Feature Stories Campus Events

W&L Offers Admissions to 18 Percent of Strong Applicant Pool

Washington and Lee University has offered admission to 1,064 of its applicants, or 18 percent of its applicant pool, for the Class of 2016, which will matriculate in the fall.

The applicant pool, which was slightly fewer than 6,000 students, includes more than 600 who applied during the University’s two Early Decision programs. Of those Early Decision applicants, 232 were accepted, which represents nearly half of the entering class. The goal for the Class of 2016 is 474.

The admitted students have impressive academic credentials. The average combined score on the math and verbal sections of the SAT is 1,415 (of a possible 1,600). The average score on the ACT is 31. The admitted applicants ranked in the 95th percentile of their high school classes, and 90 percent are in the top decile.

“This is another exceptional group of admitted students, and the grades and scores tell only part of the story,” said William Hartog, dean of admissions and financial aid at W&L. “The accomplishments of the individual students in any number of activities, from leadership to community service to athletics, are truly exceptional. We are delighted at the outcome, and the work of our admissions staff in guiding this process has been superb.”

The 1,064 accepted students come from 48 states, the District of Columbia, and 21 countries and possessions. There are 518 men and 546 women in the group with 21 percent multicultural students, including 194 American minorities. Seventy of the students are children of W&L alumni.

Meanwhile, 443 of the students, or 42 percent, have received financial aid offers totaling just more than $16 million. The average financial aid package is $37,000, and none of those packages includes loans. There are 90 students eligible for Pell Grants.

W&L has offered 84 students a prestigious Johnson Scholarship. Now in its fifth year, the Johnson Scholarship provides full tuition, room and board and is awarded on the basis of both exceptional academic ability and leadership potential. Finalists for the Johnson competition spent several days on campus earlier this month when they had interviews with faculty, current Johnson Scholars and members of the admissions staff.

The University will hold its annual Accepted Students Day on Wednesday, April 25, when admitted students will be invited to attend a series of events on the campus.

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

Alumnus Focuses on Civil War Horses

Washington and Lee law alumnus Kent Masterson Brown, of the Law Class of 1974, wrote, hosted and narrated a film about horses in the Civil War that aired this month on HRTV, The Horse Network.

Unsung Hero: The Horse in the Civil War” discusses how the horses were procured and trained for field use, how they were fed and maintained, and the toll taken on them due to service in the field. As Kent explains, millions of horses were utilized by the armies in all theaters of war. “In the large armies, anywhere from 40 to 60 thousand horses (and mules) were used in the infantry, cavalry, artillery and quartermaster services. Regularly feeding, shoeing and maintaining the horses and mules was a near impossible task. As a result, thousands of horses were lost due to incapacity and malnutrition. Thousands more were lost on battlefields.”

As part of the film, memoirs of soldiers are read, recounting the stories and sacrifices of the horses. More than 1,500,000 horses (and mules) died during the war.

Kent highlights the story of Robert E. Lee and Traveller, featuring period photographs and scenes from the W&L campus. Some of the war’s other famous horses – Cincinnati, Winchester, Baldy, Highfly and Little Sorrel, to name a few – are highlighted. Repeat broadcasts are scheduled by HRTV through March and April 2012. You can also watch the film online with a premium membership to HRTV.

Kent is in private law practice in Lexington, Ky., but continues to research and write on Civil War topics. He is the founder and former editor in chief of The Civil War: The Magazine of the Civil War Society and has won numerous awards for his books, which include “Retreat From Gettysburg: Lee, Logistics and the Pennsylvania Campaign,” “Cushing of Gettysburg: The Story of a Union Artillery Commander” and “The Civil War in Kentucky: Battle for the Bluegrass State.”

South Carolina's No. 1 Financial Advisor

In Barron’s magazine’s annual list of America’s Top 1,000 Financial Advisors on a state-by-state basis, Washington and Lee alumnus and trustee Hagood Ellison, of the Class of 1972, ranks as South Carolina’s top advisor.

This is the third consecutive year that Hagood has been on the Barron’s list, and he’s No. 1 in the state this year based on Barron’s rankings. Factors weighed are assets under management, revenue produced for the firm, regulatory record, and quality of practice and philanthropic work. As Barron’s notes, “Investment performance isn’t an explicit component because not all advisors have audited results and because performance figures often are influenced more by clients’ risk tolerance than by an advisor’s investment-picking abilities.”

In describing the state of financial advising at the moment, Hagood told Barron’s that clients are still “shell shocked” by the financial crisis. “They are still desperate for guidance and direction,” he added. “All year we were making sure clients had the correct recovery strategy in place, and we were doing risk audits on their portfolios. People still don’t understand risk.

“Sometimes can assume that clients are looking for ‘lights out’ returns,” he added. “But that’s not what they want. The pain of losing money is much more than the excitement of the upside.”

Hagood joined Merrill Lynch in 1976. He focuses on investments, income management and retirement solutions for Ellison Kibler & Associates in Columbia, S.C.

In addition to W&L’s board, Hagood has served on the board of the Columbia Museum of Art and the Center for Cancer Treatment and Research, and serves now on the local board of the Boy Scouts. He received the Merrill Lynch Lifetime Community Achievement Award in 2003.

Two Share First Prize in Inaugural W&L Pitch Contest

Students promoting an app allowing seat upgrades at halftime of sporting events, and a first-class bus service between Washington and New York, shared first-place honors in the first Pitch Competition, which showcases student entrepreneurship at Washington and Lee University.

Sponsored by W&L’s Venture Club, a student group that promotes entrepreneurism, the contest was open to all members of the student body. A panel of W&L alumni who work in business selected 12 finalists, who had three minutes each to pitch their idea. The contest ended in a tie between Aaron Digregorio, a sophomore from Keswick, Va., and Jonathan Cahill, a sophomore from Pekin, Ill. They share the $1,000 first prize.

Kathleen Yakulis, a sophomore from Pittsburgh, was the runner-up.

Digregorio’s idea was an application that would allow sports fans to upgrade their seats from the nosebleed section to something closer to the action during halftime of a sporting event.

Cahill proposed a bus service between Washington and New York, targeting it to business travelers and featuring Wi-Fi connectivity, electrical outlets and seats that recline completely flat.

Runner-up Yakulis pitched a reverse-auction website that pits car dealers against each other after a prospective buyer inputs the most they are willing to pay for a car.

One of the contest’s organizers, Mark Sowinski, a sophomore and a double major in business administration and history, said that limiting each pitch to three minutes allowed the contestants to present a lot of ideas without rambling. “The students were judged on whether their ideas were fundamentally sound, creative and profitable,” he said. “Obviously, how the ideas were presented is a huge part as well. So it was a balance of both.”

The prize money was part of a generous donation from a current W&L parent, Sowinski said. “It’s the catalyst to get people excited about thinking of ideas and also to get people involved so they learn more about the Venture Club, since we’re so new,” he said. “That way, when we have events in the future, they’ll know about the club.”

Students founded the Venture Club in 2011 to develop a spirit of entrepreneurship on campus. “Entrepreneurship is so central to what a lot of people end up doing after college,” said Sowinski. “For example, for artists trying to sell their artwork, it would be helpful for them to have thought about how to start and run a business. People who are creative tend to do well as entrepreneurs, and the Pitch Competition gives all majors the chance to present an idea they feel passionate about.

The other pitches:

  • A tool that keeps any size of book open for convenience and reading ease. It consists of two hooks that can be clamped on either or both sides of the book, and is tight enough to keep the book open but loose enough to turn the pages easily.
  • An app that makes fast dining easy by allowing people to view menus on a smart phone, place an order and submit payment electronically.
  • Molded bottoms that can attach to athletic cleats or spikes to prevent damage from the pavement and maintain the quality of the cleats.
  • An online vending machine/delivery service that creates personalized snack packs for late-night delivery on college campuses.
  • An app that aggregates information on the number of parking spaces, time restrictions and pricing information to aid drivers in their search for parking spots.
  • An app that simplifies searching for a cab by letting users send a request for a cab using their current GPS, their destination and when they need to be picked up. The user can see when a driver has accepted their ride and track the cab as it approaches.
  • A lunch delivery service for faculty and staff at Washington and Lee to make lunchtime less of a hassle. Individuals could place orders at the beginning of the week and have lunch delivered from restaurants in town as well as from W&L’s Café 77 and E-Café.
  • An online site that allows people to search for destinations and see photos that were taken there. It combines the capabilities of Google Earth and Flickr for the ultimate visual-trending experience, using increased GPS abilities in point-and-shoot cameras and smart phones.
  • An app that combines visual and auditory connections by recognizing songs and placing them with the scene from movies, TV shows, musicals or commercials.

For more information about the Venture Club and the W&L Entrepreneurship Program, see http://entrepreneurship.wlu.edu/.

News Contact:
Sarah Tschiggfrie
News Director

W&L's Jasmin Darznik on NPR

Jasmin Darznik, assistant professor of English at Washington and Lee, is scheduled to appear today on the National Public Radio Show “Tell Me More.”

Jasmin will be discussing her critically acclaimed memoir, “The Good Daughter: A Memoir of My Mother’s Hidden Life,” with Jackie Lyden, as part of the International Women’s Day Program on “Tell Me More.” “The Good Daughter” tells about Jasmin’s quest to unravel her mother’s past in Iran. The interview is the last installment of the “Tell Me More” series about women rewriting their roles in society.

To find out when “Tell Me More” airs in your area, go to the broadcast schedule and enter your state. You can listen to the archived program on the show’s website or on the audio link below:


Bob Fishburn '55, 1934-2012

In the feature stories, editorials, blog entries and obituaries that have been written about the passing of Washington and Lee alumnus Bob Fishburn, of the Class of 1955, the adjectives used most consistently have been “passionate,” “gentle” and “generous.”

Bob died on Saturday, March 24, of complications from lung cancer. He was 77.

After graduating from W&L, Bob attended Columbia University and served as a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy. Once he returned to Roanoke in 1960, he joined the family business as a staff reporter for the Roanoke Times and World-News. His family owned the Roanoke papers for six decades. Bob worked as a copy editor, a state editor and an assistant city editor. He was named editorial page editor at the World-News in 1969 and then became commentary page editor in 1977, when the two papers merged.

In an editorial about Fishburn’s passing in the Roanoke Times, former colleague Geoff Seamans called him “one of those old-school guys, one of the gentle, bespectacled purveyors of the culture.”

And on his blog, Fromtheeditr, another former Roanoke Times colleague, Dan Smith, wrote this about Bob: “He was a marvelous writer at a time when writing was a significant strength of the paper, and I don’t know that he ever aspired to anything more than that in the business. He was one of those rare birds who finds a comfortable limb and stays put.”

As much as for his newspaper work, Bob was known for his philanthropy in the Roanoke area. As his son-in-law, Michael Farr, told the Roanoke Times in its A-1 story, “He was an advocate of anything that would be good for Roanoke, and he was pretty passionate about it.”

Bob was also a strong advocate of his alma mater. Back in the mid-1970s, he worked closely with the W&L Alumni Affairs Office to rejuvenate the Roanoke Alumni Chapter. He also returned to campus often to attend Alumni Colleges and frequently traveled with the University’s Traveller program.

Services will be held at Roanoke’s Second Presbyterian Church on Friday, March 30, at 11 a.m.

Staniar Gallery Presents Senior Projects of W&L Studio Art Majors

Washington and Lee University Studio Art majors will present their senior projects in an exhibition that opens in Staniar Gallery on March 27. The show will be up through April 10 with an opening reception for the artists in Lykes Atrium, Wilson Hall on Wednesday, March 28, at 4:30 p.m.

Each spring, Staniar Gallery showcases work by the Art Department’s graduating studio majors in an exhibition that is the culmination of a year-long thesis project.  During that year, the students explore their chosen medium in order to develop a body of work for exhibition in a profession gallery setting. During the process, the young artists are responsible for writing artist statements and researching presentation methods to display their works.

This year’s show features photography projects by Jeanne Rene Barousse, Vanessa Ndege and Stephen Wilson; paintings and drawings by Claire Moryan and kinetic sculptures, videos and collages by Franco Moiso.

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.

News Contact:
Julie Cline
News Writer

Al-Jazeera Washington Bureau Chief to Speak at W&L

Abderrahim Foukara, the Washington bureau chief for Al-Jazeera T.V., will speak at Washington and Lee University on Monday, April 2, at 7:30 p.m. in Northen Auditorium, Leyburn Library.

His talk is free and open to the public and is sponsored by the Contact Committee at W&L.

A veteran journalist for the Qatar-based satellite network, he has been a prominent commentator in U.S. media during the recent events throughout the Middle East. He manages a team of 40 people at Al-Jazeera who cover a broad range of political, cultural and economic issues.

A native of Morocco, Foukara was a producer, reporter, anchor and senior instructor on BBC World Service from 1990-1999. From 1999-2001, he was producer and reporter on The World, a co-production of the BBC, Public Radio International and WGBH Boston. From 2001-2002, he was a BBC reporter from Washington before joining Al Jazeera.

Foukara also hosts a weekly show called “Min Washington” (From Washington) on American politics and culture.

News Contact:
Julie Cline
News Writer

Novelist Colum McCann to Address Tom Wolfe Weekend Seminar at W&L

Colum McCann, the winner of the 2009 National Book Award, will present the keynote address, “The Art of Knowing the World,” at Washington and Lee University’s Tom Wolfe Weekend Seminar on Friday, March 30, at 4 p.m. in Lee Chapel.

The theme for this year’s Wolfe Seminar is “Knowing the World Through the Art of Fiction.” The keynote address is open to the public without registration for the seminar.

McCann is the award-winning author of five novels and two collections of short stories. His most recent novel, “Let the Great World Spin,” won worldwide acclaim, including the 2009 National Book Award in the U.S, the 2010 Best Foreign Novel Award in China, a short-listing for the International Impac Award, as well as a 2011 literary award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. “Let the Great World Spin” became a best-seller on four continents. J.J Abrams, the acclaimed director and creator of the TV series “Lost,” bought the film rights, and McCann is currently adapting the screenplay along with Abrams.

McCann’s fiction has been published in 30 languages and has appeared in The New Yorker, Paris Review, Granta, The Atlantic Monthly, GQ, Bomb and other publications. He has written for The New York Times, the Irish Times, Die Zeit, La Republicca, Paris Match, the Guardian, the Times and the Independent.  He received received a Guggenheim Fellowship from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation in 2010.

Born in Ireland, McCann is considered, in every sense, an international artist.  He has travelled extensively around the world.  He and his wife, Allison, lived in Japan for two years.  He currently lives in New York City, where he holds dual Irish and American citizenship.

The topics of McCann’s work have ranged from homeless people in the subway tunnels of New York, to the troubles in Northern Ireland, to the effects of 9/11, to a poetic examination of the life and culture of the Roma in Europe. McCann is known as a poetic realist, a writer who is known to tackle the dark in order to get through to the light.

“I believe in the democracy of story-telling,” McCann has said in an interview. “I love the fact that our stories can cross all sorts of borders and boundaries.  I feel humbled by the notion that I’m even a small part of the literary experience.  I grew up in a house, in a city, in a country shaped by books. I don’t know of a greater privilege than being allowed to tell a story, or to listen to a story.  They’re the only thing we have that can trump life itself.”

The annual Tom Wolfe Weekend Seminar is sponsored by Washington and Lee’s Class of 1951 in honor of its classmate Tom Wolfe, who will be in attendance and will offer remarks during the weekend.

In addition to the keynote address on March 30, the seminar includes several panels led by Washington and Lee faculty members Marc Conner and Jonathan Eastwood on Saturday, March 31. Those presentations are open to members of the University community, while others may register for the event by contacting the Office of Special Programs at (540) 458-8723. Additional details are available at http://www.wlu.edu/x56441.xml.

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

2012 Lewis F. Powell Jr. Lecture by SCOTUSblog Author

The Tenth Annual Lewis F. Powell Jr. Lecture will be delivered by Lyle Denniston, lead reporter for SCOTUSblog. Denniston’s talk is titled “Lyle Denniston’s Take on the Modern Supreme Court.”

The event is scheduled for Thursday, April 5, at 7:00 p.m. on the patio in front of Sydney Lewis Hall on the campus of Washington and Lee University.  The event is free and open to the public.

