Interactive Exhibition by Tibetan Artist Gonkar Gyatso Opens at W&L’s Staniar Gallery Gyatso is best known for his work mixing Buddhist iconography with pop imagery.
“This exhibition will activate the gallery space in exciting new ways. Gonkar is creating a facsimile of a countryside shrine informed by Tibetan traditions, and viewers will be invited to engage with the work through immersion in the transformed space.”
Washington and Lee University’s Staniar Gallery presents “Buddha’s Picnic,” an exhibition by Tibetan artist Gonkar Gyatso. The opening reception and artist’s talk will be held on Feb. 12 at 5:30 p.m. in Wilson Concert Hall. The exhibit will be on display in the gallery through March 17.
Gyatso is best known for his work mixing Buddhist iconography with pop imagery to examine the complexities inherent in defining identity when different cultures simultaneously coexist and conflict. He has recently completed installations in Australia, Singapore and Hong Kong, as well as in the United States at galleries in Boulder and Atlanta. “Buddha’s Picnic” will be his first installation in the region.
Visitors to “Buddha’s Picnic” are invited to interact with Gyatso’s installation of a modern shrine filled with mass-produced Buddhist devotional objects including electric prayer wheels, spouting mantras in Tibetan, neon colored Buddha statues and brightly colored lotus flashing lights. The exhibition is a material and experiential reflection upon modern practices of constructing temporary sanctuaries within a fractured, dislocated world.
“This exhibition will activate the gallery space in exciting new ways,” said Clover Archer, director of the Staniar Gallery. “Gonkar is creating a facsimile of a countryside shrine informed by Tibetan traditions, and viewers will be invited to engage with the work through immersion in the transformed space.”
The Robert Lehman Foundation awarded the Staniar Gallery a $10,000 grant for the “Buddha’s Picnic” exhibit.
“The grant from the Lehman Foundation allowed us to expand the scope of this project to include a site-specific installation,” said Archer. “With the additional funding we were able to support Gyatso in realizing an ambitious new project, one that would not have been possible without the grant.”
This is Washington and Lee’s first grant from the Robert Lehman Foundation. Based in New York, the Foundation’s mission is to “fulfill and further [founder] Robert Lehman’s vision and therefore to support the visual arts in any fashion that seems likely to enhance the appreciation, knowledge and enjoyment of this central aspect of our culture.” Grants are made to museums, arts organizations, educational institutions and other cultural organizations with the goal of enhancing the role of the visual arts within American and world culture.
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 Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, please call (540)-458-8861.
‘Leaders Like Me’ Lex McGriff '18 has grown into a leader in W&L's Student Association for Black Unity. As she prepares for graduation, she hopes more underclassmen will become leaders like her.
“Often times, people speak of finding organizations that they resonate with, but I believe that SABU is an organization that found me.”
Hometown: Vero Beach, Florida
Majors: Computer Science and Sociology
My experience at W&L has been filled with nothing but exponential growth, mentally and personally. As a wide-eyed Floridian first-year, I would have never been able to guess how much the school needed leaders like me, but also how much I needed a place to challenge me and ground me in my beliefs. That is exactly what W&L has done, and is continuing to do, for me.
This became especially evident in my involvement in the Student Association for Black Unity (SABU). Often times, people speak of finding organizations that they resonate with, but I believe that SABU is an organization that found me. My first year at W&L was one in which I struggled with the fact that I was, as I like to call it, a quadruple anomaly: African-American, a woman, of low socioeconomic status, and an independent (not Greek-affiliated) student. At W&L, this is an interesting dynamic. I often times felt frustrated with the fact that a majority of the students here don’t have to be concerned with issues surrounding race. There are issues that exist that most people have not and will not ever have to experience, and there was an illusion that everyone was okay with that.
Luckily, I figured out that not everyone on campus was okay with that, nor is everyone okay with that today. SABU is one of those areas. There is a desire and a necessity for diverse interaction that breeds learning. Working in the leadership of SABU has taught me how to articulate that need while also taking my best shot at providing the interaction even when it may be a little uncomfortable. Working in SABU has also taught me that to be uncomfortable is to grow, and to be different is to glow. As I gear up to say “see you later” to Washington and Lee, I urge my peers, especially the underclassmen, to not be okay; to be dissatisfied with things rather than be complacent. You can all fall into your own SABU and change this place for the better.
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A little more about Lex
W&L Theater Presents Children’s Favorite “James and the Giant Peach” “James and the Giant Peach” follows the story of James, a forgotten and lonely child, played by Arthur Love ’18.
“I like embodying the dynamic nature of James. While he was a sad and lonely boy at first, James learns that he can find friends in the most unlikely places. He also learns the value of being a hero and never leaving your friends behind.”
Washington and Lee University’s Department of Theater, Dance and Film Studies presents “James and the Giant Peach.” The show runs Feb. 8-10 at 7:30 p.m. and will also run on Feb. 11th at 2 p.m. at the Keller Theatre, Lenfest Center for Performing Arts. Tickets are required and may be ordered online at lenfest.wlu.edu or by calling the Lenfest box office at (540)-458-8000.
“James and the Giant Peach” follows the story of James, a forgotten and lonely child, played by Arthur Love ’18. James is forced to live with his mean and wicked aunts, played by Katie Cones ’21 and Rachel Rothken ’19. Finding his escape from his nightmarish life in the form of a gigantic magic peach, he sets sail across the ocean and becomes friends with magically altered garden bugs: Miss Spider, played by Melissa Yorio ’21; Centipede, played by Mike Bracey ’20; Green Grasshopper, played by Will McLearn ’20; and Earthworm, played by Hailey Glick ’19.
“I like embodying the dynamic nature of James,” Love said. “While he was a sad and lonely boy at first, James learns that he can find friends in the most unlikely places. He also learns the value of being a hero and never leaving your friends behind.”
Love also acknowledged the difficulties of being in college and playing a young boy on stage. “Obviously, being a 22-year-old man playing the role of a 12-year-old boy has its challenges in terms of physicality and voice,” Love noted. “However, working with visiting professor Robyn Berg has been very helpful in allowing me to find myself in James and to return to my 12-year-old self.”
Rockbridge County and Lexington City elementary school students will be taking field trips to the Lenfest Center to watch the show.
“I am absolutely excited to bring these students into the whimsical world we have created and I hope they like my portrayal of James and all our efforts put into this amazing play,” Love said.
Box Office hours are Monday – Friday, 9-11 a.m. and 1-3 p.m. and one hour prior to performance time.
Pulitzer Prize-Winning Playwright Suzan-Lori Parks to Speak Parks is the eighth speaker in the 2017–18 Equality and Difference series, sponsored by the W&L's Mudd Center for Ethics.
Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Suzan-Lori Parks is the eighth speaker in the 2017–18 Equality and Difference series, sponsored by the Roger Mudd Center for Ethics at Washington and Lee University. This event will be on Feb. 8 at 5:30 p.m. in Stackhouse Theatre, Elrod Commons.
The title of Parks’ talk, which is free and open to the public, is “One Million Suggestions.”
Named one of TIME Magazine’s “100 Innovators for the Next New Wave,” Parks is one of the most acclaimed playwrights in American drama today. She is the first African-American woman to receive the Pulitzer Prize in Drama for the Broadway hit “Topdog/Underdog” and is a MacArthur Fellow.
Parks has taught at the California Institute of the Arts and Yale School of Drama and holds honorary doctorates from Brown University, among others. She credits her writing teacher and mentor, James Baldwin, for starting her on the path of playwriting. One of the first to recognize Parks’ writing skills, Baldwin declared her “an astonishing and beautiful creature who may become one of the most valuable artists of our time.”
Parks has been awarded grants by the National Endowment for the Arts, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Ford Foundation and numerous others. In 2000 and again in 2017 Parks was awarded the PEN/Laura Pels Award for Theater.
Parks’ project “365Days/365Plays” was produced in over 700 theaters worldwide, creating one of the largest grassroots collaborations in theater history. Some of her more well-known plays include “Topdog/Underdog,” “The Book of Grace,” “In the Blood” (2000 Pulitzer Prize finalist) and “Venus” (1996 OBIE Award). She’s written screenplays for Brad Pitt, Denzel Washington and Spike Lee, and adapted Zora Neale Hurston’s classic novel “Their Eyes Were Watching God,” which premiered on ABC’s Oprah Winfrey Presents. Currently, Parks is adapting Richard Wright’s “Native Son” for film.
Parks’ visit is co-sponsored by the Ruth E. Flournoy Theater Endowment.
The Mudd Center was established in 2010 through a gift to the university from award-winning journalist Roger Mudd, a 1950 graduate of W&L. When he made his gift, Mudd said that “given the state of ethics in our current culture, this seems a fitting time to endow a center for the study of ethics, and my university is the fitting home.”
For full details on this series, visit https://www.wlu.edu/mudd-center.
NPR TV Critic Eric Deggans to Deliver 2018 Fishback Program Talk The title of Deggans’ talk is: “Building Bridges, Not Walls: Decoding Media's Confusing Coverage of Race and Culture.”
Washington and Lee University’s Fishback Program for Visiting Writers and the Department of Journalism and Mass Communications present Eric Deggans, NPR’s first full-time TV critic. His talk will be Feb. 6 at 5 p.m. in Stackhouse Theatre, Elrod Commons.
The title of Deggans’ talk is: “Building Bridges, Not Walls: Decoding Media’s Confusing Coverage of Race and Culture.” The talk is free and open to the public; a book signing will be held immediately following the talk.
Deggans crafts stories and commentaries for multiple NPR shows, including “Morning Edition,” “Here & Now” and “All Things Considered,” along with writing material for NPR.org and the website’s blogs.
He joined NPR in 2013 from the Tampa Bay Times newspaper in Florida, where he served as TV/Media Critic and in other roles for nearly 20 years. A journalist for more than two decades, he is also the author of “Race-Baiter: How the Media Wields Dangerous Words to Divide a Nation” (2012).
In 2009, Deggans was named one of Ebony Magazine’s “Power 150.” Deggans serves as co-chair of the Media Monitoring Committee for the National Association of Black Journalists. He has also served on the board of directors for the national Television Critics Association and on the board of the Mid-Florida Society of Professional Journalists.
William H. Fishback Jr., a Washington and Lee journalism major of the Class of ‘56, generously endowed the Fishback Fund for Visiting Writers at W&L in memory of his parents, the late Margaret Haggin Haupt Fishback and William Hunter Fishback. The Fishback Fund is administered by W&L’s Department of Journalism and Mass Communications. The fund brings to campus annually an outstanding writer to deliver a public lecture. In selecting the visiting writer, the campus-wide Fishback committee’s first consideration is to those who have written with distinction about public affairs, nature and the environment, history and the theater – all special interests of the Fishbacks.
W&L’s SonoKlect Presents Trio ZBR in Concert Trio ZBR will present a program that expands the definition of virtuosity in music.
Washington and Lee University’s SonoKlect will present Trio ZBR in concert on Feb. 10 at 8 p.m. in Wilson Concert Hall. The concert is free and open to the public and no tickets are required.
Trio ZBR will present a program that expands the definition of virtuosity in music. The program contains three works written specifically for the trio and, although all the pieces are deeply versed in the classical tradition, they each resist categorization and are quite novel in terms of formal structure, without ever losing an ever-present direct emotional impact.
The ensemble includes Grammy-winning flutist Molly Alicia Barth, a founding member of the new music sextet Eighth Blackbird; cellist Jeffrey Zeigler, who spent eight seasons with the renowned Kronos Quartet; and pianist David Riley, a SonoKlect regular who has been mesmerizing audiences at many of North America’s most prestigious venues for more than two decades.
For more information, visit wlu.edu/lenfest-center.
Diversity of Experiences Sima Sharma ’18 used her time at W&L to explore her passion for the world and its various cultures through volunteering and study abroad.
“My study abroad experiences in China and Scotland have enriched my understanding of the world and aided my personal and academic growth, nurturing my passion for learning and making me more open to and receptive to change.”
Sima Sharma ’18
Majors: Computer Science, East Asian Languages and Literatures (Chinese)
As I reflect back on my Washington and Lee experience, I realize that I have grown in ways I could never have imagined when I first arrived here. My time at W&L has enabled me to explore my passion for the world and its various cultures. By becoming actively involved in the Multicultural Student Association and the Student Association for International Learning, I was able to plan and organize multicultural events that promoted the understanding of diverse cultures in the W&L and the Rockbridge-area communities. My study abroad experiences in China and Scotland have enriched my understanding of the world and aided my personal and academic growth, nurturing my passion for learning and making me more open to and receptive to change.
I have become a more engaged volunteer during my time at W&L. I tutored students in Rockbridge County Schools who learn English as a Second Language by helping them with their English and reading skills. I have also been fortunate to volunteer several times with W&L’s Nabors Service League in under-resourced cities such as Charleston, West Virginia, and Birmingham, Alabama. Before coming to W&L, I was more involved with the fundraising aspect of volunteer work. W&L has given me opportunities to become much more involved in directly volunteering, an experience which I find incredibly fulfilling.
Lastly, another key part of my W&L experience was understanding and articulating my own cultural and national identity. Although I was born in the U.S., I largely grew up in Nepal and Singapore. Having never spent significant time in the U.S., aside from the occasional family visit, my understanding of American society and culture was mostly informed by my family, my peers and my education rather than through firsthand experience. My time here has helped me better understand American society and the diversity of experiences in this country. Learning about different perspectives, whether from my classes, extracurricular involvement or conversations with peers, has helped me understand how my experiences have shaped and continue to shape me into the person that I am today.
The last four years has significantly expanded my worldview and made me become a more well-rounded and engaged individual. What I have learned has transformed my understanding of the world and of myself, and this will surely continue to benefit me as I move forward.
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A little more about Sima
Multicultural Student Association
Student Association for International Learning
Rockbridge County Schools Tutor
Student Environmental Action League
What’s your personal motto?
“The only constant thing is change.”
What do you wish you’d known before you came to campus?
I wish I had known how cold Lexington could be. Living in a tropical country (Singapore) had ill-prepared me for any weather below 70 degrees.
I plan on gaining work experience in the tech industry after graduation. After a few years, I plan on attending graduate school.
Favorite W&L event
Mock Convention. I found the talks and the events very informative and interesting.
Favorite W&L memory
Nabors Service League alternative break trips. I enjoyed volunteering and helping out under-resourced areas during our breaks, while also meeting W&L alumni who were passionate about volunteering.
Death and Dying taught by Professor Marks. Although the subject matter could be heavy at times, discussing cultural and religious viewpoints on death helped develop my perspective on an important, but rarely discussed, topic.
Weaving a Web of Research Andrew Mah ’18 has spent his undergraduate career studying the circadian rhythms of spiders.
“In a unique experience for most undergraduates, I got to work extremely closely with multiple advisors at multiple universities to truly see how the scientific sausage is made firsthand.”
Hometown: Radford, Virginia
Majors: Neuroscience and Math
Co-president of General’s Unity
Tutor at the Math Center
Tutor with the Peer Tutor Program
There’s a reason I’ve become the designated spider-catcher in all my friend groups: I’ve spent basically all four of my years at W&L, up close and personal, studying our eight-legged friends. My current project combines my experience in a spider lab with my research passion in computational neuroscience (think math meets neuroscience) to study some strange patterns in circadian rhythms that arise in some spider families. Not only does this project allow me to explore my research passions, it also helped forge a new collaboration with spider circadian experts at East Tennessee State University (ETSU), where I spent the summer collecting literally hundreds of spiders for our work and meeting some unique characters along the way.
The reason I’m so passionate about spider circadian rhythms does not lie in some deep-seated childhood love of biological rhythms. Rather, I was inspired by the passion that my W&L and ETSU mentors brought to the table, day after day, even in the face of setbacks and less-than-ideal results. In a unique experience for most undergraduates, I got to work extremely closely with multiple advisors at multiple universities to truly see how the scientific sausage is made firsthand. I was not handed this project on a silver platter with a well-defined goal and plan of attack. Instead, I found myself on the front lines with my professors with a vague end goal, figuring it out one step at a time. And even though we’ve still got a mountain of work ahead of us, I couldn’t be more proud of the work that we have done.
