The Columns

Campus Spaces Named for Three W&L Legends

— by on July 23rd, 2015

Three legendary campus figures with more than 105 years of service to Washington and Lee University will have parts of campus facilities named for them as they step down from their leadership positions.

Larry Boetsch ’69, professor of Romance languages and director of international education, will have the director of international education’s office suite in the new Center for Global Learning named in his honor. A term professorship, recognizing a faculty member teaching in an area related to global learning, also will be named for him. The former honor results from a leadership gift to the center; the latter comes from a private gift by an emeritus trustee and his wife. The center will consist of the renovated duPont Hall with a new addition, on the northern end of the campus.

Bill Hartog, for 37 years W&L’s dean and vice president of admissions and financial aid, will have the Gaines Hall commons area named in his honor, upon the recent approval of the Board of Trustees. The commons area is a large, elegant room used for studying, informal gathering and events in the recently renovated first-year residence hall.

Larry Peppers, dean of the Williams School of Commerce, Economics, and Politics since 1986, will have the reading room of Huntley Hall renovated and named for him and his wife, Fran, a long-time resident of Lexington who has curated Williams School art shows since 1989 and the school’s McCarthy Gallery since 2007. Current and former members of the Williams School Board of Advisors, alumni and parents made gifts to support the renovation. The space will be dedicated to student collaboration, with three conference rooms for group study. It will also have a large area for meetings and events.

Boetsch has taught Spanish at W&L since 1976. He also served as a senior administrator from 1996 to 2003, first as dean of the college, then as vice president for academic affairs, and as acting president from 2001 to 2002. Boetsch took on a four-year assignment in Berlin, Germany, as president of the European College of Liberal Arts (ECLA), now Bard College/Berlin. He returned to W&L to teach Spanish and become director of the Center for International Education, and lead a strategic planning effort for international education, which became “Redefining Liberal Arts Education: Global Learning for Washington and Lee in the 21st Century.” The Center for Global Learning is one outcome of the plan. He is a co-founder and executive director of the European Consortium of Liberal Arts and Sciences (ECOLAS), a network of liberal arts and sciences colleges and programs in the European Union. The Board of Trustees established the Laurent and Elizabeth Boetsch Honor Scholarship in 2002 to recognize the leadership he provided as the 23rd president of W&L.

Hartog’s years at W&L included the university’s evolution from a largely regional to internationally prominent institution and its transition from men only to fully coeducational. The university’s position as a national and international liberal arts university grew consistently throughout his tenure, attracting exceptional students known for their academic and personal qualifications. Hartog helped establish the university’s Johnson Scholarship Program, created to attract students with extraordinary academic and personal promise, regardless of their ability to afford tuition and other expenses. He is known throughout the country as a leader in the field of admissions and financial aid.

Peppers joined Washington and Lee as dean of what was then the School of Commerce, Economics, and Politics in 1985, faced with the retirement of many faculty giants. He recruited able successors who were well matched to the needs of the school and the interests of its students, while supporting W&L’s overall liberal arts mission. By 2014, the university’s four most popular majors were taught in the Williams School. Early on, he recognized the need for, and advantage of, student internships in securing professional placement, and he encouraged creation of an advisory board to make them available at such high levels as the New York Stock Exchange. He also promoted a Spring Term politics program in Washington, D.C., studies in entrepreneurship, the W&L Student Consulting project of free services to small businesses and the AdLib on-campus advertising symposium. He was recognized with the endowment of the Crawford Family Deanship in 2009.