Feature Stories Campus Events

Kerry Egan '95: Observations of a Hospice Chaplain

An essay about death and dying by Washington and Lee alumna Kerry Egan, of the Class of 1995, touched a nerve on CNN.com over the weekend.

Kerry, a religion major who received her master’s of divinity from Harvard, is a hospice chaplain in Massachusetts. She spends her time talking with people who are dying. In her piece, which was published on Jan. 28 and titled “What people talk about before they die,” Kerry wrote about her experiences with hospice patients:

Mostly, they talk about their families: about their mothers and fathers, their sons and daughters. They talk about the love they felt, and the love they gave. Often they talk about love they did not receive, or the love they did not know how to offer, the love they withheld, or maybe never felt for the ones they should have loved unconditionally.

People talk about their families, she wrote, because “that is how we talk about God. That is how we talk about the meaning of our lives. That is how we talk about the big spiritual questions of human existence.”

She does not, Kerry wrote, necessarily use “the words of theology to talk about God” and added that “people who are close to death almost never do. We should learn from those who are dying that the best way to teach our children about God is by loving each other wholly and forgiving each other fully – just as each of us longs to be loved and forgiven by our mothers and fathers, sons and daughters.”

Within 24 hours of the essay’s posting on CNN’s site, it drew 3,000 comments in response, many praising her and others taking her to task. It was, as CNN wrote in its “Overheard on CNN” column, “quite the conversation starter.”

In 2004, Kerry published, a journal of her experiences with her then boyfriend (now husband), Alex Ruskell, of the Class of 1994, on the pilgrimage route in southern France and northern Spain known as Camino de Santiago, or the Way of St. James.

W&L Mock Convention Sees Double-Digit Win for Romney in Florida

Washington and Lee University’s student political research team the 2012 Republican Mock Convention have concluded that Mitt Romney will claim a double-digit win over New Gingrich in Tuesday’s Florida primary.

That prediction is based on research conducted by Jeff Wieand, chair of the Mock Convention’s Florida delegation and a second-year law student from Pottstown, Pa.; Zach Wilkes, the Mock Convention political committee chair and a senior politics major from Farmersville, La.; and the Mock Convention political team.

In their prediction and rationale posted on the Mock Convention’s blog on Sunday night, Jan. 29, Wieand wrote: “We expect Romney to receive 40 to 46% of the vote, with Gingrich coming in second with 28 to 34%, Santorum finishing in third with 12 to 18%, and Paul rounding out the group with 6 to 12%, though these ranges could fluctuate by a few percentage points over the next two days.”

Earlier this year, the Mock Convention predicted wins for Romney in Iowa and New Hampshire and for Gingrich in South Carolina.

Wieand wrote that “the Gingrich who commanded the debates in South Carolina failed to appear on the stage in Florida and was beaten back by Romney’s newfound aggression.  Gingrich’s faltering debate performances, combined with an all-out attack from the Romney campaign and much of the Republican establishment, allowed Romney to quickly regain lost ground .”

In addition to weak debate performances, Wieand concluded, Romney’s decision to release his tax returns was a factor in his resurgence, and some of the ads that Gingrich aired in Florida hurt more than helped his candidacy there.

With the W&L Mock Convention less than two weeks away, the Florida primary will once again signal a shift in the race, according to Wilkes. “Romney will reassert himself as the national frontrunner and a clear favorite for the nomination, and Gingrich will have to be increasingly aggressive and take more risks going forward to have a chance at overtaking Romney.”

Noting that the February schedule does not favor Gingrich, especially since there are no upcoming debates, Wilkes did not rule anything out. “If anyone can once again rise from the political dead, it is Newt Gingrich. If he can pull an upset or two in February and regroup for Super Tuesday on March 6, the race for the nomination could draft through mid-summer.”

The W&L students must make their choice of a Republican nominee on Feb. 11, the third and final day of the three-day Mock Convention. The quadrennial event, in which W&L students choose the nominee of the party out of power, will feature major speakers. It has been correct more than 75 percent of the time, with only two incorrect predictions since 1948.

The Mock Convention festivities will begin on Thursday (Feb. 9), with a debate between top Democratic strategist James Carville and GOP pundit Ann Coulter, followed by a speech by former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee. A parade throughout downtown Lexington will be held on Friday (Feb. 10). The lineup of speakers includes former Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour, Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell, and House Majority Leader and Virginia Representative Eric Cantor.

Kali McFarland ’12

(757) 404-1214

Katy Stewart ’13

(704) 560-2120

Jeffery G. Hanna
Executive Director of Communications and Public Affairs

(540) 458-8459

An Honor for Adrienne Howard '91

For 20 years now, Washington and Lee alumna Adrienne Weatherford Howard, of the Class of 1991, has moved from base to base — 14 moves in all — as her husband, Navy Cmdr. Colby Howard, has received new assignments.

Cmdr. Howard is now the commanding officer of the guided missile destroyer Dewey, based in San Diego, Calif., where Adrienne lives.

Throughout this time, Adrienne came to realize just how important family support is to members of the military. So she decided to create an adopt-a-sailor program, recruiting people to support her husband’s unmarried sailors with letters, birthday cards and care packages.

Because of her initiative, Adrienne was a special guest of first lady Michelle Obama and vice presidential spouse Jill Biden at the State of the Union Address on Jan. 24. (For a picture of Adrienne and a short bio, go to this page on the White House site and roll over the last chair on the right in the second row.)

Adrienne got her invitation, in part, because she wrote about her efforts on the Joining Forces blog of the first lady and Dr. Biden. Her post, Joining Forces for Our Sailors, described her plan. Here is part of what she wrote there:

The Navy does a great job supporting the families so that they can, in turn, support their Sailors. During this time, I couldn’t help thinking: what about the guys and girls who aren’t married? What about the ones who don’t come from strong family backgrounds? Who is going to support them? Who is going to make sure they have something at mail call? Who is going to send them a Christmas card? A birthday card? The crew of the ship is largely young and unmarried, many of them doing their first deployment. Knowing how important little bits of home are to the crew, surely we could figure out a way to get little bits of home to these Sailors.

Adrienne’s invitation to sit in the first lady’s box resulted in numerous interviews. Media in both her hometown of Lynchburg — WSLS-TV and the Lynchburg News and Advance both featured her story — and also in San Diego on KGTV and in the San Diego Union-Tribune.

As she told the Union-Tribune, “I don’t think me being chosen was about me. I think it was the fact that I represent the kind of volunteerism that is seeking — for civilians to join our military.”

Pulitzer Prize-winning Poet to Give Reading at Washington and Lee

Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Natasha Trethewey will give a reading at Washington and Lee University on Thursday, Feb. 2, at 4:30 p.m. in Northen Auditorium of Leyburn Library. She will read from her earlier works and from her forthcoming collection Thrall.

Trethewey’s reading is free and open to the public. A book signing will be held after the reading outside of Northen Auditorium. The event is sponsored by the Glasgow Endowment.

Trethewey is the author of Beyond Katrina: A Meditation on the Mississippi Gulf Coast (University of Georgia Press, 2010); Native Guard (Houghton Mifflin, 2006), for which she won the 2007 Pulitzer Prize; Bellocq’s Ophelia (Graywolf, 2002), which was named a Notable Book for 2003 by the American Library Association; and Domestic Work (Graywolf, 2000). Her collection Thrall is due for publication in 2012.

The Charles Howard Candler Professor of English and Creative Writing at Emory University, Trethewey is the recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Study Center, the National Endowment for the Arts and the Bunting Fellowship Program of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard. Her poems have appeared in such journals and anthologies as American Poetry Review, Callaloo, Kenyon Review, The Southern Review, New England Review, Gettysburg Review and several volumes of The Best American Poetry.

Her first collection of poetry, Domestic Work, was selected as the winner of the inaugural Cave Canem Poetry Prize for the best first book by an African American poet, and won both the 2001 Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters Book Prize and the 2001 Lillian Smith Award for Poetry.

W&L’s Glasgow Endowment was established by the late Arthur G. Glasgow for the “promotion of the expression of art through pen and tongue.”  In the past four decades the endowment has hosted authors including Mary Oliver, Seamus Heaney, Linda Hogan and Edward P. Jones.

Virginia Gov. McDonnell to Address W&L Mock Convention

Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell will address students at Washington and Lee’s Republican Mock Convention on Friday, Feb. 10.

McDonnell took office in 2010 after receiving the most votes of any Virginia governor in history. During his term, he has supported proposals to make the largest investment in Virginia transportation systems in a generation and announced a $311 million budget surplus for two consecutive fiscal years.

McDonnell also serves as chairman of the Republican Governors Association, the Southern Growth Policies Board, the Southern Regional Education Board, and the Legal Affairs Committee of the National Governors Association. Prior to becoming governor, McDonnell served Virginia as the attorney general and a state delegate.

The public is invited to attend the event, which will be held in the Warner Center. Tickets are available at mockconvention.com.

Mock Convention begins on Thursday, Feb. 9, and ends on Saturday, Feb. 11. It will feature speeches by other distinguished politicians and analysts. The event will culminate in the students’ prediction of the Republican presidential nominee.

McDonnell will speak as part of a Friday lineup that highlights the key figures of the Virginia GOP, including majority leader Eric Cantor (R-VA-7th District). Mock Convention will also feature a debate between analysts James Carville and Ann Coulter; former Arkansas governor and 2008 presidential candidate Mike Huckabee; and former Mississippi governor Haley Barbour.

W&L’s Mock Convention is a quadrennial tradition where students pick the presidential nominee for the party out of power. Roughly 99 percent of all students work for three years researching potential candidates, tracking polls and gathering on-the-ground data. With only two incorrect predictions since 1948, and an overall accuracy rate of over 75 percent, Mock Con has been called “the most realistic” exercise of its kind by Newsweek magazine. This year, the students have correctly predicted the outcome of the New Hampshire and South Carolina primaries and are eager to prove the 2012 W&L Mock Convention will continue to be “the biggest and boomingest” of student political organizations (TIME Magazine).

Kali McFarland ’12

(757) 404-1214

Katy Stewart ’13

(704) 560-2120

Jeffery G. Hanna
Executive Director of Communications and Public Affairs

(540) 458-8459

W&L Survey Examines Internet Use in Rockbridge County

Household Internet connections in the Rockbridge area exceed the national average, but residents’ use of the latest online tools is unexpectedly low, according to a recent survey by a Washington and Lee University researcher.

The survey by Claudette Artwick, associate professor of journalism and mass communications at W&L, was developed with students in her course on research methods, in anticipation of the arrival of high-speed broadband service to the region.

“We thought this would be a great opportunity to conduct a baseline survey to find out the state of Internet use in the area at this point in time, before they install broadband,” said Artwick. “Several years down the line, we’ll take another survey to measure change over time.

The survey was sent in May 2011 to 2,500 randomly-selected households and 505 residents responded. “That’s a pretty good response rate,” said Artwick. “We sent a paper questionnaire to be sure we covered everybody, not just those who had Internet service. We also gave people the option to respond online.”

Artwick cited a number of the more notable findings:

• 80 percent of households connected

The survey found that 80 percent of households are connected to the Internet, which is higher than the national average of 71 percent. Artwick said that although the finding is unusually high for a rural area, she attributes this to the number of retirees, residents who telecommute, semi-retired people who still work and individuals connected to one of the area’s three universities.

People in the area spend an average of two and a half hours online per day. Artwick said she expected to hear that most of that time was spent online at work. But that was not the case. “Nearly three quarters of the Internet users said that they spend most of that time online at home,” said Artwick.

The survey also found that half of respondents use the Internet at work, with 20 percent accessing the Internet at a public library or someone else’s home and 15 percent using their cell phones or smart phones to log on.

• 11 percent of respondents have never used the Internet

While 81 percent of residents have used the Internet for five years or more, 11 percent of respondents had never used the Internet. “People reported that they did not have Internet access at home because of cost and not owning a computer,” said Artwick.

“As one might guess, about a third of people in this area connect to the Internet using DSL (digital subscriber lines),” she continued. “But what was surprising, and this is where I see a real connection with our high speed broadband project, is that 10 percent of people in this area still use dial-up access, which is double the national average of five percent. Residents indicated that they don’t have enough choices since nearly half of respondents said they are not satisfied with the number of Internet providers in the area and nearly a third expressed dissatisfaction with the cost of service,” she said.

• Use of latest tools unexpectedly low

About 40 percent of those respondents who are online indicated that they use e-mail only once a day and never use Facebook. In addition, only seven percent of respondents use Twitter. “These are two of the most common social media tools on the Internet, so that surprised me,” said Artwick.

Although Artwick said she expected a lot of people to be watching movies online, 80 percent of respondents said they never watch movies on paid websites like Netflix. “I don’t know if that has to do with the speed of their Internet connection or not,” she said.

Sixty percent of respondents who are online said they do shop online. “The most active shopper in the survey purchased something online 125 times per year, compared to the average of 21 times per year,” said Artwick. And one-third of residents play games online.

• One-third of respondents name traditional newspapers as their main source for news

Residents in the survey named hard copy newspapers as their main source for news (33 percent) followed by TV news (28 percent), online news (14 percent), and a family member or friend (11 percent).

“Again, that’s surprising, and much different from the national average,” said Artwick. “What we’re seeing nationwide is that television and online are almost equal in usage, whereas hard copy newspapers are on the way down. But it’s different in this area. I don’t know what explains that, but maybe people are referring to their local newspaper.”

Artwick hopes to conduct a future survey to measure how area primary and secondary teachers use the Internet in the classroom. “I think it would be very good to have that information and see how it changes over the years,” she said. Her survey was supported by a W&L Lenfest Grant as well as a grant from the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation, which is also supporting similar research at the University of Missouri.

The complete findings of the survey can be found at http://rockbridgeinternet.blogspot.com/

The survey comes on the heels of the $6.9 million federal grant in 2010 to the Rockbridge Area Network Authority (RANA) to bring high-speed broadband to the area, one of 94 Recovery Act investments in broadband projects nationwide.

The arrival of high-speed broadband to the area will increase competition and give residents higher speeds at lower prices, according to David Saacke, chief technology officer at Washington and Lee and co-chair of RANA.

A central part of the project is construction of a new shared data center at Washington and Lee, for which the university has provided $2.5 million. “The design of the data center is completed and construction should begin in a few weeks,” said Saacke. “We hope it will be completed by this June. We’re also starting the bidding process for laying the fiber optic cable, but it could take two or three years for all the spokes to be laid throughout the county.”

The groundbreaking for the new Richard A. Peterson Center, which is named after W&L’s late chief technology director, will be held on Feb. 6 at 2 p.m.

News Contact:
Sarah Tschiggfrie
News Director

Japanese Tea Room Unwraps Another Gift

Washington and Lee’s Japanese Tea Room has received a second gift from Sen Genshitsu, the 15th-generation Grand Master of the Urasenke Tradition of Tea.

In October, W&L’s Tea Room received its name — Senshin’an (Clearing-the-Mind-Abode) — as a gift from Sen Genshitsu. Tea room names are special gifts, as Janet Ikeda, associate professor of Japanese, explained at the time, and W&L’s name coming from such a distinguished personage was significant.

This second gift came with a note from Sen Genshitsu: “I am pleased to donate the articles enumerated on the attached list toward promoting understanding of Japanese culture at Washington and Lee University and the exchange of culture between Japan and America. May the articles long be kept and be put to good use.”

The utensils range from vases to kettles to tea bowls. The display is now available for viewing in the Watson Pavilion.

