Harrison Pemberton, W&L Professor of Philosophy Emeritus, Dies at 92 Pemberton taught at W&L for 42 years, from 1962 until 2004.
Harrison J. Pemberton Jr., professor of philosophy emeritus, died on Nov. 16, 2017, in Lexington, at age 92. He taught at W&L for 42 years, from 1962 until 2004.
“Harry Pemberton enjoyed a long and fruitful career at W&L,” said President Will Dudley. “For over four decades, he inspired students with his love of philosophy and of international study. His dedication to students and the profession called him to continue teaching well after his official retirement, here at Washington and Lee and at other institutions. Professor Pemberton exemplified the best of what we seek in our teacher-scholars. We shall miss him.”
Pemberton was born on March 3, 1925, in Orlando, Florida. He obtained his B.A. in philosophy in 1949 from Rollins College, and his M.A. (1951) and Ph.D. (1953) from Yale University.
He attended Georgia Tech for one year, in 1943, before serving in the Army during World War II in New Guinea, the Philippines and the occupation forces of Japan.
Pemberton worked as an instructor at Yale from 1951 to 1954; an assistant professor at the University of Virginia from 1954 to 1962; and a visiting associate professor at the University of Texas in 1962. In 1972, he taught western philosophy at Chung Chi College of the Chinese University of Hong Kong, and in 1976, he served as a visiting philosopher at Lebanon Valley College. His professional affiliations included the American Philosophical Association, and he was a member of Phi Beta Kappa.
At W&L, he taught courses in the history of philosophy, Plato and existentialism, and a popular seminar on Martin Heidegger’s book “Being and Time.” His wartime travels in Asia kindled an interest in Eastern thought as well. Even after his retirement, he taught occasional classes at W&L and at VMI.
His other W&L service included a variety of committees, including one dealing with the library, and one that planned an interdisciplinary program in cognitive studies.
Pemberton established the Harrison J. Pemberton Fund for International Study at W&L, saying, “When you travel abroad, you have to adjust to another culture. You learn so much about other countries and their cultures, and you often find out just how strong you are. It is an incredible learning experience for our students and one I have supported throughout my career.”
In 2015, a former student of Pemberton’s, Tony Walker ’64, donated a painting to the university, by artist David Brewster, in Pemberton’s honor.
Among Pemberton’s research interests were Plato and phenomenology. He wrote an acclaimed book, “Plato’s Parmenides: The Critical Moment for Socrates” (1984), with several W&L undergraduates helping him with research; he wrote it while living in Greece, in a stone cottage overlooking the ocean.
Another book, “The Buddha Meets Socrates: A Philosophical Journal” (2008), detailed the five weeks in 2004 that Pemberton spent teaching Western philosophy to young Buddhist monks at the Shri Diwakar Vihara Buddhist Research and Educational Institute in Kalimpong, India. He accepted the post immediately after his retirement from W&L at the suggestion of Shamar Rinpoche, the second-highest-ranking lama of the Karma Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism. Pemberton also tutored privately one of the students, His Holiness the Karmapa, the head of the Karma Kagyu school.
“It was the camaraderie and really, happiness, that they showed and the way in which they lived their lives that impressed me most,” he told W&L in 2008. “They don’t have material possessions, but they don’t miss them. There is evidence that the Buddhist way yields more happiness than you might expect. I would go so far as to say Buddhists tend to be happier than Westerners. They don’t have any of our tension and strain. They also have a great sense of humor, and yet then they can be very serious. So they have the full range, and to me it seems more wholesome.”
Pemberton is survived by his nephews, Zan and Pem Guerry, and his niece, Chappell Kane.
Lew John ’58, W&L Professor of Politics Emeritus, Dies at 80 During his 43 years at W&L, John also served as dean of students and director of financial aid.
“Lew had a voice that made you stop and take notice. His laugh, equally deep and resonant, couldn’t help but make you smile. His love for the university resonated much like his laugh.”
— Dean Robert Straughan
Lewis George John, professor of politics emeritus at Washington and Lee University, died on Nov. 6, 2017, in Lexington. He was 80. During his 43 years at W&L, John, a 1958 graduate of the university, also served as dean of students and director of financial aid.
“From 1963 until his retirement in 2006, Lew John served generations of W&L students in two capacities — as a caring dean of students, and as a respected professor of politics,” said W&L President Will Dudley. “His devotion to the university was unmistakable. How fortunate we are that we can also claim him as an alumnus.”
