W&L’s Staniar Gallery Presents LAS HERMANAS IGLESIAS: ‘MIRROR RIM’ The artists will present their work in a talk on Feb. 12 at 5:30 p.m. in Wilson Hall’s Concert Hall.
Washington and Lee’s Staniar Gallery presents “MIRROR RIM,” an exhibition of collaborative works by the sister team Lisa and Janelle Iglesias, known as Las Hermanas Iglesias. The show opens on Feb. 11 and remains on view until March 15. The artists will present their work in a talk on Feb. 12 at 5:30 p.m. in Wilson Hall’s Concert Hall. Following the lecture, there will be an opening reception, and both the exhibition and reception event are free and open to the public.
The Iglesias have worked collaboratively for over ten years while maintaining their own separate practices rooted in drawing and sculpture. The mischievous works in “MIRROR RIM”blur the lines between traditional artistic mediums by repurposingeveryday materials – lenses, mirrors and screens – to push ideas of dimensionality and propose new ways of seeing.
Lisa received her MFA from the University of Florida where she is now an assistant professor. Janelle earned her MFA degree in sculpture from Virginia Commonwealth University and recently relocated to Southern California. The sisters’ individual and collaborative work has been shown in spaces around the country including El Museo del Barrio, Queens Museum and Abrons Art Center.
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 Mon. through Fri., 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, please call 540-458-8861.
Honoring a Legacy The Office of Inclusion and Engagement planned a host of events to honor the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. Take our slideshow for a quick spin to relive the excitement.
Former Trump Aide to Kick Off Washington Term Speaker Series Marc Short ’92 will deliver a lecture to the campus community entitled “Serving in the Trump Administration."
On Wed., Feb. 6, at 7 p.m. in the Hillel Multipurpose Room, Marc Short ’92 will deliver a lecture entitled “Serving in the Trump Administration,” as part of the broader Washington Term Speaker Series “From the Colonnade to the Capitol… and Back.”
Assistant Professor of Politics Brian Alexander, the new director of the W&L Washington Term Program, started this speaker series as a way to connect the D.C. experience of Washington Term with the campus community.
Next in the series will be a talk by Tolu Olubunmi ’02, CEO and founder of Lions Write on Tues., March 5 at 7 p.m. in Stackhouse Theater. Tolu has established and led several organizations and campaigns focused on immigrant integration, youth empowerment, education, access to technology, and employment.
“The speakers reflect the full breadth of the success of W&L alumni, whether like Marc in key positions on Capitol Hill and the White House, or with Tolu in global leadership and advocacy for migrants, refugees, and internally displaced people,” said Alexander. “These are the kinds of futures awaiting not just students of Washington Term, but all W&L students.”
Marc Short has held roles in major conservative non-profits, the executive branch, election campaigns and both houses of Congress. He is currently a practitioner senior fellow for the Miller Center of Public Affairs at the University of Virginia.
Previously, Short served as the White House director of legislative and intergovernmental affairs and assistant to President Donald Trump until July 2018. He also served as chief of staff to Vice President Mike Pence, spokesman for the Department of Homeland Security, chief of staff for Republican Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, and an aide to then-Congressman Mike Pence. Pence named him chief of staff for the House Republican Conference in 2009.
Short worked for McGuire Woods Consulting and served as president for Freedom Partners, a nonprofit organization proposed to promote the benefits of free markets and a free society, located in Arlington, Virginia, from 2011 to 2016.
Born in Virginia, Short went on to receive an M.B.A. at University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business in 2004 after graduating from Washington and Lee University in 1992.
This series is sponsored by the Washington Term Program with the support of the Department of Politics and the Williams School.
About Washington Term
The Washington Term Program is an undergraduate living-learning experience in Washington D.C., combining full-time internships, college coursework, and a lecture series. Each spring, a select group of sixteen students spend four days per week working in their internships. On Fridays, they attend a morning class led by Professor Alexander and afternoon guest lectures by prominent political figures in Washington. The program, open to all majors, has given over 400 W&L students a unique experience in Washington since its founding in 1987.
Joy Harjo is Fifth Speaker in Mudd Lecture Series The title of her talk, which is free and open to the public, is "Exile in Memory."
Joy Harjo, poet and member of the Mvskoke Nation, is the fifth speaker in the 2018-19 “Ethics of Identity” series, sponsored by the Roger Mudd Center for Ethics at Washington and Lee University. Her public lecture is Feb. 11 at 5 p.m. in Stackhouse Theater on the W&L campus.
The title of her talk, which is free and open to the public, is “Exile in Memory.”
“Joy Harjo is one of the leading poets of her time, so there is much anticipation and excitement about her visit to Washington and Lee,” said Brian Murchison, Roger Mudd Professor of Ethics and director of the Mudd Center for Ethics. “Her story and her poetry will surely deepen this year’s series on the ethics of identity.”
Harjo’s seven books of poetry, which include “How We Became Human: New and Selected Poems,” “The Woman Who Fell From the Sky,” “She Had Some Horses” and “For A Girl Becoming” have garnered multiple awards. These include the New Mexico Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts, the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Native Writers Circle of the Americas and the William Carlos Williams Award from the Poetry Society of America.
“Joy Harjo is the stuff legends are made of — a poet, musician, memoirist and photographer who has become the bedrock of Indigenous writing – while, at the same time, she continuously grows and experiments with forms of Indigenous expression that speak to each successive generation,” said Deborah A. Miranda, Thomas H. Broadus Professor of English. “As a young poet, I gravitated to her poetry in order to hear a voice tell stories that made me feel visible, feel like I mattered, feel that Indigenous stories had not just a place in American literature, but indeed, the central place. I’ve taught her work to every poetry workshop I’ve ever had, as well as most literature courses; she speaks from that huge richness of Indigenous peoples and history that most Americans don’t even know exists. As a storyteller, as a teacher and as a human being deeply concerned with how we earn our humanity, Joy Harjo lives her truth, and shares it generously. We are lucky indeed to have her visit W&L.”
She has released four award-winning CDs of original music and in 2009 won a Native American Music Award (NAMMY) for Best Female Artist of the Year for “Winding Through the Milky Way.”Her most recent CD is a traditional flute album: “Red Dreams, A Trail Beyond Tears.”
She performs nationally and internationally with her band, the Arrow Dynamics. Her one-woman show, “Wings of Night Sky, Wings of Morning Light,” premiered at the Wells Fargo Theater in Los Angeles in 2009 and had recent performances at the Public Theater in NYC and La Jolla Playhouse as part of the Native Voices at the Autry.
Harjo received a Rasmusson U.S. Artists Fellowship and is a founding board member of the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation. She also writes a column “Comings and Goings” for her tribal newspaper, the Muscogee Nation News.
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 contribution, 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 the Mudd Center webpage.
Sophocles’s ‘Antigone’ Comes to W&L’s Lenfest Center Don't miss the one-night performance of “Antigone” on Feb. 8 at 7:30 p.m. in the Keller Theatre.
Washington and Lee University brings the American Shakespeare Center’s (ASC) Hand of Time Tour to the Lenfest Center for a one-night performance of “Antigone” on Feb. 8 at 7:30 p.m. in the Keller Theatre. All tickets are $5 and students get in free.
In the aftermath of her brothers’ bloody war, Antigone is left torn. Her brother Eteocles will be honored, but her brother Polyneices will be shamed and denied funeral rites. In this ancient tale, Antigone, one of the earliest heroines in drama, stands for morality in spite of punishment. Sophocles’s drama from 441 BC holds startling relevance today, as it examines divinity, obedience and law.
“Antigone’ reaches across 2,500 years to speak to us today with surprising relevancy,” says ASC Director Doreen Bechtol. “When I think of the law enacted to deny Antigone her ancestral right to care for her brother’s body, I think of laws that separate families at our nation’s borders and the utter grief and suffering caused by being denied access to loved ones. When I imagine Antigone’s brother’s spirit unable to come to rest as it passes into the afterlife, I imagine the countless refugees around the world whose displaced bones will never rest in their native land with their closest of kin. And when I hear Antigone say to those who sentence her to death, ‘I am disposed to love by nature, not to hate,’ I am reminded that even when faced with tragedy, a young woman has the strength to choose love.”
Bechtol joined the ASC in 2002 as an actor and choreographer with its first resident troupe and later served as director of youth programs. She is now faculty at Mary Baldwin University in the Shakespeare and performance graduate program, where she manages the MFA company. Her previous roles with the ASC include Olivia in “Twelfth Night,” Goneril in “King Lear” and Queen Margaret in “Richard III.”
The ASC brings a unique performance style to the Keller stage, blending Shakespeare’s stagecraft with a modern sensibility. The company uses Shakespeare’s staging conditions: universal lighting, minimal sets, character doubling, cross-gender casting and live music. The Hand of Time Tour shares light with the audience throughout the performance for a unique brand of audience contact rarely seen in theater today.
The Hand of Time Tour is the ASC’s 30th-annual tour. Founded as Shenandoah Shakespeare Express in 1988, the ASC grew to international prominence and is now the home of the world’s only re-creation of Shakespeare’s indoor theater in Staunton, Virginia. ASC on Tour has performed in 46 U.S. states, one U.S. territory and five other countries.
The Hand of Time Tour features Madeline Calais, Hilary Alexa Caldwell, Josh Clark, Topher Embrey, Ally Farzetta, Kenn Hopkins Jr., J.C. Long, Annabelle Rollison, Ronald Román-Meléndez, Constance Swain and Andrew Tung. Thomas J. Coppola is touring troupe manager. Sophia Beratta is assistant touring troupe manager and understudy.
Order tickets online today at wlu.edu/lenfest-centeror call the Lenfest box office at 540-458-8000 for ticket purchase information. Box office hours are Mon.–Fri., 9-11 a.m. and 1-3 p.m., as well as one hour before performance time.
Talking Greek with Corey Gant W&L’s new director of Greek life discusses his own fraternity experience and the evolution of Greek life at W&L.
“I started college as a very shy student, but I can honestly say joining [a fraternity] pushed me out of my comfort zone and introduced me to a world of opportunities on campus.”
~ Corey Gant
Q: What does a day in the life of W&L’s director of Greek life look like?
Two days rarely look the same, which is something I love about working in fraternity and sorority life. Some days I might be in back-to-back meetings with fraternity and sorority presidents checking in on the happenings of their organizations, while some days I may be driving independent students to a step show at James Madison University. Because of the size and scope of Greek life at W&L, I get invited to join a lot of working groups or meetings.
Q: At Virginia Tech, where you received your undergraduate degree in public and urban affairs, you pledged Delta Tau Delta. How did your involvement in the fraternity shape your own college experience and the person you are today?
Being a Delt has definitely shaped who I am as a person. The core values of Delta Tau Delta — truth, courage, faith and power — helped influence a lot of my decisions in college. I started college as a very shy student, but I can honestly say joining Delt pushed me out of my comfort zone and introduced me to a world of opportunities on campus. To this day, I still keep the block letters T, C, F and P in my office to remind myself of the oath I made 10 years ago.
Q: Is there a moment or time period you can point to when the Greek system became a career interest for you? Why did you choose this path — or did it choose you?
I really didn’t know anything about student affairs upon arriving at Virginia Tech. I bounced around a number of majors and nothing seemed to fit. Then I met my mentor, Dr. Byron Hughes, who served as the director of fraternity and sorority life for a while and who is now the dean of students. I interned with his office and fell in love with helping students see the impact Greek life could have on our campus and local community. He was very intentional about presenting student affairs as an option for me and guided me through the graduate school application process. I ended up attending Indiana University and received a master’s of science in education in higher education and student affairs.
Q: What do you wish the public knew about Greek life that is not apparent in common stereotypes?
This is one of my favorite questions. Most people would expect me to blindly go to bat for the Greek system, but my views are more complex than that. When done right, Greek life teaches students how to be strong leaders who understand how their decisions impact themselves, their organizations and their communities. However, like any student—or human, for that matter—Greek students don’t always make the best decisions. I don’t think it is fair to assign blame to the Greek system for all campus or community issues, though. This is especially true in W&L’s case, since 75 percent of the student body is involved in Greek life.
Q: Part of your job is leading diversity and inclusion efforts in the W&L Greek community. What does that involve?
The Office of Greek Life at W&L is working closely with the Office of Inclusion and Engagement to develop a training program focused on diversity and inclusion for our Greek organizations. The program is intended for sophomores and will build upon the training first-year students receive during orientation. We’ve piloted this program with a few fraternities and have witnessed productive conversations. These efforts are not only important to educate our community members about privilege and oppression, but also because they serve as an opportunity for members to be vulnerable with one another. Research shows this can increase students’ sense of belonging within Greek organizations.
Q: There have been some highly publicized national cases in recent years of students who were injured, or worse, died, during Greek hazing rituals. Can you tell me about your efforts specifically around hazing- and alcohol-abuse prevention and awareness?