The experiences afforded to me by W&L’s unique dedication to research in a tightly knit community has helped me grow immeasurably as a scientist and a person. Spending the summer in Johnson City, Tennessee, allowed me to meet so many wonderful people, both in and out of the lab. Presenting my work at the annual Society for Neuroscience conference allowed me to engage in conversations with world-renowned neuroscientists about my research and the greater field of neuroscience (as well as generate quite a bit of media interest). Without the near endless support from W&L and ETSU, I could never have been exposed to such formative experiences. I got to see the wet and wild world of science, warts and all, and I can’t wait to continue my education as a scientist in graduate school and beyond.
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A little more about Andrew
Why did you choose your major?
Everything that we are, everything that we experience, every memory we have, is mediated by the exchange of ions and neurotransmitters in a collection of billons upon billons of neurons organized into complex circuits. I’m fascinated by how this process works, from the molecular to the behavioral level, and neuroscience and mathematics provides me with the tools to investigate these kinds of questions on a theoretical and experimental level.
Has anyone on campus inspired you?
Hands down, my research advisors, Dr. Nadia Ayoub and Dr. Natalia Toporikova. I’ve worked with them in one capacity or another since my first year here, and they’ve seen me grow and mature as a scientist and a person. The guidance they’ve provided me along the way, in addition to their passion for science, played a major role in my decision to pursue a career in research.
What’s your personal motto?
“Keep moving forward,” which I did not realize was from the seminal film “Meet the Robinsons” until I recently re-watched it.
Best place to eat in Lexington? What do you order?
Napa Thai, easily. I still haven’t decided between chicken pad Thai and drunken noodles.
What do you wish you’d known before you came to campus?
Learn to roll with the punches. Whether in your personal or academic life, sometimes you’re going to deal with some crappy situations. But don’t get discouraged. Just learn from them and keep moving forward.
Hopefully attend graduate school to study computational neuroscience. I’ve got some interviews at prospective schools, so fingers crossed!
What’s something people wouldn’t guess about you?
I have what some people might refer to as “grandmotherly” pastimes: knitting, crocheting and cross-stitching.
Department of Music Presents Faculty Recital: “Russian Series” The concert will feature W&L’s Ting-Ting Yen on violin and Anna Billias on piano.
Washington and Lee University’s department of music presents a Faculty Recital, “Russian Series,” on Feb. 4 at 3 p.m. in Wilson Concert Hall, Lenfest Center for Performing Arts. The concert will feature a violin and piano duet from the music of Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff and Prokofiev, and is presented by W&L’s Ting-Ting Yen on violin and Anna Billias on piano. The concert is free and open to the public.
“We hope in this repertoire to highlight the transformative music of Russian composers, which unifies us as people of the world, rather than of politics and ideologies,” said Billias.
The “Russian Series” performance commemorates the 75th anniversary of composer Sergei Rachmaninoff’s death.
W&L’s Repertory Dance Company to Perform in NYC Students and alumni members of the award-winning W&L Repertory Dance Company will perform in NYC the last weekend in Jan.
“The experience offers the students an experiential educational opportunity that broadens the scope of their lenses, encourages them to explore the art form from a new perspective, and offers them greater responsibility as artists.”
Twenty students and eight alumni members of the award-winning Washington and Lee University Repertory Dance Company will travel to New York City the last weekend in Jan. to present an evening of multifaceted modern dance works performed and created by nationally renowned choreographers as well as students and alumni of Washington and Lee.
“The experience offers the students an experiential educational opportunity that broadens the scope of their lenses, encourages them to explore the art form from a new perspective, and offers them greater responsibility as artists, “said Jenefer Davies, associate professor of dance at W&L. “This exposure to new ideas and influences will increase their cultural awareness and influence and inspire their future work.”
The dancers will perform at the Center for Performance Research in Brooklyn and alumni from all over the United States have committed to the trip.
“The alumni have been creating new choreography and rehearsing in New York since last summer and the students and I have been creating new works since last term,” said Davies. “We will meet in NYC and rehearse and perform over one weekend. It’s really exciting and a beautiful collaboration.”
Student choreographers include Sara Dotterer ’18, Cate Peabody ’19, Julia Udicious ’19, Davis Straske ’19, Kitty Lambrechts ‘19 and Sutton Travis ’19.
Hailed as a company of outstanding artistic merit, W&L Repertory Dance Company captivates audiences with its unique blend of humor, soulful dancing and cultural relevancy. The Company is committed to the creation and performance of artistically vibrant contemporary dance works.
W&L Celebrates 45th Anniversary of Title IX
LEXINGTON, Va. – Washington and Lee University has announced that several organizations on campus will be holding activities the week of January 28 – February 3 to celebrate the 45th anniversary of Title IX.
The goals of the week are to mark and celebrate the anniversary of Title IX, but also to educate students and members of the community on the history of Title IX. The university’s goal is to begin a dialogue and empower students and community members to be vigilant in the defense and protection of these rights in the future.
“On the heels of the 45th anniversary of Title IX being signed into federal law, I am very proud we are able to offer this upcoming celebration, especially as it pertains to the opportunity to highlight and underscore the importance and value of Title IX in our society to our students, faculty, staff, and community alike,” said W&L Director of Athletics Jan Hathorn. “It is our hope that this reflection on the extraordinary significance of Title IX will shine a light on the progress that has been made since it was enacted, and the great deal of inequities and challenges that remain. The program is top-notch and I want to thank Brooke O’Brien for her work in initiating this programming, Melina Bell for her work in coordinating various aspects of the program, and the W&L Student Contact Committee for their help in securing our keynote speaker.”
The week’s activities will kick off with a viewing of the recent movie “Battle of the Sexes” starring Emma Stone and Steve Carrell, and concludes with a discussion featuring former soccer great Mia Hamm.
“Battle of the Sexes,” a profile of the famous tennis match between Billy Jean King and Bobby Riggs, is co-sponsored by the university’s Office of Student Affairs and the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program (WGGS). The film screening will be held in the Stackhouse Theater on Sunday, Jan. 28 at 6 p.m. The Women’s Sports Foundation offers a free discussion guide regarding the film, which can be downloaded on the organization’s website.
On Tuesday, Jan. 30 at 4:30 p.m in the Hillel House on campus, WGGS will sponsor a poetry reading and subsequent discussion by Ellen Mayock and Stacey Vargas. Mayock is a professor of Romance Languages and serves as the W&L Faculty Athletics Representative. Vargas is a professor of Physics and Astronomy at neighboring VMI.
“The Title IX programming planned for the week of Jan. 28 looks outstanding, said Mayock. “The events celebrate the many advances made in educational equality since Title IX’s passage in 1972, while also serving as a reminder for a need for continued advocacy in this realm. The discussions following the Tuesday poetry reading and these events will afford a great opportunity to celebrate and to advocate.”
Later Tuesday evening, the Washington and Lee women’s basketball team will host Randolph College in the Warner Center at 7 p.m. The game will represent National Girls & Women in Sports Day, an annual celebration that observes the extraordinary achievements of women and girls in sports. All women in attendance at the game will receive free pizza and beverages, while the university recognizes the accomplishments of its women’s athletics programs and individual athletes.
A second film will be screened in Stackhouse Theater on Wednesday, Jan. 31 at 7:30 p.m. “A Sporting Chance” is a 45-minute documentary film about the groundbreaking passage of Title IX in 1972 and explores how this law has increased educational opportunities and athletic participation for American women on college campuses for the past 40 years. The film will be followed by a discussion panel consisting of Hathorn, W&L professor of philosophy and law Melina Bell, and Lauren Kozak, W&L assistant director of career development and Title IX coordinator.
“Title IX has been critical to the expansion of educational opportunities for girls and women, including their opportunities to participate in sports,” said Bell. “Since sports are fun, contribute to good health and help build important life skills, girls and women should have the same opportunities to participate that boys and men do. The goal has still not been reached and it is crucially important that we keep reminding ourselves and younger generations what Title IX is, and the reasons why we still need it.”
The final event, an evening discussion with two-time Olympic Gold Medalist and two-time World Cup Champion Mia Hamm, will take place on Thursday, Feb. 1 in Evans Dining Hall beginning at 7 p.m. The discussion is sponsored by the university’s Contact Committee, whose mission is to enhance the education received by all students at Washington and Lee by providing opportunities for students to interact with the most prolific persons of contemporary times.
Hamm is considered one of the greatest women’s soccer players of all time and is also regarded as one of the most marketable female athletes of her generation.
“The Contact Committee is delighted and proud to be participating in the week-long celebration of the 45th Anniversary of the Title IX legislation that has moved us towards the equal treatment of women and men, not just in the world of sports, but as a society on the whole,” said Contact Committee Chair Skyler Zunk ’19. “We are pleased to be sponsoring Mia Hamm’s keynote address to the student body. As one of the foremost athletes of our day, we are anxious to hear what Mia has in store for the W&L student body.”
John Maass ’87: Enthralled with History The historian, author and museum professional swears by the value of tramping the terrain where history happened.
John R. Maass ’87 doesn’t just read about history; he walks the same ground and visits the same places as the people he writes about. You can’t get a real sense of history, he feels, unless you see and experience it.
That has especially held true for his last three books on military history — “The French & Indian War in North Carolina: The Spreading Flames of War” (2013), “The Road to Yorktown: Jefferson, Lafayette and the British Invasion of Virginia” (2015), and “George Washington’s Virginia” (2017). He just started on his latest, about the Battle of Guilford Courthouse, which took place during the Revolutionary War, in 1781.
During the writing process, he visited all the sites he mentions in the books. “I traveled every road that Lafayette and Cornwallis traveled during the Virginia Campaign, from Williamsburg to Charlottesville to the Potomac. You have to do that to get a sense of what the events were,” he says. “You have to combine the actual sites with your reading.”
He became enthralled with history at the age of 11, when his family moved from Long Island, New York, to the rural countryside of Rockbridge County. “I plopped down in the middle of Civil War country,” he says. “All I read from ages 13 to 30 was history. I never considered any other majors but history.”
History and an Army ROTC scholarship led him to W&L. “Anytime I go anywhere now and get a whiff of English boxwood, I instantly think of Washington and Lee,” he says. His professors emphasized “teaching as opposed to advancing their own credentials and publications. They were supportive of kids who were interested in history.”
Maass went on to earn an M.A. in history from the University of North Carolina-Greensboro. He was in his late 30s, however, when he decided to quit his job in insurance to pursue a Ph.D. in early American history at the Ohio State University. The decision was risky based on the employment market for his field, but it paid off when he landed a job as a historian for the U.S. Army Center of Military History, at Fort Lesley J. McNair, in Washington, D.C.
Writing has always been an important part of his work, both personally and professionally. He enjoys the craftsmanship, figuring out how to put everything together to include all the facts, but to also add personality and flair to his writing.
Looking for a new challenge after 10 years at Fort McNair, Maass recently transferred to the new National Museum of the U.S. Army, at Fort Belvoir, in northern Virginia, projected to open in the latter part of 2019.
In his new position, he’ll be working with exhibits, and writing text, exhibit panels and item descriptions as well as guides and narratives. He’ll also work with programs and education for the state-of-the-art museum.
“This has been in the works for 20 years, and now we have a lot to do in two years,” he says. “It’s the most dynamic, exciting and energizing project going on in Army history right now. It will be amazing.”
— Joan Tupponce
Job: Historian, National Museum of the U.S. Army
Major: History, with 15 credits in German
Favorite teacher: J. Holt Merchant Jr. ’61, Professor of History Emeritus
Most memorable class: Holt Merchant’s Civil War class
Home: Mount Vernon area of Fairfax, Virginia
Family: Wife, Molly, with two kids, Eileen and Charlie, in high school
Favorite historical subject: Anything to do with the American Revolution
W&L Law Review’s Annual Symposium to Explore Immigration-Related Executive Orders The 2017-2018 Lara D. Gass Symposium will feature a diverse collection of leading scholars and experts on immigration law to discuss emergent legal issues regarding the implementation of the Trump Administration’s policies.
The Washington and Lee Law Review’s annual Lara D. Gass Symposium at the Washington and Lee University School of Law will highlight contemporary issues in immigration law and policy in light of the latest series of Executive Orders issued by President Trump.
The event is scheduled for Feb. 2 in the Millhiser Moot Court Room, Sydney Lewis Hall on the campus of Washington and Lee University. The symposium proceedings are free and open to the public.
“Over the last year, we have witnessed substantial changes in our immigration policies and the exercise of the government’s immigration authority,” said David Baluarte, Associate Clinical Professor of Law and Director, Immigrant Rights Clinic at the Washington and Lee University School of Law, who helped coordinate this year’s symposium. Professor Baluarte noted that “the Executive Orders provide a great framework for examining emergent legal issues related to our shifting immigration policy, which is why I proposed this theme for the symposium.”
The Symposium will feature three panels—composed of individuals whom Baluarte referred to as “the nation’s foremost legal scholars on immigration law”—to engage and explore the plethora of legal implications raised by President Trump’s three immigration-focused Executive Orders (“EO”): “Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements” (EO 13767), “Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States” (EO 13768), and “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States” (EO 13769/13780).
Each panel will convene notable scholars who have dedicated substantial research to one or more of the aforementioned EOs in order to provoke a collaborative analysis of the challenges faced by the current administration in enforcing the policies delineated by the President. The issues to be addressed by the Symposium are particularly relevant in today’s contested political landscape, and they are set to grow in imminence as the administration’s enforcement of its immigration policies encounters resistance from a wide array of interest groups expected to file legal challenges on the local, national, and international levels.
The attendees for this year’s Symposium include:
- Sahar Aziz (Professor of Law, Rutgers Law School)
- Lenni Benson (Professor of Law, New York Law School)
- Ming Hsu Chen (Associate Professor of Law, University of Colorado Law School)
- Nora Demleitner (Roy L. Steinheimer, Jr. Professor of Law, Washington and Lee University School of Law)
- Ingrid Eagly (Professor of Law, University of California, Los Angeles School of Law)
- César Cuauhtémoc García Hernández (Associate Professor of Law, University of Denver Sturm College of Law)
- Daniel Kanstroom (Professor of Law, Boston College Law School)
- Stephen Lee (Professor of Law, University of California, Irvine School of Law)
- Peter Margulies (Professor of Law, Roger Williams University School of Law)
- David Martin (Warner-Booker Distinguished Professor of International Law Emeritus, University of Virginia School of Law)
- Huyen Pham (Professor of Law, Texas A&M University School of Law)
- Shoba Sivaprasad Wadhia (Clinical Professor of Law, Penn State Law)
The Lara D. Gass Symposium is named in honor of Lara Gass, a member of the Law Class of 2014 who passed away in an automobile accident in March of 2014. Gass served as Symposium Editor for the Washington and Lee Law Review, organizing the Law Review’s 2014 symposium focused on the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade. Lara was active within the Women Law Students Organization and also served as a Kirgis Fellow, the law school’s peer mentoring group, during the 2012–2103 academic year. In January 2014, Lara received recognition for her academic achievements, her leadership abilities, her service to the law school and university community, and her character when she was inducted into Omicron Delta Kappa, the National Leadership Honor Society.
Organized and hosted by the W&L Law Review, this event is sponsored by the Dean’s Office, Washington and Lee University School of Law; the Frances Lewis Law Center, Washington and Lee University School of Law; the Class of ’63 Scholars in Residence, Washington and Lee University; the Class of 1960 Institute for Honor, Washington and Lee University; and the Roger Mudd Center for Ethics, Washington and Lee University.
Jennifer Kirkland Named W&L’s General Counsel
“Jennifer is an expert in education law with 20 years of experience on the legal staff at W&L, which has prepared her exceptionally well to serve as the university’s general counsel.”
Washington and Lee University has named Jennifer Kirkland as general counsel. Kirkland has been serving as W&L’s acting general counsel since Aug. 30, 2017.
W&L President William C. Dudley announced Kirkland’s appointment, which is effective immediately. She succeeds Leanne Shank, who last fall was named general counsel and corporate secretary at the Law School Admissions Council in Newtown, Pennsylvania.
As the university’s chief in-house legal officer, the general counsel supervises the legal and administrative staff of the Office of General Counsel and advises the president, the Board of Trustees, and the university’s officers, administrators and authorized agents and representatives on all legal matters pertaining to their university responsibilities. The Office of General Counsel provides legal representation, preventative legal advice and review, and legal opinions in all areas of law relating to the university’s operations and its mission.