John was born on Nov. 25, 1936, in Waco, Texas, and grew up in Olean, New York. He held a B.A. in economics from Washington and Lee (1958), an M.P.A. from Princeton University (1961), and a Ph.D. in social science from Syracuse University (1973). He studied at Syracuse under a Lehman Graduate Fellowship for outstanding graduate students, while on a leave of absence from W&L. He studied political economy at the University of Edinburgh as a Fulbright Scholar from 1958 to 1959, and from 1959 to 1960 was a Woodrow Wilson Fellow at Princeton.
During his Princeton year, he worked as an executive trainee in the Office of the Secretary of the Defense in Washington, D.C. A graduate of ROTC, he served as a first lieutenant in the U.S. Army from 1961 to 1963, commanding the Nike Hercules Battery in Edgemont, Pennsylvania.
John returned to his alma mater in 1963 as the assistant dean of students and director of financial aid. He served as dean of students from 1969 to 1990, when he turned to full-time teaching in the Williams School of Commerce, Economics, and Politics. He taught American government and public administration, and researched consumer protection for students.
“Lew had a voice that made you stop and take notice. His laugh, equally deep and resonant, couldn’t help but make you smile. His love for the university resonated much like his laugh,” said Robert D. Straughan, Crawford Family Dean of the Williams School. “We have tried to build on some of the academic initiatives that he helped cultivate, not the least of which is our British politics program. It has since inspired a similar program in South Africa. We hope to have additional programs in Latin America and Asia at some point. We have Lew to thank for paving the way.”
John’s W&L service included committees concerning admissions, financial aid, student affairs and lectures, coeducation, and the Shepherd Poverty Program. In 1992, he attended C-SPAN’s Seminar for Professors about using C-SPAN’s public affairs programming in the classroom and for research.
Among his professional affiliations were the American Economic Association, the American Political Science Association, and the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA). He served as the president of the Virginia Association of Student Personnel Administrators (VASPA) and received its Outstanding Professional Award in 1983. In 1982, he received NASPA’s Distinguished Service Award.
He also served the Lexington community in many ways, including stints on the Lexington School Board (chair, 1980-1981); on the Joint Committee for Control of Lexington High School (chair, 1979-1980); on the Rockbridge Area Drug Council (chair, 1972-1975); and on the Planning District Drug Abuse Council.
John belonged to the honor societies Phi Beta Kappa (academics), Omicron Delta Kappa (leadership), Omicron Delta Epsilon (economics), and Beta Gamma Sigma (business).
John’s publications included contributions to two books, “The Fall of the Iron Lady, 1990” and “Legal Deskbook for College Administrators,” and to several journals, including the Virginia Association of Student Personnel Administrators’ Interchange, the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators Journal, and the Philippine Journal of Public Administration.
During his student days at W&L, John belonged to Delta Upsilon social fraternity, and he received an award from the Washington Literary Society as a student who had contributed the most to the university. He was president of the Interfraternity Council and a dormitory counselor.
In 1985, John received the William Webb Pusey III Award from the Executive Committee of the Student Body for his outstanding service and dedication to the university. His classmates honored him with the Class of 1958 Lew & Annette John Honor Scholarship. In 2013, he received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from W&L, and in 2016, the university unveiled Lewis John Avenue in the new Village for third-year housing. On the latter occasion, he said, “I’m very pleased to have my name associated with an area of student housing, since I spent most of my career with students.”
Lew John is survived by his wife of 56 years, Annette Church John; his sons, Andrew John (Amy) and Christopher John ’86 (Jill); and five grandchildren, Kathryn, Michael, Jordan, Alexander and Kendall.
A memorial service will be held on Saturday, Dec. 2, at 3 p.m., in Lee Chapel on the Washington and Lee campus, followed by a celebration of his life at Washington and Lee’s Evans Hall. The service will be broadcast on Livestream; you may watch it here: https://livestream.com/wlu/lew-john.
In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to the Class of 1958 Lew & Annette John Honor Scholarship.
H. Robert Huntley, Professor of English Emeritus at Washington and Lee University, Dies at 89 Huntley taught at Washington and Lee University for 32 years until his retirement in 1994.
Robert Huntley, professor of English emeritus and former dean of freshmen, who taught at Washington and Lee University for 32 years until his retirement in 1994, died on Oct. 6, 2017, in Lexington, Virginia. He was 89.
