Feature Stories Campus Events

Rachael Slobodien Joins Sen. Ted Cruz’s Staff

Rachael Slobodien, who graduated from Washington and Lee University in 2006 with a degree in politics and religion, has joined the staff of U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) as his communications director.

Rachael previously worked at The Heritage Foundation as manager of media affairs, where she led the regional communications team and crafted messaging and strategy for Heritage’s Institute for Economic Freedom and Opportunity. She began her career at Heritage as executive assistant to the vice president of communications. She then went to Capitol Hill as scheduler/office manager to Rep. F. James Sensenbrenner, Jr. (R-Wis.); she later became press secretary to then-Rep. Barbara Cubin (R-Wyo.). Prior to returning to Heritage as a senior media associate in 2010, Rachael served as communications manager at the National Taxpayers Union.

Rachael is also an evening law student at George Washington Law School, where she serves as editor in chief of The Federal Communications Law Journal.

Fourth Annual SHECP Symposium to Address Food and Childhood Health

The increasing nutrition gap between children from the upper and lower classes will be the focus of the fourth annual symposium of the Shepherd Higher Education Consortium on Poverty (SHECP) on Aug. 2 in Lexington, Virginia.

“Poor nutrition has become a serious barrier to equal opportunity,” said Harlan Beckley, executive director of SHECP and former director of the Shepherd Poverty Program at Washington and Lee University. “We need a better understanding of this phenomenon so that we can more effectively reduce barriers to healthy, fulfilling and productive lives.”

Hosted by W&L and the Virginia Military Institute, the symposium is part of the Frueauff Closing Conference for the Shepherd Internship Program (SIP), in which more than 90 interns will convene in Lexington after working for eight weeks with impoverished people and communities. More than 40 faculty and staff from the 21 SHECP member institutions also will attend. The symposium is free and open to the public. For the full schedule, visit shepherdconsortium.org.

Twenty-nine undergrads and three law students from W&L participated in internships this year, serving all over the country, from a Navajo Reservation in Arizona to Burlington, Vermont, Atlanta, Georgia, and points further south.

“This programming will be a wonderful way for our students to begin to process what they have learned over the summer and to benefit from symposium speakers of national renown,” said Fran Elrod, associate director for W&L’s Community-Based Learning
, Shepherd Poverty Program.

The symposium will feature three highly regarded speakers shaped by different experiences and expertise. Their talks will take place in Marshall Hall, home of VMI’s Center for Leadership and Ethics.

Dr. Sandra Hassink, president of the American Academy of Pediatricians (AAP), brings the expertise of a physician concerned about obesity and food policy. Dr. Elaine Waxman, vice president of research and nutrition at Feeding America, has 25 years of experience in social policy research and consulting. Victoria Kumpuris Brown, a graduate of W&L and senior program officer at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, worked for 10 years with the Alliance for Healthier Generations negotiating with major food and beverage firms to market affordable and lower-calorie products in order to reduce obesity.

Hassink will speak on “Building the Foundations for Child Health: Moving Toward a National Agenda for Children.” In 1988, she began the weight management clinic at Nemours/AI DuPont Children’s Hospital, in Wilmington, Delaware. She is medical director of the APP Institute for Early Childhood Weight and advocates for legislation to address obesity. Her research on pathophysiologic mechanisms of obesity has informed three of her books: “A Parent’s Guide to Childhood Obesity”; “Pediatric Obesity: Prevention, Intervention, and Treatment Strategies for Primary Care”; and “Clinical Guide to Pediatric Weight Management.”

Waxman will speak on “The Evolution of Food Insecurity as a Public Health Issue.” She oversaw completion of Hunger in America 2014, the largest study of emergency food assistance in the U.S. and directed Hunger in America 2010 and the Map the Meal Gap project. Those studies provide the first county-level estimates of food insecurity in the country. Much of Waxman’s research focuses on the intersection of food insecurity and public health, a topic on which she has published multiple articles. She began a research position at The Urban Institute in May 2015.

During her work with the Alliance for Healthier Generations, Brown negotiated agreements with companies such as McDonalds, Coca Cola, Pepsico and the Dr. Pepper Snapple Group. She served earlier as a research analyst for the Arkansas Department of Health and Human Services and in the Department of Social Sciences and Health Policy at Wake Forest University School of Medicine. Brown enrolled in the first capstone seminar of the Shepherd Program on Poverty at W&L. After graduation in 1998, she attended the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Policy at the University of Texas. She will address “A Systems Approach to the Obesity Epidemic.”

On Aug. 1, Dr. Jonathan Wortham (W&L’04), a medical officer with the Outbreak Investigators Team at the Centers for Disease Control, will lead a discussion on the HBO documentary “The Weight of the Nation.”

On Aug. 3, SIP interns, faculty and staff will gather at W&L’s Science Center for a day of presentations and discussion about the interns’ summer experiences. The interactions will provide students with the opportunity to learn from each other about the diversity of settings they worked in, the chance to deliberate how their internships will affect their future college course choices, and the career and educational paths they might follow.

“Through these internships, students from SHECP institutions benefit from a wide range of experiences with agencies that tackle issues of poverty in rural and urban communities,” said Elrod. “Some of the agencies that host our students have been part of our program for many years, while others have been developed based on changing student interests and through connections from institutions that are part of SHECP. All are designed to meet vital needs of our partner agencies, while giving our students the opportunity to explore the fields of law, medicine, education, economic development and more.

“Through the SHECP symposia, we aim to inform students, faculty, and the public about the causes and remedies of recalcitrant poverty that we can reduce,” Elrod added. “Sandra Hassink, Elaine Waxman and Victoria Kumpuris Brown will help us understand and address the problem of child poverty at one of its most sensitive points, the health of our children.”

Eric Schwen ’15 is Apker Award Finalist

Eric Schwen ’15, a Washington and Lee University valedictorian and physics major from Cottage Grove, Minnesota, has been chosen as a finalist for the American Physical Society’s LeRoy Apker Award, recognizing outstanding achievements in physics by an undergraduate.

The Apker Award is considered the highest award for undergraduate physics research in the U.S.

As a finalist, Schwen receives a $2,000 honorarium and a certificate, and W&L’s physics department receives $1,000. If ultimately selected a winner, Schwen would receive $5,000, a certificate and a travel allowance to attend the award presentation, and W&L’s physics department would receive $5,000.

Two Apker winners can be chosen annually at the society’s discretion, one to a student at a Ph.D.-granting college or university and one to a student from a non-Ph.D.-granting institution.

Schwen previously won a highly competitive 2014-15 Goldwater Scholarship, which promotes research careers in science, mathematics and engineering. He was a Johnson scholar, teaching assistant in W&L’s physics lab, and academic peer tutor in introductory physics and calculus. Last summer, he received a Johnson Opportunity Grant from the university to attend international physics conferences in France and Spain. Schwen has been a member of Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity and W&L’s Outing Club.

