Feature Stories Campus Events

2017 Graybeal-Gowen Poetry Prize-Winner Announced

“The winning poem is ‘a rollicking, unabashedly passionate lyric invocation of Charlie Poole, an old-time banjo picker who led the North Carolina Ramblers.'”

Shenandoah: The Washington and Lee University Review announced that Annie Woodford, a community college teacher in Roanoke, Virginia, is the winner of this year’s $500 Graybeal-Gowen Poetry Prize for Virginia Writers.

Her poem, “Arena Chapel Stringband Ballad,” was selected by Joseph Bathanti, the judge of this year’s Greybeal-Gowen Poetry Prize. He said that the winning poem is “a rollicking, unabashedly passionate lyric invocation of Charlie Poole, an old-time banjo picker who led the North Carolina Ramblers.”

Other work by Woodford, a Bassett, Virginia, native, has been published previously in The Chattahochee Review, Word Riot, Prairie Schooner, Appalachian Journal and others. Her first collection, “Bootleg,” is forthcoming, and the contest-winning poem will appear in the fall issue of Shenandoah.

Bathanti also selected as runner-up “I Kept Some Keys as if the Teeth” by Darren Morris of Richmond, Virginia. Morris has published poems in American Poetry Review, New England Review, Southern Review and Missouri Review, as well as the Best New Poets Anthology from the University of Virginia.

Bathanti is former poet laureate of North Carolina (2012-2014) and recipient of the 2016 North Carolina Award for Literature. He teaches at Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina.

Details concerning next year’s contest are as yet unannounced, but will appear this fall on Shenandoah’s website (shenandoahliterary.org).

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Twenty Members of the Faculty and Staff Retire from W&L

(Not pictured are Katie Claytor, Agnes Gilmore, Peggy Pugh and Stanley Reid)

Washington and Lee University recognized six retiring members of the University’s faculty during commencement exercises. Fourteen retiring members of W&L’s staff were recognized during the Employee Recognition Banquet in April.

The 20 faculty and staff retirees are Mae Chandler, merchandise movement clerk, University Store, 2006-2016; Katie Claytor, custodial supervisor, University Facilities, 1993-2016; Julie Cline, office manager, Communications and Public Affairs, 1979-2017; Janice Downey, administrative assistant, Counseling Services, 1987-2017.

Agnes Gilmore, receptionist/office assistant, Student Affairs, 1963-2016; Bill Hartog, special assistant to the president, President’s Office; Margaret Howard, professor of law, 2001-2016; Carol Karsch, library data and statistics support specialist, University Library, 2002-2017.

Mike Miller (deceased), locksmith, University Facilities, 1974-2016; David Millon, professor of law, 1986-2017; Lena Ojure, associate professor of teacher education, 2006-2017; Loretta Persinger, library assistant, Law Library, 1983-2016; Peggy Pugh, custodian, University Facilities, 1985-2016; Stanley Reid, custodian, University Facilities, 1994-2017.

Amy Richwine, associate director for International Education, International Education, 1999-2017; Gabriella Somerville Brown, technology integration specialist, Information Technology Services, 2001-2017; Larry Stene, professor of art, art and art history department, 1982-2017.

Tom Tinsley, director of network and telecommunications, Information Technology Services, 1975-2016; John Tucker, associate professor of physical education and men’s cross country coach, 1989-2017; Sally Wiant, professor of law, 1972-2017.

Washington and Lee Announces May Community Grants

Washington and Lee University’s Community Grants Committee has made 12 grants totaling $25,850 to non-profit organizations in Lexington and Rockbridge County. They are the second part of its two rounds of grants for 2016-17. The committee chose the grants from 22 proposals requesting almost $176,000.

W&L awarded grants to the following organizations:

  • City of Buena Vista Parks and Recreation Department – Funds to go towards an artist residency.
  • Friends of Rockbridge Swimming, Inc. – Support the third phase of their energy conservation plan.
  • Rockbridge Area Habitat for Humanity – To assist with the purchase of a delivery truck.
  • W. Kling Elementary School STEM Program – Further develop Kling’s STEM curriculum.
  • Main Street Lexington – Funds to help purchase a full-spectrum laser cutter.
  • Mission Next Door – Financial assistance for the Neighbor Support Program.
  • PMHS Marching Blues – Upgrade and replace equipment.
  • Rockbridge Area Conservation Council – Funding for the Maury Watershed Monitors community water monitoring program.
  • RCHS Lady Wildcats Basketball – Equipment upgrades.
  • Rockbridge Animal Alliance and Cats Unlimited – Subsidize pet care costs.
  • Rockbridge Regional Drug Task Force – Purchase of Samsung Galaxy Note Tablets.
  • Rockbridge Area YMCA – Funding to support a new enrichment program for Natural Bridge Elementary School.

