Feature Stories Campus Events

Special Collections and Archives Department Launches Its First Online Search Tool

Researchers now have an easy way to comb through the 1,000 collections of manuscripts and photographs at Washington and Lee University’s Special Collections and Archives. “The department has launched its first online search tool, which will enable researchers to discover these treasures,” said Alston Cobourn, digital scholarship librarian at W&L. “It contains descriptive information about manuscript and photographic collections, as well as institutional records. Scans of documents from some collections are available online, and links to these are included when available.”

The department holds the collections of such organizations as the Rockbridge Historical Society, the American Shakespeare Center and the Mountain Valley Preservation Association. A diverse set of subjects includes American and Virginia history, regional genealogy, the history of propaganda, and Southern literature and theater.

The tool contains a basic description of all its university archives’ record groups, the vast majority of its manuscript collections, and many of W&L’s photographic collections, with more information being added daily. The department is beginning to add descriptions of the Rockbridge Historical Society’s manuscript collections as well.

The search tool can be accessed through the Special Collections and Archives webpage at library.wlu.edu/specialcollections.

If you have questions about the department’s materials, please call (540) 458-8663.

Questioning Passion Interdisciplinary Series to be Held During 2015-2016 Academic Year

Washington and Lee University’s Questioning Passion Interdisciplinary Seminar Series is a year-long colloquium that explores passion: Is it good or bad, unwise or necessary, the key to happiness or a distraction from the path to success?

The 2015-2016 series is organized around six visiting speakers chosen for the discipline they represent as well as for the perspective they will bring to questioning passion. Each is a leader in his or her field and is known for success in addressing a general audience. Each of the six public lectures will be held at 4:30 p.m. in Stackhouse Theater in Elrod Commons on the day noted.

The professors who organized the series are Jeffrey Kosky, professor of religion; Karla Murdock, David G. Elmes Professor of Psychology; Jon Eastwood, Laurent Boetsch Term Associate Professor of Sociology; Tim Diette, Harry E. and Mary Jane W. Redenbaugh Term Associate Professor of Economics; and Art Goldsmith, Jackson T. Stephens Professor of Economics.

“There is a lot of talk in the popular media about passion, and it is a theme that young people and their parents increasingly take into consideration as they think about their futures,” said Kosky. “We hear a series of competing claims: sometimes we are told that finding our passion is the key to success in life, but at other times we are told to be more calculating and deliberate in how we approach life if we want to succeed. Clearly there is a lot of confusion about the topic.”

Kosky continued, “My co-organizers and I chose passion as the topic of the series for this academic year not so much because we want to clear up the confusion but because we believe a university is one of the rare and special cultural institutions that can stage it so as to respond to it thoughtfully and meaningfully. In fact, academic experts in many disciplines are thinking about passion and the passions in new, exciting, and sometimes contradictory ways. We hope that this series provides a setting where academic expertise can be shaped by popular concern, while popular concern can be liberally educated by experts in the university.”

Although the series will be centered on the speakers and their public lectures, W&L students, faculty and staff who choose to register as seminar participants will also meet the speakers during luncheon programs and attend additional sessions on the topic throughout the academic year.

Students, faculty and staff can sign up through the seminar’s website: http://www.wlu.edu/questioning-passion.

The series speakers are:

  • Sept. 17, 2015 – Psychologist Barbara Fredrickson will give the first talk, which is also the 2015-16 Root Lecture, “On Passions, Positivity and Love.” Her latest book, “LOVE.2.0,” provides a new way of thinking about love in addition to romantic or passionate love, focusing more on momentary interactions and ordinary, everyday experiences that generate love.
  • Oct. 22, 2015 – Art historian, critic and writer James Elkins’ recent work raises serious questions about the place passion and passionate response might or might not have in a university classroom in general and, and more particularly, in a critical discussion of artwork.
  • Nov. 12, 2015 – Literary critic Philip Fisher’s recent book, “The Vehement Passions,” analyzes the nature and value of intense emotion. He is working on a book about passions that move us ethically, in particular kindness and malice.
  • Jan. 14, 2016 – Philosopher Lars Svendson was asked to address boredom, which could be understood as the absence of passion, because this seems an appropriate place from which to glimpse the significance or insignificance of passion and the passions.
  • Feb. 4, 2016 – Biological anthropologist Helen Fisher has written several books on the evolution and future of human sex, love and marriage. Her recent research uses fMRI to study the brain systems and chemistry involved in romantic love and mating.
  • March 3, 2016 – Economist Robert H. Frank is well known for complicating the foundational model of the rational actor as an agent of economic life with his account of the important role that passion and emotions play in decision making.

The lectures and other events making up Questioning Passion are possible with funds provided by the Office of the Provost, the Root Lecture Fund, the Johnson Endowment, University Lectures Fund, The Class of ’63 Lecture Series, the Office of the Dean of the Williams School and the Office of the Dean of the College.