The John Warner (SSN 785): One of a Kind

Last year, about the christening of an attack submarine named in honor of John W. Warner, who graduated from Washington and Lee University in 1949. On Saturday, Aug. 1, it will be commissioned at Norfolk Naval Station. One of the newest Virginia-class submarines, it is the only one of its type to be named after a person.

Warner, who served Virginia for 30 years as a U.S. senator, is a World War II Navy veteran and served in the Marines during the Korean War. He became undersecretary of the Navy in 1969 and took the top post in 1972. He began his first of five terms in the U.S. Senate in 1978, and when he retired in 2009 was the second-longest-serving senator from Virginia in Senate history.

The John Warner (SSN 785) will be the 12th Virginia-class attack submarine in the fleet, according to a Navy news release. Warner’s wife, Jeanne, is the sponsor of the ship, which will be based in Norfolk, Virginia.


W&L Law Welcomes New Dean for Administration and Student Affairs

Paul B. Rollins has joined Washington and Lee University School of Law as the new associate dean for administration and student affairs.

In this position, Rollins will oversee the school’s operations in admissions, student affairs and communications. Rollins will also have significant responsibilities for institutional reporting, budget and facilities.

“Paul possesses a considerable depth of experience in various facets of law school administration,” said Brant Hellwig, who took over as Dean of W&L Law in July. “I am confident he will make significant contributions to the operations of the Law School, and he will be particularly helpful as I step into my administrative role.”

In addition to managing several administrative departments, Rollins will handle the submission of the school’s responses to the annual data requests from the American Bar Association and from U.S. News for its annual ranking of law schools. He also will assist in the preparation and administration of law school budgets and will advise on strategic planning initiatives.

Rollins joins W&L Law from the University of North Carolina School of Law, where he was the Associate Dean of Student Affairs. He also has served as the Associate Dean for Administration at the University of Georgia School of Law and as the Assistant Dean for Student Services at the University of South Carolina School of Law.

Prior to beginning his career in higher education administration, Rollins practiced law as a business litigation associate for Wyche, Burgess, Freeman & Parham in Greenville, S.C., and was a judicial clerk for Judge James C. Turk of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia.

Rollins received his J.D. from Yale University and a B.A. in political science from the University of South Carolina.

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W&L's Tommy Thetford Set to Compete at the U.S. Olympic Swimming Trials

Washington and Lee rising sophomore Tommy Thetford of the men’s swimming team will compete in the U.S. Olympic Swimming Trials held at the CenturyLink Center in Omaha, Nebraska on June 26-July 3, 2016.

Thetford got his Olympic Trial cut in the 50-yard freestyle event with a time of 23.15 at the Speedo Sectionals in the Central Zone Section 3 Championships held at Ohio State University on Saturday. He is the first men’s swimmer to compete at the Olympic Trials since Alex Sweet ’08.

ODAC Rookie of the Year and a First-Team All-ODAC selection, Thetford earned All-America accolades in the 50-yard freestyle (20.17) and the 100-yard freestyle (44.44) events at the NCAA Division III Swimming & Diving Championships back in March. His time of 44.44 in the 100-yard freestyle set a new school record and broke Sweet’s previous record of 44.51 that was set in 2008.


W&L Law Professor David Bruck Appointed to Lead Defense Team for Dylann Roof

The federal judge overseeing the case of Dylann Roof has approved the request by his attorneys to name Washington and Lee law professor and death penalty specialist David Bruck the lead attorney for the defense team in the case.

Roof is charged with homicide as well as federal hate crimes for the shooting at the Emmanuel African Methodist Church in Charleston, South Carolina, that left nine dead.

In his ruling on the request, U.S. District Judge Mark Gergel wrote that “the Court finds it necessary and appropriate to appoint immediately upon indictment lead counsel “learned” in the law of capital cases. To that end, the Court hereby provisionally appoints David I. Bruck as lead counsel in this matter. Mr. Bruck, who is a member of the South Carolina Bar and Clinical Professor of Law at Washington and Lee University School of Law, has extensive experience representing death penalty defendants in trial and appellate courts across the United States, including cases before the United States Supreme Court.”

This is not the first time that Bruck has worked on a high-profile death penalty case. Most recently, he joined Judy Clarke, who previously served as a visiting professor at W&L Law, on the defense team for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. Tsarnaev was found guilty and sentenced to death this year for the bombing of the Boston Marathon in 2013.

Bruck and Clarke also served as co-counsel for Susan Smith, who was convicted of drowning her two small children in South Carolina in 1995. Smith eventually received a life sentence.

Bruck joined W&L in 2004 after practicing criminal law in South Carolina for nearly thirty years, where he specialized in the defense of capital cases at the trial, appellate and post-conviction stages. Since then, he has directed the Virginia Capital Case Clearinghouse, a clinical program at W&L Law that serves as a resource center for court-appointed defense counsel at the pretrial and trial stages of death penalty cases throughout Virginia.

Campus Spaces Named for Three W&L Legends

Three legendary campus figures with more than 105 years of service to Washington and Lee University will have parts of campus facilities named for them as they step down from their leadership positions.

Larry Boetsch ’69, professor of Romance languages and director of international education, will have the director of international education’s office suite in the new Center for Global Learning named in his honor. A term professorship, recognizing a faculty member teaching in an area related to global learning, also will be named for him. The former honor results from a leadership gift to the center; the latter comes from a private gift by an emeritus trustee and his wife. The center will consist of the renovated duPont Hall with a new addition, on the northern end of the campus.

Bill Hartog, for 37 years W&L’s dean and vice president of admissions and financial aid, will have the Gaines Hall commons area named in his honor, upon the recent approval of the Board of Trustees. The commons area is a large, elegant room used for studying, informal gathering and events in the recently renovated first-year residence hall.

Larry Peppers, dean of the Williams School of Commerce, Economics, and Politics since 1986, will have the reading room of Huntley Hall renovated and named for him and his wife, Fran, a long-time resident of Lexington who has curated Williams School art shows since 1989 and the school’s McCarthy Gallery since 2007. Current and former members of the Williams School Board of Advisors, alumni and parents made gifts to support the renovation. The space will be dedicated to student collaboration, with three conference rooms for group study. It will also have a large area for meetings and events.

Boetsch has taught Spanish at W&L since 1976. He also served as a senior administrator from 1996 to 2003, first as dean of the college, then as vice president for academic affairs, and as acting president from 2001 to 2002. Boetsch took on a four-year assignment in Berlin, Germany, as president of the European College of Liberal Arts (ECLA), now Bard College/Berlin. He returned to W&L to teach Spanish and become director of the Center for International Education, and lead a strategic planning effort for international education, which became “Redefining Liberal Arts Education: Global Learning for Washington and Lee in the 21st Century.” The Center for Global Learning is one outcome of the plan. He is a co-founder and executive director of the European Consortium of Liberal Arts and Sciences (ECOLAS), a network of liberal arts and sciences colleges and programs in the European Union. The Board of Trustees established the Laurent and Elizabeth Boetsch Honor Scholarship in 2002 to recognize the leadership he provided as the 23rd president of W&L.