“The W&L community will remember Bob Huntley with gratitude,” said W&L President Will Dudley. “Not only was he a dedicated professor of English, but he also served as a caring dean of freshmen. He supported our first African-American students and advocated for coeducation. Clearly, his legacy is one to cherish and to emulate.”
Huntley was born on Sept. 13, 1928, in Virginia, Minnesota, and grew up in Black River Falls, Wisconsin. He held a B.A. in English and history from Wisconsin State University (1953), and an M.A. in English (1956) and a Ph.D. in English and history (1965) from the University of Wisconsin. He worked as an instructor at Northern Illinois University from 1956 to 1958.
Huntley joined the W&L English faculty in 1962, and taught courses in composition, English literature, and Soviet literature. He also served as the dean of freshmen and associate dean of students, helped recruit the university’s first African-American students, and led the task force responsible for the school’s transition to coeducation. He said, “You cannot effectively or accurately teach literature to men in the absence of the female perspective.”
“Bob Huntley proved a generous colleague who warmly welcomed me into the department and guided my teaching and plans in my first and challenging year here in the South,” said Edward A. Adams, W&L professor of English. “Upon his retirement and departure for a year of travel, I was able to live in his home high on a bluff above the Maury River with a breathtaking view of House Mountain, Hogback, and the westward sweep toward West Virginia. There I came to love Rockbridge County — almost as much as I love my native Maine — and Bob’s wisdom in long ago choosing such a beautiful place to cherish taught me much about him and how lucky I was to have him as a colleague.”
In addition to a definitive book, “The Alien Protagonist of Ford Madox Ford,” Huntley published many articles about Ford, Flaubert and Henry James.
“Bob Huntley was an engaged, passionate teacher his entire career at W&L,” said Jim Warren, professor of English at W&L. “He told me that he got the job by chance, driving through the area in the early 1960s. He had a Ph.D., they had a job opening, and he spent the next 45 to 55 years in Lexington. That’s how it worked back then. Bob loved the modern English novel, and he was a dedicated teacher of the old Brit lit survey. His copies of the Norton Anthology were a wonder of marginal comments, cross references, and ideas. He had an archive of the anthologies he had used over his career, transferring notes from one edition to another.”
At his farm in Rockbridge County, called Upper Meadow, Huntley kept bees, played with his dogs, and brewed beer. A world traveler, he visited and studied all over the globe, and he served as faculty adviser to the international club at W&L.
The avid outdoorsman also supported W&L’s Outing Club. Nicknamed “English Bob” to distinguish him from Robert E.R. Huntley ’50, ’57L (W&L’s president from 1968 to 1983), he served as faculty adviser to Phi Eta Sigma and belonged to Phi Beta Kappa. In 1981, he received the Ring-tum Phi Award for exceptional service to the university as dean of freshmen.
“The very qualities which endeared him to his freshmen have endeared him to his colleagues and his students for over three decades,” noted his colleagues upon his 1994 retirement. “As genuinely interested in students’ overall welfare as in their growth as readers and writers, Bob has always given them the sense that their academic work is a team effort in which he shares.”
He is survived by his daughters, Eve Huntley and Rhea Kosovic; his sons-in-law, Kirk Hughes and George Kosovic; his granddaughters, Charis Hughes, Quin Montelius and Zoe Kosovic-Rios; his great-granddaughter, Rona Montelius; and his partner, Nancy Margand, W&L professor of psychology emerita.
There is no plan for a funeral. The family requests that commemorations take the form of contributions to Rockbridge Area Hospice, 315 Myers St., Lexington, VA 24450.
Jefferson Davis Futch III, Professor of History Emeritus, Dies at 85
Jefferson Davis Futch III, professor of history emeritus, who taught at Washington and Lee University for 46 years until his retirement in 2008, died on Sept. 21, 2017, in Lexington, Virginia. He was 85.
“Though I’ve been here only a short time, I have learned about Professor Futch’s enduring commitment to his profession and his students,” said W&L President William C. Dudley. “My thoughts are with his friends, his former colleagues in the History Department, and the rest of the Washington and Lee community as we reflect on his life and his contributions to the university.”
Futch was born on April 16, 1932, in Baltimore, Maryland, to J.D. Futch Jr. and Mildred Hopkins Futch.