Established in 2008, W&L’s Community Grants Committee evaluates requests for financial donations and support from Lexington and Rockbridge County. While the University has long provided financial and other assistance to worthwhile projects and organizations in the community on a case-by-case basis, the Community Grants Program formalizes W&L’s role in supporting regional organizations and activities through accessible grant-making.

During its 2016-17 cycle, the Community Grants Committee awarded $50,000. Proposals may be submitted at any time, but they are reviewed only semiannually, at the end of the calendar year and at the end of the fiscal year. The submission deadline for the two rounds of evaluations for 2017-18 will be: by 4:30 p.m. on Friday, November 3, 2017, and Friday, March 2, 2018.  Please make note of the new March deadline. Interested parties may download the proposal guidelines at http://go.wlu.edu/communitygrants.

Proposals should be submitted as electronic attachments (Word or PDF) via e-mail to kbrinkley@wlu.edu. Please call (540) 458-8417 with questions. If an electronic submission is not possible, materials may be faxed to (540) 458-8745 or mailed to Washington and Lee University Community Grants Committee, Attn: James D. Farrar Jr., Office of the Secretary, 204 W. Washington St., Washington and Lee University, Lexington, VA 24450-2116.


Andre Zeromski ’20 Selected as Kemper Scholar

“As a current undergraduate student at W&L and an Eagle Scout, I am passionate about bringing social progress through community service, finance and technological advancement.”

Andre Zeromski, of San Marcos, California, a first-year student at Washington and Lee University, has been selected as one of 16 in the 2017 incoming class of Kemper Scholars.

The competitive Kemper Scholarship prepares students throughout their undergraduate days for leadership and service, especially in the fields of administration and business. In seven of the last eight years, W&L students have been selected.

Andre Zeromski

“I am delighted at being selected to be a Kemper Scholar,” said Zeromski. “As a current undergraduate student at W&L and an Eagle Scout, I am passionate about bringing social progress through community service, finance and technological advancement. I have had more than two years working part time in various collaborative team environments.”

Zeromski is double majoring in computer science and economics and minoring in mathematics. During his first year, he was a member of the Engineering Community Development Club (ECD) and assisted in planning and fundraising for a service trip to Belize to deliver an ECD-designed water filtration system.

For his Eagle Scout service project, Zeromski collaborated with the Escondido, California, Humane Society to install a new dog interaction yard. He also raised $2,000 for the project.

The James S. Kemper Foundation, which funds the program, supports undergraduate study of the liberal arts as the best preparation for life and career, while providing opportunities for career exploration, practical experience and professional growth. It fosters potential leaders who pursue a broad undergraduate education, while participating in community service, campus activities and vocational exploration outside the classroom.

Recipients are selected from a national applicant pool of first-year college students and receive scholarship assistance for three years based on financial need. Each also receives summer project stipends for two years, attends the annual Kemper Scholars Conference and performs a summer internship at a Chicago-area major non-profit organization after their sophomore year.

Following their junior year, scholars are placed in paid summer internships throughout the U.S. with the Kemper Corp., to gain experience and skills in various industries.

“Kemper Scholars are a select group of undergraduate students from top colleges and universities around the country,” explains Jerry Fuller, executive director of the James S. Kemper Foundation. “They are selected because they are committed to the studies, serve their communities, and because they have exhibited leadership and well-rounded, ethical character. Throughout the over six decades of the program, scholars have gone on to make outstanding contributions as leaders in organizations around the world.”

Shenandoah Announces 2017 Prize Winners

Shenandoah: The Washington and Lee University Review

Shenandoah has announced its annual prize winners for 2017. The Volume 65 winner of the $1000 James Boatwright Poetry Prize is Thomas Reiter for his poem “St. Wynfed’s Parishioner,” which appears in the Fall, 2017 issue (number 1).

Reiter is a professor emeritus at Monmouth College and author of several collections, including “Catchment” (2009.) He has received grants and prizes from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Academy of American Poets. The winning poem is about a wicked man who experienced a religious vision and became a hermit saint. The poem is narrated by a follower who defies orthodoxy and the doubters to rejoice in the grace of Wynfed.

The runner-up in poetry is Fort Wayne, Indiana’s Michael Derrick Hudson for “The Last Days of Calamity Jane,” which relates the sad story of the earthy muleskinner and western heroine who, in her sunset years, haunts a bar and remembers a lost love and the spurs he left her.

The winners of the Carter Prize for the Essay and the Shenandoah Prize for Fiction are, respectively, Philip Belcher of Asheville, N.C., for his critical essay “Beyond Autobiography: Claudia Emerson through Three Poems on Race” (Fall, 2017) and Allie Glass-Katz’s story “My Boyfriend Is Moving to Mongolia” (Spring, 2017). Each prize winner will receive an honorarium of $1000, and honorable mention works will receive each a $100 honorarium.