Hartog’s years at W&L included the university’s evolution from a largely regional to internationally prominent institution and its transition from men only to fully coeducational. The university’s position as a national and international liberal arts university grew consistently throughout his tenure, attracting exceptional students known for their academic and personal qualifications. Hartog helped establish the university’s Johnson Scholarship Program, created to attract students with extraordinary academic and personal promise, regardless of their ability to afford tuition and other expenses. He is known throughout the country as a leader in the field of admissions and financial aid.

Peppers joined Washington and Lee as dean of what was then the School of Commerce, Economics, and Politics in 1985, faced with the retirement of many faculty giants. He recruited able successors who were well matched to the needs of the school and the interests of its students, while supporting W&L’s overall liberal arts mission. By 2014, the university’s four most popular majors were taught in the Williams School. Early on, he recognized the need for, and advantage of, student internships in securing professional placement, and he encouraged creation of an advisory board to make them available at such high levels as the New York Stock Exchange. He also promoted a Spring Term politics program in Washington, D.C., studies in entrepreneurship, the W&L Student Consulting project of free services to small businesses and the AdLib on-campus advertising symposium. He was recognized with the endowment of the Crawford Family Deanship in 2009.

Katterhagen Named ODAC Nominee for NCAA Woman of the Year

Recent Washington and Lee graduate Jillian Katterhagen (The Woodlands, Texas/The Woodlands) has been selected as the Old Dominion Athletic Conference’s 2015 representative for the NCAA Woman of the Year Award.

A four-year letterwinner and a captain in her senior season for the women’s track and field team, Katterhagen was one of 147 honorees selected from among a record 480 individuals nominated for the award, which honors senior female student-athletes who have distinguished themselves throughout their collegiate careers in the areas of academic achievement, athletics excellence, service and leadership.

Katterhagen earned degrees in politics and history, and she recently received the Marjorie Berkley Award as the ODAC’s top female scholar-athlete. The 2015 William McHenry Scholar-Athlete as the top female Scholar-athlete at W&L, Katterhagen was a six-time ODAC champion in the pole vault, racking up a total of 10 All-ODAC citations during her career.

Katterhagen also competed in the 60 meter hurdles, the 100 meter hurdles and the long jump, and she was a member of the 4×100 meter relay team. She holds the school record for the outdoor pole vault at 3.60 meters. Katterhagen is a member of Phi Beta Kappa and Omicron Delta Kappa, and she served as a University Peer Tutor. She will enter law school at Stanford this fall.

The honorees represent college athletes from 18 different sports spanning all three NCAA divisions. Of those recognized, 57 honorees competed in Division I, 39 competed in Division II and 51 competed in Division III.

The Woman of the Year selection committee will next select the Top 10 honorees in each division. These Top 30 honorees will be announced in early September. The Selection committee will then choose and announce the top nine finalists (three from each division) at the end of September. The NCAA Committee on Women’s Athletics will vote from amongst those nine finalists to determine the 2015 Woman of the Year.


W&L Magazine, Summer 2015: Vol. 91 | No. 2

Read Online »

In This Issue:

  • “I Knew W&L Was Very Rare”: Larry Peppers on 29 Years at the Williams School
  • “Our Distinctions Are Still the Same”: Bill Hartog on 37 Years of Admissions at W&L

General Stats

  • By the Numbers: 5 Staff Members, 1 Tree, 1 Lectern

Speaker’s Corner

  • Phi Beta Kappa Welcomes 64 Initiates
  • Mock Con, Institute for Honor, Tom Wolfe Weekend Seminar and Contact Committee Bring Notable Speakers to Campus

Along the Colonnade

  • The Class of 2015 Sets Sail
  • President Ken Ruscio ’76 to Step Down in 2016
  • Larry Connolly ’79 Joins Board of Trustees
  • Digitized Archives of the Ring-Tum-Phi Now Available Online
  • Noteworthy
  • Straughan Named New Crawford Family Dean of Williams School
  • Leading the Way
  • W&L Students Learn Realities of Criminal Justice System Alongside Inmates
  • Books and CDs
  • Congratulations, Retirees

Lewis Hall Notes

  • Brant Hellwig Takes the Helm as Dean of W&L Law School

Generals’ Report

  • Year in Review

Alumni Profiles

  • Down from the Ivory Tower: Tanya Pergola ’90
  • Medical Call: Dr. Jonathan Wortham ’04

Milestones

  • SABU Reunion
  • Alumni Weekend
  • W&L Traveller: Wildlife Safari in Botswana
  • A Family Affair
  • This Is Who We Are

Washington and Lee Again Named a “Great College to Work For”

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 eighth annual report on The Academic Workplace, are based on a survey of 281 colleges and universities. The entire community of W&L faculty, administrators and staff received the survey, and the overall response rate was 52 percent.

In all, only 86 institutions are recognized as a 2015 Great College to Work For. W&L won honors in the Job Satisfaction and Support and Work/Life Balance categories. Job Satisfaction and Support provides insight into the satisfaction with job fit, autonomy, and resources. The Work/Life Balance category is based on policies that give employees the flexibility to manage their personal lives.

“Washington and Lee is fortunate to have terrific employees,” said W&L President Kenneth P. Ruscio. “Their hard work helps make W&L one of the best liberal arts universities in the country. Every employee in every position plays a role in delivering a quality education to our undergraduates and law students.”

To administer the survey and analyze the results, The Chronicle turned to ModernThink LLC, a strategic human capital consulting firm that has conducted numerous “Best Places to Work” programs, surveying hundreds of thousands of employees nationwide.

Editor Liz McMillen said the annual survey “shows how the colleges and universities on the list are getting it right: They’re leaders in creating environments where smart people enjoy their work. The selection process is rigorous and being named to the list is a tremendous accomplishment, but it also positions colleges and universities well to recruit the people that make them a success.”


“Shenandoah” Announces Winner of 2015 Bevel Summers Prize for the Short Short Story

“May Apples” by Ellen Birkett Morris of Louisville, Kentucky, won the 2015 Bevel Summers Contest for the short short story, which was sponsored by “Shenandoah: The Washington and Lee University Review.”

The honorarium for the prize is $1,000 and publication of her work; it will appear in the fall issue of “Shenandoah.” Morris has been published in “Antioch Review,” “Notre Dame Review,” “South Carolina Review” and is a “Pushcart Prize” nominee.

The winner was selected from a pool of almost 400 writers sent to “Shenandoah” in the spring. Editor R. T. Smith says of the contest, now in its sixth year, “Every year we receive more and better entries in the short short story genre, which is ideal for a web journal like ours. Morris’ story, or ‘flash fiction,’ is remarkable for its vivid particularity and range of implication. It’s about youth and age, art and nature, resistance and acceptance. A lovely, thrifty story.”

The judges also named five honorable mentions, which will also be published in the fall issue: “The Tiger” by Ihab Hassan of Bayside, Wisconsin; “Two Lives” by Mary Byrne of Paris, France; “Eat a Pancake, Eat Your Joy” by Nick Fuller Googins of Venice, California; “The Bridesmaids” by Brenda Peynado of Cincinnati, Florida; and “West of Orion” by Maxim Loskutoff of Portland, Oregon.

