Feature Stories Campus Events

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

Or online:
https://colonnadeconnections.wlu.edu/SSLPage.aspx?pid=235

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
Elrod Commons
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.

View the Complete Story Here

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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/.

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