W&L Men's Golf Earns GCAA Team Academic Award
The Golf Coaches Association of America (GCAA) announced its 2014 Team Academic Awards on July 30, and Washington and Lee was one of 20 men’s golf programs nationally to receive President’s Special Recognition by the organization.
All told, 141 men’s golf programs were cited for the Team Academic Award, which recognizes teams from NCAA Divisions I, II and III, along with the NAIA, NJCAA I and NJCAA II who have achieved a team grade-point average (GPA) of 3.0 or higher for the 2013-14 school year.
The Generals were one of just 23 NCAA Division III men’s teams recognized with the Team Academic Award, and W&L received the President’s Special Recognition for having a team GPA in excess of 3.5. Only Carnegie Mellon, Redlands, W&L and Webster earned the special recognition for Division III.
Dodge City from NJCAA I posted the highest overall team GPA with a 3.82.
Washington and Lee produced four Top 3 finishes out of its nine tournaments during the 2013-14 school year, including a runner-up finish at the ODAC Championship. The Generals return a majority of the roster for the 2014-15 season, including all five of its competitors from the conference championship.
Senior Sgt. Larry Stuart Dies at 54
Larry W. Stuart, senior sergeant in public safety and a beloved and respected member of the W&L community, died on July 26 at Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital. Stuart, who was 54, had worked at W&L for 29 years.
“He took a personal interest in our students,” said Steve Tomlinson, associate director of public safety and a colleague for Stuart’s entire career at W&L. “He would make rounds on his off hours and check on events, or be working a social event, and I knew that everything would be taken care of. His daily mission was to make everyone feel welcome and at home.”
Stuart was born on Feb. 13, 1960, in Rockbridge County, to Annie Lee McNeil and the late Glen Green. He served in the U.S. Marine Corps for four years before joining W&L in 1985. Among his many public-safety duties, Stuart taught students about alcohol awareness and self-defense.
“People cannot even imagine the positive impact he had on thousands of students,” said Mike Young, retired director of public safety. “He made every student feel that they were the most important person he knew.”
And that’s not all, said Sidney Evans, vice president for student affairs and dean of students. “He was a role model for other public safety officers and for those of us who work with students in different ways. He showed us every day what it means to be a part of a community.”
Two members of that community, Emily Bruner ’14 and Claire Stevenson ’14, immediately initiated an online fundraising effort when they heard of Stuart’s passing, to help his family with medical and funeral expenses. By the time they closed the fund, more than 1,000 people had contributed nearly $48,000.
In his memory, W&L has established the Larry Stuart Memorial Fund. It will provide an award each year to a student who exemplifies Stuart’s character and commitment to the community.
To donate by mail:
Larry Stuart Memorial Fund
Gift Accounting–University Development
Washington and Lee University
204 W. Washington St.
Lexington, VA 24450-2116
Under “designation” select “other” and then type in “Larry Stuart Memorial Fund.”
Larry Stuart is survived by his wife, Deborah Stuart; his daughter, Bettie Sierra Stuart, who works in the W&L Marketplace; his stepmother, Kathrine Green; his siblings, Peggy McNeil, Kenneth Stuart, Luciane Green and Osaoldo Green; his nieces, Jessica McNeil and Virginia Larissa Lucas; and his nephews, Julian Green and Antwon Toliver.
Notes for Stuart’s family may be sent to:
Washington and Lee University
The Stuart Family
℅ Office of Student Affairs
204 W. Washington St.
Lexington, VA 24450-2116
You’re Never Too Old to Ask Your Former Professors for Advice
It’s not unusual for Washington and Lee students to keep in touch with their favorite professors after they graduate. Faculty love the e-mails that bring news of big promotions, the thick linen envelopes that bear wedding invitations, and the refrigerator magnets that proudly announce the arrival of another generation of Generals. But what they really love—no matter how long their students have been out of school—is being asked for advice.
When Ramsay Kubal, ’13, found herself face-to-face with a classroom full of high school students at Uplift Williams Preparatory School in Dallas, Texas, the Teach For America corps member e-mailed her former business administration professor Scott Hoover.
“I remember his Financial Statement Analysis class,” said Kubal, who was an economics and psychology major. “He broke us into groups and we looked at four different shoe companies. We studied their financials from the last five years and tried to paint a picture of where the company had been and where it was going.”
In Dallas, Kubal teaches Algebra II to high school sophomores and juniors. Uplift Williams Preparatory is part of the largest network of charter schools in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area. Charter schools are privately run public schools; they tend to be smaller and can offer teachers more flexibility to be innovative with the curriculum and their teaching methods. Kubal says that flexibility is what inspired her to reach out to Professor Hoover.
“Students don’t typically see accounting in high school and I wanted to incorporate business models and elementary accounting principles into my algebra lessons. I wrote to Professor Hoover and asked him what he thought I should do,” said Kubal.