Radulescu's “Black Sea Twilight” on U.K. Chart

The second novel by Washington and Lee professor Domnica Radulescu, Black Sea Twilight (2010 Doubleday), a love story set amid the political turbulence of 1980s Romania, reached No. 40 on WH Smith’s best-seller list in the United Kingdom a few months back. Domnica promoted the novel at a book signing and reading at the Romanian Cultural Centre in London, co-sponsored by Doubleday, last July. See a photo gallery from that event.

Best-selling novelist Adriana Trigiani (Big Stone Gap, Lucia, Lucia) described Black Sea Twilight as “evocative, poetic and lush—a delicious page-turner of lost love, loaded with magical dreams and real hope. Nora Teodoru is a magnetic and unforgettable character. You won’t be able to put this one down.”

Domnica’s novel is now available as an e-book from WH Smith and looks to be following a similar path to Train to Trieste, her best-selling first novel, since it will be published in Romania this summer, and then, possibly, in Sweden.

Judging Patron Saints

by Kenneth P. Ruscio
Washington and Lee University

(This piece is reprinted by permission from Inside Higher Ed, where it first appeared on Jan. 26, 2012.)

Sadly, almost any topic in our modern society becomes politicized, forcing us into a corner where we must choose to be for or against. Opinion comes first, interpretation comes later, if at all. Simplicity is the order of the day. Dealing with complexity is inconvenient.

So it is with the irresistible urge to judge historical figures such as Thomas Jefferson, Robert E. Lee and even George Washington — deciding whether we are pro or con, and then injecting them into our contemporary partisan conflicts. It overwhelms any inclination to embrace the study of the past for something other than debating points. We know, or should know, that our own history is complicated. We would appreciate it if those judging us in the future would respect that. We owe the same courtesy to those who came before us.

When Joseph Ellis wrote American Sphinx, his masterful study of Thomas Jefferson, he ran headlong into precisely this problem. As he ventured into his research, his youthful fascination with Jefferson gave way to a mature appreciation for the man with all his contradictions, faults and strengths, failures and accomplishments. History rarely presents us with simple morality tales. And the fortunes of Jefferson in the contemporary age look so much like the dreaded approval ratings in volatile public opinion polls. One day, he is everyone’s hero. The next, he is a hypocrite and a devious politician.

It was a puzzle for Ellis. As commentaries on Jefferson devolved into point-counterpoint volleys, it seemed “impossible to steer an honorable course between idolatry and evisceration,” he wrote. The historian concluded wisely that “affection and criticism toward Jefferson are not mutually exclusive positions,” and that “all mature appraisals of mythical figures are destined to leave their most ardent admirers somewhat disappointed.” Influential individuals who live in turbulent times do things that call attention to the strength of their character, and they do other things that point to their human qualities, which is to say their imperfections. “Anyone who confines his research to one side of the moral equation,” wrote Ellis, “is destined to miss a significant part of the story.”

There are occasions when I feel these tensions in a direct and personal way.

I serve as president of a college named after two influential and consequential figures. One of them is George Washington, who made our college the beneficiary of his only significant gift to higher education: $20,000 in James River Canal stock. He wanted to support an institution located in an area of the country he considered the “Western frontier.”

The other is Robert E. Lee. After the Civil War, he became president of what was then Washington College. He and several members of his family are buried in Lee Chapel, an iconic building on campus where we hold many of our formal ceremonies. My wife, my son and I live in Lee House — the house on campus built for him and his family that has served as the home for all the university’s presidents. The dining room is where he died. The building in the driveway was a stall for Traveller, Lee’s horse; it remains preserved as it was back in Lee’s day, and by custom its doors remain forever open. It is the second-most-visited tourist spot in a small town with many historical sites.

We commemorate both men during our annual Founders’ Day Convocation on campus, held on Lee’s birthday each year. Our convocation speaker this year was Ron Chernow, author of the Pulitzer-winning Washington: A Life.

I also am a graduate of the institution I now serve as president, and I proudly and forcefully call upon the traditions of the university in the service of preparing students for lives of integrity and responsibility. My own stance toward Lee is one of respect, especially for what Michael Sandel, the Harvard political theorist, refers to as “the quality of character” of his deliberation when he confronted impossible choices.

But it is not idolatry. Neither is it evisceration. It is instead an honest attempt to understand the man and his times, which included slavery, secession and civil war. I take this stance not for purposes of reaching a final judgment on whether he was destined for heaven or hell — which would be the height of arrogance, as if I, and not Providence, could make such a call — but to appreciate the complexity of history and those who live it. Like Ellis with Jefferson, I have come to the conclusion that affection for and criticism of Lee are not mutually exclusive.

There are times, though, when that is easier said than done.

What should the university do when a Washington Post columnist condemns Lee as a traitor who chose the wrong side when it came to the great moral question of his time? How should we respond when a PBS documentary, which otherwise portrayed the man with all the respect history requires, got it wrong when it came to the chapter in his life that profoundly affected the university? He did not, as the documentary claimed, live out his final years “in hiding” at a small college in the mountains of Virginia. Rather, he fulfilled a pledge. “I have a self-imposed task which I must accomplish,” he wrote. “I have led the young men of the South in battle; I have seen many of them die in the field; I shall devote my remaining energies to training young men to do their duty in life.” Forsaking far more lucrative offers, he came to a nearly bankrupt college to prepare young men from the North and the South for a dramatically different world in the wake of the Civil War.

Beyond our campus, the story of Lee the general overshadows the story of Lee the educator; understandably so. But those years of curriculum reform and lessons in integrity are inseparable from the man’s biography, and they add a deeper appreciation, especially to our understanding of Lee’s refined sense of duty. Many students and alumni of this university cannot recognize the man when the profile casts aside the effect he had on an educational institution that had a direct effect on our own lives.

For that reason and many others, criticism of Lee, even the unintended oversight, triggers the reflex to rush to the defense. As one thoughtful, dedicated alumnus wrote to me in the wake of the PBS documentary and the Washington Post column, neither of which mentioned the university, “we” have been attacked, and the institution “has done nothing to respond.”

But the university is not synonymous with the man. It is an institution of values, to be sure. And to illustrate its values, it often invokes the stories of individuals who have made it what it is. But it is first and foremost an institution of learning and study, of critical reflection on all matters. Its primary mission is to seek truth. It cannot do so if it closes its own history to examination.

Lee was a dignified, humble man. His sense of duty and honor would cause him to cringe if he ever became the subject of idolatry or the embodiment of myth. Blindly, superficially and reflexively rushing to his defense is no less an affront to history than blindly, superficially and reflexively attacking him. What he needs, what he deserves, and what his record can withstand is the honest appraisal of those who have not made up their minds, who can appreciate the man with all his complexities and contradictions. History is indeed not kind enough to present us with simple morality tales.

More to the point, a university serves its students best by not imposing an orthodox point of view about the past and certainly not the future. Higher education, no less than other institutions, is a victim of our politicized society. The things we do — the courses we teach, the values we espouse, the faculty we hire — should not be subjected to ideological litmus tests.

John Henry Cardinal Newman, the 19th-century British educator, remains a powerful influence on how we think about a college education. His words remind us to keep our bearings. The faculty should “learn to respect, to consult, to aid each other.” In so doing, they create a culture of learning. “A habit of mind is formed which lasts through life, of which the attributes are freedom, equitableness, calmness, moderation, and wisdom.” Newman concludes, “This is the main purpose of a university in its treatment of its students.”

Ellis has it right when it comes to the role of history. Newman has it right when it comes to the role of the university. But it remains a challenge in our highly divisive times. If any institution should resist the harsh, polarized and emotional discourse of today’s society, and if any institution should model the virtues of calmness, moderation and wisdom, it is a university, especially one named in honor of two individuals who personified precisely those virtues.

Kenneth P. Ruscio is a 1976 graduate of Washington and Lee University. He took office as the university’s 26th president in 2006.

Two W&L Professors Win State's Highest Teaching Honor

Two Washington and Lee University faculty members — James R. Kahn, the John F. Hendon Professor of Economics, and Lesley M. Wheeler, the Henry S. Fox Jr. Professor of English — have won Outstanding Faculty Awards from the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV) for 2012.

The award recognizes superior accomplishments in teaching, research and public service and is the highest honor for faculty at Virginia’s public and private colleges and universities.

Kahn and Wheeler will receive their awards at a luncheon in Richmond on Feb. 16, when they also will join the other 10 recipients for an honorary introduction on the floor of the General Assembly.

Including this year’s winners, seven Washington and Lee faculty members have been honored by SCHEV in the past four years.

This is 26th year for the statewide awards program, and the 12 recipients were selected from a pool of 125 applications based on accomplishments that strongly reflect the missions of their respective institutions.

“This is well-deserved recognition for Jim and Lesley, who have distinguished themselves in their fields and as superb teachers,” said Washington and Lee Acting Provost Robert Strong. “We appreciate that SCHEV has once again chosen to honor our faculty with these important awards.”

James R. Kahn, who received a B.A. in economics from Washington and Lee in 1975, returned to his alma mater in 2000 to lead the University’s interdisciplinary Environmental Studies Program. He received both an M.A. and Ph.D. in economics from the University of Maryland. Kahn taught at the State University of New York-Binghamton (1980–91) and the University of Tennessee (1991–2000). He also held a joint appointment with Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

Kahn is internationally known as an environmental economist, innovative teacher and leader in both interdisciplinary research and integrative curricular development. Throughout his career, he has pioneered research that integrates economic and ecological concepts. He is the author of numerous publications, including The Economic Approach to Environmental and Natural Resources, which has been released in three editions.

For the past 20 years, he has focused his work on the Amazon, establishing an exchange program with the Federal University of Amazonas, in Brazil, where he has been a collaborating professor since 1992. His research has influenced public policy related to environmental issues in the state of Amazonas and has resulted in intense, transformational experiences for numerous W&L students who have traveled there for study and research.

W&L senior Emily Ackerman called her semester abroad “one of the most enriching and memorable experiences” of her college career. “Never have I had a more enthusiastic and approachable professor with such infectious passion for sharing knowledge,” she wrote in support of his SCHEV nomination. “It is apparent that Professor Kahn finds true joy in watching his students grow, both intellectually and culturally.”

Kahn has also developed the Chesapeake Bay Program through funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. It focuses on place-based teaching, which integrates students into the local study of watersheds, land use and Chesapeake Bay.

As Larry Peppers, dean of the Williams School of Commerce, Economics, and Politics, wrote in support of Kahn’s nomination: “Just as the program in Brazil has brought tremendous educational benefits to his students and economic benefits to the inhabitants of the rain forest in Brazil, so the Chesapeake program will benefit all of the citizens of Virginia and surrounding states who derive so much from this great environmental asset. . . . Kahn’s model of integrating education, research and service is truly global in scope and represents a powerful educational model.”

Kahn’s work has received high praise from many others in his field, including Daniel Simberloff, the Nancy Gore Hunger Professor of Environmental Studies at the University of Tennessee, who wrote that “few universities have such a dynamic, innovative professor working on so important a range of environmental problems.”

Kahn describes his educational philosophy “as pursuing an interdisciplinary understanding of cause-and-effect relationships, providing transformation experiences for students, helping students make the transition to independent researchers and developing both a global- and place-based learning focus.”

Lesley M. Wheeler is a prize-winning poet and an internationally acclaimed scholar of 20th- and 21st-century poetry. She joined Washington and Lee’s faculty in 1994. She received her B.A. in English from Rutgers University and her Ph.D. in English from Princeton. She teaches poetry and creative writing.

Wheeler has written four books of poetry, including Heterotopia (2010), winner of the 2010 Barrow Street Press Poetry Prize and a finalist for the 2011 Library of Virginia Poetry Award, and Heathen (2009). Her scholarly books include Voicing American Poetry: Sound and Performance from the 1920s to the Present (2008). She is the author of more than 15 essays and book chapters and has published over 65 poems in journals, with five forthcoming.

Wheeler has held fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Fulbright Foundation and The Virginia Commission for the Arts, among other grantors. She is currently at work on a poetry book, Signal to Noise, and a scholarly book, Poetry, Conversation, Community in the Twenty-First Century, a study of the networks sustaining contemporary poetry.

Wheeler has had a significant impact on Washington and Lee’s curriculum, having helped establish and then co-direct the interdisciplinary Women’s and Gender Studies Program in 2000. She has also developed uncommon classroom experiences to help her students engage with the subject matter. The Haiku Death Match, for example, is a student performance for her course in American Poetry, 1950–Present. She has also led the Glasgow Endowment for Visiting Writers and has significantly diversified poetry programming.

In her nomination letter for Wheeler, Suzanne Keen, the Thomas Broadus Professor of English and herself a former SCHEV winner, wrote: “Steadily productive, devoted to her teaching, experimental and creative, Lesley exemplifies the Washington and Lee ideal of connecting academic life with service to all her communities, including an international network of poets.”

Current and former students heap praise on Wheeler’s classes. “I can safely say that I have never been more moved by subject matter than when I was studying poetry — and its relationship to a surrounding culture, era or community — under Professor Wheeler,” wrote Adam Lewis, a 2010 graduate. Added Adam Hockensmith, of the Class of 2008, “Wheeler is, without a doubt, one of the brightest stars on any faculty in the country, and a true inspiration to the creatively minded.”

Helen Emmitt, NEH Professor of English at Centre College, supported Wheeler’s nomination by writing: “She has a keen sense of literary history and a wonderful way of finding issues that somehow been there all along without being noticed by other scholars.”

In describing her own work for the SCHEV nomination, Wheeler wrote that her “primary commitment as a teacher, scholar, artist, and citizen is to promote poetry as a vital mode of human experience.”

SCHEV established the Outstanding Faculty Awards in 1986 to recognize excellence in teaching, research and service among the faculties of Virginia’s public and private colleges and universities. A special committee of education, business and civic leaders and SCHEV choose the recipients based upon nominees’ contributions to their students, academic disciplines, institutions and communities.

Previous Washington and Lee winners:

Rebecca Benefiel (Classics) 2011
Domnica Radulescu (Romance Languages) 2011
Ellen Mayock (Spanish) 2010
Mark Carey (History) 2009
Erich Uffelman (Chemistry) 2009
Suzanne Keen (English) 2008
William F. Connelly Jr. (Politics) 2007
Harlan Beckley (Religion) 2002
Pamela Simpson (Art History) 1995
Margaret Brouwer (Music) 1994
Andrew McThenia (Law) 1994
Edgar Spencer (Geology) 1990
Sidney Coulling (English) 1989
Brian Murchison (Law) 1988
Philip Cline (Economics) 1987
Leonard Jarrard (Psychology) 1987

News Contact:
Jeffery G. Hanna
Executive Director of Communications and Public Affairs
(540) 458-8459

W&L Junior Attends N.Y. State of State Address

Tom Sanford, a Washington and Lee University junior from New York City, was a special guest at New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s 2012 State of the State address, in Albany, on Jan. 4, 2012.

Sanford, a politics major, was the guest of Assemblyman Daniel P. Losquadro, a Republican from Long Island and the brother of Washington and Lee alumnus Steve Losquadro, of the Class of 1986.

As part of his trip to Albany, Sanford met with Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb and Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos, as well as the chief of staff for New York State Republican Party Chairman Edward Cox.

Sanford, a member of the New York delegation for Washington and Lee’s 2012 Mock Republican Convention, visited with Losquardo during the 2011 legislative session to discuss his role in the Mock Convention. During this visit, Sanford once again visited the assembly chamber, where he joined members on the floor at the opening of session.