Gray Borden ’01 Appointed U.S. Magistrate Judge

Gray M. Borden, who graduated from Washington and Lee University in 2001, will fill the U.S. magistrate judge’s vacancy created in the Middle District of Alabama after the retirement of the Hon. Charles S. Coody. He will serve an eight-year term and can be reappointed.

As reported by the AL.com website, a merit selection panel of attorneys and other community members reviewed applicants for the position and recommended Gray to the District Court.

Gray, a native of Montgomery, is an assistant U.S. attorney with the Middle District of Alabama. After law school, he clerked for U.S. District Judge William M. Acker Jr., and worked for several years with the Birmingham civil litigation firm of Lightfoot, Franklin and White.

In 2014, Gray received the Spartan Award, which recognizes prosecutors for their dedication and extraordinary effort to investigate and prosecute large-scale drug dealers and money launderers.

Keith Watkins, chief U.S. district judge for the Middle District of Alabama, said, “Gray Borden is exceptionally well qualified to serve as magistrate judge. He has a wide range of legal experience, an excellent temperament and a tremendous work ethic.”

Staniar Gallery Presents “the sun that never sets,” an Exhibit by Paul Ryan

Washington and Lee’s Staniar Gallery presents “the sun that never sets,” an exhibit of paintings by Staunton-based artist Paul Ryan. The show will be on view Sept. 7-Oct. 4. Ryan will give an artist’s talk on Sept. 23, at 5:30 p.m. in Wilson Hall’s Concert Hall.

The lecture will be followed by a reception for the artist. The exhibition and reception are free and open to the public.

As an abstract painter, Ryan combines a natural attentiveness to formal problems with a reflective consideration of conceptual ideas. In his new work he is developing a visual vocabulary derived from the forms of everyday commercial packaging—the unfolded shapes of the cardboard cartons and containers and the eccentric visual structures that occur when their silhouettes are combined within the picture plane.

Ryan is equally interested in the conceptual implications of his source material, which have inherent associations with desire, exchange, acquisition and consumption—activating the paintings as visual metaphors for the operations and effects of late capitalism.

The exhibition is accompanied by a complimentary catalogue, available while supplies last, that includes an essay by Ashley Kistler, the director of the Anderson Gallery at Virginia Commonwealth School of the Arts.

The exhibition will travel to the Center for the Arts at Virginia Tech (Blacksburg, Virginia) where it will be on view from Dec. 3-Feb. 7, 2016, and Reynolds Gallery (Richmond, Virginia) where it will be on view from Feb. 26-April 8, 2016.

Ryan, a painter and art critic, is a professor of art at Mary Baldwin College. Since 1983, he has shown his work in numerous solo and group exhibitions in a variety of venues, including Rockefeller Arts Center at SUNY Fredonia (Fredonia, New York), Hartell Gallery at Cornell University (Ithaca, New York), The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (Richmond, Virginia) and the Taubman Museum of Art (Roanoke, Virginia).

He has been a contributing editor for Art Papers Magazine since 1990. Since 1989, his writing has appeared in publications such as Art Papers Magazine, Sculpture Magazine, ArtLies and Art in America.

Staniar Gallery is located on the second floor of Wilson Hall, in Washington and Lee University’s Lenfest Center for the Arts. Gallery hours are 9 a.m.- 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. For more information, please call 540-458-8861.

Merci, Madame Jennifer

For the past two years, Jennifer Latham Shotwell, a 1995 graduate of Washington and Lee University, and her students at Randolph-Macon College, in Ashland, Virginia, have been involved in an unusual literacy project — writing children’s stories in French.

When her W&L classmate Cathy Gartin Kononetz heard of Jennifer’s efforts at their recent 20th reunion in Lexington, she thought the project would be a perfect fit for Humankind, a new social video product featuring positive news stories that is part of the Gannett/USA Today network. Cathy, who is the Senior Director of Gannett’s Video Production Center, pitched the story to her staff and helped produce a story and video about the project using footage that Jennifer shot while in Haiti. The story ran on the Humankind site on August 14th and has also been picked up by The Huffington Post. Jennifer noted on Facebook, “I’m honored and humbled by the result of some Class of ’95 teamwork!”

Jennifer, who is a French professor and director of RMC’s Butler Multimedia Learning Center, challenged her students to write the stories. “In my elementary-level college French class, my students have an opportunity to use the language in a unique way by writing children’s books,” she explained. “Though some learners don’t think they can produce much with a new language, my students are learning to express themselves and create entertaining stories that we ultimately share with disadvantaged children who are also learning French.”

The first books, which she shipped to St. Gabriel’s school in Lascahobas, Haiti, were handmade and illustrated by students as well. This year, Jennifer started a Kickstarter campaign to print more durable paperback books, and in June, she and some of her students were able to hand-deliver 90 books.

