Feature Stories Campus Events

W&L’s Robert Strong to Lecture on Jimmy Carter in the Civil Rights Era

Robert A. Strong, the William Lyne Wilson Professor of Politics at Washington and Lee University, will give a lecture at W&L on Thursday, Feb. 5, at 5:00 p.m. in Huntley 327.

The title of the talk, which is free and open to the public, is “Politics and Principle: Jimmy Carter in the Civil Rights Era.” Strong’s talk is part of the 2014-2015: Race and Justice in America and is sponsored by W&L’s Roger Mudd Center for Ethics. For more information about this series, please visit the Mudd Center website.

Strong’s talk will look at the changes that took place in American politics, and particularly in the south, during and after the civil rights movement by providing a biographical sketch involving Jimmy Carter. He made no claim to leadership in the civil rights movement, but the early stages of his public life were profoundly affected by it.

Carter famously announced that the era of segregation was over shortly after he was elected governor in 1970. Before that date he was caught in circumstances where politics and principle were often at odds and one or the other played a dominant role in his actions.

“These biographical details are important to scholars who try to understand Carter’s career on the national and international stage,” said Strong. “But they are also important for giving context and texture, and perhaps some complexity, to conversations about the importance and the impact of the civil rights era.”

Strong, who earned his B.A. from Kenyon College, his M.A. from Northern Illinois University and his Ph.D. from the University of Virginia, joined the W&L faculty in 1989. He also has been a visiting professor at the University of Virginia, Oxford University and the University College, Dublin. Strong was associate provost and interim provost at W&L from 2008-2013.

He is the author of three books including “Decisions and Dilemmas: Case Studies in Presidential Foreign Policy Making” (1992; second edition 2005) and “Working in the World: Jimmy Carter and the Making of America Foreign Policy” (2000). Strong also is the author of many articles, book chapters and review essays and op-eds.

Among other professional activities, Strong has participated in oral history interviews with Jimmy Carter, Colin Powell, Madeleine Albright, James Baker, Tony Blair, John Major, James Woolsey, Samuel Berger, Richard Haass, Hamilton Jordan, Jody Powell, and other officials in the Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush and Clinton presidencies.

Former NSA Director’s Keynote at W&L Law Symposium on Mass Surveillance, Cybersecurity Draws Analysis from The Atlantic

Michael Hayden, former director of the National Security Agency, told a Millhiser Moot Court Room audience Jan. 23 that the totality of circumstances at a given time can change the interpretation of constitutional protections under the law.

Hayden described how the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks on New York and Washington made reasonable what had been unreasonable national security tactics the day before. And, he suggested that the line between a citizen’s privacy and responsibility to society cannot be hard and fast.

“Privacy is the line we continuously negotiate between ourselves as unique creatures of God and ourselves as social animals. In the first category we have a right to keep things to ourselves. And in the second category we have a responsibility to reveal things about ourselves to the community for the greater good,” he said.

The Atlantic Magazine’s Conor Friedersdorf has published an analysis of Hayden’s keynote address at the symposium. Hayden’s complete speech can be viewed online.

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Karla Murdock to Deliver Her Inaugural Lecture Marking Appointment as the David G. Elmes Term Professor of Psychology

Karla K. Murdock, professor of psychology at Washington and Lee University, will give her inaugural lecture marking her appointment as the David G. Elmes Term Professor of Psychology on Wednesday, Feb. 4, at 4:30 p.m. in Northen Auditorium, Leyburn Library.

The title of her lecture is “Cellphones in our Lives: Psychosocial Implications of the New Appendage.” It is free and open to the public, and will be broadcast live online.

Murdock joined the W&L faculty in 2005 and taught previously at the University of Massachusetts Boston. She earned her B.A. in psychology from Indiana University and her M.S. and Ph.D. both in clinical psychology from the University of Georgia.

Murdock has been awarded over 15 grants and awards including “Technology and Health Lab: Data Management and Analysis” (2014); “Adolescent Stress, Cell Phone Use and Well-Being” (2013); and “Adolescent Technology Use, Co-Rumination and Well-Being” (2012). She was principal investigator or co-investigator in seven research programs.

