Wake Forest Professor Eric Wilson Addresses Happiness Seminar
Eric Wilson, Thomas H. Pritchard Professor of English at Wake Forest University, will be the second speaker in Washington and Lee’s year-long “Questioning the Good Life” interdisciplinary seminar series. His talk will be Thursday, Nov. 8, at 4:30 p.m. in Stackhouse Theater, Elrod Commons.
The title of the speech, which is free and open to the public, is “Against Happiness: In Praise of Melancholy,” which is the title of his first book.
This book makes a compelling case that the loss of sadness would be sad for the culture of the United States and adds a healthy note of caution about the national obsession with happiness.
“Against Happiness” was reviewed in more than 20 publications, including “The Wall Street Journal,” “The New York Times,” “The Washington Post,” “The Economist” and “Globe and Mail.” It has been translated into 10 languages, appeared on the bestseller list of the “Los Angeles Times” and was featured on the Today Show, NPR’s All Things Considered and Talk of the Nation, the BBC’s Today Programme and CBC’s The Current.
Wilson is the author of “Everyone Loves a Good Train Wreck: or Why We Can’t Stop Looking at Terrible Things” (Sarah Crichton/Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2012), “The Mercy of Eternity: A Memoir of Depression and Grace” (Northwestern University Press, 2010), “My Business Is to Create: Blake’s Infinite Writing” (Iowa University Press, 2011), “The Melancholy Android: On the Psychology of Sacred Machines” (State University of New York Press, 2006) and “The Spiritual History of Ice: Romanticism, Science, and the Imagination” (Palgrave Macmillan, 2003), including other essays.
“Questioning the Good Life” featurse six visiting speakers during the 2012-2013 academic year, each of whom is recognized as a leader in the respective discipline (economics, literature, philosophy, psychology/sociology, neuroscience and business). The speakers will bring their considerable insight and expertise to bear on the topic of happiness.
Wilson earned his B.A. from Appalachian State University, his M.A. from Wake Forest University and his Ph.D. from The Graduate School and University Center, City University of New York.
Christian Wiman's Remarkable Essay in The American Scholar
Back in April, we blogged about Christian Wiman, a member of the Washington and Lee Class of 1988, for two pieces of news. He had just won a Guggenheim Fellowship, and he had sat for an interview with journalist Bill Moyers (father of Cope Moyers, W&L Class of 1981) about his diagnosis with Waldenström’s macroglobulinemia, an incurable cancer of the blood. He’s written about the disease before, and now he has published another searing and beautiful essay: “Mortify Our Wolves,” in the Autumn 2012 issue of The American Scholar.
Christian fills the essay with reflections on parenthood, faith, marriage, pain, art, science, poetry—the list is long. We’ll go with two samples.
Here is Christian on grace: “Part of the mystery of grace is the way it operates not only as present joy and future hope, but also retroactively, in a way: the past is suffused with a presence that, at the time, you could only feel as the most implacable absence.”
And on poetry: “Poetry has its uses for despair. It can carve a shape in which a pain can seem to be; it can give one’s loss a form and dimension so that it might be loss and not simply a hopeless haunting. It can do these things for one person, or it can do them for an entire culture. But poetry is for psychological, spiritual, or emotional pain. For physical pain it is, like everything but drugs, useless.”
It is tempting to quote one elegant passage after another, but really, the best thing to do is to clear the decks for a while and immerse yourself in “Mortify Our Wolves.”
The editor of Poetry magazine, Christian has published six books. Next spring, he will add a seventh to that list: “My Bright Abyss: Meditation of a Modern Believer.”
CNN at W&L
The CNN Election Express rolled into Lexington on Saturday, Oct. 27, as part of its ongoing Battleground State Bus Tour and spent about 18 hours on the Washington and Lee campus.
Producers had asked to have a group of students participate in a town hall-style meeting to discuss the campaign and the issues. In addition, CNN contributor John Avlon, who is also a senior columnist for Newsweek and the Daily Beast, did several live “hits” from just outside the bus, with Lee Chapel in the background.
Fifteen Washington and Lee seniors joined five seniors from Southern Virginia University for a wide-ranging, hour-long conversation in front of the cameras in the Hillel House. A three-and-half minute spot from that session aired on CNN Sunday morning and was also posted to CNN.com and YouTube.
You can see that video below.
In addition, Avlon posted a blog about the session, quoting several of the students and concluding with this compliment:
“Talking with these engaged, informed students was refreshing and a rebuke to the kind of cynical political consultants who believe policy isn’t important in presidential campaigns. These students have done their homework and they care passionately about the future of our country. And that’s good news for whichever candidate wins this election.”
In addition to Avlon, CNN reporter Ali Velshi has toured with the Election Express, which started in Florida and came to Lexington from Winston-Salem, N.C. Velshi missed the town hall meeting because he was on another assignment. He drove into Lexington late Saturday night and rejoined the bus just long enough to be reassigned to follow Hurricane Sandy. If you watched the CNN coverage, you might have seen Velshi standing in the middle of a street in Atlantic City. It was a far cry from the quiet tour of Lee Chapel he had taken less than 24 hours earlier.
Watch the video of the CNN town hall:
W&L to Host Inaugural Entrepreneurship Summit
The Entrepreneurship Program at Washington and Lee University will host 31 W&L alumni for its inaugural Entrepreneurship Summit on Friday and Saturday, Nov. 9 – 10.
“This will be a weekend when we really celebrate entrepreneurship here by bringing back a group of alumni entrepreneurs, have them engage with each other and with students, share ideas and challenges and also establish a strong and valuable network with each other,” said Jeffrey Shay, the Johnson Professor of Entrepreneurship and Leadership at Washington and Lee.
The idea for the summit arose from the Entrepreneurship Advisory Board, which was formed in April 2012 and consists of alumni who judged the Business Plan Competition but wanted to be more engaged.
The alumni represent a span of almost five decades at W&L with participants who graduated in 1967 but also graduates from last year. Their majors include philosophy, biology, European history, business, economics and law. They come from as far away as Texas, New York City, Washington D.C., Atlanta and Kentucky. The businesses they have established include online marketing, social media, financial firms, private equity firms, real estate and a company that markets an air purification system.
Shay acknowledged that the summit could have been twice the size since many alumni wanted to attend but had prior commitments. “We sent information to our master list of alumni interested in entrepreneurship and also used LinkedIn,” said Shay of the social networking site. “LinkedIn is particularly important since we’re in the process of building a network of W&L entrepreneurs. We have 468 people already in the first couple of years, which is pretty amazing for a school the size of W&L.”
The summit is designed to provide opportunities for networking, and the schedule begins with a reception on Friday night, followed by interactive panels and mentoring sessions on Saturday. The Venture Club, W&L’s student entrepreneurship organization, will sponsor a “pitch” competition for students to pitch their idea for a new business.
Alumni will share their experiences of how they arrived at their present positions, in four panel sessions on managing new ventures, marketing and sales in new ventures, financing new ventures and legal issues for entrepreneurs. “Some people started their businesses right out of school, and some took a different route,” explained Shay. “By sharing their experiences, these alumni become more accessible and real to students and make entrepreneurship seem more possible. So I think this will definitely help students make a better connection.”
Alumni on the panels have also been asked to share three “pearls of wisdom” each. “These are things they’ve learned along the way with regard to the topic they’re speaking on,” said Shay. “The hope is that students will hear maybe 90 pearls of wisdom over the weekend and that some of them will sink in and really help them.”
Matt Langan, a 2010 graduate, from Louisville, Ky,.is co-founder and CEO of CadenceMed, and was in the first entrepreneurship class that Shay taught at W&L. His company provides medical practices with a virtual back office that does their patient relationship management and marketing for them. He will discuss “taking the leap” to becoming an entrepreneur. He expects the summit to be “an opportunity for me to help share what I’ve learned as a recent graduate-turned-entrepreneur with current students who might be interested in pursuing a similar path. If I can help paint a picture of why I took the leap into entrepreneurship and what it has taken for me to survive and succeed—from the mindset that an entrepreneur needs to adopt, to the financial and intellectual resources they’ll likely need, and where to get them—then I will consider it a huge win.”
Langan will also be on the receiving end of advice when he takes part in one of several mentoring sessions designed for alumni to help other alumni with the entrepreneurial challenges they are facing, with W&L students participating as well.
“I hope that all alumni receiving mentoring will speak more freely in this nice community of W&L alumni and students than they maybe would back in their hometown,” said Shay. “It’s important that everyone walks away feeling like they’ve gained something from the weekend. While the more experienced alumni will feel like they’ve gained through giving back to students and to other alumni, they are also going to meet some people that they didn’t know who could be valuable resources for them in the future. For example, they’ll hear from two experts who have much to offer them: Tom Dunlap, from the W&L School of Law, is an expert on intellectual property law and Leslie Croland, the father of W&L junior Harlyn Corland, is an expert on contract law.”
Langan is looking forward to the networking opportunities during the summit. “I hear that there will be other W&L alumni from both sides of the table—those who fund and those who might need funding,” he said. “It will be fun to meet these folks, hear what they are excited about working on, learn how they’ve overcome key challenges and, of course, look back on some good W&L memories.”
W&L Seniors Ali Hamed, Jennifer Ritter Named Generals of the Month
Washington and Lee University seniors Jennifer Ritter and Ali Hamed will be recognized at the Generals of the Month presentation for October on Thursday, Nov. 1, at 11:45 a.m. in the Marketplace in Elrod Commons.
Hamed, from Zarqa, Jordan, is a double major in physics-engineering and economics. He has done research during the summers of 2011 and 2012 resulting in a co-written journal article and research during the summer of 2010 resulting in two presentations at the American Physical Society Meeting and at the W&L-Virginia Tech Research Symposium. He has been a teaching assistant to physics students.
A graduate of Al-Walid Bin Abd Al Malik, Hamed also is a member of Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society, Sigma Pi Sigma Physics Honor Society, Omicron Delta Epsilon Economics Honor Society and Phi Eta Sigma Honor Society for first year students, and has been on the Honor Roll and Dean’s List. He has won four scholarships: Elizabeth B. Garrett Scholarship, Henry Ruffner Scholarship, Walter LeConte Stevens Scholarship and James McDowell Scholarship.
Ritter, from Mariposa, Calif., is majoring in religion with a minor in dance. She is the co-president and student choreographer of the W&L Repertory Dance Company and an Appalachian Adventure Leading Edge Trip Leader. She is the co-president of Catholic Campus Ministry and the personnel chair of Chi Omega sorority.
She is a graduate of Mariposa County High School and is a member of Omicron Delta Kappa Leadership Honor Society, Alpha Epsilon Delta Pre-Med Honor Society, Nu Delta Alpha Dance Honor Society and Phi Eta Sigma National Honor Society for first year students. She has been on the Dean’s List and has won the William Hirschmann Memorial Award, a dance study scholarship, and the Cynthia D. Klinedinst Award, a scholarship award for summer study of dance.
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.
Ritter and Hamed were selected by the CSS Committee, which is composed of students, faculty and staff. Any member of the campus community can nominate a W&L student at any time with the online form at go.wlu.edu/css.
Future CSS presentations during the 2012-2013 academic year will be held during lunch in the Marketplace in the Elrod Commons on Nov. 15, Dec. 6, and dates in Jan., Feb., March, April and May, as yet to be determined.
Associated Press Photo Exhibit of U.S. Presidents on Display at W&L
“The American President,” a compelling Associated Press photo exhibit portraying American presidents during memorable events in American history, is currently on display in Washington and Lee University’s Leyburn Library.
The exhibit, consisting of 16 panels and more than 80 photos, shows American presidents leading the country through times of war, peace, victory, defeat, and scandal. It is currently open for public view on the first floor of Leyburn Library, and it will remain on display through Nov. 9.
“The American President” exhibit features both famous Pulitzer Prize-winning images, like Paul Vathis’ photo of John F. Kennedy conferring with Dwight D. Eisenhower at Camp David after the unsuccessful Bay of Pigs invasion, and less recognized photos, like former President George H.W. Bush reacting jokingly as he attempts to open a locked door at a news conference in China.
The exhibit also includes an introduction written by former President George H.W. Bush that reads: “The men and women who have covered the White House for the AP dating back to the middle part of the 19th Century have truly had a ‘front-row seat to history.’ Through their lenses, succeeding generations of AP ‘photodogs’ have captured both the ecstasy and agony of the American Presidency, and contributed in important ways to the historical record of each administration.”
The department of journalism and mass communications teamed up with the University Library to bring the exhibition to campus. Pamela Luecke, Reynolds Professor of Journalism and chair of the department, worked with Associated Press officials to obtain the display, and Richard Grefe, senior reference librarian, has handled all of the logistics.
According to Grefe, the exhibit has already caught the eyes of many W&L students. He also mentioned that the photos from the exhibit, along with many thousands of other AP photos, are available to researchers through the AP images database, which can be accessed through the University Library.
Luecke said that she is especially excited about having the exhibit at W&L. “As a former journalist myself I have great reverence for the job that photojournalists do,” she said.
Luecke added that the AP photo exhibit is one of many activities planned by the journalism department for this academic year in efforts to put greater emphasis on photojournalism.
For instance, the W&L journalism department will collaborate with Virginia Military Institute’s George C. Marshall Museum to present another photojournalism exhibit this month entitled, “Conflict Zone.”
That exhibit displays moving photographs capturing the devastation and realities of war. Photojournalist Ben Brody, who has covered war as both a soldier and a civilian, will open the exhibit with a talk entitled, “Photojournalism in an Era of Counterinsurgency.” His talk is at 5:30 on Thursday, Nov. 8, at the Marshall Museum on the VMI Post. The talk and exhibit are free and open to the public.
Along with presenting the exhibits, the W&L journalism department is hoping to offer a new one-credit photojournalism course.
— by Sara Korash-Schiff ’15
Jeffery G. Hanna
Executive Director of Communications and Public Affairs
CNN Election Express Visits Washington and Lee
W&L Law Symposium Explores Landmark Gideon Case and Right to Counsel
Fifty years ago the landmark case Gideon v. Wainwright established the right to counsel for criminal defendants. An upcoming symposium at Washington and Lee School of Law will explore the legacy of this case, its impact on the criminal justice system, and the future of the right to counsel.
The symposium is scheduled for Nov. 8-9 in the Millhiser Moot Court Room, Sydney Lewis Hall on the grounds of Washington and Lee University. The event is free and open to the public.
W&L professor and symposium co-organizer J.D. King, who directs the school’s Criminal Justice Clinic, notes that this is not a celebration of the case, but rather a cold, hard assessment of what has gone right and what has gone wrong since Gideon became law.
“One of the failings of the criminal justice system is that while we do provide lawyers to people who can’t afford their own, there is no meaningful check on how good those lawyers are,” says King. “The reality of indigent defense is that in many cases defendants get a lawyer in physical presence only.”
Another problem, says King, is how Gideon and the right to counsel has been limited to apply only to so-called “serious” cases, that is, cases that could result in incarceration. However, there are more serious consequences that can result from a misdemeanor conviction now than there were when Gideon was decided.
“You can get deported, kicked out of your housing, lose student aid, not a get a job because of a background check, or wind up on the sex offender registry, all for misdemeanors for which you were not entitled to counsel,” says King.
The symposium is especially timely, adds King, as the fiscal crisis of the last several years has put increased strain on funding for public defender systems. Indeed, in many states, including Virginia, defendants eventually bear the burden of the cost of their attorney, which can force them to waive their right to counsel from the outset.
The symposium will bring together scholars and practitioners representing a range of views on the issues. Symposium attendees include Norman Reimer, executive director of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and Robin Steinberg, founder of the visionary defense support service The Bronx Defenders, as well as leading academics from law schools around the country.
The symposium is sponsored by the W&L Law Review, the Frances Lewis Law Center, the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and the Foundation for Criminal Justice. A complete list of panelists, symposium schedule and registration information is available online at law.wlu.edu/gideon.
School of Law Director of Communications
W&L Trustees Approve Renovations to Residence Halls, Belfield
Washington and Lee University’s Board of Trustees approved a $22.5 million project to renovate Graham-Lees Hall and remodel Gaines Hall as part of an overall plan to improve residential life for first-year students at the University.
Approval came during the board’s October meeting in Lexington last weekend.
The trustees also approved a proposal to convert Belfield, the former residence of the late Frank Gilliam, W&L’s longtime dean of students, into a guest house.
In addition to those two actions, the trustees heard proposals for revisions to upper-class housing and for the eventual development of new indoor athletic and recreation facilities.
“We are pleased with the board’s decision on Graham-Lees and Gaines halls and are anxious to get started on this critical project,” said Sidney Evans, vice president of student affairs and dean of students, who co-chaired a special task force on housing with Trustee Dallas Hagewood Wilt, of the W&L Class of 1990.
The task force was empaneled by W&L Rector Donald Childress and President Kenneth P. Ruscio. It was guided by the 2007 Strategic Plan, which specified improvements and enhancements to first-year residential life plus consideration of upper-class alternatives. Childress is a member of the W&L Class of 1970; Ruscio, Class of 1976.
“In developing these plans, we are motivated by our desire to improve the experience for our students by creating a greater sense of community during that important first year,” Evans said.
According to John Hoogakker, executive director of facilities, plans call for the project to begin in the summer of 2013 and to take two years to complete. “There are some significant logistical challenges,” Hoogakker said. “But we have been creative in our planning and fully intend to get this accomplished on schedule.”
Graham-Lees is the combination of Lees Hall, built in 1904, and Graham Hall, built in 1920. The buildings were connected in the 1940s, and Graham-Lees was last renovated in 1982. “Generations of W&L students have lived in the building and, over time, developed real fondness for it,” said Hoogakker. “We plan to take advantage of its distinctive character. But the fixtures and finishes in Graham-Lees are extremely worn, and the building does not have air conditioning. This will be a major upgrade.”
Gaines Hall was built in 1986 and was originally designated for upper-class students, featuring suites along long hallways. “Gaines was an early experiment in suite-style living in a traditional hall,” said Hoogakker. “In recent years, the layout has not been well received by students, and we think that it will be much more functional when it is turned into a more traditional hall arrangement with program, social and laundry spaces.”
