W&L Music Presents University Singers’ Scotland Kickoff Concert The performance is a preview of the group’s upcoming tour of Scotland.
The Department of Music at Washington and Lee University invites you to join the award-winning University Singers, under the direction of visiting choral director Morgan Luttig, in their concert on April 2 at 8 p.m. in the Wilson Concert Hall. The performance is a preview of the group’s upcoming tour of Scotland.
The University Singers are recognized as one of the finest collegiate a cappellachoirs on the East Coast. The ensemble performs a wide variety of literature at major venues across the globe while serving as artistic ambassadors for the university in concert series, music festivals, conventions and university outreach events.This year on their tour of Scotland, the University Singers willperform at locations such as Rosslyn Chapel and Stirling Castle Chapel Royal.
The tour program will feature a variety of works broken into four larger sets. The first set, titled “Through the Life,” examines sacred experience of Holy Week—exploring the Christ story from before the birth in “Jubilate Deo” by Giovanni Gabrieli through the crucifixion depicted in Daniel Elder’s “Seven Last Words from the Cross.” This piece takes the choir and audience through an emotional journey as they experience the inner turmoil of Christ, the fading heartbeat, and the ultimate exclamation of the final breath of life. The first set will then transition silently into “Let My Love Be Heard” by Jake Runestad, beginning a set on “Humanness in Grief.”
It is tradition for University Singers’ international tours to include a set of repertoires from home, as well as repertoire from the country to which they are traveling. The second half of the program will begin with a Scottish mouth-music piece titled “Fionnghuala” by Michael McGlynn, which tests the limits of how fast a singer can articulate Gaelic text. The Scottish set will culminate in Jonathan Quick’s “Loch Lomond,” truly bringing the “bonny banks of Loch Lomond” to Lexington.
The concert will round out with an all-American set featuring pieces from the Appalachian mountain tradition, a spiritual titled “My Soul’s Been Anchored in the Lord” arranged by Carol Barnett, and other folk-song favorites. The performance will end with the University Singers’ traditional performance of Stephen Paulus’s “The Road Home” and James Erb’s “Shenandoah.”
Tickets to the Scotland Kickoff Concert are free but required. Call the Lenfest Center box office today at 540-458-8000 to reserve your tickets.
‘Down Under’ the Australian Sun Claire Mackin '20 shares her experiences in Sydney as part of the Sydney Internship and Study Abroad Program.
We have been living in Sydney for two and a half months now, and wow, that feels crazy to say! Somedays, it feels like I am living in just another large U.S. city, while other days truly remind me I am on the other side of the world from home. No matter the day, however, all are great living “Down Under” the Australian sun.
We came to Sydney in the midst of summer. Because of this, we had an interesting and somewhat unconventional first two months in the city. For the first two weeks I had – gasp! – no obligations. While my friends back home were beginning their winter semesters, I spent the first two weeks exploring Sydney, going to the beach and really getting my bearings. The next two weeks I focused on my internship. While here in Sydney I am interning at Mintel, a global market intelligence firm that provides valuable information to its clients about consumers and market trends. The following two weeks I spent every day in class attending my marketing course. Next, I went to New Zealand for a week. It was an incredible experience spent with breathtaking views and some great W&L friends (Beau M. ’20 and Evan K. ’20). Then it was back to my internship for a week.
This was all before the “real” semester even started at the end of February. If it sounds somewhat chaotic, it was! It was challenging at first to not have a strict and uniform schedule that I am used to back home. Looking back, however, it really gave me the chance to better understand what I wanted out of my study abroad experience. It was also the first time, maybe ever, that I had so much free time and independence. I spent the time learning to cook, focusing on myself and exploring the city. While I did not realize it at first, these relaxing first few weeks have allowed me to jump fully into the new semester.
The official semester at USyd began at the end of February. I am taking European Economies, Cross-Cultural Management, and the ever-so-popular, Sport and Learning in Australian Culture. Admittedly, it is hard not to single out the sports class as my favorite. In the first three weeks, we have already been to a soccer game (I had the privilege to go inside the commentator’s box), a rugby union game, and a rugby league game, and there are still so many events to come. All of the classes, however, have been great. It has taken time to get used to the large lectures, but all three classes have nicely complemented my studies at W&L. It has been really interesting to observe the different culture at USyd compared to at W&L. At USyd, many of the students are only on campus two days a week and the other days they are working at jobs or completing internships. Many also travel over an hour to get to school, whereas the walk from third-year to the CGL has often been deemed too far of a hike by me and my friends! Studying at USyd has been a nice change of pace and it has been quite fun to take classes I would never have had the opportunity to at W&L.
Once a week I also continue to intern at Mintel. Already, I presented to the team 30 new and innovative products that I then turned into a presentation that Mintel has passed on to its clients. I have also helped gather information and research about a variety of topics about the current market environment for clients. Furthermore, just a week ago, Mintel hosted its biggest event of the year, The Big Conversation. I was given tasks to help prepare for the event by finding people to invite, sending out invites to them, gathering materials for the event and more. I was then able to attend the event at Sydney’s Museum of Contemporary Art and mingle with some of Mintel’s clients. It was so nice to see the hard work of the company be highlighted at such a great event.
Living in Sydney has been amazing! Reminiscing about the first two months has been a great chance to realize how much I have learned and grown in such a short time. Even more than that, it is crazy to believe that Sydneysiders here have already declared summer to be over (what happened to all year summer!?) and that we are already half-way through our time here. There is still so much to see and do—an amazing trip to Cairns and the Great Barrier Reef is on the horizon—and I want to be sure we do all we can!
Anne Wilson, Wife of 21st President of W&L, Dies at 84 She was at W&L from 1983-1995
Anne Veronica Yeomans Wilson, the wife of former president of Washington and Lee University John Wilson (1983 to 1995), died March 17, 2019. She was 84.
Wilson was born on Sept. 22, 1934, in Newbury, Berkshire, a small town southwest of London. Her daughter Sara noted that her mother’s “childhood memories included the agrarian England culture of gardening and animals, tranquil family trips on canal boats in rural England, foxhunting, as well as the discordant interruption of taking cover from the frightening air raids of World War II.” She attended a girls’ school outside Newbury, where she enjoyed literature, sports and occasional adventures to London and Ireland with friends.
In 1956, she met John Wilson at her father’s golf club in Newbury; he was stationed nearby as an Air Force intelligence officer. They married Sept. 21, 1957. Soon after, she left her beloved England to join him as he started his career in academic administration at Michigan State, though she forever after held on to her British identity (and accent) with great tenacity. When her husband became president of Wells College in Aurora, New York, from 1968 to 1975, she embraced the social and supportive role of a college president’s spouse with grace and a generous spirit. When the couple moved to Virginia Tech in 1975, she became active in faculty clubs, garden clubs, the arts and community groups.
At W&L, Wilson was known for her support of athletics and the arts and for her contributions in helping shepherd W&L through the challenges of co-education. Upon her departure from W&L in 1995, the Alumni Board of Directors dedicated the renovation and landscaping of Traveller’s grave (outside the Lee Chapel Museum entrance) in honor of her service to the university. “Anne Wilson,” the statement read, “is a lover of animals who believes that their company and care enhance the human condition.”
In 2006, the university dedicated the John and Anne Wilson Hall, the new home of the departments of art and art history and music, in the couple’s honor.
As well as continuing to read avidly in retirement, she also enjoyed W&L’s Alumni Trips and summer education seminars. In addition, she was a volunteer for the SPCA and the Rockbridge Area Foodbank.
Wilson is survived by her four children, Stephen, Anthony, Patrick and Sara, nine grandchildren and one great-grandchild.
A private, family-only graveside service will be held in the days ahead. A celebration of life memorial will be held at a date to be determined.
Lynn Rainville Named Director of Institutional History at Washington and Lee
Lynn Rainville, community initiatives fellow at the University of Virginia’s Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities and former dean of Sweet Briar College, will be the inaugural Director of Institutional History at Washington and Lee University.
Rainville has worked at Sweet Briar for the past 18 years, as a member of the faculty from 2001-2008, and as research professor in the humanities and director of the Tusculum Institute for Virginia history and historic preservation from 2008-2019. She served as dean of the college from 2018-19. As dean, she was responsible for the college’s academic programs, including 53 faculty, a number of academic areas including the college’s history museum and art galleries, and the oversight of a multimillion dollar budget.
W&L President William C. Dudley announced Rainville’s appointment, which is effective July 1. It comes after a national search led by a seven-member committee composed of faculty and staff, with input from the campus and alumni community following a series of public presentations at W&L in February.
“I am pleased to find an accomplished scholar who is so well-suited for the scope and complexity of this work,” said Dudley. “As the ninth-oldest institution of higher education in the country, Washington and Lee has 270 years of rich history to explore. Lynn’s wide-ranging curiosity, expertise in Virginia history and infectious enthusiasm for her work, as well as her commitment to creatively involving students, faculty, alumni and the public, open up an exciting array of possibilities for taking full advantage of the educational potential of our campus.”
As Director of Institutional History, Rainville will lead the process of envisioning and developing a museum to explore the university’s history and its many connections to American history, and to create dynamic educational programming for the campus community and the public. Reporting to Dudley as part of his administrative cabinet, she will manage the assets, facilities, resources, staffing and planning associated with the university’s historic galleries and the University Collection of Art and History (UCAH). She will also collaborate with faculty, scholars and the UCAH staff to support curricular development, research projects, and exhibitions.
Rainville is a public historian and anthropologist with a B.A. in anthropology and history from Dartmouth College and an M.A. and Ph.D. in anthropology and archaeology from the University of Michigan. Prior to joining the faculty at Sweet Briar, she held teaching positions at the University of Michigan, Dartmouth College and the University of Virginia.
As director of the Tusculum Institute at Sweet Briar, she partnered with the Department of Historic Resources for the commonwealth of Virginia, Preservation Virginia and other historic agencies to preserve the region’s historic assets and promote the use of Virginia’s historic legacy as an educational resource. She also worked with students, faculty and K-12 teachers to provide education and outreach to the wider community and region.
Rainville is a member of the Virginia General Assembly’s African American Cultural Resources Task Force and treasurer of the Virginia History Forum. Her research is focused on sharing the untold stories of overlooked Virginians, studying enslaved communities, graveyards and cemeteries, segregated schools, World War I and town poor farms.
Over the past three decades, she has researched the histories of institutions including Dartmouth College, U.Va. and Sweet Briar, curated exhibitions on slavery and segregated schools and partnered with architects to design a reconstruction of an 18th-century home that was to serve as the headquarters for the Tusculum Institute. She has written four books on Virginia history: including “Invisible Founders: How Two Centuries of African American Families Transformed a Plantation into a College” (Berghahn Press, 2019), “Virginia and the Great War: Mobilization, Supply and Combat, 1914-1919” (McFarland Press, 2018), “Sweet Briar College” (Campus History Series, Arcadia Publishing, 2015, with Lisa N. Johnston), and “Hidden History: African American Cemeteries in Central Virginia” (University of Virginia Press, 2014).
As a public historian, Rainville lectures widely on topics ranging from the history of African-American cemeteries to Virginia’s role in the Great War. She has served as director of a number of historical projects, including a study of World War I memorials in Virginia, an ethnographic and historic study of an antebellum plantation, and a survey of African-American cemeteries in Virginia. Her current work in Virginia history includes a survey of town poor farms and an effort to locate and preserve slave graveyards in the commonwealth. She has received numerous grants and fellowships from organizations including Virginia Humanities, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the National Endowment for the Humanities and the National Science Foundation. Her research has been featured in a variety of online publications and blogs, as well as on National Public Radio and in newspapers including The New York Times and The Washington Post.
“I am thrilled to join W&L as its first Director of Institutional History,” said Rainville. “In many ways this position is the culmination of my work to date: the chance to combine three decades of historic research, museum programming, public history and partnerships with local communities and national foundations. Washington and Lee’s decision to ‘tell our stories completely and honestly’ mirrors my research goals for Sweet Briar College’s complicated racial past, where I combined multiple disciplinary methods in my research and worked to bridge the divide between the academy and the public. I am looking forward to spending time in W&L’s archives, exploring its historic buildings and landscapes and joining with members of the community to learn more about the transformation of a Shenandoah Valley academy into a nationally recognized university.”
New Aerial Dance Part of W&L Repertory Dance Co. Program The program will include multifaceted dance works created by nationally renowned choreographers, as well as new aerial dance technology.
The Washington and Lee University Department of Theater, Dance, and Film Studies will present the award-winning W&L Repertory Dance Company March 29-31 in a program of multifaceted dance works created by nationally renowned choreographers.
This fully produced concert of six works contains the fruit of three artistic residencies that occurred throughout the semester. Nationally renowned choreographers Taylor Mitchell, Jessica Miller Tomlinson and Shaun Boyle D’Arcy each spent four days at Washington and Lee offering master classes and holding intensive choreographic rehearsals with W&L dance students.
“As far as curating this performance is concerned, bringing together guest artists, faculty and students creates a beautiful synergy,” said Jenefer Davies, artistic director of the dance company and associate professor of dance/theater at W&L. “A palpable force of teaching and learning is created through the artistic process.”
Mitchell is a Chicago-based dance performance artist and international educator who is recognized for his physical theater/clowning technique. He has created new works for DanceWorks Chicago, among others, and has served as an artist-in-residence with Southeast Missouri State University and Keshet Dance and Center for the Arts. His work “All I Need Is…” is a spoof on love and human relationships.