Hoover recommended the students perform a “DuPont Analysis,” which is a performance measurement first undertaken by the DuPont Corporation in the 1920s. Analysts measure a company’s return on equity by multiplying its profit margin by its total asset turnover by its equity multiplier. The measurement can deliver good insight into a company’s operating efficiency, asset use efficiency, and financial leverage.
Kubal took the idea back to her students in the form of a long-term project. As a class, they voted on a publicly traded company to analyze—the students picked Nike—and Kubal pulled Nike’s financial statements. Hoover provided the project outline he’d used in his own class.
The project proved to be a tough one. Not only did Kubal’s students have to do the math to complete the analysis, but they also had to do a fair amount of writing, looking at the ratios and explaining why the numbers moved.
Some of the biggest lessons Kubal’s students learned had little to do with the algebraic equations they used to interpret Nike’s balance sheet.
“Before this project, my students didn’t understand how stocks were bought and sold. They didn’t understand that someone like them could buy stock. They also had this misconception about debt. They’d only ever heard of family members or other people they knew going into credit card debt. They’d never heard of companies issuing debt as a strategic move,” said Kubal.
Now, Kubal’s students are following Nike’s stock performance daily. Next year—Kubal’s second and final year as a Teach For America corps member—she plans to grow the project. Students will analyze the performance of four companies over the course of the year.
Hoover is proud of the initiative Kubal took to deliver something out-of-the-box to her students, “I wish I’d had teachers like her in school.”
From the Magazine: Cybersecurity, Privacy and the Law
Big Data Means Big Questions
by Stephanie Wilkinson
In June of 2013, Edward Snowden, a former employee of the CIA and contractor for the National Security Agency, blew the whistle on the U.S. government’s vast intelligence gathering programs. Snowden’s revelations sparked a vigorous public debate on the proper trade-off between personal privacy and national security and raised the larger issue of privacy in the Internet age.
Who has the right to examine records of our phone calls or e-mails? What about our shopping habits, library check-out records or travel routes recorded by EZ Pass, parking-lot cameras or cell-tower pings? Does using a smartphone or signing onto a social media platform mean you’ve forfeited your right to privacy? These questions have led to a slew of legal challenges that strike at the very core of our democracy.
Examining these issues are a number of W&L Law faculty and alumni who bring insightful perspectives on big data, cybersecurity, privacy and the use of technology by the government and law enforcement on the local and national level.
Big Moves for Two W&L Law Alumnae
Two Washington and Lee University School of Law graduates were featured in the national legal press for major career moves.
On July 21, The American Lawyer announced that Andrea Wahlquist ’95L has joined the New York law firm Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz as a partner in their executive compensation and employee benefits practice. According to the publication, Wahlquist is only the firm’s fourth partner-level lateral hire in its long history.
Wahlquist was previously a partner at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP, where she was part of a team of lawyers honored by The American Lawyer as Dealmakers of the Year in 2007 for their work on behalf of longtime private equity client KKR. During her legal career, she has been recognized as a leading lawyer in the field of executive compensation and employee benefits by publications such as The Best Lawyers in America, Chambers USA Guide to America’s Leading Lawyers for Business and The Legal 500, with an emphasis in representing target companies in strategic mergers and a background in representing some of the largest private equity sponsors in the acquisition, management and disposition of their portfolio companies.
At W&L Law, Wahlquist was editor in chief of the Environmental Law Digest. She is a member of the W&L Law Council, an advisory board to the dean of the law school.
Earlier this month, The Daily Report announced that Lizanne Thomas ’82L, partner-in-charge of the Atlanta office of Jones Day, is taking on the newly created position of regional partner-in-charge for the firm’s South region, overseeing its Atlanta, Dallas and Houston offices.
Thomas told the Daily Report that the regional oversight role is more big-picture than heading an office.
“My responsibilities are more externally focused on business development and coordinating the entire region,” Thomas said. “There is less day-in and day-out management.”
Thomas, who had been the partner-in-charge for Atlanta since 2008, also heads Jones Day’s corporate governance practice, advising corporate boards in the U.S., Europe, the Middle East and Asia. She participates in more than 100 board meetings per year as counsel to a number of public companies. She has lectured on governance to leading business organizations, companies, and universities throughout the world. She represents special committees in going private and other control transactions, as well as internal investigations involving issues from financial restatements to allegations of executive misconduct.
Thomas was managing editor of the Law Review while at W&L. She is a former member of the School’s Law Council and was recently elected to the University’s Board of Trustees.
Washington and Lee Named a “2014 Great College to Work For” by the Chronicle of Higher Education
Washington and Lee University is one of the best colleges in the nation to work for, according to a new survey by The Chronicle of Higher Education.
The results, released in the newspaper’s seventh annual report on The Academic Workplace, are based on a survey of more than 43,000 employees at 278 colleges and universities. A random group of 400 W&L faculty, administrators and staff received the survey, and the overall response rate was 45 percent.