Denniston is chief reporter and analyst for the popular blog SCOTUSblog, the first stop for anyone interested in the goings on of the U.S. Supreme Court. Consistently ranked as one of the top legal blogs in the country, SCOTUSblog contains all the briefs, argument schedules, analysis and news for cases before the nation’s highest court.

Denniston has covered the U.S. Supreme Court for fifty-four years, and has written for the Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe, Baltimore Sun, and American Lawyer. During his career, he has covered one-quarter of all of the Justices ever to sit on the Court, and he has reported on the entire careers on the bench of ten of the Justices. He has been a journalist of the law for sixty-four years, beginning at the Otoe County Courthouse in Nebraska City, Nebraska in the fall of 1948.

The students at Washington and Lee University School of Law founded the Lewis Powell, Jr. Distinguished Lecture Series in 2002 in honor of Supreme Court Justice Lewis F. Powell, Jr. ’29A, ’31L, who was appointed to the United States Supreme Court in 1972. Justice Powell’s judicial legacy was defined by a respect for both sides in a dispute and a desire to craft judicial opinions that struck a middle ground. This student-run lecture series features nationally prominent speakers who embody this spirit in their life and work.

For more information, visit the Powell Lecture web site at law.wlu.edu/powelllecture.

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

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Northwestern Professor to Give Shannon-Clark Lecture

Regina Schwartz, professor of English and law at Northwestern University, will give the Shannon-Clark lecture  at Washington and Lee University on Thursday, March 29, at 8 p.m. in Northen Auditorium, Leyburn Library.

The title of Schwartz’ talk is “Sacramental Poetics.” It is free and open to the public.

Schwartz is the author of numerous books, including Remembering and Repeating: Biblical Creation in Paradise Lost (1988), which won the James Holly Hanford prize for the best book on Milton; The Curse of Cain: The Violent Legacy of Monotheism (1997), a study of identity and violence in the Hebrew Bible that was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize; and Sacramental Poetics at the Dawn of Secularism: When God Left the World (2008), a book on the sacramental art of Shakespeare, Milton, Donne and Herbert.

Schwartz is past president of the Milton Society of America. She chairs the Modern Language Association’s  Religion and Literature division, and she directs the Milton Project, which honors the 400th birthday John Milton. Her play adaptation of Paradise Lost was performed in May 2010 for the Chicago Shakespeare Project. She has also written a libretto to the opera “Losing Paradise,” composed by John Eaton and based on Paradise Lost.

Schwartz is a recipient of Woodrow Wilson and Rockefeller Fellowships, and has been a scholar-in-residence at the Institute for the Advanced Study of Culture in Virginia. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Virginia.

News Contact:
Julie Cline
News Writer

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2012 ChoralFest to Honor Composer and Conductor René Clausen

Washington and Lee University’s Department of Music will present the 2012 ChoralFest on March 28 and 29 to honor world-renowned composer and conductor René Clausen. The many activities include a lecture on Clausen and music rehearsals, workshops and the Festival Concert.

The lecture and the Festival Concert are free and open to the public but seating is limited for the Festival Concert and is on a first come-first serve basis.

The lecture, to be given by Shane Lynch, director of choral activities at W&L, will be on Wednesday, March 28, at 8 p.m. in the Wilson Concert Hall. Lynch will talk about Clausen’s place in contemporary American choral music. The lecture will feature the Washington and Lee Chamber Singers as the demonstration choir.

On Thursday, March 29, after a full day of music rehearsals and workshops, the ChoralFest will close with the Festival Concert at 8 p.m. in Jackson Hall on the VMI campus.

Following the individual performances, Clausen will take the podium and conduct the 250-voice Festival Mass Choir.

Highlighting Clausen’s eclectic and far-reaching compositional output, the concert will feature performances by groups from high school to college to community as well as a solo by professional tenor Powell Leitch.  Each participating choir, including Fredericksburg Christian Schools’ Savior’s Echo, directed by Kathryn Kulp; the Rockbridge Choral Society Chamber Singers, directed by William McCorkle; the Southern Virginia University Concert Choir, directed by La Rae Carter; and the Washington and Lee Chamber Singers, directed by Shane Lynch, will perform for 15 minutes and will include one Clausen work in their set along with other choral classics.

The Festival Mass Choir will perform Clausen new work Lux Aeterna, commissioned by the Washington and Lee choral program for the 2011-12 season. The mass choir will close the concert singing James Erb’s traditional Shenandoah.

“The chance to work with a conductor and composer of René Clausen’s ability is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for all of the singers involved. Dr. Clausen’s prolific contributions and esteem in the American choral world are unmatched,” said Lynch. Clausen is currently celebrating his 25th year at Concordia College, as artistic director of the award-winning Concordia Christmas Concerts and conductor of the acclaimed Concordia Choir.

Clausen is a renowned composer and arranger, having written dozens of commissioned compositions for famed performances, including Memorial and Crying for a Dream for the American Choral Directors Association. He is also a frequent guest conductor, composer and lecturer.

Clausen has conducted such works as Mozart’s Requiem, Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, Brahms’ Requiem and several of his own works including Gloria – in three movements – performed at Carnegie Hall in New York. In 1998, he created the René Clausen Choral School, an intensive five-day program for choral conductors, and is the founder of the René Clausen Music Company.

News Contact:
Julie Cline
News Writer

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Fish Stories

Robert Humston was a member of the Virginia Military Institute faculty from 2004 to 2008 before he crossed the street to join W&L’s faculty as assistant professor of biology. Ever since, he’s thought there ought to be more and better interaction between W&L and VMI.

To that end, Robert (pronounced row-BEAR) collaborated with Col. Lee Dewald, a professor of math at VMI and faculty adviser of VMI’s Fishing Club, to organize an unusual event — the first Virginia Military Institute-Washington and Lee University fly-fishing tournament.

Held this past weekend along Dunlap Creek in Alleghany County at Escatawba Farm, the tournament featured 10 pairs of anglers — one W&L student with one VMI cadet — competing to see which duo could hook the largest fish in an allotted time period.

Fish aside, the spirit of the event was captured in the first item on the official rules: “This tournament is held in the spirit of camaraderie, fellowship, and good times on good water.  On this day we dismiss cross-campus rivalries and dispense with its manufactured acrimony, and rally around the common cause of convincing a fish to eat a hook with a feather on it.”

Added Humston: “Lee has the VMI kids doing incredible stream cleanup work every year, and I’d like to see the W&L students helping with that.  I’d also like to see more interaction between W&L and VMI in general.  That was the impetus for the format.  Team fishing requires good communication and good chemistry to be successful.”

The event began in miserable conditions, with a deluge soaking the contestants. At the end, however, they had a rather dramatic finish. The team that had finished eighth in the morning session — Nate Naughton ’12 of W&L and Will Shehan of VMI — caught nine fish in the afternoon to surge into the lead, while the leading team from the morning session caught a fish with only one minute left in the afternoon period. That forced a tie. According to the tiebreaker (biggest fish, most points in a single fishing period), the Naughton-Shehan team was the winner over the second-place team of Will Travis ’14 of W&L and Carl Ellison of VMI. Third went to Charlie Gentry ’15 of W&L and Frank Hargrove of VMI.

The winners received laser-engraved wooden fly boxes from Stonefly Studio (www.stoneflystudio.com). Humston singled out several other individuals and organizations whose assistance made the first event work so well that it garnered local media attention from both the Roanoke Times and WDBJ-TV (be sure to check out the video).

W&L alum Wes Tetsworth, a 2010 graduate, works for the national office of Trout Unlimited (TU) and served as a “beat” official. (A beat is a section of the river assigned to a team, and each beat has an official who oversees the competition for that area). With Wes’ help, Trout Unlimited provided financial support for the tournament and items for the prize table, and the Skyline Chapter of TU provided financial support and volunteer officials. The W&L Outing Club and the VMI Office of Cadet Life also supported the event. Another member of W&L’s Class of 2010, Nate Adkins, was a volunteer official. He is studying in the Fisheries and Wildlife Conservation graduate program at Virginia Tech.

The tournament benefited from a welcome to Escatawba Farms by Derrick Barr. “Dunlap Creek is one of the greatest stretches of private fishing water in Virginia,” said Robert. “The conditions were difficult, but the fishing was still great and the facility was perfect.” Lunch was catered by Lexington’s Pure Eats.

“The support that we received was not only incredible but also essential to make this work,” Robert said. “We plan to do this again next year and would love to get more W&L alumni involved.”

Cherry Blossom Viewing Japanese Tea Ceremony at W&L

A Cherry Blossom Viewing Japanese Tea Ceremony will be held Sunday, April 1, at Washington and Lee University in the Senshin’an Tea Room in the Watson Pavilion on the W&L campus. Students will be doing ongoing demonstrations from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

The tea is free and open to the general public. The Washington and Lee University Tea Society will be hosting the ceremonies.

The ceremony also celebrates the blossoming of cherry trees around campus and commemorates the Centennial Celebration of the Gift of Cherry Trees from Japan to the U.S. in Washington, D.C.

The students will also share the newly acquired tea room name of Senshin’an (洗心庵) which was given to the tea room by Dr. Sen Genshitsu, 15th generation Grand Master of the Urasenke Tradition of Tea, and will welcome the public to view a display of tea utensils, which were given from Dr. Sen to promote an “understanding of Japanese culture at W&L and the exchange of culture between Japan and America.”

For more information, contact Janet Ikeda at 458-8936, ikedaj@wlu.edu

News Contact:
Julie Cline
News Writer

Johnnetta Cole Addresses W&L's Women's Leadership Summit

Johnnetta Cole, the director of the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African Art, told the participants in Washington and Lee University’s Women’s Leadership Summit to be bold, to be of service to others and to respect and celebrate human diversity. Cole gave the keynote address at an event that encouraged W&L’s women students to seek leadership positions, both while they are students and long after graduation.


The summit, the third since 2009, brought together more than 100 W&L faculty, staff, alumnae and current women students on March 16 and 17, at the Hotel Roanoke, in Roanoke, Va. The undergraduate and law students were there after being nominated by faculty and staff in recognition of their existing leadership on campus and their potential for such posts. The summit’s organizers hope its attendees will form supportive networks, gain leadership skills, determine individual goals and explore the underrepresentation of female students in elected posts on campus.

Cole, the first African-American woman to serve as president of Spelman College and the former president of Bennett College for Women, traced her own passion for leadership to her childhood. She related how she enjoyed the support of such adults as her Girl Scout leaders, her parents and her Sunday school teacher. Her first-grade teacher, she said, encouraged her to hold her head up high, make eye contact and speak out. “We are here to prepare leaders,” the teacher told Cole and her fellow students at a segregated elementary school in Jacksonville, Fla. Cole related the words of another teacher as well: “You are here to learn there’s nothing that girls cannot learn. If we can learn it, we can do it.”

An anthropologist by training, Cole was the first woman to serve on the board of Coca-Cola and the first African-American to chair the board of the United Way of America. Relating her thoughts about her first day on the Coca-Cola board, she said, “I may be the first, but I’ll never be the last.”

She encouraged the students at the summit to find “sheroes,” role models to serve as inspiration, and to both seek out mentors of all ages and to be mentors themselves. “We don’t get anywhere on our own,” Cole said.

In another feature of the summit, seven attendees—six alumnae of W&L and the mother of a current student—gave a panel presentation and had informal talks with the students. The group offered insights they have gleaned from their own careers into such topics as life stages, handling failure, leadership styles and mentoring.

The panelists included Elizabeth “Happy” Vaughan Anderson ’99, vice president and partner of Cary Street Partners Investment Bank, Richmond, Va.; Meredith Attwell Baker ’90, senior vice president of governmental affairs for NBC Universal, McLean, Va.; Blair Hixson Davis ’94, a teacher of art history and a member of Washington and Lee’s Board of Trustees, Portland, Ore.; parent Karey Dye, a managing director in Goldman Sachs’ wealth services group for foundations, endowments and charitable organizations, Houston; Nicole Gilkeson ’02, an attorney with Covington & Burlington, Washington; Stacy Morrison ’90, editor in chief of BlogHer.com, New York City; and Sakina K. Page ’96, ’02L, an attorney with Wells Fargo, Richmond.

During the summit, the attendees also listened to student presentations; watched a video of a TED talk by Sheryl Sandberg, chief operating officer of Facebook; discussed a Ms. article titled “Paycheck Feminism”; and viewed the documentary “Miss Representation,” about current images of women in the media. Nicole Smith, who teaches communications at Lynchburg College, Lynchburg, Va., offered a session on public speaking.

The dearth of women students in leadership positions is a concern at colleges and universities across the U.S. To combat it, the American Association of University Women sponsors a program called Elect Her: Campus Women Win to encourage female students to run for office. At W&L, law students and undergraduates recently participated in an Elect Her held at the Law School.

Julie Campbell
Assoc. Director of Communications and Public Affairs
(540) 458-8956

Delaware Chancery Court Judge to Lecture at W&L Law

The Hon. Donald Parsons, Vice Chancellor of the Delaware Chancery Court, will give a public lecture at Washington and Lee School of Law on Monday, March 26. The title of his talk is “A View from Inside the Nation’s Premier Business Court: How Delaware remains at the Forefront.”

The lecture is scheduled to begin at 12 noon in the Millhiser Moot Court Room, Sydney Lewis Hall. This event is free and open to the public.

Parsons became Vice Chancellor of the Court of Chancery in 2003. Delaware’s Chancery Court is a non-jury trial court that serves as Delaware’s court of original and exclusive equity jurisdiction, and adjudicates a wide variety of cases involving trusts, real property, guardianships, civil rights, and commercial litigation. The Court is widely recognized as the nation’s preeminent forum for the determination of disputes involving the internal affairs of thousands corporations and other businesses through which a vast amount of the world’s commercial affairs is conducted.

Before joining the Court of Chancery, Vice Chancellor Parsons spent over twenty-four years at the firm of Morris, Nichols, Arsht & Tunnell in Wilmington, Delaware, where he was a senior partner. While in private practice, he specialized in intellectual property litigation, participated in numerous jury and non-jury patent trials, and wrote several papers relating to intellectual property law.

Prior to beginning in his law practice, Vice Chancellor Parsons clerked for the Honorable James L. Latchum of the United States District Court for the District of Delaware. He also is a Past President of the Delaware State Bar Association.

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

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Economics and The Hunger Games

Alexandra Scaggs, a 2009 graduate of Washington and Lee, got some Internet airtime this week to discuss the potential economic impact of the much-ballyhooed movie, The Hunger Games, which opens today.

Alexandra joined Dow Jones Newswire as a reporter in January. Her work can often be found on the Wall Street Journal’s Marketbeat blog, where she co-authored a piece on  on Thursday.

She also appeared on the WSJ’s Lunch Break video to discuss the impact the movie is apt to have on movie theater stocks. Watch her appearance here.

Prior to joining Dow Jones, Alexandra had spent two years reporting on investment decisions of large institutions such as pensions, endowments and foundations as well as on trends and personalities in asset management and institutional investment consulting for Institutional Investor.

You can read Alexandra’s recent pieces on the Journal’s site here. And you can follow her on Twitter at @alexandrascaggs.

Tim Dare of the University of Auckland Will Give Talk at Legal Ethics Institute

Tim Dare, senior lecturer (associate professor of philosophy) at the University of Auckland, New Zealand, will give the keynote speech at Washington and Lee University’s 34th Legal Ethics Institute on Friday, March 30, at 5 p.m. in Huntley 221. Dare previously gave the legal ethics talk in 2005.

The title of Dare’s talk, which is free and open to the public, is “Rescuing Roles from the Social Sciences.”

“With a few well-known exceptions, many of which are to be found in legal ethics, philosophers and lawyers have paid relatively little attention to the moral significance of social roles,” said Dare. “However, role theory was a major strand of inquiry in sociology for much of the last century, before rapidly falling from favor around the 1990s.

“In this talk, I will examine the rise and fall of role theory in the social sciences, arguing that the turn away from the approach was based on two errors: 1) the attempt to hold role theory to implausible and undesirable explanatory standards and 2) the idea that roles were inflexible, allowing little room for constructive engagement with roles by role occupants.  With these alleged flaws addressed, role theory has much to offer our understanding of the normative demands of social roles such as that of the lawyer.”

