The Columns

Ward Briggs ’67 to Address W&L’s Friends of the Library Annual Meeting

— by on April 21st, 2017

“James Dickey believed that poems were made of many elements. If you ask him if he works from experience, a real poet would have to say that you must define experience, because experience is anything and everything that has ever impinged on your imagination.”

Ward W. Briggs ’67, the Carolina Distinguished Professor of Classics and Louise Fry Scudder Professor of Humanities, emeritus, at the University of South Carolina, will be the speaker at the annual meeting of Washington and Lee University’s Friends of the Library on May 13 at 1:30 p.m. in Northen Auditorium, Leyburn Library.

Briggs will speak on “James Dickey and ‘Life’: How Poems Are Made.” The talk is free and open to the public.

“James Dickey believed that poems were made of many elements. If you ask him if he works from experience, a real poet would have to say that you must define experience, because experience is anything and everything that has ever impinged on your imagination,” Briggs said. “This talk will focus on how the poet gathers impressions from a variety of sources—literary, artistic, musical and especially photographic (three at least from Life magazine) in three of James Dickey’s greatest poems.”

Ward W. Briggs

Briggs, a member of the Class of 1967 at W&L, retired from the University of South Carolina in 2011 but continues to teach in the Honors College there. His research interests are Virgil, Roman poetry and the history of American classical scholarship.

He edited the journal Vergilius for 10 years and is the author or editor of 10 books and numerous articles and reviews. He was a fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton, New Jersey, and is working on a biography of Basil Lanneau Gildersleeve, the founder of the modern American study of classical antiquity.

Briggs received his M.A. and Ph.D. at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

After Briggs met Dickey in 1963 at W&L, they began a multi-decade relationship, and after Dickey’s death, Briggs began his large collection of Dickey materials which he gave to W&L in 2014. The donation consisted of first-edition novels and poetry to film posters from “Deliverance,” the movie based on Dickey’s 1970 novel. The Dickey collection also includes copies of foreign language versions of “Deliverance.”

U.Va. Prof. James W. Ceaser to Speak at W&L on the First 100 Days of the Trump Presidency

— by on April 21st, 2017

James W. Ceaser

James W. Ceaser, the Harry F. Byrd Professor of Politics at the University of Virginia (U.Va.) and a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, will give a lecture at Washington and Lee University on May 3 at 5:30 p.m. in the Stackhouse Theater, Elrod Commons.

He will speak on “The First 100 Days: Reflections on the Trump Presidency.” His talk is free and open to the public.

He has written books on American politics and American political thought, including “Defying the Odds: The 2016 Elections and American Politics” (co-author, 2017); “Behind Enemy Lines” (co-author, 2016); and “Designing a Polity: America’s Constitution in Theory and Practice” (2010).

Ceaser directs the Program for Constitution and Democracy at U.Va. where he has taught since 1976. His work regularly appears in The Weekly Standard and the Claremont Review of Books, among other places.

From 2008 to 2014, Ceaser served as the presidential appointment to the National Archives Commission. He served as the academic chairman of the Jack Miller Center for Teaching America’s Founding Principles and History since its inception in 2004 and received the 2015 Jeane Jordan Kirkpatrick Award for Academic Freedom from the Bradley Foundation for his vigorous defense of due-process rights on campus.

Ceaser has held visiting professorships at Harvard University, University of Florence, the University of Basel, Oxford University, the University of Bordeaux and the University of Rennes. He is a frequent contributor to the popular press, and he often comments on American politics for the Voice of America.

14th Annual Tom Wolfe Weekend Seminar Kicks Off with Lecture by Author Lauren Groff

— by on April 18th, 2017

“Lauren Groff is a writer of rare gifts, and ‘Fates and Furies’ is an unabashedly ambitious novel that delivers—with comedy, tragedy, well-deployed erudition and unmistakable glimmers of brilliance throughout.”

Lauren Groff

Lauren Groff, author of the National Book Award finalist “Fates and Furies” (2015), will present the keynote address at Washington and Lee University’s 14th Annual Tom Wolfe Weekend Seminar Fates and Furies: “Secrets within a Marriage,” on April 21, at 4:15 p.m. in Lee Chapel.