In all, only 92 institutions achieved the recognition for specific best practices and policies. Results are reported for small, medium, and large institutions, with Washington and Lee
included among the small universities with 2,999 students or fewer.
W&L won honors in the Compensation & Benefits category.
“This is a very satisfying affirmation of Washington and Lee, but our goal is not recognition — it’s being a community that values the needs and contributions of every individual. In that sense everyone at W&L helps to make this a great place to work,” said university President Kenneth P. Ruscio.
W&L International Law Expert Examines Russia’s Responsibility for Downed Malaysia Flight (Video)
The world is still reeling from last week’s tragic downing of Malaysia Flight 17 over Ukraine, allegedly by pro-Russian separatists.
Washington and Lee law professor and international law expert Mark Drumbl says the incident raises some serious questions for international law, such as whether Russia can be held responsible for the activities of the pro-Russian militia in Ukraine. Under international law, a state may be responsible for the conduct of actors, such as rebel groups, operating outside of the state.
“The state is on hook if it has ‘effective control’ over those groups,” says Drumbl. “Nicaragua filed such a claim against the U.S. in the 1980’s for the conduct of the contra rebels. The issue also arose in the 1990 with Milosevic’s support of Bosnian Serbs. Proof will depend on whether, and to what extent, the Russian state has financed, trained, supported, and supervised these rebels in Ukraine.”
Drumbl says there are situations where those responsible could be charged with war crimes or even crimes against humanity. And it is unclear which international mechanisms could be used to achieve justice in the case.
About Mark Drumbl
Mark Drumbl is the Class of 1975 Alumni Professor at Washington and Lee University School of Law, where he also serves as Director of the University’s Transnational Law Institute. He is the author of two acclaimed books on international military conflict, “Reimagining Child Soldiers in International Law and Policy” and “Atrocity, Punishment, and International Law.”
Prof. Drumbl’s research and teaching interests include public international law, global environmental governance, international criminal law, post-conflict justice, and transnational legal process. His work has been relied upon by the Supreme Court of Canada, the United Kingdom High Court, United States Federal Court, and the Supreme Court of New York in recent decisions.
Yasin Amba ‘16L Wins McGuireWoods Diversity Scholarship
Yasin Amba, a member of the law class of 2016 at Washington and Lee University School of Law, has received a 2014 McGuireWoods Diversity Scholarship. The $5000 scholarship was one of eight awarded by the firm this summer.
According to the firm, the awards are granted to outstanding first-year law students who have shown a commitment to contributing to and supporting diversity within the legal profession. The scholarship is sent directly to the winner’s law school in payment of tuition and books.
Each scholarship candidate submitted a form application, resume, transcripts, personal letter of recommendation and an essay explaining their commitment to diversity in the legal profession. After receiving an overwhelming number of submissions, a team of McGuireWoods’ lawyers and recruiting professionals selected the scholarship recipients.
In his scholarship essay, Amba wrote about being separated from his family in Ethiopia while still in grade school and how he made the transition life in the U.S. Even while dealing with extreme hardship, including a stint living out of his car, Amba always made giving back to the community a priority. This, in turn, helped guide him on his career path.
In his first year at W&L, Amba participated in the Black Law Student Association’s mock trial competition. His team finished as the regional runners-up and advanced to national competition.
W&L Accounting Major Gains Valuable Consulting Experience in Copenhagen
Bailey Ewing ’15 will be the first to tell you that she’s a huge fan of structure. So it wasn’t a big surprise when the Dallas, Texas native took her first accounting class with Professor Afshad Irani and fell in love with the discipline.
“Everyone makes fun of me for saying that I fell in love with accounting, but it’s true,” said Ewing.
Ewing declared a major in accounting and business administration and started exploring a career in audit. But in the back of her mind, she hoped she’d find a way to combine business with an ongoing interest in the non-profit world.
When Professor Elizabeth Oliver told Ewing about a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) practicum course she was co-teaching with Professor Rob Straughan in Copenhagen, Denmark over spring term, Ewing jumped at the chance to participate. One aspect of corporate social responsibility relates to how businesses engage in philanthropy. Some businesses give money or in-kind donations to local, national or international non-profits but, increasingly, businesses and non-profits want to find ways to build long-term relationships with one another.
Oliver and Straughan recruited a class of 18 students, and ran the four-week class like a consultancy, dividing students into teams of four or five students and assigning each team to a Danish company with a unique problem.
When the class arrived in Copenhagen, Oliver and Straughan took their students to meet Anne Mette Christiansen, an expert in corporate social responsibility who heads up Deloitte’s sustainability practice in Denmark and Greenland. Christiansen teaches at Copenhagen Business School and spent a semester teaching at Washington and Lee University in 2009 as the Robert A. Mosbacher Visiting Scholar in Business Administration. She was instrumental in getting the corporate social responsibility class off the ground, and for the past several years, she’s maintained her W&L ties by mentoring CSR students in Denmark.