Tomlinson’s work has been presented at the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival in Massachusetts, The Joyce SoHo in NYC, the Harris Theater for Music and Dance in Chicago and numerous international venues, including the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Tomlinson is currently on faculty at Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, the Hubbard Street Youth Dance Program and Joffrey Academy of Dance in Chicago. Her work, “Homesick Blues,” is an abstract composition for 10 dancers. The dance has four distinct sections, each with a different feel, inspired by and set to the music of Bob Dylan.
Boyle D’Arcy has danced with Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet company and BalletMet, among other companies, and has performed in David Dorfman’s ”Underground” at the BAM Next Wave Festival, and in the London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay performances in England. Her dance, “Gambaru,” is based on a Japanese expression that refers to perseverance and enduring difficult times. It was commonly used during the 2011 earthquake and tsunami recovery and was an encouraging reminder for the community at large to persist in their rebuilding efforts.
Davis Straske ’19 collaborated with Spencer Alascio ’19 and Davies on an aerial bungee dance that incorporates new technology and brings aerial innovation to the Keller stage. W&L was one of the first universities to have an aerial dance program, and continues to push the boundaries of the genre. Straske’s idea for her piece was developed during an independent study project that sought to reframe a typical tango by approaching the duet with one dancer rigged to a single-point bungee performing with an untethered partner. This concept was made possible by the creation of new rigging technology that consists of a 20-foot truss that Davies, who is tethered to Straske, climbs in order to raise and lower her. Constructed by professional aerial riggers and overseen by theater department technical director Tom Hackman and professor Shawn Paul Evans, it’s a new step toward broadening and deepening the aerial program at W&L.
The evening also includes a restaging of Davies’ 2006 work, “Blame Game.” This piece, danced by members of the W&L Repertory Dance Company, is a silly look at love and loss from vantage points of both strength and sorrow.
The W&L Repertory Dance Company concert will be held in the Lenfest Center at Washington and Lee University March 29-30 at 7 p.m. and March 31 at 2 p.m. Tickets can be purchased at (540) 458-8000 or online here.
Phi Beta Kappa Initiates New Members during 2019 Convocation
The Phi Beta Kappa chapter at Washington and Lee University welcomed 46 members of the junior and senior classes into the prestigious honor society at the Phi Beta Kappa/Society of the Cincinnati Convocation on Sunday, March 17. All of the inductees were accepted into Phi Beta Kappa based on their exceptional academic achievements.
Frederick M. Lawrence, CEO and secretary of the Phi Beta Kappa Society, gave the convocation address. Lawrence is a distinguished lecturer at the Georgetown Law Center and has previously served as president of Brandeis University, dean of the George Washington University Law School and visiting professor and senior research scholar at Yale Law School. An accomplished scholar, teacher and attorney, Lawrence is one of the nation’s leading experts on civil rights, free expression and bias crimes.
The chapter inducted as an alumni member Thomas E. Camden ’76, associate professor and head of Special Collections & Archives at W&L, in recognition of his scholarly impact on both the archival community and Washington and Lee.
The chapter gave Robert V. Masi and Chi Shing A. (Adrian) Lam the Phi Beta Kappa J. Brown Goehring Sophomore Award, which goes to the student(s) with the highest cumulative scholastic average through the end of the fall term of his or her sophomore year. The award honors J. Brown Goehring, professor of chemistry emeritus who, during his 38-year career at W&L, spent 22 years as secretary/treasurer of the University’s Phi Beta Kappa chapter.
This year’s initiates are:
Class of 2019
- Erin An
- Jocelyn Grayce Anker
- John Xavier Broderick
- Joseph Carmody
- Katherine Dau
- Susan Lindsey Fields
- George Lincoln Frank
- Ethiopia Demmelash Getachew
- John Herschel Gipson, III
- Maxwell Gold
- Jeongju Ha
- Ethan Mayer Hartman
- Lorena Hernandez Barcena
- Teressa Rae Hill
- Faith Abigayle Isbell
- Kathryn Sinclair McEvoy
- Cordelia Richards Robinson Peters
- Eleanor Evangeline Rose
- Christopher Scott Simmons, Jr.
- Martha Davis Straske
- Christopher Tobin
- Sutton Paige Travis
- Heeth Varnedoe, V
- Pengrui Wang
Class of 2020
- Harris McLean Billings
- Laura Elaine Bruce
- Balen Essak
- GennaEve Feirson
- Katherine Ingram
- Chantal Iosso
- Tiffany Bokyoung Ko
- Stevan Andrew Kriss
- Maxwell Andrew Lehman
- Taylor Griffin Link
- Kara G. Lough
- Chase Walton Major
- Nicholas Bennett Mauer
- Abigail Kathleen Nason
- Trang Ha Nguyen
- Prakriti Panthi
- Samuel Halstead Pumphrey
- Peyton Jean Smith
- Kana K. White
- Hannah Margaret Witherell
- Matthew O’Neal Withers
- Jiahao Zhang
Phi Beta Kappa was founded in 1776 at the College of William and Mary. Its motto is “Love of learning is the guide of life.”
W&L’s University Orchestra Presents Winter Term Concert The show is free and open to the public.
The Washington and Lee University Orchestra will perform its Winter Term concert on March 21 at 8 p.m. in Wilson Concert Hall. The show is free and open to the public.
The performance will be availiable to watch online here.
The concert will feature student concerto/aria contest winners Robert Masi ’21, performing the final movement of Rachmaninoff’s “Piano Concerto No 2,” and Hyun Song ’21, performing the final movement of Elgar’s “Cello Concerto.” In addition, the University Orchestra will perform the world premiere of a new work by Zach Brandt ’19, entitled “A Hero’s Journey” with Brandt conducting.
Learn more about this performance and others at Washington and Lee here.
Give Day 2019: Thank You! From coast to coast, first-years to Five-Stars, the W&L community stepped up in a big way on Give Day to put students on a path to success.
The Annual Fund provides a significant percentage of the university’s operating budget — nearly eight percent — and is the critical difference in W&L’s ability to fulfill its educational mission by providing unrestricted dollars that support academic departments, faculty and student research, financial aid, athletics and more.
We are grateful for the support of all of the alumni, friends, faculty, staff and students who made a gift this year to speak to the future of W&L.
The day began with the Annual Fund Council banding together with additional Give Day gifts totaling $33,000 and asking the W&L community to join them in a drive for 2,500 donors.
Early in the afternoon, the Board of Trustees upped the ante by collectively committing an additional $240,000 to the Annual Fund.
During the evening hours, President Dudley and senior campus leaders urged the community onward by committing an additional $25,000 to inspire a strong finish.
And finish strong we did! Thank you all for a special day.
Total Donors: 2,589 (and still counting)
Lee Descendant to Discuss New Memoir, Reconciling History
The Rev. Robert W. Lee IV, a descendant of W&L namesake, president and Confederate general Robert E. Lee, will visit the Washington and Lee School of Law to discuss his new book, “A Sin by Any Other Name: A Reckoning with South’s Past.”
The event, which will be in a Q&A format conducted by W&L history professor Ted DeLaney and moderated by law professor Carliss Chatman, is scheduled for Thursday, March 28 at 3:00 p.m. in the Millhiser Moot Court Room, Sydney Lewis Hall on the campus of Washington and Lee University. The event is free and open to the public.
Rev. Lee is a sought after speaker and has preached from such pulpits as the Historic Ebenezer Baptist Church and Harvard University’s Memorial Church. He is the author of “Stained-Glass Millennials”, which explores the relationship between the institutional church and the millennial generation. His new book, a memoir, chronicles his story of growing up with the South’s most honored name, and the moments that forced him “to confront the privilege, racism, and subversion of human dignity that came with it.”
Rev. Lee gained national attention when he spoke at 2017 MTV Video Music Awards denouncing white supremacy, racism and the role the statue of Robert E. Lee played in the violence in Charlottesville. A graduate of Appalachian State, where he is a faculty lecturer, and the Duke University Divinity School, Rev. Lee is currently a doctoral student in public speaking and theology.
The event is jointly sponsored by the Black Law Students Association, the Student Coalition for Campus Change, and the Frances Lewis Law Center.
W&L’s Staniar Gallery Exhibits Senior Art Projects Each spring, the W&L art department showcases the senior theses of studio majors in a professional gallery setting.
Washington and Lee University’s studio art majors will present their senior projects in an exhibition that opens in Staniar Gallery on March 28. The show will be up through April 5, with a reception for the artists in Lykes Atrium, Wilson Hall on the W&L campus on March 28 at 4:30 p.m.
At the reception, which is free and open to the public, each student artist will give a brief gallery talk.
Each spring, the W&L art department showcases the senior theses of studio majors in a professional gallery setting. This year’s show features a variety of media by six artists.
For example, W&L senior Mary Catherine Greenleaf ’19 draws on her dual majors in studio art and computer science to explore digital storytelling for her project, with a video game that invites viewers to play through the same series of events, retold from multiple points of view and different perspectives. In his mixed media collages, Michael Kerr ’19 highlights the significance our society places on celebrity culture. Working in painting, drawing, collage and poetry, Iman Messado ’19 poses questions about what it means to be a part of a community and how past generations shape one’s identity. Brianna Osaseri ’19 will present her comic book “Avalon” in which two siblings who are growing up in a secluded Japanese fishing village experience trauma that transforms how they see the world. Also exploring comics as an artistic medium, Brittany Osaseri ’19 will exhibit her graphic fiction “Forsaken” whose main characters struggle with issues of abandonment and acceptance of their identities. In her photographs of flowers, Julia Schloss ’19 uses the garden as a metaphor for the life cycle as she explores notions of growth and death.
Staniar Gallery is located on the second floor of Wilson Hall, in Washington and Lee University’s Lenfest Center for the Arts. Gallery hours are Mon. through Fri., 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, please call 540-458-8861.
4th Circuit Court of Appeals to Hear Arguments at Law School
On Tuesday, April 2, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit will hear a day of oral arguments at Washington and Lee University School of Law. A panel of judges will hear three cases during the two-hour court session.
Arguments will begin promptly at 9:30 a.m. in the Millhiser Moot Court Room, Sydney Lewis Hall. Computers and backpacks are not allowed in the Moot Court Room during the Court’s visit. Photography and recording devices are also prohibited. This event is open to the public. Seating is limited.
The cases scheduled to be heard by the court are Tiffanie Hupp v. State Trooper Seth Cook, on whether withdrawal into a home with a video recording presents exigent circumstances justifying a warrantless search and whether there was probable cause for Hupp’s arrest; US v. Ryan Courtade, on whether the appellant is actually innocent of possession of child pornography, whether appellant’s guilty plea is invalid, and whether plea counsel rendered ineffective assistance; and Carl Gordon v. Fred Schilling, on whether district court erred in granting the defendant’s summary judgment on inmate’s claims of deliberate indifference to serious medical needs.
Harkening back to the days when transportation challenges required judges to “ride circuit” from city to city, the 4th Circuit leaves its home Richmond several times each year to hear cases at law schools and other locations. The Court last visited W&L in March of 2013. The Court also visited in 2011. During that session, the Court heard a federal black lung benefits case being handled by the School’s own Black Lung Clinic. A student, John Eller ’11L, argued the case on behalf of the clinic.
W&L to Host Annual Summer Camp Fair Area day camps and sleepover camps will be available to share information on their 2019 summer programs.
Washington and Lee University will host its Annual Summer Camp Fair on March 26 from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. in Evans Hall.
This is an opportunity to get a head start on summer childcare planning. This event is free and open to the public.
Area day camps and sleepover camps will be available to share information on their 2019 summer programs.
Area camps include:
- American Shakespeare Center Theatre Camp
- Animal Adventure Camp
- Boxerwood Camps
- Camp Shenandoah
- Earthsong Summer Camp
- “Experience” Summer Arts Camp
- Fiber Camp at Cabin Spring Farm
- Halestone Summer Dance
- Healthy Bodies Summer Camp
- Hollins Summer (residential and day programs)
- House Mountain Yarn Company
- Lexington Collaboratory Summer STEAM Day Camp
- Life Chapel Mega Sports Camp
- Make It Sew
- Reach @ Camp Play
- Rockbridge Ballet Summer Programs
- Summer FAIR
- Woods Creek Montessori Summer Camp
- YMCA Summer Camp
- Alta Mons
- Camp Alleghany
- Camp Bethel
- Camp Hidden Meadows
- Camp Horizons
- Camp Mont Shenandoah
- Nature Camp
- W&L Sports Camps can be found on the W&L Athletics page at http://www.generalssports.com/information/Recruit_Me/camps/index.
W&L Hosts Marty Baron, Editor of The Washington Post Baron became executive editor of the Post in 2013. There, he oversees print and digital news operations and a staff of more than 800 journalists.
Washington and Lee University will host Martin “Marty” Baron, executive editor of The Washington Post, for a public Q&A on March 26 at 5 p.m. in Stackhouse Theater. Baron’s talk, which is free and open to the public, will be available to watch online here.
Baron became executive editor of the Post in 2013. There, he oversees print and digital news operations and a staff of more than 800 journalists.
Newsrooms under Baron’s leadership have won 14 Pulitzer Prizes. The Post, during his tenure, has won four times for national reporting, and once each for investigative reporting, explanatory reporting and public service, the latter in recognition of revelations of secret surveillance by the National Security Agency.