The author or co-author of 31 refereed articles and three book chapters, Murdock has, since 2005, been an ad hoc reviewer for seven journals.

Murdock has served W&L on many and various elected and appointed programs and committees, including having served on the Shepherd Program Advisory Board since 2010 and since 2013, on the Shepherd Program Faculty Advisory Committee.

The Elmes, John and Winfrey Term Professorship was established by an anonymous trustee and his wife to honor Professors David G. Elmes, Lewis G. John and John C. Winfrey. The professorship is a permanently endowed fund at Washington and Lee University providing support for a faculty member in the College or the Williams School.

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Future Generals

It’s never too early to start talking to kids about college, and Sarah Catherine Welch, who graduated from Washington and Lee University in 2011, introduced her students at St. Peter Claver School in Decatur, Georgia, to her alma mater via a virtual tour on Smartboard.

She tweeted: “It’s college day in second grade, and we are a class of future Generals!”

Sarah Catherine is one of many W&L alumni who joined Teach For America. Over the last few years, Washington and Lee has become one of the top producers of graduates participating in the TFA program, placing it among the top 20 small colleges and universities in the country.

Sarah Catherine joined the Metro Atlanta 2011 corps right after graduation. She said, “I taught first grade for two years in the Atlanta Public Schools system, which was recovering from a massive, nationally publicized cheating scandal. While I honored my two-year commitment, I knew that I needed a change for my third year of teaching.”

She moved to St. Peter Claver School, a Catholic school that offers students free or greatly reduced tuition through scholarships funded by the Archdiocese of Atlanta or religious groups, such as the Missionaries of Charity.

“I joined TFA because I wanted to provide low-income students with expanded opportunities, opportunities that were readily available to me as a child,” she said. “After taking poverty classes with Professor Harlan Beckley and education classes with Professor Haley Sigler, I knew that teaching in an urban environment was exactly what I needed to do.”

She added, “The best part of my four years of teaching has been witnessing the joy that my students experience when they reach academic success. Their hugs, smiles and high fives make everything about the job more than worth it.”


Inside the 3L Year: Access to Justice Class Visits Israel

Law students in the Access to Justice practicum traveled to Israel and Palestine in late November to explore the Palestinian and Israeli legal systems. In the final post in this series, 3L Hannah Shtein discusses the Israeli public defender system and the barriers, both literal and figurative, to Israeli and Palestinian lawyers working together for justice.

Tuesday, December 2 – Wednesday, December 3

Our time in Israel is divided between two cities, Jerusalem and Tel-Aviv. We arrive in Jerusalem on the early evening on Tuesday and drive to Hebrew University, where Professor Rice has arranged for one of the criminal law classes to have a Skype discussion with the Criminal Justice Clinic at W&L. We observe as some of our classmates in Lexington talk with the Hebrew U students about the criminal justice system, and specifically what to do to prevent wrongful convictions. Professor Rice is hoping to create a continued relationship between W&L and Hebrew University, similar to what he has done with the Palestinian schools.

After the video session, we debrief with the class professor, meet some of the students, and head back to our hotel.

We spend the next day exploring Jerusalem, with a tour of the Old City and its four quarters: Muslim, Jewish, Christian, and Armenian. The Old City reflects each of the different cultures, with Armenian churches, the Western Wall (where many devout Jews pray), the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the Arab Shuk, among—of course—many other sites.

Thursday, December 4

Today is our Tel-Aviv day. Professor Rice has arranged for us to meet with the Israeli Public Defender to hear about the Israeli criminal defense system and to meet some of the lawyers. Israel’s public defense system is, unsurprisingly, much larger and more organized than that of Palestine.

The public defenders we speak to are very aware of this disparity and of the difficulty of improving conditions on the Palestinian side, especially with the presence of the West Bank wall. (Later, I ask Professor Rice whether Israeli and Palestinian lawyers can engage in bilateral projects, and he tells me that they cannot do so unless they are brought together by a third party, such as an educational institution. This is perhaps a long-term goal for our program—to bring Israeli and Palestinian students, at the very least, together for discussion.)

