Feature Stories Campus Events

Journalist and W&L Alumna to Give Society of Professional Journalist Keynote Address

Distinguished Washington and Lee alumna and journalist Alisha Laventure ’09 will give the keynote address for the Society of Professional Journalist on March 26 at 5 p.m. in Stackhouse Theatre, Elrod Commons. Her address is free and open to the public.

Laventure will speak on the ethical journalist’s role in the modern media age.

As a weekday anchor, Laventure is the face of Dallas ABC station WFAA-TV. Previously, she was an associate producer for 60 Minutes, where she helped create the Emmy award-winning piece “The Lost Children of Haiti.” Laventure also worked as an anchor in Myrtle Beach and an anchor/reporter in New York. Before that, she was a junior production assistant/editor with CBS.

Daughter of Haitian immigrants, Laventure was recently thrust into the national spotlight for her on-air response to President Trump’s controversial comments about Haiti and other countries.

Laventure graduated from W&L in 2009 with a degree in journalism and romance languages. While in college, she studied in Senegal, China, Peru, France, Colombia and Ghana. Upon graduating, she received the prestigious Todd Smith Fellowship to do overseas reporting with Thomson Reuters in Colombia.

The event is sponsored by W&L’s chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.


W&L’s Center for International Education Presents Vanessa Davies

Vanessa Davies

Washington and Lee University’s Center for International Education presents a public lecture with Vanessa Davies, on March 27 at 5:30 p.m. in Northen Auditorium, Leyburn Library.

Her talk, which is free and open to the public, is titled “An Untold Story of Black Intellectuals and Egyptology.”

Davies is visiting scholar-researcher at the Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology at the University of California, Berkeley, and visiting assistant professor in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures at UCLA.

Her talk is sponsored by the Africana Studies Program, the Mudd Center for Ethics and the 2016-18 CIE Colloquium on Borders and Their Human Impact with the Support of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.


W&L Hosts Book Talk with Temple University Professor Bryant Simon

Simon’s book “The Hamlet Fire.”

The History Department at Washington and Lee University presents a book talk with Temple University professor Bryant Simon on March 22 at 5 p.m. in Hillel 101.

The title of his talk, which is free and open to the public, is “The Hamlet Fire and the Deadly Costs of Cheap.”

In this talk, based on his new book, “The Hamlet Fire: Cheap Food, Cheap Government and Cheap Lives” Simon investigates the tragic 1991 chicken processing plant fire in the small town of Hamlet, North Carolina. This was one of the worst accidents in recent American history, causing 25 deaths.

Simon’s interviews with survivors, first responders, workplace-safety experts and local business professionals give a hard-hitting social autopsy of the gruesome event. The book illustrates how this fire was the nearly inevitable product of the rush for deregulation and the even larger American obsession and devotion to the “values of cheap.”

Simon is also the author of “Everything but The Coffee: Learning About America from Starbucks” and “Boardwalk of Dreams: Atlantic City and the Fate of Urban America.”


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W&L Presents Mellon Colloquium on New Frontiers in Global Education

Washington and Lee University presents the Mellon Colloquium on New Frontiers in Global Education on March 23 – 24, with plenary speakers José Bowen and Bryan Alexander.

The event is free and open to the public, and registration is available online.

Jose Bowen

Bowen is president of Goucher College. He began his teaching career at Stanford University as the director of jazz ensembles. He has written over 100 scholarly articles for various journals including the Journal of Musicology, the Journal of the Society for American Music and The Journal of Musicological Research.

Bowen has also been a pioneer in active learning and the use of technology in the classroom, including podcasts and online games, and has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, USA Today,”U.S. News and World Report and on NPR for his book “Teaching Naked: How Moving Technology out of your College Classroom Will Improve Student Learning” (2012).

Alexander is an internationally known futurist, researcher, writer, speaker, consultant and teacher, working in the field of how technology transforms education. He completed his English language and literature Ph.D. at the University of Michigan, with a dissertation on doppelgangers in Romantic-era fiction and poetry.

Bryan Alexander

In 2013, Alexander launched a higher-ed consulting business, Bryan Alexander Consulting LLC. He also speaks widely and publishes frequently, with articles appearing in venues including The Atlantic Monthly and Inside Higher Ed.

He is currently writing Transforming the University in the Twenty-First Century: The Next Generation of Higher Education” for Johns Hopkins University Press (forthcoming, 2019). His two most recent books are “Gearing Up for Learning Beyond K-12” and “The New Digital Storytelling” (2nd ed.)