“Marty is the best editor on the planet,” said Alecia Swasy, Reynolds Professor of Business Journalism. “He is tireless in his pursuit of the truth about powerful people and institutions, whether it’s the Catholic Church or the White House.”
Previously, Baron had been editor of The Boston Globe. During his 11 1/2 years there, the Globe won six Pulitzer prizes—for public service, explanatory journalism, national reporting and criticism. The Pulitzer Prize for public service was awarded to the Globe in 2003 for its investigation into a pattern of concealing clergy sex abuse in the Catholic Church; coverage portrayed years later in the Academy Award-winning movie “Spotlight.”
Before the Globe, Baron held top editing positions at The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times and the Miami Herald. Under his leadership, the Miami Herald won the Pulitzer Prize for breaking news coverage in 2001.
His honors include Editor of the Year by the National Press Foundation (2004), the Al Neuharth Award for Excellence in the Media (2017), the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press Award (2017), and the Award for Public Leadership from the University of Pennsylvania’s Fels Institute of Government (2016). In 2012, he was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is the recipient of honorary doctorates from George Washington University, George Mason University and his alma mater, Lehigh University.
Baron began his journalism career at the Miami Herald in 1976, serving as a state reporter and later as a business writer. In 1979, he moved to the Los Angeles Times, where he became business editor in 1983; assistant managing editor for page-one special reports, public opinion polling and special projects in 1991; and, in 1993, editor of the newspaper’s Orange County Edition, which then had about 165 staffers.
In 1996, Baron moved to The New York Times; he became associate managing editor responsible for the nighttime news operations of the newspaper in 1997. He was named executive editor at the Miami Herald at the start of 2000.
Baron’s talk is presented by the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation and the Department of Journalism and Mass Communications at W&L.
Former Powell Clerk and Biographer John Jeffries to Deliver Powell Distinguished Lecture
John C. Jeffries, Jr., former dean of the University of Virginia School of Law and clerk to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Lewis Powell, will deliver the seventeenth annual Lewis F. Powell, Jr. Distinguished Lecture.
The event is scheduled for Monday, March 25, at 5:00 p.m. in the Millhiser Moot Court Room, Sydney Lewis Hall on the campus of Washington and Lee University. The event is free and open to the public.
Jeffries, who currently serves UVA as senior vice president for advancement, joined the Virginia law faculty two years after earning his law degree in 1973. His primary research and teaching interests are civil rights, federal courts, criminal law and constitutional law. Jeffries has co-authored casebooks in civil rights, federal courts and criminal law and has published a variety of articles in those fields. He also wrote a biography of Justice Lewis F. Powell Jr.
In 1986, Jeffries was appointed the inaugural Emerson Spies Professor of Law, a position created to honor a long-time teacher and former dean. Jeffries has also held a variety of other academic appointments, including the Arnold H. Leon Professorship. He served as academic associate dean from 1994 to 1999. In the fall semester of 1999, he was acting dean during the sabbatical of Dean Robert Scott. He became dean in the fall of 2001 and served until June 2008.
During law school, Jeffries served as editor-in-chief of the Virginia Law Review. He received the Z Award for the highest academic average and the Woods Prize for the outstanding graduate. Immediately after graduation, he clerked for Justice Lewis F. Powell, Jr., before serving in the U.S. Army as a second lieutenant.
The students at Washington and Lee University School of Law founded the Lewis Powell, Jr. Distinguished Lecture Series in 2002 in honor of Justice Powell ’29A, ’31L, who was appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court in 1972. Justice Powell’s judicial legacy was defined by a respect for both sides in a dispute and a desire to craft judicial opinions that struck a middle ground. The student-run lecture series features nationally prominent speakers who embody Powell’s spirit in their life and work.
The Class of 2041: Why I Give Reid Calhoun ‘17 shares how his vision for the future inspires his annual giving
“I know that W&L will graduate leaders throughout the rest of my lifetime and that these future graduates will carry fresh new perspectives that I will learn from.”
~ Reid Calhoun ’17
In the spring of 2019, a future member of the class of 2041 will be born. What will their years in Lexington look like and what opportunities will they have in the professional world? A graduate of Liberty Hall in the 1780s might have studied the classics and gone on to practice law in a relatively unchanging world by today’s standards. They might easily have encouraged their children and grandchildren to follow the exact same path.
Today, we cannot recommend with complete confidence what a successful career might look like for a member of the Class of 2041. The only true constant today is change, and the law of accelerating returns suggests that however much today’s young graduates must adapt, this ’41 grad will have to adapt at least twice over. If the past few years are indicative of what is to come, we can assume that this General’s mind will be flooded with information and distractions. How might they be best equipped for this growing lifelong challenge?
Washington and Lee’s approach to education already prepares students to analyze vast amounts of information, to challenge the status quo and to engage in lifelong learning. This is the ideal background to begin a career in today’s changing society. A liberal arts education also attracts a certain type of world citizen with a passion for many different subjects and hobbies. Students entering W&L confront the world with a passion and intellectual curiosity not readily found in everyone, yet increasingly necessary for a successful career in such a rapidly changing world.
While I sometimes pine to stand in the beauty of the Shenandoah Valley, I most often miss the awesome range of experiences alongside passionate people that only W&L can deliver. Every day as a student, I would try to hit all aspects of science, society and the arts. On the hill, I might start a day in a medieval Spanish literature course with Professor Bailey, then head to an organic chemistry class with Professor Alty and finish with an assignment in the fluids lab from Professor Kuehner of the engineering and physics department. That same day, I would always find time to rock out with some friends covering classic funky tunes, and then I would head to a rugby practice. Dinner would be spent arguing with my closest friends about sports or current events. After getting some work done in the IQ Center, I’d finish the day with roommates watching a night storm come over House Mountain.
No two W&L experiences are the same, but I know that all former Gennies share memories of a hectic schedule, trying to balance many different interests. Each day is an endeavor into new intellectual horizons, giving passage to new perspectives and influencing a shifting worldview. At the whim of a particularly intriguing lecture, one imagines taking an entirely different path than the day before. At W&L, we have both the ability and fortune to make that happen.
I give to W&L annually to continue feeling involved and because I had such a great experience in Lexington. I am confident that Washington and Lee will never rest on its laurels and will attract brighter and brighter students in the years to come. I know that W&L will graduate leaders throughout the rest of my lifetime and that these future graduates will carry fresh new perspectives that I will learn from. I give in hopes that all future graduates have at least as great of an experience as I have had. I encourage my brothers and sisters from W&L to give with me and to continue our great tradition of having the best alumni in the country.
I also encourage my fellow alumni to seek out opportunities to further their impact. As a young alumnus, I wanted to give as much as I could within reason. I noticed that my employer offers gift matching, which allowed me to make an even greater impact. I encourage all to look into opportunities to do the same with your company. Not only was I able to get a matching gift to W&L from my employer, but my employer also offered a 2:1 deal to a special list of non-profits. This meant I could double my gift W&L and give the same amount to my favorite environmental NGO.
Although I graduated from W&L in 2017, and one might say that I should move on, I do not believe it is possible to ever truly move on from such an experience. The relationships created in Lexington, the newfound interests and passions and the embrace of lifelong learning will always stick with me. I am always eager for my next trip to Lexington and look forward to all the coming experiences with my fellow Generals. Finally, I would like to thank all of the alumni who came before me for helping make my years at Washington and Lee so excellent.
VIDEO: From Seed to Table At W&L, sustainability starts with a seed and blossoms into sea change. Take a peek inside our gardening and composting effort to see how it's impacting our community — and the future.
“In sustainability, we look at the three levels. So, the economics, the environment and the social issues, and the campus garden and our compost system hit all three of those things. We’re saving the university a little money, we are providing a very healthy food alternative for our community, and we are protecting the environment.”
~ Kim Hodge, W&L Director of Sustainability
Seeds become plants, plants bear fruit, fresh produce is consumed, scraps become compost, and that compost feeds the next generation of plants. This is the circle of life for fruits and vegetables, and it is a way of life at Washington and Lee University.
Here, the Office of Sustainability works with departments across campus every day to transform the school motto, Non Incautus Futuri (not unmindful of the future) into meaningful action. Whether that action is as small as pinching out suckers on a growing tomato plant or as large as diverting tons of waste from the landfill, it adds up to something significant for generations to come.
Washington and Lee established its recycling program in 2001, followed by the composting program in 2002 and the campus garden in 2008. All three of these programs have since grown significantly.
According to the most recent data available, the recycling program, which is managed by University Facilities, collected more than 65 tons of recyclables during fiscal year 2018. That’s up from 31.57 tons in fiscal year 2015—in other words, a lot of refuse that otherwise would have ended up in a landfill.
The W&L compost program, which is run by a compost operations assistant and aided by the student Compost Crew, is fed by daily pick-ups of food waste from all of W&L’s dining facilities. That includes compostable to-go ware as well as scraps that have been fed through a pulper in the Marketplace. Compostable material is also collected at special sorting stations during big campus events on Cannan Green. In 2017-18, the Compost Crew collected 34,603 pounds, or 17.3 tons, of compost. This program is also supported by the Biology Department and University Facilities.
The campus garden, which is maintained in partnership with the Biology Department, Campus Kitchen, Dining Services, Student Affairs and University Facilities, is the final stop in this closed-loop system. The garden produced 1,827 pounds of food in 2017 and sold $4,655 worth to Dining Services. The rest of the harvest was shared with the local food bank and the student food pantry.
Student engagement in the university’s sustainability efforts includes not only the Compost Crew, but also W&L’s Student Environmental Action League, an environmental advocacy and activist group. The Office of Sustainability also employs a number of interns each year, up from just three in 2014-15 to 15-20 per semester now. One of the university’s theme houses, Sustainability House, allows up to 16 students each year to immerse themselves in concepts that minimize the human footprint on the environment. In addition, a week-long pre-orientation program allows first-year students to learn more about all aspects of sustainability.
This student involvement extends beyond extracurricular or housing options and into classrooms at W&L. The Sustainability Office frequently partners with faculty and students, working most closely with the Environmental Studies Program, the Biology and Art departments, and the Office of Community-Based Learning to incorporate principals of environmentalism into research and coursework.
When students are touched by sustainability efforts during their time at W&L, they are more likely to continue those actions off-campus, and more likely to champion those practices with their own families and colleagues in the future, representing another closed-loop system. With positive influence from the Office of Sustainability, these ambassadors for recycling, composting, eating local and otherwise protecting the environment are not unmindful of earth’s future.
Visiting Professor Wendy Greene Featured in Teen Vogue Greene's scholarship and advocacy brought about a ban on natural hair discrimination in New York City.
Wendy Greene, a visiting professor at W&L Law, has dedicated her professional life to advocating for better protections against racial inequality and discrimination. Now, thanks to her work, New York City has become one of the first cities to announce guidelines that have banned discrimination due to a person’s natural hair style.
“We definitely have heard more about this in the education and employment contexts, but some of these issues have arisen in nightclubs, for example, or bars, and other kinds of public accommodations, like those that are privately owned establishments,” Greene told Teen Vogue.
Greene has published numerous articles on discrimination and grooming codes, and she has a forthcoming book on the topic, #FreeTheHair: Locking Black Hair to Civil Rights Movements. Greene’s work was cited by the NYC Commission on Human Rights, which developed the new guidelines.
“I think about the impact this law is going to have on countless individuals who either have suffered discrimination or are making very critical deliberations as it relates to how to wear their hair, now they won’t suffer that discrimination in workplaces and in schools and in other public spaces,” Greene said.
Read the complete article on the Teen Vogue website.
W&L to Dedicate Chavis Hall March 9 John Chavis was an alumnus of W&L and the first African-American known to receive a college education in the United States.
A dedication ceremony for Chavis Hall, one of the buildings located on Washington and Lee University’s historic Colonnade, will take place March 9 at 1:30 p.m.
The ceremony, which is open to the public, will take place in front of Chavis Hall along the W&L Colonnade. It will include remarks by President William C. Dudley; Class of 2019 President Elizabeth Mugo; Ted Delaney ’85, professor of history; and Tammy Futrell, dean for diversity, inclusion and engagement and dean of seniors. Following those remarks, attendees are invited to view a replica of the plaque that will be installed in the Chavis Hall lobby.
Chavis Hall has been named for John Chavis, an alumnus of W&L and the first African-American known to receive a college education in the United States. Chavis, a Revolutionary War soldier who went on to become a Presbyterian minister and educator, studied at Liberty Hall Academy and Washington Academy, both precursors to W&L, during the 1790s.
Special Edition of Pluma Features Local Immigrants’ Stories Edwin Castellanos Campos '20 came up with the idea for the special edition after taking a Spring Term sociology/anthropology course about U.S. immigration and refugees.
“Immigrants—just like anyone else—are people who go to school, who have their own hopes and desires for the future, and I think it’s important to take that away from this publication.”
~ Edwin Castellanos Campos ’20
Edwin Castellanos Campos ’20 has published a special edition of Washington and Lee University’s Spanish literary magazine, Pluma, that features the immigration stories of 17 members of the Latino community in Lexington and the surrounding areas.
Castellanos Campos is an accounting and Spanish double major with a minor in Latin American and Caribbean studies. He has always had an interest in advocating for immigrants and Spanish speakers in the community and has been heavily involved in nonprofit organizations that do such work.