Ewing was assigned to work on a project for one of Deloitte’s clients, the Danish Red Cross. The Danish Red Cross, along with many other non-profits in Denmark, doesn’t track the value of its in-kind donations on financial statements. Because the Danish government awards monetary support to non-profits, it’s important for non-profits to not only demonstrate value to the community but also a high level of public support. Big public support increases the chances that the Danish government will match that support with additional money. Tracking in-kind donations would certainly elevate the reported charitable giving of the Red Cross and other non-profits but at what cost?
“In theory, it would be nice if they reported their in-kind gifts but the cost of doing so, both in man hours and in knowledge, is huge—especially for smaller non-profits,” said Ewing.
Ewing and her team recommended implementing a reporting system comparable to the structure used in the United States, where corporations can receive tax deductions for tracking their in-kind gifts and non-profits can rely on those numbers in their own reporting. For the Danish government, their recommendation provides a challenge—namely, lost tax revenue. To justify their recommendations, they published a series of posts about their project on the class’ blog, and wrote an article, “Why Valuing In-Kind Donations Matters,” which will appear in a Danish online magazine, CSR.dk.
When the practicum ended in mid-May, Ewing wasn’t done with Denmark or Deloitte. She stayed on in Deloitte’s Copenhagen office for six weeks, completing a consulting internship—also with the Danish Red Cross—that Christiansen had helped broker.
As an accounting and business administration major, Ewing was glad to get the experience in strategic consulting, particularly in an international environment where there were so many unknowns.
“For someone like me, who likes a lot of structure and clear-cut answers, the experience really challenged me. With consulting, a company is trusting you to do the research, to become an expert on something that you may not have known much about beforehand, and to come back with the best answer,” said Ewing. “It was the same with the Corporate Social Responsibility class. Our professors gave us guidance but they expected us to do rest.”
Jost Featured by WalletHub on Rates of Uninsured States Before and After Obamacare
Timothy S. Jost, the Robert L. Willett Family Professor of Law, was recently featured by
WalletHub, an online financial information source for consumers and small businesses, commenting on a recent study examining the Rates of Uninsured by State before and after Obamacare. The study has garnered national news coverage and can be found at wallethub.com/edu/rates-of-uninsured-by-state-before-after-obamacare/4800/.
Frequently Asked Questions About President Ruscio's Recent Community Letter
On July 8, Washington and Lee President Kenneth P. Ruscio sent a letter to members of the University community, responding in detail to concerns that a group of W&L law students raised this past spring.
Since President Ruscio’s letter was made public, reports appearing in the news media and distributed through social media have resulted in numerous misapprehensions and misconceptions.
The complete text of that letter is available on President Ruscio’s web page. Included in it are links to two additional web pages – a history of the Lee Chapel flags and a timeline of African Americans at Washington and Lee. Links to the president’s two April messages on this subject to the University community are also on his web page.
The following FAQ addresses the key issues:
Have Confederate battle flags been removed from Lee Chapel?
Reproductions of eight Confederate regimental battle flags that were first placed in 1995 in the room with the statue by Edward Valentine, “The Recumbent Lee,” have been removed. The American Civil War Museum will loan back original battle flags that had been displayed near the statue from 1930 to 1995, and they will be exhibited on a rotating basis in the Lee Chapel Museum, which is on the lower level of the chapel across from the Lee family crypt.
In his message to the community, President Ruscio wrote that in an educational setting such as a university, the appropriate place to display those flags is in the museum. There, those who wish to see them may do so, and the stories behind them can be properly told.
Questions about the appropriateness of the flag display near “The Recumbent Lee” are not new. Many individuals have expressed concerns about the flags in the past, especially after the authentic flags were replaced by reproductions in 1995.
Were the reproduction battle flags removed from Lee’s tomb?
No. The reproductions had been hung near the statue at the rear of the chapel’s auditorium, which is a primary indoor space for University events. Many people mistake the recumbent statue for Lee’s tomb. It is not. The statue depicts Lee asleep on the battlefield, not in death. Mary Custis Lee, his wife, suggested depicting him asleep. Lee is buried in the crypt on the lower level of the chapel along with his family.
Will anything replace the flags in the statue chamber?
No. The room now looks as it was originally designed in 1883.
What is the purpose of Lee Chapel?
The chapel, which has two levels, serves many purposes. After it was built, from 1867 to 1868, during Lee’s presidency, its primary function was to provide a meeting space for students and faculty. That remains one of its central roles; it is one of the largest indoor campus facilities and is used for many of the University’s major events. It is not a consecrated religious space.
It is also the site of the Lee family crypt (on the lower level) and Edward Valentine’s famous statue, “The Recumbent Lee” (on the upper level). In addition, a museum is located on the lower level, which was the site of Lee’s office; the office remains as a part of the museum display. The museum’s permanent exhibition, “Building and Rebuilding a Nation,” traces the contributions to education of both Robert E. Lee, the president of Washington College from 1865 to 1870, and George Washington, a major benefactor in 1796. The chapel’s history has made it a significant tourist destination.