The weekend’s full schedule is available online. The colloquium is sponsored by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.


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W&L to Host Public Talk with Co-Founders of FairVote

“Rob and Cynthia are pioneers in the efforts to reform and improve American elections…and their talk will be of interest to anyone concerned about gerrymandering, the Electoral College, minority representation and other aspects of electoral reform.”

Washington and Lee University presents a public talk with Rob Richie and Cynthia Terrell, co-founders of FairVote on March 19 at 5:30 p.m. in Hillel 101. The duo are longtime veterans in the fight against partisan gerrymandering.The title of their talk is “How We’ll End Gerrymandering and Fairly Represent All Women and Men?” It is free and open to the public. Their talk is part of the Mellon Borders Symposium.

Rob Richie

Richie has been the executive director of FairVote since co-founding the organization in 1992. He has played a key role in advancing, winning and implementing electoral reforms at the local and state levels.

He is a frequent media source and has been a guest on C-SPAN’s “Washington Journal,” NPR’s “All Things Considered,” On the Media, and Freakonomics. Richie’s writings have appeared in every major national publication including the opinion pages of The New York Times and The Washington Post, as well as in nine books, including as co-author of “Every Vote Equal,” about Electoral College reform, and “Whose Votes Count,” about fair representation voting.

Cynthia Terrell

Terrell is a founder of Representation2020 and FairVote and has served as a board member of several charitable organizations and Quaker institutions, including the American Friends Service Committee and Sandy Spring Friends School. ​

Previously, Terrell worked on political campaigns, working as campaign manager and field director for campaigns for the U.S. President, U.S. House and U.S. Senate, for governor and for state and city-wide initiative efforts, including a state equal rights amendment and a city campaign for fair representation voting.

“Rob and Cynthia are pioneers in the efforts to reform and improve American elections,” said Mark Rush, Stanley D. and Nikki Waxberg Professor of Politics and Law. “Their work focuses especially on the fates of women and racial minorities who are systematically underrepresented in U.S. elections, and their talk will be of interest to anyone concerned about gerrymandering, the Electoral College, minority representation and other aspects of electoral reform.”


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Carol Campbell, Author of “The Goddess Diaries,” to Perform at W&L

Carol Lee Campbell

Washington and Lee University presents a public performance by Carol Lee Campbell, creator of “The Goddess Diaries,” on March 20 at 5:30 p.m. in Hillel 101. The event is free and open to the public.

“The Goddess Diaries” is an ongoing theatrical production featuring true-life stories of women.

Through performance, broadcasting and educational endeavors, Campbell’s work in feminist performance and playwriting addresses intersectional issues surrounding gender oppression.

Voted Best of the Fringe three years in a row (DCMetro Theater Arts) at The Capital Fringe Festival in Washington, D.C., “The Goddess Diaries” completed its seventh run as a benefit show at the George Mason University last October. Campbell presents ongoing theatrical projects at Mason that focus on gender and sexual oppression in a migration setting.

In 2016, she launched a new music/talk radio program, Music Alley Radio that airs live from Arlington, VA, 96.7 FM. Through dialogue with guests, Campbell explores the intersection of social activism and musical talent around D.C.

Carol has a master’s degree in feminist theater and performance from George Mason University. Her capstone project, “The Lesbian Wannabe” was recognized with the Outstanding Graduate Student Project Award.


The Center for Poetic Research Presents Poet Ross Gay Gay’s poetry often explores questions of race, as well as his symbiotic passions for gardening and community activism.

Ross Gay

The Center for Poetic Research at Washington and Lee University presents poet Ross Gay on campus March 13-14. He will give a talk on March 13 at 4:30 p.m. in the Chavis Board Room and then a poetry reading the next day in Northen Auditorium at 5 p.m.

Both events are free and open to the public.

Gay’s poetry often explores questions of race, as well as his symbiotic passions for gardening and community activism. His work has won numerous awards including the 2016 Kingsley Tufts Award, the 2015 National Book Critics Circle Award in Poetry and a 2015 Radcliffe Fellowship. He is the author of Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude (2015), Bringing the Shovel Down (2011); and Against Which (Cavankerry Press, 2006).

Gay is an associate professor of English at Indiana University, Bloomington. He holds an M.F.A in Poetry and a Ph.D. in American Studies from Temple University.

His visit is sponsored in part by the Glasgow Endowment and the Dean of the College – CPR Cohort.