Pluma, the only Spanish-language literary magazine for W&L and the Rockbridge area, is normally comprised of poems, short stories, recipes, photographs and other creative works submitted by W&L students and local community members. The regular edition, which is always published in Spanish, comes out during Spring Term and is put together by a team of students and faculty advisers. Castellanos Campos decided he wanted to tell the stories of immigrants within the community in their own words, so he created the special edition, Tiempo de Cambio (Time of Change).
The magazine features photos by Castellanos Campos as well as a map designed by Clover Archer and Andrea Lepage, both of the Art and Art History Department. Layout of the magazine was done by Billy Chase, a graphic designer in the Office of Communications and Public Affairs.
The idea started last Spring Term when Castellanos Campos took a course in sociology and anthropology with Visiting Professor of Anthropology Marnie Jane Thomson. The course was about U.S. immigration and refugees. Students in the course were required to work on a project that had potential to be published somewhere.
“That’s where I got the idea to interview some immigrants in the community and write a little piece about that,” Castellanos Campos said. “And then [for] the publication piece I said, ‘Oh, well I could possibly submit this to Pluma.’”
He brought his idea to Mayock and she suggested that he create a special edition of Pluma that was separate from the regular spring-released edition. Castellanos Campos took the idea and ran with it.
“I believe that Edwin’s work models the depth of understanding, interest and compassion needed to understand complicated issues of migration, family, economic and social well-being, and community,” Mayock said.
He interviewed five people during his Spring Term class and another 11 during a Fall Term independent study under the supervision of Mayock. Seven of the interview subjects are community members, while three are professors and seven are W&L students. The featured individuals originate from a range of countries: nine are from Mexico, two are from El Salvador, one is from Colombia, three are from Peru, one is from Argentina and one is from Spain.
“What I found when I talked to them in completing the publication is that a lot of them come for different reasons to the U.S., and specifically to Rockbridge County,” Castellanos Campos said. “What a lot of them ended up liking about Rockbridge County and Lexington, and the reason they don’t end up leaving, is because of how small the community here is and how calm everything is.”
All of the names of those interviewed are changed in the publication for confidentiality purposes. Privacy was important for Castellanos Campos to keep in mind when putting together each story.
“Everything that is being published is in their words,” he said. “It was just finding that right balance of what to share and what really represents them… and not sharing some things that were more private for them.”
The interviews were conducted in Spanish and appear in the publication in Spanish. The primary language of most, if not all, of the individuals interviewed is Spanish, according to Castellanos Campos.
“We wanted to keep the Spanish origin of the immigrants and the people that I interviewed in place for the publication,” he said. “I do hope to translate it at some point so that people who don’t understand Spanish can understand the important stories.”
After transcribing and editing the pieces, he handed them off to Mayock for final edits. After Mayock completed a line-by-line edit for each story, he allowed the source to read it and make sure they still wanted to include everything they said in their interview.
Not only was this project a large time commitment, but there were other challenges along the way.
“I think the biggest challenge in it was trying to make sure I wasn’t leaving any piece of their story out of the publication,” he said. “A lot of them have a lot to share and it’s hard to capture that in a 15-minute to half-hour conversation.”
In some cases, Castellanos Campos had to return for second, even third, interviews.
The best part for Castellanos Campos was listening to what everyone had to share and understanding the dreams, aspirations and motives for those who move to the U.S.
Castellanos Campos will speak about his work on March 11 at 7 p.m. in the Hillel multipurpose room. He has also invited several of those interviewed to speak. The event will be bilingual: The majority will be in Spanish, but parts will be translated for those who may not understand the language.
A wide range of people are expected to attend, including Spanish-speaking community members, W&L students and local advocates for immigrants. Regardless of their background, Castellanos Campos hopes they will walk away with an important message.
“I really hope that people understand that everyone has a story to tell, and I think it’s important to hear that story,” he said. “Immigrants—just like anyone else—are people who go to school, who have their own hopes and desires for the future, and I think it’s important to take that away from this publication.”
In the future, Castellanos Campos hopes to continue his involvement in activities and organizations that advocate for immigrants or Spanish speakers in the community, especially in his home city of Chicago.
Pluma: Tiempo de Cambio
Edwin Castellanos Campos will speak about his work on March 11 at 7 p.m. in the Hillel Multipurpose room.
Copies of the special edition of Pluma will be handed out there. Following the event, they will be available in various locations around campus, including Tucker Hall.
Molly Sykes ’20 to Participate in German American Exchange Internship
Molly Sykes ’20, a junior and a double major in accounting and German at Washington and Lee University, will participate in the German American Exchange Internship Program (GAE) this summer.
“Molly Sykes is one of our top German students,” said Paul Youngman, associate provost and German professor. “Having begun her German learning at Norfolk Academy, Molly came to W&L well prepared to be a major. Her Spring term in Austria with Professor Debra Prager, chair of German and Arabic, set her up well to succeed in a longer-term overseas adventure. We are looking forward to hearing about her experiences.”
The GAE offers three-month, paid internships in Germany for American students who study German and one of several other fields, including business administration, accounting, computer science and the natural sciences. While in Germany, they can work on their language skills and gain a better understanding of Germany’s economic role within the European Union. Sykes will be working this summer with Ernst & Young in Frankfurt.
For more information about the U.S.-German Internship Program, please contact Professor Paul Youngman.
An Interdisciplinary Carnival The Science, Society and the Arts conference at W&L, which takes place March 15-16, brings together people of all disciplines to celebrate the good work taking place within the university community.
“SSA is important for W&L because, as a university comprised of high-achieving students, there is a need for a venue where research and projects can be presented.”
~ Alankrit Shatadal ’21
Washington and Lee’s multi-disciplinary conference, Science, Society, and the Arts (SSA), will this year celebrate 15 years of providing a platform for students to present their original work to the rest of the university community.
Through SSA, which will take place Friday, March 15 and Saturday, March 16, 2019, attendees can enjoy visual and performance arts, panels, colloquia, presentations and student-created posters. For the first time, student-made digital shorts and documentaries will be looped in Stackhouse, allowing audiences to drop in and watch them while attending other SSA activities.
Politics Professor Robin LeBlanc, who had been a leader of a student conference before she came to W&L, first came up with the idea of holding such an interdisciplinary conference at W&L when the faculty members in the Williams School of Commerce, Economics, and Politics were having conversations about strategic planning in 2002.
“A concern for the Williams School is always how to make sure that the students and faculty here stay connected with the students and faculty outside of the Williams School,” LeBlanc said.
She suggested a conference that “gives students an opportunity to show the incredible work that they are doing in the classrooms” — work which had previously only been seen by a single professor.
The first SSA conference was held in fall 2004 with more than 130 participants presenting posters, panels and book colloquia. Beginning in 2007, SSA organizers added more elements, gained more law school participation, and decided to hold the event in the middle of March during odd years. Students who intend to participate must submit proposals in advance. The first day of the event includes performing arts and visual arts, while the second day features a keynote luncheon, panels, colloquia and poster sessions from various disciplines.
“SSA is important for W&L because, as a university comprised of high-achieving students, there is a need for a venue where research and projects can be presented,” said SSA committee member Alankrit Shatadal ’21.
In recent years, the SSA committee has had more than 20 members, including five students and a diverse group of faculty and staff across different departments. The committee has three subcommittees for programming, communications and technology.
Davis Straske ’19, who has been a member of the programming committee since January 2018, said she has enjoyed helping to plan the event.
“It’s a great opportunity to meet professors, work with them toward a common goal, and provide student input on an event put on by the school for students,” she said.
Lawrence Associate Professor of Accounting Stephan Fafatas, chairman of the 2019 SSA committee, said the conference opens his eyes to the talents of students outside his discipline.
“I know what students do in my accounting classes, but I don’t get a chance to see what they are accomplishing outside those classes very often,” Fafatas said. “SSA is a venue that provides the W&L community a better understanding and appreciation of our students’ achievements across a variety of disciplines.”
Professors encourage their students to submit academic works to SSA. Assistant Professor of Classics Caleb Dance said when he sees a good paper from one of his students, he sometimes marks it with a sticky note suggesting that it be proposed for SSA.
“They might have already earned a wonderful grade from the paper, but hopefully they weren’t just doing it for a grade, they were doing it because they were interested in it,” he said.
Boetsch Associate Professor of Sociology Lynny Chin, who is also a member of the SSA committee, said proposals for this year’s conference represented a wide range of disciplines. She added that the programming subcommittee randomized the locations of posters and presentations to ensure variety for audiences. “Everything in the event is the highlight,” she said.
Faculty may also participate in SSA by proposing a book, film or album for a colloquium. Dance, who proposed a discussion of “Dirty Computer” by American musician Janelle Monáe, said colloquia inspire interdisciplinary communications.
“Someone might come to this colloquium who’s very interested in music production, and someone else might be very interested in the lyrics and the poetry,” Dance said. “Just having those two people in the same room and in conversation with one another—that’s what SSA wants to encourage.”
Associate Professor of Biology Nadia Ayoub, a member of the SSA committee, said anyone can benefit from SSA by “going and seeing the wealth of creativity” at W&L. Nick Mauer ’20, another member of the SSA committee, agreed.
“SSA brings the campus together to demonstrate the breadth of talent and exceptionalism of W&L students,” he said. “It is a great opportunity for us to learn from the work of each other and interact with departments we would not otherwise explore.”
MORE ABOUT SSA
2019 Committee Members
Chair: Stephan Fafatas, Accounting
Nadia Ayoub, Biology
Elizabeth (Beth) Belmont, Law
Brandon Bucy, ITS
Lynn Chin, Sociology and Anthropology
Caleb Dance, Classics
Elizabeth Denne, Mathematics
Chris Dobbins, Music
Stuart Gray, Politics
Antonio Reyes, Romance Languages
Elliot King, Art and Art History
Gabi Tremo, Communications and Public Affairs
Jessica Wager, Office of the Provost
Sarah Wilson, Geology
Blake Shester, ITS
Alicia Shires, ITS
Yoo-Jean Han ’22
Allen Litvak ’21
Nick Mauer ’20
Alankrit Shatadal ’21
Davis Straske ’19
A Sampling of 2019 SSA Programming:
Refuge Chamber Choir – Reflections Upon Peace
Voices of W&L – Two Views Through Campus
“A W&L Story: The Early Black Athlete Experience”
“Chinese Public Opinion on Pollution and Global Climate Change”
Transitions in Power Balance
“Shame: How America’s Past Sins Have Polarized Our Country” by Shelby Steele
“My Life as a Foreign Country: A Memoir” by Brian Turner
Find more information about SSA, including the complete schedule of events, on the SSA webpage.
W&L’s Leyburn Library Hosts Producer Talk Featuring Kevin Finch Finch will give a public talk on March 20 at 4:30 p.m. on the main floor of Leyburn Library on the W&L campus.
Kevin Finch, assistant professor of journalism and mass communications at Washington and Lee University, will give a public talk on March 20 at 4:30 p.m. on the main floor of Leyburn Library on the W&L campus. The lecture is free and open to the public, and refreshments will be provided.
During his talk, Finch will discuss his two documentaries, “Triton: America’s Deep Secret” and “A Writer’s Roots: Kurt Vonnegut’s Indianapolis,” which he wrote, produced and directed himself.
Finch has covered some of the most noteworthy stories of our lifetime, managed TV newsrooms and wrote and produced network documentaries before turning to teach full-time. He was in Washington, D.C. on 9/11 and covered the first anniversary of the attacks in New York. Finch also covered the Senate vote following President Clinton’s impeachment, a presidential inauguration, several political conventions and the bombing of Centennial Olympic Park during the Atlanta Olympics.
He was news director for two large market television stations, supervising staffs of up to 80 fulltime journalists. He wrote and produced documentaries for Discovery, TLC and other networks and local stations. Finch also served as founding president of the Indiana Debate Commission, the first such organization to organize and produce televised debates for statewide offices. Finch has taught journalism and broadcasting as an adjunct instructor at the University of Indianapolis and Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.
The talk is sponsored by the library’s Anne and Edgar Basse Jr. Endowment. This fund was created in 1988 to support the varied activities of the university’s special collections and archives.
“The Anne and Edgar Basse Jr. Author Talk Series showcases the creative and scholarly works produced by members of the W&L community,” said Emily Cook, the instructional design specialist in Leyburn Library. “During each talk, a W&L author, or in this case producer, speaks about a recently published work and fields audience questions.”
Final Mudd Lecture of the Academic Year to Feature Professor and Author Jonathan Lear Lear's talk, which is free and open to the public, is titled “What Would It Be to Mourn Gettysburg?"
Jonathan Lear, the John U. Nef Distinguished Service Professor at the Committee on Social Thought and professor in the department of philosophy at the University of Chicago, will deliver a public lecture on March 14 at 5 p.m. in Stackhouse Theater. Lear is the final speaker in this year’s Mudd Center for Ethics’ series on “The Ethics of Identity.”
His talk, which is free and open to the public, is titled “What Would It Be to Mourn Gettysburg?”
“Professor Lear is a profound commentator on the human psyche,” said Brian Murchison, director of the Mudd Center. “His writings engage philosophy, literature and psychology in order to work out what he calls the logic of the soul. He will be an outstanding speaker to conclude our year-long inquiry into the ethics of identity.”