As the USA Today story reports, “Children stood by their tables, flipping through the pages and looking at the colorful drawings. Leaning against the walls of the school, uniform-clad students read stories out loud in French. At the end of the day, a loud and resounding, ‘Merci, Madame Jennifer,’ could be heard.”

You can read more about Little French Books here.

Mike Smitka Quoted in The Street

Mike Smitka, professor of economics, was quoted by the business website, The Street, Aug. 20 in a story about foreign investors’ trust in Japanese companies in the wake of a Toshiba Corp. accounting scandal. The article notes Japan’s “tight-knit, slow-to-adapt corporate culture” has been resistant in the past to accept reforms to boost international investor confidence.

The Street asked Smitka if the replacement of Toshiba’s board and the inclusion of seven outsiders signals a new direction for both the company and Japanese corporate culture.

He said that the quick departure of Toshiba’s top executives means “that the state of corporate governance in Japan is good, at least in formal terms.” Smitka said the company’s action was “prompt, both internal and external. There may be other cases that will pop up, but I don’t think is the tip of the iceberg. A lot of heads have rolled, the fraud was much more fundamental.” Smitka specializes not only in Japan, but also in the economics of the automobile industry. He holds a bachelor’s degree in East Asian studies from Harvard and a doctorate in economics from Yale.

James Whitehead, Co-Founder of W&L's Reeves Center, Dies at 93

James Walter Whitehead Sr., co-founder and Director Emeritus of the Reeves Center at Washington and Lee University, died on Thursday, Aug. 20, in Houston. He was 93.

In addition to his work with the Reeves Center, Whitehead served W&L for 34 years, as director of university relations, assistant to the president for administration, director of development, treasurer, secretary of the Board of Trustees and chair of the American Revolution Bicentennial Committee.

“Jim Whitehead was one of W&L’s legendary figures of the late 20th century. He spent 34 years serving W&L, and not just in one position, but in several, and often at the same time,” said Kenneth P. Ruscio, president of Washington and Lee. “We owe him an enormous debt of gratitude for his work with university relations, fund-raising and the Board of Trustees. Perhaps his greatest gift to us, however, is the Reeves Center, with its invaluable collection of Chinese export porcelain and beautiful paintings.”

Whitehead was born on Oct. 20, 1921, in Columbus, Georgia, to Dr. and Mrs. William Freeman Whitehead. He received a B.S. in business administration and sociology from the University of Tampa in 1942.

He served in World War II as an aviator with the U.S. Naval Reserve from 1942 to 1945. He married Celeste Dervaes — also an aviator — in 1945.

From 1945 to 1950, Whitehead was the director of public relations for the University of Tampa. From 1950 to 1955, he worked as the national finance director for the National Conference of Christians and Jews. And from 1955 to 1958, he was the executive director of the Empire State Foundation of Independent Liberal Arts Colleges.

Whitehead arrived at W&L in 1958 as the director of university relations and assistant to the president for administration. He then worked as treasurer of the university from 1966 to 1980. From 1968 to 1987, he also served as the secretary of the Board of Trustees. And from 1972 to 1976, he chaired W&L’s American Revolution Bicentennial Committee. From 1982 to 1992, he headed the Reeves Center, performing that role full time after 1987. When he retired in 1992, the university named him Director of the Reeves Center Emeritus.

In 1967, thanks largely to the Whiteheads’ friendship with Euchlin Reeves, a 1927 graduate of the W&L School of Law, and his wife, Louise Herreshoff Eaton Reeves, the Reeveses gave to W&L their important collection of Chinese export porcelain. Together the Whiteheads (aided by the president’s housekeeper and other interested parties) cleaned and cataloged every item once the collection arrived in Lexington. They then exhibited and promoted the collection; it forms the nucleus of today’s Reeves Center, which opened in 1982.

The Reeveses had kept their priceless pieces in two overflowing homes in Providence, Rhode Island. The first time Whitehead visited Euchlin Reeves, “every flat surface was covered with cups, saucers, plates, bowls, vases, pitchers, urns, auction catalogues and antique journals,” he wrote in his 2003 book, “A Fragile Union: The Story of Louise Herreshoff.” “Not only were the surfaces of furniture covered with ceramics, items were stored under the bed, on and under the piano, atop and below the chairs. The drawers of the chest, the secretary bookcase, and the desk were also overflowing with pieces of porcelain.” The next-door house boasted a similar décor.

When the movers packed up the treasures (including furniture and other items), they showed Whitehead framed artworks that were so grimy, he thought they could be useful only for their frames. Back at W&L, however, Whitehead discovered that they enclosed “beautiful, brilliant paintings,” as he said in a 1990 news release. The artist was Louise Herreshoff Eaton Reeves.

Whitehead became a champion of Herreshoff’s work, rescuing several more of her paintings from the new owners of the Reeveses’ homes. In 1976, he arranged an exhibition of her paintings at the Corcoran Gallery of Art. He wrote articles about Herreshoff and the Reeves porcelain, culminating in his book, “A Fragile Union,” which featured a foreword by Tom Wolfe, a 1951 graduate of Washington and Lee.