Eric Cantor to Address Washington and Lee Mock Convention

House Majority Leader and Virginia Representative Eric Cantor will address Washington and Lee University’s 2012 Republican Mock Convention on Friday, February 10, 2012.

One of the most influential Republicans in Congress, Cantor has served in the House of Representatives since 2001 and was elected Majority Leader in 2010. A proponent of a strong national defense, Cantor formerly chaired chairman of the Congressional Task Force on Terrorism and Unconventional Warfare.

The Weekly Standard featured him as one of the “Young Guns of the House GOP,” and Congressional Quarterly has described him as “the GOP’s communicator, rainmaker and consensus builder.”

Cantor received his undergraduate degree from The George Washington University, his law degree from The College of William and Mary, and his master’s degree from Columbia University in New York.

The public is invited to attend the event, which will be held in the Warner Center. Tickets are available at mockconvention.com.

Mock Convention is a two-day event that will feature speeches by other distinguished politicians and analysts. The event will culminate in the prediction of the Republican presidential nominee.

In addition to Cantor, speakers will include analysts James Carville and Ann Coulter, who will stage a debate; former Arkansas governor and 2008 presidential candidate Mike Huckabee; and former Mississippi governor Haley Barbour.

W&L’s Mock Convention is a quadrennial tradition where students pick the presidential nominee for the party out of power. Nearly the entire W&L student body, roughly 99% of all students, works for three years researching potential candidates, tracking polls, and gathering on-the-ground data. With only two incorrect predictions since 1948, and an overall accuracy rate of over 75 percent, Mock Con has been called “the most realistic” exercise of its kind by Newsweek magazine.

After incorrectly selecting Hillary Clinton as the 2008 Democratic nominee, the students are eager to prove their skills in the upcoming convention. Speakers of Mr. Cantor’s caliber solidify the convention’s credibility and will ensure that in 2012 W&L Mock Convention will reaffirm its place as “the biggest and boomingest” of student political organizations (TIME Magazine).


Kali McFarland ’12
(757) 404-1214

Katy Stewart ’13
(704) 560-2120

Jeffery G. Hanna
Executive Director of Communications and Public Affairs
(540) 458-8459

Jarrell, Deyarmin Generals of the Month for January

Washington and Lee University students Kelli Jarrell and Stephen Deyarmin will be recognized at the Generals of the Month presentation on Wednesday, Jan. 25, at noon in the Marketplace in Elrod Commons.

Jarrell, a senior from Dry Creek, W.Va., is a biochemistry (pre-med) major with a minor in poverty and human capability studies. She is a member of Phi Beta Kappa, Omicron Delta Kappa, American Chemical Society, American Society of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, Chi Omega sorority and is president of Alpha Epsilon Delta Pre-Med Honorary Society.

Jarrell also is the communications chair of the steering committee for Traveller safe ride,  a member of W&L’s Campus Kitchen project, and an Honor Scholar and a Peer Counselor. She is a member of Reformed University Fellowship and the First Year Orientation Committee, a chemistry peer tutor and a member of the Outing Club.

Deyarmin, a junior from Mercer, Pa., is a Medieval and Renaissance Studies major with a minor in European history. He is the vice president of W&L’s Fencing Club, secretary of W&L’s Taekwondo Club and a member of the American Taekwondo Association, the American Freestyle Karate Black Belt Club and the American Freestyle Karate STORM Leadership Program.

Deyarmin also is a member of the University Men’s Glee Club, the Film Selection Committee and Sigma Nu fraternity of which he is rush chair. He is an Eagle Scout and assistant Scout Master for Troop 83 in Mercer, Pa., and is an intramurals referee for W&L Campus Activities.

Generals of the Month is coordinated by the Celebrating Student Success (CSS) initiative and is sponsored by the Division of Student Affairs to inspire engaged citizenship at Washington and Lee University.  CSS seeks to recognize students who are not typically or sufficiently touted for the depth and breadth they add to our campus community.

Jarrell and Deyarmin were selected by the CSS Committee, which is composed of students, faculty and staff. Any member of the campus community can nominate a W&L student at any time with the online form at go.wlu.edu/css.

Future CSS presentations during the 2011-2012 academic year will be held during lunch in the Marketplace in the Elrod Commons on Feb. 15, March 21, April 11 and May 9.

News Contact:
Julie Cline
News Writer

The Spotter

reported on the cool gig that Washington and Lee alumna Angie Littlejohn, of the Law Class of 2009, enjoys on fall weekends.

Angie’s day job is as Furman University’s legal adviser. On the weekends (and some weeknights) she can be found in Atlantic Coast Conference football press boxes, where she pursues an avocation that she’s had since high school — as a “spotter” for Fox Sports’ telecasts of ACC football on Saturdays.

A spotter keeps the broadcasters accurate and the broadcast seamless, by making sure the announcers know which player did what on every play. All the players’ names, numbers and other information is displayed on a board in front of the broadcasters. Angie watches the plays and then points to the right player so that the broadcaster isn’t caught misidentifying someone. Here’s how she described the job in the Greenville News story:

“You memorize where every number is on that board because you have to watch the play as it unfolds and then be able to, pretty much without looking, point on the chart to the offensive person that made the catch and the defensive guy that made the tackle. Or if somebody jumps offsides, you’ve got to be able to point to the lineman’s number so that the announcer instantly knows No. 98 jumped offsides. It’s kind of intense, but it’s a release from the everyday legal work for me.”

Angie got started by providing similar player information for her father, Al Littlejohn, who was the longtime director of video productions at Clemson. While he would work in a studio away from the field at Memorial Stadium in Clemson’s Death Valley, Angie would sit in the press box using a headset and binoculars to feed him the information he needed to post the correct plays on the stadium’s video screens. Her mother, Ginger Littlejohn, also works as a spotter; last year, they teamed up, with Angie doing statistics and Ginger doing the spotting.

She continued working games during her undergraduate days as a history major at the University of Virginia. Before she joined Furman, Angie had combined her legal background and her interest in athletics as a compliance intern for Clemson athletics and as an athletic academic service coordinator at Presbyterian College.

W&L's Wasserman Discusses Political Journalism on WMRA (Audio)

Edward Wasserman, Knight Professor of Journalism Ethics at Washington and Lee, appeared on NPR affiliate WMRA’s “Virginia Insight” show on Monday, Jan. 23, 2012, to discuss political journalism as the current presidential campaign continues to heat up.

Wasserman writes a bi-weekly column for the Miami Herald and McClatchy Newspapers and blogs at ewasserman.com.

Mike Grundmann, assistant professor of media arts at James Madison University and  a 26-year veteran of the daily newspaper business, joined Wasserman on the hour-long, live call-in show.

“Virginia Insight” is hosted by Tom Graham and can be heard at 89.9 in Lexington, 90.7 in Harrisonburg and 103.5 in Charlottesville.

Listen to the program below:


Tucker Lecturer Bryan Stevenson to Discuss Politics, Punishment and Reconciliation

Bryan Stevenson, executive director and founder of the Equal Justice Initiative and a professor of law at New York University, will deliver this year’s Tucker Lecture at Washington and Lee University School of Law on Monday, Jan. 30, 2012.

The title of Stevenson’s lecture is “Politics, Punishment and Reconciliation.” The lecture is scheduled to begin at 12:00 p.m. in the Millhiser Moot Court Room, Sydney Lewis Hall on the campus of W&L. The talk is open to the public at no charge.

Stevenson graduated from Harvard University, earning both a J.D. from the School of Law and a Masters in Public Policy from the Kennedy School of Government.  He has been involved with the representation of capital defendants and death row prisoners since 1985 when he was a staff attorney with the Southern Center for Human Rights in Atlanta.

Since 1989, he has been Executive Director of the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI), a private, nonprofit law organization he founded that focuses on social justice and human rights in the context of criminal justice reform in the United States. EJI litigates on behalf of condemned prisoners, juvenile offenders, people wrongly convicted or charged, poor people denied effective representation and others whose trials are marked by racial bias or prosecutorial misconduct.

Stevenson has won national acclaim for his work challenging bias against the poor and people of color in the criminal justice system. His honors and awards include the MacArthur Fellowship Award Prize, the Reebok Human Rights Award, and the ACLU National Medal of Liberty, and the John Minor Public Service and Professionalism Award. In addition, Stevenson received the Olaf Palme Prize in Stockholm, Sweden for international human rights, the Gruber Foundation International Justice Prize, the Award for Courageous Advocacy from the American College of Trial Lawyers, and the Lawyer for the People Award from the National Lawyers Guild. In 2011, Mr. Stevenson was awarded the National Legal Aid & Defender Association Lifetime Achievement Award.

The Tucker Lecture at Washington and Lee School of Law was first established by the W&L Board of Trustees in 1949 to mark the bicentennial of the University and the centennial of the Law School. It was named after John Randolph Tucker, hired in 1870 as the second teacher in legal education and named the first dean of the Washington and Law University School of Law in 1893.

News Contact:
Peter Jetton
School of Law Director of Communications
(540) 458-8782

W&L Law Alum Wins MLK Award

Andy Lark, a 1982 graduate of the Washington and Lee School of Law, won a 2012 Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service’s Keeper of the Dream Award, in Summit, N.J., on Jan. 17.

The awards are given annually to Summit residents who honor the vision of Martin Luther King Jr. Andy was one of four honorees.

He has a solo practice in New York as a trusts and estates attorney. With his wife, Kay, he instituted the MLK Day of Service, in 1999.

That event is one of many philanthropic and non-profit causes with which Andy is associated. He is executive director of the Bagby Foundation, an 80-year-old organization that aids elderly and infirm former musical artists of distinction, and co-trustee of the Cummings Memorial Fund, which supports organizations in New York City and northeastern New Jersey that provide social-welfare, education and health programs and services.

In addition, he has held numerous positions in local government, including six years on the Summit city council, with one year as council president, and nine years on the zoning board. He also chaired and co-chaired the local community action group Summit 2005 and its successor, Shaping Summit Together.

Shenandoah announces winner of Graybeal-Gowen Award

Shenandoah: The Washington and Lee University Review has named Margaret Mackinnon the winner of the 2011 Graybeal-Gowen Poetry Award for her poem, “Writing on the Window.”

The 2011 Graybeal-Gowen Poetry Award, a $500 prize, is awarded to a poet born or living in Virginia. This year’s award was judged by the Poet Laureate of Virginia, Kelly Cherry.

Mackinnon’s work has appeared in various journals, including Poetry, New England Review, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Southern Humanities Review, Quarterly West, and Valparaiso Poetry Review. Her new work appears in the South Carolina Review and is forthcoming in Image, RHINO, and Midwest Quarterly.

Mackinnon completed the graduate program in creative writing at the University of Florida, and she has been awarded scholarships from Bread Loaf, the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, and the Squaw Valley Community of Writers. For the summer of 2010, she was awarded a residency at the Vermont Studio Center. Currently, Mackinnon teaches literature and creative writing at a private high school in the Washington, D.C., area.

Said Cherry of the winning poem:

“The winning poem, ‘Writing on the Window,’ delineates credibly and movingly Sophia Hawthorne’s marriage to Nathaniel. The poem shows us their house and garden, the couple’s financial difficulties, the husband’s creative imagination, and Sophia’s serious engagement with painting and her sensitivity and intelligence. Humor, sensuality and sadness are almost equally weighted. I particularly applaud the poet for retaining linear integrity in her narrative. Finally, what cinched my choice was that I read it aloud (to my husband): the music of this poem is wonderfully persuasive!”

Finalists in the Graybeal-Gowen competition were Patsy Anne Bickerstaff, Charlotte Matthews, Matthew Blakley, Marielle Prince, Sarah Crossland, Audrey Walls, Anna Journey and Kristin Zimet.

Shenandoah will begin accept entries in Bevel Summers Prize for the Short-Short Story on March 1, 2012.

W&L Mock Convention Picks Gingrich in S.C. Primary

The student political research team for Washington and Lee University’s 2012 Mock Republican Convention has given a narrow nod to Newt Gingrich over Mitt Romney in predicting the winner of tomorrow’s South Carolina Republican primary.

Writing on the Mock Convention’s blog last night, Connor Danielowski, a senior from Charleston, S.C., and chair of the Mock Convention’s South Carolina delegation, and Zach Wilkes, a senior from Farmersville, La., and the political chair, joined with members of the political team in concluding: “We feel that Gingrich will capitalize on the momentum gained from his attack on the ‘liberal media’ and will pull out a narrow victory over national frontrunner Mitt Romney in Saturday’s primary.”

The student research team also gives a very slight edge to Rick Santorum over Ron Paul for third place.

In making the prediction, they cautioned that “virtually anything could happen once polls open tomorrow, and there are still a number of viable scenarios in which Romney pulls out a win in South Carolina tomorrow.”

“No matter who wins tomorrow, Gingrich will finish much better than initially expected and will pose a much more serious threat to the Romney campaign going forward,” they write. “Though polling data indicates that the race is too close to call, Gingrich’s late surge has continued despite (or perhaps because of) a renewed focus on his prior marital problems.”

The prediction is based on the team’s analysis of polling trends, data from past election cycles, and discussions with political experts in South Carolina and across the South.

“When the polls close tomorrow, Mitt Romney will still be the front runner for the Republican nomination, but the race will be fundamentally changed,” write Danielowski and Wilkes. “Newt Gingrich will have momentum going into the Florida primary, and the conservative, anti-Romney vote will have a standard bearer around whom to rally. If Gingrich has learned from his past troubles and can run a disciplined campaign over the next few weeks, he will be a force to be reckoned with at least through Super Tuesday on March 6th.

“Yet, even with momentum at his back, Gingrich will have a very difficult time overcoming Romney in Florida, especially if Santorum can maintain a viable presence in this race. If, however, Santorum stumbles in the coming weeks and the race becomes binary, Romney could once again face an extremely difficult primary battle.”

The 2012 Mock Republican Convention will be Feb. 9-11 on the W&L campus. The convention nominates its presidential candidate on Saturday, Feb. 11.

The student researchers have been at work throughout the year preparing for their ultimate prediction. Last week they correctly predicted an Iowa victory for Romney.

Since its inception in 1908, W&L’s convention has been considered the most realistic exercise and the most accurate, with 19 correct predictions in 25 attempts. Until they incorrectly chose Hillary Clinton to head the Democratic ticket in 2008, the W&L student conventioneers had been right on eight consecutive predictions.

News Contact:
Jeffery G. Hanna
Executive Director of Communications and Public Affairs
(540) 458-8459

Washington and Lee Celebrates Leadership on Founders’ Day (Audio/Video)

On a day when Washington and Lee University celebrated leadership by inducting new and honorary members into Omicron Delta Kappa, the national leadership honor society, Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer Ron Chernow addressed the leadership of George Washington in his talk to the Founders’ Day audience in Lee Chapel.

“Washington possessed the most extraordinary gifts of leadership, and these are gifts of leadership that I fear are sorely lacking among our politicians today,” said Chernow, who won his Pulitzer for Washington: A Life, his 2010 book.


During the Revolutionary War, Chernow said, Washington knew how to motivate his soldiers “by making them see themselves as actors in a grand historical pageant, this glorious fight for freedom.” Only Winston Churchill did that better, Chernow said.