“Jennifer is an expert in education law with 20 years of experience on the legal staff at W&L, which has prepared her exceptionally well to serve as the university’s general counsel,” said Dudley. “I’m pleased and grateful that she is willing to assume this important role.”
Kirkland, who joined W&L in 1997, has practiced education law and employment law for 25 years. She has taught courses in education law for the graduate education programs of the University of Virginia and George Mason University, and has been a panelist, presenter, session coordinator and moderator for numerous programs on legal issues in education and employment sponsored by the American Council on Education (ACE), the National Association of College and University Attorneys (NACUA), United Educators, the Virginia and National Associations of College Registrars and Admissions Officers, and others.
Kirkland received her undergraduate degree in music performance from Indiana University and her law degree from the University of Virginia. She is also a professional musician, performing as a vocalist and keyboard player in a variety of settings and styles.
W&L Indoor Athletics and Recreation Center Named in Honor of Richard L. Duchossois
“W&L combines opportunities to develop the mind, body and spirit through an outstanding academic program, an athletic program focused on dedication and teamwork, and the finest honor system in the world. I am pleased to support programs that make that kind of education possible.”
Washington and Lee University will name its new indoor athletics and recreation facility for Richard L. Duchossois, of the Class of 1944, in recognition of his leadership support of the project.
The Richard L. Duchossois Athletic and Recreation Center includes a restoration of the existing Doremus Gymnasium and a rebuild of what has been known as the Warner Center. The design phase of the facility, which was approved by the W&L Board of Trustees in February 2017, is nearing completion. Pending final authorization by the Board of Trustees in February 2018 and the completion of fundraising by June 30, 2018, construction, by the firm of Whiting-Turner, will begin in the summer of 2018. The facility is expected to be completed by the summer of 2020.
W&L President Will Dudley, who made the announcement, said that the name was a fitting tribute to a man who has been steadfast in his support of Washington and Lee’s athletics programs, including leadership gifts to the Duchossois Tennis Center, completed in 1997, and the Wilson Field renovation, completed in 2008.
“Dick Duchossois’ support for W&L athletics has enabled us to provide top-notch facilities for our students,” said Dudley. “But more importantly, Dick sets a personal standard to which we should all aspire. His leadership, humility, generosity and dedication to the service of others are an inspiration to all those who know him. We are indebted to him for his ongoing commitment to W&L.”
Duchossois, founder of Duchossois Industries, Inc. and chairman of Arlington Park Race Course, noted the importance of athletics in developing leadership and teamwork among W&L’s students and graduates.
“A W&L education provides all of the ingredients that produce leaders,” said Duchossois. “W&L combines opportunities to develop the mind, body and spirit through an outstanding academic program, an athletic program focused on dedication and teamwork, and the finest honor system in the world. I am pleased to support programs that make that kind of education possible.”
The restoration of Doremus will occur during the summer and will be scheduled around the university’s academic calendar to allow for use of the fitness center, and Doremus gymnasium will remain available for use by the varsity wrestling program. The former Warner Center will be demolished to its foundation, and the new facility built on the current site.
The entire project will encompass 165,489 square feet and will capture over 10,700 square feet of assignable space for new athletic and recreation programs. The addition of a new natatorium across campus next to third-year housing has allowed for additional space within the facility that will increase from two gyms to three gyms, including a new gym devoted solely to intramural and recreational use.
The project will also increase the square footage for the fitness center by 32 percent and will relocate and expand the wrestling room by over 84 percent. It will also allow the racquetball and squash courts to become regulation size, while doubling the scope of the athletic training facilities.
Other key features of the facility will include greater handicap accessibility, a showcase for the Athletic Hall of Fame, an increase in locker room amenities and features, expanded golf practice facilities, expanded multi-purpose facilities for group exercise, and improved offices for coaches and athletics staff.
While the rebuild and restoration takes place, the offices for the W&L Department of Athletics will be housed in Baker Hall, with indoor athletic teams (basketball, volleyball, wrestling) competing on a temporary court that will occupy two of the four courts at the Duchossois Tennis Center. The Pavilion will also support a wide range of additional athletics, physical education, clubs, and recreational activities.
In addition to his support for W&L, Duchossois is known for his many other philanthropic interests, including the Beverly T. Duchossois Cancer Laboratory at the University of Chicago Hospital, named for his late first wife, and the National WWII Museum in New Orleans.
After Duchossois entered the service as a second lieutenant in the Army Reserve in 1942, he was assigned to a new unit, Tank Destroyers, where he served as a captain and a company commander for all five European campaigns. He was seriously wounded at the bridgehead on the Moselle River, but recovered enough to return to his outfit and command them during the Battle of the Bulge. He received other citations for his actions in addition to the Purple Heart. After the war, he left the service as a major in the infantry reserve.
In 2014, on the 70th anniversary of D-Day, Duchossois was inducted into the French Legion of Honor, and he received other combat decorations. His other honors include the American Jockey Club Medal, three Eclipse Awards, and induction into the Chicago Sports Hall of Fame. He and his wife, Judi, received the Sword of Loyola award from Loyola University Chicago for their exceptional dedication to philanthropy and humanitarian service.
Duchossois was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from W&L in 1991. In 2015, he became the fifth recipient of the university’s prestigious Washington Award, which the W&L trustees established in 2001 to recognize extraordinary acts of philanthropy in support of W&L and other institutions, and distinguished leadership and service to the nation.
Duchossois’ daughter, Kimberly T. Duchossois, is a trustee emeritus of W&L, and her son, Tyler R. Lenczuk, is a member of the Class of 2008.
W&L Presents Faculty Recital: Shawn Earle’s “The Cross-Cultural Clarinet”
W&L department of music presents Shawn Earle’s faculty recital concert, “The Cross-Cultural Clarinet” on Feb. 11 at 3 p.m. in Wilson Concert Hall in the Lenfest Center for Performing Arts. Tickets are not required.
While the clarinet is best known for playing Western classical music, it also is versatile in its ability to replicate different tonalities and timbres. “The Cross-Cultural Clarinet” is a concert of contemporary works for the solo clarinet that explores the versatility of the clarinet through works imitating music from various cultures including the Japanese Shakuhachi flute, South Asian Indian Raga, East African guitar the Nyatiti, Balinese music and Hindewhu—a Pygmy whistle song.
In addition to teaching at W&L, Earle is an assistant professor of clarinet at the University of Virginia and is principal clarinetist of the Charlottesville Symphony. He also performs regularly as a soloist and chamber musician.
Earle’s current research examines the intersection of extended techniques of the clarinet and how they can be employed to imitate the music on non-Western cultures and the cross-culture learning that takes places in creating a respectful interpretation.
W&L Professors to Read from New Works of Poetry
Washington and Lee University will host a reading by professors Roberta Senechal De La Roche, professor of history, and Lesley Wheeler, The Henry S. Fox Professor of English, on Jan. 24 at 4:30 p.m. in Northern Auditorium.
Both poets will read from their most recent works. Wheeler will read from her poetry chapbook, “Propagation,” while Senechal De La Roche will read from her poetry collection “Blind Flowers.” The event is free and open to the public.
“Propagation” is a fairy tale set during the thirty days of April, which is also one morning’s walk in the woods. The main character is a woman in crisis who, among other things, may be accidentally pregnant.
“I based the landscape, especially the early spring wildflowers, on the cross-country trails on W&L’s back campus,” said Wheeler. “The replica of Thoreau’s cabin is in there, too.”
Influenced by Senechal De La Roche’s Native American background, the poems in “Blind Flowers” express a rage against transience, a sense of alienation from nature and a search for the lost supernatural in a secular age.
Following the readings, there will be books for sale plus refreshments courtesy of the Glasgow Endowment.
W&L Law Students Work to Free Ethiopian Political Prisoner
In early January, the Prime Minister of Ethiopia announced that political prisoners would be freed and a notorious detention center would be closed in an attempt to end protests and violence that have engulfed the country since 2015.
Washington and Lee law students taking part in the school’s Criminal Tribunal practicum hope that their client, Bekele Gerba, will be among those eventually set free.
Gerba is one of Ethiopia’s most prominent opposition leaders and former head of the Oromo Federalist Congress Party. The Oromo are Ethiopia’s largest ethnic group, and human rights groups have condemned the Ethiopian government for persecuting the Oromo for many years.
As part of the Transnational Criminal Tribunal class, six students were assigned to assist with the filing of a complaint before the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights in the case of Bekele Gerba Et Al Vs. The Republic Of Ethiopia. According to Dr. Henok Gabisa, a visiting academic fellow at W&L Law who co-teaches the Criminal Tribunal class, the Commission is a continent wide tribunal with a Quasi-Judicial human rights mandate located in The Gambia, West Africa.
Dr. Gabisa is an expert on the Oromo dispute in Ethiopia and commented on BBC World Service Radio about the Prime Minister’s decision.
“The decision of the PM is step forward, but it does not represent a shift in policy nor could it be seen as a new political chapter in the country,” said Gabisa. “The announcement fails to guarantee a non-repetition of future harassment or rearrests of the political prisoners. The primordial problems still remain. Repressive laws are still in place; the judiciary remains one of the major political tools of repression.”
The students working on the complaint were Austin Woodside ’18, Jacquelin Hacker ’18, Jonathan Murphy ’18, Michael Cruz ’19, Timur Dikec ’19, and Sally Harper ’19. They traced witnesses and testimonies of Ethiopian torture survivors, some of whom are now exiled in Kenya, Egypt, Germany and other countries. Among the witnesses the students traced in search of testimony was a recent survivor of Mediterranean boat tragedy who left Ethiopia after months of torture in detention.
The Transnational Criminal Tribunal Law Practicum, led by Prof. Speedy Rice, is one of the innovative practice-based classes created at W&L a decade ago under the auspices of the School’s Transnational Law Institute (TLI). The goal of such courses is to equip the students with hands on experience in international criminal law, human rights law and access to justice.
Students in the class have worked directly with U.S. military defense counsels representing alleged 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed before the U.S. Military Commission. Students have also worked for the International Criminal Court’s Office of Public Defense and Special Tribunal for Lebanon, both seated in The Hague.
Hot Soup for a Cool Cause Through her catering business, Jenny Elmes '91 has supported the Souper Bowl fundraiser for Campus Kitchen at W&L since 2013. This year's event is Jan. 28 in Evans Dining Hall.
Almost every year since the Souper Bowl’s inception in 2013, W&L alumna Jenny Elmes ’91 has made a big pot of soup for the Campus Kitchen at W&L’s annual fundraiser to help end childhood hunger. The owner of full circle catering in Lexington, Elmes finds supporting the Souper Bowl aligns nicely with her business’ mission to provide “fine food for all folks” and to support the local food movement.
“It is of dire importance that business leaders are also community leaders—helping not only to shine a light on areas of our community that need help, but to also work towards change,” said Elmes. “That we have food deserts in our community and also children going to school hungry is heartbreaking. We want to be a part of changing this so everyone who lives in Rockbridge County has a full belly of nutritional, delicious food.”
Elmes is proud that the amount of community involvement and social awareness by both students and the university has grown since she was a student. She has enjoyed her affiliation with CKWL as an alumna and is impressed by the students who have committed themselves not only to helping end hunger in Rockbridge County, but also to educating fellow students on how they can help the community they call home for four years.
Those who attend the Souper Bowl on the 28th can sample full circle’s Brunswick stew. Elmes says it’s a client favorite that allows her to use local and sustainable products to showcase full circle’s unique, Southern-infused style of both cooking and catering.
Elmes will be joined in providing soups and desserts by Beta Theta Pi fraternity, Blue Phoenix Cafe, Blue Sky Bakery, Bistro on Main, CHEFS Catering, Haywood’s, Kind Roots Café, Mountain Mama Catering, Napa Thai, Pronto Caffe & Gelateria, Pure Eats, The Red Hen, Rocca Ristorante, Sheridan Livery Inn Restaurant, Southern Inn Restaurant, Sweet Treats Bakery, TAPS, W&L Dining Services, and new participants Cattlemen’s Market and LexMex Tacos.
Thanks to the sponsorship of financial advisory firm CAPTRUST, which has a Lexington office, all proceeds from the 6th Annual Souper Bowl will directly support CKWL’s backpack program, which provides more than 700 area children with a bag of non-perishable food items to take home with them for the weekend. The Souper Bowl will be held from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. on Jan. 28 in Evans Dining Hall. Tickets are available at the door and are $10 per person for students and children, and $15 per person for adults.
— Wendy Lovell
Lee Chapel Auditorium to Close Temporarily for Technology Upgrades Those who wish to visit the Lee Chapel Museum between Jan. 22 and Feb. 9 may enter through the main museum entrance on the side of the chapel.
The Lee Chapel auditorium will be closed to the public from Monday, Jan. 22 through Friday, Feb. 9 for the installation of new technology that will better equip the space for lectures and other events. The Lee Chapel Museum will remain open during this period.
Lucy Wilkins, director of University Collections and Lee Chapel and Museum, said the auditorium is getting a new projection system with a retractable screen that will descend from behind the arch on the stage. It will not impact the statue of the recumbent Lee. The projector will be installed in the balcony, but will not impede views from balcony seats or of the balcony itself from the space below.
The new projection system will allow lecturers to incorporate video and images, including PowerPoint presentations, into their talks. It will also allow them to control those visuals from the stage. Previously, the university has had to rent equipment for many events in Lee Chapel, so these upgrades will save money over the long run, Wilkins said.
The auditorium will also get a brand new audio system complete with multiple microphone hook-ups. This will be especially helpful to university videographers as they Livestream events that feature more than one speaker.
The upcoming work has been approved by the university architect and the Historic Preservation and Archaeological Conservation Advisory Committee, Wilkins said.
Those who wish to visit the Lee Chapel Museum between Jan. 22 and Feb. 9 may enter through the main museum entrance on the side of the chapel.
W&L Continues Questioning Intimacy Series with Privacy Lecture by Anita Allen Allen’s speech is titled: “Why Hide Anything?” She is the fifth speaker in the year-long Questioning Intimacy series.
“We are thrilled to host a giant of the study of the inner life. From privacy to intimacy to the impact of legal rules on women, Anita Allen stands at the forefront of our oldest traditions and newest technologies.”
Washington and Lee University will host Anita Allen, Henry R. Silverman Professor of Law and professor of philosophy at the University of Pennsylvania Law School. Allen’s talk is Feb. 1, at 4:30 p.m. in Stackhouse Theatre, Elrod Commons. It is free and open to the public.
Allen’s speech is titled: “Why Hide Anything?” She is the fifth speaker in the year-long Questioning Intimacy series.
“We are thrilled to host a giant of the study of the inner life,” said Brian Murchison, professor of Law. “From privacy to intimacy to the impact of legal rules on women, Anita Allen stands at the forefront of our oldest traditions and newest technologies.”
Allen has written widely on privacy, ethics, race and gender. She is author of multiple books, including a textbook, “Privacy Law and Society,” and her latest book “Unpopular Privacy.”
“Professor Allen is one of the country’s foremost legal philosophers, and her work in the field of privacy is original and provocative,” said Joshua Fairfield, William Donald Bain Family Professor of Law.
Allen earned her Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Michigan and her J.D. from Harvard. She is a senior fellow in bioethics at Penn’s Medical School and a member of the American Law Institute.
The Questioning Intimacy series is organized around a series of six visiting speakers chosen for the discipline they represent, as well as for the perspective they bring to our study of intimacy. Each of the speakers is a leader in his or her field and one whose popularity extends beyond the narrow confine of their discipline.
The Questioning Intimacy series is made possible with support from the Office of the Provost, Office of the Dean of the Law School, Office of the Dean of the College, Office of the Dean of the Williams School, the Institute for Honor and the Howerton Fund of the Department of Religion.
UCLA Law Professor Devon Carbado Continues W&L’s Equality and Difference Series The title of his talk is “Equality and the Fourth Amendment.”
“An expert in the areas of employment discrimination, criminal procedure and constitutional law, Carbado’s talk will address how the Supreme Court’s construction of race in fourth amendment cases legitimizes and reproduces racial inequality in the context of policing.”