The 2016 version of the contest will open in late March 2016 and close in early April. Writers should visit the announcements link on the “Shenandoah” website (shenandoahliterary.org) for notification of exact dates. All submissions are through the website’s Submittable link, and any writer not a part of the W&L community may submit up to three stories (as three separate submissions). There is no entry fee, and next year’s prize will be $500.

“Shenandoah” was founded as a print literary journal in 1950 by members of the Washington and Lee University community, including Tom Wolfe and Cy Twombley. Sixty years later, after establishing itself as one of the elite journals in the country, the journal became an exclusively online publication. It now presents, in addition to two full issues a year, a poem of the week, a blog and interviews with writers and artists.

The fall issue will include an anthology of poetry from the 20 years of Smith’s term as editor, featuring work by W. S. Merwin, Mary Oliver, Natasha Trethewey, Claudia Emerson, Yusef Komunyakaa, Stephen Dunn, Linda Hogan, Brendan Galvin and 45 others. Access to the journal is free to the public.

For further information contact the magazine’s office at (540) 458-8908 or e-mail .

W&L Law’s Margaret Howard Receives Inaugural Braucher Award from ABI

Margaret Howard, Law Alumni Association Professor of Law at Washington and Lee University School of Law, has been named the recipient of the Jean Braucher Memorial Award from the American Bankruptcy Institute (ABI).

The award honors Prof. Jean Braucher, the Roger C. Henderson Professor of Law at the University of Arizona and former ABI Resident Scholar, who died in 2014.  Braucher was a national leader and scholar in the field of consumer bankruptcy law and contracts. She authored more than 50 articles, books and book chapters, and was known among academics as a pioneer thinker in the “law in action” tradition.

Howard, who is the inaugural recipient, was elected unanimously to receive the award. According to the ABI, the award will be bestowed each year on a full­‐time academic member of the ABI or a U.S. Bankruptcy Judge who best embodies Braucher’s personal and professional qualities and whose contribution and work serves to advance knowledge, thinking and improvement of the consumer bankruptcy system.

“To be thought of for this award is something I particularly cherish because Jean was much more than a creative and insightful scholar,” said Howard. “She was also a dear friend and one of the people I most admired.  The community of bankruptcy scholars is close-knit, and Jean’s passing has left a big hole in our hearts.  It is a huge honor to have my name linked with hers.”

The ABI is the country’s largest multi-disciplinary, non-partisan organization dedicated to research and education on matters related to insolvency. Howard was the ABI Scholar-in-Residence in 2002 and was named to the ABI’s board of directors in 2006.

In 2009 Howard began a three-year term as vice president, executive committee member and chair of the Research Grants Committee. She is currently working on a major empirical study for the ABI examining, among other issues, how and why individuals decide between Chapter 11 or Chapter 13 when filing for bankruptcy.

Howard received her undergraduate degree from Duke University and her J.D. from Washington University. She also received an LL.M degree from Yale University. From 1981 to 2001, Howard was a member of the faculty at Vanderbilt University School of Law.

Howard will receive the Braucher award at the ABI meeting in December.

Eat Fresh: The Campus Garden

Tucked away on Washington and Lee University’s back campus, just off one of the many trails that crisscross the woods, lies the University’s campus garden. Planted with kale, tomatoes, basil, and other fresh vegetables, it, in combination with locally-sourced food, provides about 20 to 25 percent of the food served in W&L’s dining hall.

Michael Zanie, who joined W&L as director of dining services in 2014, has overseen a growing partnership between dining services and the campus garden and hopes to put even more fresh produce on students’ tables as the garden expands. Local, organic vegetables are “more healthy and certainly better from a carbon footprint standpoint,” he said.

“Students should feel connected to the food they are eating,” said David Khoshpasand, dining marketing manager, whom Zanie hired last September. Khoshpasand is developing a branded logo to help identify garden produce. “When you see that logo on the menu or the bar you know that it came from the garden. It reinforces the idea,” he said. Khoshpasand hopes this knowledge will inspire students to volunteer and take part in growing the food they are eating.

The garden also has a full-time manager, Nicole Poulin, who came on board in January 2015 to expand the garden’s use, especially for production purposes. She is focusing on crops with a high yield to get as many fresh vegetables into the dining hall as possible.

“When I was in college, I didn’t think too much about where my food was coming from,” Poulin said. She wants students to be more aware of their food’s nutritional value, and its path to their table.

The garden began as an educational space and continues to serve as one. In 2001, professors in the biology department used it for scientific research. In 2008, they partnered with the W&L Campus Kitchens Project — a student organization that addresses local hunger — and dining services to create a joint research and community garden.

The biology department took on most of the responsibility for managing the garden and organizing the student-composting crew, and most of the produce supplemented the Campus Kitchens hunger-relief programs. This summer, much of the produce supports the Summer Backpack Program, which collects unused food from various sources and distributes it in five different community spaces around Rockbridge County. Clients gather what they need by selecting items from stations of bread, pasta, canned goods and fresh produce.

“It’s nice to have some additional produce for the Backpack Program that’s not from Walmart,” said Ryan Brink ’18, who is a Campus Kitchens summer intern.

Not only does W&L’s garden grow produce for hunger-relief programs, it also provides a space for local children to learn and explore. Campus Kitchens summer interns teach weekly nutrition lessons for three different summer camps. “The first nutrition lesson was a scavenger hunt,” said Brink. “They enjoyed that a lot — they got to run around and explore.” The children, mostly K-6, participate in a nutrition or sustainability lesson and are then set loose to help in the garden. They weed, water, explore and — if possible — harvest and taste.

Everything in the garden is designed with sustainability in mind. The stakes, bricks and metal spirals are reused materials from W&L construction. The vegetables grow in soil enriched with compost from dining leftovers. “It’s a better way to garden,” explained Poulin. “It’s better for the environment, which is what organic farming is all about.”

Even the garden space itself is recycled. “At first, it was kind of a scorched-earth area,” said one of the original planters, Bill Hamilton, professor of biology. Much of the original garden site was filled with mined-out clay from campus construction projects, which had very little organic matter necessary for plants to flourish. Adding compost from the dining hall allows vegetables to grow, providing a sustainable method of replenishing the soil.

As Hamilton noted, “Compost goes from the dining hall to the garden, which grows food that goes back to the table. It closes the loop nicely.”

– by Jinae Kennedy ’16

W&L Law Announces Campaign and Annual Fund Success

Washington and Lee School of Law concluded a seven-year capital campaign on June 30, exceeding its $35 million goal by over $2.6 million. The school also set a record for its 2014-15 Law Annual Fund.

The law school’s multi-year fundraising effort was part of the University’s $500 million campaign, “Honor Our Past, Build Our Future.” The University raised $542.5 million in all, exceeding its target by 8 percent.

As with the University, the top funding priority for the law school’s campaign was student financial aid. The law school raised over $14 million for endowed scholarships and other forms of student aid to help make law school more affordable.