“Washington made the lowliest grunt feel that his sacrifice mattered,” he said. “At the same time, he never assumed that people were saints, and he regularly issued orders before battles warning that any soldiers who deserted would be shot dead on the spot”

Chernow noted that Washington made people strive to meet his “impossibly high” standards and “never confused leadership with a popularity contest.”

” thought that a leader should strive to be respected and not liked,” Chernow said. “He is saying this already in his 20s. The irony is that he became so respected that he became not only liked, but loved.”

In his introduction of Chernow, Washington and Lee President Kenneth P. Ruscio paid tribute to the University’s other namesake and former president, Robert E. Lee, on whose birthday each year Founders’ Day is held.

Founders’ Day, said Ruscio, is now an occasion to remind ourselves of Lee’s most enduring legacy: “leadership and its centrality to the Washington and Lee mission, not just leadership but a particular kind of leadership, one with integrity, honor and service to others as defining qualities.”

Ruscio said that he worries about the tendency in society to caricature historical figures as either heroes or villains, “to attack or defend rather than understand.”

“We should honor and respect the past, but not worship it. History is history, the study of imperfect people in imperfect times,” he added. “We should look for religion elsewhere. The study of history, properly done, should guide us, not blind us; it should broaden our vision of the future, not narrow it.”

The University’s Alpha Chapter of ODK inducted 31 students and four honorary initiates — two alumni, Alfred Harrison ’61, of Wayzata, Minn., and Hal F. Higginbotham ’68, of New York, and two faculty members, Suzanne Parker Keen, Thomas Broadus Professor of English, and Elizabeth Goad Oliver, Lewis Whitaker Adams Professor of Accounting.

News Contact:
Jeffery G. Hanna
Executive Director of Communications and Public Affairs
(540) 458-8459

Magic W&L Moment

Two of Washington and Lee’s most distinguished alumni shared a special moment on Wednesday, Jan. 18, when the Virginia House of Delegates honored its longest-serving member.

Lacey Putney, of W&L’s Classes of 1950 and 1957 Law, this month began his 51st legislative session as an independent delegate, from Bedford, Va.

To recognize Lacey’s service, his former W&L classmate, Sen. John W. Warner, of the Class of 1949, paid a surprise visit to Richmond and received the rare opportunity to address the delegates. Listen to a recording of that presentation below:


In his remarks, the senator noted that he and Lacey had plenty in common: “You remember, Lacey, there were a lot of elegant fellows in that fraternity. There were the ones that had a lot of change in their pockets. And then you and I — we didn’t have a lot of change in our pocket…. But we started there together, and we formed that friendship. And to think 66 years ahead, Lacey is now starting his 51st year as the longest-serving member of this distinguished body.”

John, of course, who retired from the U.S. Senate two years ago, holds the record as the second-longest-serving Virginia member of that institution. The alumni magazine profiled him on the occasion of his retirement; you can read that article, by Andy Thompson ’00, here.

John, who attended the University of Virginia Law School, went on to credit the Honor System of both schools as a key element in the development of his and Lacey’s careers.

When he took the podium, Lacey called himself “the least likely student in the state of Virginia to attend a school like Washington and Lee.”

He added: “Through those years, the friendships that developed, the spirit that you come away with from Washington and Lee, has been far better articulated to you by John than I can. He is one of the real outstanding graduates of that school. I am honored to have been a friend and associate of his there. The only mistake that I know he ever made was that he should have gone to law school at Washington and Lee, instead of U.Va.”

Both men received lengthy standing ovations from the delegates, and Lacey told a reporter after the ceremony, “I’m just stunned and more than honored. He said a lot of nice things that I don’t deserve, but you always like to hear it.”

The event itself was historic. Other than governors, who address the joint legislature annually, and clergy, who deliver a daily invocation, the last dignitary to address the House from the dais was Queen Elizabeth, in 2007.

To watch video of the event as part of a report by Washington and Lee alumnus Joe Dashiell, Class of 1980, go the WDBJ7-TV site.

W&L's ODK Circle Honors Four Honorary Initiates, Inducts 31 Students (Video)

Washington and Lee University’s Alpha Circle of Omicron Delta Kappa recognized four honorary initiates in addition to 31 student initiates at the Founders Day/Omicron Delta Kappa Convocation.

Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer Ron Chernow addressed the convocation. The title of his speech was “Washington: A Life,” which is the same title as his 2010 book about George Washington.

Omicron Delta Kappa (ODK), the national leadership honor society, was founded at W&L on Dec. 3, 1914, by 15 student and faculty leaders. ODK encourages superior scholarship, leadership and exemplary character. The organization recognizes achievement in five areas: scholarship; athletics; campus/community service, social/religious activities and campus government; journalism, speech and the mass media; and creative and performing arts.

The ODK honorary inductees are Alfred Harrison, of Wayzata, Minn.; Hal F. Higginbotham, of New York; Suzanne Parker Keen, of Lexington; and Elizabeth Goad Oliver, of Lexington.

Alfred Harrison is the retired vice chairman of the board for Alliance Capital Management Corp. He holds a B.A. and M.A. with honors from Christ’s College, Cambridge University, in his native England. He attended Washington and Lee in 1957-58 on a scholarship to commemorate the 350th anniversary of the first English settlement at Jamestown. At W&L, he played on the soccer team and participated in theater productions.

Prior to joining Alliance Capital in 1978, Harrison was president, CEO and co-founder of IDS Advisory Corp., the pension fund investment management subsidiary of Investors Diversified Services Inc. He had previously managed the IDS Progressive Fund, a large mutual fund oriented to capital appreciation. He and his wife have generously supported the arts and championed organizations and institutions focusing on higher education, international health and human services, and children’s health. He is a life trustee of the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, where he was previously chairman of the board, and he is a governing member of the board of the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. He has served the Center for the Victims of Torture, and he has been a patron of German and French language camps for Concordia Language Villages. He is also a former chairman of the board of the University Children’s Foundation, an affiliate of the Minnesota Medical Foundation. Harrison was inducted into the Twin Cities Volunteer Hall of Fame in 1998.

Hal F. Higginbotham Jr. is senior vice president of The College Board, a not-for-profit organization comprising more than 5,700 schools, colleges, universities and other educational organizations. He leads and advises on key strategic planning and implementation projects on behalf of the office of the president. He announced his retirement in 2010 but continues to serve during the transition of leadership.

Higginbotham is a 1968 graduate of Washington and Lee, with a major in German. At W&L, he belonged to Phi Beta Kappa, Phi Eta Sigma and the debate team, and served as vice president of Tau Kappa Iota Society. He did graduate work at Brown University and the Christian-Albrects-Universität (Kiel, Germany). After serving in the Army, Higginbotham began his career in higher education as a financial aid officer at Georgetown University. During more than 30 years at the College Board, he served as vice president for the student financial aid division and, subsequently, all enrollment services. In 2002, he became president of the organization’s wholly owned Internet subsidiary, and in 2005, he assumed responsibility for all technology services as chief information officer, a position he held until 2009.  Higginbotham is a current member of the board of trustees for the New York Metropolitan Library Council, serving as treasurer and sitting on the board’s executive committee. He has also been active on its strategic planning committee. He is co-author of The CSS Guide to Implementing Financial Data Processing System. In 1975, he received the Robert P. Huff Golden Quill Award for contributions to the literature on student financial aid.

Suzanne Parker Keen is the Thomas Broadus Professor of English at Washington and Lee. A member of Phi Beta Kappa, she earned an A.B. in English and studio art and an A.M. in creative writing from Brown University, then an M.A. and Ph.D. in English from Harvard.  She taught for five years at Yale University before joining the W&L faculty in 1995. The State Council for Higher Education in Virginia (SCHEV) awarded her an Individual Artist Fellowship in 1997, and she received an NEH Fellowship in 1999. She is past president of the International Society for the Study of the Narrative. An active Rotarian in service to the community, she received the Paul Harris Fellowship and the William E. Skelton Fellowship from the Lexington Rotary Club.

In 2008, she delivered the Founders’ Day Convocation address in Lee Chapel. The same year, SCHEV presented her with its Outstanding Faculty Award. Keen is also on the faculty of the Bread Loaf School of English, a summer graduate school of Middlebury College. A highly regarded scholar, she is the author of three books: Victorian Renovations of the Novel: Narrative Annexes and the Boundaries of Representation (1998), Romances of the Archive in Contemporary British Fiction (2001) and Empathy and the Novel (2007). She has also published a volume of original poetry entitled Milk-Glass Mermaid and a textbook on narrative form, and she was the guest editor of two issues of the journal Poetics Today.

Elizabeth Goad Oliver is the Lewis Whitaker Adams Professor of Accounting at Washington and Lee. She earned an A.B. in English from Mary Baldwin College, an M.A. in English from the University of Kansas, an M.S. in accounting from the University of Virginia and a Ph.D. in accounting from Texas A&M University. The head of the Accounting Department and former associate dean of the Williams School, she serves as a faculty adviser for Washington and Lee Student Consulting. She chaired the President’s Committee on Women at W&L and the Universal Study of Incremental Salary Differences. The numerous other committees on which she has given service to the University include the Faculty Executive Committee, the President’s Advisory Committee and the Student Affairs Committee.

Her extensive service to the American Accounting Association includes the offices of secretary/treasurer of the financial accounting and reporting section and chair of the membership committee. An impressive résumé of community service includes the Rockbridge Choral Society, where she is on the production team and helped found the Friends of the RCS. She served as treasurer of the organization to build the community playground Kids Playce, and she sings in the choir and serves on several committees at R.E. Lee Memorial Church. Oliver has compiled an impressive list of articles in refereed journals, conference proceedings and scholarly presentations.

Class of 2012

Lauren J. Acker (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.); Laura A. Ball (Eldersburg, Md.); Samuel G. Campbell (Winnetka, Ill.); Robert S. Day (Roanoke, Va.); Bradley D. Harder (Redding, Conn.); Gregory A. Hillyard Jr. (Media, Pa.); Kelli L. Jarrell (Dry Creek, W.Va.); Jasmine M. Jimenez (Ingleside, Ill.); Danielle N. Maurer (Duncansville, Pa.); Katherine A. McFarland (Norfolk, Va.); Katherine A. Michelini (West Chester, Pa.); Clarke D. Morrison (Atlanta, Ga.); B. Sorelle Peat (Lexington, Va.); Melissa M. Powell (Hattiesburg, Miss.); Olivia Riffle (Hudson, Ohio); Brooke L. Sutherland (Lawrence, Kan.); John A. Wells (Columbia, S.C.).

Class of 2013

Gregory W. Barton (New York, N.Y.); Joseph R. Landry (New Ipswich, N.H.); Joseph J. Lasala (Wilton. Conn.); Wayde Z.C. Marsh (Milford, Del.); David S. Phillips (Reisterstown, Md.); Jennifer B. Ritter (Mariposa, Calif.).

Law Class of 2012

Negin Farahmand (Gainesville, Va.); Anthony G. Flynn Jr. (Wilmington, Del.); Stephen G. Harper (Garden City, N.Y.); Edward S. Hillenbrand (Summit, N.J.); Mallory A. Sullivan (Hilton Head Island, S.C.).

Law Class 2013

Claire M. Hagan (Pittsburgh, Pa.); Thomas T. McClendon (Lexington, Va.); Samuel C. Vinson (Fort Worth, Texas).

News Contact:
Jeffery G. Hanna
Executive Director of Communications and Public Affairs
(540) 458-8459

W&L Alumna Appointed Bankruptcy Judge

Rebecca Connelly, a 1988 graduate of Washington and Lee’s School of Law, has been appointed a U.S. Bankruptcy Court judge for the Western District of Virginia.

Appointed by the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals after being recommended by a merit selection panel, Rebecca is the first woman to serve as a bankruptcy judge in the district, which stretches from Winchester to Lynchburg and to the state’s western tip, and has three bankruptcy judges.

She replaces Judge Ross Krumm, who is retiring after 25 years on the bench, and will be joining another W&L alum, William F. Stone, of the Classes of 1968 and 1970 Law, on the panel. William E. Anderson is the third judge on the court.

In a story on the School of Law website, Rebecca said: “The Western District has developed a strong reputation of excellence in its handling of bankruptcy cases. I am honored to join this distinguished bench and hope to build on Judge Krumm’s legacy.”

Rebecca is married to Washington and Lee politics professor William F. Connelly Jr.

W&L Professor on Internet Piracy, Protest (Audio)

The Internet is being disrupted today as several of the major websites, including Wikipedia and BoingBoing, have essentially gone on strike to protest anti-piracy legislation that Congress is considering. Other sites, like Google, are making their protest known by graphically blacking out the name.

Washington and Lee University business administration professor David Touve, who created the digital music website Noisebox in 1998, studies Internet piracy in the music industry.


At issue, Touve said, is whether or not the piracy problem on the Internet is so significant  a problem and one that cannot be addressed by the current laws that it is necessary to enact much stronger legislation. Under the proposed legislation, he explained, certain domain names could be made inaccessible, or sites like Wikipedia or Google would be obligated to remove links to places where piracy might be occurring. Yet, new pirate sites could just reappear, as they do now, at new domains.

“On the one hand, you have what is largely pitched as a Hollywood problem of piracy,” said Touve. “That is the idea that large-scale sharing of copyrighted materials is costing the industry billions of dollars. While on the other hand, you have parties developing new and interesting web services and who are content operating under the current Digital Millennium Copyright Act.”

The challenge of the debate, Touve said, is finding an appropriate balance between copyright and commerce.

“Do we lose some of the benefits from a search engine if it must be constantly responding to requests to have links taken down, or disable links to an entire domain?” Touve said. “Or, more importantly, do we lose some of the benefits of the small entities that can start up at the fuzzy domains of this infringement challenge, but are shut down right away before we can figure out whether or not this is truly an infringement rather than a novel use or a new market?”

The disappointment for Touve is that both parties tend to retreat to their respective corners and continue a debate of generalities and name-calling, “when the bigger question is where is the balance and what is the best response, technically and legally, to the fact that piracy will always exist,” he said. “Does shutting down a domain, without clear due process pathways, solve the problem without having significant negative impact on innovation, and, if not, where is that middle ground?”

Touve said that sites like Wikipedia or Twitter would see major impacts to their ability to grow if they must respond to thousands and thousands of orders to take down links that users submit.

News Contact:
Jeffery G. Hanna
Executive Director of Communications and Public Affairs
(540) 458-8459

W&L Names Scott Abell Head Football Coach

Washington and Lee Director of Athletic Jan Hathorn announced that Scott Abell has been promoted to head football coach effective immediately. Abell had previously served as the program’s assistant head coach and offensive coordinator.

“It’s not often that an institution is in the position of having the right person for the job already on our staff, yet W&L finds itself in that exact, and wonderful, situation,” said Hathorn. “Thus, it is with excitement and enthusiasm that we name Scott Abell as our new head football coach. Like his predecessors, Scott brings to our program a great knowledge of football, a commitment to the student-athletes on the team, and an understanding of how athletics fits into the overall mission of Washington and Lee. Scott has a proven track record of success, which has already been demonstrated in his four years on our staff, yet even more importantly, Scott’s belief in teaching our young men about responsibility, leadership and the value of hard work is what makes this such a perfect hire. We have full confidence in Scott’s ability to lead this program into the future, with its great tradition of success, on and off the field. I look forward to serving alongside Scott for many years to come.”

“Words cannot express my excitement for this opportunity,” said Abell. “Washington and Lee is one of the premiere universities in the country, with a rich tradition of academic and football excellence. I look forward to representing the university, our proud alumni and our players.”