The Office of Greek Life has highlighted hazing prevention as a priority for the 2018-2019 academic year. We are currently exploring ways to partner with the Hazing Prevention Consortium, a research-to-practice initiative led by StopHazing. Membership in the consortium kicks off with a comprehensive assessment of campus culture and its hazing climate in order to develop and implement W&L-tailored hazing prevention strategies. We are administering a survey during Winter Term to all students that would gather data on hazing perceptions and statistics on our campus — the first step of the assessment.
Q: As an out and proud gay man, how do you see Greek organizations evolving (or not) when it comes to being inclusive of LGBTQ+ folks? What would you say to a parent who is nervous about their LGBTQ+ son or daughter pledging?
This is definitely an area that I’m passionate about. I was very lucky to have a welcoming experience as a gay man in my fraternity. However, that is not everybody’s experience. Unfortunately, I can’t promise a parent that the organization their student is interested in is going to be the most inclusive on campus and that everything will be fine. My advice is always to have students ask the hard questions during recruitment. Recruitment should be navigated similarly to the college search.
Greek organizations have the power to model what an inclusive community could look like. My hope is that diversity training will help Greek students understand how inclusivity greatly impacts both the greater organization and the individual student experience on campus.
Q: What do you love about W&L’s sorority and fraternity culture, and the university as a whole? What aspect are you most excited about in terms of your new role?
It’s always the students. Within the fraternity and sorority community, they’re always ready to challenge the status quo. They ask hard questions, and I feel that I grow as a professional because of them. I also love that I get to interact with both Greek and independent students on a regular basis. I think it’s just as important to build relationships with independent students in order to hear honest, objective feedback about what could be improved about the Greek community and how it plays a role in shaping the university as a whole.
If you know a W&L staff member who would be a great profile subject, tell us about it! Nominate them for a web profile.
Please, to the Table What’s for dinner? Entrepreneurs Emily Golub ’06 and Mary Drennen ’02 have the answer: online food kits.
Emily Golub ’06 and Mary Drennen ’02 created their online businesses right around the time Blue Apron and Hello Fresh hit the national scene, allowing consumers to bypass the grocery store and have meals delivered directly to their doorsteps. The trend shows no signs of slowing down, and each is growing her business to meet America’s appetite for delicious fare.
For Golub, that focus is on organic food kits to prepare at home, while Drennen’s business delivers fully prepared meals that just need heating up.
So, sit yourselves down. Dinner is ready.
“I’ve always loved going to the farmer’s market and collecting my weekly vegetable allotment from my CSA,” said Golub, owner and founder of Garnish & Gather in Atlanta. “But after the sixth week in a row of cabbage, I needed to up my cooking game.”
For her, access to organic ingredients was like a gateway drug, and she soon had her own vegetable and herb garden and was experimenting in the kitchen. Like most families, she struggled with balancing work and life, which made starting her own company promoting locally sourced food an intriguing option. “It’s been a wild journey,” she said, “but I feel so lucky to have this business.”
G&G, now celebrating its fifth year, has between 15 to 20 employees and is still growing. “People want fresh, healthy meals that can be prepared in 30 minutes,” Golub noted. “I want G&G to be a local model in providing that service, while also supporting local farmers and local chefs. We deliver only in the Atlanta region (or there’s a pick-up option).”
Her meal kits include all the ingredients to make a mouthwatering meal, plus an important addition. Tapping into the local culinary scene, she’s partnered with top chefs in Atlanta who share their favorite recipes and cooking tips that accompany her food kits. “My customers can recreate their favorite restaurant meals in their own home,” said Golub. “In today’s busy world, we don’t sit down to eat with our families as often as we should. Sharing a meal together is so important, but difficult to make happen. My kits simplify that part of life so people can enjoy each other’s company.”
A graduate of the French Culinary Institute in New York City, Drennen is no stranger to the kitchen. As a college student, she worked in the restaurant kitchens in Birmingham, Alabama, and Charleston, South Carolina. “I have always loved food and the creativity of cooking from scratch,” she said. But after those summers, she knew she didn’t want a career in a restaurant.
While working in the Cooking Light Test Kitchen in Birmingham, Drennen and a colleague started what she thought would be a small meal-delivery gig with a local gym. At the time, she had no idea it would lead to Nourish Foods, a Southern-inspired, direct-to-customer, fully prepared meal-delivery service. From two people, the company has grown to 25 and prepares and delivers over 6,000 meals per week, shipping them all over the continental U.S.
“It actually was great to start out working on a private label for a gym,” she said. “We made lots of mistakes, but it allowed us to develop our business plan and figure out what was going to work and what wasn’t.”
Drennen spends most of her time “in the weeds” looking at financial statements, corresponding with clients, reading contracts, reviewing press releases and advertising campaigns, and searching for the next piece of real estate to move her ever-expanding company into.
“Culinary school prepared me for high-volume food production, but it was my liberal arts education at W&L that trained me to handle many other aspects of running a business,” the English major noted. “Cooking doesn’t play as large a role in my day-to-day responsibilities, so I make sure I swing by the kitchen for frequent tastings.”
Dymacek to Present Inaugural Lecture The title of Wayne Dymacek’s talk, which is free and open to the public, is “My Life and Times with Dots and Lines.”
Wayne Dymacek, Cincinnati Professor of Mathematics at Washington and Lee University, willpresent an inaugural public lecture to celebrate his endowed professorship on Jan. 31 at 4 p.m. in Chavis Hall 105. Refreshmentswill be provided in the Chavis Hall foyer following the talk.
The title of Dymacek’s talk, which is free and open to the public, is “My Life and Times with Dots and Lines.”
In his talk, Dymacek will discuss a philosophy of mathematics known as constructivism, and its more extreme versions, finitism and ultra-finitism. The talk will conclude with examples from his mathematical career.
Dymacek earned degree B.A. in mathematics at Virginia Tech in 1974, and went on to earn his M.A. and Ph.D. there in 1978. He has taught in the Mathematics Department at Washington and Lee University since 1981. Dymacek is a member of the American Mathematical Society, Association of Christians in the Mathematical Sciences, Institute of Combinatorics and its Applications, Mathematical Association of American and Pi Mu Epsilon.
The Society of the Cincinnati is the nation’s oldest private patriotic organization, founded by the officers of the Continental Army in 1783 to perpetuate the ideals and memory of the American Revolution. The society was comprised of 13 American state societies and a French society, and George Washington was its first president.
Semester in DC: Gabriella Passidomo at the U.S. Department of Energy
Gaby Passidomo is a third year law student from Naples, FL. She is a staff writer for the Law News and serves as the law school’s Key Staff representative with W&L’s Outing Club. Gaby spent the fall semester in DC interning with the U.S. Department of Energy. She is interested in energy law and policy and will be doing state utility regulation with Florida’s Public Service Commission after graduation. Gaby, right, is shown above with her sister Francesca outside the Lincoln Theatre in DC.
I love Lexington. There, I said it. I love the mountains that encompass it. I love its small-town feel, the close-knit community, how people greet one another as they pass on the sidewalk. Lexington is the perfect place to spend three years of law school, or as it turned out to be in my case, two and a half years. Last year, as a 2L contemplating my third-year plans, a bit of luck struck. I submitted an application with the general counsel at the U.S. Department of Energy, presumably for a summer position. When I received a call asking if I would be interested in a longer term position during the fall, I immediately said “Yes!” Then I realized, wait, I’m still in law school.
While W&L’s DC Externship Program was a key factor for some of my classmates choosing W&L when they were prospective students, the program had not necessarily been on my radar. Plus, I was not sure how I felt about leaving Lexington for a semester (see above, love Lexington, friendly people, etc.). However, after discussing with students from past years in the DC Externship Program, I was sold. I was still not sure what to expect, as each placement varies, but I was excited. I have been interested in practicing energy law for quite some time now, and I could think of few better places for practical experience than the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).
I worked for the Office of the Assistant General Counsel for Electricity and Fossil Energy (GC-76) at DOE. Our office was small, fluctuating from three to six attorneys while I was there, but mighty. GC-76 is the lead departmental attorney for the Assistant Secretaries for Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability, and Fossil Energy. While at first glance this may seem modest, it is anything but. The attorneys in GC-76 handle everything from electricity generation, transmission and distribution, the production, transmission, storage, importation and exportation of natural gas, oil production and storage, including the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, to energy reliability, grid emergency authority, and cyber security. Needless to say, GC-76 attorneys wear many different hats.
However, the flood of work that comes through GC-76’s doors presents an unparalleled opportunity for law student externs. The office truly valued my help and was sure I would never have a day sitting around twiddling my thumbs. By the end of my externship, I was drafting internal memos, reviewing import and export authorizations, and writing orders that will be published in the Federal Register.
W&L’s DC Externship Program uniquely places students for an entire semester in an opportunity that will provide real, substantive work. My experience in DC was not the prototypical “intern” experience where I got the boss coffee and made copies. No, I produced real work product that my mentor attorney reviewed and critiqued with me, and improved my legal research and writing skills. Without a doubt, my semester in DC was invaluable.
I am back in Lexington now, happy to be home with my friends and community, but, I’ll say it, I miss DC. I miss my colleagues, my work assignments, my metro “community,” the food options, even the city. W&L’s DC Externship Program enables students like myself not to have to make that fretful decision– urban or rural, academic or experiential. I got the best of both words, and will be a more effective lawyer because of it.
ODK Recognizes New Members at 2019 Founders Day/ODK Convocation The leadership organization also presented the James G. Leyburn Award to Srimayi B. “Tinni” Sen.
Alpha Circle of Omicron Delta Kappa, the national leadership honor society, recognized six honorary and 38 student initiates during its traditional tapping ceremony at Washington and Lee University’s annual Founders Day/ODK Convocation on Jan. 22 at 5 p.m. in Lee Chapel.
The convocation was free and open to the public. It was broadcast live online and can now be viewed here.
Christy Coleman was the featured speaker; her talk was titled,“In Times Like These: Responsive and Responsible Leadership.” Coleman currently serves as CEO of the American Civil War Museum, located in Richmond and Appomattox, Virginia, where she has been instrumental in furthering discussion around the Civil War, its legacies and its relevance to our lives today, not only in the Richmond region but around the nation.
She began her career at the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation (CWF), where she was responsible for all programming and tours in the historic area. In 1999 she became president and CEO of the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit, Michigan. In 2008 Coleman was named president and CEO of the American Civil War Center at Historic Tredegar (ACWC). In 2013 she helped orchestrate the merger of ACWC with the Museum of the Confederacy to create the American Civil War Museum.
ODK honorary initiates are Mark H. Eastham, head of school at Stuart Hall School, in Staunton, Virginia; Brant J. Hellwig, professor of law and dean of the School of Law at W&L; Mohamed Kamara, associate professor of French and head of the Africana Studies Program at W&L; Alfonzo M. “Bucky” Miller Jr., retired deputy chief of the Lexington, Virginia Police Department; Lex O. McMillan III, president emeritus of Albright College in Reading, Pennsylvania; and William C. “Bill” Shelton, former director of the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development in Chesterfield, Virginia.
Eastham is a member of W&L’s Class of 1984. Since 2004, he has been head of school at Stuart Hall School, an independent Pre-K-12 co-ed day and boarding school. The school’s enrollment is more than 300 day and boarding students across two campuses. Eastham turned around the school’s deficit in just his second year on the job and led successful campaigns to increase the institution’s endowment to more than $5 million. He also oversaw the merger with a K-5 school in Verona, Virginia. From 2000 to 2004, Eastham was headmaster at Aylett Country Day School in Millers Tavern, Virginia. Before that, he was assistant headmaster and director of development at St. Margaret’s School in Tappahannock, Virginia. He served as director of publications, then director of annual giving and, finally, associate director of development at Episcopal High School in Alexandria for 10 years, ending in 1995.
Eastham is a former president of the Tappahannock-Essex County Chamber of Commerce and a former member of the vestry at St. John’s Episcopal Church there. He has also been a member of Rotary International and the board of directors of the Virginia Association of Independent Schools. He earned a B.A. from Washington and Lee University in 1984 and a M.Ed. from the University of Virginia in 1994.
Hellwig is a professor of law at Washington and Lee who also serves as dean of the School of Law. He received a B.S. in mathematical economics at Wake Forest University and a J.D. from the Wake Forest University School of Law. After a brief period in private practice, he pursued an LL.M. in taxation at New York University School of Law. After serving as a law clerk to the Hon. Juan Vasquez of the United States Tax Court, he began his teaching career at New York University School of Law. He accepted a tenure-track position at the University of South Carolina School of Law, where he was a member of the faculty for 10 years prior to joining the law faculty at W&L.
Hellwig specializes in a variety of federal taxation topics, including individual income taxation, taxation of business entities, and estate and gift taxation. He has co-authored casebooks on these subjects, several with his colleague on the W&L law faculty, Bob Danforth. After several years on the faculty, he began his administrative role as dean in 2015. He and his wife, Tammi, have two teenage daughters, Emily and Molly.
