Feature Stories Campus Events

The State of the University A conversation with W&L President Will Dudley

Reunion 2018: A Record-Breaking Event

Nearly 700 alumni returned to campus in April to celebrate classes with graduation years ending in three and eight. Traveling from 40 of the United States as well as two foreign countries, alumni came from near and far to reconnect with one another and with their alma mater. The event was a resounding success, thanks in part to 170 volunteers who helped lead a record-shattering reunion fundraising effort. Overall, this year’s reunion classes collectively raised more than $1.5 million for the 2017-18 Annual Fund and committed a total of $5.2 million in current gifts and future pledges to the Annual Fund.

Members of the Class of 1968 celebrated their 50th reunion by breaking a number of records established since the reunion giving program began in 1986, including the number of Reunion Calyx biography submissions, reunion attendance, total reunion gift, class project gift total, five-year Annual Fund total, and class project participation.

Each year, the 25th and 50th reunion classes select a class project. The Class of 1968 chose to build upon the Class of 1968 Scholarship Endowment established during its 25th reunion. Members raised more than $2.8 million to increase the scholarship endowment to a level that will cover full tuition, room and board for recipients. Overall, the Class of 1968 gave more than $11 million in honor of reunion, with an 80 percent giving participation rate.

“To put it simply, the Class if 1968 is a record-breaking class,” noted Director of 50th Reunion Giving Ronni Gardner. “Inspired by a generous challenge put forth by an anonymous classmate, the class not only rose to that challenge, but they blew by it. It was so gratifying to see the class meet its goals both financially, and perhaps more importantly, in participation and reunion attendance.”

The Class of 1993 also enjoyed a successful 25th reunion, presenting President Will Dudley with the third largest 25th reunion check in W&L’s history. They surpassed their $750,000 class project goal by raising just under $1 million for the new Richard L. Duchossois Athletic Center, now under construction. The class’s generosity will be recognized with the naming of the Doremus Patio, overlooking Cannan Green. Class of 1993 co-chairs Chris Boggs and Susan Moseley George thanked the reunion class committee members for their hard work and generous support leading up to reunion. “We couldn’t have done this without them, and it has been so fun to reconnect with everyone,” Boggs said.

Another achievement for the Class of 1993 is the notable increase in women leadership donors. This year’s 25th reunion class had more donors contributing gifts of $12,500 or more and more donors contributing $50,000 or more than any other coeducational 25th reunion class at Washington and Lee. The previous record for women giving $50,000 or more was three. This year, eight women from the Class of 1993 made gifts at this level in honor of the milestone event. One of this year’s 25th reunion leadership donors, Lee Rorrer Holifield ’93 also took home a Distinguished Alumni Award. She and her husband, Mike Holifield ’89, became the first alumni couple to have received the award. All three sororities represented in the class had a giving participation rate of at least 75 percent.

“I am excited to see more alumnae sharing their passion for W&L through their philanthropy,” said 25th Reunion Gift Officer Jessica Cohen. “They are leaders in our community and are making a significant difference at the university.”

The Class of 1998 also set a gift record for the 20th reunion, raising $802,000 for the Annual Fund, and the Class of 1988 raised more than $900,000, setting a new bar for the next 30th reunion class. In addition, a new award recognizing the class with the highest percentage of reunion registrants who also participated in the Annual Fund was presented during the gift ceremony. The Reunion Chairs’ Bowl was presented to the Class of 1973, as 100 percent of the reunion registrants made gifts to the Annual Fund.

Reunion Awards

  • Reunion Bowl: Class of 1968
  • Reunion Trophy: Class of 1993
  • Reunion Traveller Award: James Read ’98, United Kingdom
  • John Newton Thomas Trophy: Class of 2003
  • Trident Trophy: Class of 1968
  • Reunion Chairs’ Bowl: Class of 1973
  • Colonnade Cup: Class of 1988

Class of 1968 Reunion Records

  • Reunion Calyx:  153 Calyx bios submitted (former record: 142 held by the Class of 1964)
  • Reunion Attendance:  102 class members (former record: 91 set by the Class of 1964)
  • Total Reunion Gift:  $11,093,365.84 (former record: $9.8 million set by the Class of 1967)
  • Class Project:  $2,809,628.18 (former record: $2.6 million held by the Class of 1962)
  • Five-Year Annual Fund: $643,493.30 (former record: $507,000 set by the Class of 1967)
  • Class Project Participation: 99 donors, or 59.2 percent (former record 55 percent set by the Class of 1962)

Strong Talks Presidential Scandals in the Richmond Times-Dispatch Strong is the William Lyne Wilson Professor in Political Economy at Washington and Lee.