Lear trained in philosophy at Cambridge University and The Rockefeller University where he received his doctorate in 1978. He works primarily on philosophical conceptions of the human psyche from Socrates to the present. He also trained as a psychoanalyst at the Western New England Institute for Psychoanalysis.
He has authored multiple publications and his most recent books are “Wisdom Won From Illness: Essays in Philosophy and Psychoanalysis” and “The Idea of a Philosophical Anthropology: The Spinoza Lectures.”
He is a recipient of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Distinguished Achievement Award and in 2014 he was appointed the Roman Family Director of the Neubauer Collegium for Culture and Society and continues in that role currently. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
The Mudd Center was established in 2010 through a gift to the university from award-winning journalist Roger Mudd, a 1950 graduate of W&L. When he made his contribution, Mudd said that “given the state of ethics in our current culture, this seems a fitting time to endow a center for the study of ethics, and my university is the fitting home.”
For full details on this series, visit the Mudd Center webpage.
Law Students Discuss Income Taxes with Local High School Students Third-year law students Cole Bollman and Pierce Rigney visited a class at Rockbridge County High School to discuss the federal income tax system.
Third-year law students Cole Bollman and Pierce Rigney, both student attorneys in the W&L Law Tax Clinic, recently partnered with Donna Wallace, a Rockbridge County High School teacher (and unapologetic Steelers fan), to engage in educational outreach to local high school students about income taxes.
Bollman and Rigney brainstormed to decide what basic information about the federal income tax system might be useful to teenagers as they prepare to leave home and transition to college or work. On March 1, they presented to four sections of Ms. Wallace’s Economics and Finance course. The topics they covered included the constitutional authority for income tax, the marginal rate structure, consequences for failure to file and/or late filing, a basic overview of certain tax forms, key changes to the Code under the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, as well as some practical tips on credits and deductions that they may be able to receive.
“Lecturing at Rockbridge County High School was a unique privilege as a W&L Law student,” said Rigney. “I was grateful for the opportunity to engage within the community, and hopefully, to positively impact local students. It was particularly enjoyable to present to students whose parents are among the law school faculty. I’m proud to have represented our law school in the community, and I hope that we continue to engage in valuable public service as a clinic and law school.”
Bollman also was enthusiastic to bring some of the knowledge he has gained at W&L Law into the community.
“I am grateful to attend a law school that equips and encourages law school students to serve the local community,” said Bollman. “Teaching at Rockbridge County High School was a unique opportunity to use our legal knowledge in a very practical way, and I hope to have many more opportunities like this as I head into practice next year.”
Law students working in the Tax Clinic provide free legal representation to low-income taxpayers in resolving their controversies with the Internal Revenue Service. The Clinic students assist taxpayers with audits and a wide array of collections issues. The clinic also represents taxpayers in cases before the U.S. Tax Court.
In addition, students in the Tax Clinic undertake outreach efforts to educate taxpayers on tax law issues of relevance to low-income and working families. For example, students created a presentation and explanatory materials on the changes resulting from the tax reform bill passed in December 2017 and also presented on the earned income tax credit at the annual statewide legal aid conference.
Porter Hardy ’04L and Smartmouth Brewery Make News with Breakfast Beer
Washington and Lee School of Law alumnus Porter Hardy ’04L was an avid home brewer who spent five years planning before launching Smartmouth Brewing in 2012. Originally serving the craft beer scene of Hampton Roads, Smartmouth has grown steadily and now distributes throughout the state of Virginia.
However, nothing could have prepared Hardy and head brewer Jimmy Loughran for the national attention they received prior to the launch of “Saturday Morning,” their limited-release, marshmallow-flavored IPA. Thanks in part to the design of the beer’s can and its evocative tagline, “Magically Ridiculous,” beer fanatics immediately linked the brew to the famous breakfast cereal Lucky Charms.
People magazine, Fox News and USA Today were among the national outlets to feature the beer, and hundreds of beer enthusiasts from across the nation traveled to the brewery for the release on March 2. Thanks to the publicity, the small batch of beer, which Hardy says doesn’t actually taste anything like Lucky Charms, quickly ran out.
Beer fans weren’t the only ones paying attention. The news also drew the interest of General Mills, the company that makes Lucky Charms. Hardy told the Virginia Pilot that Smartmouth hadn’t bothered talking to General Mills beforehand because they thought the beer would be a local novelty. Despite some intellectual property concerns, General Mills allowed the initial run of the beer to be released. However, they asked Smartmouth to rework the beer can design and promotional materials before future releases, which Hardy says they are considering.
You can check out Smartmouth’s other beers at the company’s website.
Lee Chapel Spring Lecture to Feature Professor and Author Jason Phillips In his lecture, which is free and open to the public, Phillips will discuss his newest book “Looming Civil War: How Nineteenth-Century Americans Imagined the Future.”
Washington and Lee’s University Collections of Art and History will host Jason Phillips, Eberly Professor of Civil War Studies at West Virginia University, as the Lee Chapel spring lecturer on March 18 at noon in Lee Chapel and Museum.
The lecture will be availiable to watch online here.
In his lecture, which is free and open to the public, Phillips will discuss his newest book “Looming Civil War: How Nineteenth-Century Americans Imagined the Future.” A book signing will be held directly following the event.
Phillips’s research focuses on ideas of the future in 19th-century America. Described as “the history of the future,” Phillips’s book inverts memory studies to explain how war forecasts formed, spread and competed for adherents during the Civil War era. Sources for his book include sermons, editorials, literature, music, military records, political rhetoric, diaries and political correspondence from the antebellum and postbellum periods.
Phillips received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Richmond in 1996, his master’s degree from Wake Forest University in 1998 and his doctorate at Rice University in 2003.
Hon. Jacqueline Talevi ‘83L Named to Inaugural List of Influential Women of Law
Virginia Lawyers Media, the publisher of Virginia Lawyers Weekly, has announced the inaugural class of “Influential Women of Law.” The Hon. Jacqueline Talevi ‘83L, chief judge of the Roanoke County General District Court, has been named to the list.
This new awards program honors women attorneys and judges for their work on behalf of clients, their commitment to their communities and their service to the profession. Judge Talevi was honored for her creation of a therapeutic docket to address the needs of defendants with mental health issues and other similar programs.
“In my view criminal defense lawyers need additional sentencing options which recognize and address substance abuse and mental health issues presented by their clients in lieu of the client serving protracted jail sentences,” Judge Talevi told Virginia Lawyers Weekly. “I am a strong proponent for the implementation of behavioral health dockets, drug court dockets and veteran’s dockets, which recognize and treat issues specific to that population.”
Judge Talevi was also recognized for her service on the Judicial Performance Advisory Committee established by the Supreme Court of Virginia.
The full list of honorees is available online.
Archibald Carter (Chip) Magee ‘79L Dies at 64 Magee was a member of the Law Council and also served as an adjunct professor.
Archibald Carter (Chip) Magee Jr., 64, of Roanoke, Va., passed away on Thursday, February 14, 2019. He bravely faced Early-Onset Alzheimer’s Disease for nearly seven years.
Magee was born on October 13, 1954, in Wiesbaden, Germany. He graduated from North Cross School, Hampden-Sydney College, and Washington and Lee University School of Law.
Magee was heavily involved in Moot Court during his time in law school and went on to become a devoted alumnus of the law school. He was a member of the Law Council from 2003-2009, serving as president his final year before taking emeritus status. In addition, Magee served as adjunct professor, teaching his practice specialty of bankruptcy law. He was among the first faculty to offer a practice simulation, also known as a practicum, in the law school’s innovative third-year curriculum.
Magee was an AV-rated attorney and founding partner of Magee Goldstein Lasky and Sayers. He was an instrument rated private pilot and enjoyed flying his family on vacation trips for many years. A lifelong athlete, Magee participated in sports throughout high school and college and competed in triathlons as an adult.
Magee was preceded in death by his mother, Doris Lancaster Magee; sister, Donna Magee Neal; and nephew, Richard Henry “Max” Magee. He is survived by his wife of 35 years, Leslie Cochran Magee; son, John Carter Magee of Denver, Colo.; daughters, Julia Parks Magee of Baltimore, Md., and Caroline Lancaster Magee of Washington, D.C.; brother, Richard Warren Magee and wife, Katherine Hecker Magee, of Greensboro, N.C.; and many extended family members.
Finding the Spice in Campus Life Becoming a part of the Outing Club at Washington and Lee completely changed Matt Richards's college experience. "My time with the Outing Club has without a doubt had the biggest impact on my time here," he said.
“I personally love to bike around town and also hit the trails, and I wanted to share that fun with others and hopefully build the foundations for a community here.”
~ Matt Richards ’19
What factors led you to choose W&L?
The biggest factor was definitely my mom. We got a pamphlet in the mail one day that mentioned the honor system, and she was the one that showed me and first got me interested. A couple months later, we came to visit together and pretty much agreed on the spot that it was a great choice. The campus just felt very inviting and the few people I spoke to were so friendly that it was a clear decision.
Why did you decide to major in geology and Russian-area studies?
The geology here is super interesting, and I had an interest in the outdoors, so I decided to take an intro geology class my sophomore year. Obviously quite a bit of it went right over my head, but being able to explore in the county a bit and learn about the geology was fascinating. I figured it would be a good justification for playing around on rocks. The faculty were also incredible and helped spark my interest.
As for Russian, I took Spanish for a few years in high school and also took a Russian course at the local community college. I wanted to continue studying language, and hadn’t had many opportunities in high school to branch out in that respect. I met with my first-year adviser (Professor Anna Brodsky, the head of the Russian Department), who very easily swayed me to at least try out the language class. I was instantly hooked and knew by the end of freshman year that I wanted to major.
Have you had any opportunities during your time at W&L to practice those studies outside of regular coursework, such as an internship, summer research, or study abroad opportunity?
Not yet, but I will be going to Iceland this Spring Term for a regional geology course! I’m extremely excited for it.
How did you get involved with the Outing Club at W&L, and what impact has that involvement had on you and your time as a student here?
As a first-year student, I decided to go on the Everglades Kayaking Trip during February Break, which was my first introduction to the Outing Club. I was pretty nervous and didn’t have any friends on campus, so I wasn’t sure how it was going to go. The second night, after I ordered a hamburger with “spicy boom-boom sauce” at a fast food restaurant, Director of Outdoor Education and Recreation James Dick gave me my nickname, “Spicy,” which has stuck ever since and was a turning point in my time here.
After that trip all that I wanted to do was continue with Outing Club trips. I came back early the past two summers to help with the Appalachian Adventure pre-orientation trips, and I worked for the Outing Club during the year. My time with the Outing Club has without a doubt had the biggest impact on my time here. I’ve been able to meet people and learn so many things, not just outdoor skills specifically but leadership opportunities. The Outing Club has without a doubt been the basis of my time here.
Tell us about your work on the OC bouldering wall and the new bike shop inside Sustainability House.
I’ve been working at the barn and climbing on the wall for a while now, so when we planned to put together the wall expansion last year I was pumped to be a part of it. It was really meaningful to put labor into something that I use so often and be able to see it put together. Opening the bike shop was also exciting because it was a way to make biking here much more inclusive (both by being closer to campus and also having a much larger pool of resources). I personally love to bike around town and also hit the trails, and I wanted to share that fun with others and hopefully build the foundations for a community here. Being able to have a tangible impact on campus and expand the resources we have here made me really happy.
Has anyone on campus served as a mentor to you? How?
Both James Dick and Group Fitness Instructor Rolf Piranian have been huge mentors to me during my time here. Rolf was one of a few people who first taught me about bike repair, and during the summer practically taught me about mountain biking from scratch. He kick-started my love of biking. James has given me a lot of opportunities in the Outing Club and put an incredible amount of trust in me, and I am so thankful for that. They both not only taught me technical skills but also helped me to grow and become who I am now.
What would you say to a prospective W&L student who is deciding whether to apply or attend here?
I’d tell prospective students not to let the university’s “work hard, play hard” reputation intimidate them. There is a little something for everybody, and a crazy amount of resources for students, so don’t feel like a crazy difficult workload and party culture is all there is for your four years.
If you know a W&L student who would be a great profile subject, tell us about it! Nominate them for a web profile.
More about Matt
Where are you from?
New Gretna, New Jersey
Best place to eat in Lexington? What do you order?
Without a doubt, Mano Taco. I get three veggie burritos with no cheese like clockwork.
What one film/book do you recommend to everyone?
I’m a sucker for “The Hobbit.” I like to read it every year and I recommend it to everyone.
What do you wish you’d known before you came to campus?
Probably more about the prevalence of the Greek culture. You see the statistics and whatnot but it’s hard to convey what that means for a lot of incoming first-year students.
What’s your favorite outdoor experience within a day’s drive of W&L?
Devil’s Marbleyard is awesome because you can always do it a little bit differently each time you go, plus there’s a fantastic swimming hole to dip into during the summer months on the boulder field.
What’s the best piece of outdoor equipment/apparel you’ve ever owned?
Hammock for sure; there’s no bad time to string it up and hang out.
Either Tolkien Lit with Professor Edward Adams or Geophysics with Professor Christopher Connors
What’s something people wouldn’t guess about you?
Well, most people just know me as Spice, so many probably wouldn’t know my actual name.