He held an A.B. (1955) in humanities and a Ph.D. (1962) in history from Johns Hopkins University. He titled his dissertation “U.S.-German Diplomatic Relations, 1929–1933.” He served as an instructor in history at Johns Hopkins (1956–1957), held a Woodrow Wilson Fellowship (1955–1956), and studied in Italy (1958).
Futch served in the U.S. Army, in Italy, from 1957 to 1960, which he called “a perfectly mad, simply wild experience.”
He joined the W&L faculty in 1962. He became an associate professor in 1966 and a full professor in 1970. He taught the history of Europe since 1815, of Venice and of the papacy. Futch served on W&L’s admissions committee from 1966 to 1969. He belonged to Phi Beta Kappa and the German Honor Society.
“Dave was revered by generations of W&L history students,” said his longtime colleague David S. Peterson, W&L professor of history. “His lectures, delivered without the aid of notes, are legendary. He was a master of detailed, witty, enthralling historical narration. He will be deeply missed and fondly remembered.”
A long-time contributor to the National Review, Monarche Nuova and Relazioni, Futch also wrote book reviews for the Richmond News Leader, and wrote the preface (in Italian) to an Italian book, “The Conservative Movement in the United States” (1970).
He served on the advisory council of Americans Against Union Control of Government and belonged to the American Historical Association and the Society of Italian Historical Studies.
“He was a renowned teacher, very popular with students and a mainstay in the History Department,” said Provost Marc Conner. “His lectures on 20th-century German history were famous, as was his Spring Term course on the Papacy. He was a champion of traditional conservative thought, and scores of alumni remember him with great affection.”
Futch was honored by students at a 1973 testimonial dinner, and in 1987 he received the William Webb Pusey Award III for outstanding service and dedication to the university. His retirement in 2008 was even noted in the Congressional Record.
Futch, whose pastimes included music and stamp collecting, was famous for requiring male students to wear ties to his classes and in his office long after W&L had relaxed its dress code. “Boys without ties look like juvenile delinquents,” he told the Roanoke Times & World-News in 1977. He provided ties for those who needed one. He also told the Roanoke paper, “Dealing with students is much nicer than dealing with people.”
Survivors include Barbara C. Bull, of Takoma Park, Maryland, and James L. Forestell, of Reston, Virginia.
On Friday, Oct. 6, during Parents and Family Weekend, the Department of History hosted a remembrance of Professor Futch.
On Saturday, Nov. 18, at 2 p.m., a memorial service will take place in Lee Chapel on the W&L campus. A reception will follow at the R.E. Lee Hotel. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Dr. Jefferson Davis Futch III Speaker Forum at The Spectator: A Magazine of Student Thought and Opinion.
Price Named Associate VP for Academic Services at Maryland Institute College of Art
Wendy L. Price, associate dean of the College at Washington and Lee University since 2010, has accepted a new position, as the associate vice president for academic services at the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA), in Baltimore. She begins her new job on July 17.
“Over the past seven years, I have had the privilege of working with exceptional staff and outstanding faculty across the university,” said Price. “I value those collaborative efforts and the positive impacts we made on campus. I look forward to building similar connections at MICA and to being part of such a prestigious art and design community.”
In her post at W&L, Price administered a large portfolio, including College buildings and classrooms; operating, discretionary and capital budgets and accounts; and oversight of non-faculty College staff and the foreign-language teaching assistants. She handled undergraduate disability accommodations and collaborated with other staff members to address student health.
“It has been my privilege to work for five years side-by-side with Wendy,” said Suzanne Keen, dean of the College and the Thomas Broadus Professor of English. “I have relied on her every day to manage the College’s part in major renovation projects, in capital and operating budget processes, in our work across campus with different divisions, in assisting College staff, and in supporting students who require accommodations.
“She has been one of my most important interlocutors behind the scenes,” continued Keen. “She leaves the budgets, records and procedures in the College in tip-top condition for the next associate dean. I am bursting with pride in her accomplishment in securing this exciting new position at MICA, where her various skills and experiences will be put to great use. And I will miss her wonderful laugh.”
At MICA, Price’s extensive duties will include a wide range of academic services, including the capital budget and facilities planning. She also will oversee exhibitions, the fabrication studios, international education and the technical labs.
MICA, founded in 1826, has about 1,800 undergraduate students and 300 graduate students and offers undergraduate, graduate and continuing-study courses in fine arts, design, electronic media, art education, liberal arts and professional studies. It bestows the B.F.A., M.A., M.A.T. and M.F.A. degrees.