The required capacity to house all of Washington and Lee’s first-year class, including resident advisers, is 481. During the project, the capacity of Graham-Lees will be decreased slightly from 258 to 236, while the capacity of Gaines will be increased by 27, for a net increase of five spaces overall.
Evans said that the Residential Life Task Force was especially anxious to maintain the location of the first-year residence halls in the core of campus. It also wanted to create internal spaces that were not as isolating as is currently the case in the buildings.
“The architectural drawings that we have seen do an excellent job of establishing opportunities for casual interaction within the two buildings,” Evans said. “We are pleased with the common areas and program spaces that are planned and think this will meet the committee’s goals.”
The University has been working with Hanbury Evans Wright Vlattas and Co., of Norfolk, Va., to the renovations. The architectural and planning firm specializes in campus buildings, including renovations of residence halls at the University of Michigan and Rollins College.
Hoogakker said that two facilities will be renovated in sequence, beginning with one half of Graham-Lees during the summer and fall of 2013, and the other half during the spring and summer of 2014. Gaines will also be done one half at a time, during the summer and fall of 2014 and the spring and summer of 2015.
“In order for us to do this, students will move from one side of the buildings to the other as we complete the work,” Hoogakker said. “We are fairly sure that we have enough capacity on the campus to be able to do this, but it is a logistical challenge.”
A final element in the overall plan will be to create new green space that connects the two residence halls. “This plan does call for us to open up the space between Gaines and Graham-Lee and to unite them visually,” said Evans. “This will establish a very strong concept of a residential-life neighborhood for our first-year students.”
Funding for the projects will come through the sale of bonds.
Meanwhile, construction on Belfield will begin late this year and is planned for completion by next fall.
The $1.5 million project involves renovating, furnishing and equipping the main floor for small-scale programs and events. The upper floor will become guest accommodations, with four guest rooms and baths. Belfield is a 6,000-square-foot, Tudor-revival house built in 1929 and surrounded by 2.63 acres.
The formal gardens, which were designed by Charles Gillette, the preeminent Southern landscape architect, will be restored.
The University received an anonymous gift in 2010 from an alumnus and former member of the Board of Trustees to purchase Belfield and to conduct a study to determine the best use of the facility. Since the purchase, two other donors have made gifts in honor of Dean Gilliam to help with the project.
New Indoor Athletic and Recreation Facility Discussed
Meanwhile, the trustees also heard a report from a task force of trustees and members of the administration who have been exploring a new indoor athletic and recreation facility, which is one of the capital-project targets in the current campaign.
After exploring several alternatives, the task force asked the trustees to consider a plan under which a new facility is built on the current Warner Center site, with Doremus Gymnasium, which adjoins Warner, maintained and remodeled. Under the plan, a separate natatorium would be constructed on another site on the campus.
“The task force was very thorough in its work,” said Steve McAllister, vice president for finance and treasurer, who co-chaired the task force. “Our recommendation retains the majority of indoor athletics and recreation programs within the core of campus, which was a major consideration. It takes advantage of both Doremus, which not only has substantial value but is also a campus landmark, and the Warner Center site, which remains extremely advantageous.”
Additional Residential Life Task Force Proposals Considered
In addition, the trustees discussed the proposals of the Residential Life Task Force with regard to upper-class students. Among those is a requirement that students live on campus for three years rather than two. The task force based its recommendation on extensive research into housing patterns both at W&L and at other colleges. Among the issues it cited were the safety and security of current off-campus options, as well as the impact on the sense of community at the University of the many students now living more than a mile and a half from campus.
Currently, on-campus housing options for upper-class students include a small number of so-called theme houses, Gaines Hall, Woods Creek Apartments and the University-owned fraternity and sorority houses. The proposal suggests that W&L offer upper-class students an array of attractive, varied options for on-campus living. Those choices would include new construction, the renovation of existing facilities and leasing options. The goal would be to provide numerous choices for location and style of housing.
“As we explored this question, one of the resources that we discovered was a report that had been issued in 1968 on student housing,” said Evans. “We were amazed to see that a self-study from 1966 raised these issues, and that a visiting accreditation team expressed concerns that off-campus housing patterns were hindering the development of an effective academic community. Many of the issues identified in that report are strikingly similar to those that we have now discovered.”
The trustees also heard a presentation on campus planning, which offered one possibility for establishing a neighborhood on campus that could be anchored by a natatorium, and might also feature new student housing, along with other amenities.
“I think it is important that the trustees consider these issues together,” said Ruscio of the recommendations issued by the task forces. “For instance, one of the possibilities would be to unify the campus by creating a dynamic neighborhood to include established facilities, such as Lewis Hall, the baseball stadium and the indoor tennis center, while carefully incorporating any new facilities. If a decision is made to go in this direction, the area now referred to as ‘across the ravine’ would no longer seem separate and remote.
“The key element in the trustees’ deliberations, in my view, is to consider the way these plans will help us preserve the traditional features of our historic campus while constantly improving the academic and co-curricular experiences of our students.”
The trustees are expected to consider these recommendations at their next meeting in February.
Jeffery G. Hanna
Executive Director of Communications and Public Affairs
Outdoorsman Aron Ralston of 127 Hours Speaks at W&L
The Contact Committee and the Outing Club at Washington and Lee University will present Aron Ralston and the real-life story behind the movie “127 Hours.” He will speak on Thursday, Nov. 1, at 7:30 p.m. at Keller Theater in Lenfest Hall. The doors will open at 7 p.m. The talk is free and open to the public.
There will be a screening of “127 Hours” in the Stackhouse Theater, W&L University Commons, on Wednesday, Oct. 31, at 4 p.m.
There also will be members of the Contact Committee answering questions about the event from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 30, Wednesday, Oct. 31 and Thursday, Nov. 1 in the Commons. They will be giving out Contact cups and koozies and Outing Club stickers and holding a raffle for free signed copies of Ralston’s book, “Between a Rock and a Hard Place.”
An experienced climber and avid outdoorsman, Ralston was descending a remote Utah canyon alone when an 800-lb. boulder broke loose, crushing his right hand and pinning him against the canyon wall. After nearly five days — without water and with no hope of escape — Ralston made a life-or-death decision. He chose life by severing his arm below the elbow, rappelling a 65-foot cliff out of the canyon and trekking seven miles to find help.
Ralston documented his life-altering experience in The New York Times best-selling memoir, “Between a Rock and a Hard Place,” which has been adapted for the big screen by Danny Boyle, the Academy Award-winning director of “Slumdog Millionaire.” The film stars James Franco as Ralston, and his performance, as well as the movie, have been nominated for numerous awards.
As an inspirational speaker, Ralston moves audiences with his unforgettable story. An ordinary man pushed to the limits, Ralston demonstrates the human capacity for the extraordinary. He describes his riveting journey in which courage and perseverance defy the inevitable outcome.
An experienced climber and avid outdoorsman, Ralston was descending a remote Utah canyon alone when an 800-lb. boulder broke loose, crushing his right hand and pinning him against the canyon wall. After nearly five days — without water and with no hope of escape — Ralston made a life-or-death decision. He chose life by severing his arm below the elbow, rappelling a 65-foot cliff out of the canyon and trekking seven miles to find help.
Ralston documented his life-altering experience in The New York Times best-selling memoir, “Between a Rock and a Hard Place,” which has been adapted for the big screen by Danny Boyle, the Academy Award-winning director of “Slumdog Millionaire.” The film stars James Franco as Ralston, and his performance, as well as the movie, have been nominated for numerous awards.
As an inspirational speaker, Ralston moves audiences with his unforgettable story. An ordinary man pushed to the limits, Ralston demonstrates the human capacity for the extraordinary. He describes his riveting journey in which courage and perseverance defy the inevitable outcome.
W&L Honors McJunkin '70, '74L at Opening of Global Service House
Washington and Lee University formally opened its new Global Service House, which includes a new location for Campus Kitchen at Washington and Lee, on Friday, Oct. 26. The ceremony included the dedication of a plaque in memory of Thomas A. McJunkin, a W&L alumnus and former member of W&L’s Board of Trustees.
McJunkin, who died in October 2011, was a 1970 graduate of W&L and a 1974 graduate of the W&L School of Law. He chaired the board’s Student Life Committee and served on the Alumni Advisory Board to W&L’s Shepherd Program for the Interdisciplinary Study of Poverty and Human Potential. In 2010, he established The McJunkin Endowment for Student Engagement, which supports W&L students in curriculum-related projects that engage them in addressing the greatest social and policy issues of their time.
“Prospective donors to the Campus Kitchen facility asked us if they could make their contributions in memory of their friend, fellow alumnus and colleague on the Board of Trustees,” said Harlan Beckley, director of the Shepherd Program and the Fletcher Otey Thomas Professor of Religion. “This is certainly a fitting tribute, because Tom was a tireless advocate on the students’ behalf and cared deeply about this project. We are grateful that Tom’s widow, Callen, could be here for the dedication and was joined by two of Tom’s brothers and their spouses.”
“We are touched that you would honor Tom by initiating and naming a project that he would have relished so much,” said his brother, Mac McJunkin, who spoke on behalf of the family. “One of the things Tom prized most about W&L is that the University is devoted to cultivating the character of its students . . . The Campus Kitchen and the Shepherd Program provide students just such an opportunity.”
Also participating in the dedication were the lead donors to the Campus Kitchen, trustees R. Allen Haight (Class of 1984) and Ben Grigsby (Class of 1972), and Cabell Brand, who founded and led Total Action Against Poverty (TAP) in the Roanoke Valley and who serves on the Shepherd Program Alumni Advisory Board.
The Global Service House is a joint project of W&L’s Center for International Education and the Shepherd Program. In addition to housing 17 students who were selected on the basis of their interest in internationalism and service learning, the facility is the first permanent home to W&L’s successful Campus Kitchen, which has served more than 100,000 meals in partnership with 15 community agencies in Rockbridge County since its founding in 2006. Prior to moving to the Global Service House, the operation worked out of several different facilities.
Most recently called the International House, the Global Service House is located in what was once the Delta Tau Delta fraternity house, at 106 Lee Avenue.
Put W&L in Your Halloween
What says Halloween more than a Washington and Lee Trident on your jack o’ lantern?
Our special Halloween stencils are back by popular demand. You can choose from four symbols: The W&L logo, the Trident, Old George and the Bob and George silhouettes.
Click on one of the images below, download that stencil, print and carve away. But you’re not done then. You need to take a photo of your creation and e-mail it to email@example.com or post it to Twitter or Instagram, using the tag #wluboo.
Nathan Feldman to Give Radford Professorship Inaugural Lecture
Nathan S. Feldman, professor of mathematics at Washington and Lee University, will give the Rupert and Lillian Radford Professorship Inaugural Lecture on Thursday, Nov. 1, at 4:30 p.m. in Northen Auditorium of Leyburn Library.
The title of Feldman’s lecture is “Beauty and Surprise in Mathematics.” The lecture is free and open to the public.
“Unfortunately, mathematics is often thought of as a dry subject with rules and restrictions in which everything is known,” Feldman said. “While it certainly is believed to be ‘useful,’ it is not often thought of as ‘beautiful.’ I will present a few of the beautiful ideas and surprising theorems of mathematics from pretty patterns in numbers to beautiful equations and intricate graphics.”
“In addition, I will show how beautiful surprising answers to simple questions can be, for instance, ‘what is the smallest percentage of the popular vote that a presidential candidate can receive and still win the election’ or ‘how likely is it that two people who attend this talk will have the same birthday.’ I will show the beauty and surprise in mathematics.
Feldman joined W&L’s faculty in 1999. His research is in functional analysis, complex analysis and operator theory. Much of his work has focused on the chaotic dynamics of linear operators and matrices. Feldman has received funding from the National Science Foundation as well as Lenfest and Glenn grants for his research.
Feldman has co-authored one book, “The Hardy Space of a Slit Domain” (Birkhauser, 2009) and more than 30 research articles, including “Hypercyclic Tuples of Operators and Somewhere Dense Orbits” (Journal of Mathematical Analysis and Applications, 2008), “C*-algebras with Multiple Subnormal Generators” (Journal of Operator Theory, 2008) and “Subnormal and Hyponormal Generators of C*-algebras” (Journal of Functional Analysis, 2006).
Feldman received his B.S. from Utah State University and his M.S. and Ph.D. from the University of Tennessee.
The Rupert and Lillian Radford Professorship in Mathematics was created in 1982 as the result of a generous gift from the Rupert Radford Trust, created by the late Rupert Radford of Houston.
Karen Haver '91 Talks Up the Arts
Karen Haver is the executive director of the Berks Art Council in Reading, Pa.; a member of the Washington and Lee Class of 1991; and the subject of a detailed profile in the Reading Eagle. She’s making a pitch for the council’s Greater Reading Film Festival, which begins today, Oct. 25, but Karen, who holds a B.A. in theater, also talks about her career path.
She said that her parents loved musical theater; they took Karen and her sisters to performances as they grew up, and her father served as the technical director for various productions. “I never actually wanted to be on stage,” Karen told the newspaper. “I worked as a stage manager. In fact, for a number of years I was an Actors’ Equity Association stage manager.”
That experience led her to jobs in Virginia, Florida and Pennsylvania, with five years as theater director for the Sovereign Performing Arts Center, volunteer work administering grants, the interim directorship at the Berks Art Council, and finally the executive director’s post there, which she has held since June.
“I’m always amazed by how much the arts can transform a community,” said Karen.
If you are in the Reading area this weekend, check out the film festival, which runs through Oct. 28 and features “The Girls in the Band,” an independent film about female jazz and big-band musicians. It also includes seminars by filmmakers and several other movies.
“Two documentaries, ‘We Are Not Ghosts’ and ‘Shift Change,’ deal with salvaging an ailing city, both offering hope,” said Karen. “And ‘Misa’s Fugue,’ directed by Sean Gaston, was created locally.” Here’s the festival’s schedule.
W&L Students Put New Global Service House to Good Use
The Global Service House, a joint project of Washington and Lee University’s Center for International Education and the Shepherd Program for the Interdisciplinary Study of Poverty and Human Capabilities, opened this fall to provide a focus for internationalism, a locale for increased cross-cultural engagement, and a visible home for service activity.
In addition to housing 17 students who were selected because of their interest in internationalism and service learning, the facility is the first permanent home to W&L’s successful Campus Kitchen. That organization has served more than 100,000 meals in partnership with 15 community agencies in Rockbridge County since its founding in 2006. Campus Kitchen had previously worked out of several different facilities.
• Campus Kitchen Dedicated in Memory of Thomas McJunkin
The residents, both international and American students, have been taking full advantage of the new house since they moved in at the start of the fall term. “Students are taking the initiative in using the residence,” said Josy Tarantini, the resident adviser of the Global Service House. “For example, the Student Association for International Learning, known as SAIL, has gotten a lot of students into the house through events such as a pizza party and a Hispanic Night. These events promote interaction between international students, residents of the house and other students with international interests. So they are making great use of the new space.”
Tarantini, a sophomore from Morgantown, W.Va., took a gap year before attending Washington and Lee. She has volunteered in Peru and Honduras as well as for non-profits in the United States. A Bonner Scholar at W&L—the Bonner Program develops leadership skills for students with an interest in service and civic engagement—she epitomizes the type of student attracted to the Global Service House.
The student residents are interested in international learning as well as community service. They are involved with W&L’s Nabors Service League, the Bonner Program and Campus Kitchen.
“We’re excited, of course, for a permanent home for the Campus Kitchen,” said Jenny Davidson, coordinator of student service learning at W&L and of Campus Kitchen. “But we’re also very excited for the opportunity to engage students in conversations around social-justice issues and how they can make an impact with their service in the local community.”
Harlan Beckley, director of the Shepherd Program and the Fletcher Otey Thomas Professor of Religion, described the new Campus Kitchen home as “a beautiful and functional facility for a student community initiative that has been popular since 2006. This new location makes it possible for many students to collaborate and make much better use of this refurbished residence.”
The building was renovated last summer to create a variety of public spaces for groups to hold meetings or larger functions. The community kitchen allows events such as cooking classes, dinners and receptions. For example, the W&L German Club has held a dinner in the house, and the Russian Club has hosted Sunday tea parties, the Hispanic Heritage Dinner and salsa lessons. It is located in the former Delta Tau Delta fraternity house, at 106 Lee Avenue.
The Global Service House is the new name of the former International House, a residence that existed at Washington and Lee for around 20 years and mainly attracted international students. Now American students compose around half of the inhabitants.
“It’s for any upper-class student who is interested in international learning, multicultural living, community service and getting involved with the Campus Kitchen,” explained Amy Richwine, associate director for international education. “So it’s got a larger mandate now that is helping to draw more interest from students.”
The Global Service House is a tangible manifestation of the Global Learning Initiative at Washington and Lee, according to Larry Boetsch, director of international education at W&L.
“Our aim is to integrate global learning, in a clear and comprehensive way, into the education of every Washington and Lee undergraduate so that we are able to fulfill what we say in our mission statement, which is that W&L graduates will be prepared to engage in a global and diverse society,” said Boetsch.
“The overall success of the Global Learning Initiative ultimately depends on people understanding what our foundation is for global learning and then taking their own initiative to make it work,” Boetsch continued. “The Global Service House is an outstanding example, where W&L provided the facility and the path that we think this house might take, but the students themselves are the ones who are taking the initiative to make it happen. So we couldn’t be happier about that.”
Further information about the Global Service House, including a calendar of events and a site to reserve rooms, can be found at http://www.wlu.edu/x56744.xml.
World Series Edition
With the San Francisco Giants and Detroit Tigers poised to begin baseball’s World Series tonight, it’s only appropriate that several baseball-related notes, in the form of baseball-related alumni, are the subjects of today’s blog.
• The Oct. 22 edition of Sports Illustrated has an extensive feature story about Maryland’s Williamsport High School; its unexpected state championship in the aftermath of the sudden death in a car accident of its star player; and its 25-year-old coach, David Warrenfeltz. It’s a fascinating story and worth checking out.