“I am grateful to Coach Miriello for the opportunity he gave me as offensive coordinator four years ago,” he added. “I am also thankful for the confidence that Athletic Director Jan Hathorn, President Ken Ruscio and our university administration has instilled in me to lead the program.”

Abell arrived at Washington and Lee as offensive coordinator prior to the 2008 season and helped transform the Generals’ offense into one of the best in Division III. W&L averaged 302.8 yards and 23.6 points per game during the 2008 campaign and saw those numbers increase each season under Abell’s leadership. The Generals improved to 23.8 points and 311.2 yards per game in 2009 and then jumped to 35.3 points and 438.8 yards per game as W&L won the ODAC title in 2010. Along the way, the Generals set records for rushing yards and scoring, producing six of the top 10 team rushing performances in conference history in finishing 8-3 overall.

Abell was promoted to assistant head coach prior to the 2011 season and W&L again set numerous offensive and scoring records as the Generals finished third nationally in total offense (491.8 ypg), fourth in rushing offense (331.8 ypg), sixth in passing efficiency (171.7 rating) and 17th in scoring (38.9 ppg). Washington and Lee finished the year 8-2 overall, the program’s first back-to-back 8-win seasons in 50 years.

“I am excited about the current state of our program and eager to accept the challenges of taking the team to the next level,” stated Abell. “The ODAC conference is one of the toughest and most balanced in the country and I know our team will be ready to fight for the ODAC title each and every year.”

“I am so thankful for the support that my family has always given me in my endeavors as a coach,” he said. “God has blessed me many times through my life and I feel blessed today to be named Head Football Coach at Washington and Lee University.”

Abell came to W&L following six seasons as the head coach at Amherst County High School. During that time he compiled a 60-12 overall record and won three Seminole District Titles, while leading the Lancers to the 2006 and 2007 Virginia Group AA, Division 4, State Championship. Three times he was named the Seminole District and Virginia Region III Coach of the Year, while he received the State Coach of the Year Award after each of his final two seasons.

Abell, who served as the team’s offensive coordinator, quarterbacks and linebackers coach and strength and conditioning coach at Amherst County, is also the co-founder and co-director of the Central Virginia Coaches Clinic, a well-respected camp for over 150 high school coaches.

Prior to taking over at Amherst County, Abell spent four seasons as the head football coach at Liberty High School, turning an 0-10 team in 1998 into a Seminole District Champion in 2001. He has also been an assistant football coach and physical education teacher at Altavista High School (1996-97), Western Albemarle High School (1994-96) and Albemarle High School (1993).

Abell is a 1992 graduate of Longwood College with a bachelor of science degree in physical education and health. He also attained a master’s degree in administration/supervision from Lynchburg College in 2007.

W&L Women in Computer Science Continue to Buck National Trend

A recent CBS News story that highlighted the national trend declared: “It’s true and it’s shocking. Just one in every 10 computer science graduates is a woman.”

At Washington and Lee, however, the drive to recruit more women to study computer science has resulted in females comprising 31 percent of the University’s computer science majors in 2011. “I’m very excited that we’ve been continuously successful in bringing in women students,” said Sara Sprenkle, assistant professor of computer science at W&L.

W&L’s success is attributable to several factors, according to Sprenkle: a job market that is looking for computer science graduates; other departments in the University recommending the subject as a way to fulfill general requirements; solid support for women students inside and outside the classroom; a high ratio of women professors in the field at W&L; and introductory classes that attract and then inspire students to study computer science.

Sprenkle observed that getting the word out about what computer science is and having good introductory classes is essential to attracting students. “In the introductory classes we show students what they can do with computer science,” she said. “There’s a typical idea that it’s all about zeroes and ones, or it’s all about the hardware and knowing how to fix a computer. We actually don’t do that at all. Computer science is about working with data, which doesn’t sound very cool until you start thinking about it, and then it’s really cool. It’s applicable to anything and everything and is about how to do things most efficiently and effectively.”

According to Sprenkle, none of the women students currently majoring in computer science expected to major in the subject. “They took an introductory class or two and realized they were good at it, which was a surprise to most of them. They had never even thought about it,” she said.

Sprenkle gave the example of Camille Cobb, a senior computer science and physics double major from Huntersville, N.C. “Camille figured out that she was just really talented at it,” said Sprenkle. “She was inspired when she realized she could contribute to state-of-the-art research by thinking about how to customize web application testing to different types of users. People haven’t really studied that area in terms of how to test it, but she could answer those questions as a first-year student. A paper she co-authored on her research will appear in the proceedings of the International Conference on Software Testing, Verification and Validation in April.”

Senior Anna Pobletts, a computer science and math double major from Sykesville, Md., came to W&L thinking she would major in political science. “She realized she didn’t like writing papers but that she’s actually very good at problem solving,” said Sprenkle. “She’s so good, and I can’t believe how she just knocks everything out of the park in class.”

Simon Levy, associate professor of computer science at W&L and department head, agreed on the importance of the introductory courses. “If students have a good experience in the introductory courses it really helps,” he said. “But if they are overwhelmed, then it can be a real turn off. I think we’re very good at W&L at making those classes really count by putting a lot of effort into them. We don’t just give them to teaching assistants, which is what happens at most universities.”

Sprenkle said that she was particularly struck by the fact that all her women students are double majors, combining computer science with another subject such as journalism, math or physics. “Last year we even had a double major in computer science and classics,” she said.

Encouraging her colleagues in other departments to promote computer science as an option has been pivotal, said Sprenkle. “We ask our colleagues to tell students that they should really try computer science,” she said. “Students can take either mathematics or computer science as part of their general requirements, and we have four introductory computer science classes they can take instead of mathematics.”

The department of journalism and mass communication, for example, “has really been encouraging their students to take computer science because of the media aspect,” Sprenkle pointed out. “Covering technology stories is a big open field and my impression is that there is a high demand. A journalism student studying computer science can better understand what people are talking about in technology and then translate it so that everybody understands what’s going on.”

Junior Shannon McGovern, a computer science and journalism double major from Silver Spring, Md., agreed.  “I took Computer Science 101 thinking it would be a practical skill to have, and it turned out be kind of fun. So I kept taking classes and ended up majoring in it. Being able to use code and digital tools for storytelling helps set me apart,” she said.

“I think many of the women students are excited about what they do in the introductory courses,” said Levy. “I attribute a lot of that to Sara Sprenkle. She been especially good at getting students involved in research and publications, and that’s important. Also, it’s been consistently observed that when you have women teaching a subject, you get more women involved in taking it as a major. Twenty-five percent of our computer science department is women. That’s one out of four, which is better than most places.”

McGovern said that all her computer science professors are very supportive. “Besides dedicating a significant amount of time outside of class to helping students, they all encourage us to pursue opportunities outside the classroom. Professor Sprenkle is particularly enthusiastic about women in computer science,” she said.

Sprenkle’s enthusiasm includes co-founding, with Assistant Professor of Mathematics Katherine Crowley, the Women in Math and Science Group (WIMS) at Washington and Lee. “Our aim is to build a community on campus of women students and faculty so we can support each other,” said Sprenkle. The group hosts speakers, organizes social events, and has workshops on topics such as how to apply for graduate school in mathematics and science, as well as discussions on issues particular to succeeding as a woman in male-dominated fields.

The final part of the equation contributing to W&L’s success in attracting women to computer science is the job market. “Our first year introductory classes are jam packed with students because they want to be able to get a job when they graduate,” said Sprenkle. “So the economy and being able to get jobs afterwards are huge factors.”

News Contact:
Sarah Tschiggfrie
News Director

Randy Rouse '39, Legendary Virginia Horseman

Randy Rouse, of the Washington and Lee Class of 1939, is the subject of a nice profile in the Jan. 16–23, 2012, issue of the Chronicle of the Horse. Titled “Randolph Rouse Has Ridden into Virginia History,” the piece, by Meghan Blackburn, describes him as a “sporting legend” for his career as an amateur steeplechase jockey, trainer of racehorses and foxhunter.

Unlike many Virginia horsemen and horsewomen, Randy did not grow up on horseback. Raised on a farm in Newport News, he discovered his passion for horses in the 1940s, after earning a B.S. in commerce from W&L and serving in the Navy during World War II. An invitation from the Fairfax Hunt did the trick. “When I first started hunting,” Randy told the writer, “I just thought, ‘The object is to stay on top of this thing.’ ”

And stay on top he did, serving as the MFH (master of foxhounds) of the Fairfax Hunt for 31 years. As an amateur steeplechase jockey, he won all the races—11—that he and his prized horse Cinzano ran as a team. He has owned and trained many other racehorses, and his wife, Michelle, enjoyed her own career as an amateur steeplechaser.

Randy’s business concerns, according to the article, have including home building and ownership of a gas station, auto parts shop and the Middleburg Training Track. He and Michelle have a farm in Lenah, Va., and a home in Arlington, Va.

The current article is accessible online only to subscribers of the magazine, but you can read here an earlier Chronicle piece about the victory that Randy and his horse Fields Of Omagh won at the 2005 Chronicle Cup timber race.

Frank Miriello Retires as Head Football Coach at W&L

Washington and Lee’s Frank Miriello has announced his retirement as the school’s head football coach effective immediately. Miriello will remain as an instructor of physical education through the remainder of the current term.

“A few weeks ago I celebrated my 67th birthday and on that day I found myself pausing and reflecting on my life’s journey,” said Miriello. “I have been coaching for 45 years and it feels like it is the right time to retire. It has been a privilege and an honor to serve this great University and the outstanding student-athletes I have worked with for the last 26 years. It has been a wonderful journey. I will be forever grateful to former Head Coach Gary Fallon, former Athletic Directors Bill McHenry and Mike Walsh and former President John Elrod. It is difficult to express the magnitude of my appreciation to those gentlemen for providing me the opportunity to coach at the collegiate level at such a prestigious University.”

Miriello is the program’s all-time wins leader, posting a 90-79-1 (.532) overall record across his 17 seasons as head coach. His teams posted a .500 or better record in 12 of his 17 seasons and he guided the Generals to a pair of Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) titles and the only two NCAA Tournament berths in program history.

“Frank Miriello’s decision to retire marks the end of an important time in the life of the football program at W&L,” said Athletic Director Jan Hathorn. “Frank’s contributions over the past 17 years have been very significant, and his love of the game has been at the heart of the success of the football program, especially in his commitment to our student-athletes and his track record for winning. We are grateful to Frank for all that he has done to inspire, teach and direct the young men in the program, and for the many ways he has built a name for our football program that is synonymous with hard work, quality and spirit. It’s a bittersweet time for us, as we will miss Frank and we are happy for him in his decision. With much gratitude, we wish him well in his retirement.”

Five times Miriello was selected as the ODAC Coach of the Year (1996, 2001, 2004, 2006, 2010) and in 2006, he was named the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) South Region Coach of the Year and SportExe Division III Coach of the Year. That season, he led W&L to a 7-4 record and the program’s first conference title since 1985. It also marked W&L’s first postseason appearance since the 1951 Gator Bowl as the Generals met Wilkes University in the first round of the NCAA Division III playoffs.

“I always attempted to set attainable and realistic objectives and goals, and in the process, make it a high priority that each season the team would achieve milestones that had not been accomplished in recent history or ever,” Miriello noted. “‘Doing things that haven’t been done’ was our driving force. It wasn’t about championships as much as it was about preparation and the process. The focus was on commitment, improvement and team. Fortunately, I had outstanding assistant coaches and student-athletes that bought into this approach.”

Despite a resume that included just three losing seasons in his first nine years, Miriello’s teams got better over time as evidenced by a 49-32 (.605) overall record across the last eight seasons. His 2010 team finished 8-3 overall and won a second conference title, while his 2011 squad completed the season with an 8-2 mark that included losses by a combined 14 points to NCAA Tournament participants Centre and Hampden-Sydney.

“It has been a great run here the last eight years and I’m very proud of the guys for their outstanding effort and commitment,” said Miriello. “It all paid off with a pretty good run. When I looked at the last eight years and what we accomplished, a couple of titles there, two eight-win seasons and an 11-1 record in conference the last two years, I realized how special this run has been.”

Individually, Miriello coached his players to 61 First Team All-ODAC citations and 11 All-America honors. Additionally, two players, Robert Hull ’96 and Chris Sullivan ’02, were named finalists for the Gagliardi Award, which is presented to the Division III National Player of the Year.

As a coach at various stages of his career, Miriello spent better than 26 years as a coach at Washington and Lee, joining the staff in 1978 as a member of Gary Fallon’s first football team at W&L. He coached the offensive line through the 1981 season, helping lead the Generals to the ODAC title in his final season. After assistant coaching stops at Hampden-Sydney (1982) and VMI (1983-84), Miriello served as the head coach for one season at Steelton-Highspire High School in Pennsylvania (1985) before serving as the head football and lacrosse coach at Mercersburg Academy from 1986-89. He returned to W&L in 1990 as assistant football and assistant lacrosse coach and became Fallon’s defensive coordinator in 1991 until taking over as interim head coach following Fallon’s unexpected death in 1995. The interim tag was removed following the season.

Prior to arriving at W&L in 1978, Miriello had also been a football coach at Shamokin, Williamsport, Southern Columbia and Warrior Run High Schools in Central Pennsylvania.

“I feel it is fitting that the game versus Hampden-Sydney was my last,” Miriello said. “Losing by only a touchdown (42-35) after falling behind 28-0 in the third quarter. The guys never gave up, they stayed focused and played with class. That is what W&L Football is all about. I hope that those are the hallmarks for what we have done here over the last 17 years and those hallmarks will continue as the program moves forward.”

News Contact:
Brian Laubscher
Sports Information Director
(540) 458-8676

Kelly Evans '07 to Quiz Republican Candidates

Kelly Evans, the 2007 Washington and Lee alumna and Wall Street Journal columnist, will be one of the panelists tonight (Monday, Jan. 16), when the five remaining Republican presidential candidates take the stage in Myrtle Beach, S.C., for their latest nationally televised debate.

Co-sponsored by the Wall Street Journal and Fox News, it will be moderated by Bret Baier, host of “Special Report with Bret Baier.” In addition to Kelly, the panelists will be Gerald Seib, the Washington bureau chief of the WSJ, and Juan Williams of Fox News.

In addition to writing the “Ahead of the Tape” column in the WSJ, Kelly is also anchor for “News Hub,” the Journal’s daily online video.

Kelly was already in Myrtle Beach to prepare for tonight when the news came that Jon Huntsman was pulling out of the campaign, and the debate, which leaves five candidates. She tweeted tongue-in-cheek (is that even possible?) that Huntsman chose to leave the campaign rather than face “my opening round gotcha questions.”

She also posted this photo of the Myrtle Beach sand sculpture of what were originally six candidates. Kelly is inviting questions via Twitter to @kelly_evans. Just use the hashtag #foxdebate. She indicates that they’ll be taking Twitter questions during the debate, too.

Tonight’s event begins at 9 p.m. EST.

New Solar-Energy System Generating Power at W&L

Virginia’s largest solar-energy system is now up and running at Washington and Lee University, and visitors to the University’s website can watch it working in real time.

“We’ve been generating electricity from the two solar photovoltaic arrays since late last month, when we flipped the switch,” said Scott Beebe, director of facilities and energy management at Washington and Lee. “The systems seem to be functioning as we expected. We anticipate that this will lower our consumption of the electricity we purchase from Dominion Virginia Power by 3 percent in a year.”