The title of Groff’s talk is “The Anxiety of Influence: The Literary Roots of ‘Fates and Furies.’” It is free and open to the public.

Among its many recognitions, “Fates and Furies” was selected as the 2015 Book of the Year by Amazon.com and President Barack Obama.

Groff also is the author of “Delicate Edible Birds: And Other Stories” (2016); “Arcadia” (2011), which was a New York Times Notable Book, winner of the Medici Book Club Prize and finalist for the L.A. Times Book Award; and “The Monsters of Templeton” (2008) which was shortlisted for the Orange Prize for New Writers.

The New York Times Sunday Book Review said, “Lauren Groff is a writer of rare gifts, and ‘Fates and Furies’ is an unabashedly ambitious novel that delivers—with comedy, tragedy, well-deployed erudition and unmistakable glimmers of brilliance throughout.”

Her work has appeared in journals including the New Yorker, the Atlantic Monthly, Harper’s, Tin House, One Story, McSweeney’s and Ploughshares, and in the anthologies 100 Years of the Best American Short Stories, The Pushcart Prize: Best of the Small Presses, PEN/O. Henry Prize Stories, and three editions of the Best American Short Stories.

Historian and Author Jon Kukla to Lecture at W&L Kukla will speak on “Patrick Henry: Champion of Liberty.”

— by on April 13th, 2017

Jon Kukla

Jon Kukla, historian and author, will lecture at Washington and Lee University on April 24 at 7:30 p.m. in the Hillel House Multipurpose Room. A book signing will follow.

He will speak on “Patrick Henry: Champion of Liberty.” The talk is free, open to the public and sponsored by the W&L Department of History.

Kukla directed research and publishing at the Library of Virginia in the 1970s and 1980s, and directed the Historic New Orleans Collection in the 1990s. From 2000 to 2007, he directed Red Hill, the Patrick Henry National Memorial in Charlotte County, Virginia.

Kukla’s most recent books are “Mr. Jefferson’s Women” (2007) and “A Wilderness So Immense: The Louisiana Purchase and the Destiny of America” (2003). Both were Book-of-the-Month and History Book Club selections.

His next book, “Patrick Henry: Champion of Liberty,” to be released Aug. 1, is a comprehensive biography that illuminates both Henry’s and Virginia’s prominence in the American Revolution and the founding of the Republic.

Peter S. Onuf, author and Thomas Jefferson Professor of History, Emeritus, at the University of Virginia, said, “Jon Kukla restores Patrick Henry to the front rank of American Revolutionary patriots. ‘Patrick Henry: Champion of Liberty’ is a magnificent achievement, the best biography by far of the great orator and statesman who played such a crucial role in shaping the course of Revolutionary Virginia’s history.”

Kukla received research fellowships at the British Museum, the Virginia Historical Society and the International Center for Jefferson Studies at Monticello. He has been a distinguished lecturer for the Organization of American Historians, and in 2006, was elected into membership in the American Antiquarian Society. He lives and writes in Richmond, Virginia.

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W&L Visiting Lecturer to Speak on “Time, Technology, and the History of Ancient Science”

— by on April 12th, 2017

 

Colin Webster

Colin Webster, assistant professor of Classics at the University of California, Davis, will give a lecture at Washington and Lee University on April 27 at 5 p.m. in Hillel House, Room 101.

He will speak on “Time, Technology, and the History of Ancient Science.” The talk is free and open to the public.

“My talk will explore the history of Greek astronomy as a history of technology, examining the tools, time devices and instruments that were used by the ancient Greeks to measure, model and conceptualize the heavens,” Webster explained. “It will investigate how technologies that expose new data do not simply access a new set of information, they propose new theories about the world, positing that the phenomena under investigation can sustain novel sets of characteristics. In so doing, these technologies often infiltrate conceptual models about the ‘explananda’ themselves, so that the tools with which we view the world end up becoming the very things we see.”