While juggling his multiple roles at W&L, Whitehead lent his talents to fund-raising. In the mid-1970s, he issued a license to Wamsutta to produce bed linens that featured designs from the porcelain collection. The pattern “Blue Porcelain Butterfly” became a bestseller and brought the university substantial royalties. He also arranged for another company to reproduce in porcelain a few pieces from the Reeves collection.

As Wolfe described Whitehead in the book’s foreword, “his clothes lay lovingly tailored upon his well-fed-and-cared-for contours. His cravats would have made England’s legendary cravateur, Beau Brummel, twitch with envy. He had a peculiarly Southern courtesy and conversational ease and a Columbus, Georgia, voice that could have charmed the Rolex off your wrist, had he entertained any such prospects. I hasten to add that he didn’t.”

“I was one of the first interns at the Reeves Center, and Mr. Whitehead became my mentor for the next 40-plus years,” said Peter Grover, a member of the W&L Class of 1973. He retired from the university this past June after 12 years as director of university collections and art history. “He never lost track of me and was always providing guidance and counsel.”

“I first met Jim Whitehead in 2003 at a luncheon in Lynchburg with his wife, Celeste. What a dynamic and genteel couple they were,” said Patricia Hobbs, associate director of university collections at W&L. “Mr. Whitehead and I talked often about the paintings of Louise Herreshoff Eaton Reeves, which he had single-handedly rescued from oblivion. He would even call me at home to chat about them. Mr. Whitehead claimed that he knew nothing about art, and yet when I began to curate the university’s art collection, I was surprised to learn that, in addition to his important work creating the Reeves Center, throughout the 1970s and ’80s he fostered the growth of our broader collections of paintings, prints and sculpture.”

“If it wasn’t for him, the Reeves Collection at Washington and Lee simply wouldn’t exist,” said Ronald Fuchs, curator of the Reeves Collection. “It was his vision that recognized that a ceramic collection could be an educational resource, and his enthusiasm and energy that made it happen.” Fuchs knew that whenever he had a question, he could call Whitehead. “He would tell me exactly what I needed to know about the object, or the donor, or why something was done the way it was done. I am going to miss that connection to the collection’s beginnings.”

Whitehead’s renowned hospitality also embraced two campus visitors, Joella and Stewart Morris, of Houston, Texas. In turn, they generously underwrote the restoration of a 19th-century home on campus that is now the guest quarters known as the Morris House. Whitehead also made possible the Marian Carson Collection of George Washington prints, the John G. Hamilton Program Fund and the Watson Pavilion, an annex of the Reeves Center that houses a Japanese tearoom.

During the nation’s bicentennial, Whitehead oversaw traveling exhibitions of W&L’s Custis-Lee collection of 18th- and early-19th-century paintings and of the Reeves Collection of Chinese export porcelain.

For his myriad contributions to W&L, Whitehead twice received the Ring-tum Phi Award from the student body, in 1975 and 1979, and, with his wife, the Lynchburg Citation in 1976, the highest honor an alumni chapter may confer. The Lynchburg Citation read, in part: “His devotion to Washington and Lee is as strong and as carefully thought out as that of our most ardent real alumnus.”

He belonged to Omicron Delta Kappa, the national leadership honor society founded at W&L, and received an honorary LL.D. from the University of Tampa, his alma mater, in 1954.

Two funds at the university honor the Whiteheads’ contributions. In 1991, the Gulf States Paper Corp. established the James W. and Celeste Whitehead Fund to care for the William Winstanley painting of George Washington, which was a gift from Jonathan W. (Jack) Warner ’40, CEO of Gulf States Paper Corp. And in 1992, an anonymous donor created the James W. Whitehead Reeves Center Endowment to honor Whitehead’s W&L career.

Whitehead served his community as well, with stints as the chair of the advisory board of the First National Exchange Bank of Lexington and the president of the Rockbridge Chapter of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. He also sat on the boards of the Stonewall Jackson Hospital and the Rockbridge Concert Guild.

Whitehead’s professional service included terms on the board of governors and as secretary for the Decorative Arts Trust, on the board of directors of the American Ceramics Circle, as president for the South of the Scotch-Irish Society of America, and on the advisory board of the Mount Vernon Ladies Association of the Union. He belonged to Beta Gamma Sigma commerce fraternity.

His wife, Celeste Dervaes Whitehead, his partner in his W&L career, died in 2010. He is survived by two sons, James Walter Whitehead Jr., a member of W&L’s Class of 1968, and Paul Dervaes Whitehead; two grandchildren, James Walter Whitehead III and Carson Key Whitehead; and two great-grandchildren, Claire Dervaes Whitehead and Graham Horn Whitehead. A granddaughter-in-law, Elizabeth Munson Whitehead, is a member of the W&L Class of 1999.