The statue chamber was added to the rear of the upper level of the original chapel to house “The Recumbent Lee,” which was unveiled in June 1883.
Did the University apologize for its and Lee’s participation in slavery?
In late 2013, several months before the law student group voiced its concerns, President Ruscio had created a special working group to study the role of African Americans in the history of the University and to pay special attention to questions of slavery. Many other colleges and universities have explored these issues in recent years.
In his message of July 8, the president referred to “African Americans at Washington and Lee: A Timeline,” a creation of the special working group. The timeline includes original documents detailing Washington College’s inheritance in 1826 of between 73 and 84 enslaved people as part of an estate, showing that the college had benefited from their labor and, at times, their sale, up to 1852. President Ruscio wrote: “We acknowledge that this was a regrettable chapter of our history, and we must confront and try to understand this chapter.” The working committee will continue to explore the topic and to expand the timeline.
Furthermore, in 2007, Emma Burris-Janssen, a senior at the time, wrote a history honors thesis, “An Inheritance of Slavery: The Tale of ‘Jockey’ John Robinson, His Slaves, and Washington College.” You may read that thesis online.
As for Lee, in his message to the community, Ruscio wrote that Lee had displayed “his estimable skills as an innovative and inspiring educator,” adding: “I personally take pride in his significant accomplishments here and will not apologize for the crucial role he played in shaping this institution.” President Ruscio addressed this issue at greater length in his 2012 essay that appeared in Inside Higher Ed, “Judging Patron Saints.”
Will the University stop marches on the campus as part of the Lee-Jackson holiday observances in the city of Lexington each January?
The groups that have traditionally assembled in Lee Chapel following a parade through downtown Lexington have not formally marched on the campus. In his community letter, President Ruscio said that W&L, as an educational institution devoted to free and open inquiry, would continue to permit outside groups to use the chapel for events “so long as they do so in accordance with our established policies and guidelines.” At the same time, he noted that no outside group of any kind may march on the campus or use the campus as a platform for its own displays or statements.
Will the University ban Confederate flags on the campus?
Displaying this symbol without “unambiguous historical or memorial context,” as historian John Coski writes in his book, “The Confederate Battle Flag,” is antithetical to Washington and Lee’s avowed goal of inclusiveness. Hanging the flag in a dorm room, for instance, ignores the feelings of others in the community. At the same time, the University’s strong commitment to free speech prevents it from issuing an outright ban on the flag. Instead, the University will continue to emphasize how essential it is for all members of the community to regard the feelings of others in order to sustain the kind of community that Washington and Lee values.
Will the University “fully recognize” Martin Luther King Jr. Day?
For many years, the University has recognized Martin Luther King Jr. during the week of the federal holiday with speeches, panel discussions, concerts and other events for the entire W&L community as well as for the local community. It will continue to do so. See the schedule of events for the 2014 MLK observance.
Undergraduate classes are now held at W&L on the federal King holiday; the Law School has suspended classes on that day since 2012.
The faculty is responsible for establishing the calendar. President Ruscio has now asked the undergraduate faculty to decide whether or not to hold undergraduate classes on MLK Day. In his message, President Ruscio stated his preference that undergraduate classes not be suspended for the holiday; he is concerned that “a compelling series of events would give way to an uneventful three-day weekend.”
Is the University considering removing “Lee” from its name?
No. Among the many spurious rumors and claims perpetuated by the current controversy, this is the most absurd.
R.T. Smith is Finalist for the Library of Virginia’s 2014 Poetry Award
Washington and Lee University writer-in-residence R.T. Smith is a finalist for the Library of Virginia’s 2014 Poetry Award for “The Red Wolf: A Dream for Flannery O’Connor,” a tour de force capturing the intricate details of O’Connor’s life and character.
The poems are based on Smith’s long interest in O’Connor and his research at Georgia College and State University where the O’Connor Collection and manuscripts are located.
Smith, editor of “Shenandoah: The Washington and Lee University Review,” has twice won the Library of Virginia Poetry Award, for “Messenger” (2002) and “Outlaw Style: Poems” (2008).
Smith’s previous books of fiction are “Faith,” “Uke Rivers Delivers,” “The Calaboose Epistles” and “Sherburne.” He has edited “Shenandoah” since 1995 and was named writer-in-residence at W&L in 2009.
He is the former editor of “Southern Humanities Review,” as well as former alumni writer-in-residence at Auburn University. Smith’s poetry has also been published in “Best American Poetry,” and his stories have appeared in “Best American Mystery Stories,” “The Pushcart Prize Anthology,” “New Stories from the South” and “Best American Short Stories,” as well as in three earlier collections, and his 2011 collection of stories, “Sherburne.”
The winners in each category (fiction, nonfiction and poetry) will be announced on Saturday, Oct. 18, at the 17th Annual Library of Virginia Literary Awards Celebration Honoring Virginia Authors and Friends.