Another top campaign funding priority was the Law Annual Fund. The school raised nearly $9 million for the annual fund over the life of the campaign, which helped set a new record for annual fund giving during the 2014-15 cycle. The school established a goal of $1.3 million for the Law Annual Fund this year, a 33 percent increase over the previous year. In the end, the law school raised $1.34 millon.

“The Law Annual Fund is central to W&L Law’s continued success in the changing law school environment,” said Dean Brant Hellwig. “The Strategic Transition Plan announced by the Board of Trustees and President Ruscio last spring calls for greater levels of annual giving, so we are grateful to the many alumni, as well as members of our faculty and staff, who made gifts this year to help us surpass this benchmark.”

The goal for the 2015-16 Law Annual Fund is $1.5 million.

The law school also raised over $3.5 million for the renovation of Sydney Lewis Hall, now undergoing the second phase of construction. The first phase of the renovation, completed last summer, focused on the building’s exterior. The current renovations will create improved spaces for the law schools clinics and much more space for students, including private group study rooms and a second large reading room.

Alumni participation was very strong during the campaign. 63 percent of law alumni made at least one gift to the university during the campaign.

W&L Sets New Annual Fund Fundraising Record for 2014-15

In the final year of Honor Our Past, Build Our Future: The Campaign for Washington and Lee, alumni and parents gave more to the Annual Fund than ever before. At the end of the 2014-15 fiscal year on June 30, the Annual Fund raised $10,038,581, a new record — and the first time the Annual Fund reached the $10 million mark. It exceeded $9 million for the first time in 2013-14 and $8 million for the first time in 2012–2013. The new total for the Annual Fund represents an increase of $721,079, a 7.74 percent increase over the previous year.

Undergraduate alumni represented the largest group contributing to the Annual Fund — $6,948,446, an increase of 4.56 percent from the previous year. Undergraduate non-alumni parents contributed a new record — $1,672,592 to the Annual Fund through the Parents Fund, an increase of 5.9 percent from the previous year, when it reached $1.5 million for the first time. Law alumni contributed a new record to the Law Annual Fund — $1,342,912, a notable increase of 33.3 percent. Friends of the University who are not alumni or parents rounded out the Annual Fund.

Overall, W&L received $68,654,988 in new gifts and pledges, the second-highest amount since 2007 and 92 percent more than 2013-14. It also received $48,709,447 in cash from new gifts and payments on pledges made in previous years. Donors added gifts to specific programs, operations, facility renovation funds and endowments. In addition, $11.9 million in revocable planned gifts were recorded, representing an increase of $5.9 million from 2013-14.

Forty-eight percent of Washington and Lee’s operating budget now comes from contributions received and income from endowments established by supporters over the generations.

Thousands of supporters made W&L’s successful year possible. More undergraduates supported the university than at any other time, leading to an undergraduate participation rate of 54.2 percent, one of the nation’s best. It is the fifth consecutive year the participation rate exceeded 50 percent. The number of non-alumni parents contributing to the Parents Fund and other University priorities increased this year by 18 percent.

“It is a long-standing tradition for Washington and Lee to benefit from the confidence, loyalty and generosity of its alumni, parents and friends,” said Dennis W. Cross, vice president for university advancement. “What the university has received in support in 2014-15 and in the seven years of the campaign is unparalleled. Our students, faculty and programs benefit from our supporters. They care deeply about W&L and today’s students. Alumni benefited from the philanthropy of others when they were students, and they join parents in the present in wanting to make a W&L education possible for this generation of students. As President Ruscio has pointed out, it is an intergenerational contract important to our community, and one that makes a Washington and Lee education possible.”


Kaylee Hartung '07: Sports Beat

When we last blogged about Kaylee Hartung, she was reporting live for ESPN on baseball’s 2015 World College Championships in Omaha, Nebraska.

The Roanoke Times caught up with her in early July to ask her how her liberal arts education at Washington and Lee University (she graduated in 2007 with a double major in politics and journalism) prepared her for her job as a sports broadcaster.

“I come at sports journalism first and foremost as a fan,” Kaylee said. “I was never an athlete. … I couldn’t even cut it at the Division III level.”

As someone who had never seen a lacrosse game until she arrived at W&L, Kaylee noted: “I never would have predicted I’d work for ESPN. … For me, getting a degree in journalism was about learning how to become the best storyteller, fact-finder, reporter that I could be, whether I’m talking sports or politics. It’s all the same craft.”

When asked what’s next for her, she said, “I just want to be where the biggest stories are. To be at this level at this stage of my career, I just want to build upon that. I do want the opportunity to work on more feature stories, but there is no replacement for watching somebody win a national championship.”

You can read the rest of her interview with the Roanoke Times online.

Washington and Lee Concludes $542 Million Campaign

Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia, concluded its seven-year campaign on June 30, raising $542.5 million, 8 percent more than the $500 million goal.

“Honor Our Past, Build Our Future: The Campaign for Washington and Lee” is believed to be the second-largest by a liberal arts college. It was launched during one of the country’s worst economic periods but successfully followed its original timeline and campaign plan.

“We were confident in our plan and potential,” said Dennis W. Cross, vice president for university advancement. “The university’s 2007 strategic plan was not going away and, in fact, became more important than ever. We knew hesitating would hurt momentum and delay or sidetrack the fulfillment of strategic priorities.”

The campaign focused on five areas: scholarships and financial aid; faculty support and competitive compensation; programs that foster learning, engagement and character; selected renovations and new facilities; and growth of the Annual Fund.

Accomplishments of the campaign include:

  • securing gifts and commitments for W&L’s endowment, accounting for 61 percent of the total raised. The university’s ranking in endowment per student increased from 38 to 25 among all American colleges and universities. The market value of the endowment was $1.485 billion at the end of May 2015.
  • increasing the role of philanthropy in the university’s budget. Income from endowments and annual giving now account for 48 percent of the annual operating budget, compared to 38 percent from net tuition and fees.
  • improving access and affordability for students through the growth in endowments for scholarships. Contributions increased W&L’s financial aid 2.25 times from the start of the campaign. The largest campaign goal was financial aid. The campaign secured more than $156 million for financial aid.
  • increasing faculty compensation to the mean of W&L’s peer institutions, the top 25 national liberal arts colleges. Faculty compensation was 15 percent less than peer colleges at the beginning of the campaign.
  • receiving the university’s first endowed and named deanship; 19 new named, endowed professorships, of which 15 benefited existing faculty positions; and 10 named, endowed term professorships recognizing outstanding mid-level faculty
  • building support of the School of Law’s innovative Third-year Program. The School of Law exceeded its $35 million goal in the campaign.
  • endowing the Shepherd Program for the Interdisciplinary Study of Poverty and Human Capability, the nation’s first undergraduate program focused on poverty studies
  • establishing through new endowments the Roger Mudd Center for Ethics and the J. Lawrence Connolly Center for Entrepreneurship
  • revitalizing the Spring Term, when undergraduates take one intensive, four-week course that might include international study
  • creating the Integrative and Quantitative Center to foster state-of-the-art collaborative and interdisciplinary teaching and research
  • renovating Wilson Field, home of W&L football, track and field, and men’s lacrosse; the main floor of Leyburn Library; and law school space in Lewis Hall
  • building the W&L Hillel House and the Center for Global Learning
  • creating enhanced indoor athletics and recreation space, including the renovation of iconic Doremus Gym and the construction of a natatorium
  • renovating and restoring the five buildings of The Colonnade, the historic core of campus. The Colonnade goal of $50 million, including an endowment for future maintenance, joined indoor athletic facilities, as the largest facility goal of the campaign.
  • increasing Annual Fund contributions 46 percent during the campaign and exceeding record $7, $8, $9, and $10 million goals. Annual undergraduate participation in giving increased from 49.9 percent to more than 54 percent, and 77 percent of solicitable undergraduate alumni and 63 percent of law alumni made at least one gift to the university during the campaign.

