, a computer science major, is a member of the Information Technology Advisory Committee, which advises ITS at W&L, and also works for John Blackburn, senior academic technologist for ITS.
Mapping the Future
Funny thing about Lexington and Washington and Lee — every year we’re shocked by how quickly the campus becomes deserted after the last diploma is awarded and the last mortarboard is tossed.
That was the case again yesterday, when 395 seniors received their degrees and headed out to, well, everywhere.
To keep track of them, the Office of Web Communications has developed a cool web page called “Where are They Going.” It’s a map where members of the Class of 2011 indicate where they’ll be going and what they’ll be doing once they leave Big Lex. The seniors (now graduates) complete an online form, and their location becomes a flag on the map. Click on the flag and find out who, where, what and, as a bonus, what they’ll miss about the University. Check back as more grads add their information.
And, if you want to know more about what the graduates will miss, we have a random sample of answers to just that question. When the class was assembling for Baccalaureate on Wednesday, News Director Sarah Tschiggfrie roamed around with a Flip camera to get their responses, which are on the video below:
Live Washington Post Chat Today with W&L's Beverly Lorig
Shortly after members of Washington and Lee’s Class of 2011 receive their diplomas this morning, Beverly Lorig, director of career services at W&L, was part of a panel talking about their job prospects — and the prospects of all of this year’s newly minted graduates — on the Washington Post’s website.
Beverly joined moderator Jenna Johnson, Post education writer, and Andrea Koncz, employment information manager for the National Association of Colleges and Employers.
You can read the chat archive at this link: http://live.washingtonpost.com/campus-overload-live-052611.html
An Alum Reaches Out to Home
Anyone who has seen the images of devastation from Joplin, Mo., cannot help but be affected by the magnitude of the disaster caused by Sunday’s tornado. For one Washington and Lee alumnus, Brent Beshore, of the Class of 2005, the scenes are personal. Joplin is Brent’s hometown. It’s where he was born and raised, and eight generations of his family have lived there.
Although he now lives in Columbia, Mo., about 250 miles northeast of Joplin, Brent had friends among the 124 residents who were killed and neighbors among the hundreds who lost their homes when the monster tornado ripped through the city.
Last November, Youngentrepreneur magazine referred to Brent as “a 27-year-old serial entrepreneur” for his innovative work in new media. So it’s hardly a surprise that Brent has been using his expertise in social media and his membership on the board of the Heart of Missouri United Way to help his hometown recover. He created a Facebook page, Joplin, MO Tornado Recovery, which had 147,000 “likes” by last night. The page provides valuable information of all kinds, including how to donate to the United Way. Brent also took to his Twitter account with updates on the fund-raising efforts. At one point Tuesday, Brent’s Twitter account was trending in the Kansas City area, indicating how many people were following and re-purposing his Tweets about the situation.
Brent explains, “We set up a Joplin Tornado Relief Fund through the United Way, which agreed to 100% of funds going directly to Joplin with zero overhead. By midday Tuesday, we had raised about $115,000 in the last 40 hours through the Facebook page and the donation information. We’re launching a telethon on Thursday night.”
In a story on KOMU-com, Brent’s role in the work was cited, and he made this observation about the disaster: “I have images in my head of what those places used to look like when I was a kid. Looking at the images, I can picture myself there, and it doesn’t look anything like what I have in my head.”
If you want to help, you can pledge to the Heart of Missouri United Way for Joplin Tornado Relief Fund by calling (573)443-4523, by going online to http://uwheartmo.org/, or by texting JOPLIN to 864833 to make a $10 donation.
Ohio State Coach Goes with a Pro
College football fans know who Jim Tressel is. And they probably know that the embattled former Ohio State coach is charged with hiding information about players receiving impermissible benefits and with lying to the NCAA about his knowledge of those violations. They may not necessarily know, however, Gene Marsh, the man who will be sitting beside Tressel when the Buckeye coach, who resigned late last month, faces an NCAA hearing later this summer.
Gene, a 1981 graduate of Washington and Lee’s School of Law and perhaps the leading expert on NCAA compliance issues, has seen cases from both sides. He served as the University of Alabama Faculty Athletics Representative to the Southeastern Conference and the NCAA from 1996 through 2003. He also chaired the University’s compliance committee. He has extensive experience in the NCAA infractions process: he belonged to the NCAA Division I Committee on Infractions from 1999 through 2008 and chaired it from 2004 to 2006.
So when Tressel found out he would need his own lawyer for the Aug. 12 hearing with the NCAA, he chose Gene, who practices with the Birmingham law firm Lightfoot, Franklin & White L.L.C. and has considerable experience in a variety of these cases. In fact, just last year Gene and a fellow lawyer from the firm represented the University of Michigan in its case with the NCAA. What’s interesting is that Gene is a Dayton, Ohio, native who received his B.S. and M.S. from Michigan’s bitter rival, Ohio State University. In stories about his decision to represent Tressel, Gene said that he was never a rah-rah Buckeye fan and didn’t even attend a football game while he was a student.