Shenandoah Announces Winner of 2014 Bevel Summers Prize for the Short Short Story
“Church Retreat, 1975” by Emily Pease of Williamsburg, Va., won the 2014 Bevel Summers Prize for the Short Short Story, sponsored by “Shenandoah: The Washington and Lee University Review.”
The honorarium for the prize is $1000 and publication in “Shenandoah.” Pease teaches at The College of William and Mary and has previously won the Editor’s Prize from “The Missouri Review.”
The final judge was Nick Ripatrazone, author of “This Darksome Burn,” (Queen’s Ferry Press). His citation for the winning entry reads as follows:
“A haunting, finely-crafted scene that reverberates into the pasts and futures of all characters involved. Pease masters this short form with phrases and images that make the reader conclude these lives are worthy of a much longer narrative, and yet somehow this single sequence on the beach, where ‘no one missed’ these two girls, wounds through its brevity.”
Ripatrazone says of the story named runner-up, “Torque and Slippage,” by Danilo Thomas of Tallahassee, Fla., “The narrator assures that ‘we weren’t killers,’ but the sentence-to-sentence punch of this suggests otherwise. It is a troubling lyric representation of a descent into violence and the questions that remain afterward.”
“The Last Landmine” by Nancy Taylor of San Francisco, Calif., and “The Slades” by Melanie Faith of Mercersburg, Pa., received honorable mention and will, with Thomas’s piece, be published in the fall issue of “Shenandoah,” due to appear in October.
Over 1,000 entries were submitted to this year’s Bevel Summers contest, and the 2015 contest will take place in the spring. Interested parties should watch the Prizes link on “Shenandoah’s” website (shenandoahliterary.org) in 2015 for further information.
Jost: Courts Won’t Void the Affordable Care Act Over Semantics
Timothy S. Jost, the Robert L. Willett Family Professor of Law at Washington and Lee’s School of Law, published a guest column in the July 10, 2014, Washington Post about lawsuits asking the courts to invalidate the Affordable Care Act. Jost concludes the lawsuits will not succeed.
Research on Corporate Governance Helps Local Non-Profits Manage Their Boards
It’s a happy circumstance for faculty when their research interests overlap with the needs of their local community.
Business administration professor Denny Garvis, a practicing attorney before he went back to graduate school to earn his doctorate in strategic management, has long been interested in the processes that govern boards. His research into the corporate governance of publicly held companies has shown that, while board governance has little impact on the performance of large companies, strong boards can make a big difference to small firms.
Garvis wondered whether he could use what he’d learned to help non-profit organizations in his own community improve their boards, and thus their overall performance.
“In addition to my academic research, I’d had the personal experience of being on small, community boards. I could see that when organizations had a conscientious executive director and well-functioning board, good things happened,” said Garvis.
With support from Washington and Lee’s Arthur Vining Davis Endowment for Leaders in Law and Commerce, he and students developed the “Tune-Up Workshop for Social Enterprises: Required and Recommended Practices for Non-Profit Board Governance.”
For the past several summers, Garvis has hired one or two student research assistants to help him plan and run the half-day board governance workshop for area non-profits. The workshop is free to attend, and participants leave with lots of ideas they can implement immediately.
This year’s workshop, held on June 25, included 14 executive directors of area non-profits, including Boxerwood Nature Center & Woodland Garden, Woods Creek Montessori, Habitat for Humanity, United Way, the Historic Lexington Foundation, Lime Kiln Theater, Hull’s Drive-In and other local 501(c)3 organizations.
Workshop topics are wide-ranging, covering everything from compiling a board book to managing conflicts of interest to implementing board self-assessments.
Judy Mauck, the recently retired director of Rockbridge Area Hospice, led a session based on the lessons she learned, including the importance of bylaws and articles of incorporation.
“One of the most important things you can do as an executive director is be involved in selecting board members,” Mauck said. “When we went out and interviewed potential board members, we already knew what our needs were and where they were likely to fit.”
Mauck and Garvis were joined by Garvis’ two summer research students, Taylor DeVoe ’15, and Nati Mechale ’15, both of whom gave presentations on principles of good governance. To prepare them for their presentations, Garvis provided a seminar-style introduction to corporate governance of for-profit companies as well as non-profit social enterprises. During the second part of the summer, they’ll apply these principles with internships at one local non-profit, Yellow Brick Road Early Learning Center.
“We had divided up the principles, but we were both surprised to find that we couldn’t get through all the material because there was so much good discussion,” said Mechale, a business and accounting major from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. “It indicates there’s a need for this type of workshop.”
This was Stephanie Wilkinson’s first year attending the workshop. Wilkinson is the first-ever executive director of Main Street Lexington, a new volunteer group dedicated to preserving, enhancing and promoting downtown Lexington. “I’ve been president of a few boards around here, managing executive directors, and now that I’m on the other side, it’s helpful to see what executive directors deal with—managing the board.”