The lawyers elaborate on some of the challenges they face, including the racial and national tensions that color the criminal justice system, since the defenders deal with Jewish and Arab Israelis, as well as Palestinians.

We also discuss the similarities and differences between the Israeli and American systems, such as the status of the right to counsel and the difficulty of providing effective indigent defense. We finish with a tour of the courthouse and hurry to get last-minute presents for our friends and families before returning to the hotel to take our things and get ready for our flight home.

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What's Up in Lexington/Rockbridge, PAD Auction and More

Here’s the next installment of our roundup of events in the Lexington and Rockbridge area, compiled by 3L Hannah Shtein. You’ll have choices to make, with live music at the local breweries and the always popular law school charity auction. Plus drones!

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Speaker – Math for Drones: Miniature Aerial Vehicles Under the Hood. Robinson Hall 105, 4:40pm-5:40pm. Simon Levy will give a talk on the mathematical methods underlying the rapid development of drone technology. Talk at 4:40, refreshments at 4:20 in Robinson foyer.

Think n’ Drink Trivia at Blue Lab Brewery, 123 S. Randolph St, at 6pm (every Thursday!)

Friday, January 30, 2015

Lara Gass Memorial Charity Auction, hosted by Phi Alpha Delta. Cocktail Hour from 5:30-7:30, live auction starting at 7:00pm. The Lara Gass Memorial Charity Auction is hosted by Phi Alpha Delta.

Live @ the Lab – East Lex Boys. The East Lex Boys, a Richmond based band, will play their inaugural Lex Vegas performance at Blue Lab at 6pm. An eclectic mix of bluegrass, rock, jam, Latin, and everything inbetween.

Live Fridays at Devil’s Backbone. Bring your favorite snacks and carry-out food to the Tap Room and enjoy honest pints of beer with family and friends while listening to local music on select Friday nights. 5:30-8:30, featuring Crowded Pond (bluesy acoustic rock).

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Interviewing Seminar with Moira Roberts, 9-10am in Classroom C in the law school. Moira Roberts ’93L worked for the United States Securities and Exchange Commission for about thirteen years, and was most recently a Senior Advisor to the director of the office charged with investor education and advocacy. Before that, she was an Assistant Director in the Commission’s Enforcement Division where she ran investigations and civil prosecutions. Before joining the Commission, she was a commercial litigator for six years in two top-tier laws firms, and she was clerk to a renowned federal judge in the Eastern District of Virginia. As a member of the SEC Division of Enforcement’s lawyer hiring committee, she reviewed hundreds of applications, conducted numerous interviews, and participated in the closed-door committee discussions of each candidate’s interview performance. She comes to campus to tell you how to deliver a strong interview performance. Don’t miss this opportunity to hear from the other side of the interview desk! RSVP or place your name on the Waiting List in Symplicity Events. This event will be moved to a larger classroom if interest warrants. Contact: Jane McDonald (mcdonaldj@wlu.edu)

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Movie Screening – To Kill a Mockingbird (W&L Law Reads). 5-8pm in the Moot Court Room. In conjunction with the inaugural W&L LAW READS program, the Law Library welcomes you to a free screening of the Academy Award-winning film “To Kill A Mockingbird,” adapted from the classic 1960 novel by Harper Lee. After the film, stay to join members of the W&L faculty for a discussion of this influential American story and its legal, cultural, and historical aspects.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Indoor Farmers Market at 18 E Nelson St, 9am-1pm, including locally produced vegetables,eggs, baked goods, fruit, cheese, honey chestnuts, and more!(will be held every Wednesday before the summer market opens!).

Growler Grab Day at Devil’s Backbone, all day. Every Wednesday, Outpost Tap Room, Devils Backbone Brewing Company, 50 Northwind Lane, Lexington, (540) 462-6200. Vist the Tap Room and fill up your 64 oz. growler for $5 on Wednesdays. 2/4, 2/11, 2/18, 2/25. Each week you can fill up your growler with an Outpost brewed beer at this special price.