Kamara is associate professor of French at Washington and Lee. Currently head of the Africana Studies Program, he has also served as interim chair of the Romance Languages Department. He has a B.A. from Fourah Bay College (the University of Sierra Leone) and a M.A. and Ph.D. from Purdue University and Tulane University, respectively. Kamara’s teaching and research interests include French and Francophone language, literatures and cultures, with specific focus on African and 18th-century French women writers, colonial education and human rights. He is also a founding member of Refugee Working Group and Rockbridge Interfaith.
Kamara is the current chair of the International Education Committee, a faculty representative on the W&L Board of Trustees, as well as a member of other university-wide committees. As faculty advisor to campus Muslim students, he is a member of the religious staff in the Office of Inclusion and Engagement. Kamara is married to Tida Drame and has two children, Adama and Musa, both of whom are in college.
Miller faithfully served the Lexington community as a police officer over a 30-year career, first as a patrol officer, then as investigator, then sergeant and deputy chief. He has been honored by the Lexington Police Department with the Meritorious Service Medal, the Life Saving Medal and the Award for Valor. Miller has been honored for his community leadership as the Lexington Public Employee of the Year in 2002 and the People’s Choice Award Citizen of the Year in 2014. He is a Paul Harris Fellow and was named the Jaycees Outstanding Citizen of the Year in 2014. In 2015, the city of Lexington proclaimed June 10, 2015, as Captain Bucky Miller Appreciation Day.
Miller has been an adult volunteer counselor at the 4-H camp for the last 12 years, is an instructor for the J.A.K.E.S. (Juniors Acquiring Knowledge, Ethics and Sportsmanship) Program and has been a basketball coach for Lylburn Downing Middle School for the last five years. He continues to volunteer for many local organizations including the Rockbridge Area Recreation Organization and the Community Table. He is a graduate of Lexington High School and holds a degree in psychology from Virginia State University.
McMillan, a member of Washington and Lee’s Class of 1972, was the 14th president of Albright College in Reading, Pennsylvania (2005-2017). Upon his retirement, the board elected him president emeritus, the third president so honored in Albright’s 161-year history. The board also renamed the college’s campus center in his honor and inscribed his name on the college’s Founders Wall. McMillan led Albright to record enrollments, new academic programs, the most successful fundraising effort in its history, and major capital improvements, including a $39 million renovation and expansion of its science center and other new buildings. As vice president for college relations at Gettysburg College (1993-2005), he provided staff leadership toward a six-year, $100 million campaign, exceeding its goal by more than $11 million.
McMillan previously served as executive director of development at Washington and Lee University (1987-1993), where he helped lead a campaign that exceeded its $127 million goal by more than $20 million. Before that, he served as director of public relations, then director of development, at Randolph-Macon College in Ashland, Virginia. He is immediate past chair of the National Velodrome Development Foundation, a volunteer speaker for Fair Districts PA, (a citizens’ group for electoral reform), a volunteer with the Adams Rescue Mission in Gettysburg, and a lector and choir member for his church. He has served on other higher education boards and with other local charity and civic groups. He is an authority on and gives talks about author C.S. Lewis. He received his bachelor’s degree, cum laude, from Washington and Lee, a master’s degree in English from Georgia State University, and a doctorate in English literature from the University of Notre Dame. He is married to the former Dorothy Argoe of Atlanta, Georgia. They have five grown children and six grandchildren.
Shelton is a member of W&L’s Class of 1976. As director of the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development from 1998 to 2018, he served five governors, providing advice on housing, economic development, community development and building code issues. In all, he worked in the housing and community development field for 40 years. Signature initiatives included helping in the creation of the Virginia Housing Partnership Fund, the launch of Virginia Community Capital (Virginia’s statewide community development bank), collaboration on the Southwest Virginia cultural heritage initiatives and supporting efforts that led to a 33 percent reduction in homelessness from 2010 to 2017.
Shelton has served on numerous boards and commissions including the Virginia Housing Development Authority, Virginia Community Capital, the Southwest Virginia Cultural Heritage Commission, Housing Virginia, the Council of State Community Development Agencies, and as the governor’s representative to the Appalachian Regional Commission. His leadership has been recognized with the Virginia S. Peters Housing Award from the Virginia Housing Coalition, the James E. Reeves Member Contribution Award from the Council of State Community Development Agencies, Policy Maker of the Year from the International Code Council, the John D. Whisman “Vision” Award from the Development District Association of Appalachia, the Robert Baker Achievement Award from the Virginia Association of Planning District Commissions, and the Excellence in Virginia Government Lifetime Achievement Award from the VCU L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs. He has been inducted into the Virginia Housing Hall of Fame. A native Virginian, he received a B.A. from Washington and Lee University (1976) and a Masters of Urban and Regional Planning from Virginia Commonwealth University (1979).
Undergraduate Class of 2019:
Jeremy Abcug (Coral Springs, Florida) is an environmental studies major. In addition to co-managing WLUR, Washington and Lee’s college radio station, he has been significantly involved with sustainability at W&L. As a sustainability intern, he has led and helped complete a variety of new sustainability initiatives and programs, including the green transformation of Washington and Lee’s campus dining options, which now offer only compostable plates, utensils and other forms of consumer ware. As a member of the university’s Compost Crew, he also helps in the school’s process of turning pre- and post-consumer waste into soil for our Campus Garden, growing food that goes directly back to students and those in need in our local community.
Yo Han “John” Ahn (St. Louis, Missouri) is majoring in economics and minoring in poverty and human capability studies. The son of first-generation immigrants, he attends W&L as a Gates Millennium Scholar and a QuestBridge scholar. As a first year student, he was selected based on leadership and merit to represent W&L in the Kemper Scholars Program, a national business fellowship providing internship experience in Chicago. Ahn is president of SPEAK, the university organization that works to raise awareness and prevent sexual assault on campus. He has been involved with SPEAK since his first year. He joined the Campus Kitchen Leadership Team at the end of his first year and created the organization’s 10-year anniversary documentary. He has also served as the head of consulting projects for Venture Club, W&L’s entrepreneurship organization.
Erin An (El Paso, Texas) is majoring in religion and is on the pre-med track. She is an ESOL community coordinator, Burish Service-Leadership intern at Maury River Middle School, and small group leader for InterVarsity Christian Fellowship. An is a peer tutor, ESOL tutor and a youth volunteer teacher at Rockbridge Church. She is a research student for Dr. Friend in the Biochemistry Department and has participated as a cellist in the University Orchestra.
Hye-Eun “Jenna” Choi (Iowa City, Iowa) is majoring in business administration and minoring in theater. On campus, she has served as a resident advisor for the past three years, and she is the activities co-chair of the First-Year Orientation Committee. Choi served as the sisterhood chair for her sorority, and she is the assistant stage manager for the upcoming W&L production of “The Cherry Orchard.” She also has participated in the service fraternity Alpha Phi Omega, the InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, and tutored a family on behalf of ESOL.
Suzanne Eleanor “Elly” Cosgrove (Wilmington, North Carolina) is a business journalism major. She is a two-year captain of the W&L women’s volleyball team. In her senior season, Cosgrove was First Team All-ODAC, AVCA Honorable Mention All-Region and VaSID First Team All-State. She is also sports director for the school’s radio station, WLUR, and a sports editor for the Ring-tum Phi. Cosgrove was part of the Generals’ Leadership Academy her junior year and served as the secretary of 24, a student-athlete leadership committee on campus.
Katherine Francis Dau (Dallas, Texas) is majoring in art history and German. She serves as the DAAD Young Ambassador to W&L and as president of the German Club. She has also served as vice president and president of her sorority, Kappa Alpha Theta. Dau has served as a representative on both the Constitutional Review Committee and the University Board of Appeals. Since 2017, she has been a digital humanities fellow and an active member of the “Florence As It Was” project. She received a Mellon grant for faculty-student research in order to conduct further research for FLAW in Florence this past summer.
Hailey Rian Glick (Raleigh, North Carolina) is a psychology major and a poverty studies minor. Since the spring of her first year, she has been on the Hillel Board, serving as social action chair for two years, and student head of the Novack Fund for three. She is a research assistant in Dr. Fulcher’s gender development lab, a PSYC 250 T.A., alto section leader for the University Singers, and an active member of the Theater Department, having participated in three shows in the past two years. Off campus, she is a consistent volunteer at Project Horizon.
Lorena Hernandez Barcena (Houston, Texas) is majoring in economics with minors in education policy and poverty and human capability studies. She is co-president of English for Speakers of Other Languages and serves on the executive leadership teams of Nabors Service League and College Democrats. Currently, she is a Burish Intern at Rockbridge County High School and has been an economics tutor for three years. Last year, she also served on the executive board of the Chi Omega sorority. In 2018, she was selected as a Public Policy and International Affairs Fellow and received the John M. Gunn Scholarship from the Economics Department.
Morgan VanGilder Maloney (Vienna, Virginia) is an American history and politics major. She has served as president of the W&L College Democrats and as an officer in Amnesty International at W&L since her sophomore year. In addition to participating in Washington Term, she took a semester-long leave of absence to work on the Hillary Clinton campaign. Maloney has served as executive council of the W&L chapter of Pi Beta Phi for two years. She volunteers weekly at Project Horizon. She is also a Johnson Scholar and a member of Phi Beta Kappa.
Kathryn Sinclair McEvoy (Middletown, Maryland), is majoring in global politics and minoring in poverty and human capability studies. She is co-president of English for Speakers of Other Languages and student advisor to the Community Engagement and Service Learning Committee. McEvoy volunteers weekly at Project Horizon Domestic Violence Shelter, teaching English classes that she established there and conducting community-based research for the shelter. She also serves as a lead class agent, a university tour guide and an ambassador for the Shepherd Higher Education Consortium on Poverty.
Katherine Helen Oakley (Reno, Nevada) is majoring in anthropology and Spanish and minoring in environmental studies. Currently the president of Generals Unity, the queer student organization, Oakley is also involved in the queer community through her role as an LGBTQ+ peer counselor. She also works as an intern for the Office of Sustainability, is a member of the Compost Crew, and is actively involved in music on campus as a frequent performer at Friday Underground and other showcase events. She is a regular writer for the online student publication The Vigil, a black belt in taekwondo, and a red belt in karate. She is also a member of Phi Beta Kappa.
Jackson Arthur Roberts (Kansas City, Missouri) is majoring in neuroscience and anthropology with a minor in poverty and human capability studies. Roberts, who is heavily involved in the Shepherd Program, has served as a three-year leader of a Volunteer Venture trip to Richmond and has played a significant role in the Shepherd international internship program. An experienced researcher, he works as one of the student heads of Dr. Toporikova’s research lab, focusing on the intersection of obesity and reproduction. He has also sought roles in campus governance, forming part of the Student Health and Science, Society, and the Arts executive committees. After serving as the outreach chair for W&L’s Red Cross Club, he became the club’s co-president.
Anukriti Shrestha (Kathmandu, Nepal) is a double major in integrated engineering (chemistry emphasis) and mathematics. She was vice president and then president of the Student Association for International Learning (SAIL). She is a teaching assistant in the organic chemistry lab and is also a peer tutor for the subject. Currently, she is secretary of Engineering Community Development and is involved in coordinating community development projects for the club. She is a student representative on the International Education Committee. She has served as an International Student Orientation leader as well as a pre-orientation trip leader for sustainability. She’s also part of the residential life staff as a community assistant for the Global Service House.
Mohini Tangri (Fort Collins, Colorado) is a Johnson Scholar majoring in global politics and minoring in poverty studies. As a first-year student, she founded W&L’s Amnesty International chapter, which has grown into one of the largest groups on campus. She has brought W&L students to Amnesty’s National Day of Legislative Action, regional conferences and regional orientations while serving as a Virginia state leader for Amnesty’s national organization. Tangri has also been vice president of the campus Roosevelt Institute chapter and a hearing advisor for the W&L Honor System.
Sarah Anne Troise (Lexington, Virginia) is majoring in engineering and computer science. She is president of Women in Technology and Science, teaching STEM lessons to local elementary school girls. She was a member of the Student Financial Aid Committee and the Science, Society, and the Arts Advisory Committee. A Johnson Scholar and the 2017 president of Sigma Pi Sigma Honor Society, she has participated in research in the Physics and Engineering Department since fall 2016 and will present her findings at the American Concrete Institute Convention this year. She was the 2017 recipient of the H. Thomas Williams Jr. Undergraduate Research Scholarship, as well as the 2016 and 2017 recipient of a National Science Foundation Research Experience for Undergraduates Fellowship.
Julia Mae Udicious (Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania) is majoring in business administration with a double minor in mass communications and dance. She has served as treasurer and PR chair of the W&L Repertory Dance Company and performed in leading roles. Udicious is also part of a nine-member team that manages the university’s @WLULEX social media brand. Since her first year at W&L, she has tutored and mentored a local student, following him in his transition from Waddell Elementary School to Lylburn Downing Middle School. She also serves as the director of social enrichment for Alpha Delta Pi sorority, an associate class agent for the 2019 Senior Gift Committee, and a peer advisor for Professor Bower’s Ad Class.