Allie Glass-Katz is a fiction fellow at the Michener Center for Writers. A native of Austin, Texas, she is now writing a novel. Her short story traces the road to acceptance of loss and the narrator’s rising above it. The honorable mention in fiction is Nashvillian Emily Choate’s “Eufaula,” which records the self-destructive path of a former country western song writer.

Belcher’s essay on the late Claudia Emerson, who served as Virginia’s Poet Laureate and was a Pulitzer Prize-winner, explores the nuances of three poems in which Emerson delicately approaches a topic which is not prominent in her work but is poignant and insightful. Belcher has published criticism in Southern Humanities Review, The Asheville Poetry Review and Southern Quarterly. The honorable mention in non-fiction is Lexingtonian and Washington and Lee faculty member Gordon Ball for “Nobel Dylan,” about his involvement in the campaign to garner a Nobel Prize for Bob Dylan.

Shenandoah’s prizes are not the result of a traditional contest with a submission deadline but have for several decades been chosen from among the work selected for publication in the journal across a volume year. All works published in Shenandoah are eligible for the prizes in their appropriate genres, but special submissions are not considered.

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Kitanna Hiromasa ’19 to Serve as Delegate to Japan-America Student Conference

“I’m excited to attend JASC. I know it will expand my knowledge and broaden my awareness both culturally and intellectually.”

Kitanna Hiromasa ’19

Kitanna Hiromasa ’19, from Northglenn, Colorado, will serve as a delegate to the 69th Japan-America Student Conference (JASC) to be held in Japan Aug. 3-28. The Johnson Opportunity Grant will provide funding to help Hiromasa to attend.

JASC is a student-exchange program, initiated in 1934 by university students concerned by the breakdown of bilateral relations prior to World War II. An equal number of students from the U.S. and Japan, this year the total is 72, are competitively selected to spend one summer month together, studying and analyzing Japan-U.S. relations while visiting four diverse areas in the host country. JASC alternates its host country every year.

“I’m excited to attend JASC. I know it will expand my knowledge and broaden my awareness both culturally and intellectually,” said Hiromasa. “JASC isn’t the conventional summer activity; it’s a hands-on and engaging program that will affect me in a more impactful way.”

Hiromasa is double majoring in economics and East Asian studies with a concentration in Japanese. She is a member of Phi Eta Sigma, the LEAD team, Alpha Phi Omega National Service Fraternity, the American Legion Auxiliary and Dean’s List and Honor Roll. She is an officer in the Japanese Club, a member of Klazics Hip-Hop Club, won the Third Generation Student Achievement Award and the Andrew H. Hemm Award for Excellence in Japanese. She is the philanthropy chair for Chi Omega Sorority and has also taught an introductory level of Japanese to a child.

“Having completed two years of Japanese language and the Spring Term Abroad in Kanazawa, Japan, Kitanna is prepared for the cultural challenge of JASC and traveling to four regions in Japan with fellow delegates,” said Janet Ikeda, associate professor of East Asian languages and literature. “She has diverse interests outside the classroom, which include dance and hip-hop. A participant of the W&L’s Women’s Leadership Summit, Kitanna is a campus leader who will contribute much to the discussion of this year’s panels.

“W&L has a fine record with sending delegates to JASC,” continued Ikeda. “In recent years, Elizabeth McDonald ’18, Christina Cheadle ’16 and Jordan LaPointe ’17 were selected in consecutive years as JASC delegates. W&L had two delegates, Jaime Muscar ’04 and Ken Hsiang ’07, who were elected to become members of the JASC Executive Committee.”

By exploring the Japan-U.S. relationship on multiple levels (e.g., politics, trade, culture, news media, etc.) students who attend JASC as a delegate gain knowledge and confidence to discuss and debate bilateral and international relations.

Writer in Residence R.T. Smith’s Poem to be Featured on Poetry Daily

A poem by R.T. Smith, editor of Shenandoah: The Washington and Lee University Review and writer in residence at W&L, will be displayed nationally on May 20.

“Duet” is about mountain dulcimer players Jean and Bayliss Ritchie, of Viper, Kentucky, and will be on the website Poetry Daily on May 20. Poetry Daily has featured a new poem every day for two decades.

Smith’s poem is being reprinted from the current issue of The Carolina Quarterly in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Poetry Daily has used at least one of Smith’s poems each year since it started.

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W&L’s Department of Theatre, Dance and Film Studies presents Aerial Dance

“While four weeks is quite a short period of time to create a performance, the students embraced the challenge and exhibited a work ethic and depth of understanding that is commendable.”