The arrays are in two locations on campus. The larger of the two, an installation of 1,016 SunPower solar PV panels, is on the roof of Lewis Hall, the building that houses the University’s School of Law. It has a capacity of 325 kilowatts. The other installation features 540 Sanyo solar PV panels rated at 119 kilowatts. It is installed on a custom-designed steel canopy over the University’s parking deck.

“The parking deck installation, while smaller, has the advantage of being a very visible reminder of the University’s commitment to sustainability,” said Beebe. “When students, faculty and staff pull in to park every day, they can see that we’re at the forefront of this important initiative.”

Data from the system is now available through a web-based dashboard, http://go.wlu.edu/solar, which features graphic display of the generation for both installations, includes both the ambient and cell temperatures, and provides data on the environmental benefits.

“The dashboard is another important component of the project,” said Beebe. “Having this as part of our overall energy dashboard will allow anyone from on or off campus to see how much energy is being produced and consumed. It will not only help technicians and be a boon for anyone doing research on these projects, but it’s also another important way of showing our commitment to sustainability.”

The University is leasing the system from Secure Futures L.L.C., a solar-energy development company based in Staunton, Va., which owns and operates the panels through its subsidiary, Lexington Solar.

“The solar arrays represent an important element in our plan to achieve at least a 20 percent reduction in our greenhouse-gas generation over the next five years,” said Steve McAllister, vice president for finance and treasurer at W&L. “Not only does this project make environmental sense, but the federal and state incentives that Secure Futures was able to obtain also made it an economically viable project for the University.”

Anthony Smith, chief operating officer of Secure Futures, noted that W&L’s solar-energy system “reflects a highly collaborative approach with the University, the city of Lexington, solar integrators, local engineers, a local steel manufacturer and local contractors. The project also underscores the need for developing a more resilient state energy policy to reduce the regulatory barriers for customers and small businesses to increase opportunities for renewable energy and jobs in Virginia.

W&L entered into a 20-year lease agreement with Lexington Solar, spreading the cost of the project over a longer period and reducing initial upfront cost.

Southern Energy Management (SEM), an energy-efficiency and solar-power company based in North Carolina, installed and maintains the Lewis Hall PV system for Lexington Solar.

Blair Kendall, director of business development for SEM, calls the system “a perfect example of how solar power can be leveraged successfully. Washington and Lee and Secure Futures are proving that clean energy projects can be developed in Virginia. This project should serve as a blueprint for other schools interested in promoting sustainability.”

Standard Solar Inc. of Maryland installed and will maintain the parking deck installation.

“Washington and Lee’s parking deck installation is a prime example of how colleges and universities are taking critical steps toward energy independence,” said Scott Wiater, president of Standard Solar. “We are honored to have been part of this project and to help Washington and Lee achieve its goals toward environmental responsibility.”

The project was supported by local and state incentives.  By unanimous vote of its city council and mayor, the city of Lexington passed an ordinance with a 20-year tax exemption for solar-energy equipment.  The Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy awarded an incentive grant for the project using funds provided by the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

About Secure Futures

Secure Futures (www.securefutures.us) designs, develops and co-finances distributed solar solutions with and for tax-exempt entities to reduce their electricity costs and to protect against future grid price increases through 15- to 25-year solar-power purchase agreements (SPPAs).

About Standard Solar

Standard Solar Inc. (www.standardsolar.com) is a leader in the full-service development, construction, integration, financing and installation of solar electric systems. Dedicated to making solar solutions more accessible to consumers, businesses, institutions and governments, Standard Solar is the partner of choice to make solar energy financially accessible.  Named one of the Fastest Growing Private Companies in America in 2010 and 2011 by Inc. magazine, Standard Solar is headquartered in Rockville, Md.

About Southern Energy Management
Southern Energy Management (www.southern-energy.com) is a North Carolina-based sustainable energy company offering energy efficiency, green building and turnkey solar services for homeowners, builders, companies, government and military clients across the country. SEM earned the National Energy Star Partner of the Year award five times (2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011). SEM also received the City of Raleigh 2011 Environmental Stewardship Award and the 2010 Green Jobs Award from SJF Institute and Green For All.

News Contact:
Jeffery G. Hanna
Executive Director of Communications and Public Affairs
(540) 458-8459

Assessing Colbert's Candidacy

Fans of Comedy Central’s “The Colbert Report” know that Thursday was a big night on that satirical news show.

Host Stephen Colbert announced that he is forming an exploratory committee for a possible candidacy for president of the “United States of America of South Carolina.”

Moments after he made that announcement, Mike Allen, the Washington and Lee 1986 alumnus and Politico’s chief White House correspondent, appeared on the program to provide the potential candidate with good and bad news.

Assessing Colbert’s strength in the upcoming South Carolina primary, Mike said that Colbert will do well on the coast and in the college towns. But, he added, “I have bad news. Your ceiling is 5 percent.” To which Colbert replied, “How do you know my ceiling is 5 percent? I’m starting at 5 percent. My floor and my ceiling are at 5 percent?”

Mike went on to tell Colbert that a big factor will be how fast South Carolina college students return from their winter breaks and begin campaigning for him.

Those of us who remember Mike’s tireless and enthusiastic reporting from his days on the Ring-tum Phi were not the least surprised to see that he was filing a story and sending out live Tweets for Politico even as he was waiting to go on the set.

Click on this link to watch the entire segment.

Judge Haley '64 Retiring from Virginia Court of Appeals

Washington and Lee alumnus James W. Haley Jr., a member of the Class of 1964, will step down from the Virginia Court of Appeals in March after seven years.

The Virginia General Assembly appointed him to a vacancy on the appeals court in 2005. He had been a judge on the Stafford Circuit Court for 15 years at the time of his appointment. Jim would have had to leave the court in September because all Virginia judges must retire when they reach age 70. But, as he told the Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star, he is retiring early in order to allow the General Assembly to appoint his successor during its current session.

After W&L, Jim received his law degree from the University of Virginia law school. He clerked for Virginia Supreme Court Chief Justice John Eggeston and was both a commonwealth’s attorney and a general district court judge in King George County.

When he was sworn in to the Court of Appeals in March 2005, Jim told the gathering at Fredericksburg Circuit Court:  “I believe the rule of law is the mark of civilization. All are equal before the law.”

Two W&L Athletic Hall of Famers Honored

Two members of Washington and Lee’s Athletic Hall of Fame — Lisa Dowling Costello, of the Class of 1993, and the late Rob Lindsey, of the Class of 1976 — have been elected to the Hall of Fame of US Lacrosse’s Greater Baltimore Chapter.

The induction ceremony will be held Jan. 21.

Lisa held 10 school records in lacrosse when she graduated, and she still held seven of them 10 years later, when she entered W&L’s Hall of Fame. She was the first W&L women’s lacrosse player to earn First-Team All-America honors, and she led the Generals to their first-ever NCAA Tournament berth as a senior.

A coach at Notre Dame Prep since 1994, Lisa has been co-coach of the varsity lacrosse team there since 2000.

Rob, who joined the W&L Athletic Hall of Fame in 1999, earned four letters in lacrosse and three in football. A tailback, he led the Generals’ 1973 team in rushing and was the leading scorer in 1974. In lacrosse, he was a tenacious defenseman who earned All-America honors over three years, including first-team awards in 1975 and 1976. One of Rob’s special claims to fame was his performance against national power Johns Hopkins when he shut down two, three-time, First Team All-Americans without a goal in consecutive seasons.

After graduation from W&L, he briefly coached lacrosse at Baltimore’s McDonough School, his alma mater, and then moved into the business world, eventually founding a business consulting firm specializing in technology. He was 53 when he died in November 2007.

Jost Posts on Health Affairs Blog Top 2011 Most-Read List

Blog posts on developments with the Affordable Care Act authored by Washington and Lee law professor and health law expert Tim Jost captured three spots on Health Affairs 2011 Most-Read List.

Jost’s analysis of the arguments before the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals over the Affordable Care Act’s constitutionality was the most-read post. His posts on implementing health insurance exchanges and on Judge Vinson’s ruling that invalidated the ACA were the fifth and sixth most read, respectively.

Jost’s work was also recognized on the most-read list for December 2011. His post on medical loss ratio rules was the most read in December and his analysis of the Health and Human Services bulletin on essential health benefits was the third most read piece. Another of his posts on implementation efforts also made the list. In all, Jost has authored more than fifty blog posts for the site in addition to his other scholarship.

Jost has been a frequent commentator in the print and broadcast media since the beginning of the health reform debate and has continued to provide in-depth analysis as implementation efforts and legal challenges have progressed. In 2010, Jost received a $300,000 grant from the Commonwealth Fund to research implementation issues involved with the Affordable Care Act.  Subsequently, Jost authored numerous substantive articles and opinion pieces exploring facets of the various aspects of the health legislation in an attempt to make this complex issue accessible to everyday Americans.

Last fall, Jost was elected to the Institute of Medicine, one of the highest honors in the fields of health and medicine. He was the only lawyer among the newly elected members. Jost continues to serve as a consumer representative to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners,

Jost holds the Robert L. Willett Family Professorship of Law at the W&L. He is a co-author of the casebook Health Law, used widely throughout the United States, and of a treatise and hornbook by the same name. He is also the author of Health Care Coverage Determinations: An International Comparative Study; Disentitlement? The Threats Facing our Public Health Care Programs and a Rights-Based Response; and Readings in Comparative Health Law and Bioethics. His most recent book is Health Care at Risk: A Critique of the Consumer-Driven Movement from Duke University Press.

News Contact:
Peter Jetton
School of Law Director of Communications
(540) 458-8782

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Remember When? The CAC Is Born

Fifty years ago this week, Washington and Lee was embarking on a new venture in intercollegiate athletics when the formation of the College Athletic Conference (CAC) was announced.

Given both the recent shuffling of conference memberships on the NCAA Division I level and the serious conversations about paying D-I athletes $2,000 a year for “cost of attendance,” it’s fascinating to read The New York Times’ account of the CAC’s formation.

In the Jan. 10, 1962, edition of the Times, sportswriter Joseph Sheehan began his story this way: “The National Collegiate Athletic Association is making its annual effort, against heavy odds, to draft legislation acceptable to its diverse and heterogenous membership of nearly 600 colleges. Meanwhile, smaller and more manageable groups, acting on their own, continue to register solid progress toward improving the conduct of intercollegiate athletics.”

Composed of W&L, Centre, Sewanee and Southwestern at Memphis (now Rhodes), the CAC held as its cardinal principle that “all participation in sports . . . shall be solely because of interest in and enjoyment of the game.”

The Times’ story goes on to describe the various ways in which the CAC intended to operate in order to maintain amateurism as it was then understood. The CAC captured one of its primary features in its statement of eligibility: “Each member institution has full respect for the integrity of the other members, for the selective nature of their admissions standards, and for their existing standards of academic qualification.” As the story concluded: “If enough other institutions adopt and live up to these principles, the N.C.A.A. in future years will not have to waste so much time on such gnat-slapping proposals as barring outside competition in basketball.”

That was then . . .

W&L was a CAC member until 1976, when the University left to join the newly formed Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC). Meanwhile, the CAC was renamed the Southern College Athletic Conference (SCAC) in 1991, and it has 13 teams in eight states today. It will undergo a change after this year, when the three other CAC founding members — Sewanee, Centre and Rhodes — leave for the new Southern Athletic Association.

William F. Connelly: Gingrich Must First Govern Himself

By William F. Connelly
John K. Boardman Professor of Politics


Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich once dubbed himself “the most professorial politician since Woodrow Wilson.” Like Wilson, Gingrich is a man both of theory and practice, an intellectual and a politician. These two “professorial politicians” share much in common, including the idea of leadership as education.

Wilson thought government required leadership as education for “the instruction and elevation of public opinion.” The same can be seen in Gingrich’s unprecedented nationally televised address after House passage of much of the Republican’s 1994 Contract with America. Even the manner of the speech was didactic. Gingrich seemed at home speaking to the nation as a teacher, complete with pedagogic props such as vacuum tubes.

Shortly thereafter, Gingrich used his media-saturated trip to New Hampshire during summer 1995 as an effort to educate the nation by setting the agenda for the 1996 campaign. “I’m trying to shape the entire language and ideas of the 1996 campaign. … If you are going to try to set the intellectual framework for the 1996 campaign, if you knew anything about politics, where would you go?” New Hampshire, of course. Pointing to the huge press corps following him, Gingrich noted, “If I keep the door open, they’ll show up. I can teach.”

In 2012, will Professor Gingrich, once again, be able to teach?

Both Wilson and Gingrich as “literary politicians” authored books. Wilson wrote two political science classics, “Congressional Government” and “Constitutional Government.” Gingrich wrote, among others, “To Renew America” and “Lessons Learned the Hard Way.” Both of these professorial politicians tended to conflate statesmanship and rhetoric, leadership and oratory. Gingrich all but invented the “bully pulpit” of the speakership. He currently finds himself among the remaining GOP candidates thanks to his successful debate performances. Gingrich has a way with words.

Both Wilson and Gingrich believe in a politics of ideas, rather than a politics of interests — what political scientists call “party government” rather than interest group “pluralism.” Both men sought to promote, in Gingrich’s words, “grand partisanship” rather than “petty partisanship.” Hence, both politicians in their time proved to be polarizing partisans.

Both men also began as legislative supremacists seeking to promote “congressional government.” Yet both in their time learned the power of the presidency.

Indeed, for Gingrich as the most powerful House speaker in a century, this was one of the lessons learned the hard way. “A legislator and an executive are two very different things, and for a time we had allowed ourselves to confuse the two.”

Using his veto, President Bill Clinton was able to best Gingrich in the infamous 1995-96 government showdown-shutdown.

Gingrich later acknowledged House Republicans “had not only failed to take into account the ability of the Senate to delay us and obstruct us, but we had much too cavalierly underrated the power of the president. … How could we have forgotten that?” Good question. Hubris perhaps?

Had Gingrich failed to fully understand James Madison’s constitutional separation of powers?

In the run-up to the 1994 House Republican “revolution,” Gingrich proved to be a skillful wartime consigliore, liberating his party from its 40years as a “permanent minority” in the House. In part, Gingrich succeeded because he understood that party leadership is, in his words, about “conflict management” not “conflict resolution,” i.e. coalition-building.

Before either party can hope to govern Congress or the country, they must first learn to govern themselves. In 1994, Gingrich united the disparate factions within the GOP. If Republicans want to defeat President Barack Obama in 2012, they must first learn to manage the conflicting factions within their party, holding together their coalition, for example, of mainstream Republicans and tea party activists.

Can candidate Gingrich apply the lessons of 1994 to 2012?

Unfortunately, at times, Gingrich seems not to appreciate the most fundamental lesson of James Madison’s Constitution: Self-government begins with governing oneself. While it is certainly true that anyone seeking to be president must learn to manage the conflicting factions within his own party, a successful candidate and president must first learn to govern himself.

Can the impulsive Gingrich learn to govern himself long enough to earn the opportunity to govern the country? The famously voluble Gingrich loves to talk, sometimes tripping himself up. Live by the word, die by the word? Can Newt keep himself under control.

Longtime Gingrich watchers, friends included, have their doubts.

Certainly, the longer, more drawn out nominating process will test his self-discipline.

William F. Connelly is the John K. Boardman Professor of Politics at Washington and Lee University. His new book is James Madison Rules America: The Constitutional Origins of Congressional Partisanship.