Jordan Elizabeth Watson (Fayetteville, Georgia) is majoring in economics. As a member of the varsity swimming team, she earned First Team All-ODAC honors as a first-year, sophomore, and junior, and was also an NCAA qualifier as a part of the team’s 800 freestyle relay. During 2018, Watson has served as a member of W&L’s Panhellenic Council as Head Rho Gamma. Since her sophomore year, she has served on the executive team of 24 as treasurer. She is also a member of Money Matters.
Undergraduate Class of 2020:
Laura Rose Calhoun (Warrensville, North Carolina) is a strategic communication major and poverty and human capability studies minor. She founded Rotaract Club, a community service-based organization, as a first-year student. She also conceived and curated the Unfreedom of Expression art exhibition, showcasing artwork from incarcerated people. Calhoun serves on the Junior Advisory Group and Community Engagement/Service Learning Committee, and as a University Ambassador and a pre-orientation trip leader. She also volunteers weekly at The Community Table.
Edwin Antonio Castellanos Campos (Aurora, Illinois) is double majoring in accounting and Spanish. He’s the co-founder of the First-Generation Low-Income Partnership, president of the Latinx Student Organization, community relations chair for QuestBridge, an editor for the Spanish literary magazine Pluma, and interpretations chair for English for Speakers of Other Languages. He has been a trip leader for the Baltimore Volunteer Venture and assists the Washington and Lee University Immigrant Rights and Tax Clinics with interpretations and translations for Spanish-speaking community members. He serves as a member of the Junior Advisory Group, the Diversity First-Generation Working Group, and the Office of Inclusion and Engagement Advisory Board.
Tiffany Bokyoung Ko (Bristow, Virginia) is a neuroscience major and music minor. She is a leader of the Compost Crew, a group of students dedicated to reducing waste from campus dining facilities. She organizes and staffs the Biology Department study hall for students in introductory classes. Ko also serves as a leader for Intervarsity’s Asian Ministries small group. She has organized cultural events as secretary of the Pan-Asian Association for Cultural Exchange. She is a member of the coeducational service organization Alpha Phi Omega, the Beta Beta Beta Biological Honor Society and the Phi Eta Sigma Honor Society.
Maya Kathleen Lora (Miami, Florida) is majoring in English and journalism. She is a news editor for the campus newspaper, the Ring-tum Phi, is active in W&L’s student newscast, the Rockbridge Report, and captures student life as one of the university’s first official student photographers. Lora is a residential adviser for first-year students and vice president of W&L’s chapter of the human rights organization Amnesty International. She served as a panelist for the annual Gender Action Group discussion on the word “feminist.” She will contribute to one of W&L’s most famous examples of student leadership and innovation, Mock Convention, as the Southeast Regional Chair.
Rose Marie Maxwell (Jackson, Mississippi) is majoring in psychology and religion, and minoring in poverty and human capability studies. Maxwell is the assistant head of the Peer Counseling program. She has been the service and philanthropy chair for her sorority, Kappa Alpha Theta, and has also served on their Membership Development Committee. She leads worship for Reformed University Fellowship and is a member of the RUF leadership team. Maxwell has led an Appalachian Adventure pre-orientation trip for two years and is co-head of an outdoor sunset series for the Outing Club. She is a member of the University Singers and chair of the Lenfest Student Committee.
Brian Christopher Peccie (Norfolk, Virginia) is majoring in economics and mathematics. He is a member of the men’s golf team and serves as the team captain. He has received First Team All-ODAC, First Team All-VaSID, and PING First Team All-South laurels each year. During the 2017-18 season, Peccie was named ODAC Player of the Year, VaSID Player of the Year and PING First Team All-American. He earned a spot on the All-Nicklaus Team after winning the NCAA Division III Individual National Championship and helping the Generals finish as the National Runner-Up. He participated in the Generals Leadership Academy and is a member of Kathekon. Peccie also enjoys leading guided tours of campus as a part of the University Ambassadors program.
Hannah Margaret Witherell (Littleton, Massachusetts) is majoring in psychology and following a pre-physician assistant track. She has been an executive leadership team member of the Campus Kitchen at Washington and Lee since her first year and is now the president. As a Summer Research Scholar, she worked in Dr. William Schreiber’s lab, where she studied habituation learning in invertebrates. She now works in the lab of Dr. Ryan Brindle, helping to study stress physiology. Witherell is a pantry distribution manager at Rockbridge Area Relief Association, a teaching assistant for the Psychology Department, and leader of a Volunteer Venture trip focused on health care and poverty.
Yue Yu (Dayton, Ohio) is majoring in business administration and German. She helps place student teachers in schools through Languages for Rockbridge and is the president of PAACE (Pan-Asian Association for Cultural Exchange). As a member of the Community Grants Committee, she evaluates grant proposals from the local community. She is also a University Ambassador and peer advisor for Career and Professional Development. She has created diversity job resources and career advice for students through this office.
Law Class of 2019:
Joseph Gregory DuChane (Fredericksburg, Virginia) is a managing editor for the Washington and Lee Law Review, overseeing the publication process of the journal. He is also a Burks Scholar, serving as a teaching assistant in a legal writing course for first-year law students. DuChane was an Oral Advocacy Finalist in the 2018 John W. Davis Moot Court Competition, and will represent W&L in the 2018-19 American Bar Association Law Student Division National Appellate Advocacy Competition this spring. He currently serves as a hearing advisor, and has written multiple articles for the W&L Law News.
Jacqueline Marie Fitch (Harrisonburg, Virginia) is editor-in-chief of the Washington and Lee Law Review. Fitch is a law ambassador with the Washington and Lee School of Law Admissions Office, and serves as a hearing advisor for the university’s Honor System Hearing Advisor Program.
Madison Claire Flowers (Perry, Georgia) serves as symposium editor for the Washington and Lee Law Review and is responsible for planning and executing the Washington and Lee Law Review 2019 Lara D. Gass Symposium. She has also served in multiple leadership positions in the Women Law Students Organization, of which she is currently co-president. Flowers also serves as a Burks Scholar, a third-year student that assists first-year students with legal writing. During her 2L year, she served as a Kirgis Fellow and mentored a small section of 1Ls, both academically and socially. She graduated magna cum laude from the University of Georgia in 2015 with a B.A. in English.
Mary Nobles Hancock (Birmingham, Alabama) is an executive editor of the Washington and Lee Law Review, and won the Roy L. Steinheimer award for her Note “God Save the United States and this Honorable County Board of Commissioners: Lund, Bormuth, and the Fight over Legislative Prayer.” Last year she won the law school’s Mediation Competition, and was a semifinalist in the Robert J. Grey, Jr. Negotiations Competition. She has served as a Kirgis Fellow and on the boards of Phi Alpha Delta and the Christian Legal Society. Hancock graduated from Vanderbilt University in 2016.
Sally Elise Harper (Oklahoma City, Oklahoma) served as a Kirgis Fellow during her 2L year and is now a Head Kirgis Fellow. She was a Burks Scholar in fall 2018 and is the Client Counseling chair for the Moot Court Board. She won the Client Counseling Competition and was a semifinalist for the Mediation Competition in spring 2018. Harper is a lead articles editor for the Washington and Lee Law Review.
Benton Thomas Morton (Wilmington, North Carolina) is studying tax law. He is a Burks Scholar, aiding first-year law students in their legal writing curriculum. He also serves as a lead articles editor on the German Law Journal and as the chair of the Washington and Lee Tax Law Society. He has also represented Washington and Lee in external mock trial competitions.
Danielle Joan Novelly (Scottsdale, Arizona) is lead articles editor for the Washington and Lee Law Review, a negotiations chair for the Moot Court Executive Board and co-president of the Women Law Students Organization. Danielle is also a research assistant and a Burks Scholar.
Alex Weill Shoaf (Chattanooga, Tennessee) won the Robert J. Grey, Jr. Negotiations Competition as a 2L. He was a semi-finalist in both the Client Counseling and John W. Davis Appellate Advocacy competitions, and represented the law school at several external competitions. Now he is chair of the Moot Court Executive Board, treasurer of Law Families, and a student attorney in the Criminal Justice Clinic. He graduated from New York University in 2010. While working as a journalist in Nashville, he volunteered as a Court-Appointed Special Advocate for abused and neglected children. He also worked with the Nashville Talking Library, where he hosted a weekly radio program for visually impaired listeners.
Law Class of 2020:
Leilani Tinashe Bartell (Chantilly, Virginia) is a Kirgis Fellow, which is a peer mentorship program. With a partner, she helps ease the transition into law school for a group of first-year students. She is also a part of the Women’s Law Student Organization, where she also serves as a mentor for a first-year student. Additionally, she is on the fundraising committee for Phi Alpha Delta’s annual auction, which raises money for Blue Ridge Legal Services and for law students drawing on the Natkin Fund to support themselves during unpaid summer jobs.
Hannah Olivia Cloh (Northbrook, Illinois) is vice president of the Jewish Law Students Association, events coordinator for the American Constitution Society, and education and events chair for the Women Law Students Organization. Cloh is also a junior editor of the German Law Journal. She received a bachelor’s degree in English literature from Knox College. While at Knox, she created the Sigma Alpha Iota Music Fund to award scholarships to students for private music lessons on campus.
Caroline Louise Crosbie (Manassas, Virginia) is vice president of the Staples Chapter of Phi Alpha Delta International, the largest professional law fraternity in the United States. Crosbie is also vice president of communications, and one of the founding members, of the Washington and Lee University School of Law Environmental Law Society. She is a volunteer at the local Hull’s Drive-In movie theater, and is a member of Phi Beta Kappa, inducted at her undergraduate institution, James Madison University.
Junior Joshua Sicelo Ndlovu (Bulawayo, Zimbabwe) is a recent John W. Davis Appellate Advocacy winner and currently represents W&L Law in external moot court competitions, including the upcoming American Bar Association Moot Court Championship. Ndlovu plays on W&L’s chess team and works with children as a volunteer for the Lexington City Schools. Active in the Christian community, Ndlovu is occasionally invited to preach in different churches. He is an active member of the Black Law Students Association and is current treasurer of the Phi Alpha Delta, Staples Chapter.
Austin William Scieszinski (Janesville, Wisconsin) is a second-year law student. He serves as a Kirgis Fellow—a role in which he mentors first-year students on academics, adapting to graduate school, and career planning. Scieszinski was a runner-up in the Washington and Lee Law School Negotiations Competition and represented the school at external competitions. In addition, he serves as a staff writer on the Washington and Lee Law Review, volunteers as a law ambassador, has assisted with alumni outreach, and has served as a panelist for the Law Council.
James G. Leyburn Award
In addition to recognizing this year’s inductees, ODK will also present its James G. Leyburn Award to Srimayi B. “Tinni” Sen. Sen is a previous honorary initiate of Omicron Delta Kappa and a professor of economics at Virginia Military Institute. She has a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Mississippi and holds master’s and bachelor’s degrees from Calcutta University in West Bengal, India. She is the winner of the Distinguished Teaching Award at VMI and the Thomas Jefferson Teaching Award. She is co-advisor of the Building Bridges service club at VMI and chair of the Committee on Academic Advising and Support.
In the community, Sen is a founder and board member of 50 Ways-Rockbridge and chairs that organization’s Racial Issues Justice Group. That work includes the Coming to the Table community group to forge better race relations and an education program for all middle school students to learn more about Jim Crow and Confederate monuments in a Lexington/Rockbridge context. Also through 50 Ways-Rockbridge, Professor Sen has collaborated on getting more volunteers to Rockbridge County Public Schools and to create a peer mentor network for RCHS. She is also active in the Immigrant Rights Issues Group and the LGBTIA+/Women’s Rights Group. In addition, Sen is treasurer of the Rockbridge Regional Library System Foundation board and has served in leadership roles with the RCHS Parent Teacher Student Association and Woods Creek Montessori. A nomination letter for the Leyburn Award cited her “great humanity” which takes the form of “secret acts of generosity she practices daily.”
James G. Leyburn was a highly distinguished and respected teacher, scholar, administrator, churchman, author and mentor to generations of Washington and Lee students. A graduate of Duke, Princeton and Yale, he came to W&L in 1947 as dean of the College. In 1956, he returned to teaching and headed the department of sociology, teaching with legendary energy until his retirement in 1972. The undergraduate library is named for Leyburn. The award in his name is presented to community or campus leaders who provide exemplary service.
Semester in DC: Daniele San Roman at Federal Appeals Court
Daniele San Román is currently a third-year law student originally from Long Island, New York. At W&L she serves as a Law Ambassador and a Lead Articles Editor for the German Law Journal. Daniele is interested in patent law; after graduation she will work at Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett, and Dunner as an associate in Washington, DC in their biological and pharmaceutical practice group.