Webster is the author of articles, chapters and reviews, including “The Soundscape of Ancient Medicine,” in “Sound and the Ancient Senses” (eds., 2017); “Review: Patients and Healers in the High Roman Empire,” by Ido Israelowich, Tel Aviv University, in the Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences (2016); and “Heuristic Medicine: The Methodists and Metalepsis,” in Isis (2015).

His research and teaching interests include ancient science and medicine, and ancient philosophy.

Webster received his B.A. from the University of King’s College, his M.A. from Dalhousie University (both in Halifax, Nova Scotia) and his Ph.D. from Columbia University.

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Seventy-seven Members of W&L Class of 2020 Inducted into Phi Eta Sigma Honor Society

— by on April 6th, 2017

Seventy-seven Washington and Lee University Class of 2020 students were inducted into Phi Eta Sigma Honor Society at a ceremony held March 31 in Lee Chapel.

To be eligible for Phi Eta Sigma, a student must be in the top 20 percent of the class at the end of his or her first term. Founded in 1923 at the University of Illinois, Phi Eta Sigma is the nation’s oldest and largest honor society for first-year students in all disciplines.

The society’s mission is to encourage and reward academic excellence among freshmen in institutions of higher learning.

“Given our depth of student talent and academic rigor, these students have demonstrated exceptional achievement,” said Jason Rodocker, associate dean of students and dean for first-year experience and adviser to the W&L chapter of Phi Eta Sigma. “Many Phi Eta Sigma inductees will obtain further academic accolades, including graduate fellowships.”

The W&L Class of 2020 Phi Eta Sigma initiates are:

Everette G. Allen IV

William T. Barham

George B. Barker

Brie R. Belz

Hudson C. Bennett

Lee F. Bernstein

Harris M. Billings

Steven A. Black

Laura E. Bruce

Rosalie C. Bull

Parker B. Catlett

Daniel S. Clark

Sean T. Clark

Will H. Clark

Robert C. Cooley

Charlie M. Cope

Emma M. Derr

Nolan L. Durfee

Emma Ernst

Elyse N. Ferris

Ethan H. Fischer

Lauren D. Fredericks

Kathryn J. Gerbo

Colby C. Gilley

Collin R. Glatz

Sofia Gutierrez Cuadra

Kassondra N. Hall

Sarah N. Hall

Kiely U. Hartigan

Emily D. Hershgordon

Tori E. Hester

Katherine R. Ingram

Chantal Iosso

Jack S. Johnson

Allison J. Jue

Brianna A. Karpowich

Abigail E. Keller

Nguyen K. Kieu

Jiwon Kim

Tiffany Ko

Stevan A. Kriss

Eliot L. Layson

Maxwell A. Lehman

Allie R. Lefkowitz

Sarah E. Leonard

Hanxiao Li

Griffin Link

Ruinan Liu

Kara G. Lough

Chase W. Major

Nicholas B. Mauer

Rose M. Maxwell

Gillian M. McConnell

Margot C. McConnell

Ryan S. Monson

Abigail K. Nason

Jared M. Nickodem

Prakriti Panthi

Brian C. Peccie

Timothy S. Pierce

Samuel H. Pumphrey

Bethany R. Reitsma

Tyler S. Royston

Katherine P. Rurka

Eva A. Sarkes

William R. Schirmer

Anne L. Shannon

Lawson D. Smith

Layne K. Smith

Peyton J. Smith

Tanner J. Smith

Christopher B. Surran

Mitchell C. Thomas

John S. Warner III

Andrew D. Whicker

Hannah M. Witherell

Matthew O. Withers

2017 LEAD Banquet Recognizes Leadership Across Campus

— by on April 3rd, 2017

“The LEAD Banquet continues to bring together members of our community in celebration of the meaningful work happening across campus.”

The Leadership Education and Development (LEAD) Banquet was held Sunday, April 2 at Washington and Lee University and was an evening of celebration. Many individual and student accomplishments that were completed within the past year were recognized.

“The LEAD Banquet continues to bring together members of our community in celebration of the meaningful work happening across campus,” said Megan Hobbs, assistant dean of students and dean of sophomores.