Devon Carbado, associate vice chancellor of BruinX for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion and the Honorable Harry Pregerson professor of law at UCLA School of Law is the seventh speaker in the 2017–18 Equality and Difference series, sponsored by the Roger Mudd Center for Ethics at Washington and Lee University. This event will be on Jan. 25 at 5 p.m. in the Stackhouse Theater, Elrod Commons.
The title of his talk is “Equality and the Fourth Amendment.” It is free and open to the public.
“Devon Carbado has been at the forefront of efforts to promote equity, diversity and inclusion at UCLA in his role as associate vice chancellor of BruinX,” said Angela Smith, director of the Mudd Center. “An expert in the areas of employment discrimination, criminal procedure and constitutional law, Carbado’s talk will address how the Supreme Court’s construction of race in fourth amendment cases legitimizes and reproduces racial inequality in the context of policing.”
Carbado teaches courses in Constitutional Criminal Procedure, Constitutional Law, Critical Race Theory and Criminal Adjudication. He has won numerous teaching awards, including being elected Professor of the Year by the UCLA School of Law classes of 2000 and 2006 and received the Law School’s Rutter Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2003 and the University’s Distinguished Teaching Award. In 2005, Professor Carbado was named an inaugural recipient of the Fletcher Foundation Fellowship. Modeled on the Guggenheim fellowships, it is awarded to scholars whose work furthers the goals of Brown v. Board of Education.
Carbado writes in the areas of employment discrimination, criminal procedure, constitutional law and identity. He is the author of “Acting White? Rethinking Race in ‘Post-Racial’ America” (Oxford University Press) and the editor of several volumes, including “Race Law Stories” (Foundation Press) and “Time on Two Crosses: The Collective Writings of Bayard Rustin” (Cleis Press).
A 1994 graduate of Harvard Law School, as a student Carbado was editor-in-chief of the Harvard Black Letter Law Journal, a member of the Board of Student Advisors and winner of the Northeast Frederick Douglass Moot Court Competition. Carbado joined the UCLA School of Law faculty in 1997. and is currently working on a series of articles on race, law and police violence.
The Mudd Center was established in 2010 through a gift to the university from award-winning journalist Roger Mudd, a 1950 graduate of W&L. When he made his gift, Mudd said that “given the state of ethics in our current culture, this seems a fitting time to endow a center for the study of ethics, and my university is the fitting home.”
For full details on this series, visit https://www.wlu.edu/mudd-center.
‘My Journey Began with Ants’ Uma Sarwadnya '19 knew she wanted to be a doctor her whole life. What she didn't know was how many unique opportunities she would find at W&L to support her journey — including a project with ants.
“Through research, academics and extracurricular opportunities, W&L has unlocked a new realm of possibilities for me, merging my interests in medicine and public health.”
Hometown: Millburn, New Jersey
I’ve wanted to be a doctor my whole life. For me, research was also an integral part of my scientific career. During my first tour of W&L, I learned that I could be involved in research as early as my freshman year. This opportunity, paired with the friendly atmosphere of the school and the close-knit community of faculty and students, drew me to W&L. I knew immediately that W&L was the school for me. What I didn’t know was that my journey would begin with ants.
My freshman year, I conducted an independent research project under the supervision of Dr. William Schreiber, a faculty member in the Psychology Department who studies animal behavior. I was interested in the decision-making process of ants. There are many features which affected an ant’s tendency to either approach or avoid other insects, such as caste (what the ant’s job is within the colony) and the size of the insect that confronts them.
We planned, developed and ran an experiment using crickets (ordered right off of Amazon.com) to see how the circumstances of the confrontation affected the behavior of our little test subjects. Sometimes, the animals showed aggression, and I witnessed a massive showdown involving an ant and a cricket twice its size. In other cases, they showed avoidance behavior, retreating as far as possible away from the cricket (the way most people might react to a large bucket of live crickets from Amazon.com). In addition to learning about research design and methods, this experience taught me many other things about being a research scientist, such as how to pay meticulous attention to detail when evaluating data.
I then met Dr. Sarah Blythe, a professor of biology who investigates the cognitive and metabolic effects of obesity in rats. I became interested in her research so I joined her lab as an HHMI fellow. I learned how to do rat care, laboratory techniques (such as staining and imaging), and behavioral tasks that tested memory and learning. I have been working in the Blythe lab since my freshman year, researching during the academic year as well as during the past two summers.
One of my favorite research memories involved an obscure protocol that called for fresh eggs hot off the press (or in this case, the hen). My lab mate and I ventured to the Lexington Farmer’s market, and approached every stand that was selling eggs. After this long morning of networking and strange stares from the farmers, we headed back to the science building only to meet a local W&L student who owned a farm and ultimately became our supplier. My days in the Blythe lab were filled with questions about how to implement what we read in the literature using our own specific experimental designs. These projects enhanced my ability to troubleshoot and think creatively about research solutions. I have had multiple opportunities to present my research, such as presenting a poster at the Central Virginia Chapter of the Society for Neuroscience symposium, W&L’s Society for Science and the Arts’ biannual conference, as well as the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience.
These experiences have allowed me to truly appreciate the importance of research and gain a deeper understanding of how health affects cognitive and behavioral processes, confirming my aspirations to pursue a medical career. This was supported by other opportunities I have been afforded through W&L, such as the Richmond Term, which allowed me to shadow physicians from different specialties and closely observe the diagnostic process. My research has been enhanced by the classes I have taken in pursuit of my neuroscience major. For example, Medical Anthropology, taught by Professor Harvey Markowitz, furthered my understanding of how medicine is affected by culture and way of life. In this class, we learned how communities’ beliefs affected healthcare and how to preserve and respect these traditions. Extracurricular activities, such as being a part of Red Cross Club and coordinating blood drives or being able to talk to patients as a volunteer at the medical/surgical floor of Stonewall Jackson Hospital, have validated my plans to pursue a career in medicine.
However, my research added a new facet to my health interests that I hadn’t considered before, specifically in the domain of public health. How do scientific discoveries inform policies that help people? How can we ensure the health of an entire community, especially for those who cannot afford healthcare? Through research, academics and extracurricular opportunities, W&L has unlocked a new realm of possibilities for me, merging my interests in medicine and public health. I plan to explore this more following graduation. It has helped me understand how neuroscience is connected to behavioral and cellular/molecular research, and to envision how that might contribute to a better way of implementing policies in public health.
A little more about Uma
– President of SAIL
– University Wind Ensemble
– Diversity trainer
– Pre-Orientation leader
– International Orientation leader
– Student representative for International Education Committee
I met Kim Hodge when I attended Sustainability & Leadership Pre-Orientation my freshman year. She immediately created a sense of home for all of her students, making sure that everyone felt supported. Even two years after the trip, she is one of the first people I turn to when I need advice. She is one of the kindest people I have ever met.
“One Hundred Years of Solitude” by Gabriel García Márquez
President Dudley on Taxing George Washington’s Legacy W&L President William C. Dudley writes about the endowment tax in an opinion piece in The Washington Post.
In an opinion piece published on Jan. 17 in The Washington Post, Washington and Lee University President William C. Dudley writes about the impact of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, signed into law on Dec. 22, which imposes a 1.4 percent tax on the endowment earnings of about 30 private colleges and universities, including Washington and Lee.
The essay begins: “In 1796, George Washington made a gift valued at $20,000 to a struggling classical school called Liberty Hall Academy. The donation, which formed the largest component of Liberty Hall’s meager endowment, not only permitted the school to keep its doors open but also promised a permanent revenue stream that would benefit generations of students.”
Adds President Dudley: “The alumni and friends of Washington and Lee have been extraordinarily generous in their support of the university because they, like George Washington, want to benefit society by making enduring contributions to educational excellence. Taxing our endowment erodes the power of those contributions, which hurts students and families.”
Video: MLK Basketball Tournament Washington and Lee students took to the court on Jan. 14 to raise money for a local nonprofit and celebrate the life of Martin Luther King Jr.
On Jan. 14, the Student Association for Black Unity (SABU) at Washington and Lee hosted a basketball tournament to raise money for Saturday’s Child, a youth education and enrichment program based in Buena Vista.
The tournament was one of many events planned to celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Events continue through Sunday, Jan. 21. For the complete schedule, click here.
ODK Initiates Four Honorary and 35 Student Members During 2018 Founders Day/ODK Convocation
Alpha Circle of Omicron Delta Kappa, the national leadership honor society, will welcome four honorary and 35 student initiates at Washington and Lee University’s annual Founders Day/ODK Convocation on Jan. 18 at 5 p.m. in Lee Chapel.
The convocation is free and open to the public. The program and ceremony will be broadcast live online.
Charles Dew will speak on “The Making, and Unmaking, of a Racist.” Dew is the Ephraim Williams Professor of American History at Williams College, where he has taught since 1977. He is a nationally recognized scholar of the American South, the Civil War, American slavery and the Reconstruction period. In 2016, Dew published “The Making of a Racist: A Southerner Reflects on Family, History, and the Slave Trade.”
ODK honorary initiates are the Rev. Dr. John M. Cleghorn, pastor of the Caldwell Presbyterian Church, in Charlotte, North Carolina; Marcia France, the John T. Herwick, M.D. Professor of Chemistry and associate provost at W&L; Joan Manley, advocate for the safety, opportunity and access of the Lexington and Rockbridge County community; and Colonel James T. (Ty) Seidule, professor of history and chair of the history department at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.
Cleghorn is a member of W&L’s Class of 1984. Since 2008 he has served as pastor of the Caldwell Presbyterian Church in Charlotte — a church that has embraced its call to be a diverse, progressive and mission-oriented congregation centered on justice and advocacy. Before entering the ministry, Cleghorn retired early from the Bank of America as a senior vice president after 18 years in various public relations and public policy roles. Prior to that, he was a reporter for the Charlotte Observer for six years.
Cleghorn has served Washington and Lee in several key roles, including as chair of the 2003–2004 Board of Trustees Ad Hoc Committee on External Relations, vice chair of Young Alumni for the Annual Fund, class agent, member of the Alumni Board of Directors, and a member of the Charlotte Area Campaign Committee during the On the Shoulders of Giants and For the Rising Generation capital campaigns. He was also W&L’s baccalaureate speaker in 2014 with an address entitled “Community and the Common Good.” Cleghorn received the Distinguished Young Alumnus Award in 1994. He and his wife, Kelly, have two daughters, Ellison and Sophie.
France is the John T. Herwick, M.D. Professor of Chemistry and associate provost at Washington and Lee. She previously served five years as associate dean of the College. She earned her S.B. in chemistry at MIT, where she did undergraduate research under K. Barry Sharpless, the 2001 Nobel Laureate in chemistry, and her M.S. in chemistry from Yale. She was a National Science Foundation Pre-Doctoral Fellow at California Institute of Technology, where she earned her Ph.D. in organic chemistry. Her work on the development of ruthenium catalysts for olefin metathesis was cited in the 2005 Nobel Prize address by her research mentor, Robert H. Grubbs.
France has served as a visiting research scientist at Dupont, Stanford University, the University of St. Andrews, Scotland, and the Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique/AgroParisTech in Paris. She is co-author of 20 research publications, holds 13 patents, and has mentored over 50 research students. At W&L, France has taught introductory and advanced organic chemistry as well as a Spring Term abroad course, the Science of Cooking, in Italy. An advocate for international education, France helped co-found the W&L-St. Andrews study abroad program. She oversees the academic advising program, runs the Student Research Scholars program, and serves as co-chair of the University Committee on Inclusiveness and Campus Climate. She has previously served as chair of the Graduate Fellowships Committee, the Committee on Automatic Rule and Reinstatement, the STEM Pedagogy Working Group, and the Hillel Advisory Board, and she served on the Phi Beta Kappa executive board for 13 years. She plays flute and piccolo with the Rockbridge Symphony Orchestra, the W&L University Wind Ensemble, and the Lexington Flute Ensemble.
Manley is an active and effective advocate for the safety, opportunity and access of our entire community. Even before the Americans with Disabilities Act became law, Manley was responsible for Lexington’s efforts to fund and create curb cuts to assist in making the downtown more accessible to those with mobility limitations. In the mid-1990s, she envisioned and founded the Rockbridge Area Transportation System, which enables hundreds of residents in the community to get to medical services and many other destinations safely, conveniently and as affordably as possible. She serves as a member of the Rockbridge Disabilities Board, on the steering committee of the Rockbridge Area Mobilizing for Action through Planning and Partnerships, as chair of the Rockbridge Area Conservation Council Transportation Committee, and on the Rockbridge Advocates for Community Involvement.
In 2004, Manley was appointed chair of the Olmstead Oversight Advisory Commission that gave the disabled population the opportunity to live at home rather than confined to institutions. In 2003, she was honored by the local Chamber of Commerce as the People’s Choice Citizen of the Year. In 2009, she was named Ms. Wheelchair Virginia, with her motto “Making Choices and Having Choices to Make.” Both the Virginia Senate (in 2008) and the Virginia House of Delegates (in 2010) have recognized Manley’s contributions and accomplishments with resolutions.
Seidule, a member of Washington and Lee’s Class of 1984, holds a master’s degree and a Ph.D. from Ohio State University. Seidule has commanded cavalry and armored units in the United States, Germany, Italy, the Balkans, Saudi Arabia and Iraq. He is professor of history and chair of the history department at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. Among his many accomplishments as a scholar are “The West Point History of Warfare” (a 70-chapter digital text), “The West Point History of the Civil War,” “The West Point History of World War II,” “The West Point Guide to the Civil Rights Movement,” and “The West Point Guide to Gender and Warfare.”
Seidule has written on institutional history, including Civil War memory and African-American history. He is a youth basketball coach and serves on the vestry of Holy Innocents Episcopal Church and the board of trustees of the Putnam County Historical Society.
Undergraduate Class of 2018:
Brett Thomas Becker (Camp Hill, Pennsylvania) is majoring in biochemistry. Becker, a Johnson Scholar, is the founder and president of the W&L Pre-Dental Club and the co-president of the W&L University Ambassadors. He is active in peer counseling, has held numerous fraternity leadership positions, serves as a lector at Saint Patrick’s Catholic Church, and is a fourth-degree Knight of Columbus. He is actively involved in community service in Lexington and Rockbridge County. Becker’s involvement extends to four honor societies at W&L, including Alpha Epsilon Delta Health Pre-professional Honor Society, of which he is president. He will attend dental school beginning in fall 2018.
Ryan Jefferson Brink (Milwaukee, Wisconsin) is majoring in engineering and studio art. Ryan, a Bonner Scholar at W&L, has been a member of the Campus Kitchen Leadership Team since Winter Term of his first year, an organization of which he is now the president. Ryan is a four-year member of the W&L Screaming Minks Rugby Club, and served as captain during the 2017 season. The team has been ranked in the top 10 of the National Small College Rugby Organization each of those years. Ryan has been a Volunteer Venture trip leader since his sophomore year, a peer tutor, and a teaching assistant in the Physics-Engineering Department.
Thomas Sullivan Caldwell (Greenville, South Carolina) is a pre-med student majoring in neuroscience. During his time at W&L, Thomas has been named a first team All-ODAC selection twice as a member of the men’s swim team, while also winning two individual conference titles and receiving the ODAC Sportsmanship Award. In addition, Thomas was selected for the Generals Leadership Academy and is a three-time 4.0 scholar-athlete. As part of Professor Sarah Blythe’s research lab, he headed up an analysis of changes in rat behavior as a result of consuming a diet high in fat and sugar. Starting his sophomore year, Thomas served as a small group leader for InterVarsity Christian Fellowship and now acts as the small group co-coordinator on the chapter’s executive team.
Michael Ian Colavita (Roseland, New Jersey) is pursuing a dual degree in neuroscience and music. Michael is the assistant head resident adviser in charge of Graham-Lees Hall, and is involved on campus as a university ambassador, a Bible study leader, and a peer tutor in calculus, music, physics and chemistry. Michael is the assistant conductor and tenor section leader of the University Singers and has conducted multiple campus ensembles in performance, such as the University Wind Ensemble’s premiere of his own composition, “Sands of Fire.” He has served as the music director for the student musical production “Joan!”, and is the drummer for the student band Hella Fitzgerald. Michael is also active in the greater Rockbridge community as a marching band instructor, a choral scholar at Trinity United Methodist Church, and a private drum instructor.