Perhaps a headline in the Birmingham News summed up the way many see Gene’s experience: “Jim Tressel brings out big guns for NCAA hearing: Gene Marsh.” And a columnist for CBS Sports wrote that “Gene Marsh is a pro. Gene Marsh has seen every angle of the NCAA enforcement process.”
That same columnist referred to Gene’s sense of humor, recalling what he once told an audience on academics and athletics: “Being a faculty athletic rep at a big Southern university is like working at a high school as the vice principal in charge of chastity. It’s a tough job.”
Vote Early for Literary Awards
Voting is now open for the 2011 Library of Virginia Literary Awards People’s Choice, and one of the five finalists in the nonfiction category is The Horse in Virginia: An Illustrated History, by Julie Campbell, the associate director of communications and public affairs at Washington and Lee.
Online voting can be done here. Voters may also cast their ballots at public libraries around the state.
In the book, Julie traces Virginia’s horse tradition back 400 years and tells the stories of such familiar names as Triple Crown champion Secretariat, Misty of Chincoteague and, of course, Robert E. Lee’s Traveller.
The Library of Virginia Literary Awards are given to outstanding Virginia authors in the areas of poetry, fiction, nonfiction (and, in the case of nonfiction, also by any author about a Virginia subject) and literary lifetime achievement.
Two years ago, W&L alumnus Roger Mudd won the People’s Choice Nonfiction Award for his book, The Place to Be: Washington, CBS, and the Glory Days of Television News.
W&L Alum Named Fort Lauderdale City Manager
Lee Feldman, a member of Washington and Lee’s Class of 1984, was named the city manager of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., this week. Lee, who was selected from a competitive field of 90 candidates, will oversee 2,500 employees and a $600 million budget.
Based on his track record, Lee is up to the challenge. He goes to Fort Lauderdale after a nine-year tenure as city manager of Palm Bay, Fla. Prior to that he was city manager of North Miami Beach.
In Palm Bay, Lee was credited with building the county’s first municipal charter school, helping to reduce city taxes to their lowest rate in eight years, and overseeing annexations that expanded the city’s borders from 66 to about 72 square miles. In a story in Florida Today announcing the appointment, Palm Bay Mayor John Mazziotti said that “losing [Lee} is a big blow to the city.”
A public policy major at W&L, Lee was named city manager of the year in 2006 by the Florida League of Cities.
A Presidential Scholar
One member of Washington and Lee’s entering Class of 2015 has won a singular honor. Thomas Day, of Nashville, is one of 141 Presidential Scholars in the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program. Chosen from more than 3,000 candidates on the basis of superior achievements, leadership qualities, personal character and involvement in community and school activities, the scholars are invited to Washington, D.C., for several days in the second half of June to receive the U.S. Presidential Scholars medallion and to participate in various events held in their honor.
Thomas graduates from Battle Ground Academy next month. He ran cross country for BGA and plays on the Wildcats’ soccer team. He received the Battle Ground Academy Board of Trustees Scholarship all four years, and W&L has awarded him a Robert E. Lee Scholarship.
The son of W&L alum Roger Day, of the Class of 1985, he has toured with his father, a two-time Parents’ Choice Award-winning singer-songwriter of children’s music. Thomas is a vocalist and plays ukulele, djembe, keyboards and guitar.
Fallen But Not Forgotten
This week the Wheaton edition of the Chicago Tribune related the story of Washington and Lee alumnus James Howard Monroe, of the Class of 1966, whose Medal of Honor will soon have a new home in a Chicago area middle school that bears his name.
Known as “Jimmy” or “Jimbo” by his family, Monroe was in the second semester of his senior year at W&L when he asked for some time off (voluntary withdrawal) to “provide the time for my attitude to mature.” He was drafted and went to Vietnam where he was a medic. According to the Medal of Honor citation, Jimmy was treating an injured radio operator during an attack on Feb. 16, 1967, when he saw a live grenade fall in front of his position and smothered the grenade’s blast with his body. He was recognized for “conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty.”
The story was retold in October 2008 by John Rutherford, a classmate of Jimmy’s at W&L, a decorated Vietnam veteran and a producer for NBC. In a column titled “Fallen but not forgotten: Pfc. James Monroe” that introduced a PBS documentary on the medal of honor, John wrote about his former classmate and the circumstances under which he won the Medal of Honor.
As the Tribune story explains, the medal itself has been in the possession of Jimmy’s niece, Michelle Gattas. But she recently determined it belongs in James Monroe Middle School in Wheaton. The school was officially renamed in 1969. On May 27, there will be a dedication ceremony on the football field of Monroe Middle School.