Warrenfeltz had to deal not only with the death of his best player but also the death three years ago of his former high school teammate, Los Angeles Angels pitcher Nick Adenhart, also in a car accident. (USA Today also ran a piece about the team and Warrenfeltz last May.)
David Warrenfeltz’s father is mentioned on several occasions in the story. His name is also David, and he was a COSIDA Academic All-American in 1984, when he played for Washington and Lee. A 1984 graduate of W&L, the elder David is a math teacher at North Hagerstown High School, where he previously coached the baseball team.
At one point in the story, the young coach credits his love of baseball to his father and his late friend Adenhart. The article also refers to the way the coach’s father “valued ethics over flash, hard work over talent.” Williamsport won the game with a suicide squeeze bunt in extra innings, and the elder David got some credit for that, too:
As father always said, “You can’t expect them to do something that they’ve never practiced.” His dad said something else too: “There’s no way to defend against a well-executed squeeze play.”
• On Oct. 13, the Detroit Free Press published its daily playoff baseball quiz and featured star pitcher Justin Verlander. This was the third question on the quiz:
3. In college Verlander pitched at…
A. Wake Forest
B. Virginia Tech
C. Washington and Lee
E. Old Dominion
Although W&L baseball coach Jeff Stickley wishes C were the right answer, it’s actually E. He pitched at Old Dominion.
So why was W&L thrown in that mix?
Although we have no way of knowing for sure, it is the case that baseball writers in Detroit are not unfamiliar with the Generals, since one of their own, Detroit News sports writer and columnist Tom Gage, is a 1970 W&L graduate. He wrote for the New Orleans Times-Picayune before joining the News.
Novelist Tom Robbins Remembers W&L
Even though he graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University, acclaimed novelist Tom Robbins hasn’t forgotten where he spent his first couple of years as a college student: Washington and Lee. He visited Richmond the weekend of Oct. 20 to receive the Literary Lifetime Achievement Award from the Library of Virginia, and he mentioned W&L in his acceptance speech and in an interview with the Richmond Times-Dispatch.
Robbins has written such popular novels as “Jitterbug Perfume,” “Another Roadside Attraction,” “Still Life with Woodpecker” and “Even Cowgirls Get the Blues.” The latter was made into a movie in 1993.
Robbins was born in North Carolina and grew up in Warsaw, Va. He attended W&L as a member of the Class of 1954. After leaving W&L, he served in the Air Force, wrote for the Times-Dispatch and studied at VCU, graduating in 1959. He’s lived in the Pacific Northwest since the early 1960s.
During his time at W&L, he reported on sports for the Ring-Tum Phi student newspaper; his editor was none other than Tom Wolfe, of the Class of 1951. Wolfe won the same award from the Library of Virginia in 2007 and, coincidentally, was the subject of a Times-Dispatch feature in the same issue as the story on Robbins.
“He was a senior, the big man on campus, a literary star,” Robbins told the Times-Dispatch of Wolfe. “He wrote some marvelous stuff; his talent was already blossoming. I was just this naïve little freshman cub reporter. He was ostensibly my boss, but I don’t think he and I ever exchanged a word.”
Robbins also mentioned an incident at his fraternity house that involved an airborne biscuit and his housemother. Read that tale and the rest of the fascinating profile here.
Also honored at the Literary Awards was Jasmin Darznik, assistant professor of English at W&L. Her book, “The Good Daughter: A Memoir of My Mother’s Hidden Life,” was a finalist for the People’s Choice Award for Nonfiction. A New York Times bestseller, it is now available in paperback.
Winners of 2012 John W. Davis Appellate Advocacy Moot Court Competition Announced
The 2012 John W. Davis Appellate Advocacy Moot Court Competition at Washington and Lee School of Law concluded in the Millhiser Moot Court Room with the final round on Friday, October 19.
The Honorable G. Steven Agee, U.S. Circuit Judge for the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, the Honorable Sanford L. Steelman, Jr., Judge for the North Carolina Court of Appeals, and the Honorable John M. Tyson, Judge for the North Carolina Court of Appeals, presided over the final round. Professors Anne Massie and Russell Miller selected the Best Brief.
Rockwell Bower won Best Oralist, and Alex Sugzda received runner-up. Matthias Kaseorg and Ben Willson also competed in the final round. Claire Hagan and Scott Weingart won the Best Brief award. Alex Sugzda received runner-up. The teams of Marcus Lasswell and Lucas White and Emily Kuchar and Tiffany Eisenbise were also Best Brief finalists.
The John W. Davis Moot Court Competition is an appellate advocacy competition held annually at the School of Law. The Davis competition consists of two components: the submission of an appellate brief and the presentation of oral arguments before a panel of judges. During the competition, students write briefs individually or in teams of two, and all participants argue alone. Competitors advance from the initial rounds based upon their performance on the brief and their oral advocacy skills, both on-brief and off-brief. Advancement in later rounds is based purely on oral advocacy.
This year’s problem was loosely based on Fisher v. Texas, an affirmative action issue recently heard before the U.S. Supreme Court. Students who participated in this year’s competition are also eligible to represent W&L in national Moot Court competitions such as the ABA National Appellate Advocacy Competition and the Philip Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition.
Amy Conant and David Miller, who judged the preliminary round, served as the administrators for this year’s competitions. In an effort to simulate the U.S. Supreme Court, nine members of the Moot Court Executive Board judged the quarterfinal round. Professors Beth Belmont, David Bruck, and Tim MacDonnell judged the semifinal round.
The Davis Competition is named in honor of alumnus John W. Davis, who joined the law school as its third faculty member in 1897 and is regarded as one of the finest advocates of the 20th century.
The Moot Court Executive Board administers all competitions for the Moot Court Program, which includes the Robert J. Grey, Jr. Negotiations Competition, Mock Trial, Representation in Mediation, and Client Counseling. For more information about the Moot Court Board and upcoming competitions, please visit http://law.wlu.edu/mootcourt.
Studio 11 Celebrates the Art of Writing by Presenting Ann Fisher-Wirth
Writers at Studio 11 reading series will present poet, author and scholar Ann Fisher-Wirth on Monday, Oct. 29, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the Studio 11 Gallery.
The reading is free and open to the public and refreshments will be served. Books by Fisher-Wirth will be available for sale.
Fisher-Wirth will read from her new book, Dream Cabinet, and other works. The event will also include brief readings by student writers Liz Pringle, Shearry Hodges and Taylor Ellesse Goodwin from Dabney S. Lancaster Community College, Max Chapnick ’13 from Washington and Lee University and John Dongieux and Denver Reese from Virginia Military Institute. Janice Bell from Sub Terra and Laura-Gray Street from Randolph College will also give brief readings.
Of Dream Cabinet, author Claudia Emerson writes “Fisher-Wirth reminds us that the earth’s uncertain passage is inextricable from our own as she deftly interweaves the political with the personal—crafting again and again ‘the made thing out of the sheltering darkness.’”
Fisher-Wirth is the author of four books of poems and four chapbooks, including Dream Cabinet (2012), Five Terraces (2005) and Blue Window (2004). The chapbooks include Slide Shows (2009) and Walking Wu Wei’s Scroll (2005). She is also a co-editor of a collaborative anthology.
She has a forthcoming publication, The Ecopoetry Anthology, with Laura-Gray Street (2013). She also over 100 poems in publications (some online), including “Mississippi” in (Revolution)esque, 2012; “La Garde Guérin” in Poemeleon (online), 2011; “Thirty Years After I Left Your Father” in Poemeleon (online), 2011; and “If Not, Winter” in Copper Nickel, 2011.
Fisher-Wirth’s awards include a Malahat Review Long Poem Prize, the Rita Dove Poetry Award, a Poetry Award from the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters, and two Poetry Fellowships from the Mississippi Arts Commission. She has received six Pushcart nominations and a 2007 Pushcart Special Mention.
She has held a Fulbright lecturership at the University of Fribourg, Switzerland, and the Fulbright Distinguished Chair in American Studies at Uppsala University, Sweden. Fisher-Wirth is a professor in English and environmental studies at the University of Mississippi.
Studio 11 is located at 11 S. Jefferson St. in downtown Lexington. Artist Tim Wilson’s show “Exile of Nature” will be on display, officially running in Studio 11 from Nov. 2 through Dec. 22. The series is coordinated by Mattie Quesenberry Smith of DSLCC and Lesley Wheeler of W&L with help from both schools. This event is sponsored by the Glasgow Endowment at Washington and Lee.
The next Writers at Studio 11 event on Dec. 3, featuring Paul Handstedt, will include an open mic.
W&L's Alexander on WMRA's “Virginia Insight”
Raquel Alexander, associate professor of accounting at Washington and Lee University, discussed taxation and taxes on NPR affiliate WMRA’s “Virginia Insight” show today, Monday, Oct. 22.
Raquel is a corporate tax policy expert and a former tax consultant with the international auditing firm KPMG. She appeared on the show with Joseph J. Thorndike, director of the Tax History Project, a fellow of the George W. Bush Institute and a visiting scholar at the University of Virginia’s history department.
They discussed a variety of tax issues, including how the tax rate in the United States is among the lowest in the world when compared to 33 other developed nations.
“Virginia Insight” is a live call-in show hosted by Tom Graham.
Social Entrepreneurship Subject of New Startup.Org Course at W&L
When David Touve, a Washington and Lee University professor of business administration, introduced students to social entrepreneurship with a class called “Wicked Problems,” he offered a simple purpose: “To find a few ways and a few people willing to change the world.”
In the four-week spring term course, the students examined such problems as hunger, disease, poverty and energy shortages, and considered solutions that required methods beyond those of traditional problem solving.
This fall Touve has retooled the course, now called “Startup.org: Social Entrepreneurship,” for the traditional 12-week semester. The problems are still wicked and the goal is the same.
Social entrepreneurship is not a new concept but, said Touve, there are still grand debates over exactly what it is. Some business schools still struggle to fit this concept into the curriculum, even as the subject of social entrepreneurship has gained greater legitimacy over the last decade.
At Washington and Lee, the social entrepreneurship class is the latest addition to a set of courses developed over the past four years, as the University has begun a program in entrepreneurship under the direction of Jeffrey Shay, the Johnson Professor of Entrepreneurship and Leadership.
“At its core, entrepreneurship is about starting something — something imagined and, hopefully, well-designed — to have impact,” said Touve. “That impact has value, whether or not we can directly charge someone for it.”
These start-ups could be for-profit or non-profit. They could be new projects within a corporation or a wholly new organization altogether.
“Most importantly, neither non- nor for-profit are business models,” Touve said. “They are simply corporate forms. There are non-profits that sell things and for-profits that give things away.”
Touve is introducing the 16 students in his class this semester to case studies of foundations, social ventures and venture philanthropists. These cases range from Arcadia Biosciences to Ashoka to Samasource. The course, he said, can operate backward: students are first presented with a challenge and then try to develop a solution, rather then being presented with a solution that is then applied to every challenge.
“I don’t hand them a cookie-cutter solution. We work together to try to figure one out,” Touve said. “In social entrepreneurship, the key is impact or, in particular, social impact. We want to understand what impact is, and yet it’s not a concrete thing that is valued in a standardized way.
“Among the questions the students have to ask about these ventures are: How does impact happen? What will be the measures of that impact? What are the costs of starting one of these ventures? How might we have the greatest impact? How might we find the value of that impact—can we charge for it, or will we need to find support?”
The social venture world is broader than what Touve calls “classic” entrepreneurship. “It has grant-making, plus venture capital, plus venture philanthropy, plus individual donors,” he said. “That little system is more broad, and I think it’s more difficult to navigate. The protocol for launching these ventures is clearly not established, the market for funding is not formalized, so both young founders and established founders end up swimming more, trying to figure out how to operate in this system.”
One thing that Touve wants to get across to his students is his view that entrepreneurs are not special people, but normal people who start something in an effort to impact the world around them. Their decisions, he added, can be well-reasoned or wholly irrational. The challenge for a course like this one is to provide some way of distinguishing the unreasonable from the reasonable, or at least respecting the risk inherent to that difference.
When he talks about starting a company, Touve speaks from experience. Prior to his PhD and faculty position, David founded his first venture by 25, and later worked with a number of startups—some failed, some still operating, some acquired by firms like Sony and AOL.
Less than half of the 16 students in his class are business administration majors, while the others are majoring in everything from politics to journalism to East Asian Languages and Literatures. Furthermore, students arrive in the course as sophomores, juniors, and seniors
“From this broad perspective, a liberal arts campus is an ideal setting for entrepreneurship,” Touve said. “The result of the combination is an explicit expression for the sort of mission a school like W&L would already express: knowledge for the sake of understanding combined with understanding for the sake of impact.
“Furthermore, since the answers to the most significant issues facing society cannot really be understood through a talking-head lecture followed by a standardized test with 100 multiple-choice questions, we can — in a setting like that of W&L — dig into these truly complex subjects in small-group, highly interactive discussions. Stated another way, if the issues facing society could be understood through talking heads and bubble tests, we would have solved these issues already and moved on.”
By the end of the semester, he will ask the students to not only take the role of founders presenting their own pitch for new social ventures that can change the world, but also as funders providing their own reasoning for investing in or granting to those student ventures they feel might have the greatest impact.
“The students should be able to provide persuasive and well-reasoned answers, supported by a great deal of research that they will have done around the opportunity and the impact, to a set of key questions” Touve said. “Why should their venture exist? Why might it survive? Why could it have real impact? What will take to have that impact?”
Changing the world can be serious business.
Jeffery G. Hanna
Executive Director of Communications and Public Affairs
New York Times David Carr Addresses W&L Journalism Ethics Institute
Addressing the 54th Institute on Ethics in Journalism at Washington and Lee University on Friday, David Carr, media and culture columnist at The New York Times, said that the time to be a journalist is now.
Carr, who writes the Times’ “Media Equation” column, spoke directly to the journalism students in the audience when he told them that “you are going to have an amazing, amazing ride.”
“The velocity of change in journalism is breathtaking,” he said, adding: “I can’t think of a more interesting time to be in the news business.”
Carr began his talk in Lee Chapel by describing the breaking news that he had covered just 24 hours earlier, when Newsweek magazine announced that it was ceasing publication of a print magazine in favor of an Internet-only publication.
Although other publications had ceased print versions, Newsweek’s decision was seen in a different light because of its former status as a major news magazine.
“In this slow diminution of the news industry,” Carr said, “Newsweek going down is a bit of a moment. You’re surrounded by invisible gas, and all of a sudden one of the canaries falls over.
“We’ve known this stuff is going around. New Orleans doesn’t have a daily newspaper. Detroit doesn’t deliver its paper four days a week, and other cities and other chains are weighing options for a lower frequency of print, having been supplanted by a digital product.”
But, Carr added, Newsweek’s fate was set even before this week’s announcement. It was, he said, “a dead magazine walking.”
“The problem with Newsweek is, what was it good at? It was good at aggregation — this is what happened last week; this is why it happened last week. Are we really short on that? Do we really need that?”
Carr said that in the five years that Newsweek has been faltering, numerous digital-only publications have begun vying for readers’ attention.
“You should not confuse the loss of the artifact with the loss of a culture of fact,” he said. “Just because there isn’t a thing doesn’t mean that journalism isn’t persisting, growing and morphing into other things. Don’t think that revolution is Armageddon. It’s the way of all things that things change.”
For years and years, Carr said, observers have said that the sky is falling on journalism. The sky is not so much falling, he said, as holes are being punched in it, with a lot of sunshine coming through.
Among the changes in the way news is transmitted, Carr pointed specifically at Twitter. The popular social media tool, he noted, was supposed to kill newspapers like the Times. Instead, “every four seconds Twitter carries new content from the New York Times to an audience we didn’t reach very often.” Carr himself has 380,000 Twitter followers.
Twenty years from now, he said, people will not believe how a traditional newspaper was created. “We used to yell ‘stop’ in the middle of the news cycle, take a bunch of words, mush them onto paper, roll them up and then throw them in people’s yards,” he said. “Think what that’s going to sound like 20 years from now.”
Carr said that the web gives journalists “a tool belt that is unbelievable,” permitting them to combine video, audio, photographs and print. That also means the lines between the traditional divisions in journalism — print, radio and TV — are blurring. “We’re all going to be in the same business,” Carr said. “We’re all going to be fighting for the same set of eyeballs.”
The two-day institute involves W&L students and media professionals and academics participating in seminars that examine case studies of ethical dilemmas presented by the practicing journalists.
Jeffery G. Hanna
Executive Director of Communications and Public Affairs
Hayne Hipp to be Honored in South Carolina
W. Hayne Hipp, a member of Washington and Lee’s Class of 1962, is one of three South Carolinians who will be honored on Nov. 26 at the third annual Dick & Tunky Riley Legacy of Leaders event, sponsored by Leadership South Carolina.
In addition to Hayne, the honorees are Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-SC, and Deb Sofield, an internationally recognized communications coach.
The three will be recognized for their contributions to the state, the region, the nation and the world.
Hayne will receive the Leader of Distinction Award. He founded the Liberty Fellowship, seminars and collaborative forums designed to cultivate new generations of leaders who are successful in their fields and active in their communities, and who have the potential to make an impact at the state level, to improve the quality of life for residents of the state, and to improve the standing of South Carolina nationally. He founded it in collaboration with Wofford College and the Aspen Institute.
Prior to establishing the Liberty Foundation, Hayne spent 26 years as CEO of Liberty Corp., the holding company that managed Liberty Properties (real estate), Liberty Capital Advisors (financial management), Liberty Life Insurance and Cosmos Broadcasting (which owned WIS-TV). He is a trustee of the Aspen Institute and former trustee of the Palmetto Business Forum and the National Urban League. He is also a trustee emeritus of Washington and Lee.
W&L Professor Emeritus Chuck Phillips Dies at 77
Charles F. Phillips Jr., the Robert G. Brown Professor of Economics Emeritus at Washington and Lee University and the longtime mayor of Lexington, died on Wednesday, Oct. 18, in Lexington. He was 77.
A memorial service will be held on Saturday, Oct. 27, at 11 a.m., at the Lexington Presbyterian Church, with the Rev. Dr. William Klein officiating. A reception will follow in the church’s Dunlap Auditorium.