The DC Program at W&L has many benefits that I have heard and talked about, time and time again—networking opportunities, hands on experience, getting a different perspective, etc. Of all the benefits I enjoyed this semester, the one that stood out most was one that was not often highlighted: The DC Program affords W&L students an incredible opportunity to tailor their legal education the way they want to. W&L is a small school with incredible faculty and administration who work hard to make each student’s experience personalized, and the DC Program exemplifies this goal.
I have a background in biochemistry and am pursuing a career in patent law. While the intellectual property courses offered at W&L are excellent, the population of students interested in IP is small, which in turn means there are only so many courses offered. My experience in the DC Program allowed me to vastly improve my knowledge of patent law in a practical, hands-on way.
Throughout the semester I worked as a Judicial Intern to the Honorable Jimmy V. Reyna on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. This appellate court has subject matter jurisdiction over issues including patent law, veterans’ benefits, and government contracts. Approximately 60% of the appeals heard at the Federal Circuit are patent law cases. For law students and young lawyers interested in patent law, the court is a great place to learn about the subject they are passionate about.
Over the course of the semester, nearly half of my assignments included issues of patent law. I expanded my knowledge in areas I had already worked in, and I gained substantive knowledge in new areas of the law as well. I was fortunate to work in a collegial environment where Judge Reyna and his law clerks were happy to devote significant time and energy to teaching and training the interns. On a daily basis I was engaged in detailed substantive discussions with the law clerks and researched nuanced areas of the law. Throughout the semester I appreciated how effective hands-on learning is for me. Performing these tasks made me excited to use the skills and knowledge I learned. Even if I had taken a full course load of patent classes, I would not have gained as much practical knowledge of patent law as I did in Judge Reyna’s chambers. My internship this semester helped me to grow professionally and to appreciate how impactful learning through experience can be.
The opportunity to work at the Federal Circuit as a full-time intern was invaluable. I am grateful for the patent law knowledge I gained, as well as the vast improvement to my writing. I chose to attend W&L for the opportunity to participate in the DC Program, and the program exceeded my expectations in every way. This program emphasized the commitment at W&L to provide students with a valuable and personalized education.
Criminal Tribunal Students Provide Input on Anti-Terrorism Proclamation
This past Fall semester, a team of W&L Law students in the Criminal Tribunal Practicum class were given the unique opportunity to review and suggest legislative amendments to Ethiopia’s Anti-terrorism Proclamation.
According to Prof. Henok Gabisa, who teaches the class, this proclamation has been criticized by international rights group and has been used by the previous administration in Ethiopia as the main legal tool to crack down and criminalize opponents and dissents in the country.
The current reformist administration in Ethiopia, led by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, needed expert assistance with its ongoing reform in the country. Gabisa brought the opportunity to his students through connections in Ethiopia, his home country.
The student team drew upon Ethiopian laws, international law, and the national and federal laws of a wide range of countries to provide to the government of Ethiopia their expert opinion and recommended changes to the legislation. These recommendations highlighted the original provisions of the law that were found to be in violation of the Ethiopian Constitution and binding international law. The students also assessed practical aspects of the Proclamation and incorporated post-legislative scrutiny techniques to combat future abuse of the Proclamation in order to ensure fair trials.
The Transnational Criminal Tribunal Law Practicum 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 defense teams in the Military Commissions Tribunal in Guantanamo, Cuba, the Office of Public Counsel for the Defense at the International Criminal Court, and the Karadzic defense team at the International Criminal Tribunal for Former Yugoslavia (ICTY). Prior student work has has been used directly in court proceedings.
Meet a General: Emily Floyd As executive assistant to the director of University Advancement, Emily Floyd has interacted with people all over the world. But she still finds time for her favorite pastimes: bargain shopping and Candy Crush.
“I enjoy my interactions with faculty, staff, alumni and parents. I’ve made some great friends and I get to interact with people all over the world.”
~ Emily Floyd
Where did you grow up?
I’m a “townie.” I grew up right here in Lexington.
How long have you worked at W&L?
I have been fortunate to work at W&L for 10 ½ years, all in the same position for the same supervisors.
What does your job here entail?
The short answer: I support the vice president for University Advancement and the director of Special Events. University Advancement is comprised of Alumni Affairs, Communications and Public Affairs, Development, Law School Advancement, Lifelong Learning, Special Events, and University Collections of Art and History. My responsibilities include the day-to-day management of the VP’s office, including budgets, correspondence, travel and scheduling. I manage Advancement-related travel and briefings for the president. I assist the director of Special Events with on- and off- campus university events.
What do you like best about working at W&L?
Definitely the people. I enjoy my interactions with faculty, staff, alumni and parents. I’ve made some great friends and I get to interact with people all over the world.
What’s your favorite thing to do when you’re not at work?
I am a serious bargain shopper. I always have some sort of project I’m doing and love to find interesting and eclectic things to repurpose. I’ve just discovered the wonder of chalk paint.
If you could live anywhere, where would you build your dream home?
Granted, I’ve not traveled the world but I am pretty happy right here in this area. It is a great environment to raise a family and there is a great sense of community.
What book are you reading now?
I have always been a voracious reader but have not made the time to delve into a good book in quite some time. I did start a book called “Roxanna Slade” by Reynolds Price last week.
What’s your favorite kind of music/artist to listen to?
I enjoy a wide variety of music, including hip hop and bluegrass, but my favorite genre is rock and roll. My top three bands in order:
- Led Zepplin
- Guns N’ Roses
Do you have an all-time favorite film? If so, what?
“The Lord of the Rings” movies. Every one of them!
What’s your desert island food?
I have a weakness for candy bars, especially PayDays.
Tell us some things most people don’t know about you.
- I am pretty much a world champion Candy Crush player. I am currently on level 3,548. I’m waiting for it to become an Olympic sport and I will be proud to represent the USA.
- I have two superpowers: speed reading and proofreading (my eye is naturally drawn to the mistake. I wonder what that says about me.)
- I am a 4H public speaking champion.
- I am 11th of 13 children.
If you know a W&L staff member who would be a great profile subject, tell us about it! Nominate them for a web profile.
Rachel Mourao to Give Public Lecture on News Organizations In her speech, which is free and open to the public, Mourao will discuss the role news organizations play, not only in spinning news, but also in legitimizing topics and people.
Rachel Mourao, assistant professor of journalism at Michigan State University and W&L John M. Gunn International Scholar 2008-09, will give a public talk at Washington and Lee University on Jan. 28 at 5:30 p.m. in Northen Auditorium. In her speech, which is free and open to the public, Mourao will discuss the role news organizations play, not only in spinning news, but also in legitimizing topics and people. The title of her talk is “Us Versus Them: Trump, Bolsonaro, and the News Media.”
She will also visit the Economy of Brazil class taught by Jim Kahn, John F. Hendon Professor of Economics and professor of environmental studies.
Hailing from the Brazilian Amazon, Mourao worked several years as an online reporter and social media manager in journalism and public relations in Brazil. More recently, her work centered on journalists covering political protests and elections in Latin America and the United States.
Maurao’s principal research interests in digital media, political communication, journalism studies and Latin American studies have allowed her to focus on the intersection between journalism, new media and politics. She is particularly interested in the conditions under which technology affects the work of journalists covering political events, such as protests and elections.
In 2017, her dissertation won the Gene Burd Outstanding Dissertation in Journalism Studies Award from the International Communication Association and the best dissertation award from the Mass Communication and Society division at the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication.
Mourao received her doctorate in journalism from the University of Texas at Austin, School of Journalism. She also holds a master of arts from the University of Florida’s Center for Latin American Studies and a bachelor of arts from the Universidade Federal do Amazonas, Departamento de Comunicação Social.
Campus Kitchen at W&L Hosts 7th Annual Souper Bowl Proceeds will support CKWL's Backpack Program, a hunger-fighting project that began in 2009.
“We are thrilled to offer the 7th Annual Souper Bowl to the Rockbridge community, and to work together to address childhood hunger.”
Community members and local college students can band together against childhood hunger in the Rockbridge area one soup bowl at a time by attending the 7th Annual Souper Bowl in Evans Hall at Washington and Lee University on Jan. 27 from 11 a.m.–2 p.m.
Participating restaurants, caterers and bakeries will serve soup creations — many using local ingredients — and desserts while Washington and Lee’s acapella groups entertain.
This year’s Souper Bowl participants include Blue Phoenix, Blue Sky, the Bistro on Main, CHEFS Catering, Full Circle Catering, the Georges, LexMex Tacos, Napa Thai, Palms, Pronto Caffe and Gelateria, Pure Eats, the Red Hen, Rocca, the Sheridan Livery, the Southern Inn Restaurant, Sweet Treats Bakery and W&L Dining Services. New this year Rockbridge Chavurah will provide a Matzah Ball Soup.
All proceeds will support Campus Kitchen at W&L’s Backpack Program, a hunger-fighting project that began in 2009 as a partnership between CKWL and local schools. The program has served all area elementary schools and Head Start programs providing nearly 700 children with a bag of non-perishable food items to take home with them for the weekend.
CKWL coordinator Jenny Davidson said, “We are thrilled to offer the 7th Annual Souper Bowl to the Rockbridge community, and to work together to address childhood hunger.”
The goal for the 2019 Souper Bowl is to raise at least $10,000, enough to fund roughly three months of the program. CAPTRUST, a financial advisory firm with an office in Lexington, sponsors the event and all ticket fees and additional donations go directly to the cause. Tickets are available at the door, students/kids for $10 and adults for $15.
Semester in DC: Michael DiBiagio ’19L at the SEC
Michael DiBiagio ’19L grew up in Baltimore, Maryland and attended the University of Maryland, College Park, where he was an English and Government and Politics double major. During his time at W&L, he has been involved in various Moot Court Competitions and competed in external competitions on behalf of the school. He also founded the W&L Business and Law Association, a group for students interested in corporate and business regulatory work. During the summers of 2017 and 2018, he interned at the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland in Baltimore and JPMorgan Chase in New York City, respectively. Following graduation, he will return to JPMorgan Chase in New York City and will be working in a business regulatory practice with a planned focus on securities compliance.
The goal of externships should be to introduce a student to the substantive work of a certain area of law as well as to the people who work in that area of law. The DC program does just that; it offers the ability to substantively learn about an area of law you are interested while allowing you to build a professional network within that area of law. This quality is what makes the DC program a great externship opportunity at W&L.
In my case, I was able to intern at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and engage with securities law material and meet people who work in the industry. For someone who is interested in practicing securities law, this was an invaluable experience. Working full time and living in DC granted me the opportunity to immerse myself in the work I was assigned and form a network of securities law professionals. Furthermore, working at the SEC, the most influential and respected regulator in the space, substantially boosted the pedigree of my resume and will open up a significant number of opportunities.
Aside from the professional gain, living in DC for a semester grants you the ability to live in and enjoy a vibrant and exciting city. While I did miss Lexington and my classmates at W&L, I feel that the professional knowledge and contacts that I only could have gained through the DC program assure me that I made the right choice to participate in the program. In one semester, I was able to gain a strong understanding of an area of securities law while also meeting people who can help advance my career either directly or through professional guidance. In sum, the DC program offers the opportunity to gain unrivaled professional advancement while also having fun.
David B. Dickens, Professor of German Emeritus, Dies at 85 He taught at W&L from 1960 to 2007.
“The A-hour Dickens section of Elementary German began officially at 7:55 a.m., right at the conclusion of the 7 a.m. office hour. Stragglers who arrived at 8 a.m. found their classmates already hard at work.”
~ Roger Crockett, Professor of German
David B. Dickens, professor of German emeritus at Washington and Lee University, died on Jan. 9, 2019. He was 85.
Dickens was born on May 16, 1933, in Buffalo, New York. He graduated from Amherst Central High School and earned his bachelor’s degree in German and French from SUNY Buffalo (1955), his master’s degree in German from George Washington University (1958) and his doctorate in German from Princeton University (1984). Prior to joining the W&L faculty in 1960 (ABD), he taught at SUNY Buffalo, George Washington University and Hollins University, and worked for the National Security Agency.
As well as teaching all levels of conversational German, he taught German literature of the 17th and 18th centuries, German cultural history, and literature of the fantastic. His research interests included Kurt Kusenberg, whom Dickens described as “the 20th-century German existentialist with a sense of humor”; Clemens Brentano, a key figure of German Romanticism; and vampires.
On the occasion of his retirement in 2007, his colleagues noted in a tribute written by Roger Crockett, professor of German, that many of W&L’s “successful German majors started their careers with the Dickens Breakfast Club. The A-hour Dickens section of Elementary German began officially at 7:55 a.m., right at the conclusion of the 7 a.m. office hour. Stragglers who arrived at 8 a.m. found their classmates already hard at work. It was not an environment for fraternity revelers, especially on Thursday morning when there was reliably a quiz, but it was a locus amoenus for the serious language learner.”
Dickens was a prolific scholar, publishing “Negative Spring: Crisis Imagery in the Works of Brentano, Lenau, Rilke, and T.S. Eliot,” as well as numerous articles and translations of German short stories, poems and articles. He served as acting department chair twice and was a member of the Graduate Fellowship Committee, Writing Across the Curriculum Committee, Foreign Study Committee, Student Financial Aid Committee and Sectioning Committee, which counted class registrations by hand and kept track of them on a blackboard in Robinson Hall.