Dare is the author of The Counsel of Rogues? A Defence of the Standard Conception of the Lawyer’s Role (2009).  He co-edited Professional Ethics and Personal Integrity (2009/2010) with W. Bradley Wendel, who spoke at W&L’s Legal Ethics Institute in 2011. Dare has also written over 14 refereed journal articles, in addition to sections in books, reprints and reviews and comments.

Dare has taught at all levels within the philosophy department, mostly in courses in the broad areas of ethics, political philosophy and legal philosophy. Head of the philosophy department at the University of Auckland, he also is a barrister and solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand. He received his B.A., LL.B. and M.Jur. from the University of Auckland and his Ph.D. from the University of Alberta.

News Contact:
Julie Cline
News Writer

LACS Seniors Explore Indo-American Themes in D.C.

Several seniors in the Latin American and Caribbean Studies Program recently visited Washington to explore exhibitions and archives about their capstone seminar topic, Indo-America.

During the term, seniors have examined the cultural connections among indigenous peoples of the Americas. Jeff Barnett, professor of Spanish and head of the Latin American and Caribbean Studies Program, said that one aim of the program “is to lead students to make connections beyond political and linguistic borders and see the Americas as a whole. We want them to arrive at interdisciplinary conclusions that transcend a single country or sub-culture. By examining a hemispheric view of indigenous traditions and legacies, they have had to consider the Americas from a different perspective.”

While in Washington, the students visited the Library of Congress and the Hispanic Reading Room, where they received exceptional opportunities to view rare books, manuscripts, codices and pictographs related to the conquest and colonization of the Americas.  In addition to touring the library’s “Exploring Early America” exhibit, which illustrates many of the works that the seminar studies, the students also visited the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian.

W&L Law School Student Groups Set Gay Marriage Debate

Outlaw and the Federalist Society, two Washington and Lee University School of Law student groups, will sponsor a public debate, presenting the conservative cases for and against gay marriage on Wednesday, April 4, at 6 p.m. in Lee Chapel.

The debate is free and open to the public.

Andrew Sullivan, a nationally renowned journalist and author, will argue in favor of same-sex marriage. Also a political commentator, editor and blogger, he is a former editor of The New Republic and the author of five books. He is perhaps best known for his blog, The Dish, which focuses on political issues, paying particular attention to gay rights.

Maggie Gallagher, co-founder and former president of the National Organization for Marriage, will speak for the opposing side. Gallagher is a nationally syndicated columnist and the author of three books on marriage. She has also appeared frequently on national media. The Washington Post has called the National Organization for Marriage the “preeminent” national organization fighting to protect marriage as the union of husband and wife.

In addition to Outlaw and the Federalist Society, the following groups and departments at W&L are co-sponsoring the debate:  history department, Office of Diversity and Inclusion, vice president of Student Affairs, Contact Committee, Student Health and Counseling Team, office of the president, politics office, law dean’s office and the American Constitution Society.

News Contact:
Julie Cline
News Writer

Victoria University Author/Teacher to Speak at W&L

Alice Te Punga Somerville from Victoria University, Wellington, New Zealand, will present a talk at Washington and Lee University on Monday, March 26, from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. in Hill House on the W&L campus.

Her talk, titled “‘I ain’t afraid of no ghost’: Women Who Haunt Maori Literary History,” will be at the Women’s and Gender Studies Luncheon Colloquium. To RSVP, contact Shirley Richardson at  srichard@wlu.edu. A limited number of seats are available for the luncheon.

Te Punga Somerville, a member of the Te Atiawa iwi or tribe, specializes in Maori, Pacific and Indigenous writing in English at Victoria University. Born and raised in Aotearoa, New Zealand, she received her Ph.D. at Cornell University (English and American Indian Studies), and spent time at the University of Hawaii at Manoa during her doctoral studies.

Her first book, Once Were Pacific (forthcoming 2012), explores Maori articulations of connection with the Pacific. She is the Visiting Professor of Aboriginal Studies at the University of Toronto  during 2011-2012. Her poetry appears in Mauri Ola: Contemporary Polynesian Poems in English.

News Contact:
Julie Cline
News Writer

Alumna's Documentary, “Ulises' Odyssey,” To Be Screened at W&L

“Ulises’ Odyssey,” a documentary film that was written, directed, and produced by Washington and Lee University alumna Lorena Manriquez, will be shown on Monday, March 26, at 6:30 p.m. in the Stackhouse Theater at Elrod Commons.

Sponsored by the Latin American and Caribbean Studies Program at W&L, the screening is free and open to the public.

Manriquez, a 1988 graduate of W&L, is an independent filmmaker. “Ulises’ Odyssey” is her most recent documentary but first feature documentary.

The filmmaker will be available on Tuesday, March 27, at 11:50 a.m. in Leyburn M-47 for a Q&A about her career.  Students can also meet with her individually and discuss career plans by making an appointment with Career Services, also on March 27.

“Ulises’ Odyssey” tells the story of her family under the Pinochet regime in Chile and, more specifically, how Manriquez is torn between the story she learned as a girl in Chile and the truth she begins to unravel as a young woman in America. Her father was a former army officer and avid supporter of Pinochet, and her uncle, Ulises, a former union leader and leftist, who supported democratically elected President Salvador Allende. After 30 years of exile in Switzerland, her uncle’s return to Chile leads her to a transformational view of family and history.

The version of the film is the fine cut still in post-production and is 83 minutes in length.  It will be shortened for broadcast to one hour. This showing is the first work-in-progress screening of the long-format version.

Manriquez has more than 16 years of practical experience in civil engineering. She has managed engineering studies for a variety of projects, including railroads, roadways, bridges and port and harbor facilities. The aspects of civil engineering for which Manriquez has been responsible are supervising subsurface and groundwater investigations and special instrumentation studies, geotechnical data evaluation and design and preparation of geotechnical reports and specifications, among others.

After receiving her B.A. from Washington and Lee, she attended Virginia Tech to obtain her M.A. in civil engineering. From 1995 to 1997, she attended the Fine Arts Program at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, Calif.

News Contact:
Julie Cline
News Writer

W&L Profs at Virginia Festival of the Book

The annual Virginia Festival of the Book begins in Charlottesville today, and, as usual, W&L authors will have a presence. This year, both of them appear on Thursday, March 22.

At 4 p.m. on March 22 is Jasmin Darznik, assistant professor of English. She’s presenting a session titled “My Mother’s Hidden Life: Three Generations of Iranian Women and a Child Left Behind.” It’ll be based on her book, The Good Daughter: A Memoir of My Mother’s Hidden Life, which was a New York Times bestseller. Location: Senior Center, 1180 Pepsi Place, Charlottesville.

As soon as Jasmin is done, attendees should hoof it over to the UVA Bookstore for a 6 p.m. session with Chris Gavaler, visiting assistant professor of English. Chris will be reading from School for Tricksters, his novel in stories about a man of mixed white, African-American and Indian ancestry who poses as a member of the Blackfeet tribe to enter the Carlisle Indian School and avoid anti-black prejudice. Location: On the UVa campus at 400 Emmet St. S.

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W&L Named to The President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll

For the second time in as many years, Washington and Lee University has been named to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll with Distinction.

The honor roll, launched in 2006, annually highlights the role colleges and universities play in solving community problems and in placing students on a lifelong path of civic engagement, by recognizing institutions that achieve meaningful, measureable outcomes in the communities they serve.

The 2012 Honor Roll recipients were announced at the American Council on Education’s 94th annual meeting on March 12, in Los Angeles.

According to data compiled by Washington and Lee’s Office of Institutional Effectiveness, 1,278 W&L students engaged in 45,390 documented hours of community service during the 2011-12 academic year.

Washington and Lee’s entry focused on three programs that illustrate the University’s commitment to service:

  • Johnson Opportunity Grants: As part of the Johnson Program in Leadership and Integrity, 21 student grant winners completed 1,155 service hours. In the summer of 2010, 12 grantees participated in activities around the world, including teaching underprivileged students in rural Ecuador; promoting the legal protection of human rights at the National University of Ireland’s Irish Centre for Human Rights; assisting refugees who have come to Israel from Africa; and serving in medical clinics in Peru and Mexico.
  • Project NEXT Middle School Enrichment Program: Developed by W&L’s Teacher Education Program in collaboration with Rockbridge County public schools, Project NEXT involved 50 W&L students in 1,020 hours of service mentoring 163 Rockbridge County students. The program received a three-year grant to help public schools improve their graduation rates by offering homework assistance and after-school enrichment to help students see themselves as successful learners.
  • Shepherd Alliance: In the summer of 2010, the alliance, a component of W&L’s groundbreaking Shepherd Program for the Interdisciplinary Study of Poverty and Human Capability, placed 63 students in summer internships, where they contributed 19,000 service hours and served 1,500 individuals. The undergraduate and law interns worked at 48 agencies in urban and rural locations in the U.S. and abroad.

For 2012, 110 colleges and universities were named to the Honor Roll with Distinction. Washington and Lee is one of two institutions from Virginia to be so honored; James Madison University is the other.

The Corporation for National and Community Service is a federal agency that engages more than five million Americans in service through its Senior Corps, AmeriCorps and Learn and Serve America programs. It leads President Barack Obama’s national call-to-service initiative, United We Serve. For more information, visit NationalService.gov.

W&L's Suzanne Keen on What Constitutes “Teen Lit”

The success of The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins’ young adult novel that was just released as a movie to considerable buzz, has raised an interesting question about just what constitutes young adult (“YA”) or “teen lit.”

Washington and Lee English professor Suzanne Keen waded into this issue earlier this week in a post on the blog “Hogwarts Professor: Thoughts for Serious Readers.” Last month, as the literary world observed the 200th birthday of Charles Dickens, Suzanne credited the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling with renewing students’ interest in Dickens’ work.

In this case, the questions posed to Suzanne were these: Is Oliver Twist a YA publication?  Is Jane Eyre “teen lit”?

Her response? No and yes.

From the historical perspective, her answer was no, and she wrote:

The earliest form of “teen lit” or “YA” in the English novel tradition is boys’ adventure fiction, often thought to have been initiated by Robert Louis Stevenson with Treasure Island (1883). (Though there are a few earlier precursors.) In the 1880s and 1890s, adventure fiction took off as a separate mode of fiction aimed at a younger audience.  It always had adult readers–this is not a new phenomenon!

Jane Eyre (1847) and Oliver Twist (1837) predate that development. They were aimed at an adult readership that included children.  Dickens especially wrote with his read-aloud audience in mind.  Children and illiterates heard his stories read aloud by literate friends or parents.

But, she adds, “In subsequent marketing/pedagogy: yes. Both the books become ‘teen books’ when they are frequently taught to teens.  This happens even today.  Both Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird and Mark Haddon’s The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time have migrated into the YA canon (taught in middle schools and high schools) after initial publications aimed at serious adult literary readerships.”

All of which leaves another question open: Have books such as The Hunger Games blurred the lines between “young adult” and “adult”? Does it matter?

W&L Seniors Ashna Sharan, Joey Brown Are Generals of the Month for March

Washington and Lee University seniors Ashna Sharan and Joey Brown will be recognized at the Generals of the Month presentation on Wednesday, March 21, at 12 noon in the Marketplace in Elrod Commons.

Sharan, from Chantilly, Va., is double-majoring in business administration and politics. She is a Johnson Scholar; received a Erik T. Wooley Fellowship grant to work and study abroad as a marketing intern in Peru during the summer of 2010; and was chosen Miss Virginia Dogwood 2012.

Sharan also is a member of Nu Delta Alpha national dance honor society; member of Washington and Lee Student Consultants; is a Tour Guide and vice president of Special Events; is choreographer for the Washington and Lee Repertory Dance; is a peer counselor; and is a peer tutor for students in college-level calculus.

Brown, from Memphis, Tenn., is majoring in computer science. He is an intern and assistant to the director of W&L’s Tucker Multimedia Center and assistant to the coordinator of the VA Governor’s Foreign Language Academy developing and maintaining the website to the language academy. He also works with the W&L teacher education department, maintaining their website.

Brown is also president of SARAH (Students Against Rockbridge Area Hunger), which raises funds for local food pantries; was a member of the Oregon state delegation during the 2012 Mock Convention and designed their Oregon t-shirt; is a member of Sigma Chi fraternity and created and maintains their website.

Generals of the Month is coordinated by the Celebrating Student Success (CSS) initiative and 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.

Sharan and Brown 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.

The last two CSS presentations during the 2011-2012 academic year will be held during lunch in the Marketplace in the Elrod Commons on April 11 and May 9.

W&L Students to Perform in Festival at French Embassy

French majors from Washington and Lee University will perform at La Maison Française at the French Embassy for the Festival of Francophone Cultures (Festival de la Francophonie 2012) on Wednesday, March 21, at 5 p.m., in Washington.

They will perform scenes in French from Eugène Ionesco’s absurdist play La Cantatrice Chauve (The Bald Soprano), directed by Domnica Radulescu, professor of Romance languages at W&L.

This is the 12th annual Festival de la Francophonie, which includes a series of cultural events in celebration of the diversity of the French-speaking world.

For more details, visit the website for Francophonie DC 2012, choose “Theatre,” and scroll down to see information about the W&L performance. La Maison Française is at 4101 Reservoir Road NW, Washington.

And if you don’t make it to the Washington performance, you can catch the show in Johnson Theatre of the Lenfest Center this Friday, March 23, at 8 p.m. The event is open to the public at no charge.

W&L Participates in Statewide Tornado Drill

Washington and Lee University will participate in the Commonwealth of Virginia’s statewide tornado drill scheduled for Tuesday, March 20.

As part of the drill, Washington and Lee will test its emergency communications systems at approximately 10 a.m. that day. Those systems include the e2Campus text alert system as well as University mass email, electronic message boards, Twitter, and Facebook postings.

Because of the active severe weather season from last year in which 51 tornadoes hit Virginia, everyone in the W&L community should become familiar with basic information on tornadoes.

  • Tornado Watch means that conditions are favorable for a tornado and that tornadoes are possible.
  • Tornado Warning means that a tornado has been sighted or has been indicated by National Weather Service Doppler radar and might be headed your way. When a warning is issued, take cover immediately.

See the Virginia Department of Emergency Management website for more basic information on tornados.

J. Holt Merchant to Give Stein Professorship Inaugural Lecture

J. Holt Merchant, professor of history at Washington and Lee University, will give the Martin and Brooke Stein Professorship Inaugural Lecture on Thursday, March 22, at 8 p.m. in Northen Auditorium in Leyburn Library.

The title of Merchant’s talk, which is free and open to the public, is “Sue Keitt: Real Life Scarlett O’Hara?”

Merchant joined the W&L’s faculty in 1970 after serving in the U.S. Army from 1961-1967. In the last 42 years, he has taught more than 25 different courses. Among other things, Merchant has served as chair of the department from 1998-2007, marshal of the university and chair of the Committee on Public Functions from 1996-2005 and 2011.

Merchant is the author of Laurence M. Keitt: South Carolina Fire-eater, University of South Carolina Press (forthcoming 2012) and co-editor of Finishing With a Flourish (2008); has been a reviewer of books, newspapers and professional journals as well as referee of articles for professional journals; and has been a participant and advisor on films about Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson. Merchant served as both editor and consultant on a number of books.

Merchant received his B.A. from Washington and Lee University and his Ph.D. from the University of Virginia.

The Martin and Brooke Stein Professorship was established in 2007 to support a distinguished professor who is an accomplished scholar and especially an exceptional teacher. The endowment is the gift of Martin E. Stein, Class of 1974, and his wife Brooke, in honor of faculty members the Steins consider model teachers and scholars. The Steins established the Martin and Brooke Stein Professorship in response to the Lenfest Challenge for Faculty Support.

News Contact:
Julie Cline
News Writer

W&L's Kahn to Discuss Energy Future

James R. Kahn, the John F. Hendon Professor of Economics at Washington and Lee University, will give a public lecture on Tuesday, March 27, at 5:30 p.m. in Northen Auditorium of Leyburn Library, W&L.

The title of the talk, which is free and open to the public, is “Guidelines for Thinking About Our Energy Future.”

“As a society, we don’t know how to frame the discussion about energy issues,” Kahn said. “We tend to be very short-term oriented in terms of wanting immediate payback of energy investments, rather than taking a more long term approach. We are too focused on price and not the full social costs of our energy choices. We are so focused on reducing the role of government that we forget the role of government in sponsoring and facilitating research and development, technological innovation and dispersion of new technology. As we move forward, we need a comprehensive plan.”