Price joined W&L in 2010 after serving as a team leader in historic preservation at Historic New England. A graduate of Southern Methodist University, where she earned a B.A. in history, Price also holds a law degree from Duke University and a master’s degree in historic preservation from the University of Georgia.
After practicing law for three years, in 1996 she joined the University of Mary Washington as assistant professor of historic preservation; she became the department head in 2002. In 2005, she joined Historic New England, the oldest and largest regional preservation organization in the United States.
In 2013, she was chosen by the Council of Independent Colleges and the American Leadership Institute to participate in a yearlong Senior Leadership Academy.
Virginia Festival of the Book Showcases W&L’s Talents
Three members of the Washington and Lee community will see their literary work highlighted this week at the Virginia Festival of the Book, in Charlottesville.
First up is Domnica Radulescu, the Edwin A. Morris Professor of Romance Languages at W&L. She makes her appearance on Friday, March 24, at 4 p.m., in the session “Fiction: Exploring Others and Ourselves.” Domnica has published three novels, “Country of Red Azaleas,” “Black Sea Twilight” and “Train to Trieste.”
On Sunday, the session “ ‘Speaking in Faces’: Virginia’s Typographical Treasures Published” will include Bonnie Bernstein, who is married to Hank Dobin, professor of English at W&L. Along with Lucas Czarnecki and David Shields, Bonnie will talk about the type-specimen book of Virginia’s largest public collection of metal and wood type holdings. Furthermore, Yolanda Merrill, who retired from W&L as a humanities librarian, is in charge of binding the book.
The Virginia Festival of the Book is a popular program of the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities. The VFH’s founding president, Rob Vaughan, is a member of the W&L Class of 1966. Last year the university gave him an honorary degree for his distinguished career in service of the humanities. Vaughan is retiring this year after 43 years with VFH.
A Loss for W&L: Mike Miller
To: The W&L Community
From: President Ruscio
I write with the sad news that locksmith Mike Miller, of Facilities Management, died yesterday, Nov. 29.
Mike was one of those hard-working, professional, friendly people who exemplify the best of our community. His work as the locksmith made him one of the most necessary people on campus. We will miss him.
Mike joined W&L 42 years ago, in 1974, as a carpenter. He began his apprenticeship as a locksmith in 2001 and was promoted to locksmith in 2009.
Kim and I send our deepest condolences to his family — his wife, Catherine “Tootie” Miller; his daughter, Charity Preuss, and her husband, Tim; and his granddaughters, Hailey and Maddy — and to his friends and coworkers.
A memorial service will be held this Friday, Dec. 2, at 2:00 p.m., at Harrison Funeral Home. His family will receive visitors an hour before the service.
In lieu of flowers, Mike’s family requests donations to the Rockbridge Area Hospice.
Washington and Lee Commemorates Veterans Day
Washington and Lee University conducted its annual Veterans Day gathering in front of Lee Chapel on Friday, Nov. 11.
Co-organizers Mark Fontenot and Mike Young presided over the ceremony with a prayer, remarks and the introduction of everyone present. Interim Provost Marc Conner offered a short speech of gratitude on behalf of President Ken Ruscio ’76, who was out of town.
The veterans in attendance included current and retired members of the W&L staff and faculty, as well as several students at the W&L School of Law:
Buddy Atkins, Retiree
William Carpenter ’19L
Al Carr, Law School
Jerry Clark, Facilities Management
John DeVogt, Retiree
Mark Fontenot, Facilities Management
David Garcia, USMC
Ted Hickman, Facilities Management
Timothy Keefer, Law School
Laurie Lipscomb, Retiree
Dale Lyle, Facilities Management
Gabrielle Ongies ’18L
Nicolas Ramos ’18L
Len Reiss, Retiree
Daniel R. Rexrode, Public Safety
Bob Shaeffer, Information Technology Services
Andrew Smeltzer ’17L
Michael Stinnett-Kassoff ’19L
David Thompson ’19L
Tom Tinsley, Information Technology Services
Annie Cox Tripp ’17L
Grimes Waybright ’18L
Devin White ’18L
Mike Young, Retiree
Paul Youngman ’87, German
W&L Professor Emeritus H. Eugene King dies at 94
“Our research is something like lighting a candle in darkness.”