In the ’70s, as Spring Term became part of the curriculum, he created one of W&L’s first total-immersion language programs using contacts throughout southern Germany, especially at the University of Bayreuth. He considered this his most important achievement: “It enabled any student to gain familiarity with life in a different country.” He also noted that Germany is where he met his wife, who supported him while he finished his Ph.D. dissertation.
Crockett said, “Dave gave the program the name which has stuck: BSW, Bavarian Study Weeks. He also gave it its unique character, which it has maintained: close contact between the W&L instructor and the students, individual home stays rather than dormitory rooms, and the traveling classroom concept, which allows the academic coursework to begin long before arrival in Bayreuth.”
Dickens was also W&L’s resident vexillologist and was instrumental in helping W&L when the university began displaying flags to honor international graduates in 1995, lending many from his personal collection. Flag Day was celebrated in style at the Dickens residence (a.k.a. the Blue House), which hosted numerous students over the years and where only German was spoken.
In Lexington, Dickens was a founding member of the Friends and Relatives of Gilbert and Sullivan, on the board of directors for the Rockbridge Concert-Theater Series, a member of the Lexington Flower Committee and on the advisory board for the Lexington City Schools Gifted and Talented Program. He also designed the official cachet for the first-day cover of the 20¢ George C. Marshall stamp for the George C. Marshall Research Library and Museum. He enjoyed carpentry, reading, philately, cooking, traveling and creating block-cut Christmas cards.
Dickens is survived by his wife Monika Dickens, daughter Marina Leed, daughter Barbara Mammarella, son-in-law Steve Mammarella, and grandchildren Caitlin and Emily Mammarella.
A memorial service will be held in Stackhouse Theater in Elrod Commons on Thursday, Jan. 17 at 3 p.m., with a reception afterward at the Hotchkiss Alumni House. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Dickens Award at Washington and Lee. Donations can be sent to W&L, c/o Nancy McIntyre in the Development Office.
A Dish Serving Centuries of History This porcelain dish, which tells a story about the Dutch East India Company and the Dutch Golden Age of the 17th century, will be used in classes ranging from art history to economics.
The conjoined letters “VOC” on the center of this dish are thought to be the first globally recognized corporate logo. Together, the three letters form the monogram of the Verenigde Oostindische Compagnie, or the United East India Company of the Netherlands, better known in English as the Dutch East India Company.
Established in 1602 by the Dutch government to facilitate trade between the Netherlands and Asia (which was then known as “the Indies”), the VOC was one of the first modern, global corporations. It was granted a monopoly on all Dutch trade with Asia and was given the right to make treaties with foreign governments, purchase or conquer territory, and even make war on the enemies of the Netherlands and its own business interests.
The VOC grew to be one of the largest and most powerful corporations the world has ever known. It was one of the economic engines of the Dutch golden age and helped create the modern global economy. The first stock certificates were issued for the VOC, and one of the earliest modern stock exchanges, the Bourse in Amsterdam, was established to trade in them. Insurance, maritime law and the futures market all were developed or expanded to facilitate its operations. It helped popularize a range of consumer goods and foodstuffs, such as pepper, nutmeg, printed cotton, porcelain, tea and coffee. While bringing wealth, power and prestige to its employees, investors and the Dutch nation, it conquered, exploited and enslaved tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of people throughout Africa and Asia. It was also one of the most long-lived corporations the world has seen, surviving nearly two centuries until 1798.
The VOC’s monogram served as a practical mark of ownership as well as a symbol of the company’s pride. It marked everything from the company’s headquarters in Amsterdam, to the coins it minted for use in Africa and Asia, to the cannon on its ships. It was literally branded, or burned, onto the crates of spices, silks, porcelain and other exotic Asian luxuries the company traded. It was probably one of the most recognized, envied and feared visual symbols of the 17th century.
Among the many things branded with the company’s logo were Japanese porcelain dishes made for use at the VOC’s trading settlements in Japan, Indonesia and South Africa. Reflecting the type of connections made possible by global trade, the very Dutch monogram is surrounded by a very Chinese design: three peaches and three Buddha’s hand citrons (a fruit whose body is segmented into finger-like sections). Both fruits are traditional Chinese symbols of a wish for blessings and a long life, and were common motifs used on a range of objects, including porcelain dishes. Japanese potters copied the design from Chinese dishes, and then added (no doubt at the request of Dutch merchants) the VOC monogram.
With the monogram on both its front and back, this particular dish, made in Arita, Japan, between 1680 and 1700, is quite possibly one of the “2,400 pieces for the house of the Hon. Governor-General, all painted inside and outside with the mark of the Company” that were ordered in 1686 for the company’s Asian headquarters in Batavia (modern-day Jakarta, Indonesia). There they would have been used, probably in combination with silver dishes, to set an elegant table for the Governor-General to entertain other high-ranking VOC officers, merchants and ship captains.
This dish comes as a gift from Bruce Perkins ’73. Perkins helped unpack the original gift of ceramics from Euchlin and Louise Reeves, the founders of the Reeves Collection, an experience that inspired him to start collecting ceramics. The dish will join Washington and Lee’s small but growing collection of Japanese export porcelain. In addition to being displayed in the Japanese porcelain gallery, it will also be used in classes ranging from art history to economics to provide a concrete example of the role the VOC played in the sustenance of the Dutch Golden Age of the 17th century and the creation of our modern global economy.
CEO of the American Civil War Museum Gives 2019 Founders Day Address Coleman's talk, “In Times Like These: Responsive and Responsible Leadership,” can be viewed in full online.
Christy Coleman, CEO of the American Civil War Museum, was the featured speaker at Washington and Lee University’s Founders Day/Omicron Delta Kappa Convocation on Jan. 22 in Lee Chapel. The event can be watched in full here.
The title of her talk, which was free and open to the public, was “In Times Like These: Responsive and Responsible Leadership.”
Coleman’s address preceded the traditional tapping ceremony for new undergraduate student, law student and honorary initiates of Omicron Delta Kappa, a national leadership honor society for college students, faculty, staff and administrators that was founded at Washington and Lee in 1914. The University Singers performed.
“Christy Coleman is a national leader in the contested debates about how we interrogate, engage with and understand the constantly changing terrain of history,” said W&L Provost Marc Conner. “The challenges she has faced at the Civil War Museum are quite similar to what W&L faces and what many institutions face—indeed what the nation faces—in coming to grips with our historical past. Having her speak on Founders Day is the perfect opportunity for us to continue to engage with the hard realities of history.”
Coleman grew up in Williamsburg, Virginia, and earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Hampton University. In her role as CEO of the museum, she has furthered discussion around the Civil War, its legacies and its relevance to lives today, not only in the Richmond region but around the nation.
Coleman began her career at the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, where she ultimately served as director of historic programs, managing programming and tours in the historic area. In 1999, she left to become president and CEO of the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit, Michigan. In 2008, Coleman was named president and CEO of the American Civil War Center at Historic Tredegar (ACWC). In 2013 she helped orchestrate the merger of ACWC with the Museum of the Confederacy to create the American Civil War Museum.
Coleman has been featured in multiple media outlets, including the Washington Post, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, NBC news, Al Jazeera English Channel, NPR’s “All Things Considered,” the podcast “Uncivil” and “Matter of Fact” with Soledad O’Brien. Coleman was also on Time’s 2018 list of “31 People Changing the South.”
W&L Alumnae Recognized for M&A Work Three Washington and Lee alumnae and lawyers, two from the law school and one from the college, have been recognized for their work in the legal field of mergers and acquisitions.
Three Washington and Lee alumnae and lawyers, two from the law school and one from the college, have been recognized for their work in the legal field of mergers and acquisitions.
Lizanne Thomas ’82L and Melissa Sawyer ’97 were recognized in Deal magazine’s top 20 list of women lawyers and bankers in M&A.
Sawyer, a partner at Sullivan & Cromwell and co-head of the firm’s corporate governance and activism practice, was noted for her work on several multi-billion dollar deals, including UnitedHealth Group Inc.’s acquisition of DaVita Medical Group. Sawyer told The Deal that she was bitten by the M&A bug while working as a summer associate for S&C. She returned to the firm following her graduation from UVA Law to build her practice and now teaches a practicum on the subject at Columbia Law School.
Thomas, a member of the University’s Board of Trustees and partner in charge for the U.S. southern region for the global law firm Jones Day, was cited for her work on Knauf Gips KG’s acquisition of USG Corp. for $7 billion, among other deals. Thomas received her undergraduate degree at Furman University before attending W&L Law. She told the magazine that her initial interest in antitrust law, unpopular in the Reagan era, turned towards corporate law as she developed her practice. “I am never bored. The work is meaningful and fascinating.”
Another W&L Law alumna, Nanette Heide ’90L, was named to Mergers & Acquisitions’ list of Most Influential Women in Mid-Market M&A for the second consecutive year.
Heide is a partner at Duane Morris and was recently named as co-head of the firm’s Private Equity division of the Corporate Practice Group. She is the co-founder of Exponent: Raising Women Dealmakers to a New Power. She told M&A that Exponent was created “to provide a new platform where women in the finance ecosystem could come together to exchange ideas, information and introductions.” She is also the member of the Corporate and Mergers and Acquisitions Committee of the International Bar Association.
Heide’s complete interview with M&A is available online.
W&L Law Professor David Baluarte on Birthright Nationality Baluarte's commentary was published in November by openDemocracy.
This troubling trend of denying people birthright nationality has been accompanied by an intensified effort top strip people of US citizenship.
In an opinion piece published in November by openDemocracy, Washington and Lee School of Law professor David Baluarte, director of the Immigrant Rights Clinic, writes about the right to citizenship and recent efforts to curtail birthright nationality and denaturalize American citizens.
Read the full piece on openDemocracy’s website.
‘A More Informed, Inclusive Perspective’ Studying Arabic in Jordan and Lebanon has given Sierra Terrana '20 a new outlook on Islam and the Middle East—one that she hopes to parlay into a legal career.
Hometown: Tampa, Florida
Minor: Middle Eastern Studies with an Arabic language emphasis
What factors led you to choose W&L?
Having attended a small, private school for 10 years, and a public high school with an enrollment larger than W&L’s, I was familiar with the benefits and shortcomings of each type of institution at the time of my application. I chose W&L because it provides students with many of the opportunities offered by larger, research universities without sacrificing small class settings or a sense of community. During my campus visit, I was struck by the genuine kindness shown to me by both students and faculty, and I still feel privileged to be a part of such a talented and close-knit community.
What made you decide on your major and minor? How do they work together to personalize your education?
I decided to major in English for the sake of my own intrinsic love of words as well as for the empathetic but highly critical mindset cultivated by literature. My interest in the Arabic language and Middle Eastern society began with a research project that I was assigned during my first year, for which I chose to analyze Daesh online propaganda.
Through my research, I became increasingly aware of the lack of understanding surrounding Islam and the Middle East, and decided to study Arabic in an effort to engage more authentically with the region and its people. As I continue to work toward a more informed, inclusive perspective, I hope to approach current issues with the intellectual and cultural humility that they require.
Besides Lexington, where have you studied so far during your college career? What impact did those experiences have on you?
I spent the summer with an intensive Arabic program in Amman, Jordan, and studied at the American University of Beirut in Lebanon for the fall semester. My time in both countries has allowed me to experience the beauty and hospitality of Arab culture while cementing my desire to serve as an advocate for its people. Specifically, through my work with a Beirut-based NGO, I have become more attentive to particular gender-based issues as well as to the deteriorating condition of migrant domestic workers in Lebanon. I hope to continue my involvement with each.
What made it possible for you to study abroad?
I received the Powell Arabic Study Abroad Award and a fellowship from W&L’s Center for International Education.
How does your involvement with the W&L Mudd Journal of Ethics complement your courses of study?
As an editor for the Mudd journal, I have the privilege of reviewing submissions that apply an ethical framework to a breadth of contemporary arguments and academic disciplines — last year, for example, we published papers on topics ranging from medical care and multiculturalism to the ethics of immortality. Considering the different ethical arguments situated within so many contemporary issues has both complicated my own views and made me more receptive to differing ones.
Has anyone on campus served as a mentor to you?
There are too many to name, but Professor Antoine Edwards has been particularly supportive of
my efforts to study in Lebanon and continues to serve as an inspiration to me. I also think that Suzanne Keen, former dean of the College, is brilliant. I wish I could have taken her narrative theory course during her time at W&L.
If you know a W&L student who would be a great profile subject, tell us about it! Nominate them for a web profile.
More About Sierra
Favorite Lexington restaurant and dish?
I love Blue Phoenix’s salads and kombucha.
What’s one film/book that you recommend to everyone?
“A Moveable Feast” by Ernest Hemingway and the 1971 film “Harold and Maude”
What do you wish you’d known before you came to campus?