Also the director of the Environmental Studies Program at W&L, Kahn is the author of The Economic Approach to Environmental and Natural Resources (1995), which has been published as a second (1998) and third edition (2005). He has co-edited four books including A Handbook on Contingent Valuation (2006) and Does Environmental Policy Work? The Theory and Practice of Outcomes Assessment (2003).

Kahn has taught various courses at over five South American universities including Universidade Federal do Amazonas, Universidade Federal do Pernumbuco and Universade Federal do Rio de Janeiro.

He received his B.A. at Washington and Lee University and his M.A. and Ph.D. at the University of Maryland, College Park.

News Contact:
Julie Cline
News Writer

Professor of Art Emeritus I-Hsiung Ju Dies

I-Hsiung Ju, professor of art and artist-in-residence emeritus at Washington and Lee University, died on March 17, 2012, at his home in North Fort Myers, Fla.

“Professor Ju will be remembered not only as a talented artist but also as an extremely popular member of the W&L faculty and of the Lexington community for three decades,” said Washington and Lee President Kenneth P. Ruscio. “Many of his longtime Lexington friends were able to reconnect with him just this past October, when he had an exhibition in Staniar Gallery.”

Born in Jiangyin, Jiangsu, China, on Sept. 15, 1923, he joined the guerrilla resistance against the Japanese Army at age 15. As a student of art at the wartime campus of Xiamen University, he put on exhibitions of paintings, created theatrical productions, and published poetry and woodcuts. After graduation, he followed his Xiamen sweetheart, Chow Soon Chuang, to the Philippines, where they married in 1947. There, the couple taught school, and Ju received his B.F.A. in painting in 1955 and his M.A. in history in 1968 from the University of Santo Tomas in Manila .

While living in the Philippines, Ju won awards for graphic art, oil painting and Nanga works in various countries, and he held numerous one-man shows in Australia, Canada, China, England, Hong Kong, Japan and the Philippines. He immigrated to the U.S. in 1968 and became a citizen in 1973.

Before arriving at W&L, he taught and served as artist-in-residence at the Wadsworth Atheneum, the University of Connecticut, the University of Vermont, the University of Maine, the University of New Hampshire, the University of Santo Tomas, and the School of Fine Arts at the University of East Quezon City, the latter two in the Philippines. He also taught at St. Stephen’s High School and the Manila Patriotic School, both in Manila.

Ju joined Washington and Lee in 1969 as artist-in-residence and later earned tenure as professor of art. He established the Art in Taiwan program at W&L, leading groups of students to Taiwan every other year to learn Chinese art from famous artists. The Ring-tum Phi, Washington and Lee’s student newspaper, named him Professor of the Year for 1971. He also received the Best Art Educator of the Year for 1974 from the Chinese National Writers’ and Artists’ Association in Taipei, Taiwan, and the Distinguished Artist of the Year of 1978 from the National Museum of History of the Republic of China. In 1996, Ju won the Outstanding Achievement in the Field of Art Award from the Philippine Chinese Association of America (Northeast).

In 1975, Ju and his wife, Chow-Soon, established the Art Farm Gallery just outside Lexington, where they taught Chinese calligraphy and brush painting, culinary arts, flower arrangement and other aspects of Chinese culture — sometimes bartering lessons for the students’ doing chores around the farm — and presented exhibits of the work of young artists. “We have the philosophy that it’s easy to love only your own children,” he told the Roanoke Times in 1975. “It’s more rewarding to take care of other people’s children.” After he retired from W&L in 1989, he and Chow-Soon continued operating the Art Farm Gallery until 1999. He relocated his studio to Princeton, N.J. in 2002.

On his retirement from the W&L faculty, Ju received emeritus status from the Board of Trustees. At the time, his colleague Gerard Doyon said, “Like an unfailing light, his ready smile has brightened our day. Like a dancing spark, his ever-cheerful disposition has ignited our spirit. Like an ever-glowing ember, his soft voice has warmed our mood.”

Ju continued to teach Chinese brush painting through correspondence courses and workshops. His exhibition in W&L’s Staniar Gallery in October 2011 was titled “Journey Home and featured his Yangtze River brush-painting series and his scroll-painting series of Huangshan Mountain.  Considered one of the few Chinese artists able to blend two worlds of style, technique and idiom to produce a form that is both modern and traditional, Ju described his particular style by saying that “a Chinese artist is not only a painter, but also a poet and a philosopher.”

He is survived by his wife, Chow-Soon Chuang; eldest daughter, Doris Ju; second daughter, Helen Ju; third daughter, Jane Ju, and son-in-law, Weijan Chi; granddaughter Chienyn Chi; youngest daughter, Grace Ju, and son-in-law, Garth Miller; granddaughter Zea Miller and grandson Noah Miller.

The viewing and funeral service are on Friday, March 23, at the Fuller Metz Funeral Home in Cape Coral, Fla., starting at 5 p.m. There will be a memorial service on July 7 in Princeton, N.J., and a Lexington service is being planned for September.

Condolences may be addressed to Mrs. Chow-Soon Chuang Ju and family at 18165 Sandy Pines Circle, N. Fort Myers, FL 33917.

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

Writer-in-Residence Reading Features R.T. Smith

The annual Writer-in-Residence Reading by R.T. Smith, editor of Shenandoah: The Washington and Lee University Review, will be held at W&L on Wednesday, March 21, at 4:30 p.m. in the Hillel Multipurpose Room. The reading is free and open to the public.

Smith will be reading from his new book of Lexington outlaw stories, Sherburne, and from a suite of poems about the trials that Mary Todd Lincoln endured both in and beyond the White House. The program will feature séances, insanity, crime and pursuit.

Sherburne is about members of the same family spanning over a century, with all but one story set primarily in Rockbridge County. According to Smith, “the serious tone of the book is set by the subjects in the first story in Sherburne, pursuit, rape, murder, the friction between the townspeople and the woods dwellers in a rough mountain county, the question of who really knows the truth.”

All the characters work in some form of law enforcement, and, Smith continued, “they all are devoted to the letter of the law. But they all feel their own impulses toward attribution and setting things right according to a personal code.”

Some of the stories in Sherburne won national prizes and most have been published in magazines such as Virginia Quarterly Review, Missouri Review and Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine.

Originally, Smith didn’t link the stories. They concerned the same family, however, so he grouped them to allow readers to see what Sherburne is like, that he has been shaped by his father’s wartime experience. “And the people who follow him are shaped very much by him. Much of this is influenced by the fact that my father was in law enforcement all his working life, and that’s where he wanted me to go. I grew up seeing policemen come in on Friday night and leave their guns in a basket to play poker.”

“Ranging through time from the Civil War to the present, this intricate and exquisitely written collection further confirms that R.T. Smith is one of America’s best writers. Sherburne is a magnificent achievement,” said Ron Rash, an Appalachian poet, short story writer, novelist and writer.

Smith has been on the W&L faculty and the editor of Shenandoah for 16 years and writer-in-residence for three years. His previous books of fiction are Faith, Uke Rivers Delivers and The Calaboose Epistles. His stories have appeared in the Pushcart Prize Anthology, Best American Short Stories, Best American Mystery Stories and five volumes of New Stories from the South. Outlaw Style, the most recent of Smith’s dozen collections of poetry, received the Library of Virginia Book of the Year Award in 2008.

News Contact:
Julie Cline
News Writer

W&L's Smitka Assesses Japanese Business for Canadian TV

Washington and Lee economics professor Mike Smitka, whose two primary research interests are the auto industry and the Japanese economy, appeared on the Canadian Business News Network last week to assess the current state of the Japanese economy.

Mike, who taped the interview in Washington, told his interviewer that the Japanese economy is still about 4 percent below its peak in terms of gross domestic product. That repre-sents its failure to recover from the fallout from the U.S. economic crisis.

The March 2011 earthquake and resulting tsunami in Japan took a huge human toll, but the disaster didn’t have the economic impact that it might have, Smitka said.

“As horrific as it was, it hit a region of Japan that was relatively lightly settled. As we saw from supply-chain disruptions, there was a lot of immediate impact,” he said. “But the long-term impact is generally quite small. The loss of life can never be recovered, but the economic activity springs back pretty quickly.”

Watch the complete interview at the link below:


Biblical and Jesus Scholar Marcus Borg to Speak at W&L

Marcus Borg, the Canon Theologian at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in Portland, Ore., will give a lecture at Washington and Lee University on Monday, March 26, at 7:30 p.m. in Lee Chapel. It is free and open to the public.

The title of his talk is “Jesus in American Christianity Today.”

Borg says, “The United States is statistically the most Christian country in the world. Yet American Christianity is deeply divided by different ways of thinking about Jesus. The lecture explores different ways of telling the story of Jesus today and their consequences for what the Christian life is about.”

Borg also will give a public brown bag lunch talk on the same day at noon in Hillel 101. The title of this talk is “Thinking about Contemporary Atheism: Its Truth and Limitations.”

Known in both academic and church circles as a biblical and Jesus scholar, Borg held the Hundere Chair in Religion and Culture in the philosophy department at Oregon State University until his retirement in 2007.

He is the author of 20 books, including Speaking Christian (2011); Reading the Bible Again for the First Time (2001); and Jesus, Uncovering the Life, Teachings and Relevance of a Religious Revolutionary (2006), a New York Times bestseller. He has co-authored, edited and co-edited books, and wrote his first novel in 2010, Putting Away Childish Things.

Described by The New York Times as “a leading figure in his generation of Jesus scholars,” Borg has appeared on “Today,”  “NewsHour,” “Primetime,” “Fresh Air” and National Geographic programs, among others. A fellow of the Jesus Seminar, he has been national chair of the Historical Jesus section of the Society of Biblical Literature and co-chair of its International New Testament program committee and is past president of the Anglican Association of Biblical Scholars.

His work has been translated into 11 languages and he has lectured widely in Europe, as well as Israel, South Africa and North America. Borg received his Ph.D. from Oxford University.

News Contact:
Julie Cline
News Writer

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Former W&L Trustee Wins Community Service Award

When the State Bar of Georgia and the Chief Justice’s Commission on Professionalism presented their 13th Annual Justice Robert Benham Community Service Awards in Atlanta on Feb. 28, one of the winners was William B. Hill Jr. The former member of the Washington and Lee Board of Trustees graduated from W&L in 1974 (undergraduate) and in 1977 (law).

The Benham awards “honor lawyers and judges in Georgia who have made significant contributions to their communities and demonstrate the positive contributions of members of the bar beyond their legal or official work.”

Hill, as everyone calls him, is a partner in the Atlanta law firm Ashe, Rafuse & Hill L.L.P., which has a national litigation practice focusing on employment, civil rights, products liability and commercial disputes. He mediates and arbitrates commercial and civil rights disputes.

Hill previously served as a judge on the Superior Court of the Atlanta Judicial Circuit and as a state court judge for Fulton County, Ga. Before his judgeships, he spent 13 years with the Georgia Attorney General’s Office.

The award’s namesake, Justice Benham, sits on the Supreme Court of Georgia. He is the first African-American to hold that post.

Here is the brief biographical video about Hill that was shown at the awards ceremony:

Article by W&L's Harvey Markowitz Explores Lakota Sioux and Catholicism

In an article published in the winter issue of Great Plains Quarterly, an academic journal published by the Center for Great Plains Studies at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Harvey Markowitz, assistant professor of anthropology at Washington and Lee University, describes the way Lakota Sioux adapted to various elements of Catholic beliefs and practices from missionaries sent to convert them.

Titled “Converting the Rosebud: Sicangu Lakota Catholicism in the Late Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Centuries,” Markowitz’s paper explores the United States government’s policy of separating American Indians onto reservations following the Civil War. The reservations were not considered permanent, but would allow the tribes to be assimilated and therefore safe to integrate into the mainstream population. As part of this process, they were to forsake everything about their own culture, their social traditions, cultural understandings and religious practices.

“Both the government and missionaries of that time shared a philosophy which saw social history as working in stages of progress,” said Markowitz. “By their standards, the Lakota Sioux were savages, and this was an effort to move them through the stages from savagery to civilization. Of course, it had no effect on the policy that American Indians thought this was a terrible thing to do to them, because they were considered to be children who didn’t know what was best for them.”

In the paper, Markowitz gives an overview of the Lakota’s spirituality and practices, which had evolved over thousands of years. “I want to present the reader with a snapshot of the universe as understood by Lakotas and how both their society and religion reflected this understanding,” said Markowitz.”They had a well defined theology that emphasized the existence of a great mysterious power that they might not fully comprehend, but that they experienced.”

The St. Francis Mission and School was founded on the Rosebud Reservation in 1886 by priests and sisters who were exiles from Germany, where Catholicism was oppressed by Otto von Bismarck’s “Kulturkampf.” When they arrived on the reservation the missionaries didn’t speak the Lakota language and the Lakota didn’t speak English. So the missionaries translated the liturgy and the sacraments, the most important parts of Catholicism, by borrowing traditional Lakota words for spirits, gods and holy things.

“The irony is that, by doing this, instead of converting the Lakota into what they considered to be proper Catholics, the missionaries were working against their own purpose by inspiring the continuation of traditional Lakota belief,” said Markowitz.

“The Lakota thought that because the missionaries were using the same words that the words must mean the same thing. They weren’t theologians, so they had no reason to believe that the missionaries were using these words to express very different beliefs. Instead, they heard these words and creatively developed an understanding of Catholicism, its beliefs and rights, which was different from Orthodox Catholicism. So they amplified their own traditions by taking the new ingredients the missionaries gave them and selecting elements to put into their traditional web of meaning.

“Of course the missionaries disapproved of this process because they believed quite correctly that the Lakotas were converting Catholicism instead of converting to Catholicism. But in a way, it helped the Lakota transition from their traditional theology to one that still made sense to them. Later on, when they learned English they understood more about what the missionaries meant.”

Finally, the paper focuses on one particular example of Lakota creativity in 1890, when they refashioned selected aspects of the annual religious gathering of the Catholic Sioux Indian Congress, held to celebrate their Catholicism.

The missionaries left much of the planning for the event in the hands of the Lakota. “Before they knew it, they had a celebration held under a circular bower that was pretty much a replica of the bower the Lakota used for their traditional ceremony, the sun dance,” said Markowitz. “And since they were required to fly the American flag, they placed it where the sun dance pole used to be. They certainly performed the Catholic rites, but the parades by the missionaries replicated parades that used to precede the sun dance.”

Markowitz has been a member of faculty at Washington and Lee since 2003, first in the department of religion and then sociology-anthropology, environmental studies and history. He was appointed to his current position as assistant professor of anthropology in 2007. He holds a Ph.D. in the history of Christianity from the University of Chicago.

W&L's Lisa McCown Honored for Service to Historic Researchers

In honor of her achievements in historic preservation, Lisa McCown, the senior library assistant in Special Collections at Washington and Lee University’s Leyburn Library, recently received the Ruth Anderson McCulloch Award from the Southern Shenandoah Valley Branch of Preservation Virginia.

“This is only the second time we’ve presented this award in the branch’s history,” said Arthur Bartenstein, the organization’s director, who presented the award. “Lisa is indispensable for any research on Rockbridge County history. By having this outstanding librarian, W&L is providing an extraordinary community service to the state of Virginia and beyond.”

McCown started at W&L’s McCormick Library in 1977 as a student assistant while she was attending Southern Seminary Junior College (now Southern Virginia University) in Buena Vista, from which she graduated in 1978 with a two-year degree.  In 1979, she moved into the new library, which was dedicated as Leyburn Library in 1994.  She became the assistant to the Special Collections librarian in 1983, providing research assistance to countless historians and anyone who has an interest in the materials held at the library.

“Anybody who walks through the door can ask me anything, and I try to find the answer,” said McCown. “It could be an alumnus, a local person or a scholar. It could be anybody. I love trying to find the answers to their questions. I really enjoy it because I never know what type of question I’ll get. Sometimes people give me a hug when I find something that they’ve been looking for for many years.”

The materials of Special Collections include the holdings of the Rockbridge Historical Society, which comprise a wealth of material on the history of Rockbridge County and a large number of maps and photographs historically significant to Washington and Lee and Rockbridge County. Special Collections is also strong in state and local history and family genealogical history, as well as in material about Robert E. Lee, George Washington and other historical figures important to W&L and the area.