“It’s a time to showcase the efforts and impact of our dedicated campus leaders, and it’s a time to thank advisors and students alike for their commitment to student engagement, personal development and continued mentorship. The true spirit of the Washington and Lee experience lies within the influence made by our students, and the banquet reminds us of all that goes on, on an annual basis.

“I would also like to publicly recognize the senior LEAD Banquet Committee members: Kaitlin Krouskos, Catherine Fonvielle, George Park and Prakhar Naithani. Each of them have been thoughtful about new marketing, communication and implementation strategies — all of which have increased awareness of our efforts and attendance at the event each year.”

 

2017 LEAD Award Winners

The LEAD Banquet awards and 2017 recipients are:

Nabors Service League McLaughlin Award for Volunteerism: Austin Frank ’17

Recognizing a student who demonstrates a commitment to their community through innovate service.

Best Service Event: ESOL Holiday Party

Recognizing the campus group or specific event that proved to be impactful by engaging and educating a significant number of volunteers and created a meaningful difference for the population served – whether locally or in another community.

Excellence in Artistic Event Management (Lenfest Center for the Arts): Hermione Wang ’18

Excellence in Artistic Event Management (Lenfest Center for the Arts): Joe Reilly ’17

Outstanding Philanthropic Effort: Chi Omega

Recognizing the student organization/chapter whose philanthropic efforts have made the most impact on our campus while supporting a local/national/global cause. The most funds raised per capita and the most innovative way of raising those funds is a factor in selection.

Outstanding Peer Counselor: Michael Sullivan ’18

Outstanding Peer Counselor: Gabriella Miggins ’19

Outstanding Residential Adviser (New): Liz Todd ’19

Outstanding Residential Adviser (Returning): Diana Banks ’17

Distinguished Summer Work: Clare Wilkinson ’17

Recognizing a student’s summer work experience/research that best exemplifies Washington and Lee’s values of service, leadership and character.

Emerging Leader of the Year: Grace Smith ’20

Recognizing a student that is passionate about leadership education and its practice. This student should bring innovative ideas to the table and exude a high level of commitment to empowering other student leaders.

Christopher Noland Student Activities Leadership Award: Madeleine Boireau ’17

Recognizing a student whose leadership has been most impactful during the past academic year.

Greek Man of the Year: Owen Brannigan ’18

Recognizing a Greek man making the greatest and most positive impact on the fraternity and sorority system during the past academic year.

Greek Woman of the Year: Jane Chiavelli ’18

Recognizing a Greek woman making the greatest and most positive impact on the fraternity and sorority system during the past academic year.

The G. Holbrook Barber Scholarship Award: Arthur Love ’18 

Honoring a rising senior (current junior) who manifests superior qualities of helpfulness and friendliness to fellow students, public spirit, scholarship and personal character.

The G. Holbrook Barber Scholarship Award: Michael Sullivan ’18

Honoring a rising senior (current junior) who manifests superior qualities of helpfulness and friendliness to fellow students, public spirit, scholarship and personal character.

The Decade Award: Mohini Tangri ’19

Recognizing a rising junior (current sophomore) who has shown involvement and leadership within the W&L academic and extracurricular communities and who has furthered discussions of women’s issues on campus and beyond.

The Edward Lee Pinney Prize: Kassie Scott ’18

Awarded by the Student Affairs Committee to an undergraduate student who demonstrates extraordinary commitment to personal scholarship and to the nurturing of intellectual life at Washington and Lee.

Anece F. McCloud Excellence in Diversity: Elliot Emadian ’17

Recognizing a senior undergraduate student whose efforts have done the most to bring a greater awareness and competence of diversity on campus.

Best Event of the Year: Fancy Dress

Recognizing the event that best impacted Washington and Lee during the current academic year.

Not Unmindful of a Sustainable Future Award: Reid Calhoun ’17

Recognizing a student who leads sustainability efforts either for the W&L campus or for our global community.

Not Unmindful of a Sustainable Future Award: Tessa Horan ’18

Recognizing a student who leads sustainability efforts either for the W&L campus or for our global community.