Postcards From Washington Break February Break at W&L is about exploration, whether that discovery involves Texas mountaintops, Japanese culture or career opportunities in New York.
Tolu Olubunmi ’02, One of “15 Women Changing the World,” to Speak at W&L Her talk, free and open to the public, is entitled “When Lions Write: Innovations in Advocacy.”
CEO and founder of Lions Write, Tolu Olubunmi ’02, will deliver a public talk entitled “When Lions Write: Innovations in Advocacy,” at Washington and Lee University on Tues., March 5 at 7 p.m. in Stackhouse Theater.
Olubunmi’s talk is part of the broader Washington Term Speaker Series, “From the Colonnade to the Capitol… and Back.” Brian Alexander, Washington Term Program Director and Assistant Professor of Politics, developed the series as a way to connect the D.C. experience with the campus community in Lexington.
“For over thirty years, Washington Term has been cultivating leaders in Washington, and the W&L alumni network is global. With the Washington Term on-campus speaker series, I hope to share and inspire everyone on campus – not just those we take to DC – with the stories and lessons of our alumni leaders,” said Alexander.
Olubunmi is an entrepreneur and global advocate for migrants, refugees, and internally displaced people. She has established and led several organizations and campaigns focused on immigrant integration, youth empowerment, education, access to technology, and employment.
Born in Nigeria and raised in the U.S., Olubunmi began her work in advocacy and philanthropy at the National Immigration Law Center (NILC) as an unpaid volunteer. She was the first and only “DREAMer” working full-time advocating for access to legal status and higher education for immigrant youth in the U.S.
In 2015, The World Economic Forum named her one of “15 Women Changing the World,” as well as an “Outstanding Woman Entrepreneur.”
She worked tirelessly on the 2013 U.S. Senate immigration bill, was recognized by the Senate sponsors at the introduction of the bill and was invited to introduce President Barack Obama at the White House.
Appointed by the United Nations Migration Agency’s Director General, Olubunmi will serve as an advisor to the United Nations Department of Global Communications in New York. She will focus on youth engagement on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and migration.
Olubunmi is currently the CEO and founder of Lions Write. The organization builds social impact initiatives focused on immigrant integration, employment, access to technology, and education in partnership with corporations, governments, and civil society organizations.
At W&L she majored in chemistry-engineering and served as a resident assistant. While she’s back on campus, she will meet select members of the administration, faculty, and students, and attend a reception with students at the Sanokfa House.
Life Outside the Law: Frank Bozzi ’19L and Morgan Richter ’20L Law students Frank Bozzi and Morgan Richter bring years of experience to their positions as coaches of area swim teams.
Frank Bozzi ‘19L attended NYU, where he graduated with a degree in politics and public policy. A lifelong swimmer, Bozzi swam at NYU all four years, serving as team caption his junior and senior years. He just wrapped up his second season as Volunteer Assistant Swim Coach for the Division I men’s and women’s swim teams at VMI.
Morgan Richter ‘20L graduated from Goucher College, where he was an All-American swimmer in the 200 butterfly. He serves as an assistant coach for the Rockbridge County High School swim teams and a USS coach for the local youth swim team, the Storm.
Below, Bozzi and Richter share some thoughts on why they made this commitment to coaching given the rigors of law school and how the experience has served them as law students.
FB: Swimming has always been a love of mine, which made returning to the sport as a coach fairly easy. While I originally had the intention of coaching just a few hours a week, the team has become a “proxy family” of sorts, and I soon found myself spending most of my free time on VMI’s post. When I first applied to law school, I never expected to have such a rewarding experience outside of the classroom during my law school career.
By going to school in small-town Virginia, it has allowed me to have a direct impact on the community I’ve now called home for three years. It’s become hard to walk down main street without seeing someone you know, and I don’t believe that I would have had this experience at any other law school.
Coaching swimming at VMI has definitely put the stress of law school in perspective. Law school is unquestionably demanding. However, after seeing how the cadets physically and mentally sacrifice so much in preparation for their service, it makes you put your own hard work into perspective.
MR: Swimming has been an integral part of my life for a long time. The friendships and relationships that I established through my time at the pool are some of the closest ones I have to this day. Helping with swimming gives me a break from the stress of law school. It gives me an opportunity to teach a younger generation something that helped me get to where I am today.
I remember the days of countless swim practices, staring at that black line for hours upon hours with a singular goal in mind. Having the opportunity to offer assistance to help these kids get to where they would like is rewarding in itself.
Coaching is definitely something that I knew I wanted to get involved in upon the end of my swimming career. Due to the smaller size of the Lexington community, it seemed to be pretty easy to get my name out there to potentially help with coaching.
Bovay to Lead Family Business Panel at Florida Tax Institute The panel, which will take place in Tampa on March 1, is titled “Functional Planning for the (sometimes dysfunctional) Family Business.”
Jack Bovay ’79, Visiting Professor of Accounting, will lead a panel discussion at the 6th Florida Tax Institute conference in Tampa, Florida on Fri., March 1 titled “Functional Planning for the (sometimes dysfunctional) Family Business.”
The Florida Tax Institute (FTI) is a three-day continuing education conference that focuses on both income tax planning and estate tax planning. The conference has been developed for attorneys, accountants, trust officers, insurance and financial planners, and planned giving professionals from across Florida and the United States. Bovay is the founding director of the FTI. In fact, the institute was founded in his living room.
Before joining the Department of Accounting, Bovay spent 35 years as a lawyer and CPA and was board certified in both tax law and estate planning. “During that time, I was fortunate to represent many successful family-owned businesses,” said Bovay, “With that came a lot of dealing with family dysfunction. Our presentation is based on a case study that I created from those experiences.”
FTI’s goal is to present a panel discussion of both the tax and non-tax issues that a family business faces that would be of interest to an audience of attorneys, CPAs, bank trust officers, financial advisors and planned giving officers. The panelists are lawyers and valuation experts that have worked with Bovay on these issues over the years. “One of our founding principles was to have a wide mix of academics and practitioners as speakers,” he explained.
The Florida Tax Institute is sponsored by the Florida Tax Education Foundation, Inc., with proceeds to benefit the University of Florida Levin College of Law Graduate Tax Program. The full agenda can be found on the Florida Tax Institute website.
Felix Kwame Yeboah to Give Public Lecture on Africa’s Economic Transformation Yeboah's talk, which is free and open to the public, is titled “Africa Economic Transformation: The Role of Youth.”
Washington and Lee University will offer a public lecture with Felix Kwame Yeboah, an assistant professor of international development at Michigan State University and a former John M. Gun Exchange Scholar at W&L, on March 11 at 5:30 p.m. in Northen Auditorium.
His talk, which is free and open to the public, is titled “Africa Economic Transformation: The Role of Youth.”
Yeboah has expertise in multiple areas of social policy, including agricultural and food-system transformation, natural resource management and youth livelihood issues. He holds primary oversight responsibility for the Mastercard Foundation Scholars at MSU.
For the past decade, Yeboah has provided analysis and consultation on a range of social policies both in the U.S. and in Africa. Notably, his research informed The MasterCard Foundation’s strategies promoting youth employment in Africa’s agri-food system; the State of Michigan’s effort to reduce non-point source pollution in the Great Lakes; and strategic change initiatives advancing solid waste recycling and energy conservation at Michigan State University.
More recently, he served as the lead author for the 2018 Global Food Security Report commissioned by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs to advise the U.S. government’s strategies addressing youth livelihood challenges in developing countries. In 2012, he was recognized as a Milton H. Steinmueller Scholar of Natural Resources and Environmental Policy and a George and Nancy Axinn Fellow of International Development.
Yeboah holds a master’s and doctorate degree in environmental policy and international development, with specializations in environment and resource economics, from Michigan State University. He earned his bachelor’s degree in natural resource management from Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Ghana, West Africa.
W&L Law Professor David Baluarte on ISIS and Statelessness Baluarte was quoted extensively in a Feb. 22 story in the New York Times on the cases of Hoda Muthana and Shamima Begum.
“We are bringing ourselves back to a place where we have forgotten how desperate the situation of statelessness was. And having this new wave of politically motivated expatriation is really troubling.”
Washington and Lee law professor David Baluarte, director of the Immigrant Rights Clinic and an expert on statelessness, contributed to a New York Times report examining what will happen to those individuals, such as Alabama college student Hoda Muthana, who left their home countries to join ISIS and face being stripped of their nationality in their attempts to return home.
In addition to detailing the cases of Muthana and British citizen Shamima Begum, the story delves into the history of statelessness and how many countries, both through international treaties and domestic law, have rejected revoking citizenship as a form of persecution or punishment for crimes. These efforts largely developed as a response to the Nazi practice of stripping Germany’s Jews of citizenship before sending them to concentration camps.
Read the complete article on the New York Times website.
Trending Upwards Mohamed Younis '07L Leverages Legal Education to Give Voice to Others
If you ever needed convincing that the unique skills and experiences gained in law school can prepare you for just about any profession, look no further than Mohamed Younis ‘07L, the new editor in chief of global consulting firm and polling giant Gallup.
“Everything you learn about writing, engaging clients and managing their needs professionally, ethically and transparently, in addition to understanding how to structure an argument and tackle any challenge—just about everything I learned at W&L Law I apply almost daily in my job.”
Gallup is to polls as Apple is to phones—it has become synonymous with the concept of comprehensive public opinion analysis just like the iPhone has risen to cult-like status in American society. Gallup provides transparency and visibility concerning the most pressing political, social and economic issues of the day. As the company’s founder and namesake, George Gallup, asserted “If democracy is supposed to be based on the will of the people, someone should find out what that will is.”
That is exactly what Younis intends to do. He joined Gallup in 2009 as a senior consultant, eventually becoming managing editor and leading some of Gallup’s largest global and regional studies. When asked about what he was anticipating most in fulfilling his new role, Younis’s answer offered insight into the perspective that has seen him rise to the top of one of the world’s leading media organizations at a relatively young age.
“The most rewarding aspect of my career has been to play a tiny role in tracking and reporting on the voice—challenges, hopes, realities, aspirations, fears and priorities—of the world’s 7 billion citizens.”
“There are dozens of experts at Gallup that a far more qualified and accomplished than me, that have made this possible by building the first truly global and nationally representative methodology to do this work,” he added.
Younis has been tasked with transitioning Gallup into a new era of deeper examinations into the most contentious global issues of the day such as trust in governments and the future of work, utilizing ground-breaking technologies such as the organization’s signature “World Poll” consisting of sampling frames across 160 countries and covering 99% of the world’s population. “When Mohamed and his teams find a pearl deep in the data and present it” explains Jim Clifton, Chairman and CEO at Gallup, “that pearl will be on the desk of every president and prime minister in every country in the world. It will be on the desk of the 1,000 most influential leaders in the world representing all governments, NGOs foundations, institutions of education, health, business and industry, as well as top media.”
Part of what makes Younis an ideal candidate for this dynamic position is his diverse background that exposed to him to a wide array of nationalities, beliefs and ideologies. He was born in Egypt and moved at a young age to Los Angeles. After graduating from W&L Law, he spent 10 years at Gallup conducting social and geopolitical research before being promoted to Editor-in-Chief in December 2018.
“As a kid who grew up living between countries and cultures, languages and disparate economic realities, providing insight to all of them is something that always has had great meaning for me.”
Younis indicates W&L Law’s intimate community and the open-door policy offering students enviable around-the-clock access to some of the leading legal scholars in the world as the characteristics that led to his decision to attend. He noted his experiences in Professor Mark Drumbl’s Transitional Justice class and the invaluable mentorship he received from Professor Murchison as the highlights of his education experience that left a lasting impression.
“Life is interdisciplinary and a legal education is a great tool set to have as you tackle it.”
For those looking to emulate Younis’s post-graduation career trajectory in research and consulting, he offers this bit of advice: “Learn as much as you can about the different ways you can use your degree after school. There are tons of folks out there with law degrees and bar licenses that choose to do something other than filing a lawsuit or managing a financial transaction for a living.”
“Life is interdisciplinary and a legal education is a great tool set to have as you tackle it.”
In Their Own Words MaKayla Lorick '19 is collecting oral histories from African-American alumni, faculty and staff as part of a project that aims to include those missing perspectives in Washington and Lee University's history of desegregation and integration.
“I get to go through these archives all the time and I see the people who have recorded history. This time, I’ll be the one recording history.”
~ MaKayla Lorick ’19
MaKayla Lorick ’19 can trace her love of stories to early childhood, when her grandparents told lively yarns about their younger years. She followed that thread to Washington and Lee, where it has afforded her the opportunity to seek and record some of the university’s most important overlooked tales.
Lorick, an English major who is minoring in creative writing, has been working since summer 2018 on a multi-institutional project that aims to incorporate more African-American perspectives into the history of desegregation and integration at private Southern schools. Her role allows her to comb through W&L’s Special Collections and gather oral histories from black alumni, faculty and staff.
“It’s such an exciting thing to dip your fingers into history and to listen to other people’s stories,” she said. “It betters your life and the lives of others. Just to color in one person’s perspective on history is beautiful.”
The overall project, “Pathway to Diversity: Uncovering Our Collections,” is a collaboration with Centre College, Furman University and Rollins College, and is funded by a grant from Associated Colleges of the South (ACS). Along with its partner institutions, W&L is working to build a shared digital archive of information regarding the history of desegregation and integration at these schools. At W&L, the project is being led by Mellon Digital Humanities Fellow and Visiting Assistant Professor of English Sydney Bufkin, with support from Tom Camden, head of Special Collections and Archives.