Washington and Lee University President Kenneth P. Ruscio expressed his appreciation for all those who made the campaign a success. “We have much to celebrate,” he said. “The generous support of our alumni and friends demonstrates both their loyalty to and confidence in the University.”

Philip W. Norwood of Charlotte, North Carolina, rector emeritus and a member of the Class of 1969, and Warren A. Stephens of Little Rock, Arkansas, a member of the Board of Trustees and a member of the Class of 1979, served as campaign co-chairs.


W&L Senior Awarded Fellowship from Virginia SPJ,SDX Educational Foundation

Athena (Yue) Cao, a rising senior from Beijing, China, has been awarded one of two 2015 journalism summer fellowships from the Virginia SPJ,SDX Educational Foundation.

The fellowships provide financial support of a summer newsroom internship for students attending a Virginia college or university and showing outstanding prospects for a career in journalism. Recipients are chosen through a competitive application process during the spring semester of the junior or sophomore year.

A business journalism major, Cao is performing her summer internship at The Charlotte (N.C.) Observer. She served previous internships with the Richmond Times-Dispatch business staff, The Hill newspaper in Washington, D.C., and Phoenix Media in China. During the previous winter and spring terms, Cao studied Chinese politics at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.

A native of Beijing, she spent a high school year as an exchange student in Youngstown, Ohio, at the age of 15, before graduating from Beijing National Day School.

The Virginia SPJ,SDX Educational Foundation is an independent non-profit organization created by the Society of Professional Journalists, Virginia Pro Chapter. Since 1971, it has awarded more than 80 scholarships totaling some $100,000 to promising college journalists from across the commonwealth. Washington and Lee students have been among the most frequent scholarship/fellowship winners during the program’s existence.

Fellowship applications for summer 2016 will be due Dec. 31. For more information, visit spjva.com/fellowships/.

Tour of W&L Construction Projects Available Online

A video tour of construction projects underway at Washington and Lee University can be seen online.

Hosted by John Hoogakker, executive director of University Facilities, and produced by videographer Jim Goodwin, the tour takes viewers to the nine construction sites and one archaeological dig taking place over the summer in all corners of the campus. The production can be viewed as a complete program featuring aerial footage (below) or one project at a time.

The new video tour complements the Campus Development Plan website, which shows the locations, descriptions and artists’ renderings of current and potential campus facilities.


Mellon Foundation Grants W&L Funds for Digital Humanities, Study of History

Washington and Lee University has received project grants totaling $950,000 from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation — one to develop new methods of teaching the humanities using technology and another to study how the lessons of history help us interpret contemporary issues.

The four-year, $800,000 humanities grant will enable W&L’s technology experts, research librarians and faculty to continue their unique collaboration in developing the university’s Digital Humanities (DH) Studio. The key innovation supported by The Mellon Foundation is the development of DH Studio courses, humanities lab courses in which students learn various DH methodologies that they can use in classes and in the data-driven, collaborative workplace of the 21st century.

The $150,000 history grant will fund new courses, collaborative faculty-student research and a symposium. Nationally respected scholars will participate, examining why history is studied, how it informs society, and how it is appropriated or misappropriated in contemporary debates.

DH is a fresh approach to the humanities — academic disciplines that study human culture, such as literature, art, music, theater, film studies — and the humanistic social sciences such as politics, anthropology, and sociology. It offers students and faculty new methodologies including data mining, text and network analysis, and data visualization. Such methodologies can enable researchers to formulate new questions and find answers to long-standing questions.

As Paul A. Youngman, professor of German and chair of the Digital Humanities Working Group at W&L, recently told a meeting of the Virginia Foundation for Independent Colleges, “The fact is we no longer live in a world in which information conserves itself primarily in textual objects called books. And we do our students a disservice if we only train them to be fluent in one medium — the printed word.”

A prime example of an exciting, new DH project is The Ancient Graffiti Project (AGP) being developed by classics professor Rebecca Benefiel and computer science professor Sara Sprenkle. The aim of the AGP is to locate, study and preserve graffiti of the early Roman Empire cities of Herculaneum and Pompeii. The importance of the graffiti, often spontaneously scrawled, is that it gives a different view of Roman citizens’ thinking about their society and events than their formal histories carved in stone. The project involves archaeological field work, linguistic analysis, and the creation of a new graffiti-specific search engine. To see the project, visit ancientgraffiti.wlu.edu.

W&L courses that have incorporated DH methodologies include: French professor Stephen P. McCormick’s La Légende Arthurienne, offered with a DH Studio pilot course called Scholarly Text Encoding, taught by library faculty Jeff Barry and Mackenzie Brooks; religion professor Joel Blecher’s History of Islamic Civilization; and English professor Genelle Gertz’s Gaming in Milton’s “Paradise Lost.”

In addition to the innovative DH Studio courses, the Mellon grant will fund faculty-student summer research projects employing DH techniques, offer grants to encourage additional faculty to incorporate DH in their courses, conduct workshops, and host internationally renowned digital humanities scholars to speak at W&L.

The history project, “History in the Public Sphere,” will focus on the purpose and value of history in a democratic society. The project will employ new courses, faculty-student research efforts, and presentations by nationally respected scholars to produce a roadmap to productive civic discussion.

W&L is particularly suited to undertake such a project. Its history parallels America’s from the founding period through the painful divide of the Civil War and up to the present time.

Founded in 1969, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation endeavors to strengthen, promote, and, where necessary, defend the contributions of the humanities and the arts to human flourishing and to the well-being of diverse and democratic societies by supporting exemplary institutions of higher education and culture as they renew and provide access to an invaluable heritage of ambitious, path-breaking work.

From Virginia to Germany

“This opportunity was perfectly tailored to my interests. It paired my German studies with a practical and competitive work experience in financial services, all while giving me the opportunity to spend the summer in Europe.”

— Burke Ugarte ’17

Four students at Washington and Lee University’s Williams School of Commerce, Economics and Politics are participating in the U.S.-German Internship Program, run through AMCHAM Germany and BridgehouseLaw LLP.

The program helps American students secure business internships in Germany. Students work for three months, dramatically improving their German language skills and gaining a much better understanding of Germany’s economic and business role within the European Union.