The family requests that memorial contributions go to the James W. and Celeste Whitehead Fund or the James W. Whitehead Reeves Center Endowment, both at W&L.

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, Sept. 26, at 2 p.m. in Lee Chapel on the W&L campus. A reception will follow immediately afterward at the Reeves Center and the Hotchkiss Alumni House, both also on the campus.

W&L Law Journals Make Top 10 Ranking from Article Submission Service ExpressO

The Washington and Lee Law Review and the Journal of Civil Rights and Social Justice, published by students at Washington and Lee University School of Law, have been included in a new ranking from ExpressO, one of the leading systems for journal article submission.

The W&L Law Review placed third on the list of top 100 most popular law reviews chosen by authors using ExpressO, based on 2014 submission data. The Law Review was sixth in the ranking last year.

In a note to Law Review staff, one author whose work appeared recently in the publication wrote, “Last time I published with W&L, it was the best publication experience of my life. I actually have articles that were accepted by other journals one or two semesters before my last W&L acceptance — and they are still not out due to law review delays.”

ExpressO also publishes top 10 specialty rankings. The W&L Journal of Civil Rights and Social Justice (JCRSJ) was again included in the civil rights category, appearing in sixth place.

The student editors and staff writers at the Law Review and JCRSJ together produce six volumes each year in addition to hosting symposia on key and emerging legal issues. For example, last year the Law Review brought together scholars and policy makers for an event exploring cybersurveillance. The JCRSJ examined in its symposium developments in civil and voting rights since the landmark passage of the Civil Rights Act and Voting Rights Act 50 years ago.

The next Law Review symposium will take place Feb. 5-6, 2016 and will focus on ethical, legal, and public policy issues surrounding the use of the death penalty. The JCRSJ symposium is scheduled for Jan. 28-29 and will address policing power in the U.S.

Alex Maragos ’13 Joins WMAQ-Channel 5 News in Chicago

Alex Maragos, who graduated from Washington and Lee University in 2013 with a degree in journalism and mass communications, has joined the staff at NBC-owned WMAQ-Channel 5, in Chicago.

Alex was previously a morning and midday reporter and news anchor for News 18 WLFI, a CBS affiliate in West Lafayette, Indiana, which is ranked at No. 187 in the media market by Nielsen Co. The Chicago station is ranked No. 3.

Frank Whittaker, station manager and vice president of news at NBC 5, announced that starting Aug. 11, Alex will be a general assignment reporter. “We’re excited to bring Alex back to his home town,” Whittaker said. “His experience in Chicago and his passion for breaking news will be a great addition to our news team.”

A Chicago native, Alex held internships at Comcast SportsNet Chicago, Cumulus Media news/talk WLS AM 890 and ESPN Radio sports talk WMVP AM 1000.

He’s received a number of awards, including first place, Best Breaking News Story, Indiana Broadcasters Association (2014); first place, Best Breaking News Coverage, SPJ Indiana (2014); second place, Best Newscast, SPJ Indiana (2014); second place, Best Newscast, Indiana Broadcasters Association (2014); and third place, Feature Story, SPJ Indiana (2014).

Alumni in the Picture: The Millennium Gate Museum Features the Late I-Hsiung Ju

The Millennium Gate Museum at Atlantic Station, in Atlanta, Georgia, which is celebrating its seventh anniversary, has an exhibition of the works of the late Chinese artist I-Hsiung Ju, a former professor of art and artist in residence at Washington and Lee University.

There are many wonderful connections to this show. First and foremost is Ju, who was born in Jiangyin, Jiangsu, China, and taught at W&L from 1969 to 1989. While in Lexington he established the Art Farm, where he and his wife, Chow Soon Chuang, taught Chinese calligraphy and brush painting, culinary arts, flower arrangement and other aspects of Chinese culture. They also held exhibitions of the work of young artists at the farm.

Ju is considered a major figure of Asian art. The Millennium Gate Museum director, Jeremy Kobus, said in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, “ had the ability to blend two worlds of style, technique and idiom to produce a unique form of painting that is both modern and traditionally East Asian.”

That style captured the attention of Sam Perkins, a member of W&L’s Classes of 1980 and 1983 Law, now the CEO of Purgenix. As a married student, he often took his family to the Art Farm to look at the works of Ju, as well as of other artists exhibited there. His daughter, Elizabeth Perkins Warland ’99, was too young to remember those trips, but when her parents visited Lexington when she was a student, they visited again. “It was definitely a nostalgic trip for my parents and an educational one for me,” said Elizabeth, who was at the time taking an art class from the late Joan O’Mara, associate professor of art history. “It all came together,” she remembered. “We saw that painting — ‘House Mountain at a Distance’ — and immediately thought, ‘He did that painting just for us.’ Besides its amazing beauty, I think it spoke to us because of the strong ties our family has to Lexington and because House Mountain is such an iconic symbol.”