Phillips taught at W&L for 44 years, retiring in 2003. He specialized in industrial organization, regulated industries and corporate economics. He focused primarily on governmental regulation of public utilities and was a national expert on the issue, serving as a consultant to numerous regulated businesses and testifying as an expert witness before federal and state regulatory commissions throughout the country.
His book on the subject, “The Regulation of Public Utilities: Theory and Practice,” was the preferred guide to public utilities in the American economy, both as a classroom textbook and as a reference work for utility executives and regulators. It was originally published in 1984; the third edition was released in 1993.
“This is a great loss for the community as well as the University,” said Washington and Lee President Kenneth P. Ruscio. “Not only was Chuck an eminent scholar and a highly regarded teacher, but he was also a tireless public servant. I always marveled at his ability to pursue his scholarly activity and his national consulting work while also serving for 17 years as the mayor of Lexington and holding several other important positions in the community.”
Born on Nov. 5, 1934, in Geneva, N.Y., Phillips received his B.A. in economics from the University of New Hampshire and his Ph.D. in economics from Harvard.
He joined the W&L faculty in 1959, choosing to pursue the same career as his father, who had taught economics before serving for 25 years as president of Bates College, in Maine. As a testament to how quickly Phillips became a widely popular faculty member, students dedicated the 1962 yearbook, the Calyx, to him and his faculty colleague, Sidney M.B. Coulling.
Discussing his decision to teach at the undergraduate level, Phillips once said he made that choice “in large part because of the challenge it offers and also in large part because of the close contact one has with students, seeing them develop over a period of three or four years.”
He was named to the Brown Professorship in 1979. He served on virtually all of the University’s committees and advised numerous student organizations, including the Williams Investment Society and Beta Theta Pi social fraternity.
In 1979, at the height of his consulting with public utilities, Phillips estimated that he traveled an average of 65,000 miles a year. In addition to that work, he was appointed in 1971 to a statewide commission that studied the desirability of legalizing pari-mutuel betting on horse racing in Virginia. A year later, President Richard Nixon appointed him to the Commission on the Review of the National Policy Toward Gambling. In Virginia, he served more than 20 years on the Republican State Central Committee.
Phillips was extremely active in the Lexington community. He served on the Lexington City Council for four years before winning election as mayor in 1971. He served as mayor through 1988 and was responsible for the transformation of the community in many ways, including the revitalization of downtown and an increased emphasis on the richness of Lexington’s history. He was also active in the Maury River Senior Center, United Way of Lexington-Rockbridge County, Lexington Presbyterian Church, Historic Lexington Foundation and Valley Program for Aging Services, among numerous other local organizations.
In a 1979 feature article about Phillips in the Richmond Times-Dispatch, the writer suggested that he was undoubtedly the busiest man in Lexington and “must have a twin hiding somewhere to help him keep up with his schedule.” Responded Phillips, “I never planned my life to be so busy; things have just evolved that way. The pace, I hope, will slow down some day. But I like what I’m doing now.”
Larry Peppers, the Crawford Family Dean of the Williams School of Commerce, Economics, and Politics, called Phillips “the rare individual who had the ability to be prolific in all dimensions of his professional and his civic life.”
Added Peppers: “Within the span of a few weeks, I witnessed Chuck testifying before Congress on antitrust policy, working with fraternity members who needed guidance, helping an assistant professor by reviewing a draft of a scholarly manuscript, and assisting a dean to better understand alumni concerns about the University. Chuck’s energy and passion for his family, his colleagues and for the University was amazing to behold. We extend our deepest sympathy to Marjorie and to her children.”
The recipient of several major honors and awards, Phillips was active in regional and national organizations, serving as president on three occasions of Omicron Delta Epsilon, the international economics honor society. For his academic work, he received the J. Rhodes Foster Award for outstanding contributions to the public utility regulatory process. He received recognition for his community service from the Shenandoah Chapter of the National Society of Fund Raising Executives, which presented him its Philanthropist Award.
Phillips is survived by his wife, Marjorie H. Phillips, of Lexington; one son, Charles “Chip” Phillips, of Richmond; two daughters, Susan Weber, of Union, Maine, and Anne Davey, of Vineyard Haven, Mass.; one sister, Carol Taylor, of Birmingham, Ala.; and seven grandchildren.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Rockbridge Area Free Clinic, P.O. Box 1573, Lexington VA 24450; Maury River Senior Center, 2137 Magnolia Ave., Buena Vista, VA 24416; or the Lexington Presbyterian Church, 120 S. Main St., Lexington, VA 24450.
Jeffery G. Hanna
Executive Director of Communications and Public Affairs
“Intern Queen” to Speak at W&L
Lauren Berger, CEO of InternQueen.com, will discuss strategies for finding internships and career opportunities on Tuesday, Oct. 23, at 7 p.m. in Stackhouse Theater of the Elrod Commons at Washington and Lee University.
Prior to her presentation, which is free and open the public, Berger will be signing copies of her book, “All Work and No Pay: Building Your Resume, Making Connections and Gaining Job Experience.” She will donate a portion of the proceeds from sales of her book at W&L to the Weekend Backpack Snack Program of the Campus Kitchen at Washington and Lee.
Berger will talk about how to find and apply for internships, offer resume review tips and discuss career-building skills. She will also explain how she successfully secured internships and developed her popular website, InternQueen.com, in 2008.
A graduate of the University of Central Florida, where she majored in organization business communications, Berger held 15 internships during her undergraduate career. These included internships with such varied companies as NBC, Fox, MTV and BWR Public Relations.
Berger is number five on “Business Week’s” annual list of the 25 Best Young Entrepreneurs Under 25. Mobile Youth placed her in the Top 10 Youth Marketing Minds of 2010. She works with more than 1,000 employers worldwide, connecting them with ambitious high school and college interns. Her website, InternQueen.com, reaches more than 80,000 different students, parents and employers each month.
Jeffery G. Hanna
Executive Director of Communications and Public Affairs
There She Goes, Miss Roanoke Valley . . .
Congratulations to Ashna Sharan, a 2012 graduate of Washington and Lee. This past Saturday, Oct. 13, she won a $2,700 scholarship and the title of Miss Roanoke Valley, which means she will be competing for another title next June: Miss Virginia.
Ashna, a Johnson Scholar from Chantilly, Va., double-majored in business administration and politics. She belonged to the Nu Delta Alpha national dance honor society and to W&L Student Consulting, and worked as a campus tour guide. Ashna also served as a peer counselor and as a peer tutor for calculus. She choreographed pieces for the W&L Repertory Dance company and performed a dance during Science, Society and the Arts, the University’s every-other-year research conference; it’s no surprise that her talent for the pageant was a Bollywood number. It’s also no surprise that during her senior year, Ashna was named a General of the Month by the W&L Celebrating Student Success initiative.
Ashna received an Erik T. Wooley Fellowship grant to work as a marketing intern in Peru. Afterward, she wrote about her experience with the nonprofit Peru 109, where she sought to advertise the services of a women’s shelter that aids victims of domestic abuse. You can read that essay here, on the Shepherd Poverty Program website.
Miss Roanoke Valley is not Ashna’s first pageant title; she also served as Miss Virginia Dogwood 2012. If she takes the crown as Miss Virginia, it’ll be on to the Miss America pageant.
Michael Anderson to Give Sadler Professorship Inaugural Lecture
Michael A. Anderson, professor of economics at Washington and Lee University, will give the Robert E. Sadler Jr. Professorship Inaugural Lecture on Wednesday, Oct. 24, at 8 p.m. in the Hillel House Multipurpose Room. Anderson was named to the professorship on July 1 of this year.
The title of Anderson’s lecture, which is free and open to the public, is “The Promise and Peril of Globalization: Unprecedented Opportunity, Unanticipated Costs.”
“Our era has seen rising global incomes, as well as rising job losses and income inequality,” said Anderson. “International trade and international movements of capital have been variously credited with the former and blamed for the latter.” In his talk, Anderson will present the surprising results of recent research on who wins and who loses from increased globalization.
Anderson is the author of more than 15 published articles and has given numerous invited presentations to academic and lay audiences. He has published in a variety of economics journals, including the Review of International Economics, The World Economy and The Canadian Journal of Economics. His primary area of research is in international trade.
Anderson’s work was recognized in 2001 with a major grant from the American Philosophical Society. He is the associate editor of Faith and Economics and, at W&L, he serves on the President’s Advisory Committee and the Provost Search Committee.
Anderson received his B.A. in economics from Michigan State University and his M.S. and Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin at Madison.
The Robert E. Sadler Jr. Professorship was established in 2007 to support a distinguished professor who is an accomplished scholar and exceptional teacher in the Williams School of Commerce, Economics, and Politics. The endowment is the gift of Robert E. Sadler Jr., W&L Class of ‘67.
W&L Law Prof Lyman Johnson to Give Pileggi Distinguished Lecture on Corporate Law
Lyman Johnson, Robert O. Bentley Professor of Law at Washington and Lee University School of Law, has been tapped to give the 28th Annual Francis G. Pileggi Distinguished Lecture in Law, one of the most prestigious corporate law lectures in the country.
The Pileggi Lecture is presented to the Delaware Bench and Bar and focuses on developing issues in the area of corporate law. The lecturer is always a leading voice in the field of corporation law. Johnson will deliver the lecture on Nov.9 at the Hotel DuPont in Wilmington, DE.
Johnson’s talk is titled “Unsettled and Unsettling Issues in Corporate Law.” His lecture revisits two fundamental issues in corporate law, the central role of the business judgment rule in fiduciary litigation and whether there is a mandated corporate purpose. Using the emergent question of whether the business judgment rule should be used in analyzing officer and controlling shareholder fiduciary duties, Johnson will propose a rethinking of the rule’s analytical preeminence, suggesting elevating duties themselves to be more prominent and deemphasizing the business judgment rule. Regarding corporate purpose, Johnson will advocate that Delaware law permit a pluralistic approach in the for-profit corporate sector.
Johnson is a nationally known scholar, whose work focuses on business associations, securities regulations, corporate finance, and business planning. His scholarship has appeared in a variety of publications including the Boston University Law Review, Columbia Law Review, George Washington Law Review, and the Delaware Journal of Corporate Law. His article on the business judgment rule was voted by American corporate law professors to be one of the “Top 10” corporate and securities law articles in the country for the year 2005.
In addition, Johnson’s scholarship and expert testimony have been employed in several high profile corporate lawsuits in recent years, including the nation’s largest stock options backdating case and a case brought by shareholders of the Walt Disney Company for the way their Board of Directors handled the hiring and firing of Michael Ovitz. Johnson has filed amicus briefs in three recent U.S. Supreme Court cases involving corporate disclosures and shareholder rights.
Johnson is a member of The American Law Institute, where currently he is a member of the Consultative Group for the Principles of The Law of Nonprofit Organizations project, a project addressing director and officer fiduciary duties. He is also a member of the Business Associations section and the Socio-Economics section of the Association of American Law Schools (AALS). He is a founding Executive Committee member for the new AALS Section on Transactional Lawyering.
Lynn Tavenner '89L Co-Heads Bankruptcy Law Firm
As the Richmond Times-Dispatch observed in a recent feature story, Washington and Lee alumna Lynn Tavenner, of the Law School Class of 1989, has been deeply involved in some of the highest-profile bankruptcy cases in the Richmond area in recent years.
Lynn and her law partner, Paul Beran, run Tavenner & Beran P.L.C., which one retired bankruptcy judge called “the very definition of a quality boutique firm” in the Times-Dispatch piece.
According to the paper, Tavenner & Beran “have played some role in nearly every major bankruptcy case to hit the Richmond region in the past five years.” Some of the names will be familiar: Circuit City, LandAmerica and the State Fair of Virginia.
Both Lynn and her partner were specializing in bankruptcy and restructuring cases at the Richmond firm LeClairRyan when they decided to join forces and strike out on their own. They believe their model has worked because they have specialized in one area.
As Lynn told the T-D, a firm of their size has flexibility. In larger firms, she noted, “if you spend a gazillion hours on a case and then at the end of the day, for whatever reason, it doesn’t pan out, that could be a huge issue somewhere else, but here it’s not.”
Lynn said that she had wanted to be a lawyer since seventh grade, but that it was only when a W&L professor suggested that she apply for a clerkship in the bankruptcy court that she began heading in that direction.
And while some of their cases have involved major companies, their work runs the gamut, with some of their smaller clients dealing with more difficult circumstances.
“In many instances, some of our most successful cases have been small mom and pops because you can actually see the results at the end of the day,” Lynn said. “That is gratifying.”
Speaking of bankruptcy, another W&L Law alumna, Rebecca Connelly, of the Law School Class of 1988, was formally invested as the U.S. bankruptcy judge for the Western District of Virginia on Sept. 28, in a ceremony in Roanoke. She is the first woman to hold that position. Becky was elected to the position in January.
Prior to her appointment, Becky served as a standing trustee for the Western District, which stretches from Winchester to Lynchburg and to the state’s western tip. Her chambers are in Harrisonburg.
Birney '78 Goes Solar in Style
Washington and Lee alumnus and real estate executive Lex Birney, of the Class of 1978, demonstrated his theatrical side earlier this month when he flipped the ceremonial switch on a new solar array that is helping power Queenstown Harbor Golf Course on Maryland’s Eastern Shore.
Lex is CEO of The Brick Companies (TBC), which owns the course. As the story on MyEasternShoreMD.com reported, he donned a white coat and wild-haired wig for the occasion, and delivered his best impression of Gene Wilder in “Young Frankenstein,” declaring “It’s alive!!!” when he threw the switch.
Queenstown is one of the commercial, residential and recreational properties that Lex’s company owns, develops and manages in and around the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia.
One thing the properties have in common is a commitment to environmental and social responsibility. TBC operates under a “green building philosophy” and also supports various causes through The TBC Foundation.
The solar array on the Queenstown Harbor course has 268 panels and can produce about 78 megawatt hours of clean electricity each year. The project was designed and installed by Standard Solar Inc., of Rockville, Md., the same company that installed and is maintaining the 540-panel array on the parking deck at W&L.
As another example of the company’s commitment to green energy, earlier this year it announced that all of its properties in Maryland — six commerical buildings, two golf clubs and two marinas — would be powered by wind. In announcing that move in September, Lex said: “Committing to purchase 100 percent of our electricity from wind power provides an economic benefit based on our historic energy costs and represents another step toward our goal of being a leader in environmental stewardship. This means that our employees, tenants and customers can be assured that by supporting us, they are also supporting green resources and clean energy.”
In July, Lex and the Brick Companies’ CFO, Joan H. Renner, were named one of the top dozen CEO/CFO teams in the region by Baltimore Business Journal. In that article, Lex talks about being an English major.
Georgia Newspaper Features Don Childress '70
Washington and Lee alumnus J. Donald Childress, of the Class of 1970, and his company, Childress Klein Properties, are the subject of a feature story that appeared in the Marietta (Ga.) Daily Journal on Oct. 14.
Don is the senior managing partner and co-founder of Childress Klein, which has offices in both Atlanta and Charlotte.
As the Daily Journal reports, the privately held real estate development company has a $1 billion property portfolio.
Don, who serves as the rector of W&L’s Board of Trustees, has worked in commerical real estate for his entire career, starting with Trammell Crow and then joining Fred Klein to launch Childress Klein in 1988.
According to the Daily Journal, Childress Klein now has 86 properties and manages 109 buildings for third-party owners. Don noted that, as a result of the recession, the company has not built a new building in Atlanta in eight years. He added that the recession has, however, forced the company to look at different opportunities, and so it has added two new market segments: “large-scale, climate-controlled self-storage and multi-family apartment complexes.”
Don’s advice to the next generation: “Get a good education, get involved in your community through volunteer support and leadership, and treat all people with respect and dignity.”
W&L Professor Emeritus Joseph Goldsten Dies at 83
Joseph Goldsten, the Mamie Fox Twyman Martel Professor of Management Emeritus at Washington and Lee University, died on Thursday, Oct. 11, in Lexington. He was 83. He taught at W&L from 1972 until his retirement in 1999, specializing in financial theory, strategic planning and family business.
“Professor Goldsten brought a sharp, analytical mind to his teaching,” said Washington and Lee President Kenneth P. Ruscio. “He also cared deeply about higher education and often challenged his students not to become what he called ‘passive observers of their own education.’ Many alumni point to lessons they learned from him that went well beyond the latest financial models.”
Goldsten was born on Jan. 15, 1929, in Charlottesville, Va. He earned his B.S. in engineering from Virginia Tech (1950), where he belonged to the Corps of Cadets and the Highty-Tighties regimental band. He then earned his M.S. in engineering from Lehigh University (1951) and worked at Borg-Warner, where he was instrumental in developing a compressor for an automobile air-conditioning unit, among the first such patents of its kind.
He was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Army and served in the Korean War.
From 1953 to 1972, Goldsten held several different positions in a variety of businesses. He was a chief engineer, Lehigh Inc. (1953–1957); staff engineer, York Division, Borg-Warner (1957–1958); manager of engineering and purchasing, Plainfield Division, Worthington-Studebaker Corp. (1958–1961); chief engineer, York Division, Borg-Warner (1961); vice president and director, Capitol Machine Co. (1961–1964); manager of engineering, Diamond Power Specialty Co. (1964–1967); and consultant, president of Byer Investment Co. (1967–1972).
In the early 1970s, he made a major career shift, earning his Ph.D. in business administration from The Ohio State University (1974) and joining the faculty at Washington and Lee to begin his distinguished teaching career.
“Professor Goldsten was a revered member of the Business Department who challenged students with rigorous courses in finance and worked tirelessly to develop opportunities for W&L graduates interested in careers in finance,” said Larry Peppers, the Crawford Family Dean of the Williams School of Commerce, Economics, and Politics. “Several years ago, a group of Professor Goldsten’s former students, wanting to recognize the profound impact that he had on their lives, started the Goldsten endowment for faculty development. His colleagues will remember Joe for his passionate support of students and for his great devotion to Washington and Lee. He will be missed, and we extend our condolences to Barbara and to Joe’s children.”