ODAC Releases 2013-14 Academic All-Conference Team
The Old Dominion Athletic Conference released its 2013-14 All-Academic Team on Wednesday and Washington and Lee once again led the league in number of athletes honored.
W&L totaled 307 (25 more than last year and 41 more than 2011-12) of the conference-record 1,553 total All-Academic Team members named from the 17 member institutions. Next on the list was Bridgewater with 143 and Lynchburg with 139 honorees.
Eligibility for the ODAC All-Academic Team is open to any student-athlete that competes in a conference-sponsored sport, regardless of academic class. He or she must achieve at least a 3.25 grade-point average for the year to be considered for an ODAC All-Academic Award.
Among the Generals’ 307 honorees were 43 First Team All-ODAC selections from throughout the 2013-14 year. The Blue and White compiled a 180-144-6 (.555) overall record during that span.
The Generals took home ODAC Championships in six sports (women’s swimming, women’s lacrosse, men’s tennis, women’s tennis, volleyball and riding), and had six athletes garner the conference’s scholar-athlete of the year awards in their sport. W&L also claimed the ODAC’s Dan Wooldridge Overall Champions Cup for the 12th-straight year and the 18th time in the last 20 years.
W&L Law Prof. Christopher Bruner Named Director of the Lewis Law Center
Christopher Bruner, Professor of Law at Washington and Lee University School of Law, has been appointed Director of the Frances Lewis Law Center by Dean Nora V. Demleitner.
The Frances Lewis Law Center is the independently funded faculty research and support arm of W&L Law. As Director, Bruner will oversee the Center’s agenda, which includes funding summer research projects and research assistants for faculty, sponsoring and supporting conferences and symposia organized at the Law School, and hosting visiting scholars for workshop presentations or more extended visits.
“I am delighted to see Christopher step into the role of Law Center Director, bringing yet again an outstanding scholar into this leadership position,” said Demleitner. “His strategic thinking and creativity will further enhance the Law Center’s importance in the intellectual life of the Law School and the faculty’s scholarly accomplishments.”
Bruner joined the Washington and Lee faculty in 2009. His teaching and scholarship focus on corporate law and securities regulation, including international and comparative dimensions of these subjects.
Bruner’s articles have appeared in a variety of law and policy journals, and he has twice received the Law School’s Ethan Allen Faculty Fellowship for scholarly excellence. His comparative study of U.S. and U.K. corporate governance, “Power and Purpose in the ‘Anglo-American’ Corporation,” won the 2010 Association of American Law Schools Scholarly Papers competition. His book, “Corporate Governance in the Common-Law World: The Political Foundations of Shareholder Power” (Cambridge University Press), develops a new comparative theory of corporate governance in common-law countries.
Bruner has presented his scholarship in Australia, Denmark, Mexico, Russia, Switzerland, the U.K., and the U.S., and has conducted research as a visitor to the law faculties of the University of Cambridge, the University of Sydney, and the University of Toronto. He has twice traveled to the Russian Federation at the invitation of the U.S.-Russia Foundation for Economic Advancement and the Rule of Law (USRF) to participate in discussions with justices of the Supreme Commercial Court regarding Russian corporate law reform and potentially useful models from U.S. corporate and securities law.
“The Frances Lewis Law Center has long fostered innovative research bringing scholarly rigor to bear upon legal reform efforts,” said Bruner. “It’s a great honor to serve as Director, and I look forward to working with our faculty, students, and administration to build upon this shared tradition of excellence and further enrich the intellectual life of the Law School community.”
Bruner currently serves as a member of the Executive Committee for the Association of American Law Schools’ Section on Business Associations, and a member of the Scholarship Advisory Group to the Younger Comparativists Committee of the American Society of Comparative Law.
Bruner received his A.B. with highest honors in 1995 from the University of Michigan, and his M.Phil. in 1997 from the University of Oxford, where he held an Overseas Research Student Award. He received his J.D. in 2001 from Harvard Law School, where he served as Deputy Editor-in-Chief of the Harvard International Law Journal. Before joining the academy, he practiced corporate and securities law with Ropes & Gray in Boston.
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.
Muddying Waters of Religious Protection
Mark Rush, the Stanley D. and Nikki Waxberg Professor of Politics and Law at Washington and Lee University’s Williams School of Commerce, Economics and Politics, published an op-ed about the U.S. Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby decision in the July 1 edition of The Virginian-Pilot, Virgnia’s largest newspaper.