Service and Sisterhood: Alpha Kappa Alpha Arrives at W&L

At Howard University in 1908, sisters Beulah and Lillie Burke helped to found Alpha Kappa Alpha (AKA) sorority. At Washington and Lee University 103 years later, sisters Devin Cooper ’11 and Amber Cooper ’12 helped to found a W&L chapter of that Greek organization.

“We tease them and call them the Burke sisters,” said Tamara Y. Futrell, associate dean of students. Futrell, a member of AKA herself, worked with the Coopers to bring the sorority to W&L.  The Tau Zeta Chapter of AKA, which was chartered last March with 12 members, is one of two historically black sororities on campus.

The other is the Tau Omega Chapter of  Delta Sigma Theta, which is a joint chapter with Hollins University and Roanoke College. It is recruiting and has active members on the other campuses, although none is currently enrolled at W&L. Both sororities belong to the National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC), which oversees the nine traditionally black fraternities and sororities. Except for one that dates to 1963, those Greek organizations were founded between 1906 and 1922. With the arrival of AKA, W&L has eight Panhellenic and National Pan-Hellenic sororities in all.

AKA established a presence on campus in 2005 when three W&L students became general members, meaning they were unaffiliated with a specific chapter. Several obstacles delayed colonization on campus. “It takes 12 people to start a chapter, and I don’t think that they had the numbers early on,” said Futrell. “We underwent international administration changes, and that held up the process, and then we had to wait until we had trained graduate advisors in the supervising graduate chapter, Beta Chi Omega, which is located in Roanoke that could assist us with the chapter.”

Interested students wrote annually to AKA’s mid-Atlantic regional director, requesting permission to begin colonization. During the 2010-2011 school year, Devin Cooper’s senior year, the students finally got the okay. “It was just, I don’t want to say divine providence, but it was the time for it to happen, and everything fell into place,” said Devin Cooper, whose mother, along with several aunts, also belongs to the sorority.

“In terms of recruitment and retention for Washington and Lee, I think it’s very important that people see all sides of Greek life,” said Amber Cooper, AKA’s current president. While the existing Panhellenic and Interfraternity Council (IFC) Greek organizations may be the best choice for some students, said Cooper, a mass communications major, it’s good to have the option of NPHC fraternities and sororities. “I’m hoping that in the coming years there will be more.”

Kahena Joubert ’13, AKA’s treasurer, agreed. The first in her family to join AKA, she was impressed by the sorority’s dedication to public service. “I really wanted to be a member of an NPHC organization, and after doing my research, I realized I really wanted to be a member of AKA because I really liked what they were about, service and sisterhood.” Joubert is majoring in business administration and politics and has worked with the Multicultural Student Association.

Dedication to community service is one of the most notable characteristics of NPHC fraternities and sororities. The sorority is “very service-oriented, very philanthropic. We don’t do a whole lot of partying and things like that. While we do have social activities, that is  not our focus,” said Futrell. Women who join NPHC sororities consider themselves lifetime members and take seriously their commitment to continue philanthropic activities after graduation.

NPHC fraternities and sororities are not part of the IFC or the Panhellenic Council. “Totally separate bodies, but we encourage collaboration,” said Futrell. “We are totally separate because our recruitment and member  intake processes are completely different. We have different rules and different policies that govern us as opposed to the other two bodies.”

Women planning to join AKA, for example, do not go through Panhellenic-style rush,. Instead, AKA hosts a Rush Session in which interested women submit applications for membership and then are voted on. AKA is open to all women, and two non-African-American students became charter members at W&L last spring. One of those, sophomore Sally Platt from Fredericksburg, Texas, said she joined for a variety of reasons.

“As a blond-haired, blue eyed Texan of Irish descent I kind of look a little out of place. But that is the awesome thing about AKA — it is really not about color. The ideals of the sorority stay the same, no matter what,” Platt said. “Our goal is to provide ‘Service to all Mankind,’ and this is something the sorority really stands for.”

AKA’s new members are looking forward to starting their philanthropic projects. Internationally, the sorority focuses on seven signature initiatives: emerging young leaders, health, global poverty, economic security, social justice and human rights, and internal leadership training. The W&L chapter plans to work on breast-cancer awareness and to partner with an Atlanta organization, Living Water for Girls, that aids young victims of sex trafficking. Devin Cooper began her involvement with Living Water while she was a student. A biology major, she is now a member of the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps in its medical school.

“One that we haven’t started, but that I’m excited to start, is the Emerging Young Leaders Program,” said Joubert. “We partner with girls in middle school to get them excited about going to high school and college, and just being their mentors.”

Amber Cooper and Joubert are glad W&L took an active and supportive role in bringing AKA to campus. “Bringing diversity to campus says a lot about the way W&L is moving,” said Joubert, “and how diverse we’re becoming, and how accepting we’re becoming of just lots of different things.”

— by Amy Balfour  ’89, ’93L

Petersburg's Physician

Washington and Lee alumnus Dr. Burke Steele, of the Class of 1955, loves to talk about history — especially the history of Petersburg, Va., where he has lived for 73 years, and worked in the same office, on South Market Street, for nearly 50 years.

While he majored in history at W&L and had planned on a career in law, Burke changed his mind and went to the Medical College of Virginia. After receiving the M.D., he spent two years as a doctor in the Navy before returning home and opening his general practice in Petersburg in 1963.

for a recent feature story, he isn’t sure how many patients he’s treated, but he does know that he is the longest-practicing physician in Petersburg.

As the Progress-Index notes, Steele may be slowing down a bit now that he’s in his late 70s, but he still sees between 15 to 20 patients a day and says he has thought about retirement only “for a minute.”

W&L Mock Con Predicts Romney in New Hampshire, Followed by Paul, Huntsman

With polls in New Hampshire showing Mitt Romney with an insurmountable lead in the Republican presidential primary, the student researchers for Washington and Lee University’s Mock Republican Convention are predicting that he will win between 38 and 42 percent of the vote, followed by Ron Paul in second place and Jon Huntsman in third.

The New Hampshire prediction, issued Monday, was prepared by New Hampshire state chair Frank Cullo, a senior from Sewickley, Pa.; political chair Zach Wilkes, a senior from Farmerville, La.; and the Mock Convention political team.

“While Romney is stable at the top, and Paul has at least been consistently polling in second, third through fifth place are more volatile,” wrote Cullo on the Mock Convention blog. “Undecided voters and potential crossover voters are poised to leave their mark on the primary results, which could lead to chaos in the lower tier.

“What we can confidently predict, though, is that Rick Santorum’s impressive second-place finish in Iowa — falling short by just eight votes — will likely not translate into a large bump in the much more independently minded electorate in New Hampshire. Heading into Tuesday’s primary, we see the most likely scenario placing Huntsman in third place, benefiting from the extensive time he spent in the state and recent strong debate performances, followed by Santorum and Newt Gingrich.”

Cullo wrote that the Mock Convention researchers expect Romney to score a double-digit victory over Paul, who will earn between 18 and 24 percent of the vote. They expect Huntsman to get between 12 and 16 percent.

In writing their prediction, the Mock Convention students added that a lackluster finish in New Hampshire by Santorum “will cost him much-needed momentum going into the bruising South Carolina primary” and that Gingrich “will suffer the embarrassment of falling below Ron Paul, and quite possibly Huntsman and Santorum, in the Granite State, making South Carolina a must-win for the Gingrich camp.”

The 2012 Mock Republican Convention will be Feb. 9-11 on the W&L campus. The convention nominates its presidential candidate on Saturday, Feb. 11.

The student researchers have been at work throughout the year preparing for their ultimate prediction. Last week they correctly predicted an Iowa victory for Romney.

Since its inception in 1908, W&L’s convention has been considered the most realistic exercise and the most accurate, with 19 correct predictions in 25 attempts. Until they incorrectly chose Hillary Clinton to head the Democratic ticket in 2008, the W&L student conventioneers had been right on eight consecutive predictions.

News Contact:
Jeffery G. Hanna
Executive Director of Communications and Public Affairs
(540) 458-8459

W&L Student Wins Bridging Scholarship to Japan

Alex Wachi, a Washington and Lee University junior from Honolulu, is one of 20 undergraduate students from colleges and universities across the United States to win a Bridging Scholarship for study abroad at Kansai Gaidai University in Japan.

Wachi is the first W&L student to win the scholarship.

He will receive up to $4,000 to assist with living expenses while he studies in Japan. Since 1999, the U.S.-Japan Bridging Foundation has awarded 1,160 scholarships to students studying abroad in Japan.

Wachi, who was selected to the prestigious Kemper Scholars Program during his first year at W&L, is majoring in business administration and East Asian language and literature with an emphasis on Japan. He spent the spring term of his freshman year on a study abroad program in Kanazawa, Japan, and is interested in the comparative study of American and Japanese policies and perspectives on the problems faced by the homeless.

He is a member of Phi Eta Sigma national honor society, the Pan Asian Association for Cultural Exchange and the Students Association for International Learning. In addition to his notable academic and community service contributions, he is the recipient of numerous state and national commendations in both wrestling and judo.

The Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission is an independent federal agency promoting mutual understanding between the United States and Japan. The goal of the Bridging Project is to promote study abroad in Japan by larger numbers of American undergraduate students. The Association of Teachers of Japanese, a professional organization for teachers of Japanese language, literature, and culture, administers the scholarship program.

The 20 Bridging Scholars hail from a variety of schools — public and private, large universities and small colleges. Their majors range from computer science to fine art, but they share a common interest in Japan, its language and culture. Their destinations also vary, from giant campuses in Tokyo to intimate consortium programs in rural Japan.

News Contact:
Jeffery G. Hanna
Executive Director of Communications and Public Affairs
(540) 458-8459

W&L Law Grad a Recess Appointee

Washington and Lee law alumnus Terence F. Flynn was in the news this week, when President Barack Obama named him to a recess appointment on the National Labor Relations Board.

The controversial announcement from the White House came almost one year to the day that Terry, a 1990 graduate of the School of Law, had been nominated to fill an open position on the five-member board.

Terry had been nominated to replace Republican Peter Schaumber and was to become the second Republican on the NLRB. He had previously served as chief counsel to Schaumber on the board. More recently, he has been chief counsel to the other Republican on the NLRB, Brian Hayes. In his roles with the NLRB, Terry has overseen a variety of legal and policy issues in cases arising under the National Labor Relations Act.

Terry began his career dealing with labor and immigration cases with Reid & Priest from 1990 to 1992, then worked as a litigation associate for David, Hager, & Krupin (1992-95), focusing on employment and wage hour laws, NLRB arbitrations and other labor-relations disputes. From 1996 to 2003, he was counsel in the Labor and Employment Group of Crowell & Moring L.L.P., handling collective bargaining negotiations, litigation of unfair labor practices, defense of ERISA claims, and wage and hour disputes, among other matters.

W&L Economists on WMRA's “Virginia Insight”

Washington and Lee economics professors Arthur H. Goldsmith and Timothy M. Diette appeared on NPR affiliate WMRA’s “Virginia Insight” show Thursday, Jan. 5, to discuss their research about the hidden costs of unemployment.

Goldsmith recently reported on his and Diette’s findings during a congressional briefing on the psychological benefits of employment and the impact of joblessness, sponsored by the American Psychological Association. He is the Jackson T. Stephens Professor of Economics.

Diette is the lead author of the current study into the hidden costs of unemploy-ment, a combined effort among researchers at W&L, Duke University and the New School of Public Engagement. He is an assistant professor of economics at W&L.

“Virginia Insight,” hosted by Tom Graham, is a live call-in show.

Listen to the the archived show below:


Photographs by Maury Gortemiller on View at Staniar Gallery

Songs and Wars and Wolves: Recent Photographs by Washington and Lee University Visiting Professor of Art Maury Gortemiller will be on view in Wilson Hall from Jan. 9 – Feb. 4.

The exhibit features works from two series of color photographs. Both projects explore the medium’s unique capability to simultaneously communicate and obfuscate, shifting in relation to the viewing context and artist’s intentions.

In All-Time Lotion, Gortemiller builds upon critic Robert Storr’s ideas surrounding the estrangement of the photograph. The artist seeks to “maintain the semblance of ordinary, everyday things while investigating their latent conceptual meanings.”

In the second series, Gortemiller examines cassette singles, which might first appear to be mundane objects made obsolete with the advent of CDs. Instead, he engages with these cultural artifacts to explore what he refers to as “the overtly macho and androgynous facets of masculinity.”

His work has been exhibited at the Chelsea Art Museum in New York City, Reese Museum in Johnson City, Tenn., Lyceum Theater in San Diego, Calif., as well as select galleries throughout the southeast. Gortemiller’s photographs have been published in Kinki Mag, the Collector’s Guide to New Art Photography, Oxford American magazine and featured in many on-line publications including The Appalachian Photographer’s Project, The 50 States Project and Conscientious.

Gortemiller earned his M.F.A. in photography from the University of Georgia and also holds an M.A. in Southern Studies from University of Mississippi. For the 2011-12 academic year, Gortemiller is teaching all levels of photography in the Art Department at Washington and Lee.

Gortemiller will give an artist’s talk on Thursday, Jan. 19, at 5:30 p.m. in Wilson Hall 2018. The lecture will be followed by a reception in Lykes Atrium. Both events are free and open to the public. Lykes Atrium is located on the second floor of Wilson Hall, in Washington and Lee University’s Lenfest Center for the Arts.

The exhibit is open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, please call 540-458-8861.

News Contact:
Julie Cline
News Writer

Roland S. Martin Keynotes W&L's MLK Jr. Celebration

Roland S. Martin, an award-winning journalist, author and political analyst, will present the keynote address for the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration at Washington and Lee University on Monday, Jan. 16, at 7 p.m. in Lee Chapel.

A reception will follow in Evans Dining Hall. Martin’s address, which is free and open to the public, is one of a variety of events during the week-long celebration honoring the life and legacy of Dr. King.

Martin, a nationally syndicated columnist with Creators Syndicate, is a CNN analyst who appears frequently on a number of the network’s programs and was part of the CNN team that won a Peabody Award for its 2008 election coverage. He is also a commentator for TV One Cable Network and host of “Washington Watch with Roland Martin,” a one-hour Sunday morning news show.

During the 1990s, Martin was a contributor on the BET Sunday morning news program “Lead Story” and is the former executive editor of the Chicago Defender.

He is a 1991 graduate of Texas A&M University, where he earned a bachelor’s of science degree in journalism.

Other events during the MLK Celebration include:

MLK Day of Service, Saturday, Jan. 14

Washington and Lee’s Shepherd Poverty Program will host a Day of Service on Saturday, Jan. 14, from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. The day will begin in Stackhouse Theatre with presentations from community leaders about the importance of service and the impact students can have on the local community. Following lunch, students will spend the afternoon completing needed service projects at a variety of community agencies. (For students who are unable to participate on Saturday, other service opportunities will be available on Monday.)

Sunday Supper (RSVP required), Sunday, Jan. 15, 7 p.m.

In the spirit of promoting peace, inspiring community service and upholding Dr.  King’s legacy, the Beta Chi Omega and Tau Zeta Chapters of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, in conjunction with W&L’s MLK Celebration Planning Committee, will host a Sunday Supper patterned after the suppers that Dr. King hosted during the height of the Civil Rights Movement. The event will be held in Evans Dining Hall and will serve as a forum for leaders from both the Washington and Lee and Lexington communities to reflect on what Dr. King means to them. RSVPs for this event should go to Tammy Futrell, associate dean of students at tfutrell@wlu.edu.