Every spring, he took his students to New York on investment trips. He also led teams of Washington and Lee students to competition in the Emory University Intercollegiate Business Games, which they won several times. He was named to the Martel professorship in 1991. The endowment in his honor, the Joseph Goldsten Departmental Support Fund, was established by three of his former students and helps the Williams School in various ways.
Goldsten also served the University with his leadership of the Fringe Benefits Committee and as an adviser to Phi Delta Theta fraternity.
In the Lexington community, he was vice-chair of the board of the Stonewall Jackson Hospital and chaired the Lexington Planning Commission. In his professional community, he participated in the Eastern Finance Association and served on the advisory board of the American Federal Savings and Loan.
Goldsten reminisced about his students to the W&L alumni magazine for the 2006 issue celebrating the Williams School’s centennial. “The most important thing we taught them was honesty,” he said. “Not just on the surface, but a basic behavior of thought and action. It’s irreplaceable and untouchable, and with ability, it carries a long way.”
One of his colleagues, John Gunn, the Lewis Whitaker Adams Professor of Economics Emeritus, described Goldsten as “a model professor for an undergraduate college of liberal studies like Washington and Lee,” adding that “Joe was first a master of his discipline. . . . He was an extraordinarily effective teacher of his subject, but more than that, he was a wise and understanding mentor to dozens of students every year.”
Goldsten is survived by his wife, Barbara Wassell Goldsten; five children, Carol Fruhwald, of Richmond, Va.; Janet Cantler, of Brooklyn, N.Y.; Adeline Penn, of Diamond Springs, Calif.; Audrey Becht, of Atlanta; and John Goldsten, of Bethesda, Md.; nine grandchildren; and his brother, Leonard Goldsten, of Boca Raton, Fla. He was predeceased by his first wife, Adeline Wolff Goldsten; his second wife, Eve Byer Goldsten; and two brothers.
A memorial service will be held on Saturday, Oct. 13, at 3 p.m. in Lee Chapel followed by a reception in the Hotchkiss Alumni House.
Associate Director of Communications and Public Affairs
MIT Neuroscientist Mark Bear to Lecture at W&L
Mark Bear, the Picower Professor of Neuroscience in the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, will lecture at Washington and Lee University on Thursday, Oct. 18, at 9 a.m. in Science Center 214.
The title of Bear’s lecture is “A Path from Genes to Treatments for Autism Spectrum Disorders.” The public is invited.
Bear will address how research in his lab (and others) has led to an understanding of how the function of several genes may contribute to autism spectrum disorders. This research, much of which has been conducted using animal models of autism and related disorders, is being translated into pharmaceutical treatments that may help to improve neurobehavioral function in humans who suffer from autism spectrum disorders.
Bear co-authored a textbook, “Neuroscience: Exploring the Brain,” in 2006. He also is the author or co-author of over 145 papers, including “Chronic pharmacological mGlu5 inhibition corrects fragile x in adult mice” (Neuron, 2012), “The pathophysiology of fragile X (and what it teaches us about synapse)” (Annual Review of Neuroscience, 2012) and “Mutations causing syndromic autism define an axis of synaptic pathophysiology” (Nature, 2011). He is the author or co-author of 25 book chapters and holds six U.S. patents.
An investigator with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Bear has received many awards, including the Ray Fuller Award from the American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics in 2012 and the Pioneer Award from FRAXA Research Foundation in 2011.
Bear’s appearance at W&L is the result of an invitation issued by a Washington and Lee student. Last year, Charlotte Magee, of the Class of 2015, was using Bear’s neuroscience textbook in a neurology class. After discovering that Bear’s daughter, Kendall, is a riding coach at W&L, Magee sent him the invitation.
New York Times' David Carr to Address W&L Journalism Ethics Institute
David Carr, media and culture columnist at The New York Times, will present the keynote address of the 54th Institute on Ethics in Journalism at Washington and Lee University on Friday, Oct. 19, at 5:30 p.m. in Lee Chapel.
• Watch a Live Webcast
The title of Carr’s talk, which is free and open to the public, is “From Stone Tablets to Digital Ones: New Media, New Rules.”
Carr writes the Media Equation column for the Monday Business section of The New York Times. His column focuses on media issues including print, digital, film, radio and television. He also works as a general assignment reporter in the Culture section of The Times, covering all aspects of popular culture.
A Minnesota native, Carr attended the University of Minnesota and double-majored in psychology and journalism there. From 1993 to 1995, Carr was editor of the Twin Cities Reader, a Minneapolis-based alternative weekly and wrote a media column. He served as editor of the Washington City Paper, an alternative weekly in Washington, D.C., for five years.
Prior to joining the Times, Carr was a contributing writer for The Atlantic Monthly and New York Magazine. In 2000, he was the media writer for Inside.com, a web news site focusing on the business of entertainment and publishing.
He began working at the Times in 2002 and initially covered the magazine publishing industry for the Business section. He was a key character in the 2011 documentary, “Page One: Inside the New York Times.” The documentary will be shown on Wednesday and Thursday, Oct. 17-18, in Room 114 of the Science Center. It is open to the public and free of charge.
In his 2008 memoir, “The Night of the Gun,” Carr wrote about his cocaine addiction. The book was written as if he were reporting on himself and includes interviews with people from his past.
The W&L Journalism Ethics Institutes, held twice each year, bring to campus top media professional and academics for two days of seminars with students from the University’s capstone journalism ethics class. The sessions deal with case studies of ethical dilemmas that the practicing journalists present.
R. E. Lee Scholar Researches Corporate Social Responsibility Reporting
The way in which businesses report their corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities may hardly seem likely to cause “tense discussions” and “heated arguments,” but a paper by Haiying (Christy) Cui, a junior at Washington and Lee University, points to increasing concerns over how the reporting is done.
Cui spent the summer as a R.E. Lee Scholar researching the subject of CSR reporting. The tense discussions have been among academics and other groups of stakeholders about what constitutes a good CSR report, what the process should be and how in depth a firm’s disclosure should be.
Cui is from China and is a double major in economics and music. She was guided in her research by Robert (Rob) Straughan, associate dean of the Williams School of Commerce, Economics, and Politics at W&L and professor of business administration, and Elizabeth Oliver, the Lewis Whitaker Adams Professor of Accounting.
“In looking at all these different CSR reports, it is clear that there are enormous variations from firm to firm, both in the way they go about reporting CSR, the things that they measure and the things that they don’t measure,” said Straughan.
A number of organizations, including the United Nations and some more business-directed organizations, are trying to develop standards for CSR reporting. Straughan said that he expects that over the next 10 to 15 years there will be a convergence around a smaller subset of CSR reporting standards, although it is not clear at this point which ones will be the most widely adopted.
Cui conducted an overview of the reporting standards used by 58 companies in her paper “An Update on CSR Reporting.” The companies used eight different international frameworks. At the end of her paper Cui summarized the advantages and disadvantages of all the frameworks. “If a company executive sees my paper, he or she will be able to find out which one is best for that company. For example, some are better for big corporations and some are better for smaller businesses,” said Cui.
“Christy did a lot of really tedious research, going through all these different CSR frameworks, reading the minutiae and trying to understand how they were developed and what their strengths and weaknesses are. For example, who is using one standard versus another and why,” said Straughan. “It’s a pretty big topic and it’s admirable that she was able to embrace it and make sense of it in a way that I think will really help.”
Straughan pointed out that Cui was a sophomore when she decided to take on the research. “All the research I’ve done in the past has been with seniors,” said Straughan. “So it’s not just seniors who can grapple with this kind of research—first year and second year students are just as capable if they find the right topic.”
Cui said that learning to conduct social science research under the guidance of Straughan and Oliver was the most valuable part of her summer. “Being able to do the research independently with just direction from the professors and not explicit instructions was very important and really beneficial for me,” she said.
“An R.E. Lee Scholar like Christy has a substantial amount of time to focus on her research topic, more time than either Rob or I have because we are still doing our administrative jobs,” said Oliver. “Because of this, everything that she learned through her research informed us as well.”
Cui will continue her research throughout the academic year, using computer-based software to import all the data and produce a descriptive analysis to create a more useful standard for evaluating CSR reports.
Author David H. Sylvester to Speak at W&L
David H. Sylvester, author of Traveling at the Speed of Life, will give a talk at Washington and Lee University on Tuesday, Oct. 16, at 5 p.m. in Northen Auditorium, Leyburn Library. It is free and open to the public.
The title of Sylvester’s talk is the same as the title of his book. Award-winning documentarian, founder of Contribute2 (a charitable organization established to inspire and motivate people all over the world to do something to make the world a better place) and writer of numerous articles in addition to his book, Sylvester is best known for his ability to touch and motivate.
When a good friend of Sylvester’s died in the World Trade Center on 9/11, he rode his bike from Washington State to Philadelphia, Sylvester’s home, to honor his friend, to raise money for a scholarship fund and to connect with people. But that wasn’t all.
He kept riding – through Africa and Asia and then North America again, was asked to write an article about his travels and then took time out to write his memoir. Sylvester’s message to the people he met across three continents and more, was simple: “Find your bike.” It translates to finding your passion and now, 10 years later, Sylvester spreads his inspirational messages on the pages of his book.
Melina Bell, associate professor of philosophy at W&L, got to know him when she was in the Ph.D. program at the University of Pennsylvania and Sylvester was a personal trainer there. Bell said, “David gave me the confidence to take on the first bodybuilding competition I participated in.
“Bodybuilding is still an important part of my life, and David was the one who brought me into it and taught me the most of what I know about it. David is an inspiration, and I’m glad he has immortalized his inspirational spirit in Traveling at the Speed of Life.”
Sylvester’s talk is sponsored by the Department of Philosophy at W&L.
Sylvester will be interviewed on WLUR, W&L’s radio station, by Director of International Education Larry Boetsch, the host of the international education show, Radio IE, at 6 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 15.
Antonia LoLordo to be Keynote Speaker at Locke Workshop
Antonia LoLordo, associate professor in the Corcoran Department of Philosophy at the University of Virginia, is the keynote speaker for the Locke Workshop at Washington and Lee University and will give a public lecture on Friday, Oct. 26, at 4 p.m. in Northen Auditorium in Leyburn Library.
The title of LoLordo’s talk is “Three Problems in Locke’s Ontology of Substance and Mode.” It will examine how John Locke’s distinction between substance and modes is crucial for understanding the possibility of knowledge in ethics sand mathematics. LoLordo finds three problems in Locke’s theory and the possibility of solutions to these problems.
LoLordo is the author of Locke’s Moral Man (2012) and Pierre Gassendi and the Birth of Early Modern Philosophy (2007; paperback 2009). She is also editing two books and has written or co-edited over 12 journal articles and over five reviews. Her area of main research interest and specialization is early modern philosophy.
LoLordo was a visiting fellow at Mansfield College, Oxford, during Trinity term 2007, received UVa Summer Research Grants for five summers and received the UVa Sesquicentennial Fellowship during 2006-2007, among other grants. She has been a reviewer for nine journals including American Philosophical Quarterly, Canadian Journal of Philosophy and Journal of the History of Philosophy, and various publishers, conferences and seminars.
She received her B.A. from McGill University, her M.A. from Dalhousie University and her Ph.D. from Rutgers University.
The Locke Workshop was organized by the Philosophy Department at W&L.
W&L Hosts 11th National Symposium of Theater in Academe
Washington and Lee University will welcome visitors from around the world to its 11th National Symposium of Theater in Academe on Oct. 18 – 20.
This year’s symposium, “Imagine Magic Madness: Theater and Performance in Times of Crisis and Violence,” is organized by Domnica Radulescu, founding director of the symposium, the Edwin A. Morris Professor of Romance Languages and head of the medieval and renaissance studies program. Monica Botta, associate professor of romance languages at W&L, is co-organizer.
The conference will feature papers, live performances and readings.
Israeli playwright and screenwriter Motti Lerner will present the keynote address, “Why is Macbeth So Cruel? – About Violence in Theater,” on Friday, Oct. 19, at 5 p.m. in Stackhouse Theater.
The conference will also feature a live performance of “Breath of the Life Time” by DAH Theater Group of Belgrade, Serbia at 6:30 p.m. on Friday in Stackhouse, and a performance of Joan Lipkin’s “Sticks and Stones: Sluts Talk Back” on Canaan Green at noon on Saturday, Oct. 20.
The play “Naturalized Woman,” written by Radulescu and directed by Washington and Lee’s Kimberly Jew, will be performed at 8 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 18, in Stackhouse Theater. The play is being staged in New York at the Thespis Theater Festival and features seven W&L students in the cast.
All events will take place in the Stackhouse Theater in Elrod Commons unless otherwise specified.
THURSDAY, OCT. 18
10:15 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. — Defining and Re-defining Madness in Theater
“Ephemeral Remains: Performing ‘Waiting for Godot’ in New Orleans’ Lower Ninth Ward and Gentilly.” Eric Hultgren, Indiana University at Bloomington.
“Medium and Madness: Reflexivity and Psychotherapy on the American Stage.” Ariel Watson, Saint Mary’s University.
“Madness and Thought Control in Griselda Gambaro’s El Campo / The Camp.” Iana Konstantinova, Southern Virginia University.
11:30 a.m. – 12:50 p.m. — Humor and Madness: Disruptions and Games
“Playing Gender: The Disruption of Realism in Feminist Theater by Mexican Women Playwrights.” Alfonso Verona, Hampden-Sydney College.
“Theater and Trauma: Marco Paolini’s ‘Vajont.'” Andrea Bini, Washington and Lee University.
“La Cantatrice Chauve.”
Scenes from Eugene Ionesco’s “Bald Soprano” acted by students in French 261.
1:00-2:00 Lunch – The Market Place, University Commons
2:00 p.m. – 2:20 p.m. — Scenes from “Ubu Roi,” by Alfred Jarry, acted by students in French 343.
2:20 p.m.-3:00 p.m. — “Har-Ass” A staged reading of a one act play by Ellen Mayock, Washington and Lee University, and Stacey Vargas, Virginia Military Institute.
3:10 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. — “The Slightly Dangerous Game of Seizing the Moment: The Ups and Downs of Improvisation.” Andy MacDonald, Dickinson College. From “short-form” and “long-form” improvisational theater, through improvisation for generating creative material and training performers, to the wide-open space of multidisciplinary improvisational performance, this workshop aims to explore, engage, elucidate and amuse with a combination of scholarly inquiry and participatory improvisational games.
4:15 p.m.-5:45 p.m. — Creative movement workshop Judith Moss, independent artist, New York. Musical accompaniment by Michael Moss, New York. Connecting to our core (our bodies) and discovering new ways of relating to each other through movement is an experience that engages us directly and can often be life-changing. This workshop will focus on capturing that playful spirit in a totally non- threatening environment as we embark on a journey of adventure and self-discovery.
8:00 p.m. — “Naturalized Woman” Written by Domnica Radulescu and directed by Kimberly Jew. The play focuses on a Romanian immigrant as she journeys through the U.S. immigration process. Various female archetypes emerge from the woman’s psyche, offering her strength and good humor as she becomes a U.S. citizen. The work is highly surrealistic, comic and critical of government processes that dehumanize people.
FRIDAY, OCT. 19
10:00 a.m. – 12:30 a.m. — The Madness of Spectacle and the Spectacle of Madness
“El Bastardo de Ceuta: An Early Wife-Murder Play Gone Wrong?” Gwyn E. Campbell, Washington and Lee University.
“The Rationale of Madness in Machado de Assis’ Brazil.” Mónica González García.
“Contextualizing Globalism: A Critique of the Cultural Center in Ariel Dorfman’s ‘Death and the Maiden.'” Brantley Nicholson, University of Richmond.
“Archaeological Sites that Aren’t”, or “Chasing John Williams’ Ghost around Dillon’s Bay.” James Flexner, Washington and Lee University.
“Between War and Spectacle in Andrés Caicedo’s ‘La piel del otro héroe’ and Fernando Arrabal’s ‘Pic-nic.'” Diana Rodríguez Quevedo, University of Evansville.
3:15 p.m. – 4:45 p.m. — “Sticks and Stones: Sluts Talk Back” Joan Lipkin, artistic director of That Uppity Theater Company. “The Feminist Follies,” written by Joan Lipkin and Theresa Masters, is a series of short sketches that take a ‘tongue-in-cheek’ look at women’s issues including salary disparity, historical representation, Title 1X, equal rights, liberty and what feminism means to different women. This project includes dance, poetry, slut monologues, rock music, memoir and sketch comedy, all of which will examine the tentacles of sexism and how this level of oppression can lead to madness.
5:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m. — “Why is Macbeth So Cruel? – About Violence in Theater” Keynote address by Motti Lerner, Israeli playwright and visiting professor at Knox College. What drives Macbeth to become a serial killer? Is it just evil? Or does he have a superior motivation that forces him to kill? Why do we, the spectators, loose our moral judgment and tend to empathize with him in spite of his cruelty? What do we learn from Macbeth about the use of violence in the theatre? In the second part of his talk, Lerner will discuss the cruelty in his play “The Murder of Isaac” and its political implications.
6:30 p.m.-8:00 p.m. — “Breath of the Life Time” A live performance by the DAH Theater Group from Belgrade, Serbia, featuring DAH theater artistic director Dijana Milosevic and actress Maja Vujovic Performing excerpts from their performances, Vujovic will also speak about violence and gender, the healing power of theater and about theater as a living space. The work of DAH Teatar is focused on transformation of the “darkness,” or the horrific picture, into a clear physical and spiritual presence on the stage, to shed light on “darkness.” This process poses difficult questions about the responsibility and the right to deal with the hard experiences of others. It is a search for healing and reconciliation.
SATURDAY, OCT. 20
10:30 a.m. – 11:45 a.m. — DAH Theater Workshop
“Invisible City,” a movie showing of documentary film by and about DAH Theater’s work for peace in various European cities.
12:00 p.m. 1:00 p.m. — “Sticks and Stones: Sluts Talk Back,” by Joan Lipkin. Public performance at Canaan Green, Washington and Lee University
7:30 p.m. — “Two Gentleman of Verona,” by William Shakespeare. The American Shakespeare Company, Staunton (transportation provided).