“We are looking for students who do well in their German major or minor and also study one of the fields in the Williams School or the sciences,” said Paul Youngman, a professor of German at Washington and Lee.

Burke Ugarte ’17

Burke Ugarte didn’t decide to study German until he arrived at college.

“I was really married to the notion that I’d pick up a foreign language during my time at W&L,” said Burke. “I knew I wanted to study in the C-School, and Germany’s prominent role in global markets paired well with my interests.”

Through the AMCHAM program, Ugarte is interning with Ernst & Young in their Frankfurt office. He works in their U.S. tax division, on a team that provides compliance services to wealthy individuals with American assets, as well as to large American companies operating in Germany and vice versa.

“This opportunity was perfectly tailored to my interests. It paired my German studies with a practical and competitive work experience in financial services, all while giving me the opportunity to spend the summer in Europe,” said Ugarte.

Ugarte rents a room in the apartment of a theatre professor who lives in Bockenheim near Frankfurt. A typical day at the office finds Ugarte analyzing German financial statements, mapping out an account’s investment structure and determining filing obligations by looking at ownership percentages.

“I have always been interested in living abroad after W&L, and the AMCHAM program has shown me how feasible that is,” said Ugarte.

Polina Kyriushko ’17

As a citizen of the Ukraine and an economics major, Polina Kyriushko has long understood the importance of studying German language, literature and history.

“Germany is an important financial center and the strongest European economy. As such, it supports the integrity of the European Union,” said Kyriushko. “I knew if I knew German, I’d be able to read German news and better understand the political and economic situation in Europe.”

Kyriushko is spending her summer interning in Frankfurt, with DZ Bank’s strategy and control department. The department analyzes the performance of the bank’s various operating divisions and supports the strategic initiatives of the bank’s subsidiaries and management board.

Kyriushko has stayed busy analyzing financial statements, working on presentations for both internal and external clients and translating documents from German to English—a requirement now that DZ Bank is monitored by the European Central Bank.

“I was always interested in working in the finance industry in Germany, and my internship experience is proving that I’m making a good choice.”

Caroline Sandy ’17

sandy From Virginia to GermanyCaroline Sandy

Caroline Sandy began taking German as a first year student at Washington and Lee and enjoyed it so much she declared two majors—one in German and the other in economics.

“Pairing economics with a foreign language seemed really natural to me,” said Sandy. “And Germany is such a great place for economic history, with the Weimar Republic’s hyperinflation and West Germany’s post-war growth. This summer is a particularly interesting time for the European Union, and I’m beginning to see how economic events and new regulations are affecting priorities in large German banks like DZ Bank, where I’m working.”

Sandy is interning in Frankfurt, in DZ Bank’s financial control department. The department issues financial reports on behalf of the entire DZ Bank Group. Sandy is getting experience working in Visual Basics coding, Excel and various special access programs.

“My entire day is conducted in German, so I’m getting a really good mix of speaking socially and professionally. I’ve been introduced to a lot of new banking vocabulary that I needed to learn quickly if I was going to really understand my work.”

Alexis Tabb ’17

A childhood friendship inspired Alexis Tabb to study German in high school. By the time she arrived at Washington and Lee, she knew she wanted to minor in a foreign language.

Tabb, who is an accounting and business administration major and German minor, learned about the AMCHAM internship program when Youngman made an announcement about it in class. Now, she’s living in a studio apartment in Dornbusch—a suburb of Frankfurt—and interning with PricewaterhouseCoopers’ forensic accounting department, where she is the only native English speaker.

“Alex”

About the Program

The U.S.-German Internship Program is an option for students at Washington and Lee because of a partnership agreement between W&L and AMCHAM’s U.S. internship office. Students submit their application materials in the fall and learn whether they’ve been selected for the program by March. The students’ materials are posted to an online portal and German companies who participate in the exchange can opt to interview qualified candidates for summer openings. In 2015, W&L students enjoyed a 100 percent acceptance rate.

For more information about the U.S.-German Internship Program, please contact Professor Paul Youngman.

Laura Puleo '15L Competes for Miss USA Title

Only a little more than a month after graduating from Washington and Lee School of Law, Laura Puleo ’15L competed as Miss Virginia for the title of Miss USA on Sunday night, July 12. Laura finished in the top 15.

Puleo, who considers Lexington her home, arrived in Baton Rouge two weeks ago to join the other 50 contestants in volunteer work, personal appearances, rehearsals for the television broadcast and preliminary competitions. Last spring, the pageant organization recorded a video feature about Puleo at W&L and around Lexington, which can be seen online.

The “Confidently Beautiful” slogan of the pageant clearly applies to Puleo, who probably holds the highest academic credentials of any 2015 contestant. She earned bachelor’s degrees cum laude in Latin and Attic Greek at Duke University before graduating from W&L Law, where she was elected her class’ representative on the Executive Committee. During one semester, Puleo taught a high school class in constitutional law. She works for The 296 project, a non-profit organization offering art and expressive therapy to military veterans with post-traumatic stress and traumatic brain injuries.

A profile and photos of Puleo can be found on the Miss USA website.


Heather Mangrum ’92 Helen Keller International, New York, NY

heather-mangrum-800x533 Heather Mangrum '92Heather Mangrum ’92

The title on the business cards that Heather Mangrum ’92 distributes reads “Director of Communications,” but she much prefers the title “Chief Storyteller.”

Helen Keller International, where Mangrum has worked since 2013, is an international non-governmental organization that’s based in New York City and works in 22 countries, including the United States. Founded by Helen Keller, the organization’s mission is to save the sight and lives of the world’s most vulnerable and disadvantaged people through programs that combat blindness, disease and malnutrition.

Mangrum travels to Asia and Africa each year, spending two to three weeks at a time in the field, gathering stories that the non-profit can use in its communications. To celebrate Helen Keller International’s 100th anniversary, Mangrum is on a mission to collect 100 stories about people who have benefitted from the organization’s support.

In the United States, that support comes in the form of free vision screenings and glasses to children living in high-poverty communities. In Asia and Africa, Helen Keller International conducts cataract surgery, treats diabetes-related vision loss, and works to improve education access for children with blindness and vision impairment. Their efforts to treat neglected tropical diseases and fortify food supplies with vitamins and minerals go even further towards meeting the organization’s mission.

Mangrum was a journalism major at Washington and Lee. At the time, the Williams School offered a concentration in business administration and she grabbed the chance to combine the two subjects.

“My journalism background gave me the foundation on how to structure a story. I learned not just how to think like a journalist, but how to organize information that you want others to act on,” said Mangrum. “That’s a very valuable skill—whether you’re working in journalism, PR or marketing.”

In the Commerce School, Mangrum learned about accounting, marketing and advertising. She thinks that students who want to work in non-profits need some kind of background in business.

Mangrum’s first job out of college was working for a publishing house that published non-fiction, young adult books about famous Americans. The job was administrative, but Mangrum kept her eye on the role she really wanted—to work as a publicist.

“I knew they didn’t need a second publicist, but I wanted to build my book of writing samples and media placements, so I offered to use some of my time to help out,” said Mangrum. “The more you can do, the more valuable you become—not just to that organization, but to the marketplace.”