That I’d actually need a coat for winter.
I hope to attend law school and to continue studying Arabic.
Favorite W&L memory:
Watching sunsets from the Blue Ridge Parkway
Professor Genelle Gertz’s seminar on Milton and “Paradise Lost”
Favorite W&L event:
Last year, Professor Kameliya Atanasova taught a class on Islamic mysticism and organized a
traditional Sufi dervish performance at W&L. It was really special to actually observe and
participate in the same ceremony we had spent the semester studying, and to have the
opportunity to speak with the dervishes about their spiritual beliefs and culture.
Chief Judge Roger Gregory to Give MLK Day Address at W&L Law
Roger L. Gregory, Chief Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, will deliver a lecture at W&L Law in conjunction with the University’s multi-day observance of Martin Luther King’s birthday.
Judge Gregory’s talk is set for Monday, Jan. 21 at 3:00 p.m. in the Millhiser Moot Court Room, Sydney Lewis Hall. The title of his lecture is “The Hard Work of Justice”. This event is free and open to the public.
Judge Gregory is the first African American to sit on the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. On December 27, 2000, he was placed on the Court by recess appointment of President Bill Clinton. Judge Gregory was re-nominated by President George W. Bush and confirmed by the Senate for a lifetime appointment to the Court on July 20, 2001. Judge Gregory is the only person in the history of the United States to be appointed to the United States Court of Appeals by two Presidents of different political parties.
Judge Gregory graduated from Virginia State University in 1975 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree, summa cum laude and the University of Michigan Law School in 1978. He holds honorary degrees from Virginia Union University, Virginia State University, Virginia Commonwealth University, Widener University and Saint Paul’s College.
Judge Gregory began his legal career as an associate attorney with the firm of Butzel, Long, Gust, Klein & Van Zile in Detroit, Michigan. He later associated with the firm of Hunton & Williams in Richmond, Virginia. In 1982, he formed the law firm of Wilder & Gregory with former Governor L. Douglas Wilder. He practiced law at Wilder & Gregory where he served as managing partner and head of the litigation section of the firm until his appointment to the bench.
Judge Gregory is a past rector and member of the Board of Visitors of Virginia Commonwealth University. He served on the Board of Visitors of Virginia State University and as an adjunct professor of Constitutional Law.
In April 2003 and August 2003, respectively, Judge Gregory received the National Bar Association’s prestigious Gertrude E. Rush Award and Equal Justice Award. In October 2007, he received the Thurgood Marshall Award of Excellence. In 2010, the University of Richmond School of Law awarded Judge Gregory its highest recognition, the William Green Award for Professional Excellence. In May 2015, he received the Washington Bar Association’s Charles Hamilton Houston Merit Medallion.
From Portland, Oregon, Comes BodyVox Contemporary Dance BodyVox comes to Lexington for a one-night performance at the Keller Theatre at 7:30 p.m. on Jan. 10.
The Lenfest Center at Washington and Lee University presents BodyVox, a contemporary dance company from Portland, Oregon. BodyVox comes to Lexington for a one-night performance at the Keller Theatre at 7:30 p.m. on Jan. 10.
“Urban Meadow,” the BodyVox performance at Lenfest, will present a wide selection of highlights from the past 20 years of repertoire. This show utilizes skill, comedy and visual spectacle to create the program.
Led by Emmy Award-winning choreographers Jamey Hampton and Ashley Roland, BodyVox is known for its visual virtuosity, distinctive wit and unique ability to combine dance, theater and film into productions rich in imagery, athleticism and humor. They have connected dance in multiple areas of media, including short films, imagery, theater and musical ensemble. Much of their inspiration is drawn from the Northwestern art scene surrounding their home base, which creates a distinct style that is unpredictable.
Hampton and Roland are distinguished artists on the world stage, formed by their years working as creators and performers with innovative dance companies Momix, ISO Dance and Pilobolus.
Adding to its full evening shows and repertory pieces, BodyVox’s films have won numerous awards in national and international festivals. “Modern Daydreams,” composed of “Treadmill Softly,” “Islands in the Sky,” “Unleashed” and “Deere John,” won the prestigious American Choreography Award for Outstanding Achievement in Short Film in 2002.
Order tickets online today at wlu.edu/lenfest-center or call the Lenfest Center box office at 540-458-8000 for ticket purchase information. Box office hours are Monday–Friday, 9-11 a.m. and 1-3 p.m. and one hour before performance time. University Swipe is available.
BodyVox is sponsored in part by the Class of ’64 Performing Arts Fund.
W&L to Host Second Annual Glasgow Distinguished Writer-in-Residence Aimee Nezhukumatathil will give a public reading from her work on Jan. 14 at 6 p.m. in Northen Auditorium.
Washington and Lee University will host Aimee Nezhukumatathil, professor of English in the University of Mississippi’s Master of Fine Arts program, as the university’s second annual Glasgow distinguished writer-in-residence. She’ll give a public reading from her work on Jan. 14 at 6 p.m. in Northen Auditorium. The talk is free and open to the public.
In addition to her talk, she will also teach a one-credit master class to eight advanced poetry students selected through a highly competitive process. The first week of the course will take place during her January visit. She returns for another residency in March, and will host a public reading by those eight students on March 12 at 6 p.m. in Northen Auditorium.
Nezhukumatathil’s newest collection of poems is “Oceanic” (Copper Canyon Press, 2018). She is also the author of the forthcoming book of illustrated nature essays, “World of Wonder” (Milkweed) and three previous poetry collections, “Lucky Fish” (2011), “At the Drive-In Volcano” (2007) and “Miracle Fruit” (2003), all from Tupelo Press. Her most recent chapbook is “Lace & Pyrite,” a collaboration of nature poems with the poet Ross Gay.
“We’re thrilled to be able to offer this workshop opportunity to some of our most talented students, and to bring to campus a writer of such a high caliber, such generosity, and such infectious enthusiasm for the arts,” said Lesley Wheeler, Henry S. Fox Professor of English. “Her latest collection, ‘Oceanic,’ is a gorgeous reverie about connections among human beings, and also among humans and the more than human world—the scallops, frilled sharks, penguins, wasps, hummingbirds and other creatures populating Nezhukumatathil’s joyous poems.”
Nezhukumatathil is the poetry editor of Orion magazine, and her poems have appeared in the Best American Poetry 2015 and 2018 series, American Poetry Review, New England Review, Poetry, Ploughshares and Tin House. Honors include a poetry fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Pushcart Prize.
W&L’s Lenfest Presents ‘A Celebration of Harold Pinter’ The performance will take place on Jan. 24 at 7:30 p.m. in the Keller Theatre on the Washington and Lee University campus.
Based on the life and works of award-winning British playwright Harold Pinter, Julian Sands will deliver a performance of “A Celebration of Harold Pinter” directed by John Malkovich. The performance will take place on Jan. 24 at 7:30 p.m. in the Keller Theatre on the Washington and Lee University campus.
Pinter was a playwright, poet and an enthusiastic political activist. In 2005, he asked Sands to present some of his poems for a London charity reading. A relationship was forged, which developed into this captivating and wonderfully humorous one-person show. In Aug. 2011 “A Celebration of Harold Pinter” made its world premiere in Edinburgh, Scotland.
Sands is an English actor known for his work in suspense films. He appeared in such films as Oscar-nominated “The Killing Fields,” “A Room with a View,” “Vatel,” “Leaving Las Vegas” and “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.” He is in “Warlock,” “Boxing Helena,” “Impromptu,” “Oceans 13,” “Gothic,” “Arachnophobia.”
John Malkovich is an award-winning actor, producer and director. Some of his famous roles include “The Heart,” “The Killing Fields” and “Of Mice and Men.” He also starred in “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy,” “Secretariat” and “Red.” He has produced several films, including “Juno” and “The Perks of Being a Wallflower.”
Order your tickets online today at wlu.edu/lenfest-centeror call the Lenfest box office at 540-458-8000 for ticket purchase information. Box office hours are Mon.–Fri., 9-11 a.m. and 1-3 p.m. and one hour before performance time. University swipe is available.
Donors Fund Named Athletics Positions Three donors have recognized the role coaches play in educating and mentoring W&L students, both in the competitive arena and in the classroom.
“We are indebted to donors who recognize the value of the student athlete experience and through their generosity have afforded these faculty positions a sense of distinction and purpose.”
~ Jan Hathorn, Michael F. Walsh Director of Athletics
Athletics has long been an integral part of the overall educational mission of Washington and Lee, a university where roughly 40 percent of students play a varsity sport for at least one year and nearly 30 percent graduate as a member of a varsity team.
Through major gifts, three donors have recognized the role the coaches play in educating and mentoring all W&L students, both in the competitive arena and in the classroom. Their support of athletics salaries are recognized in three named positions.
The holders of named positions are Jan Hathorn, the Michael F. Walsh Director of Athletics; Peter J. Gyscek, the Thomas R. Wall, IV ’80 Head Golf Coach; and Brandon Uhl, the Norris T. Aldridge Men’s Track and Field Head Coach.
“Gifts of this kind are critical to sustaining the cost of Division III athletics at Washington and Lee,” said Hathorn, who has led the department since 2007. “This continual source of funding for athletics salaries frees up resources for other areas that support W&L’s mission. We are indebted to donors who recognize the value of the student athlete experience and through their generosity have afforded these faculty positions a sense of distinction and purpose.”
Washington and Lee’s physical education department consists of coaches who are members of the College faculty, as well as non-faculty assistant coaches. The faculty coaches hold the rank of either assistant or associate professor of physical education, and have an impact on all undergraduate students since a minimum of four physical education classes are graduation requirements.
Michael F. Walsh Director of Athletics
Kimberly T. Duchossois created an endowment to support competitive salaries for W&L coaches and to name the athletic director position in honor of Mike Walsh, who served as the school’s athletic director from 1989 to 2006. Duchossois is a former member of the W&L Board of Trustees, and her son, Tyler R. Lenczuk ’08, and father, Richard L. Duchossois ’44, competed on W&L varsity teams.
W&L athletics flourished under Walsh’s leadership, adding three new varsity sports and upgrading or building nine new athletic facilities. In addition, W&L claimed 103 conference titles and the Generals won nearly 61 percent of their games, claiming the Old Dominion Athletic Conference’s (ODAC) Commissioner’s Cup as the top program in the conference 10 times in the 12 years it was presented under his watch. Additionally, W&L scholar-athletes received 288 All-America citations, 29 athletes were recognized as CoSIDA Academic All-Americans and 10 received the prestigious NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship. Walsh was named to the W&L Athletic Hall of Fame Class of 2013.
Hathorn arrived at W&L in the fall of 1987, charged with beginning the women’s soccer and lacrosse programs. In soccer, she was named ODAC Coach of the Year twice and in lacrosse was ODAC Coach of the Year nine times. At the time of her coaching departure, her 277 career lacrosse wins ranked among the most in the history of collegiate women’s lacrosse. Under her leadership as athletic director, the Generals have won more than 60 percent of their athletic contests and 84 conference championships. W&L has been awarded the Dan Wooldridge Champions Cup as the top overall athletic program in the ODAC following all 11 of her years as athletic director.
Thomas R. Wall, IV ’80 Head Golf Coach
Tom Wall ’80 established an endowment that helps provide competitive salary support. A former member of W&L’s golf team, he served on the W&L Board of Trustees from 2008 to 2016. He and his wife, Nancy, have three children; Kelsey graduated from W&L in 2014 and T.R. in 2015.
In his eighth year as the Thomas R. Wall, IV ’80 Head Golf Coach, Pete Gyscek led the men’s team to three straight trips to the NCAA Championship and a runner-up finish at the 2018 NCAA Division III Championship, where a member of his team was the first W&L golfer to earn the individual National Championship. In addition, he has helped his golfers achieve all-conference honors 18 times, with four golfers earning All-America honors. Gyscek started the women’s program in spring 2012. Since then, the women’s team has earned two ODAC titles and has twice qualified for the NCAA Championship, finishing 14th in 2015. Additionally, Gyscek has mentored W&L female golfers to All-America honors four times. For his efforts, Gyscek has been named ODAC Co-Coach of the Year twice.
Norris T. Aldridge Men’s Track and Field Head Coach
John Robinson ’94 and his wife, Adrian, made a gift in support of the Richard L. Duchossois Center for Athletics to name the head coach of men’s track and field in honor of Norris Aldridge, Robinson’s former coach. As a student, Robinson played varsity soccer and was a member of both the indoor and outdoor track and field teams. He was a co-captain for both sports.
Aldridge began his W&L career in 1969 as assistant football and track and field coach, and was elevated to head track and field coach in 1971. A 10-time recipient of the ODAC Coach of the Year award, he led W&L to nine ODAC indoor and outdoor championships while guiding W&L athletes to ODAC championships on 119 occasions. Aldridge led W&L to six undefeated seasons and received the Walt Cormack Award in 1991 for his contributions to the sport of track and field in Virginia. Aldridge began phased retirement in the 2003-04 academic year.