Robert Strong

Robert Strong, William Lyne Wilson Professor in Political Economy at Washington and Lee, discusses presidential scandals in the Richmond Times-Dispatch. In the article, Strong compares scandals of past administrations to those in the Trump presidency.

Read the full article on the Richmond Times-Dispatch website.

W&L Magazine, Fall 2017: Vol. 94 | No. 3

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Fall Magazine 2017

In This Issue:


What We Lost
Reflecting on the Vietnam War

Celebrating W&L’s 27th President
Will Dudley makes it official.

What a University Should Do
The Commission on Institutional History and Community begins its work.

By the Book
Blaine Brownell ’65 pens an updated history.

Something Old, Something New
The Colonnade restoration is complete.


3 Columns
26 Office Hours
Rebecca Benefiel, Associate Professor of Classics
28 Lives of Consequence
Kelly Douma ’16
John Maass ’87
32 Alumni
48 Chronicles

W&L Alumnae Brunch 2017

W&L Magazine, Summer 2017: Vol. 94 | No. 2

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Summer 2017

In This Issue:

  • Step Away from the Books
  • What a Trip

2 – By the Numbers

  • Commencement Stats

3 – Speak

  • Letters to the Editor

4 – Along the Colonnade

  • Celebrating Commencement
  • Recognizing Retirees
  • Welcoming a New Trustee
  • Selling Oak Trees

11 – Lewis Hall Notes

  • The 2016 Graduate Employment Report

12 – Generals’ Report

  • The Year in Review

22 – Alumni Profiles

  • At Home in La La Land: Marquita Robinson ’10
  • Overcoming Tourette Syndrome: Larry Barber ’71

26 – Milestones

  • A Real Positive: Intramural and Club Sports, by Don Eavenson ’73
  • Alumni News
  • Reflecting Forward, by Beau Dudley ’74, ’74L
  • Alumni Weekend
  • Congratulations, Graduates!
  • Creating Our Future — Together, by President Will Dudley

W&L Magazine, Winter/Spring 2017: Vol. 94 | No. 1

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Winter/Spring 2017

In This Issue:

  • All Hands on Deadline
  • Civility in An Uncivil Election
  • Journalism Under Siege: Fake News and Alternate Facts
  • One Weekend in Washington: An Inauguration and a Protest

2 – By the Numbers

  • A Big Splash: Pool Stats

3 – Speak

  • Letters to the Editor

4 – Along the Colonnade

  • Celebrating a Rhodes Scholar
  • Reconnecting with a former student
  • New administrative appointments
  • Welcoming a new trustee
  • Honoring MLK

9 – Generals’ Report

  • Strength in Numbers: Men’s XC Goes to Nationals

10 – Lewis Hall Notes

  • W&L, VMI Host Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

22 – Alumni Profiles

  • David Chester ’78’s Excellent Adventures
  • From Craft to Career: Noelani Love ’05

24 – Milestones

  • Alumni president’s message
  • “Reflecting Forward”
  • Alumni news and photos
  • The Annual Report

Global Service: Bringing the World to W&L Students

Splat! Thud! Their laughter filling the air during a spontaneous snowball fight this past winter, the participants epitomized the special camaraderie of the international and domestic students who live and thrive in W&L’s Global Service House.

“It was really exciting, because a lot of us had never played in snow before,” said Sofia Sequeira ’15, a native Costa Rican and the house’s resident adviser. “It really made us bond and become close friends.”

The facility opened in fall 2012 and houses 17 students–approximately 60 percent international students and 40 percent domestic students. This year, for the first time, most of them are sophomores. Previously, the building housed students from different classes. To make the house feel more like a home, and to build long-lasting bonds among the students, W&L decided to limit the residents to sophomores and juniors. “It’s a great experience,” said Sequeira.

The students also share a common interest in internationalism and community service. When Larry Boetsch ’69, director of the Center for International Education, was researching the University’s Global Learning Initiative, he discovered that a high percentage of international students volunteer in the local community.