W&L Hosts Allen Guelzo as Part of Education and History Series

Allen C. Guelzo

Washington and Lee University will hold a public lecture with scholar Allen C. Guelzo, on March 21, at 4:30 p.m. in Northen Auditorium, Leyburn Library. The lecture is free and open to the public and will be streamed live online at https://livestream.com/wlu/allen-guelzo-gettysburg.

The title of Guelzo’s talk is “Did Robert E. Lee Commit Treason?”

Guelzo is the Henry R. Luce Professor of the Civil War Era and director of Civil War Era Studies at Gettysburg College and James Madison Program Garwood Visiting Professor and Visiting Fellow at Princeton University. He is the first double Lincoln Laureate in history. In 2000, he received both the Lincoln Prize and the Abraham Lincoln Institute Prize for his intellectual biography of Lincoln, “Abraham Lincoln: Redeemer President.”

Guelzo’s book “Gettysburg: The Last Invasion” (2013) spent eight weeks on the New York Times bestseller list and was cited for “an extraordinarily detailed and realistic account” in a Times review.

His articles and essays have appeared in scholarly journals and in major daily publications, including The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. A historical commentator, Guelzo has been featured on NPR, the Discovery Channel, the National Geographic channel and “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.”

Guelzo served a six-year term on the National Endowment for the Humanities and won the Medal of Honor from the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution. He is also a member of the American Historical Association, the Organization of American Historians, the Society for Historians of the Early American Republic, the Society of Civil War Historians, and the Union League of Philadelphia.


W&L Repertory Dance Company Features Poet Nina Maria Donovan

W&L dancers Carissa Margraf and Amalia Nafal.

The Washington and Lee University Department of Theatre, Dance and Film Studies will present the award-winning W&L Repertory Dance Company and guest artists, March 15-17 at 7:30 p.m. in the Lenfest Center.

This fully produced concert of eight works contains the work of four guest artist residencies that occurred throughout the year. Choreographers Autumn Eckman, Lauren Hall and Jordan Kriston each spent four days on campus offering master classes and teaching their choreography to W&L dance students.

Nina Maria Donovan, a spoken-word artist, wrote the poem “Nasty Woman,” which was performed at the National Women’s March by Ashley Judd. Donovan will visit campus the week of March 15 as a guest artist. Her poem and performance were the inspiration for a large group dance created by Cate Peabody ’18. Donovan will recite her poem live on stage as an accompaniment to Peabody’s original choreography.

Donovan is a sociology major with women/gender studies and Jewish/holocaust studies minors at Middle Tennessee State University. She will be on campus for five days interacting with students, performing and participating in campus life. In conjunction with the W&L’s Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies Program, she will participate in an Art and Activism luncheon during the week.

Eckman was a scholarship student at the Houston Ballet Academy and is an Iowa Arts Fellow,  where she earned her M.F.A. in choreography. In her 20 years as a professional dancer, she has danced and taught for Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Luna Negra Dance Theatre and Giordano Dance Chicago, among others.

Hall is a choreographer, teacher and dance media artist based in Los Angeles. She received an M.F.A. in dance from the University of California, Irvine, and has guest lectured and set choreography on university dance students throughout the U.S.

After receiving her dance degree from Arizona State University, Kristen joined Pilobolus Dance Theater, where she helped create over a dozen new works with the company. She has performed and taught movement collaboration workshops in almost all 50 U.S. states and several countries around the world.

On curating this performance, Artistic Director Jenefer Davies said, “Bringing together professional guest artists, faculty and current students creates a beautiful synergy. A palpable force of teaching and learning is created through the artistic process.”

Tickets are required and can be purchased at 540-458-8000 or online.


W&L’s Studio Art Majors Present Senior Projects

Senior project exhibition

Washington and Lee University’s studio art majors will present their senior projects in an exhibition that opens in Staniar Gallery’s and Wilson Hall’s second-floor art display spaces on March 26. The show will be on display through April 6 with an opening reception for the artists in Lykes Atrium, Wilson Hall on March 28 at 4:30 p.m.

Each spring, Staniar Gallery showcases work by the Art Department’s graduating studio majors in a senior thesis exhibition. The year-long thesis project gives the students the experience of creating a cohesive body of work and the opportunity to exhibit in a professional gallery space.

The group show displays accomplished artwork in a variety of media including drawing, installation, painting, photography, sound and video. This year’s show features work by Ryan Brink, Audrey Dangler, Sara Dotterer, Jessie Drennen, Ellen Kanzinger, Leigh Poetzsch, Hayley Price, McKenna Quatro, Ruth Smith and Amberly Wang.

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

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