The 11th National Symposium of Theater in Academe is co-sponsored by the Office of the Dean, the Glasgow Endowment, the women’s and gender studies program and the medieval and renaissance studies program at Washington and Lee.
Evans, McLoughlin Taylor Win Distinguished Young Alumni Awards
Washington and Lee alumnae Stacy McLoughlin Taylor, of the Class of 2002, and Kelly Evans, of the Class of 2007, were honored on Friday, Oct. 5, with the University’s 2012 Distinguished Young Alumni Awards.
The presentation was made during the University’s Young Alumni Weekend.
Stacy, who founded the Nabors Service League at W&L and was active in the Shepherd Poverty Program, earned an M.B.A. in public management and social innovation from the Stanford University Graduate School of Business in 2009, and a master’s in public administration in urban policy from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs in 2011.
The winner of a Rotary International Scholarship in 2004, she studied at Bogazici University, in Turkey, and then studied Spanish in Nicaragua and Guatemala. She was a board member of Better Understanding of Life in Africa (BULA) and started W&L’s Elrod Fellowship program, which connects recent graduates with public interest work and provides alumni mentorship in selected cities.
Most recently, she has worked for the Food Trust in Philadelphia, which provides healthy food to under-served residents. She is the program manager for healthy food access.
Kelly, a journalism and mass communications major and co-captain of the women’s lacrosse team, covered real estate and economics for The Wall Street Journal, writing for the Journal’s influential “Ahead of the Tape” column and for “Heard on the Street.” She also hosted the “News Hub” video report on WSJ.com, and was a frequent guest on television and radio. She was one of the moderators for a Republican presidential primary debate in Myrtle Beach, S.C.
This past February, Kelly moved to CNBC as an on-air correspondent. Based in London, she reported across CNBC’s business day programming and presented the “Squawk Box” in the United States. She now co-anchors “Worldwide Exchange,” which covers business and investment industry stories.
Campus Kitchen at W&L Garners Two Awards
The Campus Kitchen at Washington and Lee University was recognized at the 2012 Campus Kitchens Project annual conference in Cleveland, Tenn., where Jenny Davidson, coordinator of Student Service Learning at W&L, won the Nopalitos Innovation Award, and Patrick Poindexter, of Lexington. won the Leah Prudhomme Volunteer of the Year Award.
Since its establishment at Washington and Lee, Campus Kitchen at W&L has served more than 100,000 meals in partnership with 15 community agencies in Rockbridge County and has been recognized for its initiatives, including the Weekend Backpack Snack Program, which provides backpacks filled with non-perishable food to children who are eligible for free or reduced lunches at all seven Rockbridge County elementary schools.
The Nopalitos Award is named for a type of pickled cactus that was donated to a Campus Kitchen, which had to find creative ways to utilize the gift in their operations.
Davidson, a 2008 graduate of Washington and Lee, was cited for her innovative efforts with the backpack program, the campus garden and numerous educational programs.
Mike Curtin, CEO of the DEC Central Kitchen and the Campus Kitchens Project, presented the award to Davidson. “Jenny is an extremely dedicated and organized coordinator who somehow still maintains enthusiasm after so many years. Jenny does not limit the kitchen to the things she can do, she recognizes the gifts and skills of students around her,” said Curtin. “In the garden, on her blog, in the programming they do, Jenny harnesses those gifts and gives her students real responsibility. She surrounds her program with the wonderful people it needs to build it to new heights. The Campus Kitchen at Washington and Lee has become a powerhouse, and Jenny is one of the chief reasons why.”
The Leah Prudhomme Award is named in honor of the first recipient of the award for student volunteer of the year, Leah Prudhomme, of Dillard University.
Poindexter was nominated by Washington and Lee junior Joseph Liu, himself a volunteer with CKWL. He called Poindexter “one of the most dependable and dedicated volunteers I have ever known” and cited several instances of that dedication, including the time Poindexter walked through a thunderstorm to make it to his shift.
Poindexter is an uncommon volunteer, since he also works for one of the CKWL’s partner agencies, the Rockbridge Area Occupational Center.
In announcing Poindexter’s award, Curtin said: “Patrick is unique because he has experienced Campus Kitchen as both a client and a volunteer. This fact has provided him the opportunity to bridge the gap and break down those barriers between provider and receiver and really get to the heart of the Campus Kitchens Project: making community.”
Founded in 2001, The Campus Kitchens Project (CKP) is a national organization that empowers student volunteers to fight hunger in their community. On 33 university and high school campuses across the country, students transform unused food from dining halls, grocery stores, restaurants, and farmers’ markets into meals that are delivered to local agencies serving those in need. By taking the initiative to run a community kitchen, students develop entrepreneurial and leadership skills, along with a commitment to serve their community, that they will carry with them into future careers. Each Campus Kitchen goes beyond meals by using food as a tool to promote poverty solutions, implement garden initiatives, participate in nutrition education, and convene food policy events.
Jeffery G. Hanna
Executive Director of Communications and Public Affairs
W&L Law Prof. Benjamin Spencer Named Assoc. Dean for Research
A. Benjamin Spencer, Professor of Law and Director of the Frances Lewis Law Center at Washington and Lee University School of Law, has been appointed Associate Dean for Research by Dean Nora V. Demleitner.
As director of the Law Center, the independently funded faculty research and support arm of W&L Law which has existed since the mid-1970’s, Spencer oversees the Center’s agenda, which includes sponsoring symposia, enhancing the intellectual life at the Law School, and providing support to faculty in their scholarly endeavors. Demleitner says the additional designation of associate dean for research reflects W&L’s long-standing commitment to scholarly excellence.
“In this expanded role, Dean Spencer will be able to build on the 35 year legacy of the Frances Lewis Law Center by supporting faculty in their efforts to share their work with a wider audience,” says Demleitner. “This administrative position, which is found at nearly all of the top law schools in the nation, will allow W&L to bring even greater attention to the outstanding work our faculty undertakes in shaping the law.”
Spencer joined the W&L faculty in 2008. A distinguished scholar and teacher, Spencer is an expert in the fields of civil procedure and federal jurisdiction. In addition to numerous law review articles, he has authored two books in the area of civil procedure, Acing Civil Procedure and Civil Procedure: A Contemporary Approach. Both are used widely by professors and students throughout the country.
“In my new role I will be working tirelessly on supporting and promoting scholarly legal research at W&L,” says Spencer. “We have highly dedicated and active scholars here; it will be my job to see to it that they have what they need to pursue their research and to ensure that their work gets the visibility needed to have an impact.”
Spencer’s scholarship was included in a recent study analyzing the most-cited law review articles of all time. In addition to producing a listing of the 100 most-cited articles of all time, the authors of the study generated most-cited lists for recent scholarship by year for 1990-2009. Two of Spencer’s articles were included in the recent scholarship lists. “Plausibility Pleading,” in the Boston College Law Review, was the third most-cited article of 2008 and “Understanding Pleading Doctrine,” in the Michigan Law Review, was third on the 2009 list. Spencer is one of only a handful of legal scholars to appear more than one time in the study.
Spencer has also been honored for his teaching. In 2007 he was awarded the Virginia State Council of Higher Education “Rising Star” award, given to the most promising junior faculty member among all academic fields at all colleges and universities in Virginia. Spencer was the first law professor to receive this award.
In addition to his teaching and research, Spencer serves as a Special Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Virginia. In this capacity, he has argued and won several cases in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit on behalf of the government, including United States v. Stewart, United States v. Hicks, and United States v. Burns. Spencer is also Chair of the Virginia State Bar’s Section on the Education of Lawyers and a member of the West Publishing Company Law School Advisory Board. He exemplifies the scholar/teacher model at the highest level of excellence.
Prior to joining the Washington and Lee faculty, Spencer was an associate professor of law at the University of Richmond School of Law. He also formerly worked as an associate in the law firm of Shearman & Sterling and as a Law Clerk to Judge Judith W. Rogers of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. Spencer holds a B.A. from Morehouse College, a J.D. from the Harvard Law School and a Master of Science from the London School of Economics.
Established in 1978 with a generous gift from Frances and Sydney Lewis, the Law Center’s mandate is to support faculty research and scholarship that advances legal reform.
School of Law Director of Communications
David Novack Presents Urquhart Term Professorship Inaugural Lecture
David R. Novack, professor of sociology and department chair at Washington and Lee University, will give the Abigail Grigsby Urquhart ’11 Term Professorship Inaugural Lecture on Thursday, Oct. 18, at 8 p.m. in Northen Auditorium in Leyburn Library.
The title of Novack’s lecture is “Can W&L Women Have it All: Conflicted Selves.” It is free and open to the public.
“Women at W&L typically believe they, as well as men, can have it all: marriage, children and careers,” said Novack. “This lecture draws on survey data collected from W&L students and examines the importance of gender prescriptions and proscriptions in conjunction with the impact of cultural lenses of gender in creating potential internal conflicts. A key element of these conflicts is the role of a cultural lag manifested through traditional cultural messages that stand in opposition to new messages and opportunities.”
Novack joined W&L’s faculty in 1976 having previously taught at New York University, Brooklyn College and Bowdoin College. He has received John M. Glenn Research Grants at W&L and has done research on ethnicity and class in South Boston, Mass.
He has written five publications and a book review in various journals, including the American Journal of Sociology, Human Organization and the Journal of Urban Affairs. He has a book and seven articles forthcoming. Novack has been a manuscript reviewer for the Journal of Urban Affairs since 1987 and Human Organization since 1997.
Novack received his B.A. from the University of Massachusetts and his M.A. and Ph.D. from New York University.
The Abigail Grigsby Urquhart ’11 Term Professorship, established in 2007-2008 by her parents A. William and Mary Urquhart, is a permanently endowed fund at Washington and Lee University providing support for a University faculty member who is judged to be excellent in teaching and in professional contributions. The award recognizes a different professor every three to five years. Novack is the first Urquhart Professor of Sociology.
W&L Alum Heads U.S. Professional Tennis Association
John Embree, a 1975 Washington and Lee graduate and a member of the W&L Athletic Hall of Fame, has been named the new CEO/executive director of the United States Professional Tennis Association.
John has held a variety of positions in the tennis industry over the past 30 years. He has been president of Prince Sport and of Balle de Match L.L.C., and vice president/general manager of the Racquet Sports Division for Wilson Sporting Goods Co. He had most recently been consulting for several tennis-related organizations, including the United States Tennis Association, the Intercollegiate Tennis Association and Donnay USA.
In a USPTA news release, John said: “I began my tennis odyssey during college as a teaching professional in Virginia. After more than three decades of working in the sport that I began playing at six years old, my career has come full circle, back to my foundation as a grassroots advocate. I am thrilled to have been chosen by the Executive Committee to help lead the USPTA in the years to come.”
John served on numerous USTA committees and is credited with creating the USTA Adult League Tennis program in 1980.
A two-sport athlete at W&L, John lettered in soccer and tennis each of his four years and was captain of the tennis team in his final two seasons. He was second-team All-State in soccer as a junior. In tennis, he played No. 1 singles in his final two seasons and was named the team MVP three times and the Old Dominion Athletic Conference Player of the Year twice, including his senior season, when he led W&L to an 18-6 record and earned honorable mention All-America.
John is transitioning to his new position this month and will move to the USPTA headquarters in Houston in November.
Tom Wolfe Documentary Set for PBS
With Tom Wolfe’s new Miami-based novel, “Back to Blood” (Little, Brown), scheduled for release on Oct. 23, a new documentary about the 1951 Washington and Lee graduate will begin airing on Public Broadcasting Service stations later this month.
In “Tom Wolfe Gets Back to Blood,” former Miami Herald journalist Oscar Corral follows the author around Miami as he exhibits his journalistic style in researching the novel. The film shows Tom getting soaked by a random cannonballer at the annual Columbus Day regatta and pacing off the width of a bungalow’s backyard to make sure he gets the details just right.
Woven into the scenes of Tom out and about in Miami are interviews with Wolfe biographers and real-life Miami characters, including the former police chief and mayor.
A story about the documentary in Miami New Times describes it this way: ” ‘Tom Wolfe Gets Back to Blood’ relies on its subject alone to keep viewers engaged — there are no particularly artsy or dazzling feats of cinematography and no surprising revelations about either Miami or Wolfe.”
In an interview published this summer in the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Tom had this to say about a central feature of “Back to Blood”: “Miami is the only city I can find in the whole world where people from another country, speaking another language and from another culture have taken over a vast city at the ballot box in one generation. I’m talking, of course, about Cubans.”
See the trailer for the documentary below:
Staniar Gallery Artist's Films to be Screened
Washington and Lee’s Staniar Gallery will present a special screening of films by Brent Green on Wednesday, Oct. 17, in conjunction with the artist’s gallery exhibit. The event begins at 5:30 p.m. in Lenfest Center’s Keller Theatre and is free and open to the public. Green’s performances feature live narration by the filmmaker who is accompanied by an ensemble of musicians.
Green’s exhibition, God Builds Like Frank Lloyd Wright, will be on view in Staniar Gallery Oct. 2 – Nov. 5.
Brent Green is a self-taught visual artist and filmmaker based in Cressona, Pa. His critically acclaimed films have been screened at the Sundance Film Festival, Museum of Modern Art, the Getty Center and numerous other venues around the world.
The exhibition will feature two of Green’s early short films accompanied by the drawings, film cels, sets and sculptures that evidence the extensive creative process and become unique works of art in and of themselves.
The centerpiece of the performance event will be Green’s first feature-length film Gravity Was Everywhere Back Then, which recounts the true story of a hardware store clerk from Louisville, Ky., who built an extraordinary house in the vain hope that it would save his wife from terminal cancer. The peculiar structure (constructed in the 1970s and since destroyed) was a jumble of impossibly tiered floors, vaulted ceilings and twisted walls. Green reconstructed the residence for the film in addition to building four other houses and extensive sets.
For the W&L presentation, Green will be accompanied by a 7-piece band that includes Brendan Canty of the band Fugazi; Mike McGinley and Alan Scalpone of Chicago’s The Bitter Tears; Drew Henkels of Brooklyn’s Drew & The Medicinal Pen; Todd Chandler of Dark Dark Dark; and sound designer Donna K. on foley.
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.
Hollister Hovey '00 Expands Her Design Reach
If you’ve read the recent alumni magazine feature about Hollister Hovey, of Washington and Lee’s Class of 2000, and her sister, Porter, “Designing Women,” you know that they juggle running an interior design company, Hovey Design, with their careers in communications, photography and real estate. Now Hollister and her sister have tucked one more feather in their caps: a line of wallpaper from retailer Anthropologie.
Dubbed “New Antiquarian,” the design flows from the eclectic, distinctive look of the sisters’ own apartment. “Porter photographed our collection and Anthropologie made it into wallpaper,” writes Hollister on her blog. “Stand back and it looks like a diagonal striped print; get up close and you have taxidermy, riding boots, booze in crystal and a bunch of our art (and even a couple of my own paintings).”
If you’re doing some interior decorating of your own, own check out the wallpaper here.
And come next spring, you can consult the Hoveys’ book, “Heirloom Modern: Homes Filled with Objects Bought, Bequeathed, Beloved, and Worth Handing Down.” Rizzoli will publish it in March.
W&L Alumnus Chris Wolf ‘80L Elected to American Law Institute
Christopher Wolf, of the Law Class of 1980, has been elected to the American Law Institute, the most prestigious law reform body in the U.S.
MSNBC has called Washington and Lee law alumnus Christopher Wolf, of the Class of 1980, “a pioneer in Internet law” based on his early involvement in legal cases involving technology agreements, copyright, domain names, jurisdiction and, perhaps most of all, privacy.
A partner in the Washington, D.C., office of Hogan Lovells, Chris leads the firm’s privacy practice group. He also is founder and co-chair of the Future of Privacy Forum, a think tank “that seeks to advance responsible data practices” that has become a leading platform for discussion and development of best practices.
He was the editor and lead author of the first PLI treatise on privacy law and is a frequent author and speaker on privacy and data security issues. He was the first privacy lawyer to testify before the Senate Judiciary Privacy Subcommittee, the only privacy lawyer to speak at the 2011 eG8 Conference in Paris, and he is a member of a group advising the OECD (the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) on its privacy guidelines.
The American Law Institute (ALI) is focused on producing scholarly work to clarify, modernize, and otherwise improve the law. It has a membership 4300 judges, lawyers, and teachers from all areas of the U.S. and many foreign companies.
Among its projects, the ALI publishes restatements of basic legal subjects to inform the legal profession of what the law is, or should be, in a particular subject. One such restatement, focused on the law of restitution and unjust enrichment, was the focus of a symposium hosted by W&L Law.
New ALI members are selected based on professional achievement and demonstrated interest in improving the law. A number of W&L Law faculty also are members of the ALI, including professors Doug Rendleman, Rick Kirgis, Margaret Howard, Tim Jost, Lyman Johnson, Brian Murchison, Scott Sundby, Robin Wilson, Erik Luna, and Dean Nora Demleitner.
Wolf is a cum laude graduate of Bowdoin College, and graduated magna cum laude, Order of the Coif from W&L Law. He also participated in the General Course at the London School of Economics. Following law school, he clerked for U.S. District Judge Aubrey E. Robinson, Jr. in Washington, D.C.
Historian Jeffry Wert Addresses R.E. Lee Remembrance
Addressing Washington and Lee University’s annual “Remembering Robert E. Lee” talk on Monday, Oct. 8, historian Jeffry D. Wert told the Lee Chapel audience that Lee had no choice but to make bold moves in the early days of his command of the Army of Northern Virginia.
The title of Wert’s speech was “Lee and the Rebirth of an Army: From Seven Days to Gettysburg.” A former high-school history teacher who is a renowned scholar of the Civil War and author of nine books, Wert focused on two years of Lee’s Civil War career, from June 1862 to July 1863. His most recent book is “A Glorious Army: Robert E. Lee’s Triumph, 1862-1863.”
Wert told the audience of about 100 people how Lee’s public reputation in June 1862, when he took over the Army of Northern Virginia, suffered from a public perception that he was timid and afraid to fight. He had a talented group of officers waiting for him, however, as well as determined soldiers. “There was something about the men in the ranks,” said Wert. “They were just waiting for somebody.”