#wluSummer: A Bustling Time in Lexington
Classes may not be in session, but that doesn’t mean Washington and Lee’s campus is quiet during the summer months. Here’s a quick snapshot of what’s happening on campus and around town: Summer Research Scholars: Learning doesn’t stop when class ends. Many students remain on campus during the summer as part of the Summer Research Scholars program. This program provides students with opportunities to research a subject of their interest in one of two ways: students can assist a professor in his or her research, or they can complete their own research under the supervision of a faculty advisor. This enables undergraduates to work closely with the W&L faculty on research projects that would typically be carried out at the graduate level. Students researchers present their findings to faculty and their fellow Summer Research Scholars at lunch seminars throughout the summer, enabling them to reflect on and synthesize their findings. More information: http://myw.lu/TjS3pO. Volunteer Opportunities: Looking for volunteer opportunities to fill the long summer days? Lexington offers many ways to get involved in the local community. If you want to get outside and work with your hands, the Campus Garden located in W&L’s back-campus is always looking for volunteers to help tend the fruits and vegetables. Campus Kitchens (CKWL), associated with the Garden, also needs volunteers to help cook and deliver food to local residents in need. Learn more: http://myw.lu/1sFxggH. If you want to spend some time with animals, the local SPCA is a great place to volunteer. Get some exercise while walking the dogs in the woods behind the SPCA or play with the kittens, helping to socialize them for their future homes. Whatever your volunteer interests, get out in the community this summer and give back! Learn how you can help: http://myw.lu/1pBVbYP. Lexington Entertainment: Lexington and Rockbridge host a variety of special events and performances throughout the summer. These are ongoing all summer and include:
- 18th Annual Lexington Sunrise Rotary/Cornerstone Bank Hot Air Balloon Rally
- Live music at the revitalized Lime Kiln Theater
- The Rockbridge Regional Fair at the Virginia Horse Center
- Friday’s Alive Concert Series in Davidson Park
- First Fridays free gallery walk on Washington Street (5:30 – 7:00 p.m. on the first Friday of each month)
- Farmer’s Markets
- Movies at Hull’s Drive-In
- 540 Productions Drama
- Events at Devil’s Backbone, Blue Lab Brewery and Rockbridge Vineyards
Exploring Rockbridge: Lexington is especially beautiful and welcoming during the summer months. Don’t forget about these natural activities and attractions:
- Foam Henge
- Virginia Safari Park
- Natural Bridge Park
- Natural Bridge Zoo
- Natural Bridge Speedway
- The Virginia Horse Center
- Hikes & Outing Club Rentals
Campus Construction: Walking around campus this summer, you will notice two large construction sites. The first is the site of the new Center for Global Learning, which will connect the renovated 8,600 square-feet of DuPont Hall with 17,700 square-feet of new construction. The Center will house classrooms, seminar rooms and instructional labs, as well as an atrium, garden, courtyard and an international tea shop. There will also be new venues in the building for special events and exhibits. The center will contain several language departments, offices for visiting international scholars and the Office of International Education. More information: Campus Programs: Though class isn’t in session, campus is far from empty. Beginning in the summer of 2012, W&L has hosted over 165 students each summer for the Virginia Governor’s Full-Immersion Language Academies program. For three weeks, the students live in W&L dorms with RAs and speak only in the language they are studying. They attend lectures, participate in cultural activities and use the language as if they were living in a native-speaking country. More information: Admissions Tours and Information Sessions: Summer is a perfect time to tour W&L’s picturesque campus. With flowers in bloom and bright green leaves on the trees, campus is at its most beautiful. When coming to campus, the best way to find your way around is to hop on a campus tour with one of our current students and learn about what W&L has to offer. Also sign up for an information session led by one of our admissions counselors to learn more about our admissions process. Rising high school juniors and seniors and their families are encouraged to participate in Virginia Private College Week from July 28 – August 1, hosted by the Council of Independent Colleges in Virginia (CICV). W&L is one of 25 private colleges in Virginia offering campus tours and information sessions about admissions, financial aid and academic programs. Students who visit at least three institutions during the week will receive three application fee waivers. Students may use these waivers to apply to any three CICV colleges for free. We love meeting and talking with interested students and parents, so stop anyone on campus if you have any questions! For more information on visiting W&L and touring campus, visit: http://myw.lu/1sFzmx7. Pre-Orientation & Orientation: The Leading Edge pre-orientation trips for incoming first-years are a great way for students to meet others before beginning their first year at W&L. Students have the option of participating in either the Appalachian Adventure or Volunteer Venture. In the Appalachian Adventure, students hike for a week on different sections of the Appalachian Trail and camp each night in shelters along their route. Students carry all of their food and cook meals each night on gas stoves. These arduous hikes challenge the students and create bonds between them that last once they arrive back on campus. The Volunteer Venture trip also provides a way for students to make close friends before arriving on campus, while engaging them in meaningful volunteer work. The program introduces students to the contributing factors of poverty in cities surrounding W&L: Roanoke, VA; Lexington, VA; Washington, DC; Greensboro, NC; Charleston, WV; and Richmond, VA. Students become a part of the community in which they work, interacting with the individuals who they are helping and seeing the effects of their hard work firsthand. Whichever trip you choose, the Leading Edge pre-orientation trips are a great way to meet other first-years before beginning classes in the fall. Learn more about the trips: http://myw.lu/1v6KCP3.