Sam bought the painting, and a few years later gave it to his daughter as a wedding present. “I was going to be living in Belgium with my husband,” Elizabeth noted. “When you’re moving out of the country and starting a new life, you want something as a reminder. My dad asked, ‘What do think of when you’re thinking of home?’ For me, one of those important connections has always been Lexington and House Mountain. And so the painting ended up in my suitcase.”

After returning to the U.S., Elizabeth and her husband settled in Atlanta, and in 2009, she attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony of the Millennium Gate Museum, a project spearheaded by Rodney Cook Jr., W&L Class of 1978, the founder and president of the National Monuments Foundation.

Like the Perkins family, Rodney Cook had a deep connection to Ju. “I took every single one of his studio art classes,” he said. “He was such an importance influence on my life, and I’ve got his name, along with Professor Futch, Dean Gilliam and W&L, carved into the side of the Millennium Gate. That is my tribute to those who taught me so much.”

When the Ju family approached him about mounting this exhibition, he needed no persuading. “His Yangtze River brush-painting series and his scroll-painting series of Huangshan Mountain are his magnum opus,” said Rodney. “I’d seen these on display in two other museums. They are majestic.”

As well as the paintings, the museum’s theater is showing videos of the murals Ju painted in the great rooms of some houses in Georgia. “It’s a who’s who of the political leaders and civil rights leaders who carried us through the turbulent ’60s and ’70s,” Rodney noted. There are also photos of Ju, in his blue silk gown, giving Chinese painting demonstrations to raise money for Atlanta’s historic Fox Theater, as well as his brushes, inkwells and other personal belongings.

On opening weekend, the museum was packed. “I think Professor Ju would be proud,” said Rodney. “I know he would be happy — he was always happy. When I’m in the gallery where we have several monitors showing his lectures, he’s talking and painting away. It’s an absolute pleasure to hear his voice — he has such a distinctive voice. It’s a delight to have him in my house.”

You can find more details about the exhibition, which runs until Oct. 18, here.

Professor Emeritus Settle Explains Marshall’s Role in Atomic Bomb

Frank Settle, professor emeritus of chemistry and author of a forthcoming book, “General George C. Marshall and the Atomic Bomb,” published a guest column in the Roanoke Times on the 70th anniversary of Hiroshima.

Marshall, Settle recounts, worked quietly behind the scenes to bring the Manhattan Project to success.

“Marshall’s influence on decisions leading to the use of the atomic bomb on Japan was as important as that of President Truman’s two top advisors, Stimson and Secretary of State James Byrnes,” Settle wrote. “Marshall advised on military issues including the continuing air and naval operations, the impact of the Soviet Union’s entry into the Pacific war, an invasion of the Japanese homeland, and modifying the conditions for a Japanese surrender. When the Japanese rejected the allies terms of surrender, Marshall approved the orders for the use of the atomic bomb on Japan. Its use, along with the Soviet incursion, shortened the war and avoided the invasion Marshall had dreaded.”

Settle quotes Marshall’s reflection from a September 1945 report about the future of war in the atomic age: “Certainly the implications of atomic explosions will spur men of judgment as they have never before been pressed to seek a method whereby people of the earth can live in peace and justice.”

Settle will discuss his soon-to-be-published book, General George C. Marshall and the Atomic Bomb, Aug. 6, 5:30 p.m., at the George C. Marshall Foundation building on the campus of Virginia Military Institute in Lexington.

Washington and Lee Graduate Receives ODK Leader of the Year in Athletics Award

Jillian Katterhagen, a 2015 graduate of Washington and Lee University from The Woodlands, Texas, has been named Omicron Delta Kappa’s (ODK) Leader of the Year in Athletics.

Katterhagen’s award is part of the national leadership honor society’s 2015 General Russell E. Dougherty National Leader of the Year competition. She will receive a $1,000 graduate scholarship, and W&L’s ODK Circle, or chapter, will receive a $300 grant. She will enter law school at Stanford University this fall.

ODK, founded in 1914 at Washington and Lee, recognizes not only academic achievement, but also campus leadership in five areas of campus life: scholarship; athletics; campus or community service, social or religious activities and campus government; journalism, speech and the mass media; and creative and performing arts. It has some 285 circles at colleges and universities across the country.

Katterhagen was a four-year letter winner and captain her senior season of the women’s track and field team. She received the Marjorie Berkley Award as the Old Dominion Athletic Conference’s (ODAC) top female scholar-athlete and is ODAC’s 2015 nominee for the NCAA Woman of the Year Award, to be announced in September. She also is a member of Phi Beta Kappa and served as a peer tutor.