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W&L's Miranda Quoted in New York Times on Canonization of Junipero Serra

Deborah Miranda, the John Lucian Smith Professor of English at Washington and Lee, was quoted in a New York Times article Jan. 21 about Pope Francis’ plans to canonize Father Junipero Serra. “Serra did not just bring us Christianity. He imposed it, giving us no choice in the matter. He did incalculable damage to a whole culture,” Miranda said in the article.

She expanded on her opposition to Serra’s sainthood in a short post on her blog, Bad NDNS, on Jan. 24, which was subsequently picked up by the Indian Country Today Media Network.

You can read the full New York Times article, “To Some in California, Founder of Church Mission is Far From Saint” online.

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Picture Perfect

While Tony Walker, a member of the Washington and Lee University Class of 1964, visited campus this past fall for his 50th reunion, he stopped by the University’s art collection in the Kamen Gallery in the Lenfest Center for the Performing Arts. The Western theme struck a chord with him, and he decided to give W&L a contemporary painting of a Western landscape by Vermont-based artist David Brewster (davidbrewsterfineart.com).

Tony, who studied philosophy with Professor Emeritus Harry Pemberton, believes the content of the painting is “so poignant and right for the school.” He described the subject as “a violent storm where all the elements are present: heat, sun, dryness.” The landscape reminds him of the abandoned Rockbridge County farms he encountered as a student at W&L in the 1960s, when he hiked all over the countryside within a 50-mile radius. He described the farms as “down and out” and said, “That suffering and toughness to live through the 1930s, ’40s and ’50s is in contrast to Washington and Lee University and the environment now.”

Tony was inspired to give this painting “as a reminder to what we have” and offered it “in honor of my friend and mentor Harry Pemberton.”

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Professor Marc Bregman to Give Weinstein Memorial Lecture at W&L

Marc Bregman, the Bernard Distinguished Professor of Jewish Studies at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, will give the Weinstein Memorial Lecture of 2015 at Washington and Lee University on Wednesday, Feb. 4, at 7 p.m. in Hillel 101.

The title of the lecture, which is free and open to the public, is “The Sacrifice of Isaac in Art and Jewish Legend.” The lecture will be given with slides.

“The story of Abraham’s near sacrifice of his son is foundational for the three Abrahamic religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam,” Bregman said. Also, the presentation will explore how this well-known narrative has been interpreted not only in texts but also in artistic images.”

Bregman is the co-author of various books including “Flesh Off the Bone: Dream Descent Through Past Life Trauma” (2011); “Dreaming Metaphysical” (2011); and “The Deep Well Tapes” (2006). He is the author of “Tanhuma Yelammedenu Literature: The Studies in the Evolution of the Versions” (Hebrew Edition, 2003).

Bregman was awarded the Nancy S. and Laurence E. Glick Teaching Fellowship at the Center for Advanced Judaic Studies at the University of Pennsylvania, among other awards.

He received his B.A. in Judaic Studies from the University of California at Berkeley in 1968, his M.A. from the Hebrew Union College in Los Angeles in 1971 and his Ph.D. from The Hebrew University in Jerusalem in 1991.


Roger Mudd '50 Accepts Philanthropy Award from the Council of Independent Colleges

Roger H. Mudd, a 1950 graduate of Washington and Lee University and an award-winning journalist, received the Award for Individual Philanthropy from the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) at its annual awards banquet Jan. 6 in San Diego, California. Marguerite and Gerry Lenfest ’53, ’55L received the award in 2008.

CIC presents the award to honor “an individual who demonstrates the love of humankind through consequential giving and who provides an example of the philanthropic spirit.”

The video and transcript of his acceptance speech follow:

Carmen Twillie Ambar, president of Cedar Crest College in Allentown, Pennsylvania, presented the award on behalf of the CIC:

“Our second and final award celebrates an individual who demonstrates the love of humankind through consequential giving to independent colleges and universities. CIC honors Roger Mudd with the 2015 award for philanthropy.

“A 1950 graduate of Washington and Lee University, Roger Mudd presented a four million dollar gift to his alma mater to establish a new center for the study of ethics. Today, the Roger Mudd Center for Ethics advances dialogue, teaching and research about issues of public and professional ethics across all three of the University’s schools: The College, the Williams School, and the School of Law. In addition, the endowed Roger Mudd Professorship in Ethics supports a distinguished senior scholar.