Mangrum went on to do publicity for the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and the 92nd Street Y. By the time she took a job at the Lincoln Center, she figured she’d begun to carve out a career for herself in the arts and entertainment industry.

But the Lincoln Center was different than any of the other arts organizations at which Mangrum had worked. She headed up communications for the Lincoln Center Institute, which focuses on K-12 arts education as well as the professional development of artists and classroom teachers. Unlike other arts jobs, this one wasn’t just about promoting the next big show and selling tickets. Mangrum found herself immersed in advocacy work and loved it.

“I began to consider whether people had access to quality education and enrichment programs and how that access was related to the neighborhoods in which they were born and their outcomes later in life,” said Mangrum.

While many of Mangrum’s jobs had been in the non-profit sector, it took the experience at the Lincoln Center to help her see that she’d found her calling.

“I gravitated to [the non-profit industry] naturally,” said Mangrum. “I enjoy being a part of something. I can feel my impact on the work.”

At Helen Keller International, Mangrum is definitely getting the opportunity to make an impact. The organization has been around for a century, but many people have never heard of it. People know Helen Keller’s story, but they don’t know that there are school children living in New York City today who can’t see the board, or that malnutrition and preventable diseases are leading causes of blindness in impoverished communities around the world.

To combat that, Mangrum is still doing the thing she learned two decades ago at Washington and Lee. She’s telling stories.

An Honor for Filmmaker Lorena Manríquez '88

Lorena Manríquez, the engineer turned filmmaker who is a member of Washington and Lee’s Class of 1988, recently received quite an honor from the Latin American Studies Association (LASA) for her film “Ulises’ Odyssey”: the 2015 LASA Award of Merit in Film. The juried award is given for excellence in the visual presentation of educational and artistic materials on Latin America.

An article by Ann Burton Gerhardt ’13, in the Summer 2013 edition of the alumni magazine, traced Lorena’s path from Chile to Lexington, and from a career in geotechnical engineering to one in documentary filmmaking.

On her website, Lorena describes “Ulises’ Odyssey,” co-directed with Miguel Picker, as a “search for the truth behind a 30-year rift between her father and her uncle Ulises.” The two brothers were on opposite sides in the 1973 military coup that brought General Pinochet to power in Chile and Ulises to exile in Switzerland. Through the revelation of family secrets, Manríquez exposes the recent history of Chile, her country’s painful memory, and the desire to reconcile it.

In connection with the award, “Ulises’ Odyssey” was screened on May 30 at the LASA Film Festival in San Juan, Puerto Rico. LASA is the largest professional association in the world for individuals and institutions engaged in the study of Latin America. And Lorena just found out that it will play at New York University in September.

Lorena, the president of Andes Media L.L.C., visited W&L in May as the guest of Monica Botta, associate professor of Romance languages, who taught the film in her Spring Term class on Latin American culture and literature. Lorena’s daughter Virginia, 18, accompanied her; husband Gregg Kettles ’88 and daughter Carolina, 15, held down the home front in South Pasadena, California.

Lorena’s next visit to campus will take place later this summer, when she and Gregg drop off Virginia, who’ll embark on her own path at W&L as a member of the Class of 2019.

W&L Rector Appoints Presidential Search Committee

J. Donald Childress, rector of Washington and Lee University’s Board of Trustees, has named a 14-member committee composed of members of the Board of Trustees, faculty and administration to conduct a national search for the university’s next president.

Kenneth P. Ruscio, a member of the university’s Class of 1976, announced in May that he would step down as president on June 30, 2016. He will have served for 10 years when he leaves office.

In a memo to the university community, Childress, a 1970 W&L graduate, said that the committee will begin reviewing applications early in the fall. He also noted that all members of the university community will have an opportunity to provide feedback, nominations and other input as the search proceeds.

The search committee is chaired by B. Craig Owens, of Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, a trustee and a 1976 alumnus of W&L. Shelly W. Storbeck, managing partner of the executive search firm Storbeck/Pimintel & Associates, will support the committee in its work.

The committee members:

  • Chair: B. Craig Owens ’76, Trustee, Bryn Mawr, Pa.
  • Dana J. Bolden ’89, Trustee, Atlanta, Ga.
  • Johanna E. Bond, Professor of Law
  • Donald Childress ’70, Rector of the Board of Trustees, Atlanta, Ga.
  • Mary C. Choksi P’11, Trustee, Washington, D.C.
  • Blair Hixon Davis ’94, Trustee, Irvine, Calif.
  • Waller T. Dudley ’74, ’79L, Executive Director of Alumni Affairs
  • James D. Farrar Jr. ’74, Secretary of the University and Senior Assistant to the President
  • Janine M. Hathorn, Athletics Director and Professor of Physical Education, Athletics and Recreation
  • Helen I’Anson, John T. Perry Professor of Biology and Research Science
  • Michael R. McAlevey ’86, Trustee, Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Marshall B. Miller Jr. ’71, Trustee, San Antonio, Texas
  • Angela M. Smith, Roger Mudd Professor of Ethics and Professor of Philosophy, Director of the Mudd Center for Ethics
  • Robert A. Strong, William Lyne Wilson Professor of Politics

W&L Law’s Margaret Hu Wins Young Scholar’s Award at Privacy Conference

Washington and Lee law professor Margaret Hu received the Young Scholar’s Award for her paper at the 8th Annual Privacy Law Scholars Conference, held this June in Berkeley, CA.

Hu’s paper, titled “Big Data Blacklisting,” examines government use of database screening and digital watchlisting systems to create “blacklists” of individuals based on suspicious data. For example, big data tools can now be used to prevent individuals from working and voting—the No Work List and the No Vote List—and can also be used to nominate individuals for the No Fly List and the Kill List.

“In its most extreme form, big data blacklisting may facilitate ‘collateralkilling,’ whereby the government may be at risk of erroneously nominating an individual for targeted killing based upon suspicious metadata and other digital data,” says Hu.

Hu argues that these big data systems create a “guilty until proven innocent” problem for the digitally blacklisted.  Hu contends that due process rights may be threatened by the government’s potential overreliance on these tools to justify restrictions, and that the process of big data blacklisting and the digital suspicion it creates is in itself an infringement upon a fundamental liberty interest.

At this year’s Privacy Law Scholars Conference (PLSC), nearly 300 academics, privacy law experts, government representatives, and others came together to hear presentations on 75 topics selected through a call-for-papers.  By popular vote, Hu’s article was one of six papers selected for an “encore” presentation at the conference.

The PLSC conference includes an awards ceremony. As a recipient of the Young Scholar’s Award, Hu was among three pre-tenured scholars to be recognized for outstanding research.

Before entering academia, Hu served as senior policy advisor for the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, and also served as special policy counsel in the Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices (OSC), Civil Rights Division, U. S. Department of Justice, in Washington, D.C. She attended Duke Law School and clerked for Judge Rosemary Barkett on U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit

Hu’s paper will be published this fall in the Florida Law Review.