According to Bartenstein, McCown knows the collections so well that she has saved historians a great deal of work through her assistance. In presenting the award, Bartenstein quoted Charles Bodie, author of Remarkable Rockbridge: The Story of a Virginia County (2011: Rockbridge Historical Society), who said that he could not have written his book without McCown’s help.

Bartenstein also said that McCown had been instrumental in his own historical research. “For example, I’m very interested in landscaping, and I was looking for evidence of trees that Robert E. Lee planted on campus,” he said. “Lisa found an old photograph of Robert E. Lee’s funeral, and in the foreground you could see the tiny trees he had planted. Those are the same trees that are there today. And so she helped me demonstrate that connection.”

Bartenstein also noted McCown’s achievement in finding a dozen pages from records of W&L’s Board of Trustees that reference landscaping improvements on campus. “Obscure things like that, Lisa will dig up the information for you,” he said.

The two also worked together on a project to recognize Lewis and Clark’s travels through the Shenandoah Valley. “Lisa looked into what materials might be available to shed some light on that history. We were thinking that Meriwether Lewis might have graduated from Washington and Lee because he’s listed in the alumni directory, but there’s no written proof,” said Bartenstein.

“The extraordinary thing about Lisa is that if you ask her about a particular subject, she’ll not only bring you the book you’re looking for, but nine or 10 other things that might be helpful,” he added. “And it can be tough when people are doing genealogical research that is of no interest to anyone else. So it may be a tedious little project, but Lisa has the patience to plow through these collections and find obscure references. She really goes beyond the call of duty.”

News Contact:
Sarah Tschiggfrie
News Director

Princeton Sociologist Tells W&L Phi Beta Kappa Initiates to Examine What’s Possible

Princeton sociologist Angel L. Harris challenged the new inductees into Washington and Lee University’s chapter of Phi Beta Kappa to use their influence to change someone’s life.

Harris was the featured speaker for the annual Phi Beta Kappa/Society of the Cincinnati Convocation on Wednesday, March 14, 2012, during which 46 current students and three members of the Class of 2011 were inducted into the W&L chapter of the prestigious academic honor society.

In addition to the students, the W&L chapter also inducted Rupert H. Johnson Jr., of the Class of 1962, as an alumni member, and Harris as an honorary member.


A native of Brooklyn who is the author of Kids Don’t Want to Fail: Oppositional Culture and the Black-White Achievement Gap (2011), Harris described his own journey from public housing and less-than-stellar academic achievement to his current position as a college professor.

It was, he said, the twin aunts of a friend, Dannette and Darlene, who insisted that he consider attending college and even drove him from his home in New York to Grambling State College, in Louisiana, to launch him on his career.

“Looking back on my grades in high school and my performance then, and where I am now, it reminds me that even though it wasn’t a high probability that I would be where I am, it was still possible,” he said. “One thing that I like for people to keep in mind is that you have to distinguish between what’s probable and what’s possible.”

Teachers, Harris said, may encounter a student who is struggling and need to recognize that while the probability is not high that this student may get to medical school, “you never really know.”

Addressing the inductees directly, Harris said that they comprise the high end of of academic accomplishment and will come across people who are not as gifted academically as they are.

“You should never take for granted what you have earned,” he said, “because at some point you have a chance to be someone’s Dannette or Darlene. You might say something to someone that will completely alter the trajectory of their life and put them on a completely different path. Had Dannette and Darlene not taken an interest in me, my life would have been completely different.

“I think that for this group, you are probably going to be in positions of influence as you leave Washington and Lee, and will have a chance to pay it forward and to be influential in someone’s life. You never know whose life you can change. I hope you take on that responsibility to try to influence other people’s lives in a positive way.”

The inductees:

Class of 2011:

Jean Chandler Glass Chapman of Cumberland, Md.; Edward William Malachosky of Spring, Texas; and Nicole Rose of Babylon, N.Y.

Class of 2012:

Lauren J. Acker of Bloomfield Village, Mich.; Hannah Agard of Fort Thomas, Ky.; Anthony J. Ballor of Shelby Township, Mich.; Lauren Ann Borden of Lake Leelanau, Mich.; Camille Morgan Cobb of Huntersville, N.C.; Michael Decembrino Jr. of Yardley, Penn.; Nicholas Albert Gioioso of Baltimore, Md.;  Chelsea Elizabeth Carter Gloeckner of Charlottesville, Va.; Brad Harder of Redding, Conn.; David Benjamin Hosler of St. Louis, Mo.; Jasmine Marie Jimenez of Ingleside, Ill.; Eleanor Patricia Kennedy of Munster, Ind.; Samuel Mercado-Rios of Arlington, Va.; Ann Morris of Lexington, Ky.; Patrick Anthony Oley of Richmond, Va.; Barbara SoRelle Peat of St. Louis, Mo.; Melissa McRae Powell of Hattiesburg, Miss.; Olivia M. Riffle of Hudson, Ohio; David Severson of Wichita, Kansas; Kuan Si of Guiyang City, China; Roger Strong of Spencerport, N.Y.; Lauren Ashley Tipton of Myrtle Beach, S.C.; Erika Leigh Vaughn of Chattanooga, Tenn.; and Raisa Velasco Castedo of Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia.

Class of 2013:

Megan Elizabeth Bock of Holmdel, N.J.; Max Laitman Chapnick of White Plains, N.Y.; Aubri Kaitlin Charnigo of Sinking Spring, Pa.; Violette Ruth Chartock of Columbia, S.C.; Upol Ehsan of Dhaka, Bangladesh; Amanda Marie Grywalski of Springfield, N.J.; Ali Hamed of New Zarqa, Jordan; Clark L. Hildabrand of Brentwood, Tenn.; Maggie Lynn Holland of Bartow, Fla.; Joseph R. Landry of New Ipswich, N.H.; Joe LaSala of Wilton, Conn.; Kerriann Elise Laubach of McMurray, Pa.; Andrew Channing Martin of Midlothian, Va.; Hang Nguyen of Hanoi, Vietnam; Tamar J. Oostrom of Richland, Wash.; Jina Park of Duluth, Ga.; Rachael Petry of Winchester, Tenn.; Lauren Schultz of California, Md.; Kathryn DeArmon Stewart of Charlotte, N.C.; Beryl Tran of Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam; Robert Griffin Vestal of Memphis, Tenn.; and Kayla Welch of Beaver Falls, Pa.

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

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Beshore Earns New Recognition for Disaster Relief

We’ve blogged about Brent Beshore before, and with good reason. The member of Washington and Lee’s Class of 2005, who hails from Joplin, Mo., created a fund-raising Facebook page to help his hometown get back on its feet after last year’s devastating tornado. That good work earned him notice last year from DoSomething.org. And now this month, he’s received more recognition for that feat, this time from the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invitation-only nonprofit. It ranked him No. 9 on an impressive list of 10 entrepreneurs younger than 30 who have recently received awards for their work.

One of the voters, John Hall, CEO of Digital Talent Agents, said, “We should all strive to use our success for good, as Brent does.” The list appears on Open Forum, a content arm of American Express.

Brent founded his company, AdVentures, in 2007 “to create, enable or acquire companies that offer transformative communications solutions,” according to its website. It provides “equity investments, marketing resources, strategic planning and operations management.”

You can read our 2009 blog about Brent’s company here, and our 2011 blog about his fund-raising for Joplin here.

W&L Releases Study of Economic Impact on Shenandoah Valley

A new study concludes that Washington and Lee University contributed more than $225 million to the Shenandoah Valley’s economy in 2010.

The economic-impact study, conducted by Indiana-based EconImpact, examined W&L’s effect on the region in three areas — spending, knowledge and local government. The study defined the Shenandoah Valley as the counties of Augusta, Botetourt, Roanoke and Rockbridge, along with the independent cities of Buena Vista, Lexington, Roanoke, Staunton and Waynesboro.

Among the report’s major conclusions:

  • Washington and Lee was responsible for $225,277,916 of the $12.88 billion in economic activity in the Shenandoah Valley during 2010. That translates into the University’s being responsible for $1 of every $60 of economic activity in the area.
  • The W&L community consists of 3,751 people — 2,143 students, 869 employees and 739 alumni — or 1 of every 100 people in the Shenandoah Valley.
  • W&L had a 2.3 percent net benefit to the city of Lexington by virtue of being responsible for 14.8 percent of the city’s revenues and 12.5 percent of its expenditures.

“We think it is important to undertake a study of this sort periodically so that we can better understand the economic dynamics of the University as it relates to our communities,” said Steve McAllister, Washington and Lee’s vice president for finance and treasurer. “Naturally, the impact in direct spending is a major factor, but this report also explored certain benefits to the community that are not always as evident, including what the report calls the ‘knowledge impact,’ but also cultural and community service benefits.”

The study divides the University’s overall impact into three distinct areas — spending, knowledge and local government.

• Download the complete report (pdf)

The spending impact is the result of both direct and secondary spending. Direct spending is from the University along with its employees, students and visitors. Secondary spending is by businesses and governments that benefit from the initial direct spending.

According to the study, W&L’s spending impact is large because most of the revenues are from students who reside outside the Shenandoah Valley.

In terms of direct spending, the University as a business entity spent $27.5 million, employees spent $65 million, students spent $14.6 million, and visitors spent $11.45 million, for a total in direct spending of $118.6 million.

According to the study’s author, “The economic impact of an organization on a region is derived from its ability to attract outside money to a region or to prevent funds from leaving it.” In W&L’s case, the share of revenues from tuition, contributions, grants and auxiliary activities that came from outside the Shenandoah Valley in 2010 was 98.4 percent.

Using a multiplier effect that calculates the value of re-spending estimates the secondary impact of W&L’s spending at $94.9 million, for a total spending impact of $213.6 million.

The knowledge impact of an organization on a region refers to the contribution it makes toward higher incomes and social benefits of positive lifestyle choices. In calculating this benefit for W&L, the study included the presence within the Shenandoah Valley of 532 alumni of the University, whose increased earnings impact on the region represents $6 million.

In addition, the study reported a social-benefit impact of more than $3.7 million, based on such items as reduced unemployment and reduced welfare expenditures, along with a cultural-benefit impact from the many programs at W&L, and a community-service impact. The latter is based on over 44,000 hours of volunteer activities performed by the University’s students in Lexington and the Shenandoah Valley.

Finally, the study concluded that the Washington and Lee community was responsible for more than $2.2 million in revenue to the city of Lexington in the 2010 fiscal year against expenditures of $1.8 million. The result is a net benefit of $352,639, which represents 2.3 percent of the city budget.

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

Alum Speaks of Firsthand Legal Experience in Afghanistan

For a first-person account of legal operations in Afghanistan, read this fascinating interview in the March 11 Roanoke Times with Charles Carter Lee. The Roanoke, Va., attorney, a member of Washington and Lee’s Class of 2001, just returned home after a stint in Afghanistan with the Virginia National Guard as an operational law attorney, rule of law attorney and trial counsel.

Carter joined the army in 2001 and went through Officer Candidate School. After five years’ service, he left active duty with the rank of captain. A few years later, as a member of the National Guard, he served as a primary staff officer for two battalions. After he obtained his law degree from the University of Richmond, he changed branches and became a judge advocate. He works for the Woods Rogers law firm, in its Roanoke office, as an associate in its litigation group.

Here’s Carter on how he uses his military experience in his civilian practice: “I incorporate the military decision-making process into my everyday work. Especially as a litigant in the adversarial process, there’s an opponent. So I’m always analyzing courses of action of the opponent, most likely courses of action, most dangerous courses of action, and how I’d respond to that. That’s just something that you work into the military decision-making process at all levels.”

And here’s how he decided to combine the military and the law: “I’ve always wanted to be in the army and always wanted to be a lawyer, too. … I decided to enlist after college, and it happened to be right after 9/11, too, so that sort of strengthened my resolve. … So I did that for five years and finally got around to taking the LSATs and applying to law school, because that was in the back of my mind what my end goal was anyway. So when I got to law school I still liked the army, and the National Guard was still a way to put my boots on every once in a while.”

Check out the interview for much more, including his thoughts on the Taliban’s influence in Afghanistan and his desire to work with veterans.

Oh, and in case you’re wondering about his family history—he is a great-great-great nephew of Robert E. Lee, president of W&L from 1865 to 1870.

W&L to Host Conference on Advertising and the Liberal Arts

As far as Washington and Lee University business administration professor Amanda Bower is concerned, a liberal arts education provides the very best preparation for a career in advertising and its related fields.

To prove her point, Bower is bringing about a dozen Washington and Lee alumni who are currently working in advertising and marketing back to campus to share their experiences with W&L students in the first annual AdLib Conference, to be held on March 29 and 30, 2012.

AdLib stands for Liberal Arts in Advertising. Bower conceived the conference and is working with John Jensen, assistant dean of W&L’s Williams School of Commerce, Economics, and Politics, to stage the two-day event.

“We want students from first years to seniors who are interested, or think they might be, to come and learn about the possibilities and maybe be inspired,” said Bower. “There will be something of value for everyone, including people who are trying to figure out what their major will be.”

One of the aims of the conference is to demonstrate to students the value of a liberal arts education for a career in advertising, marketing and related fields such as digital media, social media and mobile technology.

“A liberal arts education gives students the structure they need to know how to think, so when a new product comes along they know what to do with it, how to think about it,” she said. “For example, mobile phones are changing how people talk to each other, how they shop, where they shop, when they shop. Those are the kinds of things that a sociologist or an anthropologist would be best qualified to study. Advertising requires a sort of culture junkie-ness where you’re interested in all aspects of what’s going on in culture, and understanding how information spreads.”

According to Bower, students interested in theater, creative writing and other majors will find the conference useful. “We will have alumni at the conference from ad-related fields representing different majors, because you don’t have to be a business major to go into advertising,” she said. “Advertising is not what people think it is. It’s not just making an ad and putting it on TV like you see in ‘Mad Men.’ Advertising today is more about consumer engagement, involvement and participation. It’s about how consumers help make brands, how they play with a brand and have fun with it. So it requires a diverse skill set.”

The conference includes panels that will discuss certain themes:

  • Career Navigation Panels will inform students at all stages of their careers at W&L about the timing of appropriate activities and the expectations of the job market. Additionally, alumni will advise students on opportunities to pursue during their four years at W&L.
  • “Welcome to the Advertising World” will examine the types of careers, agencies and communications available—what’s traditional, what’s cutting edge and how the differences are being resolved. Students will see agency reels, learn about agency culture and hear about how familiar campaigns were formed.
  • Career Development Workshops will provide small-group feedback from alumni to help participating students better package and present their resumes, cover letters, job interviews and networking skills.

In addition, alumni will talk about their own careers. For example, the keynote speaker is John Zamoiski ’74, who started his career as an advance man for Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey, worked on tours for musical artists and Broadway shows, developed strategies for corporate-sponsorship promotion, chaired the Promotion Marketing Association and founded three award-winning agencies.

“He’s really quite a guy and was very helpful in getting this conference off the ground,” said Bower. “All the alumni are really excited to come back to W&L, and a lot of them are young people who are doing fantastic things.”

Over the years, Bower has occasionally brought W&L alumni back to campus to advise students on how to prepare for the job market. On the last occasion, students filled the large room to capacity. “We had people sitting on the stairs,” said Bower. “And I thought this is something that’s really valuable. And then I had the idea to create the AdLib conference. We have multiple sponsors for this first year, so I think it’s going to be pretty successful.”

The schedule for Friday, March 30:

10:10 a.m.-11:05 a.m.:
1. “How to Get a Job in Advertising” in Hillel 101 with Professor Amanda Bower and Marty Ritter
2. “How to Get a Job in PR” in Stackhouse with Laura Hornbuckle
3. Casual Coffee Meet-and-Greet in Commons 116 with Don Hogle, Stephanie Mansey, Gerard McKee, and Rich Weinstein

11:15 a.m.-12:10 p.m.:
1. “How to Get a Job in Advertising” in Hillel 101 with Professor Amanda Bower and Marty Ritter
2. “Semiotics Reading and Using Cultural Codes in Advertising’ in Stackhouse with Don Hogle
3. Casual Coffee Meet-and-Greet in Commons 116 with Will Chamberlin, John Zamoiski, Laura Hornbuckle, and Brad Haugen

1:p.m.-1:50 p.m.:
Guest Speaker, Brad Haugen in Hillel 101

2 p.m.-3:25 p.m.:
“Welcome to the Ad World: Ad Orientation” in Stackhouse

3:35 p.m.-5 p.m.:
“How Media Has Changed the World of Advertising” in Stackhouse

News Contact:
Sarah Tschiggfrie
News Director

W&L Women Learn the Basics of Political Campaigning

With elections to student organizations at Washington and Lee coming up at the end of March, women undergraduate and law students took part in a training program, “Elect Her: Campus Women Win,” designed to encourage increased participation in the political process on campus.