“Roger donated papers documenting his distinguished career at CBS and NBC, as well as his work with the History Channel and on PBS News Hour to Washington and Lee’s Leyburn Library. He also donated his collection of 20th century Southern fiction to the College.

“In 2011, Washington and Lee awarded him its Washington Award in recognition of his distinguished leadership and service to the nation and extraordinary acts of philanthropy in support of Washington and Lee and other institutions.

“Roger is also a member of the board of trustees of the Virginia Foundation for independent colleges. Upon joining the VFIC board in 1997, he quickly made his mark as he co-chaired the committee that created the organization’s Ethics Bowl. The purpose of the Ethics Bowl is to enrich and enliven the discussion of ethical issues among students at VFIC’s 15 member colleges. Since its creation, Roger has been actively involved in all aspects of the planning and the implementation of the Ethics Bowl, and he continues to serve as its co-chair. The Ethics Bowl–that model–has now been adopted by four additional states.

“Roger began his career as a reporter for the Richmond News Leader and later joined the CBS News Bureau in Washington, D.C., where he covered Congress and national politics. He moved to NBC, co-anchoring the NBC Nightly News and Meet the Press before moving on the Macneil-Lehrer News Hour on PBS. He was primary anchor for the History Channel and has taught as a visiting professor at Princeton and Washington and Lee University.

“Roger has received the Peabody Award, The John Shorenstein for Distinguished Washington Reporting and five Emmy awards. His memoir, The Place to Be: Washington, CBS, and the Glory Days of Television News,was published in 2008.

“Through his care and support, he has inspired, enriched and enhanced many colleges, universities and their students. Tonight, CIC is pleased to honor Roger Mudd.”

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Roger Mudd:

“They didn’t tell me that this was going to be called ‘This is Your Life.’

“When Rich Echman briefed me on tonight’s program, he said that I would be following a cocktail party, and so I better be funny. As you may know, I come here from Washington, D.C. where I was born, raised and worked for about 50 years, but there are very few jokes in Washington these days. The closest thing to a joke came out after the midterm elections when the voters said they wanted to legalize pot, raise the minimum wage, permit same sex marriages, legalize abortion, reform immigration policy, and then they picked the Republicans to bring it all home.

“I’m delighted to be with you this evening, and to accept, most happily, the CIC’s Philanthropy Award. I do not regard myself as a philanthropist but as an amateur historian-turned-journalist–two fields which are related, in that historians need twenty years to get it wrong; journalists need only 8 hours.

“It may come as a surprise to some of you that the press tries very hard to get things right, although many of our sources succeed in misleading us. It may also surprise you that we do have a code of ethics, an agreed upon set of standards. We do not make up stories. We do not fabricate quotations. We attribute information that is not self-evident. We do not use obscene words unless we write for The New Yorker. And we acknowledge that every individual has a right to privacy.

“But, alas, our code of ethics is voluntary. Sometimes toothless. And its enforcement depends. Do we go through the garbage of public figures? It depends. Do we entrap? It depends. Do we lie about who we are in order to invade someone’s privacy? It depends. And what it depends on, of course, is whether the story is worth the ethical compromise it requires, and whether the competition is onto the story also. But having lived with that code for the last 50 years in my professional life, I began to wonder about the millions of students who will go through four years of college without ever being exposed to a code of ethics, or an honor system, never pushed into thinking about right and wrong, never taught about how elevating the ethical life can be.

“About 15 years ago, as you’ve been told, I got the chance to help fill that gap. I helped establish the Ethics Bowl, managed and promoted by the Virginia Foundation for Independent Colleges. Once a year at different campuses, each year, the teams from fifteen private liberal arts colleges in Virginia gather to debate the ethics of our contemporary society. The ethics of war. The ethics of politics. The ethics of civil liberties. Early next month we will gather again for two days, this time at the Marymount University campus in Arlington, Virginia, and this time to debate the ethics of family life.