— Henry Eugene King
Henry Eugene King, professor emeritus of psychology at Washington and Lee University, died on Oct. 31, at his home in Lexington, Virginia. He was 94. He taught at W&L from 1977 until his retirement in 1990.
“Washington and Lee was fortunate to have had someone of Gene King’s expertise and dedication on our faculty,” said President Kenneth P. Ruscio. “By combining teaching with an impressive devotion to his research, he served as a fine role model to our students.”
At W&L, King taught courses on abnormal psychology, human neuropsychology, and medical ethics. At the same time, he served as an adjunct professor at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, where he and two of that institution’s researchers studied the behavioral consequences of hypertension. In the summer, he managed the workload by living in Pittsburgh; during the academic year, he drove to Pittsburgh on Thursdays after his W&L classes ended, worked there on Friday and Saturday, and returned to Lexington on Sunday.
“Our research is something like lighting a candle in darkness,” he told the W&L alumni magazine in 1981. “The more you know and understand about any disease, the more likely you are to find its cause. And once you know the cause, the more likely you are to find useful treatment and prevention.”
King was born on Sept. 24, 1922, in Wilmington, Virginia. He held three degrees in psychology: a B.A. from the University of Richmond (1942), and an M.A. (1943) and Ph.D. (1948) from Columbia University.
During World War II, he served in the Navy as an officer: on convoy duty in the North Atlantic, commanding a tank landing ship during D-Day, and in the Pacific Theater during the occupation of Japan and the repatriation of Japanese soldiers. He received several decorations for his service.
Before coming to W&L, King served on the faculty of the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons (1946–1949); the Tulane University Medical School (1949–1960); and the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine (1960–1977), where he also served as chief of the psychology service at Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic (1960–1973), head of the psychobiology laboratory (1973–1977), and director of the program in research consultation (1973–1977).
Among his many publications were the books “Psychomotor Aspects of Mental Disease” (author, 1954), “Studies in Schizophrenia” (contributor, 1954) and “Studies in Topectomy” (contributor, 1956). He published more than 100 chapters and articles on such topics as the relation of brain to behavior and human memory disorders. King continued his research long after retirement, and recently finished a book that will be published posthumously.
King belonged to 10 scientific societies, including the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the Society for Neuroscience. Among his professional responsibilities, he served as translator/abstractor for the American Psychological Association for the Annales Médico-Psychologiques (France), and as a consultant to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute and to the National Institute of Mental Health.
At W&L, his students and colleagues enjoyed his appreciation of French wine, Cajun music, Creole cooking and his mo-ped.
His wife of 60 years, Kathleen M. King, preceded him in death. He is survived by his daughter, Anne H. King, of St. Paul, Minnesota; his son, Peter O. King, and his wife, Anna Greco, of Toronto, Canada; his granddaughter Angela King and her husband, Doug Kremm, of Boston; his granddaughter Julia King of Montréal, Canada; his nieces, Lucy McGee and Martha Mason, and his nephew, John B. King III, and their families; and many cousins and other relatives.
A memorial gathering will be held at a future date.
Ruscio Center for Global Learning Honors W&L’s Outgoing President
“I will be forever grateful to the Board of Trustees for giving me the opportunity to serve as Washington and Lee’s president for the past decade and I am equally grateful for the honor of having my name associated with the Center for Global Learning.”
The Board of Trustees of Washington and Lee University has honored the departing president of W&L, Kenneth P. Ruscio, by naming one of the university’s major new facilities the Kenneth P. Ruscio Center for Global Learning. The board announced the recognition on Thursday, Oct. 6, at a reception during its fall meeting on campus.
“Given Ken’s strong support and advocacy for the integration of global perspective throughout the university’s curriculum, it is fitting that the Center for Global Learning should bear Ken’s name,” said J. Donald Childress, the rector of the W&L Board of Trustees.
“I will be forever grateful to the Board of Trustees for giving me the opportunity to serve as Washington and Lee’s president for the past decade,” said President Ruscio. “And I am equally grateful for the honor of having my name associated with the Center for Global Learning. I truly believe that global learning is an essential part of a Washington and Lee education.”
The W&L Board of Trustees also has established the Kimberley A. Ruscio Endowment for Student Leadership in honor of Kim Ruscio, the wife of Ken Ruscio, for her longtime advocacy of student development. That announcement took place on Friday, Oct. 7, at a dinner that celebrated the couple’s past decade of service and leadership.