“We want to see more women running for office,” said Jill Fraley, assistant professor of law and organizer of the program, “and I hope to see a tangible and immediate increase in female candidates during this round of elections.”

“Elect Her” is a national initiative of the American Association of University Women. Launched in 2010, the program “aims to close the long-standing political leadership gender gap by empowering and training women to run for office at all levels.”

Fraley believes the issue is especially critical at a school such as W&L, which was all-male until 1972 (for the Law School) and 1985 (when it admitted female undergraduates). Women students excel in the classroom and lead many organizations on campus, but they are under-represented in student government. In recent years, said Fraley, “the number of women running for student government has, in fact, declined.”

While the University is composed nearly equally of men and women students, women are under-represented in the two primary governing boards, composed of students, that oversee policy and student conduct. The Executive Committee currently has one undergraduate woman and two law women serving out of 13 members. And since 2008, women have participated in the Executive Committee at a rate of only 7 percent, or four out of 54 students. The Student Judicial Council has had no woman chair for the past six years (records do not go back further).

The idea for the training arose from a discussion among Fraley and the co-presidents of the Women’s Law School Organization (WLSO) at W&L’s School of Law—students Monica Tulchinsky and Haley Schaefer. “They asked me for ideas for developing their service commitments and mission to promote women, so I raised the issue of inadequate representation of women in our campus-wide student government,” said Fraley. “I suggested that WLSO apply to the AAUW for a grant to provide this training.”

The AAUW “Elect Her” program emphasizes that students who want to become involved in the political process run for office on their campuses first. “Women need to get something small and manageable under their belt, so that later on they could potentially consider running for office after they’ve graduated,” Fraley explained.

The AAUW selects 10 colleges or universities to support each year, providing everything from meals and travel to accommodations and all materials. They also sent a facilitator to W&L for the program.

“The AAUW facilitator showed the students what kinds of messages you can develop that fit into the sound bites that work for a political campaign, plus the basic things that people who have never run a campaign before just don’t know about,” said Fraley. “Essentially, within the day, they campaigned with the other women there. It was a simulated exercise of sorts. We also had a communications speaker who talked about how to get your voice out, get your message heard, using Internet tools, blogging and things like that to write about the issues that concern you.”

Other speakers included Mimi Elrod, the mayor of Lexington; Toni Locy, the Reynolds Professor of Legal Reporting in the W&L Department of Journalism and Mass Communications; and Virginia women alumni who work in politics.

“The talks by Mimi Elrod and Toni Locy about their personal experiences were very inspiring and motivating,” said Tulchinsky. Another attendee, sophomore Sally Platt, a politics major, wanted to learn the nuts and bolts of running a campaign. “It was great to hear from fellow students what it is really like to campaign,” she said.” I also learned that you must compromise a lot in politics.”

Fraley is pleased that the WLSO ran the program for female students. “Our training was filled with women who are engaged in their communities and committed to their futures,” she said. “I’m excited to see what they’ll do in the future—which, hopefully, will include running for office. I spoke with many of the attendees, and they seemed very grateful for the opportunity and excited to hear that we expect to do this again next year.”

News Contact:
Sarah Tschiggfrie
News Director

Pioneer Activist for AIDS Awareness, Prevention to Speak at W&L

Dr. Mervyn Silverman, a member of the board of directors of The American Foundation for AIDS Research (amfAR) since 1986 and its current secretary, will speak at Washington and Lee University on Monday, March 19, at 7:30 p.m. in Lee Chapel.

Tickets are required, but free, to Silverman’s lecture, which is open to the public.  Tickets must be picked up prior to the event at the W&L Box Office in the Lenfest Center for the Arts. The lecture is sponsored by the Lenfest Center for the Arts and, in part, by the GLBTQ Equality Initiative at W&L.

Silverman has worked in the field of public health and preventative medicine for over 40 years. He has dealt with public policy, community and government relations, and the media on local, state and international levels.

As director of the San Francisco Department of Public Health during the 1970s, Silverman was one of the first responders to the outbreak of AIDS. His department launched a citywide program to combat the growing AIDS epidemic, shutting down bathhouses and promoting safe sex. That model program has since been replicated nationwide.

In the process, he and his colleagues became the first AIDS activists on the West Coast.

Silverman, a 1960 graduate of Washington and Lee University, has dedicated his entire career to these causes. He was president of amfAR from 1986 through 1996 and was its national spokesperson from 1986 through 1995. He served as chairman of amfAR’s annual National HIV/AIDS Update Conference, became chairman amfAR’s program board in 2009 and chair of that board’s program advisory council in 2010.

Other directorships Silverman has held are of the Robert Wood Johnson AIDS Health Services Program; the Department of Community Health in Wichita, Kan.; Planned Parenthood in Kansas; the Office of Consumer Affairs for the Food and Drug Administration; and the East Asia and Pacific Regional Medical Office of the Peace Corps.

Among his academic appointments are faculty positions at the University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine; the Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine; and the University of Hawaii School of Public Health.

Silverman has been interviewed on radio and television, including on CBS and CNN, “The McNeil-Lehrer Report,” “20/20” and “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” and in print media in the U.S. and abroad. Among his recent honors are designation as a Public Health Hero by the University of California, Berkeley; the Heroes in Medicine Award by the Association of Physicians in AIDS Care; and amfAR’s Award of Courage.

Silverman received his M.D. from Tulane University School of Medicine and his M.P.H. from Harvard University. Currently he provides health-care consulting services as president of Mervyn F. Silverman & Associates Inc., based in California.

The 2011-2012 academic year marks the 30th anniversary of the first known case of a death from AIDS-related causes in the U.S. W&L asked Silverman to speak as part of the University’s commemoration of this anniversary and of World AIDS Day.

News Contact:
Julie Cline
News Writer

The Colonnade as Cake

Every now and then, the alumni magazine receives a photograph of wedding cakes designed to look like Washington and Lee’s historic Colonnade. Now readers of the online edition of Brides magazine can enjoy the view as well, in a March 6 blog item about the March 2011 wedding of Corbin Blackford, Class of 2007, and Kristin Hendee.
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The post, “A Southern Spring Wedding at River Oaks Country Club,”describes all the Virginia elements that the couple incorporated into their Houston ceremony and reception, including dogwood trees and a groom’s cake that depicted Corbin’s undergraduate alma mater plus the University of Virginia, where he’s now in law school, through pastry renditions of the Colonnade and the Rotunda.

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Perhaps a creative couple and their pastry chef will come up with a cake resembling the Colonnade as it looks at the moment—criss-crossed with scaffold-ing as its renovation proceeds.

W&L Hosts Concert by Babukishan Das Baul

A concert by Babukishan Das Baul and his wife, Sandra Ann Baul, “Mystical Songs of the Bauls of Bengal,” will be presented at Washington and Lee University on Wednesday, March 14, at 7:30 p.m. in Hillel 101. The concert is free and open to the public.

The Bauls are a tradition of religious minstrels in Bengal whose songs of joy, love and longing for mystical union with the Divine evoke a profound spirituality. Their solo vocals are accompanied by simple instrumentation (cylindrical metal drum with two strings and a one-stringed drone instrument or ektara).

Babukishan Das Baul (Babu) comes from the oldest living lineage of Baul performers. His grandfather Nabani Das Baul was close to Nobel Prize-winning poet Rabindranath Tagore, and his father, Purna Das, came to America for six months in 1967 at the invitation of Albert Grossman and Bob Dylan to introduce Americans to Baul music.

Over the years, Babu has learned to play some 15 different instruments, including the harmonium, tabla, dholok, mandolin, ektara, khamak, dotara, etc., and has studied with great Eastern teachers, such as Nabani Das Baul, Purna Das Baul, Pandit Amarnath and Gyanprakash Ghosh.

He has learned both the classical and folk music of India as well as Western music, which has helped him compose. Baul has played at the Royal Albert Hall, Carnegie Hall and Madison Square Garden and has performed with The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan and Miles Davis.

News Contact:
Julie Cline
News Writer

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W&L to Host Symposium on 60th Anniversary of “Invisible Man”

Washington and Lee University will hold a major gathering of leading scholars of Ralph Ellison when it presents a symposium, The New Territory: Ralph Ellison and the Twenty First Century, on March 16-17, in recognition of the 60th anniversary of the publication of Invisible Man.

“This is a significant national event in terms of American literature,” said Marc Conner, professor of English at W&L. Conner and Lucas Morel, the Lewis G. John Term Professor of Politics at W&L, organized the event. Both have conducted research and written extensively on Ellison’s work.

According to Conner, W&L has a long legacy with Ellison. “On Nov. 15, 1963, Ellison gave a lecture in Lee Chapel on the civil rights movement and American literature, and we believe he was the first black man to speak in Lee Chapel,” he said.

This is the second symposium on Ellison to be held at Washington and Lee; the first was held to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Invisible Man in 2002. “Lucas had the idea to hold the first symposium, and I helped him,” said Conner. “It was the only major commemoration of the 50th anniversary of any kind in the country and, as far as I know, this second symposium will also be the only one.”

The first symposium brought the scholar John Callahan to campus, and he will return to deliver the concluding address at the second symposium. He is the Morgan S. Odell Professor of the Humanities at  Lewis and Clark College and was Ellison’s best friend. After Ellison died in 1994, Callahan became the literary executor in charge of all of Ellison’s manuscripts and unpublished material. “He’s really the top figure in Ellison studies, and he’s been very generous and supportive,” said Conner. “He’s also very grateful that W&L is concentrating on and working on Ellison’s material.”

According to Conner and Morel, there has been a lot of momentum surrounding Ellison over the last few years, including a stage production of Invisible Man in Chicago, a new biography of Ellison published five years ago and four new books on Ellison in the last three years. “We’re really riding a crest right now,” said Conner. “Also, some colleagues and I founded the Ralph Ellison Society at the American Literature Association in spring 2011. Right now I am co-editing, with Callahan, Ellison’s selected letters, which are all in the Library of Congress. It’s a major undertaking and probably the biggest scholarly project I’ve ever done.”

Conner explained that the focus of the symposium will be on Ralph Ellison and the 21st century. “If we have a thesis of this symposium, it is that the world is just now catching up to the vision of Ralph Ellison. In a way, this 21st-century age of multiculturalism, the age of Obama, was what Ellison was writing about as early as the 1940s, 50s and 60s.” Morel agreed, adding “Ellison speaks to problems that we still have today in terms of the color line and whether we live in a post-racial society. He also pointed out ways in which the United States still hasn’t come to terms with its past and the impact of slavery and segregation on this country.”

Morel published a book of essays from the 2002 symposium on different aspects of Ellison’s work and he and Conner plan to do the same after this event. “It’s a way to get out to those who were unable to attend what we’ve learned from the symposium,” said Morel. “We’ll put together a significant variety of essays that we hope are a serious reflection on what Ralph Ellison still has to teach us.”

The symposium will begin with a keynote speech, “Ralph Ellison in His Labyrinth,” by Eric Sundquist, the Andrew W. Mellon Professor of the Humanities at Johns Hopkins University, Friday, March 16, at 8 p.m. in Lee Chapel

Three panel discussions will take place in Northen Auditorium on Saturday, March 17, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The first panel, “The Invisible Man 60 Years Later: Ellison’s Masterpiece in the 21st Century,” will re-evaluate Ellison’s famous first novel.

The second panel, “Three Days Before the Shooting: Ellison’s Ongoing Epic of America,” will look at Ellison’s recently published unfinished second novel Three Days Before the Shooting (Random House 2010). “This will be the first ever panel of four of the leading Ellison scholars in the world assessing the book, which is just now being discovered by readers and scholars alike,” said Conner. “It’s a really exciting breakthrough because Ellison was one of the most important American writers who ever lived.”

The third panel, “Ralph Ellison and American Culture: Ellison Past, Present and Future,” chaired by Morel, will look at the political implications of Ellison’s work.

At the end of the symposium, six W&L students will present papers on Three Days Before the Shooting. The students have all studied Ellison with either Morel or Conner. “They will present their research papers, which are all really good, at a round table with these Ellison scholars listening,” said Conner. “In some ways the scholars are more excited to hear from the students than they are to hear from each other, because they’re going to learn what young minds in the 21st century are saying about this author.”

The symposium will conclude with an address, “That Condition of Being at Home in the World,” by Callahan at 8 p.m. on Saturday in Hillel House.

The symposium is open to the public and is free to the W&L community. For others, there is a registration fee of $50 or $25 for students, which includes luncheon and dinner. Full details of the symposium can be found at its website http://ellisonsymposium.org/

News Contact:
Sarah Tschiggfrie
News Director

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Leader in New Media, Citizen-Based Journalism to Lecture at W&L

Dan Gillmor, the founding director of the Knight Center for Digital Media Entrepreneurship at the Walter Cronkite School for Journalism and Mass Communication, will give the keynote address for the 53rd Media Ethics Institute at Washington and Lee University. It will be held on Friday, March 16, at 5:30 p.m. in Stackhouse Theater, Elrod Commons.

The title of Gillmor’s talk is “Media Ethics in a Digital Age: Traditional Principles Collide with New Tools and Tactics.” The address is free and open to the public.

Gillmor, also the Kauffman Professor of Digital Media Entrepreneurship at the Cronkite School, began his journalism career at the Valley Voice in Middlebury, Vt., before moving to the Times Argus in Barre-Montpelier, Vt. He joined the Kansas City Times in 1984, and was a fellow at the University of Michigan in what is now called the Knight-Wallace Journalism Fellows Program.

Gillmor joined the Detroit Free Press and was an early practitioner of computer-assisted reporting, becoming one of the first journalists at a traditional media company to utilize the Internet. He then moved to the San Jose Mercury News, where he wrote a column and blog chronicling the dot-com revolution in Silicon Valley and technology’s wider impact on policy and society. His blog is believed to have been the first by a journalist for a mainstream journalism organization.

Gillmor left the Mercury News to work on grassroots media projects, including Bayosphere, a for-profit citizen-media effort that didn’t achieve critical mass and was subsequently sold.

Gillmor has published We the Media: Grassroots Journalism by the People, for the People (2004), which describes the Internet as an opportunity for independent journalists to challenge the consolidation of traditional media, and Mediactive (2010), a book on digital media literacy. Gillmore said that “his goal with this project is to help turn passive media consumers into active users – as participants at every step of the process starting with what we read.”

Gillmor is an investor in several new media startups including Silicon Valley-based Wikia Inc.,  and Seesmic, a privately held company involved in Twitter applications and online video. He is a shareholder in Berkshire Hathaway (owner of the Buffalo News and major shareholder in the Washington Post Co.) and Amazon.com, and was co-founder of Doppir, a travel site and social atlas.

Gillmor is a board member of First Amendment Coalition, a non-profit that promotes free speech and open government, and Pen Plus Bytes, the International Institute of ICT Journalism, a nonprofit based in Ghana. He is on six media-related advisory boards and advisor and co-founder of Citizen Media Law Project, a Berkman-based (and Knight-funded) project.

News Contact:
Julie Cline
News Writer

W&L Professor Meets with Japanese Prime Minister

Janet Ikeda, associate professor of Japanese at Washington and Lee University, participated in a rare meeting with Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda, of Japan, in Tokyo, on March 7. She belongs to a delegation of Japanese-Americans visiting Japan this month.

The prime minister expressed his appreciation for the delegates’ contributions to U.S.-Japan relations, including their assistance in various ways with the restoration and reconstruction of areas affected by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

Prior to meeting with Noda, Ikeda and the other nine members of the delegation visited the Tohoku region and received a tour of the area by representatives of JEN, a Japanese NGO involved in the recovery. During the tour, the delegates delivered hand-written messages of hope called Genki Notes from American children to Japanese citizens still living in temporary housing. They also participated in a symposium in Sendai, Empowering Civil Society for the Future of Japan, sponsored by the Japan Foundation Center for Global Partnership and the U.S.-Japan Council (USJC).

