Feature Stories Campus Events

Harold Stowe ’68 Recognizes His 50th Reunion with a Family Scholarship His generous gift will help deserving young scholars, who might come from less fortunate circumstances, be able to attend W&L.

Claudia and Harold Stowe ’68

To mark his upcoming 50th reunion, Claudia and Harold Stowe ’68, are establishing the Stowe Family Scholarship. The scholarship acknowledges the family’s deep connection to Washington and Lee. Two of the Stowe’s three children, Dr. Blair S. Sumrall ’00 and Patrick B. Stowe ’01, graduated from W&L, and extended family have also attended the university. “My mother, who went to Randolph-Macon, always spoke very highly of Washington and Lee,” he recalls, “and on a family trip during my teens I fell in love with the campus.“

Stowe, who is serving on his reunion committee, made this gift through a bequest intention and a beneficiary designation from a retirement plan on the occasion of his 50th Reunion. The 50th Reunion is the only time that planned gifts count in reunion gift totals. It is fortuitous that Stowe’s gift also counts for a special matching challenge that has been set up for the Class of 1968 in celebration of the reunion.

“When our class meets the reunion gift challenge, our classmate will give $500,000 of his $1 million directly to our class scholarship, the reunion class project. We have set out to add $1 million to our class scholarship, which we started at our 25th reunion,” Stowe explains. “I am delighted to be part of helping us reach our goal.”

After receiving his M.B.A. from Harvard, Stowe began his career in banking and then moved into business, working his way to president and chief executive officer of Canal Industries and affiliated companies. Following his many years in the business world, Stowe moved into the education sector and became the acting dean of the E. Craig Wall Sr. College of Business at Coastal Carolina University from 2006-2007. He is currently the principal of Stowe-Monier Management LLC.

Outside his professional work, Stowe is a member of many corporate and nonprofit boards. He formerly served as chairman of the South Carolina Education Oversight Committee and chairman of the Smith Medical Clinic. He also serves on the Wall College of Business board of visitors executive committee and is chairman of the Wall Fellows board.

As higher education has gotten more expensive, scholarships have become a high giving priority at W&L. “We are grateful for Harold’s thoughtful generosity and the spirit in which his bequest is made,” observes vice president for university advancement Dennis Cross. “Harold is expressing his appreciation for the impact and meaning of W&L in his life and that of his family, as well as his desire that one of the best liberal arts educations in the world be available to outstanding young people of character, regardless of family financial circumstances. Harold can be confident the scholarship will transform numerous lives over the generations.”

“Since I have been fortunate enough to have the wherewithal to make this kind of gift, I wanted to help deserving young scholars, who might come from less fortunate circumstances, be able to attend W&L,” Stowe reflects.  “I feel a strong loyalty to the school that has given me great advantages as I have gone through my life and wonderful memories that I carry with me to this day. W&L will need our financial support now and in the future. If someone has the ability to make a bequest as part of their estate planning I think our alma mater is a great potential recipient.”

For more information on bequests and beneficiary designations, please contact Margie Lippard in the Office of Gift Planning at mlippard@wlu.edu or visit the Gift Planning page on the W&L website.


Alex S. Jones ’68 Funds New Journalism Internship The gift supports the education — both theoretical and practical — of budding journalists.

Susan E. Tifft and Alex Jones ’68

In a planned bequest, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Alex S. Jones ’68 is endowing the Alex S. Jones and Susan E. Tifft Journalism Internships, which provide paid internships to W&L students who aspire to journalism careers. He is currently funding the internships annually.

“It gives me genuine peace of mind to be doing this,” Jones said. “I am grateful to W&L and wanted to try to repay a bit of what it has given me.”

Jones won his Pulitzer at The New York Times for coverage of the media, and in 2015 he stepped down after 15 years as director of the Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard. He was the founding host of National Public Radio’s “On The Media,” executive editor of PBS’s Media Matters, and a member of a four-generation newspaper family from Greeneville, Tennessee.

His books include “Losing the News: The Future of the News that Feeds Democracy” (2009), which was prescient in its analysis of looming challenges to quality journalism. He co-authored with his late wife Susan E. Tifft two notable books on journalism dynasties, “The Patriarch: The Rise and Fall of the Bingham Dynasty” (1991) and “The Trust: The Private and Powerful Family Behind The New York Times” (1999), which was a National Book Critics Circle Award finalist. He and Tifft, who was a writer and associate editor at TIME Magazine, also shared a joint position as the Eugene C. Patterson Professor of the Practice of Journalism at Duke University. Washington and Lee awarded them honorary doctorates of humane letters in 2009.

“Washington and Lee paid us a great compliment. It was very touching for both of us to be presented with our honorary degrees by Ken Ruscio,” Jones recalls. “W&L seemed to be a fitting place for a tribute to my wife, who was a superb journalist and a terrific teacher at Duke University. Both of us realized how difficult it is for aspiring journalists to get the hands-on, practical, real-world experience necessary at the beginning of a career. Paid internships have all but disappeared, but the experience they provide is invaluable for launching young journalists on their career path. My wife and I shared an interest in supporting the education — both theoretical and practical — of budding journalists.”

“The internships are for journalism and only for journalism,” continues Jones. “This is a time when crying ‘fake news’ is a scoundrel’s reaction to legitimate reporting. It is also a time of schemes to spread calculatedly phony news to manipulate the public. So it is more important than ever for journalists to fight the good fight and tell it like it is, without fear or favor. That is the mission these internships are intended to support.”