Audrey Taft Dangler (Easley, South Carolina) is majoring in studio art and psychology. As one of the small-group coordinators for InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, she guides the small-group leaders and serves on the executive team. Along with assisting with the children’s program at Rockbridge Church, Dangler has been on the Residential Life staff for three years, continuing her second year as the community assistant in the Arts, Recreation and Culture House. Her installations “HERstory in Motion” and “Eliminating Static” have been displayed in the Lykes Atrium in the Lenfest Center for the Arts for the “Drawing Italy” show and the “Junior Thesis” show, respectively. A Johnson Scholar and member of Psi Chi Honor Society, she has conducted research in the Psychology Department and will present research findings at the Society for Personality and Social Psychology conference this year.
Sara Riley Dotterer (Richmond, Virginia) is an anthropology and studio art major. As a sophomore, she began her leadership in the arts by teaching dance and mentoring students at Maury River Middle School. Sophomore year also marked her first piece of student-led choreography in the W&L Repertory Dance Company, which she began performing with her first year. As a junior and senior, Sara served as the co-president of the W&L Repertory Dance Company, and developed her roles as choreographer, dancer and leader of the organization. During Sara’s junior year, she revitalized the W&L Student Arts League and coined the term “art for all,” making it her goal to unify and promote the many artists of all disciplines on our campus. As Arts League president, Sara has brought student art to The Village, developed a mural on the Colonnade’s construction wall, created a graffiti tunnel in Wilson Hall, and championed other initiatives that have helped spotlight W&L’s many creative students.
Hannah Lynne Falchuk (Hockessin, Delaware) is a politics major and poverty and human capability studies minor. During her sophomore year, she created an annual student-run event to thank all employees of Dining Services with personalized cards and baked goods. She regularly visits the residents of The Manor at Natural Bridge with the Campus Kitchen program and has led French instruction for nearly all grade levels at Central Elementary School. Falchuk is a community assistant, a member of the Compost Crew, and a Writing Center tutor. She has written for inGeneral and the Ring-tum Phi and has been published in the Washington and Lee Political Review. She is the 2017 recipient of the Richard Miller Physical Education Award.
Andrew Caleb Gavlin (Ellicott City, Maryland) is majoring in accounting and business administration and political philosophy. He sits on various student government committees including the Student Financial Aid Committee, the University Board of Appeals, and the Student Advisory Group to the Harassment and Sexual Misconduct Board. Additionally, Andrew is an Appalachian Adventure pre-orientation trip leader, coaches a local youth basketball team, and served as a group head in the Williams Investment Society.
Benjamin Christopher Gee (Suffield, Connecticut) is majoring in English, history and medieval and Renaissance studies. As a founder of the Shakespeare Society and co-founder of the Ultimate Frisbee Club, Ben has worked to provide new avenues for student engagement at W&L. He works at the University Writing Center, and has served on the boards of the Parliamentary Debate Team, Ethics Club, and Catholic Campus Ministry. Gee has produced and hosted the WLUR political talk show “Common Sense Voices” for three years, and for two years was editor in chief of the Spectator. In his free moments, Ben enjoys singing as a tenor in the University Singers, and running ultra-marathon races around southwest Virginia. He has served W&L’s Intervarsity Christian Fellowship as a small-group leader each of his four years, and regularly serves as a lector at St. Patrick’s Church in Lexington.
Mary-Frances Elizabeth Hall (State Road, North Carolina) is majoring in neuroscience. As a member of the women’s golf team, she was honored in 2015 as the ODAC Rookie of the Year, ODAC Player of the Year, VaSID Rookie of the Year, and Washington and Lee’s First-Year Outstanding Female Athlete. She is an NCAA Second Team All-American and has had four individual wins to date, including an ODAC championship title in 2016 and a win in 2017 at the Golfweek Women’s Division III Fall Invitational. She is co-captain of the team and ranked fourth nationally among NCAA Women’s Division III players. On campus, Hall is a tour guide who sits on the Leadership Advisory Committee for the W&L Student Ambassadors. She works in the Cognition in Context lab under Professor Wythe Whiting and Professor Karla Murdock and enjoys the opportunity to serve others through volunteering with YMCA Happy Hearts Afterschool program and serving as Chi Omega’s philanthropy chair for 2017.
Tessa Marie Horan (Bluffton, Indiana) is an environmental studies major and pre-med student. She founded and leads the Lexington chapter of Citizens’ Climate Lobby, and she serves as the president of the W&L Student Environmental Action League. This is her second year as a small-group co-leader with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, and her third year as a volunteer at the Rockbridge Area Health Center. She also plays French horn and serves as section leader in the University Wind Ensemble.
Truth Osaivbie Iyiewuare (Houston, Texas) is a computer science major. He has been a leader in the Student Association for Black Unity, as vice president and now as president. He has also displayed leadership in his major, having worked as a lab assistant for students in the introductory computer science class, and as a peer tutor for other students in need of any computer science help. Truth is also a member of Kathekon, which serves alumni visiting campus and increases student-alumni relations. Lastly, he is a student representative of the Diversity and First-Gen Working Group at W&L, an administrative committee that strives to create a better experience for diverse groups on campus.
Matthew Joseph Lubas (Basking Ridge, New Jersey) is majoring in engineering and minoring in poverty and human capability studies. As president of the Engineering Community Development club, Lubas has led student medical-device design contests, international water filtration and STEM education projects in Belize and Mexico, and community-based projects with local non-profits. Lubas has taught English as a second language for four years with ESOL (English Speakers of Other Languages), and designed and led a sustainability leadership pre-orientation trip to Fries, Virginia. As the IQ Center supervisor, Lubas helps incorporate technology and education. He is the treasurer for the Ultimate Frisbee Club and climbs with the Crux Climbing Club.
Alicia Martinez (Seaford, Delaware) is majoring in computer science. As the head community assistant and the president of the Campus Unity Initiative, she strives to create a fun and inclusive atmosphere on campus. Martinez is an active peer tutor, has served as president of the German Club, and was selected to attend the 2018 Women’s Leadership Summit. She is a recipient of the QuestBridge Match Scholarship as well as several departmental awards, including the Jim Stump Prize in German and the John Preston Moore III Award.
Faith Elizabeth Pinho (Everett, Massachusetts) studies journalism and politics. A recipient of the Joseph Franklin Ellis Newspaper Scholarship and the program chair of the Society of Professional Journalists W&L chapter, Pinho has reported for the Rockbridge Report and the Ring-tum Phi. She serves as the head intern of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, plays saxophone and sings with the University Jazz Ensemble, and leads a women’s small group with Intervarsity Christian Fellowship. Pinho is also active at Lexington Presbyterian Church, where she has taught Sunday school, helped with youth group, and runs a girls’ group.
Alden Cooke Schade (East Hampton, New York) is majoring in business administration and geology. The current co-chair of Kathekon, he served on the Interfraternity Council for the past two years as treasurer and vice president. He was also an active member of the Williams Investment Society for the past two years. He is a W&L tour guide and a peer tutor.
Bowen Hamel Mary Spottswood (Point Clear, Alabama) is majoring in religion with a minor in poverty and human capability studies. Spottswood is key staff for the Outing Club and a peer counselor. She serves as a fellow for the Cullum Owings Memorial Fellowship. Spottswood has led Appalachian Adventure pre-orientation trips for three years and is an active member of Reformed University Fellowship. She previously served as a Young Life leader and English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) tutor.
Mary Page Welch (Charlotte, North Carolina) is majoring in business administration and minoring in art history. She is serving her second term on the Executive Committee as a senior representative. She participates in the LEAD program, previously acting as team manager. Welch tutors at the local high school as part of English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) and at W&L in math. She also volunteers on the Reformed University Fellowship leadership team and as an Appalachian Adventure pre-orientation trip leader. She belongs to the Williams Investment Society, serves as a tour guide, and is a member of Kathekon.
Undergraduate Class of 2019:
Haley Corinne Tucker (Manakin Sabot, Virginia) is a biology major and a Latin American and Caribbean studies minor. She is a member of both the field hockey and lacrosse teams and was voted junior captain of both teams. She earned IWLCA First Team All-America laurels for lacrosse in 2017, along with ODAC Rookie of the Year in 2016. In field hockey, she earned a spot on the NFHCA All-America third team and also garnered ODAC Player of the Year honors during the 2017 season. Tucker was named the W&L Outstanding First-Year Female Athlete in 2016. She participated in Generals Leadership Academy, is a member of the University Athletic Committee, 24, and belongs to the Tri-Beta Society.
Heeth Varnedoe V (Thomasville, Georgia) is an economics major and poverty studies minor. Varnedoe is serving in his third term as the Class of 2019’s representative to the Executive Committee. On the EC, he has taken part in various student government initiatives, including the adjudication of W&L’s Honor System. Varnedoe is involved in the Shepherd Poverty Program and serves as a leader for the Volunteer Venture Program. He has also served on the selection task force for the Quality Enhancement Plan and is one of three students serving on the Commission for Institutional History and Community.
Elizabeth Nyawira Mugo (Irmo, South Carolina) is majoring in sociology and anthropology with a double minor in Africana studies and poverty and human capability studies. In her time at W&L, Mugo has served as a member of the University Committee for Inclusiveness and Campus Climate and as co-president of the Student Association for Black Unity (SABU). Community engagement also has played a large role in her involvement as a trip leader in the Volunteer Venture Program and a senior intern in the Bonner Program. Over the past two years, Mugo has served over 1,500 hours through work with such organizations as College Access and the Community Anti-Racism Effort (CARE). Mugo serves as an Owings Fellow, a student representative on the Commission on Institutional History and Community, and the vice president of the Executive Committee.
Alexander Paul Dolwick (Apex, North Carolina) is majoring in psychology. A two-year letter winner both in cross country and in track and field, he has received four scholar-athlete awards and achieved Second-Team All-ODAC honors in cross country as a first-year. He has served as a leader in InterVarsity Christian Fellowship since his first year, leading a small group for a year and a half before becoming the large group coordinator this year. He also served as secretary of Washington and Lee’s chapter of Amnesty International his sophomore year.
Faith Abigayle Isbell (Dallas, Texas) is majoring in business journalism. She is the news co-editor of the Ring-tum Phi and a broadcast and web producer for the Rockbridge Report, and served on the executive committee of her sorority, Kappa Alpha Theta. Isbell is vice president of the university’s chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists and recently received the Joseph Franklin Ellis Newspaper Scholarship. She is active in Reformed University Fellowship and is a trip leader for the Appalachian Adventure pre-orientation program. Last spring, Isbell participated in the Washington Term Program, during which she interned at the Congressional Research Service.
Ethiopia Demmelash Getachew (Westwood, Massachusetts, and Addis Ababa, Ethiopia) is majoring in biology. She is the vice president of University Ambassadors and the QuestBridge chapter on campus. Getachew is also involved in Kathekon, the Peer Counselor organization and Active Minds, and volunteers at the local hospital and the fire department. This year, she served as the at-large representative on the Student Advisory Committee and is the social chair of Chi Omega sorority. She is completing a two-year research fellowship with Professor Fred LaRiviere with funding from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.
Law Class of 2018:
John Sterling Houser (Chaptico, Maryland) graduated from Washington and Lee in 2015 with a major in history and a minor in Russian area studies. As an undergraduate, he competed with W&L’s mock trial program, captaining the A team in 2014-2015. Since spring 2016, Houser has served as the Law Class of 2018 Representative on the Executive Committee. For three years, he has also been the senior work-study at the university’s Copy Services, where he has worked since his freshman year.
Thomas Edward Arthur Bishop (Richmond, Virginia) is a Burks Scholar who works as a research and writing teaching assistant to first-year law students. As a Kirgis Fellow, he provides guidance to students as they navigate the ins and outs — both academic and social — of their new lives as law students. As a Federal Young Center child advocate, he visits with and provides assistance to child detainees in the Shenandoah Valley. He is a key staff member with W&L’s Outing Club, where he leads outdoor trips. Bishop teaches Spanish at Woods Creek Montessori School. He is an accomplished classical guitarist who accompanies the St. Christopher’s School Boys’ Choir and teaches guitar to local children at Rockbridge Music. He is an ultra-distance SUP enthusiast, racing distances beyond 26.2 miles on a stand-up paddleboard, and has completed six marathons and four ultra-marathon foot races.
Craig Alan Carrillo (Bedford, Texas) is The John G. Fox Scholarship recipient and is devoted to the Washington and Lee community. As president of the Federalist Society, he leads one of the School of Law’s largest organizations and was a guest editor for the Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy. Alan helps his classmates develop oral advocacy and writing skills as co-chair of the Moot Court Executive Board’s John W. Davis Moot Court Competition and senior articles editor of the Journal of Civil Rights & Social Justice. He has also served as a board member of the Christian Legal Society and a law student representative on the University Strategic Steering Committee. Deeply committed to the Honor System, Alan represents his class on the University Board of Appeals and is a former 1L representative on the Executive Committee of the Student Body.
Erica Lise Sieg (Derwood, Maryland), a recipient of the Edwin D. Rinehart merit scholarship, is editor in chief of the Washington and Lee Journal of Civil Rights and Social Justice and serves as lead articles editor for the German Law Journal. She also is a student attorney with the Criminal Justice Clinic. She organized the Lara D. Gass WLSO Symposium as symposium chair in 2016. She graduated cum laude with a B.A. in political science and religious studies from Gettysburg College in 2013.
Jacob Evan Thayer (Houston, Texas) has continued to bring together and build the campus and local communities, an interest first acquired while an undergraduate as a member, and later president, of the George Washington University Residence Hall Association. Here, he is serving on a special subcommittee of the Executive Committee concerning community relations. He also serves on the College Republicans Board as a liaison with the Law School and as an alternate justice on the Student Judicial Council. Thayer serves his adopted local community on the Buena Vista Economic Development Authority and actively participates in the congregation at Manly Memorial Baptist Church as a youth Sunday school teacher, choir member and praise band member.
Law Class of 2019:
Zachary Tate Crawford-Pechukas (New Orleans, Louisiana) is a law ambassador, on the Executive Board of the American Constitution Society, and a class service co-chair of the Public Interest Law Student Association. Zac is also a staff writer for the Washington and Lee Law Review and a student attorney in the Virginia Capital Case Clearinghouse, the Law School’s death penalty clinic. He participates in the Law School’s moot court competitions and won the Robert J. Grey Jr. Negotiations Competition.
Carroll Bennett Neale (Baltimore, Maryland) serves as the vice president of education for the Women Law Students Organization (WLSO) and on the executive board for the American Constitution Society (ACS). Previously, she held the student development chair position for WLSO and the 1L representative position for ACS. She is a staff writer for the Washington and Lee Law Review and a research assistant for Professor Margaret Hu. She belongs to the Phi Alpha Delta legal fraternity.
Maya Harkness Ginga (Boston, Massachusetts) graduated from Elon University with a bachelor’s degree in political science in 2014. There, she received the Rudolf T. Zarzar Award for Political Theory. At W&L Law, Ginga is a staff writer for the Washington and Lee Law Review. As a Kirgis Fellow, she mentors a small group of first-year students both academically and socially. Ginga is a mentor with the Women Law Students Organization and serves as its faculty outreach chair.
Daniele Marina San Román (Long Island, New York) is studying intellectual property law. She serves as a Kirgis Fellow and as treasurer of the Sports, Entertainment, and Intellectual Property Law Society. She is a member of the Law School Task Force, as well as the Commission on Institutional History and Community. As a co-chair for the Women Law Students Organization, she helped organize the Lara D. Gass Women in the Law Symposium 2017. She is a junior editor of the German Law Journal and was a semifinalist in the Robert J. Grey Jr. Negotiations Competition. She serves as a hearing adviser and is actively involved in the Latin American Law Students Association.
Caitlin Ventry-Marie Peterson (Irvine, California) is the vice president and moot court coordinator of W&L’s Black Law Student Association, where her moot court team advanced in the MABLSA’s and NBLSA’s 2016-2017 Frederick Douglass Moot Court competition. She also serves as the project manager of W&L Law’s Pro Bono Board. This year, Caitlin serves as the delegate of diversity and inclusion for the American Bar Association Law Student Division, promoting diversity and inclusion among law students, law schools, and the legal field nationwide. As well, Caitlin is active in community service by serving as the youngest area coordinator of Binky Patrol, a national non-profit organization dedicated to serving children in need through homemade crafts to bring comfort in difficult times.