Lee immediately took the offensive against the Union troops, driving them away from Richmond during the Seven Days’ Battles. “Boldness was the only course,” said Wert.
That audacity continued to spur Lee and his forces as they pushed northward into Maryland and fought the Battle of Antietam. There, Lee’s lost orders tipped the North to his plans, and he faced an opponent twice his size. The Confederates fought hard and well against the able Army of the Potomac. Despite their loss and retreat, “Lee was right,” said Wert. “It was the greatest day in the history of his army.”
Wert then took the audience to Chancellorsville, which he called “arguably Lee’s greatest battle,” and on to Gettysburg. Wrapping up the talk, he pointed out that when Lee surrendered at Appomattox on April 9, 1865, what mattered to the South was that it was Lee’s army that had laid down its arms. Other commanders trying to continue the fight in other parts of the country were of no consequence.
In sum, said Wert, “figuratively and literally, the Army of Northern Virginia was reborn on a June Sabbath in 1862,” when Lee took command.
The annual “Remembering Robert E. Lee” lecture commemorates the death on Oct. 12, 1870, of Lee, who served as the president of Washington College, as it was then called, from 1865 to 1870. The event was held in Lee Chapel, which houses a museum, Lee’s presidential office and the Lee family mausoleum.
Watch Wert’s lecture:
Associate Director of Communications and Public Affairs
Buck Wiley '88 Talks Career Paths with Bloomberg Businessweek
Possessing a B.A., a J.D. and an M.B.A. makes for an interesting journey, from Lexington and Athens, Ga., to Brussels and Moscow. That’s the path taken by Washington and Lee graduate Buck Wiley, of the Class of 1988, and it has led him to a career in investment and to an interview with Bloomberg Businessweek’s “How I Got Here” series.
Buck, who is the managing director of the Wiley Team of Merrill Lynch Wealth Management, in Atlanta, tells the publication he was “obsessed” with European history at W&L and took no business courses. He compares learning accounting to learning a foreign language: “It was hard but it made intuitive sense.”
He studied tax law and European currencies at the University of Brussels and wound up working for two firms in Moscow, including KPMG. “My department was run by a Texan, and our clients ranged from oil companies looking to enter the Soviet Union, to Australians, Germans, and the British,” Buck told the interviewer. “It was truly an international mix and I loved all the excitement.”
Back in Atlanta, he worked for Andrew Young, the civil rights leader and former mayor of Atlanta. Although he was home, Buck was still working in the international arena, “doing private equity work in emerging markets in Africa.” He’s been with Merrill Lynch since 2001.
History major Buck also provided encouraging advice for graduates of W&L’s Williams School of Commerce, Economics and Politics: “People coming out of business school think they need to go straight to the top. Don’t be afraid to start anywhere you can if it’s in the career path you want.”
You can read the entire interview here.
Beshore's Forbes Blog
Washington and Lee alumnus Brent Beshore, of the Class of 2005, has a relatively new blog called “Living the Startup Dream” on Forbes.com.
We’ve featured Brent’s work several times on this blog, most recently when the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invitation-only nonprofit, ranked him No. 9 on its list of 10 entrepreneurs younger than 30.
Brent, the CEO of Columbia, Mo.-based AdVentures, which recently was ranked No. 28 on the Inc. 500, has been involved in a number of successful startups.
He gears his Forbes blogs toward folks getting into entrepreneurship. He’s written directly to graduates (“9 Things Every Graduate Should Know”), named people he’d love to meet (“The 9 People on My Bucket List”) and mentioned some of his W&L experiences (“You’re Not ‘On Track’ “).
W&L Law Symposium to Explore Property and Climate Change in Former Colonies
This month, the Center for Law and History at Washington and Lee University, in partnership with Virginia Sea Grant, will host a symposium exploring the impact that the colonial legal experience continues to have on eastern states.
The symposium, titled “History, Property & Climate Change in the Former Colonies,” will take place on Oct. 12 in the Millhiser Moot Court Room, Sydney Lewis Hall on the grounds of Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia. This event is free and open to the public. CLE credit will be available.
The symposium will focus on the application of legal historical research to contemporary problems and opportunities in the areas of policy-making, property rights, and hazard resilience in coastal communities. Topics discussed at the symposium will include an intellectual history of climate, colonies and water; the impact of climate change on water quality; the relationship between water and property in the former colonies, and modernizing law for climate challenges. A complete schedule for the symposium is available online at law.wlu.edu/climatehistory.
The W&L Center for Law and History encourages and supports the interdisciplinary study of law in its historical context. It aims to achieve that mission by bringing together scholars from W&L and throughout the world to promote research and teaching in all areas and periods of legal history. The center is focusing its immediate efforts on bringing history into dialogue with geography, particularly in the context of critical, emerging issues.
The Center is also the home of the distinguished Hendricks lecture series in legal history. The 2012 lecture in this series was delivered by Lauren Benton, professor of law and history and dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences at New York University. Past lectures were delivered by Alfred Brophy, Judge John J. Parker Distinguished Professor of Law at the University of North Carolina School of Law, G. Edward White, the David and Mary Harrison Distinguished Professor of Law at the University of Virginia School of Law, William Thaddeus Coleman, Jr., one of the lead strategists and coauthor of the legal brief in Brown v. Board of Education, and William E. Nelson, the Judge Edward Weinfeld Professor of Law at New York University Law School.
Play by W&L's Domnica Radulescu, Directed by W&L's Kimberly Jew, Set for New York Festival
The play “Naturalized Woman: A Quilting, Surrealist Project about Immigrant Women” by Domnica Radulescu, the Edwin A. Morris Professor of Romance Languages and head of the medieval and renaissance studies program at Washington and Lee University, will be staged for the first time at the Thespis Theater Festival in New York City in October.
The 65-minute play is one of 20 new works selected for the festival and will be performed on Oct. 10, 11 and 12 at the Cabrini Repertory Theater in Manhattan. The play will also be staged during W&L’s National Symposium of Theater in Academe, of which Radulescu is the founding director, on Thursday, Oct. 18, at 8 p.m. in the Stackhouse Theater.
The play is directed by Kimberly Jew, associate professor of theater at W&L, and will be performed by a cast of seven W&L students.
“Naturalized Woman” tells the story of the process that Nina, a Romanian immigrant to America, goes through to obtain naturalization. One of the conditions she has to meet is being willing to fight in a war on American territory. But this poses a moral dilemma since Nina is a pacifist.
To help her out, women from all parts of history and the world tell her their stories. Among the diverse characters, both real and imagined, are Medea, Nadia Comaneci, Mrs. Aristotle, Aretha Franklin, a vampire woman from Romania, Nina’s aunt Matilda and a Cambodian refugee.
According to Radulescu, her starting point for writing the play was her personal experience of the immigration process. She also wrote a chapter about naturalization in her best-selling novel “Train to Trieste” (Knopf, 2008, Vintage, 2009), which won the Library of Virginia’s 2009 fiction prize.
“I’ve taken that chapter and developed it and added more characters and more voices about the whole dilemma what it means to become a naturalized citizen from the female point of view, because there are differences in gender,” said Radulescu. “The play is fantastical or surrealistic, but it’s also deeply planted in the political reality of our times.”
When Radulescu submitted “Naturalized Woman” to the Thespis Festival she was unaware that, if successful, she would be responsible for the production. “I couldn’t undertake that,” said Radulescu, “so it was fantastic when Kimberly agreed to do it.”
“I was attracted to the play because it’s extremely funny,” said Jew. “It’s sassy. And the lead character has a real edge to her and a certain kind of energy. There is a strong feminist feeling to the play, and Nina finds strength through the feminine archetypes that come out of her. Also, we forget or don’t know what it’s like to go through the immigration process and how dehumanizing it is.”
Radulescu said that Jew understood everything she was trying to do with the play, “the aesthetics, the characters, the rhythm and the comic potential. She’s squeezed out of it every little bit of comedy. I saw one rehearsal and I was very impressed with the staging. The beauty of this production is that it’s collaborative. We merged our creative energies, and Kimberly has made it a better play.”
Under Jew’s direction, the actors, some of the most experienced on campus, also contributed to the collaboration on the new play. “The students love the play and the idea of acting in a New York theater,” said Jew. “Normally, we just perform in Lexington, and we hope that we can keep creating works like this when we reach out to the theater community outside of Lexington. It’s a whole different world.”
The cast comprises Caroline Crichlow-Ball ’15, from Austin, Texas; Sara Hardman ’13, from Parkersburg, W. Va.; Todd Smith-Schoenwalder ’14, from Tallahassee, Fla.; Chauncey Baker ’15, from Dallas. Ore.; Lorraine Simonis ’14, from Lexington, Va.; Elizabeth Lamb ’13, from Stanardsville, Va., and Kathryne (Katie) Ackell ’13, from Appleton, Wis. Hank Mierzwa is the stage manager and Timothy J. (TJ) Fisher ’15, from Potomac, Md., is the assistant stage manager.
“Naturalized Woman” is sponsored by Washington and Lee’s department of theater and dance, the office of the provost and the women’s and gender studies program. At the Thespis Theater Festival, it will also compete for three prizes: Best Play, Play that Makes the World a Better Place and Best Actor.
General Development Initiative at W&L Seeks Investors, Members
Two years after it was formed in 2010, the General Development Initiative (GenDev) at Washington and Lee University is ready to move to a new stage in its development and is seeking investors and new members.
The organization was founded to create an experiential learning tool that is created, owned and operated primarily by W&L students. As the university’s first microfinance club, it provides small loans (microloans) to people in developing countries who don’t have access to credit. “The idea is to create small businesses that also do a lot of good in the world,” said junior Kane Thomas, president of GenDev, and a double major in Chinese and international relations, from Shoreline, Wash.
GenDev has been successful to date in making microloans through third-party lenders online, achieving 100 percent return on investment. But the long term goal has always been to make direct investments in projects the club has identified. According to Thomas, the time has now arrived to take that step, beginning with projects the members would like to finance in Ecuador and the Dominican Republic.
Investors receive a low rate of interest on their investment, and GenDev puts all its profits back into other loans. “If you have a high interest rate when you’re starting a business it can stifle productivity, and if you’re just paying off your debt there’s no way you can succeed,” said junior Mark Faubion, director of international development for GenDev, and a double major in politics and Spanish with a minor in Latin American and Caribbean studies, from Dallas, Texas.
In addition to investors, GenDev is looking to recruit more W&L students as members, since one of the club’s aims is to provide a bridge between W&L’s Williams School of Commerce, Economics, and Politics to other majors on campus.
“We have 10 members right now, but two are abroad, and as we expand we’re going to need more people on board,” said sophomore Daniel Raubolt, executive secretary for GenDev and a business and accounting major from Acworth, Ga. “One of the most important things we are looking for is dedication. We’re trying a lot of new ventures and new ideas, so we want people who are going to stick with it, and who are leaders and go-getters.”
The club members stressed that although they are interested in all majors, they are particularly looking for people with any experience in microfinance or who have connections in developing countries. Students with an interest in gaining experience in grant writing, fund raising or advertising are also highly sought.
Members of the club said they have learned a great deal from their involvement in GenDev, including the challenges of coordinating with people overseas and especially in terms of language and culture. They have all also learned about the concepts of microfinance, such as who is a good target, who they shouldn’t lend to, and what the warning signs are. For example, literature and empirical evidence show that women with children are the best recipients of microloans since they are more likely to invest in the overall welfare of the household and to repay loans.
Sophomore Eleanor (Ellie) Bold is GenDev’s director of communications and a double major in psychology and journalism and mass communications, from Beachwood, Ohio. The club funded her visit to Ecuador this summer where she found projects suitable for financing, some immediate and some more long term.
Village 235, on the outskirts of the capital Quito, is so named because it was the 235th station for a railroad that used to pass right by the village. The railroad is being rebuilt — it is currently half an hour from the village — and will stretch all the way to the coast. So the village is seeking $1,000 to buy seeds and equipment to grow more pineapples and papayas to transport to market by rail. “The pineapples are delicious,” said Bold, who sampled the produce of the village during her visit. “We’re looking for investors in this project over the next six months, and we hope to have pineapples and papayas growing within 18 months.”
In the long term, the villagers would like to build a coffee-processing plant to produce their own coffee. Although this would be a larger investment, the villagers are confident it would be successful, based on the model of another village 45 miles away that received such funding. “As of right now, our focus remains on microloans, so this would be very far down the road,” said club president Thomas. “But we’re committed to international development, so we don’t want to limit the scope of our program.”
On a more personal scale, Faubion has identified a project in the Dominican Republic where the microloans would go to individuals rather than a village.
A free private school provides the equivalent of a high school education to 30 children who wouldn’t be educated otherwise. However, there are no opportunities for these students to capitalize on their education once they graduate since they have no access to capital. To rectify that, the owner of the school plans to run a contest whereby students develop business plans, for example selling fruit from a street stall. The best three or four business plans would receive microloans of $250 through GenDev.
“I’m excited about it,” said Faubion. “It is speculative at this point but everything seems to be going in the right direction, and the loans are small enough.”
In addition to international projects, GenDev is working with the International Rescue Committee in Charlottesville, which helps area refugees rebuild their lives. Some women refugees formed a cooperative to make and sell their handiwork such as scarves, bags, mittens and household decorations. Although GenDev is not providing financing for the women, since the cooperative received a grant, members are providing their time.
Haley Miller is the director of domestic development at GenDev, and a senior economics major with a minor in Latin American and Caribbean studies, from Windsor, Colo. She helped design an eight-lesson business literacy course for the women’s cooperative, which was conducted through a translator. “We also helped them sell their goods at various craft fairs. and they’ve reinvested the money they made into buying more looms, yarn and other materials,” said Miller. “We’ll be working with the cooperative again this year, and we’re also looking for other people within the refugee community who may need microloans.”
While GenDev functions as a school organization, it is also a corporation recognized by the state of Virginia and is currently seeking non-profit status. Sophomore Bayan Misaghi, GenDev’s chief financial officer and a double major in economics and mathematics, from Charleston, W. Va., is leading that effort. He is also a key figure in assessing the risks involved in giving microloans.
“As W&L’s first microfinance organization, this is a learning process,” said Misaghi. “We’re always experimenting and tinkering with ideas. But I think it is important for a group that is moving forward like we are to have little or no fear of failure.”
W&L Alum Vogt Heads Baltimore FBI Bureau
Stephen E. Vogt, a member of the Washington and Lee Class of 1986, is the new head of the FBI’s Baltimore field office.
Steve, who earned a law degree from the University of Baltimore, joined the FBI in 1989 and has had a variety of assignments, ranging from fighting gang activity in Baltimore to overseeing FBI operations in Afghanistan.
His first assignment was as a special agent in Cleveland, where he investigated white-collar crime, public corruption, organized crime and drug cases. He won both the FBI Director’s Award and the Attorney General’s Award for his work on law-enforcement corruption there. He later headed up a drug task force and was named 2004 HIDTA Task Force Commander of the Year by the Office of National Drug Control Police.
After a stint at FBI headquarters in Washington, D.C., he went to Baghdad and worked in the U.S. Embassy as assistant legal attaché. There, he investigated kidnappings and hostage cases as well as general criminal activity. He returned to Washington in 2007 and was assistant special agent in charge of the Washington field office.
For the past two years before being assigned to Baltimore, Steve was legal attaché in Kabul, Afghanistan, where he was responsible for all FBI personnel and operations in that country.
Study by W&L's Bower Validates Free Return Shipping Policy
Contrary to economic research that suggested tougher return policies, a new study published in the September issue of the Journal of Marketing strongly recommends a policy of universal free product returns for online and distant retailers.
The study, “Return Shipping Policies of Online Retailers: Normative Assumptions and the Long-Term Consequences of Fee and Free Returns,” was conducted by Amanda Bower, professor of business administration/marketing at Washington and Lee University’s Williams School of Commerce, Economics, and Politics. She was the lead author with James G. Maxham III, the Chesapeake and Potomac Telephone Company Professor of Commerce at the University of Virginia.
The research was conducted in field studies with two leading online retailers over 49 months using two surveys and customer spending data. It demonstrated that when consumers received free shipping on returned items, their purchases over the next two years increased by between 58 percent and 357 percent.
In contrast, when consumers had to pay for return shipping, their subsequent purchases decreased by between 74 percent and 100 percent.
Product returns are a widespread and expensive problem for retailers. For example, product returns of consumer electronics cost retailers and manufacturers almost $17 billion in 2011, representing a 21 percent increase in returns since 2007. Consequently, online and distant retailers are motivated to limit or avoid paying return shipping costs.
According to Bower, many retailers have adopted an “equity-based” return shipping policy, where the retailer determines who is to blame for the product return — the customer or the retailer — and assigns responsibility for the return shipping costs accordingly.
“Obviously, their philosophy is that if it’s your fault, you’ll be fine paying for it, and it won’t affect your future spending at all,” said Bower. “So we wanted to look at that assumption and determine how consumers actually act. What we found was that, on almost every count, retailers who have these equity-based shipping policies are completely wrong.”
The study found that the number one response that determined whether consumers would buy from a retailer again, based on whether they did or didn’t pay have to pay return shipping, was regret or the anticipation of regret.
“For example, I’ve already paid $7 shipping and the piece of clothing arrives at my home. I try it on and it doesn’t fit,” explained Bower. “Now I’ve got to pay $7 return shipping, so I’m out $14 and I don’t have anything. I’ve paid that money for the privilege of trying on clothing. So the really dominant driving characteristic is how much do I regret having spent $7 on return shipping in the past, and is it really worth it to risk paying that money again in the future?
“In contrast, free returns are similar to the saying ‘What would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail?'”
The study also discovered other reasons customers base future purchases on shipping charges. For example, customers believe that retailers have a greater responsibility to absorb return shipping costs as part of the cost of doing business. Equity-based shipping return policies also assume that less blame to the retailer necessarily means more responsibility to the customer, whereas customers assess blame independently—it could be nobody’s fault. In addition, retailers’ attempts at assigning blame in a manner consistent with the perceptions of customers are largely inaccurate, getting it right approximately as often as they get it wrong.