“Kim has been not only a wonderful first lady of W&L but also an engaged and enthusiastic supporter of women’s leadership initiatives,” said Childress. “The Board of Trustees is proud to create this endowment in honor of Kim.”
“Working with our wonderful students has been such a rewarding and fulfilling experience for me,” said Kim Ruscio. “I am so pleased, honored and grateful that the Board of Trustees has created this endowment to support student leadership.”
The construction of the Kenneth P. Ruscio Center for Global Learning was a centerpiece of the university’s recently concluded capital campaign. The building houses W&L’s Center for International Education, which promotes global learning within, across and beyond the campus. The facility, which boasts a sleek design and cutting-edge technology, combines 8,600 square feet of renovated duPont Hall with 17,700 square feet of new space. It contains classrooms, seminar rooms, instructional labs and offices for language departments and visiting international scholars. An atrium, garden, courtyard and the Tea House café provide inviting spaces for both study and socializing.
The Kimberley A. Ruscio Endowment for Student Leadership will endow the Women’s Leadership Summit, which connects W&L students with staff, faculty and alumnae, along with other initiatives promoting student leadership. Kim Ruscio has regularly participated in the Women’s Leadership Summit and gave its 2016 keynote address. Her previous careers have encompassed fashion, retail and finance, and she formerly worked in W&L’s Admissions Office as a financial counselor and associate director.
Ken Ruscio took office as Washington and Lee’s 26th president on July 1, 2006. An alumnus of W&L and a distinguished scholar of democratic theory and public policy, he previously served as the dean of the Jepson School of Leadership Studies at the University of Richmond from 2002 to 2006. He announced his retirement from the W&L presidency in May 2015; his final day in office will be Dec. 31, 2016.
Ruscio earned his B.A. in politics from Washington and Lee in 1976, and a master of public administration (1978) and a Ph.D. in public affairs and public administration (1983), both from Syracuse University’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs.
Ruscio held both faculty and staff positions at W&L from 1987 to 2002, including professor of politics, associate dean of the Williams School of Commerce, Economics, and Politics, and dean of freshmen.
In 2007, the year after Ruscio became president of W&L, the university adopted an ambitious strategic plan emphasizing its commitment to a liberal arts education in the 21st century. With that plan as a blueprint, W&L conducted its historic capital campaign, Honor Our Past, Build Our Future, which at its conclusion in June 2015 surpassed the $500 million goal by raising $542 million.
Other signal achievements of Ruscio’s presidency:
The $50 million renovation and restoration of the historic Colonnade, which comprises the five signature campus buildings. Work on the fifth and final building, Tucker Hall, is underway.
- The development of the Johnson Program in Leadership and Integrity, established through a $100 million gift that created a major scholarship program, two professorships, and an array of summer internship and research opportunities for students.
- The creation of such new academic initiatives as the Roger Mudd Center for Ethics; the J. Lawrence Connolly Center for Entrepreneurship; a reinvigorated, four-week Spring Term; and the innovative, nationally regarded third-year curriculum in the School of Law.
- A major expansion of the university’s financial aid program that makes W&L’s distinctive education available to qualified students regardless of their family’s financial circumstances. It has also resulted in the removal of student loans from all financial aid packages. The W&L Promise, created in 2013, guarantees free tuition to any admitted undergraduate student with family income below $75,000.
- The $66 million Lenfest Challenge that created 15 of the 20 new endowed chairs and 10 term professorships and improved faculty compensation. The university also introduced major work-life initiatives for faculty and staff.
- A strong commitment to sustainability initiatives featuring a successful, cost-saving energy-education program, as well as the state’s largest solar-panel array at the time of its 2011 installation.
- The construction of new facilities: the Center for Global Learning, the Hillel House, and the upper-division housing known as The Village. A natatorium is nearing completion. In addition, the university made extensive renovations to first-year housing, Leyburn Library and Lewis Hall, and developed the Duchossois Athletic Complex, featuring Wilson Field.
- The support for the communities of Lexington and Rockbridge County through the creation of the Community Grants Program, the relocation of the national Omicron Delta Kappa headquarters to Lexington, and the partnership that resulted in the restoration of the historic former courthouse and jail into university-leased buildings.
The Ruscios have a son, Matthew, a 2012 graduate of St. Lawrence University. In April 2017, Ken Ruscio will become the president of the Virginia Foundation for Independent Colleges.