The Japanese American Leadership Delegation (JALD), now in its 12th year, provides an opportunity for Japanese-American leaders to deepen their understanding of Japan by participating in intimate discussions with Japanese governmental, business and civil-society leaders. Ikeda and the other delegates also met with Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba, members of the Japanese parliament and business entities.

Before leaving on the trip, Ikeda had noted that she expected it to be especially meaningful to her on a personal level because of her family’s ties to Fukushima, the site of the nuclear crisis that resulted from the 2011 earthquake and tsunami. The tour, she said, “creates a meaningful intersection where, for the first time in my life, the personal and professional can converge in a way that allows me to contribute most effectively.”

The program is sponsored by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan and organized by the U.S.-Japan Council, a national non-profit that acts as a catalyst by energizing Japanese-American leaders to strengthen and diversify U.S.-Japan relations.

Ikeda has been a member of the W&L faculty since 1999 and previously served as associate dean of the College. She is the only representative from Virginia on the trip. Other delegates hail from Hawaii, San Francisco, Seattle, Colorado, Chicago, Miami, Virginia, New York, Boston and Washington.

W&L Law Professor Says Kony 2012 Oversimplifies Problem of Child Soldiers

A Washington and Lee University law professor who has written extensively about child soldiers believes the Kony 2012 Campaign unduly simplifies the problem of child soldiering.

A video released this week is part of a charity effort called Kony 2012 that targets the Lord’s Resistance Army and its leader, Joseph Kony, whose Ugandan rebel group is blamed for tens of thousands of mutilations and killings and charged with forcing children to serve as soldiers or sex slaves. The video has gone viral via social media.

Mark Drumbl, author of Reimagining Child Soldiers in International Law and Policy, says that the focus on Uganda, where there currently are few child soldiers, hampers efforts to prevent child soldiering everywhere. In Uganda, most child soldiers have been abducted. Worldwide, however, Drumbl notes, “a majority of child soldiers demonstrate some initiative in coming forward and enlisting in fighting forces.”

In the Ugandan case, Drumbl says “a better way to reintegrate former child soldiers, and attend to restorative needs, is to humanize former child soldiers, not present them as devastated mindless victims or deranged cold-blooded automatons programmed to kill.”

Drumbl says that child soldiering is not an African phenomenon. The majority of child soldiers, in fact, live outside the African continent. Further, most of them are older adolescents, not young children, and approximately 40 percent of them are female.

“The saving grace of international humanitarianism can only go so far,” he adds. “The vast majority of LRA child soldiers, after all, exited the LRA not by humanitarian rescue but, instead, by escaping or abandoning the group.”

Drumbl emphasizes that the campaign does demonstrate the power of social media to mobilize and raise awareness.

But this campaign also demonstrates the ability of social media to omit crucial details, sensationalize and reductively simplify,” he says. “For starters, in addition to the horrors inflicted by the LRA, the government of Uganda has also been responsible for human rights abuses in the country, including massive displacement of local populations, and also outside the country.  The video encourages partnering with these forces.

“Second, in calling for armed action, the Kony video exhorts the very militarization that, in turn, has plagued Northern Uganda and Southern Sudan for decades already. The process of peace and justice in Northern Uganda is painstakingly complex, and criminal prosecutions – firmly encouraged by the video – are far from a self-evident solution, especially at the International Criminal Court. In fact, Uganda adopted a national policy of amnesty to end the conflict with the LRA. This policy has worked, since the LRA is so weakened right now. It no longer operates in Uganda.”

Watch a video of Drumbl discussing his book:

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

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James Baldwin Theatrical Event at W&L

A group of theatrical folk from New York, including three alumni of Washington and Lee University, are on campus this week working on the James Baldwin Project. Their efforts will culminate on Friday, March 9, with a work of theater based on Baldwin’s writings and on what the participants describe as “conversations we feel are necessary to help us all understand more of what our country is today, and how history fits into all of our identities.”

Baldwin, the famed African-American writer, created plays, poems, novels and essays. His many works include the novel Go Tell It on the Mountain and the essay collection Notes of a Native Son. As the project’s organizers describe Baldwin’s influence: “He addressed so well what is often seen as unaddressable in our American history: namely class, race, sexuality, economy, art and government.”

The Baldwin Project participants at W&L include three alumni:  Christopher Cartmill, of the Class of 1984, the 2009 W&L Flournoy Festival Playwright; director Jenna Worsham, Class of 2010; and actor Kevin Mannering, also Class of 2010.

They are joined by director Lear deBessonet; playwrights Lucy Thurber, the 2010 W&L Flournoy Festival Playwright, and Julissa Contreras; and actors Alexander Lambie, David Zheng and Cesar Rosado.

The March 9 presentation is scheduled for 7 to 9 p.m. in the Johnson Theatre of W&L’s Lenfest Hall. It is free and open to the public; no tickets are required. It is sponsored by the Washington and Lee Department of Theater and Dance.

For more information on the James Baldwin Project and the March 9 event, contact Owen Collins, associate professor of theater, at collinso@wlu.edu.

Princeton Sociologist Angel L. Harris to Address W&L’s Phi Beta Kappa Convocation

Washington and Lee University will induct new members into the prestigious Phi Beta Kappa academic honor society at its Phi Beta Kappa/Society of the Cincinnati Convocation on Wednesday, March 14, at 11:45 a.m. in Lee Chapel.

The convocation, which is free and open to the public, will recognize and honor 46 members of the junior and senior classes accepted into Phi Beta Kappa based on their exceptional academic achievements. In recognition of his outstanding contributions to the worlds of business and education, the chapter will induct Rupert H. Johnson Jr. as an alumnus member of Phi Beta Kappa. Johnson is a member of the W&L Class of 1962.

The event will feature Angel L. Harris, associate professor of sociology and African American Studies at Princeton University, as the keynote speaker. The title of his talk is “Probability v. Possibility: Pursuing Goals without Losing Sight of Reality.” The chapter will induct Harris as an honorary member of Phi Beta Kappa.

Harris is the author of Kids Don’t Want to Fail: Oppositional Culture and the Black-White Achievement Gap (2011) and co-author of Raising Learners: Parental Involvement and School Achievement (forthcoming this year). He also has authored and co-authored more than 10 journal articles.

Harris is a faculty associate of the Office of Population Research, the Center for Research on Child Wellbeing and the Center for Migration and Development at Princeton University.

Harris’ research interests include social inequality, policy and education, and his work focuses on the social psychological determinants of the racial achievement gap. Specifically, he examines the factors that contribute to differences in academic investment among African-Americans, Latinos,  Asian-Americans and whites. Harris also studies the impact that adolescents’ perceptions of opportunities for upward socio-economic mobility have for their academic investment, and the long-term effects of youths’ occupational aspirations both within the U.S. and Europe.

W&L students being inducted into Phi Beta Kappa:

Class of 2012:

Lauren J. Acker of Bloomfield Village, Mich.; Hannah Agard of Fort Thomas, Ky.; Anthony J. Ballor of Shelby Township, Mich.; Lauren Ann Borden of Lake Leelanau, Mich.; Camille Morgan Cobb of Huntersville, N.C.; Michael Decembrino Jr. of Yardley, Penn.; Nicholas Albert Gioioso of Baltimore, Md.;  Chelsea Elizabeth Carter Gloeckner of Charlottesville, Va.; Brad Harder of Redding, Conn.; David Benjamin Hosler of St. Louis, Mo.; Jasmine Marie Jimenez of Ingleside, Ill.; Eleanor Patricia Kennedy of Munster, Ind.; Samuel Mercado-Rios of Arlington, Va.; Ann Morris of Lexington, Ky.; Patrick Anthony Oley of Richmond, Va.; Barbara SoRelle Peat of St. Louis, Mo.; Melissa McRae Powell of Hattiesburg, Miss.; Olivia M. Riffle of Hudson, Ohio; David Severson of Wichita, Kansas; Kuan Si of Guiyang City, China; Roger Strong of Spencerport, N.Y.; Lauren Ashley Tipton of Myrtle Beach, S.C.; Erika Leigh Vaughn of Chattanooga, Tenn.; and Raisa Velasco Castedo of Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia.

Class of 2013:

Megan Elizabeth Bock of Holmdel, N.J.; Max Laitman Chapnick of White Plains, N.Y.; Aubri Kaitlin Charnigo of Sinking Spring, Pa.; Violette Ruth Chartock of Columbia, S.C.; Upol Ehsan of Dhaka, Bangladesh; Amanda Marie Grywalski of Springfield, N.J.; Ali Hamed of New Zarqa, Jordan; Clark L. Hildabrand of Brentwood, Tenn.; Maggie Lynn Holland of Bartow, Fla.; Joseph R. Landry of New Ipswich, N.H.; Joe LaSala of Wilton, Conn.; Kerriann Elise Laubach of McMurray, Pa.; Andrew Channing Martin of Midlothian, Va.; Hang Nguyen of Hanoi, Vietnam; Tamar J. Oostrom of Richland, Wash.; Jina Park of Duluth, Ga.; Rachael Petry of Winchester, Tenn.; Lauren Schultz of California, Md.; Kathryn DeArmon Stewart of Charlotte, N.C.; Beryl Tran of Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam; Robert Griffin Vestal of Memphis, Tenn.; and Kayla Welch of Beaver Falls, Pa.

Phi Beta Kappa will announce the winner of the Phi Beta Kappa J. Brown Goehring Sophomore Award at the convocation. The Goehring Award goes to the student with the highest cumulative scholastic average through the end of the fall term of his or her sophomore year. It is named in honor of J. Brown Goehring, a retired chemistry professor at W&L. During his 38 years at the University, he spent 22 years as secretary/treasurer of the Phi Beta Kappa chapter.

Phi Beta Kappa was founded in 1776 at the College of William and Mary. Its motto is “Love of learning is the guide of life.”

News Contact:
Julie Cline
News Writer

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Shenandoah Announces Prize Winners

R.T. Smith, editor of Shenandoah:The Washington and Lee University Review, announced the prize winners for Volume 61 of 2011-2012.  All pieces published in Shenandoah during the year were considered for the prizes within their given genre. The winning stories below can be found on the Shenandoah website: http://shenandoahliterary.org

This year’s recipient of the Shenandoah Prize for Fiction is John Matthew Fox for his story “To Will One Thing,” which appears in Volume 61, Issue 1.  Fox has written stories published by a number of magazines including Los Angeles Review, Tampa Review and Pedestal Magazine.  Fox won the Third Coast Fiction Contest in 2010 and has a graduate degree in creative writing from the University of Southern California.  Sonja Copenbargar received Honorable Mention for this prize with her story “Melora.”

The James Boatwright III Prize for Poetry is awarded to David Roderick for his poem “Green Fields” published in Volume 61, Issue 1.  Roderick’s first book, Blue Colonial, won the Honickman Prize and was additionally published by The American Poetry Review.  Roderick currently teaches in the M.F.A. Creative Writing Program at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.  Honorable Mention for this prize goes to Donald Platt for his poem “Chartres in the Dark.”

The Carter Prize for the Essay is awarded to John Nelson for his essay “Brolga the Dancing Crane Girl” that appears in Volume 61, Issue 2.  Nelson is the author of Cultivating Judgment and has both fiction and essays published in The Gettysburg Review, The Massachusetts Review, The Snowy Egret and Birding.  Anna Vodica and her essay “On Modesty” received Honorable Mention for this prize.

Shenandoah will be reading short short stories for the Bevel Summers Prize until the end of March. Guidelines for this prize can be found under the prizes section of Shenandoah at http://shenandoahliterary.org.  Each of the four prizes annually awards $500 to the winner.

News Contact:
Julie Cline
News Writer

Cooking Up a New Restaurant with an Old Name

Restaurateur Richard Moncure, a member of Washington and Lee’s Class of 1979, isn’t one to let a natural disaster keep him down. In 2003, he lost his popular Happy Clam restaurant in Colonial Beach, Va., to Hurricane Isabel. Now he’s prepping a new restaurant in Fredericksburg, Va., dubbing it the Happy Clam at Barefoot Green’s.

As this article in the Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star notes, the Moncure family has been in the restaurant biz for a couple of generations now. “I raised all my children in the business,” he told the paper. “My nieces and nephews, my mother and father were involved. It’s a lifestyle.”

The name of the new restaurant comes from a Fredericksburg character, an often-shoeless waterman named Green who peddled his catch in Fredericksburg. He ran the Barefoot Green fish market in downtown Fredericksburg five decades ago. Subsequent businesses in the area have borne his catchy name.

The Moncures located their first Happy Clam in Fredericksburg. Richard opened his branch in Colonial Beach while he was a student at W&L. In addition to cooking up seafood to serve customers in the new location, he’ll sell fresh fish and local produce, both in the store and over the Internet. “I’m going to know where the product comes from and will evolve the menu toward what we’ve traditionally eaten here—the Rappahannock’s bounty,” he said.

Severn Duvall, Henry S. Fox Jr. Professor of English Emeritus, Dies at 87

Severn Parker Costin Duvall, the Henry S. Fox Jr. Professor of English Emeritus at Washington and Lee University, died at his home in Lexington on March 2, 2012. He was 87. He served on the W&L faculty for 33 years, from 1962 to 1995.

“Severn was a valued colleague who served as a mentor to several generations of students as well as to faculty members,” said President Kenneth P. Ruscio ’76.

Duvall was born in Norfolk, Va., on March 25, 1924, to Helen Hobbs Duvall and Severn Parker Costin Duvall. He received his B.A. in English from the University of Virginia in 1948 and his M.A. and Ph.D. in English from Princeton University, in 1951 and 1955, respectively. Prior to Washington and Lee, Duvall taught at Princeton (1950–1951) and at Dartmouth College (1953–1962), rising from instructor to associate professor there.

He belonged to Phi Beta Kappa, the academic honor society; Omicron Delta Kappa, the national leadership honorary society; the Alpha Phi social fraternity; and the Raven Society, the University of Virginia’s honorary society.

Duvall served in the U.S. Marine Corps as a lieutenant during World War II (1943–1946) and as a captain during the Korean War (1951–1952). He often participated in the Veterans’ Day ceremony held on the W&L campus in recent years.

Duvall titled his dissertation “The Legend of the South in Southern Historical Fiction.” In addition to southern literature, he taught such topics as American poetry and prose, the Bible as literature, and modern Irish drama and poetry.

He served as head of the W&L English Department from 1962 to 1977 and as the academic director of the W&L Summer Institute for Executives in 1986. He studied on Fulbright grants at the University of Mainz in 1957–1958 and at the University of Warsaw in 1971, teaching while he was at that institution. He also received a Ford Foundation Humanities Grant in 1971 for study in Poland.  He was a visiting fellow at Oxford University in the fall of 1988 and held two Glenn Grants from W&L for his research.

Duvall led the way at W&L in teaching the work of African-American authors, even before the University had African-American students. And as chair of the Glasgow Endowment Committee from 1964 to 1988, he brought to the University a stellar lineup of prominent authors, including Ann Beattie, Gwendolyn Brooks, Allen Ginsberg, Robert Lowell, Bobbie Ann Mason, Mary McCarthy, Grace Paley, Walker Percy, Reynolds Price and Robert Penn Warren, to name just a few.

“We heard the best people read their work,” said his colleague Edwin Craun, professor of English emeritus at W&L, of the Glasgow visitors. “As a young faculty member, I just loved it.” Duvall hired Craun in 1971.

Another colleague, Sidney M.B. Coulling ’48, the S. Blount Mason Jr. Professor of English Emeritus, also mentioned Duvall’s expansion “in an important way” of the offerings in American literature and the value he placed on seminars. “He was a serious student of literature,” said Coulling.

James P. Warren, the S. Blount Mason Jr. Professor of English at W&L, had his first encounter with Duvall in 1984, when the nervous job candidate was about to teach a mock class. “Severn said, ‘Just relax and be yourself, and you will be fine.’  I could have kissed him,” remembered Warren. “It was a very kind, very simple word of encouragement. It meant the world to me at the time, and I am still grateful to him for his kindness.”