Alex Jones ’68 with his nephew, Will Floyd.

Surprisingly, given his family background, Jones did not major in journalism at W&L. “My first job was working the back shop of the newspaper hauling pig iron,” remembers Jones. After graduation from Episcopal High School, Jones admits he was “in flight from journalism.” “I was looking for an independent path and wanted to take advantage of all that liberal arts had to offer, so I majored in history. I regret now that I didn’t take some journalism courses; ironically journalism is probably one of the majors that really requires a broad liberal arts grounding. But I wanted to make my own way.”

“I loved being at W&L,” he says. “Some of my closest friendships were made there. I had a wonderful experience, which I cherish.” Jones recalls a sudden flash of deep panic one balmy April day of his junior year when he realized, “Oh my God, in another year they’re going to make me leave here!” He continues, “I arrived at W&L at 17 and received a good education in the traditional sense, but it also gave me an opportunity to grow up.”

Both Jones and his late father, John M. Jones III ’37, were named Distinguished Alumni of Washington and Lee, and his father – then in his mid-90s — was present when Jones received the award in 2008. “As I have gotten older I have come to realize what an incredible luxury it is to not have any other responsibility than to learn. To be in a place where your job is to learn, that’s a pretty extraordinary gift, which I am fortunate enough to be able to share with others,” Jones observes. In this spirit, and to honor his upcoming 50th reunion, he is also contributing to the Class of ’68 Scholarship Fund through a bequest; the 50th reunion is the only time a planned gift counts toward reunion giving.

Jones believes it is crucial that W&L continues to become more diverse and inclusive. “I want to make sure the funds I provide encourage and make the same educational experience possible for young people who might not otherwise have the opportunity to come to W&L. It is hugely important for the university to continue to strive for diversity. There was hardly a single person of color — and no women, of course — when I went to the school. I am a great believer in the traditions and the qualities of which W&L is proud, but the university should reflect the diversity of the greater nation of which it is a part.”

Bequests and Planned Gifts
For more information on bequests and planned gifts to benefit Washington and Lee University, please contact Margie Lippard in the W&L Office of Gift Planning at 540-458-8902 or mlippard@wlu.edu or visit the Gift Planning page on the W&L website.

Bequests and Planned Gifts

For more information on bequests and planned gifts to benefit Washington and Lee University, please contact Margie Lippard in the W&L Office of Gift Planning at 540-458-8902 or mlippard@wlu.edu or visit the Gift Planning page on the W&L website.


Dr. Stuart Flanagan ’58 Uses his IRA Charitable Rollover to Fund a Family Scholarship The scholarship honors his "father and mother who made a real sacrifice so that I might be able to go to W&L."

Dr. Stuart Flanagan ’58

When Dr. Stuart Flanagan ’58 was accepted at W&L, he wrote to Dean Gilliam declining the offer. William & Mary—where Flanagan is professor emeritus—had offered him a much-needed scholarship. Flanagan’s two elder brothers, Robert Hugh Flanagan Jr. and William Latane Flanagan, had both attended W&L, but in the meantime their father had suffered a debilitating stroke, leaving their mother to shoulder the responsibility for her family of five.

Upon receiving Flanagan’s letter, Dean Gilliam called his mother and said, “‘What’s this about Stuart not coming to W&L?’ She had no idea I’d made that decision, but I said it was too expensive.” Gilliam found the Phillip W. Murray Jr. Scholarship for Flanagan, and his mother said she’d find a way to pay the balance, which remained a hardship on the family.

Several years ago, to fulfill a promise he’d made to the donor upon graduating, Flanagan contacted then director of donor relations Buddy Atkins ’68. He wanted to repay the scholarship he’d received, taking inflation and interest into account. Flanagan then went on to endow his own S. Stuart Flanagan Family Scholarship. He intends to add to these funds through his estate plan, mindful of Dean Gilliam’s gentle reminder to do so.

“The scholarship honors my father and my mother who made a real sacrifice so that I might be able to go to W&L. The spirit of the scholarship reflects the ethos of my family. I wanted my scholarship to go to a student who would not otherwise be able to afford to attend W&L, but an important criterion is that they should be able to show they have a history of helping other people. My parents did not have a lot of money, but they gave of themselves,” Flanagan observes.

Flanagan has used his IRA Charitable Rollover to fund the scholarship. “I knew I wanted to give money to the school; I just needed to figure out where to take it from,” he notes. “Since you have to take money out of your IRA every year anyway, it was not only easy to do, it was necessary. I choose to give to education at W&L, because we need people with character and integrity to be educated to lead the country and help their communities.”

To qualify:

• You must be age 70½ or older at the time of gift.
• Transfers must be made directly from a traditional or Roth IRA account by your IRA administrator to Washington and Lee University. Funds that are withdrawn by you and then contributed do NOT qualify. Gifts from 401k, 403b, SEP and other plans do not qualify.
• Gifts must be outright. Distributions from donor-advised funds or life-income arrangements such as charitable remainder trusts and charitable gift annuities do not qualify.

Benefits — qualified charitable distributions:

• Can total up to $100,000.
• Are excluded from your gross income for federal income tax purposes on your IRS Form 1040 (no charitable deduction is available, however).
• Count towards your required minimum distribution for the year from your IRA.

For more information on the IRA Charitable Rollover, please contact Margie Lippard, associate director of gift planning, at 540-458-8902 or mlippard@wlu.edu or visit go.wlu.edu/giftplanning.