Angelique Yuriko Rogers (Smithfield, Virginia) graduated from the College of William and Mary with a double major in government and economics. She is the alumni chair for the W&L Black Law Students’ Association (BLSA). She also participates in open houses for the Law School’s admissions office. Last year, she advanced to the final round of the Mid-Atlantic Black Law Students’ Association’s Frederick Douglass Moot Court Competition. This year, she will participate in external competitions with BLSA’s moot court team and W&L School of Law’s mock trial team.
Finding Her Niche Kelly Douma ’16 is on track to complete her doctorate in early modern German history and women’s studies by 2021.
As a graduate student at Penn State, Kelly Douma ’16 is pursuing a doctorate in early modern German history and women’s studies. She found the path to her true calling through a serendipitous series of events, including a wise tip from a W&L alum, inspiration from her mentors in the German and History Departments, and a remarkably effective flier posted by the Office of Career Services.
“I came in knowing I wanted to be a history major (with an eye to attending law school). That’s unusual. Not many go in with that in mind; it’s just where they wind up,” she noted.
Her love of history was nurtured by an exceptional high school teacher and the extraordinary opportunity to collaborate on a project at the University of Richmond, where she researched the social status of African-Americans during the Civil War
“They took me on to be a grunt worker. There was lots of data analysis. I was searching for slang terms related to African-Americans in the Civil War era. I put them into a big data spreadsheet and the researchers then crunched the numbers and determined whether the terms were positive or negative. I am so glad I had that opportunity. I knew I was interested in history, and there I was sitting next to grad students from the University of Richmond,” she said.
She decided to pursue a double major in German after a conversation with an alum who expressed regret that he did not follow up on the foreign language requirement and become fluent in another language.
Duma enjoyed her German studies because the department was small, with only three faculty members. She spent countless hours there, not only in class, but also as work-study student and liaison to the German Club. Her advisor, department chair Paul Youngman, became a mentor, friend and advocate for her pursuit of an academic career.
Douma’s language and history interests merged in her junior year as she began taking classes in women and gender and sexuality studies. At the same time, she became intrigued by the research of her history advisor, assistant professor Michelle Brock.
“She works on demonology and witch hunts. Going off of that, I found my own niche — childbirth and midwifery in the 16th century. They are all connected. You can’t separate religion out in the 16th century. I started looking at issues such as abortion, infanticide and abandonment,” she said.
It was at that point that the fateful Career Services flier came into play. The message was provocative — “Don’t become a lawyer by default.”
“That sign changed my mind, and probably others too,” she said. “I walked by it 10 to 15 times a day, and it finally sunk in. I told Professor Youngman that I didn’t want to be a lawyer, and he said he knew I didn’t because he had seen my writing and my passion for research.”
She went on to write an honors thesis on female sexuality in the early modern period that won accolades. That research is now providing the foundation for her master’s thesis.
As a graduate teaching assistant at a large university, Douma has an even greater appreciation for the small classes and close relationships she formed at W&L.
“I think without W&L I wouldn’t be where I am today academically. Not many people go straight into doctoral programs. The small classes made a big difference. I remember a class with Professor T.J. Tallie in which there were only four students. It was like a graduate seminar. It taught me how to speak and think critically. You also develop close relationships with faculty members on a personal level, and you find you can hold your own with them. You go to their offices and talk out your future with them. They are so encouraging, and there is such a sense of community, even after graduation,” she said.
Douma is on track to complete her doctorate in 2021. Her ultimate goal is to find a teaching position, preferably at a small liberal arts school (W&L being her first choice, naturally) where she can give her students the kind of inspiration and encouragement that made such a difference to her. Who knows? She may even spare future historians from becoming lawyers by default.
Garth Newel Piano Quartet to Open W&L Concert Guild Season The concert will open with Louise Héritte-Viardot’s “Piano Quartet No. 1 in A Major.”
Washington and Lee University kicks off its 2018 Concert Guild season on Jan. 19 at 8 p.m. with the Garth Newel Piano Quartet in the Wilson Concert Hall.
The concert will open with Louise Héritte-Viardot’s “Piano Quartet No. 1 in A Major,” also known as “Im Sommer” (In Summer). A programmatic work, each of its four movements bears a subtitle that depicts an aspect of life on a summer day.
Mark Carlson’s “Piano Quartet” will follow. Born in 1952, Carlson is a Grammy-nominated freelance composer and adjunct professor of music theory and composition at UCLA’s Herb Alpert School of Music. Composed after the death of his closest friend in 1990, the three movements of the “Piano Quartet” portray Carlson’s emotions as he dealt with the grief of that loss.
The concert will conclude with a performance of Gabriel Fauré’s “Quartet No. 2 in G Major, Op. 45.” Words such as “passionate” and “violent” often describe Fauré’s second piano quartet, in which the composer demonstrates his prodigious talent for expansive melodies and innovative chord progressions.
Tickets are required and available through the Lenfest Center Box Office at (540)-458-8000 or online at https://www.wlu.edu/lenfest-center.
W&L Celebrates the Life of Martin Luther King Jr. Nine days of events, featuring film screenings, discussions and guest speakers, kicks off Jan. 12 and runs through Jan. 21.
Bernice King, CEO of The King Center and the daughter of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., will deliver the keynote address at W&L during a nine-day stretch of special events honoring the life and legacy of Dr. King.
The celebration kicks off Friday, Jan. 12 with a Shabbat celebration hosted by W&L Hillel in partnership with the Student Association for Black Unity (SABU) and the Multicultural Student Association (MSA).
To see the full schedule of events, please click here.
Finding Passion and Purpose in the Law An externship in DC gave Ali Hakusui '18L a chance to do something different, and find new meaning in the law.
Ali Hakusui, a 3L from Haverhill, Massachusetts, received her undergraduate degree from Bates College. She spent the fall semester in the DC as a law clerk in the policy office of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA).
Everyone has occasional instants of conscious awareness that force them to pause and take inventory of the choices that led to that moment. I had one when I was holding a ACLU “No Muslim Ban Ever” sign over my head, spending the better part of my lunch hour chanting and marching alongside hundreds of other people. The leaders among the crowd were dressed in casual attire, sporting graphic t-shirts that added more verbiage to the sea of quotes being carried or worn. A few Vietnam-Era protesters had dusted off their tie-die to join the effort. Others, like myself, were in business formal. If not for the posters, a bystander would probably have assumed we had been swept away by the crowds on the way to a working lunch.
And so, in a swarm of varying archetypical demonstrators, I reflected on everything that had led me to this scene. I was never someone that you would call a “social justice warrior”: I spent my college years in the apolitical vacuum of a lab and my law school years pursuing a career in the private sector. At some point last spring, I realized the DC externship program could be my last chance to try something completely different, like public interest/non-profit work. I wanted to do something meaningful.
I enjoyed organizing minority affinity groups as a student, so I applied to be the law clerk in the policy department of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA). I had worked with NAPABA in my capacity as President on their law student affiliate, the National Asian Pacific American Law Student Association (NAPALSA), but only to plan our yearly joint convention. I knew NAPABA had a policy department, though the specificities of what the branch did was a mystery to me.
On my first day, my supervising attorney talked me through what the policy department does: the attorneys draft legislation, coordinate the NAPABA yearly policy resolutions, issue press releases, author reports, and generally garner support for various causes. NAPABA is a non-partisan organization, which adds an extra layer of complexity to the job. The energy in the office was unlike anything I had experienced: Someone was cursing down the hall about the latest round of edits to a report, the next office over someone else was listening House floor hearing, and[almost] every time the president tweeted out an executive order, there was a moment of chaos as the policy machine rushed to respond. The office was alive with passion.
That passion was contagious. The months I spent with NAPABA gave me invaluable experience. I drafted bill summaries, penned the memo supporting a pro-PSLF (public service loan forgiveness) policy resolution, attended the ACS Supreme Court Preview and the 60th Anniversary for the Commission on Civil Rights, used my Bluebook to cite my way to an acknowledgement on the 2017 NAPABA Language Report, and even got to research a comedian. At the NAPABA Convention in November, I was surrounded by more than 2,200 Asian Pacific American attorneys and filled with a sense of community and purpose.
My semester ended with sobering task: drafting language for a bill that will prevent Korematsu v. US from being used a legal precedent. Walking through the failures of our justice system is a necessity if we, as a nation, are to grow into a better country. Going forward in my career, I may not be the person on the ground, going tête-à-tête for a more compassionate world, but I want to do everything I can to support those who dedicate their lives to this work. This semester showed me that I can find my passion in a legal career, and I will never forget that.
Using the Network for a One-of-a-Kind Experience Mark Dewyea '18L used the W&L alumni network to find a unique placement with the government affairs and legal departments at Rolls Royce in DC.
Mark Dewyea is currently a third-year law student originally from the Charlottesville, Virginia area. At W&L Law, he is a McThenia Research Assistant, a member of the W&L Veteran’s Advocates, and the Federalist Society. Mark is a 2nd Lieutenant in the U.S. Marine Corps after completing Officer Candidate School (OCS) in August 2017 and will attend The Basic School (TBS) followed by Naval Justice School after graduation before serving as a USMC Judge Advocate General (JAG) Officer.
Jets. Rockets. Tanks. Not exactly the sort of things that come to mind when you think about a typical legal externship, but my experience working for Rolls-Royce was far from the ordinary—and I wouldn’t have had it any other way. Where else could I justify climbing through the latest version of the Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey (powered by Rolls-Royce engines by the way) or driving a real-life simulation of a cutting-edge Army troop-carrier (also outfitted with Rolls-Royce engines) as part of ‘work’?
Let’s backtrack a bit—how exactly did I land this dream-job? In a word: Networking. I remember during my initial visit to W&L Law almost three years ago where anyone and everyone I spoke with touted the strength of the W&L Law alumni network when it came to finding internship and employment opportunities. To be completely honest, at the time I wrote these testaments off as a mere sales pitch meant to convince applicants to matriculate—I couldn’t have been more wrong (similar to some of my 1L exam answers).
Because I was planning on spending the upcoming summer getting screamed at and crawling through the mud at Officer Candidate School (OCS) for the U.S. Marine Corps, I had to find a suitable 3L externship a full three months earlier than my classmates. I started on LinkedIn by plugging in a search for W&L Law alumni and literally the first name that popped up was Marc Nichols, General Counsel at Rolls-Royce. The only problem is that he was located at the company’s corporate headquarters in Indianapolis, Indiana. Figuring it was a long shot, I sent Mr. Nichols a message asking him if he had any contacts in the D.C. office he could put me in contact with. You can imagine my surprise when I received a reply in a matter of hours. His detailed response and willingness to coordinate an externship for someone he had never met is truly a testament to what makes W&L so unique—its people.
Working with W&L’s truly excellent Career Services team, we were able to overcome the challenge of being several states away and design an externship specifically tailored to my professional interests. I would be working in a sort of ‘floating’ role, splitting my time between the company’s Government Affairs and Legal Departments. This unique experience enabled me to gain a more comprehensive understanding of the inner workings of the corporate infrastructure as well as making me realize the quality of education I had received over the past two years at W&L. I found myself relying on skills garnered in my 1L contracts class while reviewing multi-million-dollar engineering bid proposals with the legal team and then a mere couple of hours later implementing negotiation and presentation techniques I had picked up during classes, while rubbing shoulders with government officials at a defense industry trade show. I was able to hone my familiarity with the government acquisitions process, something that will undoubtedly translate into my future career as a U.S. Marine Corps Judge Advocate Officer.
My experience embodied all the characteristics of a W&L legal education that has convinced me over the past few years that I made the right decision when choosing a law school. The interactive, close-knit relationships I have developed with my peers and professors alike has resulted in a truly rewarding educational experience that has prepared me well professionally and personally as well.
“Conversations in the Age of Trump” Series with Journalist Edward Luce Luce's talk, “Trump and the Crisis of Western Democracy,” is free and open the public.
“Western liberal democracy is not yet dead. However, it is far closer to collapse than we may wish to believe and it is facing its gravest challenge since the Second World War.”
The Center for International Education at Washington and Lee University will host journalist and chief U.S. commentator and columnist for the Financial Times Edward Luce on Jan. 17 at 6 p.m. in Stackhouse Theatre, Elrod Commons.
Luce’s talk will continue the year-long “Conversations in the Age of Trump” series and is also part of the broader two-year colloquium on “Borders and their Human Impact.”
The talk, “Trump and the Crisis of Western Democracy,” is free and open the public.
Having received wide acclaim for his book “Time to Start Thinking,” Luce’s newest work, “The Retreat of Western Liberalism,” has been described by The New York Times as “insightful and harrowing.”
“Western liberal democracy is not yet dead,” Luce writes. “However, it is far closer to collapse than we may wish to believe and it is facing its gravest challenge since the Second World War.”
Luce started working for the Financial Times in 1995 as a Philippines correspondent, and has since held multiple roles including capital markets editor, South Asia bureau chief in New Delhi and Washington bureau chief between 2006 and 2011.
The talk is sponsored by the Williams School of Commerce, Economics, and Politics and the 2016-18 Center for International Education’s Colloquium on Borders and Their Human Impact, with the support of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
W&L Senior Camilla Higgins to Perform Voice Recital Higgins will perform pieces by Henry Purcell, Franz Schubert, Gabriel Fauré, Gian Carlo Menotti and others.
Washington and Lee University student and soprano Camilla Higgins ’18, will present a voice recital on Jan. 14 at 3 p.m. in the Wilson Concert Hall, Lenfest Center for Performing Arts.
The recital is free and open to the public; no tickets are required.
Higgins is a vocal music education and East Asian Languages and Literature (Chinese emphasis) double major from Pasadena, California.
She will perform pieces by Henry Purcell, Franz Schubert, Gabriel Fauré, Gian Carlo Menotti and others.
The performance will be streamed live online.
Historian and Professor Charles Dew to Speak at W&L Founders Day/ODK Convocation Dew’s speech, titled "The Making, and Unmaking, of a Racist," will precede the ODK induction.
“Charles Dew is a prime example of the teacher-scholar and a courageous writer who focuses on the most searing tensions in the American past and present.”
Charles Dew, the Ephraim Williams Professor of American History at Williams College, will be the featured speaker at Washington and Lee University’s Founders Day/Omicron Delta Kappa Convocation on Jan. 18, at 5 p.m. in Lee Chapel.
Dew’s speech is titled “The Making, and Unmaking, of a Racist.” The talk is free and open to the public and the program will also be broadcast live online.
Dew’s address will precede the induction of undergraduate students, law students and honorary initiates into membership in Omicron Delta Kappa, the national leadership honor society for college students, faculty, staff and administrators, founded in 1914 at Washington and Lee. The University Singers will perform.
Dew has taught at Williams College since 1977. He is a nationally recognized scholar of the American South, the Civil War, American slavery and the Reconstruction period, and he has taught generations of students in his classes at Williams over the past 40 years.
“Charles Dew is a prime example of the teacher-scholar and a courageous writer who focuses on the most searing tensions in the American past and present,” said Marc Conner, provost at Washington and Lee.
Dew’s first book, “Ironmaker to the Confederacy: Joseph R. Anderson and the Tredegar Iron Works” (1966), received the Fletcher Pratt Award for the finest book on the Civil War published in that year. His second book, “Bond of Iron: Master and Slave at Buffalo Forge” (1994), was a finalist for the Lincoln Prize and was selected by the New York Times Book Review as a notable book of the year.
In 2016, Dew published “The Making of a Racist: A Southerner Reflects on Family, History, and the Slave Trade.”
“This searching book looks at Dew’s own life and upbringing in the American South, and how that upbringing was shaped by the Jim Crow culture that was all around him,” said Conner. “Dew chronicles his gradual awakening to the influence of the racism that surrounded him and his eventual rejection of that racism and his commitment to studying and teaching the reality of the American South and its history.”
ODK has more than 285 active circles, or chapters, at colleges and universities across the country. Headquartered in Lexington, Virginia, ODK awards annual scholarships and leadership-development initiative grants and holds a national day of service each April. Individual circles conduct additional leadership-development activities.