Duvall expressed his philosophy of teaching during a 1967 discussion about the coat-and-tie student dress code, which was then in flux. “We will encourage the student to reconsider the old familiar patterns . . .,” he told alumni. “Indeed, we will encourage them to scrutinize unexamined presuppositions of their selves and their world. . . . Education is, after all, a radical act in the rudimentary sense of the word. As student and teacher alike, we go back and try to re-examine.”

He earned the nickname “Dog Duvall” for his rumored frequent application of the grade of D, spurring a student to compose “The Ballad of Dog Duvall.” The piece received “a dramatic recitation after the student discovered that he had indeed passed his senior comprehensive examination,” according to a tribute by Duvall’s colleagues George Ray and Jim Warren on the occasion of his 1995 retirement.

A devoted fan of W&L sports, especially tennis and swimming, Duvall received the R.E. “Chub” Yeakel Memorial Service Award from the Athletic Department in 1995.

Duvall will also be remembered for his appearances on the W&L stage, including his portrayal of Confederate Gen. Nelson Randolph in a 1998 production of “Secret Service, A Drama of the Southern Confederacy.”

He is survived by his wife of 38 years, Tamara Przybyl Duvall; by his sister, Ridgley Nash Duvall, of Norfolk, Va.; by his children, Ridgely Howard Duvall ’74, of Cambridge, Mass., Severn Parker Costin Duvall III ’78, of Westport, Conn., Mary Duvall Roosevelt, of Boulder, Colo., and Daniel Hobbs Duvall, of San Francisco; and by his grandchildren, Alfred and Marian Roosevelt and Louise, Eliza and Sarah Duvall.

A memorial service will be held at Lee Chapel on Sunday, March 25, at 4:00 p.m., followed by a reception at the Hotchkiss Alumni House. In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to the Rockbridge Area Free Clinic (25 Northridge Lane, Suite 3, Lexington, VA 24450), Friends of Rockbridge Swimming (194 Wallace St., Lexington, VA 24450) and Rockbridge Area Hospice (315 Myers St., Lexington, VA 24450).

  • Read Severn Duvall’s Retirement Citation, adopted by the W&L faculty in 1995
  • Read Jim Warren’s personal tribute to Severn Duvall
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Lawyer of the Year Lauds the Jury System

Thomas Wiseman, an attorney with Wiseman Ashworth Law Group, in Nashville, Tenn., has just been named the 2011-12 Lawyer of the Year in the area of medical malpractice defense by Best Lawyers. The 1979 graduate of Washington and Lee University has taken the occasion to muse on his practice and the jury system.

“Every case is different and every time I learn something new,” Tom told the Nashville Tennesseean. “My clients really care about defending their decisions. Doctors and nurses try to do their best to help people.”

Tom, a Tennessee native, is in the family business; his father, Thomas A. Wiseman Jr., now a federal court trial judge, practiced general civil and criminal law when Tom was a child. He vividly remembers some of his father’s clients paying for their legal services by giving him produce or by working for him.

At W&L, Tom concentrated his history degree on East Asia; he obtained his J.D. from Vanderbilt. He began his legal career with a firm in Louisville, Ky., then moved to a smaller firm where he had more opportunities to try cases in front of a jury. His current firm also earned accolades from Best Lawyers in the Best Law Firms area.

“When 12 people from all different walks of life are brought into the courtroom to listen to the evidence and apply the law to do justice, there’s no class and racial distinction; everyone has an equal voice and power and there’s no inequality,” Tom told the paper. “To me, that’s one of the purest forms of democracy.”

You can read the interview with Tom here, and more about his firm at this link.

W&L Announces Winners of 2012 Johnson Opportunity Grants

Eight Washington and Lee University students have been selected for the spring/summer 2012 Johnson Opportunity Grants. This is the first group of students chosen by the Johnson Program on Leadership and Integrity, which awards 25 to 30 grants each year.

The students will participate in a variety of projects in far-flung locations in the United States and abroad. These range from the Summer Olympics in London to a human rights society in Russia; from a non-governmental organization (NGO) in Palestine to the Infectious Disease Research Institute in Washington, D.C.

The grants cover living, travel and other costs associated with the students’ proposed activities, which are designed to help them with their future careers and fields of study. The grants vary in amount from $1,000 to $4,500 and are funded as part of the Johnson Program in Leadership and Integrity. The second round of successful applicants will be announced in late March.

  • Isaac Webb, a junior from Waterville, Maine, will intern with Memorial, an international historical-enlightenment human rights and humanitarian society in Moscow, Russia. The society aims to gather statistical information, study memoirs and transcribe oral testimonies to describe the human rights abuses committed under communism. Webb is a history and Russian area studies double major and will use the experience to enhance his Russian language skills and gain hands-on experience of how a non-profit is organized. He began his internship in February while taking classes through Middlebury College’s study abroad program in Moscow. At W&L, Webb is the Overall Student Coordinator for Volunteer Venture, organizing student-led pre-orientation trips devoted to the study of poverty. He also volunteers with Campus Kitchen at W&L and is a member of Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity.
  • Eric Shuman, a sophomore from Black Mountain, N.C., will spend the summer in Bethlehem, Palestine, through the Palestinian Summer Encounter program. He will volunteer with local Palestinian NGOs, stay with a Palestinian family and take academic classes on regional issues as well as the Palestinian dialect of Arabic. The program is run jointly by the Middle East Fellowship, a nonprofit based in the United States, and the Palestinian nonprofit Holy Land Trust. It allows students to experience life in the Palestinian territories in order to better understand the roots of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the everyday effects of the occupation of the West Bank and possible solutions to the conflict. Shuman is a double major in psychology and global politics and is a member of the men’s swimming team at W&L.
  • Christine Pence, a sophomore from Bainbridge Island, Wash., is a biochemistry major with a minor in Poverty and Human Capability Studies. She will intern for the summer as a laboratory assistant for the Infectious Disease Research Institute (IDRI) in Seattle, Wash. The institute focuses on diseases prevalent in the third world, including diagnosis and vaccination against leishmaniasis and leprosy. Although Pence will be advised by an IDRI scientist, she will be responsible for leading her own research. Working toward a career in health care, Pence currently volunteers at the Rockbridge Area Free Clinic in Lexington.
  • Colleen Paxton, a sophomore from Paducah, Ky., will work with Olympic Broadcasting Services (OBS) at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, England, as part of the OBS Broadcast Training Program. The paid internship places college students in different media positions at the Olympics.  Paxton will work in the Olympic Stadium as a general assistant to the logistics manager, performing administrative tasks and helping with the production and distribution of the video feed of the Olympic Games. A business administration major with a minor in mass communications, she hopes to work in the media industry. She is a member of Phi Eta Sigma Honor Society.
  • Annelise Madison, a sophomore from Roca, Neb., will spend the summer as a volunteer at Ghana Alliance for Community Transformation (Ghana ACT). She will work alongside members of the local community of Ho, Ghana, to educate and empower local underprivileged youth by teaching math, English, science and computer skills at a primary school. She will also include a nutrition and fitness component. Madison is a Johnson Scholar majoring in political science and is a member of W&L’s women’s cross country team and the women’s track and field team.
  • Emily Comer, a sophomore from Dallas, Texas, will take part in an education-focused summer project at the Ron Clark Academy (RCA) in Atlanta, Ga. Clark is the author of The Essential 55: An Award-winning Educator’s Rules for Discovering the Successful Student in Every Child (Hyperion Books, 2003). At RCA, he incorporates unusual methods into his teaching, including music, dance, games and drama. Comer will observe classes with RCA students, tour the campus and participate in a variety of in-depth workshops related to the school’s innovative and successful methods. She is majoring in a self-designed interdisciplinary course on literacy and language development and plans a career in teaching or education research. She is also a Burish Intern at Maury River Middle School in Lexington.
  • Kendré Barnes, a junior from Omaha, Neb., will participate in a Shepherd Alliance International Internship placement in Buenos Aires, Argentina, through the Experiential Learning Program (ELAP). She will serve in the Children’s Dining Hall and Learning Center, a nonprofit dedicated to providing nutritional and educational assistance to impoverished children in the area. In addition to taking part in structured programs, Barnes will assist with meal preparation, teach English classes, engage the children in recreational activities, instruct them about nutrition and equip them with basic skills related to educational attainment. Barnes is a Spanish and English double major and is a literacy tutor at Waddell Elementary School in Lexington and a member of W&L’s Nabors Service League.
  • Mohamad Shawki Amine, a junior from Adaisse-Marjeyoun, Lebanon, will work on the research project “Bridge Deicing Using Geothermal Energy” in the civil engineering department at Virginia Tech. The project focuses on finding an alternative sustainable way to deice bridge decks instead of using salt and chemicals which reduce the service lives of bridges. Amine will be involved in laboratory and field testing as well as analytical and numerical analyses for geothermal energy applications. He is a major in civil engineering with a minor in mathematics, a member of Engineers Without Borders and president and co-founder of the Muslim Students Association at W&L.

News Contact:
Sarah Tschiggfrie
News Director

New Yorker Media Critic Auletta Describes State of the News Media (Audio)

Ken Auletta, media critic for The New Yorker, told an audience at Washington and Lee University that today’s journalists, faced with the uncertainty wrought by rapid technological change, must believe in themselves.

Auletta presented the keynote address on March 2 for the University’s 12thInstitute for Honor, two days of presentations and panels that explored “The New Conversation: How Are the News Media Shaping Our Political Beliefs.”


Acknowledging that he is “of two minds” about the digital revolution, Auletta said that he thinks it is understandable to be conflicted in this way. “You can have two or more disparate thoughts in mind at the same time and still function — a thought of pessimism about the digital revolution and a thought of optimism, and you can have them coincide and clash and yet never resolve how you feel between the two,” he said.

Adding to the confusion, he said, is the pace of new technology. “It took the telephone seven decades to reach 50 percent of the American public. It took electricity five decades. It took television three decades. The Internet? Less than 10 years to reach 50 percent of the American public. Facebook? Five years to reach 800 million people.”

Auletta said that he doesn’t interview anyone in the media world who, if they are honest, does not confess to being terrified “because they know the speed of change means they will be disrupted in their business, just as newspapers have been in theirs.”

The digital realm is both adversary and ally for media, Auletta said. On the one hand, news often becomes a commodity available for free and whose origin may be unclear. But the advantages come in allowing media to provide archives and full-motion video and interactivity with the audience.

“The digital realm can also extend our reporting reach by making available to us citizens who can serve as our journalistic eyes and ears when we’re not on the ground,” he said, citing such recent events as the Arab Spring, the death of Muammar Gadaffi, and fraudulent elections in Iran and Afghanistan when Twitter, Facebook and mobile phones were crucial components of the reporting.

Even as these technological advances confer on citizens an important role, Auletta still sounded a cautionary note.

“If you believe journalism is a profession,” he said, “not one where you need a journalism school degree, but one where training and experience is vital to gathering the news, to exploring more than one side, to sifting through often contradictory statements and facts, to determining what belongs on page one and what doesn’t, to winning the trust of readers or viewers or listeners because you and your news organization are transparent — then you believe an untrained citizen should not be granted the badge of the journalist.

“We are supposed to be the intelligent agents,” he concluded.

Established in 2000 at Washington and Lee University by a generous endowment from the Class of 1960, the Institute for Honor includes an array of initiatives and programs that promote the understanding and practice of honor as an indispensable element of society.

Alumnus to be Nominated to Ambassador's Post

President Barack Obama will be nominating Edward (Ned) Alford, a member of Washington and Lee’s Class of 1977, to be ambassador to the Republic of the Gambia. Ned has a long and distinguished career in the foreign service, a rank of minister counselor and, since 2009, the post of consul general at the U.S. Consulate in Frankfurt, Germany.

Ned joined the foreign service in 1978, after earning a B.A. in politics and German from W&L and spending three years in the U.S. Army, where he worked as a translator of German. His career has taken him to many posts around the world: as management counselor in Baghdad and Islamabad; as manage-ment minister counselor in Moscow; as general services officer in Rome and Dhaka; and as management officer in Windhoek—to name just a few.

He’s seen service in Washington, too, as executive director of the Bureaus of Near East Asia and South Central Asian Affairs, senior advisor to the Under Secretary for Management, and post management officer for East Africa.

You can read more about Ned, including awards for his work, here, at the website of the U.S. Consulate in Frankfurt.

W&L's Zarakol Wins International Fellowship from Council on Foreign Relations

Ayşe Zarakol, assistant professor of politics at Washington and Lee University, has been awarded a Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) International Affairs Fellowship for the 2012-2013 academic year.

CFR, a highly influential and bipartisan think tank, awards approximately 10 fellowships each year, with only a few going to academics. “I am very honored by my selection because the application process is very competitive,” said Zarakol.

The International Affairs Fellowship (IAF) program seeks to bring academics into the world of foreign policy and place people from the policy world into academics. Zarakol doesn’t yet know where she will be placed, but expects that it will be in the State Department or the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. “Wherever they place me, I should be working in an advisory capacity and at the same time observing how policy makers go about their business. Academics have a certain way of approaching world problems so I really want to see the concerns of policy makers, the day-to-day constraints they face and learn how they work,” she said.

Zarakol said that she hopes the experience will enrich her research on Turkey. “Because Turkey has recently started having aspirations of becoming a regional power and charting a course away from European Union membership,” she said, “I thought there was a need within American foreign policy to re-think how Turkey fits into the region, whether we’re talking about Europe, the Balkans or the Middle East.”

In her research, Zarakol compares Turkey to other would-be, rising or declining regional powers like Russia, Japan and Thailand. “I thought I could bring that research to bear on immediate policy questions such as the Arab Spring, where it’s uncertain where Turkey is going to fit. The Council seemed to like that,” she said.

In addition to her work, Zarakol is looking forward to attending CFR meetings. “This fellowship should give me the opportunity to broaden my own professional network outside of academia into the policy world and the think tank world. Hopefully, that will impact my ability to help Washington and Lee students find internships or full time positions after they graduate,” she said.

Zarakol joined the W&L faculty in 2007. She received her B.A. in political science from Middlebury College and M.A. and Ph.D. degrees, also in political science, from the University of Wisconsin at Madison. She is the author of the 2011 volume, After Defeat: How the East Learned to Live with the West (Cambridge University Press).

The IAF program is open to U.S. citizens and permanent residents between the ages of 27 and 35 and successful candidates generally hold advanced degrees and have a strong record of work experience and a firm grounding in the field of foreign policy. Learn more about the IAF program at its website.

News Contact:
Sarah Tschiggfrie
News Director

Advice on a Legal Career

Christopher Lamberson, a member of Washington and Lee’s Class of 1995, describes his “roundabout” route to his career as a transactional attorney—and as a new member of the management committee of his Memphis law firm, Glankler Brown P.L.L.C.—in a March 1 interview with the Memphis Daily News.

Christopher first explored business and finance during high school, thanks to encouragement from his father, as well as a gift: instructional tapes on using a Hewlett-Packard financial calculator. While at W&L, he built on that knowledge during summers, selling and reselling mobile homes. “I guess that kind of taught me a lot about finance,” he told the paper, “and taught me even more about people.”

Christopher, who is from the Memphis area, followed his W&L degree in business administration and accounting with an M.B.A. and a J.D. from the University of Memphis.

His long acquaintance with Glankler Brown, which has been in business for 94 years, and the family that ran it kindled a desire to work for the firm, leading him first to a clerkship and then to a full-time position, which he took in 1999. He’s been a member of the firm since 2008, and just joined the management committee.

Read the full interview here, in which Christopher talks further about his work, what he finds rewarding and the experience necessary for such a career.

From the Airwaves to the Airport

Listeners of radio stations WGCV-AM and WFMV-FM in Columbia, S.C., have heard host Kaela Harmon engage them in discussions of politics, community news and current events. Now the citizens of Columbia will be hearing from the member of Washington and Lee’s Class of 2005 in her new role: as the public relations and government affairs manager for the Columbia Metropolitan Airport.

Kaela, who majored in broadcast journalism and mass communications at W&L, arrives at her new post with several years’ experience in museum fund-raising, web producing for TV stations and writing for local publications, in addition to her radio work.

According to the article on Midlandsbiz.com, Kaela, who’s a native of South Carolina, has helmed “The Weekend Countdown” on WGCV-AM and has appeared on its sister FM station. She’s also written for lifestyle and sports magazines.

For her position at the airport, Kaela left a job in advancement for the South Carolina Confederate Relic Room and Military Museum, which is also in Columbia.