“My undergraduate study of history and politics and my chance to see our political system at work for two summers while working for Congress have exposed me to the very real shortcomings of this system and the effects that it has on citizens in this country,” Katterhagen said. “I hope to one day be in a position to affect the sort of change in the lives of my fellow citizens, whether in an elected office, working in our political system, or in any other career that might have the kind of meaningful impact to inspire students to use their talents to change the world.”

Recapping the Shepherd Internship Program Experience

On Aug. 2, Washington and Lee University’s Shepherd Poverty Program and Virginia Military Institute (VMI) hosted the 4th Annual Symposium of the Shepherd Higher Education Consortium on Poverty (SHECP) to examine the relationship between food and childhood health.

Some 90 students from 21 colleges who participated in the eight-week Shepherd Internship Program (SIP) heard presentations from three national advocates for improving children’s nutrition: Dr. Sandra Hassink, president of the American Academy of Pediatricians; Elaine Waxman, vice president for nutrition and research at Feeding America; and Victoria Kumpuris Brown, a 1988 graduate of W&L, senior program officer at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and former representative of the Alliance for Healthier Generations.

On Aug. 3, the students convened in W&L’s Science Center for a day of presentations and discussion about their experiences with impoverished people and communities.

In welcoming them, Marc Conner, associate provost at W&L said, “I’ve been at W&L for 20 years and remember when there were only three schools participating in the Shepherd Consortium. It’s so inspiring to see all these years later how it has grown. The program has always seemed to me to be the ideal expression of what a liberal arts education should be.”

He added, “I love the idea of having a symposium at the conclusion of what has been a demanding summer for you. The chance to celebrate, to share your experiences and debate the outcomes is an important component of the program. Thank you for being here, and thank you for doing life-changing work.”

Over the coming days, students will be posting reports on their internships, and you can read them at shepherdconsortium.org.

Jessica Hopper ’08: ABC News Digital Journalist

Presidential hopeful Sen. Ted Cruz will be covered from all angles this campaign cycle by two Washington and Lee University alumnae. He’s got Rachael Slobodien (’06) (blogged about here) leading his communications staff, and Jessica Hopper (W&L ’08) covering his campaign as a digital journalist with ABC News.

Jessica majored in journalism at W&L and continued her studies at Columbia University’s school of journalism. She has worked in New York City as a digital reporter and producer at ABC and an associate producer at NBC, including stints with “Rock Center with Brian Williams” and “Dateline.”

She said, “I’m excited to be a part of the ABC News team covering the 2016 presidential race. Since my time as a student journalist at W&L covering election night for ‘The Rockbridge Report,’ I’ve dreamed of covering a presidential election. As a journalist, it’s an honor to be on the campaign trail to cover the political process up close, and I look at it as a great responsibility, too.”

James Goldston, president of ABC News, said in a press release, “Along with the entire ABC News politics team, our campaign DJs will take us inside the campaign like never before, transforming our storytelling with more immediate reactions and live coverage. They will bring the drama, excitement and key moments of the campaign to our audiences — putting them on the front lines of the campaign trail 24/7, with live GoStreams on the ground capturing moments anywhere and everywhere news breaks. And more than ever, they will be responsible for creating distinctive, immersive, visual content for all our platforms, working closely with our partners including Fusion and FiveThirtyEight.”

You can follow Jessica on Twitter — @jesshop23.

W&L Alumna Linda Klein ‘83L Named President-Elect of the American Bar Association

Linda Klein, a 1983 graduate of Washington and Lee’s School of Law, was named president-elect of the American Bar Association during its annual meeting this week.

Klein will serve a one-year term in this role and then become ABA president in August 2016. She previously served as chair of the ABA House of Delegates, the association’s policy making body.

Klein is managing shareholder of the Georgia offices of Baker Donelson. Her practice concentrates on litigation, alternative dispute resolution and counseling business owners.

In her address during the conference, Klein urged her colleagues to work together to ensure access to justice for all.

“We’re all in this together,” Klein said. “Lawyers, judges, law students. We fight for justice, the future of legal education, protecting our courts, diversity in our profession.”

When she assumes the presidency next year, Klein will become the seventh W&L Law graduate to lead the ABA. Only Harvard and Columbia have produced more ABA presidents than W&L. Most recently, Robert J. Grey ‘76L served as ABA president in 2004-05. A partner at Hunton & Williams and executive director of the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity, Grey received the ABA’s Spirit of Excellence award in 2014.

A past president of the State Bar of Georgia, and the first woman to hold that post, Klein worked to increase access to legal services for Georgia’s indigent. She devised and executed the plan to achieve the first state appropriation of tax dollars to support legal services.  She is vice-chair of the Georgia Supreme Court Commission on Access to Justice, which works for increased access to courts, and a member of the Supreme Court Commission on Civil Justice.

Klein also has worked to uphold judicial excellence, and served as co-chair of a state Judicial Evaluation Committee, a member of the state’s Judicial Nominating Commission, and a member of a committee established by former Sen. Max Cleland to advise on filling federal judicial vacancies in the Northern District of Georgia.