At the same time, Campus Kitchen at Washington and Lee (CKWL) was looking for a permanent home. CKWL combats hunger and promotes nutrition by reusing food that would otherwise go to waste. Boetsch and Harlan Beckley, professor emeritus of religion and founder of the Shepherd Poverty Program, hatched a plan to convert the International House into the Global Service House for students with a common interest in internationalism and service, including volunteering for CKWL.

Boetsch was concerned that setting special conditions for living in the house would quash student interest. Last year and this year, however, he received twice as many applications as he could accommodate. “I think next year we’ll have even more,” said Boetsch, “so it’s been a great success.”

He continued, “What satisfies me the most is that the students themselves have really taken the initiative to make this work. They’re a terrific group of students, and they understand exactly what we are trying to do. We haven’t set any rules or guidelines with regards to the way the house functions; the students have done it on their own. So they are responsible for its success.”

The experience of living there is as illuminating for domestic students as it is for international students. “I have learned more about the cultures of other students and about the world than I ever thought I could without actually leaving the United States,” said Maya Epelbaum ’16, who’s from New Jersey.

“My housemate, Mohammed, and I have had many discussions about the differences in our cultures,” said Trevin Ivory ’16, from Oklahoma City, Okla. Mohammed Adudayyeh ’16 is a Palestinian from the West Bank. “He’s Muslim and I’m Christian, so we’ve talked about the differences between our two religions.

“I lived in a dorm last year, and three or four of us would hang out together, but never this many people at one time,” continued Ivory. “It’s very nice here because you feel you can talk to anyone. We all know each other and we all like each other, so it’s a very fun time. It also allows me to interact with people I wouldn’t normally be able to, such as students from Brazil or Germany.”

The students have introduced each other to their personal volunteer projects, although the main emphasis of volunteering is CKWL. “A lot of students are really committed to community service, and they invite other students to their activities, such as volunteering for Habitat for Humanity, recycling or tutoring children in Lexington,” said Sequeira. For example, Emmanuel Abebrese ’16, a native of Ghana, who graduated from a high school in northern Virginia, has involved his fellow students plus the Student Association for International Learning (SAIL) in collecting books and school supplies for a school in Ghana.

The international student population at W&L, which numbers between 115 and 125 at any one time, distinguishes itself from those on other campuses because 98 percent of the students are four-year degree candidates, according to Boetsch. “On most college campuses, a large percentage of international students are exchange students staying for a term or for a year. Our international students are fully fledged Washington and Lee citizens,” he said.

The facility is, in fact, a tangible manifestation of W&L’s Global Learning Strategy. “The students in the Global Service House today are a special group,” said Boetsch. “Honestly, I think it is an achievement of which we should be very proud and something which, in terms of the whole global learning initiative, is absolutely essential.”

Washington and Lee Announces November 2016 Community Grants

Washington and Lee University’s Community Grants Committee has made 10 grants totaling $24,736.22 to non-profit organizations in Lexington and Rockbridge County. They are the first part of its two rounds of grants for 2016-17.

The committee chose the grants from 16 proposals requesting over $96,000.

W&L awarded grants to the following organizations:

  • The Community Closet at Christ Church, Buena Vista: Funds to help improve the living conditions of the needy in Rockbridge County
  • The Community Table of Buena Vista, Inc.: Funds to assist TCT to purchase food
  • Hoofbeats Therapeutic Riding Center: Purchase bitless bridles
  • Lexington Lyme Disease Support Group: To purchase educational materials regarding Lyme disease and other tick-borne illnesses
  • Miller’s House Museum Foundation: Establish an interpretive walking trail at Jordan’s Point
  • Natural Bridge/Glasgow Food Pantry, Inc.: Funds will be used for food purchase and operational expenses
  • Rockbridge Area Relief Association: Help provide heating fuel for at-risk neighbors
  • Rockbridge Area Transportation System, Inc.: Funds to assist with the purchase of a new handicap vehicle
  • Rockbridge Area Youth Strings (c/o Fine Arts In Rockbridge): Funds to purchase cases for existing instruments and a ¾-size double bass
  • Rockbridge Regional Library Youth Services Department: Fund the STEAM after-school program

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 2015-16 cycle, the Community Grants Committee awarded $50,000. Proposals may be submitted at any time, but they are reviewed only semiannually. The submission deadline for the second round of evaluations for 2016-17 will be: by the end of the work day (4:30 p.m.) on Friday, April 14, 2017. 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.