Greenest Group Award: Compost Crew

Recognizing the student organization or student-led event that has made an impact towards sustainability related efforts either on the W&L campus or in our global community.

Adviser of the Year: Erich Uffelman

Recognizing a campus adviser who goes above and beyond in their efforts to support student initiatives, foster relationships and provide opportunities for new experiences.

John W. Elrod General of the Year: Noelle Rutland ’17

Recognizing a student who has brought the most depth and breadth to the university during the past academic year.

Best Student Organization (Americus White Award): Student Association for Black Unity

Recognizing the student organization that has shown excellence in leadership, management and programmatic efforts. Allocation of funds is a factor in selection.

The Frank J. Gilliam Award: Austin Frank ’17

Recognizing a student who has made the greatest contribution to the Division of Student Affairs.

Larry Stuart Memorial Award: Ralston Hartness ’18

Recognizing a student who exemplifies Public Safety Senior Sergeant Larry Stuart’s character and commitment to the community.

The Alexander Thomas Boehling ’10 Memorial Award: Diana Banks ’17

Honoring a senior for his or her campus leadership.

Best Student Composition of the Year: Elliot Emadian ’17

The Third Generation Student Achievement Award: Kitanna Hiromasa ’19

The Third Generation Student Achievement Award: David Salchert ’19

Staniar Gallery Presents New Exhibition “New Codex Oaxaca: Immigration and Cultural Memory”

— by on March 31st, 2017

“New Codex Oaxaca: Immigration and Cultural Memory”

Washington and Lee University’s Staniar Gallery presents “New Codex Oaxaca: Immigration and Cultural Memory,” a traveling exhibition which explores the impact of immigration to the U.S. through artworks made by those who are left behind and often separated from their loved ones.

The exhibition will be on view April 24 – May 26, with a curator’s lecture and reception on April 26 at 5:30 p.m. in Wilson Hall’s Concert Hall. Both events are free and open to the public.

In 2010, artist and curator Marietta Bernstoff began working with citizens of the San Francisco Tanivet, a small town in the Mexican state of Oaxaca, to make art as a way of exploring the effects of migration on their small rural community. The project continues to grow and over 40 artists have contributed textiles, photographs, engravings and other ephemera representing the immigration experience.

The traveling exhibition addresses important questions about the immigration experience: What are the implications for the state of Oaxaca, which has seen over one million inhabitants immigrate to the United States? What is happening to their land in Mexico and the family they left behind? How do we keep traditions alive within another culture? Has immigration changed the way we see ourselves as a culture?

Bernstoff is a curator at the Social and Public Art Resource Center in Venice, California, and founder of the MAMAZ (Mujeres Artistas y el Maiz) Collective, a group of women artists in Mexico and the U.S.

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.

L.A. Theatre Works “Judgment at Nuremberg” presented by Lenfest Center for the Arts and W&L Class of ’64

— by on March 31st, 2017

L.A. Theatre Works

The Lenfest Center for the Arts presents “Judgment at Nuremberg” by the L.A. Theatre Works (LATW), a one-night performance in the Lenfest’s Keller Theater on April 25 at 7:30 p.m.

“Judgment at Nuremberg” is sponsored in part by the W&L Class of ’64 Performing Arts Fund. Tickets are required.

LATW is touring the stage adaptation of the Academy Award-winning film in honor of the 75th anniversary of World War II. A live radio theater-style production, “Judgment at Nuremberg” is a gripping and complex drama that questions the fundamentals of social justice, morality, politics and the pressures of society.

A radio theater company, LATW brings theater to audiences nationwide and beyond through live performance series in Los Angeles and national tours, national weekly Public Radio series, Audio Theatre Collection available in libraries and to the public and national educational outreach programs.

“Judgment at Nuremberg” tells the story of the Nuremberg trials, the 1945-1949 military tribunals carried out by Allied forces to prosecute those responsible for war crimes against Jews, Gypsies, homosexuals, the handicapped and those considered inferior to the Aryan race.

Set in the backdrop of a building Cold War, “Judgment at Nuremberg’s” characters finds itself locked in a high-stakes game of shifting alliances and political conflict as they explore their memories of the Holocaust.