Compared to public colleges and universities in the South, whose public status and reliance on federal funding forced them to integrate in the wake of Brown vs. Board of Education, Bufkin said, “the history of integration at W&L looks very different. It’s quieter, but also less effective and slower. We are grappling with the consequences of a response to integration that really, when you look at the documents and history, appears to be an attempt to do as little as possible… It is a history that we continue to live, so I think recognizing some of the ways the institution has dealt with race—or not dealt with race—historically is really valuable and is something we can address a little more head-on, especially as we try to do things differently.”
Washington and Lee’s board of trustees did not take action regarding integration until a full decade after Brown vs. Board, in July 1964, with a statement that was viewed by most as deliberately vague and uninspired. Without using the words “integration,” “desegregation” or “race,” it simply stated that no policy of discrimination existed at W&L. It was accompanied by no effort to recruit students of color or make W&L a more welcoming place for them.
Another eight years passed before Carl Linwood Smothers and Walter Blake became the first African-American graduates of W&L, in 1972. The W&L School of Law had awarded its first degree to a black student, Leslie Devan Smith Jr., in 1969.
Although W&L was awarded the ACS grant six months before W&L’s Commission on Institutional History and Community released its May 2018 report, the ACS project dovetails with several of the report’s recommendations, particularly No. 16: “Expand the university’s knowledge of the 20th-century experience of black students and faculty at Washington and Lee. There are no individual histories of the young men who integrated the university … It is vital to collect oral histories of black alumni who are still alive and willing to be interviewed.”
Initial goals for the ACS project included identifying materials currently in Special Collections that belong in the digital archive; creating an annotated bibliography; collecting oral histories from alumni, faculty and staff; and determining how to incorporate those materials into the curriculum. As Bufkin considered the oral history piece, she said, she immediately thought of Lorick, who had taken her African-American literature class.
English professor Lesley Wheeler agreed that Lorick, her advisee, would be a perfect fit, as she has an interest in digital humanities, and spent summer 2016 assisting history professor Ted DeLaney on an African-American history project in Special Collections. (Since becoming involved in the project, Lorick was also selected to be a member of the Working Group on the History of African Americans at W&L). Although the ACS grant does not cover student researchers, Bufkin was able to fund Lorick’s role with Mellon Digital Humanities summer research funding and, as the academic year commenced, with a Mellon Digital Humanities Fellowship.
What started as a simple summer job search became something incredibly meaningful, Lorick said. “I thought I was just going to get some random summer job on campus but Professor Wheeler really opened a door with one tiny conversation. Stumbling onto this project is one of the best things that’s happened to me. It’s really serendipity.”
Lorick began by reading sections of Mame Warren’s 1998 history, “Come Cheer for Washington and Lee” and Blaine Brownell’s “Washington and Lee University: 1930-2000.” She also scoured yearbooks, scrapbooks, newspapers, letters and other sources in Special Collections to start a list of people to approach for oral histories.
While the project was initially focused on black men who graduated in 1974, the first year with a noteworthy number of black graduates (17), Lorick and Bufkin soon realized that scope was too narrow. They also knew that Warren had already collected oral histories from those men. Lorick wanted to include the perspectives of black women, who had not been interviewed for Warren’s book, so she began to build a list from the first few years of coeducation at W&L, from 1985-1990. She also wanted to include faculty and staff, not just alumni.
Midway through the summer, it was time to start scheduling interviews. Over the next couple of months, she would record conversations with Ted Delaney ’85, associate professor of history at W&L and a Lexington native; Edwin Walker, a retired Print Shop employee; Stephanie Coleman ’89; Willard Dumas III ’91; and Marquita Dunn, who retired from Dining Services. These interviews included questions about the subject’s first impressions of Lexington and W&L, and their experiences connected to integration and/or coeducation.
Some interview subjects recalled negative experiences at Washington and Lee, such as a white boyfriend’s reluctance to escort his black girlfriend on the homecoming court, or white professors taking advantage of a black employee’s intellect and work ethic while denying him the respect and upward mobility he deserved. But Lorick said she was surprised to find that the interviews were, for the most part, positive.
“It ended up being more positive than I expected,” she said. “Interview subjects do not forget about the bad, but they are better able to remember the good.”
Lorick said she also had to work through some disappointment over the lack of detail provided about segregation in Lexington, particularly about the relationships between white and black citizens. “When the first individual told me that there was nothing more to say, I thought, there has to be! But as I began to unravel the project a little bit more, I thought more about what segregation must have looked like, and in the end they were totally right. They didn’t really know their neighbors and that was just the culture.”
Recording these views and closing even the smallest gaps in W&L’s institutional history has been fulfilling, Lorick said. As a first-year student, she was frustrated by the lack of black perspectives in the archives; now, through her work as an upperclassman, she will be directly responsible for changing other students’ experiences.
“I thought that W&L wasn’t making a big enough effort to cover the staff, faculty, students and alumni. When I came upon this project, I knew that there was a choice that I had to make and it was exciting and thrilling. I get to go through these archives all the time and I see the people who have recorded history. This time, I’ll be the one recording history.”
One requirement of the ACS grant was that each of the four colleges incorporate findings into a course. At W&L, that course was “Race, Memory, Nation,” a first-year Fall Term writing seminar taught by Assistant English Professor Ricardo Wilson. Wilson spent considerable time with Bufkin and Lorick in Special Collections over the summer to develop the course, which delved into issues of race, integration and civil rights.
With guidance from Lorick and Wilson, the students conducted research and selected topics about which they were required to produce video essays as final projects in the course. The four groups decided to focus on integration in athletics, coeducation, and two pivotal moments in W&L history: the 1923 football game against Washington and Jefferson University, and the board of trustees’ 1961 decision to not invite Martin Luther King Jr. to speak at W&L.
The group that focused on integration in athletics secured on-camera interviews with four former W&L athletes, including its first African-American athlete, Dennis Haston ’70. Haston, who ran track and field, and former basketball player Eugene Perry ’75, ‘78L, recounted upsetting incidents both on and off campus (view the video below). In one example, Perry was invited by a coach to try out for the basketball team, only to find out the team had already been selected and jerseys had been ordered. But the men said they also found allies at W&L, including white fellow athletes.
“At the time when I came to W&L, I didn’t come to W&L to be a pioneer. But now if people look at me, they want to say ‘You were a pioneer.’” Haston said. “I was one of the first ones to … open the door for other African-Americans to come. Maybe because of me doing that, it has made it easier for other students to come. I’m glad I had the opportunity. If I had to live my life over again, I would still do it. I have no regrets about the decision I made.”
The hours of raw interview footage collected by Wilson’s students has been sent to Special Collections, where it will bolster Lorick’s contributions and strengthen the university’s overall archive of materials related to desegregation and integration. Wilson is cautiously optimistic about what he sees as positive strides toward confronting some of the university’s most difficult history and smoothing the way for future students of color.
“In general in the U.S., we have a tough time confronting our history, and W&L is certainly at a critical moment where I think there is great possibility,” he said. “It is also something we have to approach carefully because we have a chance to set the tone and make an example, not only in the region but also to other academic institutions.
“How fortunate we are to have someone like MaKayla, with a blend of extraordinary talent and extraordinary passion,” he said. “To have someone like her involved in this project is a good first step.”
In the final months of 2018, W&L was awarded a second year of ACS grant funding to continue work on the project. Bufkin said that work will include more digitizing of materials in Special Collections, as well as coordination with the three partner institutions to finalize plans for the digital archive and hire a web designer to build it.
Lorick plans to present her findings during Black Alumni Reunion weekend (March 8-9). She also has received a Johnson Opportunity Grant for summer 2019, which will allow her to gather more oral histories and develop a digital exhibit. She has begun to share her findings on her project website. As she prepares to graduate in December 2019, she will hand off the project to other students. One, Rose Hein ’22, has already been awarded a summer research scholar position to contribute to the ACS project.
“Our hope is that this material and some of these questions will continue to be integrated into the classroom so students can be exposed and they can continue to work,” Bufkin said. “I think we are really excited to have this material support student-driven projects…It is a very collaborative effort. Nobody owns it or has a single direction.”
For Lorick, what started as a two-month summer gig grew into an experience that she says “has really shaped me, has made me stronger, and has made me think that in a couple of years the university will truly be better.” She hopes that her daughter, Zara, 2, will someday become a General and will see her mother’s name on documents in university archives — a very different experience from her own.
“I can’t even imagine how that would have felt for me to see my mom’s name recording histories,” she said. “I hope that she can have that experience and she can know that anything is possible, that you can touch the stars and that you can be a history maker, and you can be on the right side of history, too.”
The above video was produced by Caroline Hall ’22, Jeremiah Kohl ’22 and Nick Watson ’22 as a final project for Professor Ricardo Wilson’s first-year writing seminar, Race, Memory, Nation.
Rewriting the Code: Women and Technology Initiative at W&L Hosts Two-Day Public Forum Barabas’s talk, which is free and open to the public, is titled “Dodging Silver Bullets: Understanding the Role of Technology in Social Change.”
The Rewriting the Code: Women and Technology initiative at Washington and Lee University will host a two-day forum as part of a yearlong series of events. The highlight of the conference will be the keynote lecture by Chelsea Barabas, a research scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Her public address will take place on March 1 at 5 p.m. in Northen Auditorium.
Barabas’s talk, which is free and open to the public, is titled “Dodging Silver Bullets: Understanding the Role of Technology in Social Change.” Her talk will be avaliable to watch online here.
Barabas’s research examines the spread of algorithmic decision-making tools in the U.S. criminal justice system. She has also explored issues related to the use of emerging technologies to serve the public good, including citizen data collection in Brazil, conservation drones in Kenya and ed-tech workshops in Peru. Common across all her work is a general interest in building and critically examining technologies that aim to serve the public interest.
The forum will also include speakers who work with technology in the humanities, museums and cultural heritage institutions, non-profit organizations and communications and journalism.
On March 2, the forum will hold several panel discussions, lighting talks and a networking lunch. All of these events will take place in Hillel House, and all are free and open to the public.
“We are very excited about the slate of speakers we have coming to W&L for the forum,” said Kellie Harra, a post-baccalaureate fellow in digital humanities. “They are all doing interesting work that combines technology with careers that are focused in the humanities. We know that their insights on careers that range from journalism to social justice to curatorial work will be of interest to students across our campus.”
To learn more about the event, including more information on the schedule, the speakers or to register for the networking lunch, visit rewritingthecode.wludci.info/.
Rewriting the Code is made possible by support from: Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Class of 1963 Lecture Fund, University Lectures Fund, Digital Humanities Cohort, Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, Dean of the College, Dean of the Williams School, Department of History, Department of Computer Science, Department of Journalism and Mass Communications and the University Library.
W&L Law Professor Nora Demleitner on Voting Rights Restoration Demleitner's commentary was published Feb. 19 in the Virginia Pilot.
Right now those with a felony record — whenever and wherever incurred, whatever the penalty — depend on the largesse of Virginia’s governor to award them a right for which they shouldn’t have to ask.
In an opinion piece published Feb. 19 by the Virginia Pilot, Washington and Lee School of Law professor Nora Demleitner argues that now is the time for Virginia to join most other states by amending the state constitution to abolish the prohibition on voting and automatically restore voting rights for all those with a felony criminal record once they have completed supervision.
Read the full piece on the Virginia Pilot’s website.
W&L Presents Anton Chekhov’s ‘The Cherry Orchard’ “The Cherry Orchard” is the final full play written by Anton Chekhov, who is considered by many to be the father of modern drama.
Washington and Lee University presents “The Cherry Orchard” from March 12-17 in the Johnson Theatre on the W&L campus. Tickets are free and are required.
“The Cherry Orchard” is the final full play written by Anton Chekhov, who is considered by many to be the father of modern drama.
In turn-of-the-century Russia, on an early morning in May, Madame Ranevskaya (Charlotte Cook ’19) returns to her ancestral home, dragged back from her travels by her daughters, who are trying to care for her childhood home and its adjacent cherry orchard. Down-to-earth Varya (Grace Pelosky ’22) is at her wit’s end trying to hold together the estate and manage her own expectations, while younger daughter Anya (Lauren Hoaglund ’22) longs for something different. Despite everyone’s suggestions for how to save the house, Ranevskaya and her brother, Gayev (Colin Berger ’20), refuse to see reason. Amidst all of these anxieties, love blossoms. What will happen to the estate and the crazy cast of characters it supports? What will become of the family? Will any of them ever find love or happiness?
While there will be a dog performing alongside the student actors, the most significant draw for the play, according to Cook, is the sizable ensemble cast and the beautiful costume design. The costumes, as Cook puts it, “are absolutely exquisite, and so detailed,” while the ensemble cast “is fantastic, and they’ve really turned this play into a sort of dark comedy. I don’t think we can go through one scene without breaking character because we’re laughing so hard.”
“I hope that people walk away [from this production] with the sense that it is OK to laugh at ourselves, and with a sense of community,” said Jemma Levy, director. “[With the sense] that there are some things that we all share and that is incredibly comforting. No matter how scary change might be, it is inevitable, and it does not have to be world-shattering.”