She has held leadership positions in the Atlanta Legal Aid Society, the Atlanta Bar Association and the Georgia Association for Women Lawyers, and is a founding member of the Georgia chapter of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association, the Gate City Bar and the Georgia Association of Black Women Attorneys.

Among her numerous awards and honors, Klein was the recipient of the ABA’s 2010 Fellows Outstanding State Chair Award and was honored with the Randolph Thrower Lifetime Achievement Award 2009 from the State Bar of Georgia, which recognizes Georgia attorneys for their achievements in promoting diversity in the legal profession. In 2015, she received the State Bar of Georgia’s Distinguished Service Award and the Daily Report’s first ever Lifetime Achievement Award.

Klein received her law degree from Washington and Lee University School of Law in Lexington, Va., and her Bachelor of Arts degree from Union College, Schenectady, N.Y.


Earlier this summer, Elizabeth Knapp, senior assistant to the president at Washington and Lee University; Ted DeLaney, W&L associate professor of history; and Tom Camden, head of Special Collections and Archives at W&L, attended the inaugural meeting of a new consortium, Virginia’s Colleges and Universities Studying Slavery.

Created by University of Virginia postdoctoral researcher Kelley Deetz, the consortium comprises 13 other institutions of higher learning in the commonwealth that are focused on providing more accurate historical information related to slavery and race relations at their respective universities. At this first meeting, held at U.Va.’s Morven Farms, the group discussed ways to collaborate on research and develop forums for presenting the historical relationship between slavery and its legacies at Virginia’s colleges and universities. You can read more about the group on U.Va.’s website.

Knapp said, “It was really worthwhile to have the chance to get together to share our stories, our goals, our strategies and to have an open discussion on some highly sensitive and complicated topics. We’re all grappling with similar questions, and it was great to think about how we can collaborate and help one another.” The group plans to meet semi-annually, and W&L plans to host it later this year.

W&L has already been doing work on this subject. Two years ago, President Ken Ruscio established a special working group to explore the role of African Americans in the history of the University. That group’s ongoing efforts include a timeline of African American history at W&L.

This summer, W&L received a $150,000 from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, part of which will be used to study how the lessons of history help us interpret contemporary issues. Called History in the Public Sphere, the project will focus on the purpose and value of history in a democratic society. It will employ new courses, faculty-student research and presentations by nationally respected scholars to produce a road map to productive civic discussion

Author Stephen Denny to Give Keynote Address at Entrepreneurship Summit Sept. 26

The J. Lawrence Connolly Center for Entrepreneurship at Washington and Lee University announced that the keynote address for its fourth annual Entrepreneurship Summit will be given by Stephen Denny, marketing consultant and the author of “Killing Giants: 10 Strategies to Topple the Goliath In Your Industry.”

Denny’s keynote will be on Sept. 26 at 5:45 p.m. in Stackhouse Theater and is open to the general public. A book signing will follow in the Science Center’s first floor atrium.

Denny graduated from W&L in 1983 with a degree in East Asian studies and went on to earn an M.B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business. He spent 20 years working in marketing for technology companies such as Sony, Onstar, Iomega and Plantronics. As a consultant, Denny helps emerging brands define their competitive positioning, communication strategies and implementation plans in the market.

This is the fourth year for the University’s Entrepreneurship Summit. In 2014, nearly 100 alumni joined fewer than 300 students for two days of panel discussions, talks and networking sessions intended to help alumni and students learn more about what it takes to launch and grow a successful business venture.

Denny’s visit is jointly sponsored by the Connolly Center for Entrepreneurship, the Contact Committee and the Johnson Lecture Series. No registration is required to attend Denny’s keynote address; to register for the Entrepreneurship Summit, Sept. 25 and 26, visit entrepreneurship.wlu.edu.

Checking for Concussions: Michael Singer ’84

Football season is almost upon us, and with athletes taking to the field for pre-season practice, the talk has turned to concussions.

The Washington Post reports that a Bethesda-based technology company, BrainScope has received $500k from the NFL and General Electric to keep working on its portable concussion-assessment system. With this new generation of simple-to-use, non-invasive instruments, medical professionals will be able rapidly and objectively provide meaningful information to aid in the assessment of brain function at the initial point of care.

Michael Singer, president and CEO of BrainScope, is a 1984 graduate of Washington and Lee University. The funds will be used to conduct more studies at the high school level. The $500k “allows us to develop this technology, which could be fielded in a whole array of venues, starting in high schools, colleges and ultimately in professional sports leagues,” he said.

As noted in the Washington Post, the long-term consequences of concern traumatic brain injury is a growing public health issue for both athletes and combat veterans.

Michael has been with BrainScope for six years and has previously worked for Revolution Health Investments, Data Critical, Microsoft Corp., Wolfensohn & Co., Montgomery Securities, Alex. Brown and Union Bank.