Order your tickets online today at wlu.edu/lenfest-center or call the Lenfest box office at (540) 458-8000 for ticket information. Box Office hours are Monday – Friday, 9-11 a.m. and 1-3 p.m. and will be open 2 hours prior to performance time.

Harrison Westgarth Awarded a Fulbright Research Grant to Brazil

— by on March 31st, 2017

“Over the past two years, I have spent my summers in neuroscience research labs and learned a number of techniques pertinent to the field of genetic analysis—all necessary and translatable skills for conducting research on the Zika virus.”

Harrison Westgarth

Washington and Lee University senior Harrison Westgarth, of McKinney, Texas, has been awarded a Fulbright study/research grant to Brazil. His project is “Development of an Animal Model of Direct and Congenital Zika Virus Transmission.”

As a Fulbright scholar, Westgarth hopes to “develop and characterize a wildtype animal model of Zika virus infection and the mechanism that allows for vertical, cross-placental transmission to fetuses of pregnant infected mothers.”

He will work in the lab of Drs. Amilcar Tanuri and Loraine Campanati, at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, who are working on establishing an animal model of Zika virus infection that exhibits both adult and congenital infections that can be used for pathogenesis studies and antiviral testing.

As a rising sophomore, Westgarth shadowed an orthopedic surgeon, which confirmed his desire to enter the medical field. The next summer, he discovered his interest in medical research by working in a lab at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University.

“My studies and my recent research underscore my ability to conduct this project to fruition,” Westgarth said. “Over the past two years, I have spent my summers in neuroscience research labs and learned a number of techniques pertinent to the field of genetic analysis—all necessary and translatable skills for conducting research on the Zika virus.”

“Harrison is an excellent scholar who has availed himself of all the opportunities of W&L’s liberal arts education where he focused on his biology major in preparation for medical school and also got involved in music and athletics. He is truly a well-rounded individual,” said Maryanne Simurda, professor of biology, W&L.

“He is very much aware of the world, especially South America,” Simurda continued. “His language studies started in Spanish, and he spent a brief time in Argentina volunteering in medical outreach. And then because of his desire to work in Brazil, he came back and learned Portuguese. For his Fulbright proposal he will be doing biomedical research on the Zika virus, so it is especially appropriate that he will be in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, the center of the Zika outbreak.”

Westgarth plans to become involved in the local community by working with a local swim team or a swim lesson program. He also will offer violin lessons to community members or try to establish a music education program in the area.

“Knowledge gleaned from the research itself is important not only to the Brazilian government but also to the larger international community,” Westgarth said. “This project will bridge Brazilian and American research endeavors to begin solving an existing problem and provide tools needed to combat Zika.”

A biology and Spanish double major at W&L, he works as a tutor and liaison for a Rockbridge County family and serves as the in/out of school tutoring coordinator on ESOL’s executive board. He is the captain of the varsity swim team; is editor in chief of Pluma, the W&L Spanish literature magazine; and is president of Pi Kappa Phi fraternity. Westgarth is a member of Omicron Delta Kappa Leadership Honor Society, Beta Beta Beta Biology Honor Society, Alpha Epsilon Delta Pre-Med Honor Society and the W&L Honor Roll and Dean’s List. He also is an Atlantis Project fellow (La Plata, Argentina) and a W&L scholar-athlete.

“Harrison is one of the rare students who very clearly connects his talent and passion for his majors to his activities outside of class,” said Ellen Mayock, Ernest Williams II Professor of Romance Languages. “One key example is his work with ESOL, for which Harrison has served as a tutor to a Honduran family for almost three years now. In my near-15 years of advising ESOL, I have never seen one of our volunteers develop such a close relationship with both the student and family. Harrison is now part of the ESOL Leadership team as in-school coordinator, but he continues to work with this family.”

Mayock added, “Harrison has also translated (English-Spanish) many official documents for the Rockbridge Area Health Center, which helped the center to get state certification. He is truly dedicated, caring and intuitive, and he brings these qualities to all he does.