W&L Law MLK Events Feature Berkeley Professor Sonia Katyal, Voting Rights Panel
Washington and Lee University School of Law will host several events as part of the University’s multi-day observance of Martin Luther King’s birthday.
On Monday, January 15 from 2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m, Professor Sonia Katyal will present a lecture titled “The Fire Next Time: Resistance in Three Dimensions” in the Millhiser Moot Court Room, Sydney Lewis Hall. Professor Katyal is a civil rights activist deeply engaged in the democratic project and a nationally renowned scholar on the intersection of technology, art, and civil rights. She currently serves as the Chancellor’s Professor of Law and Co-director of the Berkeley Center for Law & Technology at the UC Berkeley School of Law.
Then, on Thursday, January 18 from 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m., also in the Millhiser Moot Court Room, the law school will host a panel discussion examining the lasting impact of U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Shaw v. Reno (1993), which held that excessive consideration of race in redistricting is unconstitutional under the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The panelists for this discussion are Professor Atiba R. Ellis (West Virginia University College of Law); Professor Martha Kropf (University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Department of Political Science); Professor Mark Rush (W&L Politics Department); and Mr. Dorian L. Spence (Director of Special Litigation and Advocacy, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights under Law). Professor Christopher B. Seaman (W&L Law) will moderate the discussion.
Professor Katyal and all other events in the multi-day program, which runs from Jan.12-Jan 21, are free and open to the public. Some events require tickets or RSVP. The complete schedule of events and ticket/RSVP information can be found online.
Curiosity Leads to Passion The Shepherd Poverty Program put Brent Beshore '05 on a different career path than the one he imagined.
Brent Beshore ’05 is a successful entrepreneur and venture capitalist who is on the Alumni Advisory Committee. He received a Distinguished Alumni Award from the university in 2015.
Q: How did the Shepherd Program shape your years at W&L?
The Shepard Program started off as a curiosity and then became my passion. It opened me up to a completely different world than I had experienced and made me realize how unusual my life had been. It provided humility, self-awareness, and a depth of gratitude that I hadn’t previously experienced.
Q: How did the Shepherd Program impact your career/graduate studies?
The Shepherd Program put me on a completely different trajectory. It gave me a new “why” for all the striving. I consider alleviating others’ suffering to be a core component of my life. It made me kinder, more nuanced in my thinking, and helped me to understand the overwhelming complexity of human capability.
Q: Why is this program important for W&L?
This may sound over the top, but I can’t imagine W&L without the Shepherd Program. When I think of the university, I think of the Shepherd Program. It’s a wellspring of interdisciplinary education, meaningful interaction, and an incredible source of lifelong relationships. What it offers to the school and its students is priceless.
Taking Flight As public information specialist for the airport in Austin, Texas, Kaela Harmon ’05 combines data analysis with creativity for the aviation industry.
Kaela Harmon’s passion for airports goes well beyond being fascinated with planes and travel. “An airport has its own dynamic flow,” she said.
Although she’s still new to a job as public information specialist senior for the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport in Austin, Texas, Harmon ’05 has spent the last five years working with airports and the communities they serve.
In that time, she has learned that airport advocates work to represent their host communities to the airlines. Routes, departure and arrival times, and connections are important to people who rely on airports for business and leisure travel. In Austin, as in her previous job with the Columbia, South Carolina, airport, she enjoys analyzing data and using it to craft creative messages. “We’re always working with the community so they understand our role. We’re marketing the airport to the community.”
She notes that an airplane is “a mobile asset.” Airlines can make decisions at any time about where to move and house their planes, what routes to add or drop, and where important connections will be made. That makes it incumbent on communities and airport officials to make a strong case for their air-transportation needs.
In Austin, Harmon is responsible for media and public relations, and she serves as a liaison for the airport and the airlines. On a typical day, she could be writing a press release about a new service, such as a recent announcement of a new nonstop flight between Austin and London, or planning and hosting an event. She also crafts talking points related to the airport’s public announcements and serves on a team of five to manage the airport’s social media accounts.
“The work is very dynamic. It’s a perfect blend of analytics and creativity,” she said.
In her hometown of Columbia, she was public relations and government affairs manager for the Columbia Municipal Airport, before being recruited by Sixel Consulting Group, where she worked for almost a year helping local airports make their cases for increased air services. She then did freelance consulting until taking the job in Austin in June 2017.
While in Columbia, Harmon was recognized for her work by being named to several lists, including 20 Under 40, 40 Under 40, Columbia’s 2014 Top Women of Influence and Influential Women in Business.
While helping with one of Columbia’s programs — Wings for Autism — Harmon realized she could take her passion for airports to another level. The program is a national effort for individuals with autism spectrum disorders or intellectual or developmental disabilities. Families practice the entire process of moving through the airport and boarding a plane, which helps relieve stress when they make a real trip.
The experience inspired Harmon to write and self-publish a children’s book, “Zoey’s First Plane Ride.” While other books focus on airplanes, Harmon wanted to “pass along my enthusiasm for airports.” She walks the reader through every step — checking in at the kiosk, checking luggage and explaining where it goes on the conveyor belt, walking the concourse, understanding airport signage, boarding the plane — all the way through to baggage claim.
“Airports can be overwhelming to children,” Harmon said, noting that the book has been well received. Some airports have picked it up to sell, and the airport in Roanoke, Virginia, purchased 100 copies to give to schoolchildren who toured the airport.
Harmon developed her talent for writing and communications through her major in broadcast journalism and communications. Her high school guidance counselor in Columbia was a W&L graduate — one of the first female, black students on campus — and introduced her to the university. Harmon spent six weeks on campus for a summer-immersion program, and after applying, she returned for a visit. Walking along the Colonnade, “I felt I really needed to be here,” she remembered.
She values the professors who inspired and mentored her. “Bob de Maria was one of those rare people who took you under his wing and pushed you to be better,” she said. Professors Dayo Abah and Claudette Artwick also stand out as important to her professional development.
“The journalism department was like a family. All the professors and administrators rallied around to help students to be well prepared and have a support system,” she said. “At W&L, you’re not a number but an individual who matters.”
While on campus, she was involved with the Minority Student Association and helped charter Delta Sigma Theta sorority. She continues to be involved by serving on an advisory board for the journalism department. As well as participating in quarterly meetings, she and other board members review senior portfolios, looking at them with a professional’s eye to provide constructive feedback.
As a young black professional, Harmon said, she never wants to lose sight of the fact that “I’m standing on the shoulders of giants. Many made sacrifices to give me opportunities.” She hopes to continue to lay a foundation for those who come after her.
Honoring Our Namesakes
Happy New Year! Alumni Affairs has been busy working with many alumni chapters to stage Presidents’ Day events to commemorate the lasting W&L contributions of George Washington (February 22 birthday) and Robert E. Lee (January 19 birthday).
In 1796, sitting U.S. President George Washington very likely saved the struggling Liberty Hall Academy when he gave the school its first major endowment gift – about $20,000 worth of James River Canal stock — which the Virginia General Assembly had given him in gratitude for his leadership in the American Revolution. Recognizing the singular import of this generosity, the trustees changed the name of the school to Washington Academy. It was in every sense a gift which keeps on giving to W&L.
The college was hanging by a thread after the Civil War. Declining much more lucrative offers, in October of 1865, Lee took the oath as president. For the last five years of his life, Lee led an increase in enrollment from across the country, completely revamped the curriculum, began a journalism school, added what was then the Lexington School of Law, and continued laying the foundation for what would become our Honor System. After Lee’s untimely death in 1870, the trustees voted to change the name from Washington College to Washington and Lee University.
We salute our chapter leaders and volunteers who work hard to stage these important annual gatherings. Please support them, and pause to reflect on our namesakes. We promise you’ll enjoy the camaraderie, celebration, and networking opportunities. You can view a full listing of upcoming Chapter events, including the always spectacular Washington, D.C., Alumni Fancy Dress on March 3!
Beau Dudley ’74, ’79L
Executive Director of Alumni Affairs
Civil Rights Activist Bernice A. King Keynotes W&L’s Multi-Day King Celebration The daughter of the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. will give the keynote address during W&L's annual multi-day observance of King’s birthday.
“The pride and treasure of our nation is our youth. Any nation that neglects the teaching and the upbringing of its youth is a nation on the decline.” – Bernice A. King
Bernice A. King, the daughter of the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and CEO of The King Center, will give the featured keynote address during Washington and Lee University’s annual multi-day observance of King’s birthday, “Celebrating the Life and Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.”
King will speak on Sunday, Jan. 21, at 6 p.m. in Keller Theatre, Lenfest Center, on the W&L campus.
The youngest daughter of the late Coretta Scott King and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Bernice King began her oratorical journey when she spoke in her mother’s stead at the United Nations at age 17. Over the years, she has had the occasion to speak in such places as the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, the White House, major corporations and universities and in places throughout the world, including South Africa, Germany and New Zealand.
King is a graduate of Spelman College with a bachelor of arts degree in psychology and a masters of divinity and doctorate of law degrees from Emory University. She is currently a member of the State Bar of Georgia and a trained mediator. King serves on the HOPE Southeastern Board of Directors of Operation HOPE and is a member of the International Women’s Forum.
King also serves as a mentor and advisor to the Coretta Scott King Young Women’s Leadership Academy, grades 6-12, (CSKYWLA). In January of 2011, King launched the 100 Days of Nonviolence campaign at CSKYWLA to expose the girls to nonviolence as modeled by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (Nonviolence 365), and encouraged them to embrace it as a way of life. She also provided Nonviolence 365 education training in Ferguson, Missouri, that included students, teachers, law enforcement, gangs, businesses, community leaders and activists.
Through her work at the King Center, she has continued to educate youth and adults about the nonviolence principles modeled by her parents. In 2012, she implemented an annual N.O.W. Encounter Summer Camp which has educated youth from New Mexico, South Carolina, Michigan, Alabama and as far away as Cyprus.
In 2013, as she continued her father’s legacy, she spearheaded the Aug. 28, 2013, “Let Freedom Ring and Call to Action” event to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington and her father’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech. This global event included President Obama, former Presidents Clinton and Carter, members of Congress, as well as many other international leaders, dignitaries and entertainers.
In addition to King’s keynote, this year’s events will include guest speaker Professor Sonia Katyal at the W&L School of Law; the annual children’s MLK birthday party; a dream-themed Chanoyu Tea Society event; viewings of the movie “Selma”; and the Reflections Dinner.
The keynote and all other events in the multi-day program, which runs from Jan.12-Jan 21, are free and open to the public. Some events require tickets or RSVP. The complete schedule of events and ticket/RSVP information can be found online.
Chances Behind the Microphone Broadcast journalism opportunities have been plentiful at W&L for Ford Carson '18, but the highlight of his college career has been founding a satirical publication, The Radish.
“W&L is an incubator – it shows you all sides, supports you from every angle, and leaves the choices to you. W&L has been my best choice yet.”
Hometown: Roanoke, Virginia
Minor: Mass Communications
I think “eccentric” would best describe my collegiate experience, which I consider a natural product of W&L’s greatest strength — its commitment to liberal arts education. An EMT in high school, I entered college with plans of becoming a general practitioner, but to complete my foundational requirements I took an eclectic mix of courses ranging from philosophy to Spanish to business. Two fascinating summer internships with Professor Jon Eastwood sparked an interest in political sociology, and two in D.C. steered my focus to political journalism. It was my extracurriculars that got me into broadcasting, and I’ve since discovered that broadcast journalism is where my talents, skills and interests all intersect.
My personal strategy to figuring out my future has always been to take advantage of my present opportunities, and W&L offers many, many chances to get behind the microphone. I have hosted a weekly radio show since I arrived on campus, I have anchored news and weather for the Rockbridge Report, and I served as the official announcer for Mock Con 2016. I am also very active in W&L sports broadcasting, where I have called or announced over 30 varsity athletic events to date.
Thanks to the Johnson Scholarship’s summer stipend, my summers have been just as eventful. The stipend allowed me to accept two low-paying editorial internships in D.C. – one at C-SPAN and one at RealClearPolitics – where I got to do some truly memorable things. I covered Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement from a little white chair in the Rose Garden; I spent one Saturday as the official White House press pool reporter, following Trump around for 15 hours and reporting updates to the rest of the media; I interviewed over a dozen U.S. Senators and published 16 original articles; I voiced a television promo that was aired nationally.
Those are all great memories and I am very thankful for them, but I think the highlight of my time at W&L has been my work with The Radish, a satirical online publication I founded to parody everyday life at our small, private school in Lexington, Virginia. I launched the site over Reading Days in 2016, and since then have published more than 150 submissions from almost 100 different students, professors and alumni. The website has been viewed 115,000 times in the last year and reaches between 5,000 and 10,000 unique Facebook profiles per week. I serve as The Radish’s editor-in-chief and head writer, and it is the most fun group project I have ever been part of. Typical topics range from freshmen to Greek life to W&L’s political leanings, and writing and editing these articles has been the outlet I needed to bring the anxiety down a notch and put everything in perspective. I hope it has given others even a tiny fraction of the stress relief it has given me.
As most good ideas I’ve had in college, The Radish started as a GroupMe brainstorming session among my fraternity brothers. I can always count on them for support, whether it’s a thumbs up, an exploration of an idea, or a “You Are Not At All Funny And I Don’t Like Your Voice,” which is the kind of support that only a true brother can give. Our GroupMe is an incubator in the same way that W&L is an incubator – it shows you all sides, supports you from every angle, and leaves the choices to you. W&L has been my best choice yet.
A little more about Ford
Peer Counselor, Volunteer Venture Trip Leader, WLUR, W&L Sports Broadcasting, Washington Term, The Radish, Summer Research Scholar, First-Year Orientation Committee, Lambda Chi Alpha
Malcolm Gladwell. I picked up his first book as a sophomore in high school and was instantly hooked on all things “networks.”
Professor Jon Eastwood. There’s a saying in the department that “You don’t major in sociology, you major in Eastwood,” which I could not agree with more. He has more heavily impacted my time at W&L than any other person, student or otherwise.
Why be the change you’d like to see in the world when you can critique it from afar?
Subway, without hesitation. I’ll have a foot-long oven-roasted chicken sub with pepper Jack cheese (toasted, please), lettuce, spinach, jalapeños, and just a bit of Subway vinaigrette.
A View from the Cockpit Capt. Clay Shaner ’04 left investment banking to fly the unfriendly skies as a combat pilot.
“Flying fighter jets is a visceral experience, but operating an aircraft as a weapon system is both art and science. You get to harness some of the greatest technology ever made to accomplish dynamic missions alongside some very talented people.”
While investment banking has its risks — mainly financial — Clay Shaner walked away from it to take on even greater risks as a fighter pilot for the U.S. Air Force.
Shaner, an Air Force captain, recently returned stateside from several months flying F-16s on missions over Syria and Iraq. He is currently transitioning from the Vermont Air National Guard’s 134th Fighter Squadron to begin training at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida. His new assignment is the F-35, the Air Force’s fifth generation joint strike fighter plane, which has been in design and production for the past several years.
“Flying fighter jets is a visceral experience,” said Shaner, “but operating an aircraft as a weapon system is both art and science. You get to harness some of the greatest technology ever made to accomplish dynamic missions alongside some very talented people.” He said his job is the most challenging he has ever had and will be even more so as he spends the next several years flying the new F-35 weapons system and instructing the next generation of fighter pilots.
As a business major at Washington and Lee, Shaner enjoyed the liberal arts and began a promising career in investment banking with Morgan Stanley. After nearly five years with the bank, Shaner couldn’t suppress the underlying urge to pursue his dream, even taking flying lessons prior to committing to the career change “to verify I’d love it as much as I expected. I did.”
There was military service on both sides of Shaner’s family, but he is the first pilot. He joined the Air Force in 2009, and then spent three years becoming a combat-qualified fighter pilot, followed by the last five years of operational duty, including deployments to the South Pacific and Middle East.
“The F-16 was designed as a multi-role fighter, but its two primary functions on today’s global chessboard are providing precision close air support and air interdiction,” said Shaner. “That involves supporting the movement of friendly forces on the ground and destroying an enemy’s means of operation, such as communications, command and control, weapons and militants.”