“This gathering is unique in that the judges and moderators are all from the community. Lawyers, doctors, journalists, academics, CEOS, financiers, business men and women who believe that an ethical life is the life worth living. Next year, I dare say the topic of the Ethics Bowl will come right out of the headlines. I mean, pick up the paper any morning and read the headlines. “Virginia Governor Accepts $177 Thousand in Gifts and Money,” and today he got two years in prison. Not the ten years the prosecution wished for. “Detroit Mayor Sentenced to 28 Years for Bribery and Extortion,” “Fixing Scandal Hangs over Nascar,” “JP Morgan, Chase Fined $13 Billion for Mortgage Practices,” and two other governors, Rod Blagojevich of Illinois and Don Siegelman of Alabama, are still in prison.

“And the second thing I did after 60 years was to repay the gift that my alma mater, Washington and Lee, had given me. I endowed a Center for Ethics on the campus to promote the study of ethics across the curriculum. The Center is now up and running, as a fine director and an endowed professorship had began the first year studying the ethics of racial justice. Next year the theme will be the ethics of citizenship.

“But now I must acknowledge my intellectual debt to Washington and Lee, where I studied history, English, and philosophy. The very courses now listed by The Daily Beast as the three most useless majors. So what has happened to our culture in the last 50 years that makes them so useless, and produces such headlines as “Liberal Arts Majors are Screwed.” (Screwed as being defined by my Webster’s 18-pounder as “bilked or cheated.”)

“Can it be true, according to the Business Insider, that only two percent of American companies are hiring liberal arts majors? And what would have caused Robert Reich, President Clinton’s secretary of labor, to declare that “college is a ludicrous waste of money,” and to propose combining the last year of high school with a first year of community college to create a new curriculum for our economy to train technicians? More technicians to develop more devices to keep us from looking at, and listening to each other.

“What’s happened to our culture, I believe, is that it’s been taken over by the demands of instant gratification. And that flies directly into the face of serious education. The humanities and the liberal arts are what give the sciences their meaning. Humanities and the liberal arts help discover what it means to be human. To know the joy of using the beautiful English language. To discover what it means to be an American in the 21st century. And to give our lives meaning in that we are serving things beyond ourselves, to quote David Brooks in the Times this morning.

“And, finally, may I also take issue with those who believe that college is just for getting a job, and that earning power is the best way to be the judge of college courses. May I pass on to these people a list of distinguished Americans and their college majors. Mitt Romney, English. Ted Turner, the classics. Conan O’Brien, history and American literature. Carly Fiorina, medieval history and philosophy. Steven Spielberg, english. And Summer Redstone, the classics and government.

“Well, I’m about finished. I want to close by telling you about the very first day I began as a broadcaster in Richmond, Virginia, 1953. I was assigned to do the noon news on station WRNL, and I was moving along pretty well when I hit an item about the deteriorating health of Pope Pius the Twelfth. To my horror, I heard myself saying, “The condition of Pipe Po-us has grown steadily worse. And they have summoned to the Pipe’s bedside his doctor and two specialists.” Well I began laughing, so I lunged for the cut-off switch on the cough box. But being new and untrained, I hit the wrong switch, and what happened for the next ninety minutes is the audience heard silence, followed by 30 seconds of my insane laughter.

“I moved on to Washington soon after that, and one of my first assignments came during the Eisenhower Inauguration. I was assigned to cover one of the D.C. commissioners, a Republican, as he made the rounds of the inaugural parties. This particular commissioner was fascinated by my relationship to Dr. Samuel Mudd, the doctor who had set the broken ankle of John Wilkes Booth after he had shot President Lincoln. I tried to tell him that we were distantly related. Sam and I were probably related to the fifth degree, he being an uncle five-times removed. But that didn’t stop him. So when we began to go from party to party he would introduce me, and the relationship between me and Dr. Mudd got closer and closer. So we began and he said, “Come over here and meet Roger Mudd. His great grandfather fixed John Wilkes Booth.” And then we’d go to the next one and “Come on over here, his great uncle fixed John Wilkes Booth.” And finally at the end of the evening, he said, “Come over here, meet Roger Mudd, his father shot Lincoln.”

“Well, I think I’ve said enough. And I’m grateful for your attention, and I’m proud to accept your award. Thank you.”