The Washington and Lee University Department of Theatre, Dance and Film Studies presents “Aerial Dance,” a free performance for the community, on May 18 at 3:30 p.m. and May 19 at 11 a.m. The concert will be held outside on the wall of Wilson Hall at W&L. A Livestream of Thursday’s performance can be viewed at https://livestream.com/wlu/aerial-dance-2017

Aerial, an offshoot of modern dance, challenges dancers by harnessing their bodies 60 feet up in the air, tethered to airline cable. In this way, the wall of the building becomes the dancers’ floor and they perform perpendicular to the ground. The height, the dancers’ new relationship to gravity and the freedom to fly through the air are part of the beauty of the form.

This concert of 11 student works is the culmination of the four-week spring term aerial dance class. Choreographers Elliot Emadian ’17, Kitty Lambrechts ’19, Nora Devlin ’19, Bria Kelly ’20, Cloy Onyango ’20, Zach Dubit ’17, Katelyn Degnan ’17, Sarah Wagner ’17, Parker Kellam ’17, Lauren Kim ’17, Arthur Love ’18, Ashley Ooms ’17, Cayleigh Wells ’17 and other students spent four weeks learning aerial dance vocabulary, elements of composition, performance techniques and technical, production and artistic components of performance. They created new pieces of aerial dance choreography for themselves and their classmates.

Washington and Lee’s Aerial Dance

Directed by Jenefer Davies, associate professor of dance/theater, the aerial dance program at Washington and Lee is one of the first academic programs in aerial dance in the country. Consisting of aerial rope and harness, silks and bungees, W&L offers traditional 12-week courses, as well as the intensive spring term course in aerial rope and harness. In addition to formal courses, W&L students have traveled to England to study with a professional aerial company and professional aerialists have given master classes at the university.

“The four-week intensive term has given the students the opportunity to explore aerial dance deeply as performers and choreographers,” said Davies. “While four weeks is quite a short period of time to create a performance, the students embraced the challenge and exhibited a work ethic and depth of understanding that is commendable.”

ZFX, a professional company that rigs for national theatres, Broadway, opera companies and music festivals, will be on campus for the final week of spring term. In this performance, W&L students will be tethered to the roof of Wilson Hall and will perform against the building’s outside wall. ZFX will bring and set up the fly system on the roof of Wilson, rig the dancers and operate the electronic winches during the rehearsals and performance.

Tom Hackman, theater technical director at W&L, is the technical director for the show and Jessica Miller, costumer in the theater, dance and film studies department at W&L, and her work-study students designed the costumes.

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Poet Stephen Cushman To Speak on the Journals of Lewis and Clark

Stephen Cushman

Professor, poet and author Stephen Cushman, the Robert C. Taylor Professor of English at the University of Virginia, will give a lecture at Washington and Lee University on May 8 at 7 p.m. in the Hillel House Multipurpose Room 101.

The title of the talk, which is free and open to the public, is “Lewis and Clark’s Unbeatable Read.” He will talk about the journals of Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, of which there are various editions. Cushman is an expert on these journals.

Cushman is the author of five collections of poetry, two books of criticism and two books about the Civil War, including “The Red List” (2014); “Belligerent Muse: Five Civil War Writers and How They Shaped Our Understanding of the Civil War” (2014); “Riffraff” (2011); and “Heart Island” (2006). Forthcoming is “Hothead” in 2018.

He won the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia Outstanding Faculty Award in 2015; was a fellow with the Virginia Center for the Humanities; and was a Fulbright lecturer in Greece.

Cushman was a general editor of the fourth edition of the Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics in 2012. He received his M.A., M.Phil. and Ph.D. from Yale University.

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W&L’s Music Department Presents the Marlbrook Chamber Ensemble Concert

Marlbrook Chamber Ensemble

The Washington and Lee University’s Music Department presents the Marlbrook Chamber Ensemble playing “A Love Triangle,” featuring Robert Schumann and Johannes Brahms, at 3 p.m. on May 7 in the Wilson Concert Hall at Washington and Lee University.

The ensemble consists of Jaime McArdle, violinist; Julia Goudimova, cellist; Timothy Gaylard, pianist; and guest pianist Ting-Ting Yen, all of whom are on the music faculty at W&L.

The first half of the program will feature Robert Schumann’s Trio No. 3 in G minor, Op. 110 with Yen at the piano. The second half will include two works — a piano trio arrangement of Clara Schumann’s song “Liebst du um Schönheit,” and Johannes Brahms’ Trio in C, Op. 87. Gaylard will be the pianist in these works.

A reception in Lykes Atrium of Wilson Hall will be held immediately following the concert. The concert is free and no tickets are required. Visit www.wlu.edu/lenfest-center for more information.

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