Birthday Party, Monday, Jan. 16, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

A birthday party for the children of Rockbridge County will be held in the Elrod Commons Living Room. There will be games, fun and food. All children must be accompanied by an adult.

A Celebration of Soul, Wednesday, Jan. 18, 8 p.m.

During the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s, soul music, a relatively new genre with its roots in gospel and rhythm and blues, became a symbol of African-American pride as well as protest. Artists like Sam Cooke, Nina Simone, James Brown, Marvin Gaye and many more, provided the soundtrack for the lives of people that struggled for equality and human rights.

To celebrate that music, A Celebration of Soul will be held in the Commons Marketplace, featuring a diverse array of performances, including music, dance and spoken word.

Remembrance Concert, Saturday, Jan. 21, 8 p.m.

The Department of Music and the Office of Diversity and Inclusion will host a Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Remembrance Concert on Saturday, Jan. 21, at 8p.m. at the First Baptist Church in Lexington.

All events are free and open to the public.

News Contact:
Julie Cline
News Writer

Staniar Gallery to Exhibit Andy Warhol Photographs

Andy Warhol was a prolific photographer, creating tens of thousands of images over the course of his lifetime as he documented the people, places and things around him. To commemorate their 20th anniversary, the Warhol Foundation donated nearly 30,000 photographs by the legendary pop artist to educational institutions across the country.

Washington and Lee University, Roanoke College and Hollins University all received the significant gift, which includes Polaroids and black and white, silver gelatin prints.

The schools have collaborated to present highlights from the individual collections in a unique, three-part exhibition. In the Event of Andy Warhol will premiere at Washington and Lee’s Staniar Gallery, opening on Jan. 9 and remaining on view through Feb. 4.

A selection of works by contemporary artists who have been inspired by Warhol will also be on display, including pieces by Shepard Fairey, Piper Ferguson, Ryan Humphrey, Deborah Kass, Charles Lutz and Burton Machen. The exhibit will travel to Olin Gallery at Roanoke College from March 1 – April 1, 2012. In the Event of Andy Warhol will end with the addition of original Warhol works paired with artists that influenced him, as well as his contemporaries, at the Eleanor D. Wilson Museum at Hollins University from May 31–Sept. 15.

Staniar Gallery will host an exhibition reception on Wednesday, Jan. 25. The event will begin at 5:30 p.m. with a public lecture by independent curator and Warhol scholar Stephen Petersen in Wilson Hall’s Concert Hall. The public is welcome.

In advance of the exhibit, W&L’s Student Arts League recreated Warhol’s “Screen Tests” by filming members of the University community in the same format that Warhol used — inviting them to sit in front of a neutral background and look into a video camera for several minutes. See a story on the Student Arts League’s Warhol “Screen Tests.”

Staniar Gallery is located on the second floor of Wilson Hall, in Washington and Lee University’s Lenfest Center for the Arts. Gallery hours are Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, please call 540-458-8861.

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Two New Books by W&L Alum Jim Gabler

Jim Gabler, a Washington and Lee alumnus of the Classes of 1953 and 1955L, has recently published two new e-books, and they could hardly be more different — a guidebook to wine and a novel about the first American pope.

Be Your Own Wine Expert promises readers that in less than three minutes, they will learn to enjoy “any one of more than 100 of the world’s best wine varietals.” In the introduction, Jim writes that while he discusses the great wines of the world, “the emphasis of the book is on good available and affordable wines. With more than 2000 Value for Money Wine recommendations that cost less than $10, $15, and $20 a bottle, you will discover that drinking very good wine doesn’t have to be expensive.”

This e-book is Jim’s latest work on wines. A retired attorney and a wine historian, he has published others, including , which won the 1995 “Veuve Clicquot Wine Book of the Year” award, and . He has lectured and written extensively about Jefferson and wine. His 2006 piece, “Thomas Jefferson’s Love Affair with Wine,” appeared in Forbes.

Jim’s other new book is a novel, God’s Devil, billed as a thriller about a Catholic priest who lets nothing stand in the way of his consuming ambition to become the first American pope and change the Catholic Church. All of the reviews on Amazon give God’s Devil five stars, and one compares him to such other attorneys-turned-novelists as John Grisham and David Baldacci.

Washington Biographer Ron Chernow to Address Founders' Day

Renowned biographer Ron Chernow, who won the Pulitzer Prize for his 2010 biography of George Washington, Washington: A Life, will address Washington and Lee University’s annual Founders’ Day/Omicron Delta Kappa Convocation on Thursday, Jan. 19, 2012, at 11:45 a.m. in Lee Chapel.

The speech, also titled “Washington: A Life,” is free and open to the public. It will be streamed live on the University’s website and the W&L Facebook page.


Watch on the W&L website
Watch on uStream

W&L holds Founders’ Day each year on the birthday of Robert E. Lee, who was president of Washington College following the Civil War.

As part of the annual convocation, Omicron Delta Kappa, the national leadership honor society founded at W&L in 1914 and now headquartered in Lexington, will holds its annual inductions of law and undergraduate students as well as honorary members. ODK was the first college honor society of a national scope to recognize and honor meritorious leadership and service in extracurricular activities, and to encourage the development of good campus citizenship.

An honors graduate of Yale and Cambridge, Chernow is widely regarded as one of America’s most distinguished commentators on politics, business and finance.

His first book, The House of Morgan: , a history of the J.P. Morgan family, won the National Book Award as the best nonfiction book of 1990. The Modern Library Board voted it one of the 100 best nonfiction books published in the 20th century.

Chernow’s 1993 book about a German-Jewish banking family, The Warburgs, won Columbia Business School’s George S. Eccles Prize for Excellence in Economic Writing in 1993 and was cited by the American Library Association as one of the year’s 10 best works.

In 1998 he published Titan: The Life of John D. Rockefeller, Sr. It was nominated for a National Book Critics Circle Award, and Time magazine and The New York Times selected it as one of the 10 best books of the year.

Chernow’s biography of Alexander Hamilton was published by The Penguin Press in April 2004. Called “by far the best biography ever written about the man” by The New York Times, Alexander Hamilton spent three months on the Times bestseller list. It was the first recipient of the George Washington Book Prize for early American history and was nominated for a National Book Critics Circle Award in biography.

In October 2010, Washington: A Life was published to rave reviews and won the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for Biography. The Pulitzer citation called the book “a sweeping, authoritative portrait of an iconic leader learning to master his private feelings in order to fulfill his public duties.” The New York Times quoted Chernow as saying that “ ‘in recent years people had an image of Washington as wooden, bland and boring,’ far from the ‘passionate, complex and sensitive man — dynamic and commanding and charismatic,’ whose contemporaries viewed him as an authentic hero.”

Chernow is working on a biography of Ulysses S. Grant. He is a frequent contributor to The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal and is a member and past president of the Board of Trustees for PEN American Center.

News Contact:
Jeffery G. Hanna
Executive Director of Communications and Public Affairs
(540) 458-8459

Person of the Year

Washington and Lee alumnus Howard S. Kaylor, Classes of ’50, ’52L, has been named Hagerstown, Md.’s 2011 Person of the Year by the Hagerstown newspaper, the Herald-Mail.

In the story announcing the honor on New Year’s Eve, Howard was praised for his support of the local community — through both generous donations and service to various causes.

One of Howard’s more recent gifts — $1 million to the Washington County Museum of Fine Arts — resulted in the Anne G. and Howard S. Kaylor Atrium. It goes on the long list of community organizations that Howard and his wife, Anne, have supported through the years.

Although he entered the W&L School of Law after obtaining his undergraduate degree, Howard decided lawyering was not for him and returned to Hagerstown, where he enjoyed a successful 55-year career as a stockbroker.

When the Herald-Mail asked about his philanthropy, Howard responded with typical understatement: “I’ve been fortunate and blessed to have done well with my investments, and I’m 85 now. Other than taking care of my kids, I may as well give this money away. I have no use for it.”

Congratulations to Howard on his Person of the Year Award.

Greer Johnson '05 Featured in C-Ville

Greer Johnson, a 2005 Washington and Lee alumna, is one of the eight men and women featured by Charlottesville’s news and arts publication, C-ville Weekly, because they are “making waves in their fields.”

As a way of looking to 2012, C-ville’s editors decided to focus on young leaders and to give their readers “a look at the future of your city” through their eyes.

Greer, a business journalism major at W&L, may have wanted to be a TV news anchor growing up, but she has become a successful entrepreneur who opened her first store, Duo, in April 2007. Four years later, she opened a second Duo store, in Harrisonburg.

As the store’s website makes clear, Duo is “not your grandmother’s consignment store,” although it does buy and sell both new and “gently worn” clothing. The store’s lower level features the new merchandise, while the upper level has the gently worn, brand-name clothes.

Asked her view of the current state of small businesses, Greer told C-ville: “Small businesses were doing really well when I opened in 2007. Shortly thereafter, though, the economy really went south, and we’re still recovering from that. I’d say consumer confidence is certainly on the rise, though, and shoppers are more comfortable spending money today more so than a year ago.”

W&L Mock Convention Picks Romney in Iowa

Student organizers of Washington and Lee University’s Mock Republican Convention are predicting that Mitt Romney will win the Iowa caucuses on Jan. 3 with Ron Paul and Rick Santorum finishing second and third, respectively.

On a blog post announcing the prediction, Zach Wilkes, a senior politics major from Farmerville, La., and the convention’s political chair, wrote that while their research had pointed to a Paul victory as recently as Dec. 30, their latest research from Iowa had caused them to change that prediction.

“In addition to relying on advice from contacts on the ground in Iowa and our ever-helpful group of national advisers, we have been deflating Romney poll numbers while holding Paul numbers steady to account for the intensity gap between the two candidates. However, this adjustment results in a virtual tie at the top of the ballot, and we feel that of the 9 to 14 percent of likely voters that remain undecided, many more are likely to swing to Romney than to Paul on January 3. Furthermore, trend lines indicate a steady, if relatively small, growth in Romney support over the last several days; Paul support has remained relatively constant over this period, and we believe that he is at or very near his support ceiling in Iowa.”

The post went on to note that Romney’s chances will be reduced if the Republican caucus turnout does not “approach or exceed the 120,000 who voted in 2008” but added that a favorable weather forecast plus the lack of a competitive Democratic primary suggests a relatively high turnout.

Washington and Lee University will stage its 2012 Mock Republican Convention on Feb. 10. The convention nominates its presidential candidate on February 10, 2012.

Since its inception in 1908, W&L’s convention has been considered the most realistic exercise and has also been the most accurate with 19 correct predictions in 25 attempts. Until it incorrectly chose Hillary Clinton to head the Democratic ticket in 2008, the W&L student conventioneers had been right on eight consecutive predictions.

News Contact:
Jeffery G. Hanna
Executive Director of Communications and Public Affairs
(540) 458-8459

Lesley Wheeler Presents Fox Professorship Inaugural Lecture

Lesley M. Wheeler, professor of English at Washington and Lee University, will give the Henry S. Fox Jr. Professorship Inaugural Lecture on Thursday, Jan. 12, at 4:30 p.m. in Northen Auditorium of Leyburn Library. Wheeler was named to the professorship at the beginning of this past summer.

Wheeler’s illustrated talk, which is free and open to the public, is “Coffee with Poets in New Zealand.”

Wheeler’s talk is on the process of conducting research into contemporary writing and is closely based on her recent Fulbright Senior Scholar Award to Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand (January-July 2011). Wheeler will also read a short selection of poems composed during that period.

Wheeler said that her talk “concerns the networks joining poets with each other and with their audiences; of particular interest is how poets affiliate in ways that transcend national borders. My focus was the International Institute for Modern Letters at Victoria University, unique in its relationship with a prestigious U.S. creative writing program, the Iowa Writers’ Workshop.”

Wheeler joined W&L’s faculty in 1994. She is the author of four poetry books including Heterotopia (2010), winner of the 2010 Barrow Street Press Poetry Prize and a finalist for a Library of Virginia Book Award, and Heathen (2009). Her scholarly books include Voicing American Poetry: Sound and Performance from the 1920s to the Present (2008). She is the author of more than 15 essays and book chapters and has had over 65 poems published in journals with five forthcoming.

Wheeler has held fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Fulbright Foundation, and The Virginia Commission for the Arts among other grantors.

Wheeler is currently at work on a poetry book, Signal to Noise and a scholarly book, Poetry, Conversation, Community in the Twenty-First Century, a study of the networks sustaining contemporary poetry. She teaches courses in 20th- and 21st-century poetry and creative writing workshops at W&L.

Wheeler is a graduate of Rutgers University (B.A.) and Princeton University (Ph.D.).

The Henry S. Fox Jr. Professorship was established in 1956 under the will of Mrs. Mamie Fox Twyman Martel of Houston in memory of her brother, Henry S. Fox Jr., Class of 1894. Severn P. C. Duvall, who retired from teaching in 1995 and Edwin D. Craun, who retired in 2011, are the Henry S. Fox Jr. Professors of English, Emeriti.

News Contact:
Julie Cline
News Writer

Washington and Lee Sees Increase in Early Decision Applications

Early Decision I applications to Washington and Lee University increased by 20 percent this year, representing one of the highest totals in memory, according to statistics released this week by the University’s Office of Admissions.

W&L has two Early Decision deadlines. Both programs are binding, which means that applicants who choose to apply under Early Decision agree to withdraw all other applications to other colleges and universities if accepted.

The first Early Decision deadline, known as EDI, required prospective students to file applications by Nov. 15. W&L informed students of the decisions starting last Friday, Dec. 16.

For the Class of 2016, W&L had 443 ED1 applications and accepted 193 students. That compares with 372 ED1 applications a year ago, when the University accepted 173 students.

The second Early Decision deadline is Jan. 2, 2012 — the same as the regular decision deadline. The University notifies students who apply for EDII on Feb. 1.

“We are delighted with this response to Early Decision I,” said William Hartog, dean of admissions and financial aid at W&L. “It certainly represents a good start on the admissions year and attests to the University’s increasing popularity.”

Hartog said that the Early Decision admits represent “a nucleus of young people who really want to be at W&L and will have a stake in the place. We have been participating in Early Decision for many years and watched the trend grow nationally. It is clearly not for every student, but it does offer them a chance to get the application behind them if they are absolutely sure of their choice.”

The target for the number of students in W&L’s entering Class of 2016 is 475, so the EDI admits represent about 41 percent of the class.

In addition, Hartog noted that the academic quality of this year’s EDI admits is slightly higher than a year ago. He also said that the diversity is particularly strong, with 30 American minorities among the students, who come from 26 states and seven countries.

“It’s particularly gratifying to see the international diversity, since this is, in many ways, a microcosm of what the entire Class of 2016 will be,” Hartog said.

Of the students coming from abroad, two are from Argentina and two are from Vietnam, and there is one student each from Nigeria, Costa Rica, Bulgaria and Mongolia.

Included among the 443 Early Decision I applicants are 121 students who applied through Questbridge, a private foundation in Palo Alto, Calif., that works with 31 partner colleges and universities around the country in its College Match program for low-income, high-achieving students. Sixteen of those Questbridge applicants have been admitted as part of W&L’s Class of 2016.

“We continue to be very pleased with the relationship that we have had with Questbridge for the past three years,” said Hartog. “We continue to receive very strong applications from students who will be outstanding members of the W&L community when they arrive.”

News Contact:
Jeffery G. Hanna
Executive Director of Communications and Public Affairs
(540) 458-8459