Bower noted that retailers do not have to rely on the study to judge consumer sentiment on the issue. “Marketers can look at their own data and see if this is something that would work for them,” she said. “It’s the proverbial ‘don’t take our word for it.’ The only caveat I would put on that is that if they look at their own data set they should make sure they aren’t only seeing what they want to see.”
Bower acknowledged that one of retailers’ concerns is that people could abuse a free return policy. “It’s interesting that for the two years after they returned a product, not one of the customers in our study returned another product. It’s fairly easy to quickly find people who are abusing the system. But punishing everybody because of a couple of people is not good for the retailer in the long run.
According to Bower, retailers need to look more at establishing a positive and trustworthy relationship with customers by not trying to make each discrete exchange a plus for the retailer.
“I’m fascinated by questioning and researching fundamental assumptions people make about how consumers behave, and the counterproductive things that marketers do,” said Bower. “Retailers need to have a firm grip on reality, on how consumers are actually going to act, not on what retailers think consumers should do or what they consider fair.”
The study appears in the Journal of Marketing, Volume 76, Number 5, September 2012, published by the American Marketing Association,
W&L's Dickovick Advises Kenya on Transition to Decentralized Government
The day before Tyler Dickovick, associate professor of politics at Washington and Lee University, attended a meeting in Mombasa, Kenya, 60 people were killed in violent clashes around the city in disputes over land distribution. The day after he left Mombasa, a Muslim cleric was assassinated, riots broke out and several churches were burned down.
“These were the bookends to my time working with the Kenya Transition Authority in August, “said Dickovick. “Those events serve as big caveats that the work the country is currently undertaking to decentralize the government will somehow solve the deep social problems.”
Dickovick is an expert on the decentralization of government and for the past two summers has spent time in Kenya under the auspices of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) making policy recommendations. In 2012 he was effectively seconded to the Transition Authority — the body appointed by the president of Kenya to oversee the process of shifting power from the central government to county governments.
The decision to decentralize power came after national elections in 2007 resulted in many killings over access to land and resources. There were also ethnic grievances stemming from the sense that the central government had favored certain groups for a long period of time.
“The hope is that decentralizing the government, giving everyone a piece of the pie, will mute a lot of those tensions,” said Dickovick. “But imagine county governments that have never had to run anything and all of a sudden they’re being tasked with running things like health care, agriculture — a big part of the economy — roads, local markets and tourism. You’ve got to make sure that they’re competent. It’s a very tense and pressing issue in Kenya at the moment.”
Dickovick was invited to assist in Kenya based on both his research and his book “Decentralization and Recentralization in the Developing World: Comparative Studies from Africa and Latin America” (Pennsylvania State University Press, 2011). The book was hailed as “a path breaking work built on an insightful analytical framework sustained by excellent fieldwork in several countries.”
In the book, Dickovick examined how countries in the developing world, including Brazil and South Africa, handled the decentralization or recentralization of their governments. “My book was about the conditions under which central governments give power to state and local governments and the circumstances under which local governments take back power from central and state governments,” explained Dickovick. “It’s a fundamental question of governance and government.”
Dickovick noted that one of the paradoxes about decentralization is that actors in politics rarely give away power voluntarily. But one circumstance under which that can happen is when the central government is in decline and recognizes that it’s having a problem of governability. For example, in South Africa, at the end of apartheid, the white-dominated government recognized that it would not win government at the national level but that it would win some of the state and local governments. “There’s some logic to decentralization when it happens, and they had an incentive to do so,” said Dickovick.
While recentralization, when central government takes back power from the state level, is rarer, Dickovick found that it can happen under exceptional circumstances such as an economic crisis. “In Brazil, for example, the government took power and authority away from the states when the entire national economy was tanking,” he said. “So a declining government leads to decentralization and a crisis leads to recentralization.”
Dickovick also worked with USAID in 2010 and 2011 on a comparative study of 10 African countries and their experiences with decentralization. His work continues today in making policy recommendations.
“People in Kenya are very interested in understanding what happened in South Africa, Tanzania, Ghana and Mali when they decentralized their governments,” said Dickovick. “They want to avoid the problems other countries experienced but also take some of the positive lessons as well.”
According to Dickovick, many countries that have historically been very centralized hope that if power is given to state and local government it will generate stability, create more economic development and increase democracy.
“Economists, political scientists and lawyers are often optimistic about that,” he said. “But it’s clear to me that you can design a system to transfer money, resources and power, but it’s not always going to solve the deeper problems. So I would say that a healthy dose of skepticism is in order.”
Paris-Style Southern Cooking
With his line of gourmet frozen foods flourishing, Alex Hitz has just come out with a new cookbook, “My Beverly Hills Kitchen: Classic Southern Cooking with a French Twist” (Knopf), in which he offers more than 175 all-time favorite Southern dishes — from Cold Pea Soup with Mint to Salted Caramel Cake.
After receiving his Washington and Lee degree in English in 1991, Alex earned degrees from Peter Kump’s Cooking School in New York City as well as Le Cordon Bleu in Paris. He was a partner in a restaurant in his native Atlanta for a time, but, as noted in his bio on “The Beverly Hills Kitchen”, he really began cooking in 1999, when he moved to Los Angeles, where his dinner parties became legend.
Then, about three years ago, he launched the Beverly Hills Kitchen line of foods. He marketed them on the QVC television network before moving to the Home Shopping Network, where his show became No. 1 in the network’s food-and-kitchen category.
The recipes in his new cookbook blend “the home cooking of his mother’s Atlanta kitchen with lessons he learned from some of the world’s great chefs and hosts to come up with classic, satisfying comfort food.”
In a feature on Alex and the new book in the Wall Street Journal, he talks about everything from Julia Child’s Strawberry Cobbler (“If you undercook it, it’s fantastic. If you overcook it, it’s delicious”) to whether a dinner party should be seated or a buffet (“The occasion dictates, as does the number of people”).
His underlying philosophy of food? “For me, food is art, history, economics, sociology, psychology and everything else ‘ology’ rolled into one. It’s a culmination of all the great disciplines of the world.”
And what is his favorite food? He divulged that answer in a blog entry on Vanity Fair’s website this week: “Chicken potpie, hands down. It’s magic!”
Who could disagree with that?
Civil War Historian Addresses Remembering Robert E. Lee Event
Lee Chapel and Museum presents Remembering Robert E. Lee with a speech by Jeffry D. Wert, noted author and Civil War scholar, on Monday, Oct. 8, at 12:15 p.m. in the Lee Chapel Auditorium. The public is invited at no charge.
The title of Wert’s talk is “Lee and the Rebirth of an Army: From Seven Days to Gettysburg.” A book signing will be at 10:30 a.m. in the Lee Chapel Museum Shop. Wert’s books will be available for purchase.
Wert is the author of nine books including A Glorious Army: Robert E. Lee’s Triumph, 1862-1863 (Simon & Schuster, 2011); Cavalryman of the Lost Cause: A Biography of J.E.B. Stuart (Simon & Schuster, 2008); and Custer: The Controversial Life of George Armstrong Custer (Simon & Schuster, 1996). He also is the associate editor and contributor to Historical Times’ Illustrated Encyclopedia of the Civil War (Harper & Row, 1986).
Wert has written columns in the Civil War Times Illustrated and articles and reviews in nine journals including America’s Civil War, Military History and Civil War News. He has appeared on television on Civil War Journal on the History Channel; Book Talk on C-Span 2; and Valley of Fire on WVPT (PBS).
He was nominated for a 2001 Pulitzer Prize for Gettysburg—Day Three; nominated twice for a National Book Award—in 2001 for Gettysburg—Day Three and for A Glorious Army in 2011; and awarded the Richard B. Harwell Award in 2012 by the Atlanta Civil War Round Table for A Glorious Army, among other awards.
Wert is on the Advisory Council for the Lincoln Award at Gettysburg College; the Historical Advisory Board, Gettysburg Foundation; and the Honorary Board of Directors, Civil War Preservation Trust.
W&L's Galapagos Experts
When reporter Sandy Hausman of WVTF public radio, in Roanoke, Va., did a feature story about the Galapagos Islands this month, two of her interviewees for “Living Laboratory” were a Washington and Lee emeritus professor and a W&L alumnus.
Scott Henderson, a member of the Class of 1987, lives and works in the Galapagos for Conservation International (CI). Cleveland Hickman, professor emeritus of biology, has written four volumes in the Galapagos Marine Life Series.
Scott is the regional marine conservation director of Eastern Tropical Pacific Seascape in CI’s South American Division. He has conducted research and served as a consultant and as NGO staff primarily in Latin America but also in Africa. According to the CI website, Scott’s main areas of expertise are “marine conservation and science, invasive species, large project development and management and fund-raising with both private and public foundations.” You can read several of Scott’s blog posts and watch him in videos on the CI website.
Cleve taught at Washington and Lee from 1967 to 1994. He’s been researching the Galapagos since 1985, working on the systematics and distribution of the marine invertebrate fauna. He authored the four field guides once he had retired.
Listen to the WVTF piece with Scott and Cleve below:
W&L Alum Lectures on Reporting for Reuters in Russia
Thomas Grove, a 2002 graduate of Washington and Lee University, will return to campus to give a lecture on Thursday, Oct. 4, at 4:30 p.m. in Northen Auditorium of Leyburn Library.
The title of the talk is “Our Man in Moscow: Reporting from Russia for Reuters.” The event is free and open to the public.
After completing majors in Russian Area Studies and German at W&L, Grove studied Turkic music for a year by traveling through Turkey, Georgia, Azerbaijan, and Uzbekistan on a Watson Fellowship.
He then received a master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University and worked for six years as a correspondent in Istanbul, first with the Turkish Daily News and then with Reuters News from 2006-2010 covering political, financial and energy news.
For the past year, Grove has covered politics and general news from Moscow for Reuters. He has traveled throughout Russia reporting on a wide variety of topics ranging from popular protests against President Putin to ethnic tensions in the North Caucasus and Kazan, to Russian relations with Turkey and arms exports to Syria.
Grove’s visit is sponsored by W&L’s Department of Journalism and Mass Communications, the Russian Area Studies Program, the Office of International Education and the Office of the Dean of the College. For further information on the lecture, contact Professor Richard Bidlack (458-8912).
W&L's Uffelman to Give Cincinnati Professorship Inaugural Lecture
Erich S. Uffelman, professor of chemistry at Washington and Lee University, will give the Cincinnati Professorship Inaugural Lecture on Friday, Oct. 5, at 4:30 p.m. in Science Center A214. Uffelman was named to the professorship in July 2012.
The title of Uffelman’s lecture is “Scientific Adventures with Rembrandt, Vermeer, Veronese, Peale, Ghissi and Others.” The talk is free and open to the public.
The talk will briefly explain the importance of the scientific examination of cultural heritage objects followed by examples from the literature and from Uffelman’s own research that illustrate key concepts and useful discoveries. Live demonstrations of x-ray fluorescence spectrometry and infrared reflectography will be used with the cultural heritage objects.
Uffelman joined W&L’s faculty in 1993. He has authored or coauthored more than 25 publications on topics ranging from high-valent transition metal chemistry to “Green Chemistry” (also known as sustainable chemistry) and renewable resources. He has received funding from the National Science Foundation, the Research Corporation, the American Chemical Society-PRF, Hewlett Packard/Agilent, the Thomas F. and Kate Miller Jeffress Memorial Trust, the Associated Colleges of the South, W.M. Keck Foundation and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
Uffelman was awarded the Outstanding Faculty Award from the State Council of Higher Education in Virginia in 2009 and was among 12 outstanding faculty members from Virginia’s public and private colleges and universities to receive the award that year. He was awarded the Washington and Lee University Class of ’65 Excellence in Teaching Award four times and from 1991-1993 was a National Institutes of Health Postdoctoral Fellow at Stanford University, among many other awards.
In addition to his work in various areas of chemistry, Uffelman has researched the methods and examples of investigations performed by art conservators and conservation scientists on Dutch Golden Age paintings. He teaches a class on science in art and also offers a seminar on 17th century Dutch painting, which includes field work in The Netherlands.
Uffelman received his B.S. from Bucknell University and his Ph.D. from California Institute of Technology.
The Cincinnati Professorship recognizes the gift of the Society of the Cincinnati of Virginia to Washington Academy, a predecessor institution to Washington and Lee University. The Society, a group of former officers of the Continental Army, influenced by George Washington’s gift to the Academy, voted in 1802 to turn over its assets to the school, a gift that helped the institution survive.
W&L’s McCarthy Gallery Presents Exhibit by Artist Frank Hobbs
An exhibition of paintings and monotypes by artist Frank Hobbs will be on view in the McCarthy Gallery at Washington and Lee University from Oct. 6 to Dec. 31.
Landscapes and figures will be on display in the gallery located in Holekamp Hall which is adjacent to the Williams School of Commerce, Economics, and Politics at W&L.
Hobbs, a native of Lynchburg, Va., is associate professor of painting and drawing at Ohio Wesleyan University in Delaware, Ohio. From 1989-2004 Hobbs resided in Staunton, Va., where, in1992, he and four artist friends began the Beverley Street Studio School. Hobbs taught drawing at Washington and Lee from 1997 to 2004.
Since moving to Ohio in 2007 his focus has shifted to his new environment. The exhibition at the McCarthy Gallery will include the artist’s interpretations of the Ohio landscape, work from Virginia and Italy, and a group of figure paintings from a series painted in Italy in 2010. Hobbs is best known for his landscape paintings of Virginia.
McCarthy Gallery hours: 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Travel/Documentary Photographer Hanson to Lecture at W&L
Michael Hanson, a travel and documentary photographer, will give a talk at Washington and Lee University on Wednesday, Oct. 3, in the Stackhouse Theater at 6 p.m. The lecture is free and open to the public.
The title of Hanson’s talk is “Documentary Photography of Latin American Resources, From Amazon Oil to Caribbean Baseball.”
Hanson, a 2003 graduate of Washington and Lee, also will be on campus Thursday, Oct. 4, to meet with students about possible careers in photography, journalism, environmental studies and/or work in Latin America and the Caribbean. Leyburn Library and Career Services will mount electronic displays of Hanson’s work during his visit.
Hanson, based in Seattle, was named one of the world’s top travel photographers by Popular Photography Magazine.
Hanson’s photography career began after playing minor league baseball in the Atlanta Braves farm system. His travel and lifestyle work has taken him to more than 20 countries around the world. He recently completed his first book, a project documenting urban farming in America, titled Breaking Through Concrete. His photographs accompanied an article by his brother, David Hanson, a 2000 W&L alumnus, that appeared in the Spring/Summer 2012 edition of W&L: The Alumni Magazine of Washington and Lee.
He has taught numerous photography workshops, including National Geographic Student Expeditions in the Sacred Valley, Peru. He was the co-founder for the Center Street Photography Program in Birmingham, Ala. He has judged the 2010, 2011 and 2012 DC Fotoweek Photography contest. Hanson’s art work is in the permanent archive at the Sir Elton John Collection.
His visit to W&L is sponsored by the Latin American and Caribbean Studies Program and the Career Development Center.
Latest Online Issue of “Shenandoah” Available
The third virtual issue of “Shenandoah: The Washington and Lee University Review” is online at http://shenandoahliterary.org.
The Fall 2012 issue (volume 62, number 1) debuts a new design and features the usual choice selection of poems, stories, essays, art and reviews. Authors include David Wojahn, David Huddle, Linda Pastan, Margaret Gibson, Andrea Null (W&L Class of 2010), Jim McDermott, Lisa Russ Spaar and Jeanne Murray Walker.
It also contains reviews of works by Claudia Emerson, Yusef Komunyakaa, Robert Olmstead, Hilary Mantel, Charles Frazier and others. The art is by celebrated illustrator and collagist Billy Renkl.
February’s issue will include a feature on New Zealand poets, guest edited by Lesley Wheeler, W&L’s Henry S. Fox Professor of English. Last year, Wheeler spent several months in New Zealand on a Fulbright, studying poetry at Victoria University.
Shenandoah accepts online submissions here: http://shenandoah.submittable.com/submit.
W&L Law Prof James Moliterno Honored for Legal Education Reform
James Moliterno, Vincent Bradford Professor of Law at Washington and Lee University School of Law, has received the 2012 Rebuilding Justice Award from the Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System (IAALS).
Moliterno received the award on Sept. 27 at the Educating Tomorrow’s Lawyers (ETL) conference hosted by the University of Denver Law School. ETL, a project of IAALS, is a consortium of law schools working on legal education reform and the integration of teaching methods detailed in the influential 2007 Carnegie Report. W&L is one of the original members of the consortium.
In selecting Moliterno for the award, representatives of IAALS cited Moliterno’s leadership in incorporating experiential techniques into his own teaching and in sharing his expertise across the legal academy.
“I am thrilled to be the first legal educator to receive the Rebuilding Justice Award from IAALS,” said Moliterno. “Building or rebuilding justice starts in the law schools—law students represent the future of justice in any society.”
Moliterno has spent his career as a legal educator seeking ways to infuse experiential learning into legal education. He was the architect of William and Mary law school’s award winning ethics, skills, and professionalism program, which in 1991 won the American Bar Association Gambrell Professionalism Award, as the best law school or bar association program for the teaching of ethics and professionalism.
Since joining Washington and Lee in 2009, Moliterno has helped design and implement W&L’s innovative third-year curriculum, which consists entirely of practice-based simulations, real client experiences, and advanced explorations into legal ethics and professionalism. Moliterno’s recent publications include “Cases and Materials on the Law Governing Lawyers” and “The Litigation Department Lawyer,” an outgrowth of his work developing litigation-based practicum courses for the School.
In addition, Moliterno is a series editor for a new style of course-books by West Publishing that incorporate experiential elements into books that will support many of the traditionally required law school courses. His book titled “Experiencing Civil Procedure” will be the first of the series.
Moliterno is an acknowledged international expert in legal ethics and professionalism, and has traveled throughout the world to help countries develop ethics policies and training programs. He participated in the USAID Rule of Law project in Serbia to establish legal skills training programs, and has worked with lawyers and judges in China, Kosovo, Spain, and the Czech Republic on ethics training.
School of Law Director of Communications