Brandon Uhl, the Norris T. Aldridge Men’s Track and Field Head Coach, is in his eighth year as head coach after serving as an assistant coach for the men’s and women’s programs in 2004, 2006-07 and 2008-11. He also serves as assistant coach with the men’s cross country program. Uhl has led the Generals to three ODAC titles, had one National Champion and nine national qualifiers, and his athletes have won individual ODAC titles 51 times.
W&L’s Staniar Gallery Presents ‘Invocation’ The artist will give a public artist’s talk on Jan. 23 at 5:30 p.m. in Wilson Hall.
Washington and Lee University’s Staniar Gallery presents “Invocation,” an exhibition of paintings and sculptural works by Alison Hall. The show will be on view Jan. 7 – Feb. 6. Hall will give a public artist’s talk on Jan. 23 at 5:30 p.m. in Wilson Hall. A reception for the artist will follow the lecture, and both the exhibition and reception event are free and open to the public.
Viewed from a distance, Hall’s paintings may appear to be monochromatic rich blues or blacks but the works slowly reveal intricate patterns, visual forms and labor-intensive systems built with small graphite marks. Both formally and materially, she takes inspiration from 13th-century Italian art and architecture with repetitive patterning rendered over layers of carefully sanded plaster grounds.
Hall lives and works in Brooklyn, N.Y., with frequent sojourns to Europe.
Staniar Gallery is located on the second floor of Wilson Hall, in Washington and Lee’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 Professor Appointed Member of Fulbright Specialist Program Washington and Lee University’s Martin Davies, associate professor of economics, was appointed a member of the Fulbright Specialist Program for three years.
Washington and Lee University’s Martin Davies, associate professor of economics, was appointed a member of the Fulbright Specialist Program for three years.
“The Fulbright Specialists Program is an exciting opportunity for me as it will allow me to continue to spend time in Papua New Guinea and the Pacific Islands, and to conduct research there,” said Davies. “Spending time in PNG over the past year has been inspirational from a research perspective, as it provides insight and directs one to relevant and important research questions, both for PNG and for developing countries more generally.”
Davies spent time in three different locations during his 2017-18 sabbatical. During that time, he spent eight months at the University of Papua New Guinea in Port Moresby, three months in Canberra at the Crawford School of Public Policy at Australian National University and three months at Oxford University.
The Fulbright website states: “The Fulbright Specialist Program, part of the more massive Fulbright Program, was established in 2001 by the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA). The program pairs highly qualified U.S. academics and professionals with host institutions abroad to share their expertise, strengthen institutional linkages, hone their skills, gain international experience and learn about other cultures while building capacity at their overseas host institutions.
“This is a well-deserved honor for Martin,” said Marc Connor, provost. “It reflects his deep expertise and experience in global economics and international studies. His work in Papua New Guinea is significant and this will strengthen that work.”
During his sabbatical Davies was also successful in raising $50,000 from the Development Policy Centre at the Australian National Universityto support two research projects based around his work in Papua New Guinea. Both projects look at the impact of the resources sector in resource-rich developing countries (RRDCs) like Papua New Guinea, but from different viewpoints. The first project looks at macroeconomic policy-setting in RRDCs and examines how countries might better set policy in response to a resources boom like an oil or natural gas discovery. The second project takes a microeconomic viewpoint, examining individual-level savings behavior around the recent LNG resources boom in Papua New Guinea.
During his time in Papua New Guinea, Davies gave a keynote addresses at the National Planning Consultative Summit at the request of the Minister for National Planning. Thisevent takes place every five years, at the start of the new government, to assist in planning and allocation of government resources. Davies spoke on “Economic Growth: A Framework, Global and Regional Comparisons, and Papua New Guinea,” and was scheduled in the opening session with the prime minister and the minister for national planning.
Celebrating the Life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. This year's observance of MLK day will comprise a variety of events, including a keynote address by the Rev. William Barber II.
Washington and Lee University will celebrate the life and legacy of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. this year with two weeks’ worth of events that will include lectures, film screenings and a basketball tournament. The centerpiece of the series will be a keynote address by the Rev. William J. Barber II.
Barber’s talk will take place Sunday, Jan. 27, at 6 p.m. in the Keller Theater in the Lenfest Center on the Washington and Lee University campus. The talk is free and open to the public.
Other events in the series include:
- A special showing of the movie “King in the Wilderness” on Jan. 16 at 6:30 p.m. in Stackhouse Theatre
- The SABU Basketball Tourney on Sunday, Jan. 20 from noon to 4 p.m.
- An MLK Jr. birthday party for the children of Rockbridge County in Evans Hall from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 21
- The annual “Reflections on the Life and Legacy of Martin Luther King Jr.” dinner on Jan. 23 at 6 p.m. in Evans Hall
See the full schedule of events here.
Barber is president and senior lecturer at the nonprofit organization Repairers of the Breach; co-chair of the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival; bishop with the College of Affirming Bishops and Faith Leaders; visiting professor at Union Theological Seminary; pastor of Greenleaf Christian Church, Disciples of Christ in Goldsboro, North Carolina; and the author of three books.
He is also the architect of the Forward Together Moral Movement that gained national attention with its Moral Monday protests at the North Carolina General Assembly in 2013. These weekly actions drew tens of thousands of North Carolinians and other moral witnesses to the state legislature. More than 1,200 peaceful protesters were arrested, handcuffed and jailed. On Sept. 12, 2016, Barber led a “Moral Day of Action,” the largest coordinated action on state capitals in U.S. history, calling for state governments to embrace a more progressive moral public policy agenda. On Feb. 11, 2017, he led the largest moral march in North Carolina state history, with over 80,000 people attending..
“We are thrilled to have Rev. Barber as our keynote speaker,” said Tammy Futrell, dean for diversity, inclusion and student engagement at W&L. “He will culminate our celebration of the life of Dr. King. Rev. Barber, whom I would consider to be the mouthpiece of the poor people’s movement, has taken a solid stand against the oppression and unfair treatment of people from marginalized communities. He is truly continuing Dr. King’s legacy.”
Barber frequently travels as a public speaker and has given keynote addresses at hundreds of national and state conferences, including the 2016 Democratic National Convention. He has spoken to audiences including national unions, fraternities and sororities, conferences, voting rights advocates, LGBTQ equality and justice groups, environmental and criminal justice groups, and national gatherings of Christians, Muslims, Jews and other people of faith.
Barber served as president of the North Carolina NAACP, the largest state conference in the South, from 2006-17 and currently sits on the NAACP’s national board of directors. A former Mel King Fellow at MIT, he is currently visiting professor of public theology and activism at Union Theological Seminary and is a senior fellow at Auburn Seminary. Barber is regularly featured in media outlets such as MSNBC, CNN, New York Times, Washington Post and The Nation Magazine, among others. He is the 2015 recipient of the Puffin Award and the Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Award.
Grand Slam for Little Hands What A Racket, a nonprofit community service organization founded by Catherine Savoca '19, teaches Rockbridge-area kids the fundamentals of tennis and fitness.
Most Sunday afternoons in late autumn are quiet times on the W&L campus, with students hunkering down in dorms and the library to study. However, on one Sunday per month, anyone who wanders near the lower tennis courts near Woods Creek will hear children’s laughter and the thwack of tennis rackets swatting balls. This is What A Racket, where W&L students teach tennis to local kids.
Catherine Savoca ’19, president of What A Racket, started the program with her sister in their hometown of Columbia, South Carolina, in 2013. When she came to Lexington, she realized there weren’t many opportunities for local children to learn tennis, so she decided to bring a chapter of What A Racket to the city. She established the chapter in 2017, her junior year, and it was recognized by the Executive Committee in September 2018.
“I reached out to local churches to see if we could gauge any interest,” Savoca said. “There was actually a lot, and they’ve been super supportive, so I found the first group of kids, created a leadership team and looked for tennis courts to play on once a month on Sundays.”
The first few clinics were with about five or six children, but the program has since grown to around 30 children at each event.
Savoca said that a growing number of parents and families started to become interested in sending their children to the club after seeing children enjoy it. “We have a pretty consistent participant basis and I think the kids really like it. It’s a great way to bring kids together from different schools in a fun and friendly atmosphere.”
Coaches at What A Racket are students who played tennis in high school or growing up, including two members of the W&L tennis team and one who used to be. The club matches coaches and children with their level, creating responsive practices.
“We usually teach some kind of fundamentals like forehands and backhands, but we also mix it up for the little kids and do a little bit of hand-eye coordination,” Savoca said. “It helps them later on when they’re actually learning to play.”
One of the hand-eye coordination exercises for little children is called “ice cream,” in which a child uses a cone to try and catch a ball thrown by a coach. This practice teaches a child to keep an eye on the ball while coordinating his body to catch it.
The clinics are open to W&L children and local kids with no connection to the university. It is advertised largely through word-of-mouth. Local resident Amy Holton, who has an 8-year-old son and a 10-year-old daughter, sent both of her children to the clinics after hearing about them from a friend.
“It’s a great introduction to tennis,” Holton said. “It’s good to see children having fun there.”
In addition to word-of-mouth, the What A Racket leadership team created pamphlets and passed them out at local churches and a bookstore. Josie Hurst ’19, the club’s marketing chair, made a Facebook page to encourage information-sharing about the clinics.
According to Savoca, What A Racket has also received support from the W&L community.
“I coordinate with our athletics department. [Associate Athletic Director] Elizabeth LeRose has been super helpful,” Savoca said. “There’s a schedule for reserving the courts and I just have to tell her the dates a month prior. We set it up and then we have the courts for the afternoon events.”
LeRose not only helped Savoca coordinate the tennis court, but also encouraged her children to attend several What A Racket clinics.
“The opportunity is great,” LeRose said. “Initially they were shy, but they had a great time and learned tennis.”
What A Racket also provides each child who joins the club with a free tennis racket, drinks and snacks. This was previously funded by donations, but it is now provided by funds from the EC. Savoca is grateful for the support of the W&L community.
“As long as we have enough coaches, and as long as people are interested in it, I hope to see it grow,” she said. “Anybody from the community is welcome.”
For more information about What A Racket, visit the club Facebook page.
Taking the Long View Steven Jones ’69 helps his alma mater plan for the future.
“Geology gives you a longer-term perspective that can’t be found in textbooks or lecture notes. Like most folks, you reach a certain point when you have to be smart about the allocation of your assets.”
~ Steven Jones ’69
“Everything I did at W&L set me on the course that became my working life,” said W. Steven Jones ’69. “I got my first job as a geologist out West, which directly followed my W&L experience in the geology department. I had come from the East, but geology took me West and I never went back.” Jones went on to earn a J.D. at the University of Denver. During and after law school, he worked for the Environmental Protection Agency, which awarded him both Bronze and Silver medals.
Jones then went on to work for Atlantic Richfield and lived in Alaska, Los Angeles and Dallas. He finished his career back in Alaska, where he secured reauthorization for the Trans Alaska Pipeline. “Steven’s adventurous spirit found a home on the Pacific Northwest coast, but his thoughts often lead to Lex and the learning experiences he had as a W&L student,” noted William Greer, senior director of development. “He is a General in every aspect of life. Washington and Lee marked him in his college years and his ‘spirit of giving’ is now marking his beloved W&L.”
A geology major who studied with professors Samuel Kozak, Edgar Spencer ’53, Odell McGuire and Frederick Schwab, Jones acknowledged his time at the school and in the department was formative. “There were about seven majors in our department. We were a tight group with a close relationship with our professors,” recalled Jones. “I’d always wanted to be a scientist, but the collegial atmosphere in the department gave me more than just knowledge; it gave me the confidence to go out and apply it.
“Like many young people I was idealistic. I wanted to work in natural resources,” he added. “I was able to take part in the beginning of the environmental movement and to do a lot of those things I imagined would be worthwhile. I count myself incredibly lucky that W&L helped set me on that path.”
He noted that “Geology gives you a longer-term perspective that can’t be found in textbooks or lecture notes. Like most folks, you reach a certain point when you have to be smart about the allocation of your assets. I have contributed every year since I left W&L — it is hard to put a value on what you come away with; everything you give back is just a token.”
With the long view in mind, Jones and his wife, Charla, have included a generous bequest for W&L in their estate planning, which as a deferred gift within five years of his 50th reunion will be included in the Class of 1969 50th reunion giving total. “At the time my wife and I did our estate planning, I was working with a foundation whose approach was to focus on only a few areas to support to provide more meaningful funding and to get a little more bang for their buck,” Jones explained.
“We decided to focus our giving as well, so it could be significant. We concentrated on things that were the most important in our lives, and W&L was one of them.” The couple decided to make their gift unrestricted. “I can’t predict the needs of the school in the future,” Jones said. “I did not want to do something that would tie the trustees’ hands. The great thing about the school is it doesn’t stand still, like its decision to go co-ed. The school continues to grow and change and evolve with the times.”
For more information on bequests and beneficiary designations please contact Margie Lippard in the Office of Gift Planning at firstname.lastname@example.org.