Shaner has accumulated more than 900 hours flying the F-16, including several dozen combat missions, all of which involved kinetic strikes with precision air-to-ground munitions. Typical missions entailed more than eight hours in the cockpit, including multiple aerial refueling events between various dynamic tasks. His most recent deployment was in support of Operation Inherent Resolve, but he has also deployed to the South Pacific on a Theater Security Package.
Shaner volunteered for the F-35 assignment and is very enthusiastic about the opportunity. “It’s a stealth airplane. It can do several types of missions but excels in suppression of enemy air defenses.” His job will be to become an expert on the plane and help the Air Force refine its role and tactics for future deployments.
With his new assignment, Shaner will transition back to active duty after nearly five years as a Vermont guardsman. “The lines between active and reserve are more blurred now — a reflection of the USAF Total Force initiative,” said Shaner. He plans to remain on active duty for the next five years, and then might return to reserve status to allow more time with his wife, Lee ’02, and son, Steele, 1.
Shaner looks back with fondness at his time at W&L. In the Commerce School, he remembers Scott Hoover, the A. Stevens Miles Professor of Banking and Finance, who was “selfless with his time and passionate about explaining concepts. He generously mentored students and helped open job opportunities for many people, including me,” said Shaner.
His class with history professor Barry Machado taught him about the Vietnam War. He admired Machado’s overall subject knowledge and the demanding way he ran his classes — “forcing you to think and openly discuss difficult issues.”
A varsity lacrosse player, Shaner came to W&L from Maryland, near Washington, D.C, and chose the university for its strong academic reputation. On a campus visit, while still undecided, he said, “It quickly felt like home after a few interactions with random students on the hill.” He enjoyed his many friendships and the academic freedom of W&L.
Shaner hasn’t regretted his decision to leave the world of investment banking to pursue military service. “The U.S. Air Force is an amazing organization – just as impressive as Morgan Stanley,” he said. “I’ve worked with incredible people from a broad cross section of our great country, and I wouldn’t change a thing.”
‘Freely and Unapologetically Myself’ Jordan Goldstein's Washington and Lee journey can be followed through her love of music, her adventures on the stage — and the length of her hair.
“Washington and Lee has given me the freedom to not just discover my passions, but to find out who I really am.”
Hometown: Las Vegas, NV
Majors: Music Composition, Global Politics
A large portion of my Washington and Lee experience has had to deal with one large experiment: my hair. This may seem confusing, especially since I’m not sporting much of it at the moment, but hair is a crucial part of our identity, how we present ourselves to the world, and how the world perceives us. I spent all of high school with the same auburn, waist-length locks, and they often became a more defining feature than my personality, which was off-putting to say the least. I occasionally would float the idea of cutting it short, but most friends freaked out at the idea, saying I wouldn’t be Jordan anymore.
That issue didn’t exist once I got to W&L, and I was incredibly excited to be defined by anything but my appearance. Sophomore year, I went for a dark brown bob. Some may call it an emotional haircut, but the plan had been in the works for years, and I finally felt like I had the chance. Shortly after, I went on a Birthright trip to Israel, where I met and became friends with people I barely knew before and I started coming to terms with my own bisexuality. Through W&L, I toured Ireland, took on my first role in a straight play, sang with the jazz band – I felt reborn. A literal curtain had been pulled back, and here I was! Addicted, I took it to the next level that summer and got a pixie cut.
Initially, that cut was uncomfortable. I got long stares and confused expressions, and I wore more makeup than usual because I felt the need to make up for something, even if I wasn’t sure what that was. Having less hair is revealing, physically and psychologically. Junior year and the power of the pixie led to my friends supporting me in coming out as bisexual, my music professors supporting me in discovering conducting as a passion, and the crazy idea that I could write a musical in four months. Only at W&L, right?
Taking the dead weight off my head opened me up to taking further advantage of the liberal arts college experience that lets me be a multifaceted and complex human being because I was more me and less … well, hair. This brings us to now, my senior year, and a continuation of this trend.
Being cast as Uncle Fester in “The Addams Family” gave me the perfect excuse to tackle the ultimate step in this project. I shaved my head on October 21st and haven’t looked back since. I may be distinct-looking on campus, but I’ve never felt more freely and unapologetically myself. Learning to be comfortable in my own skin, even as people stare or question why I would do such a thing, has shaped a more confident and bold self. Most comment on how this shows my strong commitment to my role, which was part of the decision, but the drastic change wasn’t purely about the character. Fester wasn’t that much of a stretch for me to play: he’s a bit mischievous, but has a big heart, chasing his dreams and trying to help others reach theirs as well. He’s a piece of queer representation in the show, and the ease with which he and the other characters deal with his ambiguous sexuality and gender has helped me become more settled in my own, and I have begun coming out as a non-binary individual at W&L.
I can’t really be called bald anymore, but the strength of my identity remains. Washington and Lee has given me the freedom to not just discover my passions, but to find out who I really am. I’ve made my academic career into one big study of my identity, and I couldn’t be happier with the results.
A little more about Jordan
I am the student manager of the University Singers, an assistant conductor for the Men’s Glee Club and Cantatrici, a music arranger and member of General Admission, a percussionist in the University Wind Ensemble, and the service leader for our Hillel. I have been part of multiple theatrical productions on campus, from the “Rocky Horror” Shadow Cast to my most recent turn as Uncle Fester in “The Addams Family.” I perform and hang-out at Friday Underground, and I’ve even written the score to a fully student-written musical put on last Spring Term. If you haven’t noticed, I like music.
Has anyone on campus inspired you?
Dr. Shane Lynch is the best professor I’ve had on this campus, and for most of my academic career, he has only been my choir director. He has seen me at my highest highs and my lowest lows, but always trusts that I am capable of doing what I need to do, even when I don’t. He pushes me to be my best, constantly. Through the conducting mentorship program (something I didn’t realize I had been pulled into until it was too late), he has shown me not just how to be a stronger musician, but how to be a better teacher, listener, and mentor to others. I am a better person for knowing him.
What’s your personal motto?
It’s a quote from Rabbi Hillel: “If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am only for myself, what am I? And if not now, when?”
Best place to eat in Lexington? What do you order?
A prosciutto, fig and goat cheese sandwich, a small mocha, and a chocolate croissant from Pronto is my favorite meal in Lexington (and it doesn’t hurt that it’s a block away from my apartment.)
What one film/book do you recommend to everyone?
“A Brave New World” by Aldous Huxley is my favorite book. It shaped the dystopian genre as we know it today, and has a really powerful message about the importance and value of free thought and art.
(As long as I get in) I’m planning to attend Hebrew Union College and get my rabbinical or cantorial ordination, as well as continuing and deepening my experience in the world of Jewish music and composition.
It’s cheesy, but I have to say choir. I spend an hour every day getting to shape sound and hold an ensemble in my hands as I conduct, then spend an hour singing my heart out without having to worry about the rest of the world. It’s a huge release and the best feeling.
What’s something people wouldn’t guess about you?
I actually get reverse stage-fright! Instead of freaking out before a performance, I get really anxious after I perform and play everything that wasn’t perfect in my head over and over again.
W&L’s Staniar Gallery Presents “The Book of Everyday Instruction” Bass will give a public artist’s talk on Jan. 22 at 5:30 p.m. in Wilson Hall’s Concert Hall.
Washington and Lee University’s Staniar Gallery presents “The Book of Everyday Instruction,” an exhibition by New York-based artist Chloë Bass.
Bass will give a public artist’s talk on Jan. 22 at 5:30 p.m. in Wilson Hall’s Concert Hall, followed by a reception. Both are free and open to the public. The show will be on display Jan. 8 – Feb. 7.
Bass is a conceptual artist working in performance, situation, publication and installation. She is an assistant professor of art at Queens College, CUNY.
“The Book of Everyday Instruction” is an eight-chapter investigation into one-on-one social interaction. The exhibition brings together work from all eight chapters, focusing on such central questions as “How do we know when we’re really together?” or “How do we tell a story based on the proximity of two bodies in space?”
Odd-numbered chapters, completed in partnership with communities and organizations in different areas, including Cleveland, Ohio, and Greensboro, North Carolina, have a social-practice focus; even-numbered chapters were more meditative works produced more privately in the artist’s studio.
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 Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, please call (540)-458-8861.
Washington and Lee University’s Lenfest Center Presents BODYTRAFFIC The stand-out, 10-member ensemble is praised for its confident execution of a wide range of styles.
Washington and Lee University’s Lenfest Center for the Arts presents BODYTRAFFIC, a contemporary dance company celebrating their 10th anniversary in a performance of dance in its highest art form, for a one-night engagement on Jan. 11, at 7:30 p.m. in the Keller Theatre.
BODYTRAFFIC has surged to the forefront of the concert dance world, recruiting talent from around the globe to create world-class contemporary dance by distinctive choreographic voices.
The stand-out, 10-member ensemble is praised for its confident execution of a wide range of styles. Their Lexington performance includes repertory works by Sidra Bell Stijn Celis and Joshua L. Peugh.
Tickets can be purchased online at wlu.edu/lenfest-center or by calling the Lenfest box office at (540)-458-8000. Box office hours are Monday–Friday, 9-11 a.m. and 1-3 p.m. and will be open one hour prior to performance time.
BODYTRAFFIC is sponsored in part by the Class of ’64 Performing Arts Fund.
W&L Continues Questioning Intimacy Series with Award-Winning Journalist Charles Montgomery, urban design consultant and award-winning journalist, is the fourth speaker in the Questioning Intimacy Series.
Charles Montgomery, urban design consultant, award-winning journalist and author of “Happy City” is the fourth speaker in Washington and Lee University’s yearlong Questioning Intimacy Series. His talk will be held on Jan. 11 at 4:30 p.m. in Stackhouse Theatre, Elrod Commons.
Montgomery’s talk, titled “Happy City: how to build cities of love in an era of mistrust,” is free and open to the public.
His first book, “The Last Heathen,” won the 2005 Charles Taylor Prize for Literary Nonfiction and vigorous praise from reviews in The New York Times and The Guardian.
Montgomery looks for answers at the intersection of urban design and the new science of happiness. In psychology, neuroscience and behavioral economics and in cityscapes from Disneyland to Dubai, he explores the link between the ways people design cities and the ways humans think, feel and act.
Montgomery’s writings on urban planning, psychology, culture and history have appeared in magazines and journals on three continents. Among his awards is a citation of merit from the Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society for outstanding contribution towards public understanding of climate change science.
Office Hours: Classics Professor Rebecca Benefiel The associate professor of classics won a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to support the digitization of Pompeian epigraphy, along with Sara Sprenkle, associate professor of computer science.
What drew you to the study of classics?
I began studying Latin and enjoyed learning about another culture. Then I started reading more broadly — about Roman religion, ancient history, politics and government. In college, I took classics courses in ancient law, archaeology, philosophy and city planning. With each perspective, I couldn’t help but reflect on where we’ve been and where we are today. There is a reason why classics provided an entire college education for our founding fathers.
Tell us about digital humanities and classics.
Classics was employing digital humanities decades ago, and my specific field of research, epigraphy (the study of inscriptions), was a leader within classics, so I’ve grown up with it. Studying the ancient world, we need systems to make sense of it all, as well as tools to communicate with scholars in other countries. We move forward more productively when we are working together.
The growth of digital humanities has benefited the liberal arts broadly by providing access to material. Inscriptions in Pompeii, the papers of Thomas Jefferson, marriage records of churches in 16th-century England — more material can now be studied from anywhere in the world because it has been digitized. Digital humanities also provides tools. So, we can use a computational imaging technique (RTI) to reveal inscriptions that are invisible to the naked eye, or X-ray fluorescence to read through a charred scroll burned in a volcanic eruption. How we use those tools, and the questions we ask of what we find — these are still the most important steps.
For example, hyperspectral imaging saw through a blot on a draft of the Declaration of Independence. It revealed that Jefferson had written “subjects” and then changed it to “citizens.” He had lived his entire life under a monarchy. How did he have to shift his way of thinking to reconceive of a citizen body? How do you create a democracy? Both the “digital” and the “humanities” are important.
What do you find most rewarding about teaching at W&L?
Smart, respectful students; good colleagues; an administration that supports us in our teaching and our research, and in whom we have confidence. That combination makes a great university. Plus, my colleagues in Leyburn Library are amazing.
What would you tell a student thinking about studying classics?
Classics creates skilled thinkers and analysts. The governor of California (Jerry Brown), the last mayor of London (Boris Johnson), the founder of CNN (Ted Turner), along with author Toni Morrison and even actor Tom Hiddleston — what do they have in common? They all studied classics.
Classics majors have among the highest LSAT scores of any major and the best admittance rates for medical school. But the skills acquired are useful for many professions: close reading, analysis, understanding patterns and language structure, synthesizing information, communicating clearly. (These are benefits of studying the liberal arts.) Classics students learn how information fits together and acquire a greater awareness of the world. Classicists were even selected to be code-breakers during World War II.
Just a look at our recent majors illustrates what a strong W&L education can do. They have gone on to major law firms, to consulting firms, to medical school, to teaching, to the Federal Aviation Administration, to the Peace Corps, to a Rhodes scholarship. Our students can do anything!
OUTSIDE THE CLASSROOM
On weekends, I go for a run, have a leisurely breakfast, and don’t check email. I try to focus on being present with the people around me. I’m often traveling to be with my family (husband and daughter), and a change of scenery helps.
My students might be surprised to know that I danced with the New York City Ballet at the Kennedy Center. And I’ve been a Navy spouse for 15 years.
Harold Stowe ’68 Recognizes His 50th Reunion with a Family Scholarship His generous gift will help deserving young scholars, who might come from less fortunate circumstances, be able to attend W&L.
To mark his upcoming 50th reunion, Claudia and Harold Stowe ’68, are establishing the Stowe Family Scholarship. The scholarship acknowledges the family’s deep connection to Washington and Lee. Two of the Stowe’s three children, Dr. Blair S. Sumrall ’00 and Patrick B. Stowe ’01, graduated from W&L, and extended family have also attended the university. “My mother, who went to Randolph-Macon, always spoke very highly of Washington and Lee,” he recalls, “and on a family trip during my teens I fell in love with the campus.“
Stowe, who is serving on his reunion committee, made this gift through a bequest intention and a beneficiary designation from a retirement plan on the occasion of his 50th Reunion. The 50th Reunion is the only time that planned gifts count in reunion gift totals. It is fortuitous that Stowe’s gift also counts for a special matching challenge that has been set up for the Class of 1968 in celebration of the reunion.
“When our class meets the reunion gift challenge, our classmate will give $500,000 of his $1 million directly to our class scholarship, the reunion class project. We have set out to add $1 million to our class scholarship, which we started at our 25th reunion,” Stowe explains. “I am delighted to be part of helping us reach our goal.”
After receiving his M.B.A. from Harvard, Stowe began his career in banking and then moved into business, working his way to president and chief executive officer of Canal Industries and affiliated companies. Following his many years in the business world, Stowe moved into the education sector and became the acting dean of the E. Craig Wall Sr. College of Business at Coastal Carolina University from 2006-2007. He is currently the principal of Stowe-Monier Management LLC.
Outside his professional work, Stowe is a member of many corporate and nonprofit boards. He formerly served as chairman of the South Carolina Education Oversight Committee and chairman of the Smith Medical Clinic. He also serves on the Wall College of Business board of visitors executive committee and is chairman of the Wall Fellows board.
As higher education has gotten more expensive, scholarships have become a high giving priority at W&L. “We are grateful for Harold’s thoughtful generosity and the spirit in which his bequest is made,” observes vice president for university advancement Dennis Cross. “Harold is expressing his appreciation for the impact and meaning of W&L in his life and that of his family, as well as his desire that one of the best liberal arts educations in the world be available to outstanding young people of character, regardless of family financial circumstances. Harold can be confident the scholarship will transform numerous lives over the generations.”
“Since I have been fortunate enough to have the wherewithal to make this kind of gift, I wanted to help deserving young scholars, who might come from less fortunate circumstances, be able to attend W&L,” Stowe reflects. “I feel a strong loyalty to the school that has given me great advantages as I have gone through my life and wonderful memories that I carry with me to this day. W&L will need our financial support now and in the future. If someone has the ability to make a bequest as part of their estate planning I think our alma mater is a great potential recipient.”