Performances of “The Cherry Orchard” will take place March 12-14 at 7:30 p.m.; March 16 at 7:30 p.m.; and March 17 at 2 p.m. Tickets can be ordered online at wlu.edu/lenfest-center or by calling the Lenfest box office at 540-458-8000 for ticket information. Box office hours are Mon.–Fri., 9-11 a.m. and 1-3 p.m., and one hour before performance time. University Swipe is available.
Images Worth a Thousand Words On March 1, W&L’s University Collections of Art and History will open its newest exhibit, "Breaking the Chains: Ceramics and the Abolition Movement."
In 1788, Benjamin Franklin wrote to the English potter Josiah Wedgwood to thank him for the gift of anti-slavery medallions. In the letter, he exclaimed that he was “persuaded it may have an effect equal to that of the best-written pamphlets in procuring favor to these oppressed people.”
Various ceramic pieces such as those medallions soon will be on display at Washington and Lee University as part of University Collections of Art and History’s latest exhibit, “Breaking the Chains: Ceramics and the Abolition Movement.” The nine-month exhibit will open on March 1 in Watson Pavilion and will be on display through Dec. 31, 2019.
Ron Fuchs, W&L curator of ceramics and manager of the Reeves Center, will hold a public lecture to discuss the collection on March 14 at 5 p.m. in Northen Auditorium. His talk is free and open to the public.
While this is the first official exhibition of abolitionist ceramics at the university, the Reeves Center has displayed many of the pieces for years, and it now has one of the most extensive collections of ceramics in existence from the abolitionist period.
From 1775 to 1860, a range of ceramics from Europe and America were made to advance the cause of abolition. The ceramics included everything from elaborate vases that depict detailed scenes from Harriet Beecher Stowe’s “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” to the less grand, but equally moving, children’s mugs featuring images of slave auctions.
According to Fuchs, “Abolitionists knew that a picture was worth a thousand words and objects decorated with anti-slavery images could be used to raise awareness of the plight of enslaved people, give people a way to show that they were supporters of abolition, and to sell to raise money for abolitionist activities.”
While there will be more than a dozen pieces of ceramics on display, some particularly interesting pieces include the medallions made at Josiah Wedgwood’s Etruria Factory, in Staffordshire, England, between 1787 and 1800. The image on the small medallion depicts a slave, kneeling in chains and imploring “am I not a man and a brother?” This scene was the first, most common, and most effective anti-slavery image created by the abolitionist movement.
Another compelling piece is a child’s mug, which depicts a slave auction and bears an anti-slavery poem meant to teach a child a stark lesson about the cruelty of slavery.
Not unlike specific causes supported today, and much like sporting a bumper sticker or wearing a T-shirt for propaganda uses, these ceramic pieces were not used in secret. The medallions, in particular, were often given away for free and worn as jewelry to show others which side of the cause the wearer supported.
In their prime, the ceramics had much more of an immediate effect and influence on society than a 25-page tract might have had.
“We have documentation that shows where people talked about how they wanted people to see the ceramic pieces in their homes and on their tables because they hoped others would see it and think about what it means,” said Fuchs. “The imagery raised awareness, and it raised sympathy, and it’s also a signal that they personally were a supporter. They were reinforcing a group identity.”
Many of the ceramic pieces were purchased by women. “In many cases, these objects were bought by women who used them as a way to make their voices heard at a time when they lacked the right to vote and other ways to effect political change,” Fuchs said.
However, one aspect of the exhibit that Fuchs encourages visitors to note is how a modern-day viewer may interpret the images, and how they appear to a new generation of advocates.
“In some ways these objects are racist. These objects were made by white people, for white people. While white abolitionists thought slavery was wrong, all but a few believed the stereotypes that people of African descent were inferior and needed white people to help them achieve their freedom,” said Fuchs. “Images of enslaved Africans as passive supplicants may also have been designed to reassure white audiences that free blacks would pose no threat.”
While the pieces can be seen as controversial today, Angelina Grimké, a Southern abolitionist, in 1836 attempted to explain their meaning: “Until the pictures of the slave’s sufferings were drawn and held up to public gaze, no Northerner had any idea of the cruelty of the system, it never entered their minds that such abominations could exist.”
Visit the UCAH webpage for more information about University Collections of Art and History.
W&L Hosts Public Lecture on Ireland and ‘Brexit’ by Timothy McMahon The title of McMahon’s talk, which is free and open to the public, is “Brexit on the Border: What We Know and Don’t Know about Irish/UK Relations.”
Washington and Lee University will host Timothy McMahon, associate professor of history at Marquette Universityand president of the American Conference for Irish Studies, for a public lecture at 4:30 p.m. on March 5 in Hillel House Rm. 101.
The title of McMahon’s talk, which is free and open to the public, is “Brexit on the Border: What We Know and Don’t Know about Irish/UK Relations.”
McMahon is a social historian with interests in nationalism and national identity, popular culture (especially popular religion), modern Ireland and the British Empire. He earned the bachelor’s degree from Washington and Lee University in 1987 and his master’s and doctoral degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
McMahon will discuss the implications for Ireland on the impending withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union. As McMahon explains “When voters in the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union in 2016, few gave much thought to the one major land border between the U.K. and the E.U., that is, the border of Northern Ireland with the Republic of Ireland. The irony of that silence was that this 310-mile-long border had been a central feature of the decades-long civil strife known as ‘The Troubles,’ which had dogged British and Irish governments before the signing of the so-called Belfast Agreement of 1998. The demilitarized border became both a symbol of hard-won peace and a practical conduit for the free movement of people and goods within the E.U. Now it would again be a site of contention, as negotiators trying to facilitate Brexit run up against a heretofore overlooked economic and security hotspot.”
McMahon’s talk is sponsored by the Philip F. Howerton Fund, the Department of Religion and the English Department at Washington and Lee University.
W&L Hosts Public Lecture with U.Va. Professor Anthony Corbeill The title of his talk, which is free and open to the public, is “Grammatical Gender and Roman Conceptions of Poetry, Gods, and the More-Than-Human.”
Washington and Lee University will host Anthony Corbeill, the Basil L. Gildersleeve Professor of Classics at the University of Virginia, on March 12 at 5 p.m. in Northen Auditorium.
The title of his talk, which is free and open to the public, is “Grammatical Gender and Roman Conceptions of Poetry, Gods, and the More-Than-Human.”
From the moment a child in ancient Rome began to speak Latin, the surrounding world became populated with objects possessing grammatical gender—masculine eyes (oculi), feminine trees (arbores) and neuter bodies (corpora). Corbeill’s lecture surveys the many ways in which grammatical gender enabled Latin speakers to organize aspects of their society into sexual categories, and how this identification of grammatical gender with biological sex affected Roman perceptions of Latin poetry, divine power and the human hermaphrodite.
Corbeill’s research focuses in particular on Roman sexuality, education and rhetoric. He is the author of “Controlling Laughter: Political Humor in the Late Roman Republic,” “Nature Embodied: Gesture in Ancient Rome,” and “Sexing the World: Grammatical Gender and Biological Sex in Ancient Rome,” which received a 2016 Charles J. Goodwin Award of Merit from the Society for Classical Studies. He is currently co-authoring a commentary on Cicero’s “De Haruspicum Responsis.”
Corbeill has been a Rome Prize Fellow at the American Academy in Rome (1994-95), after which he served as editor of “Memoirs of the American Academy in Rome” and as a trustee (2014-16). He has also held visiting appointments or fellowships at Vassar College, the universities of Wisconsin and Michigan, All Souls and Corpus Christi colleges (Oxford), and the Institute of Classical Studies (London).
W&L’s I’Anson Receives SCHEV Outstanding Faculty Award
“Helen I’Anson is without question exemplary of the teacher-scholar model at Washington and Lee.”
Helen I’Anson, John T. Perry Professor of Biology and Research Science at Washington and Lee University, has received a 2019 Outstanding Faculty Award from the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV). Since 1987, the Outstanding Faculty Awards have recognized faculty at Virginia’s institutions of higher learning who exemplify the highest standards of teaching, scholarship and service.
“Helen I’Anson is without question exemplary of the teacher-scholar model at Washington and Lee,” said W&L Provost Marc Conner. “Her work as a dedicated teacher of science and as a recognized scholar in her field is impressive, yet she goes beyond this in her leadership of major university initiatives, such as the IQ Center, the HHMI program, and the Advanced Research Cohort (ARC) and Advanced Immersion and Mentoring (AIM) projects.”
I’Anson, who joined the W&L faculty in 1995, has taught 14 different courses, primarily in physiology and neuroscience. She served as chair of the biology department for six years and is currently serving as acting department chair. She was the primary author and director of two Howard Hughes Medical Institute grants awarded to the university.
In addition to her instrumental roles in the development of the IQ Center, and the ARC and AIM programs, she also serves as the HHMI program director and St. Andrews University Biology Program coordinator. She has demonstrated a commitment to making science accessible to all students, including non-majors, through hands-on, inquiry-based experiences.
“Helen is dedicated to enhancing the diversity of our students within the sciences and across the university, and she works tirelessly to enrich the learning experience for every W&L student,” said Conner. “She has immersed herself in many major university-wide projects and her contributions to Washington and Lee have been profound and transformative.”
I’Anson has published 32 research articles in refereed journals, often in conjunction with undergraduate students, and has made 55 presentations at national and international science meetings.
She holds a B.S. in botany and zoology from the University College of Wales, Aberystwyth, U.K.; a Graduate Education Certificate from the University of Reading, U.K; and a Ph.D. from the University of Kentucky. She completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.
I’Anson will receive her award at a ceremony and luncheon on March 7 at The Jefferson Hotel in Richmond.
SCHEV is Virginia’s coordinating agency for higher education. With The Virginia Plan for Higher Education, SCHEV is dedicated to making Virginia the best-educated state by 2030. For more on The Virginia Plan, see schev.edu/TheVirginiaPlan.
Washington and Lee Hosts Human Rights Expert Isabella Alexander Alexander’s talk, which is free and open to the public, is titled “The Untold Story of Africa's Migrant and Refugee Crisis."
The Washington and Lee University Africana Studies Program will host Isabella Alexander, award-winning writer, documentary filmmaker and cultural anthropologist, on Feb. 27 at 5:30 p.m. in the Hillel Multipurpose Room.
Alexander’s talk, which is free and open to the public, is titled “The Untold Story of Africa’s Migrant and Refugee Crisis.”
A leading expert on international human rights, Alexander has spent the past decade living in the U.S. and Africa, where she defends basic human rights of the world’s largest population of migrants and refugees. For the past three years, she has been working undercover — embedded in hidden migrant brotherhoods and smuggling rings — to capture the treacherous journeys of three families from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mali and Sierra Leone. She has captured their stories in her latest documentary film, “The Burning: The Untold Story of Africa’s Migrant Crisis.”
Alexander is is a regular contributor to CNN, BBC, PRI and NPR. Her forthcoming book, “Burning at Europe’s Borders: Migration in the Age of Border Externalization,” is scheduled for release through Oxford University Press alongside her film in 2019.
Alexander is motivated by her belief that storytelling has the power to humanize the most complex global issues, and she combines her work as a writer, filmmaker and anthropologist to raise awareness, incite community action and create positive social and political change for marginalized populations.
Alexander’s visit has been made possible with financial support from the University Lectures Fund and the Center for International Education.
For further questions about the talk contact Mohamed Kamara at email@example.com.
David Luban to Deliver Mudd Series Lecture Luban’s lecture, which is titled "The Ethics of Professional Identities in Law and War,” will explore facets of professional identity.
David Luban, an internationally noted legal ethicist, will deliver a public lecture in Stackhouse Theater on Feb. 28 at 5 p.m. as part of the Mudd Center for Ethics’ series on “The Ethics of Identity.”
Luban’s lecture, which is titled “The Ethics of Professional Identities in Law and War,” will explore facets of professional identity. His talk is free and open to the public, and tickets are not required.
“David Luban is among the world’s foremost scholars of legal ethics, with a dazzling record of scholarship on the great themes of human rights and role morality, and he brings a lifetime of expertise to the Mudd Center’s current topic of identity,” said Brian Murchison, director of the Mudd Center.
Luban is a university professor and professor of law and philosophy at Georgetown University Law Center, and the Class of 1984 Distinguished Chair in Ethics at the U.S. Naval Academy’s Stockdale Center for Ethical Leadership.
His writings examine professional ethics, just war theory, international criminal law and human rights. His most recent book, “Torture, Power, and Law,” was published by Cambridge University Press, and he is currently writing a book on the moral and legal philosophy of Hannah Arendt.
Luban has held visiting positions at Harvard Law School, the Interdisciplinary Center in Israel and the Center for Transnational Legal Studies in London. At Stanford Law School, he was the Leah Kaplan Visiting Professor of Human Rights.
He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and won the 2015 American Publishers Association Award for Professional and Scholarly Excellence in philosophy. The American Bar Foundation Fellows in 1998 recognized his “distinguished scholarship on legal ethics and professional responsibility.”
The Mudd Center was established in 2010 through a gift to the university from award-winning journalist Roger Mudd, a 1950 graduate of W&L. When he made his contribution, Mudd said that “given the state of ethics in our current culture, this seems a fitting time to endow a center for the study of ethics, and my university is the fitting home.”
For full details on this series, visit the Mudd Center webpage.
Columnist George Will Headlines W&L’s Institute for Honor Symposium Will’s talk, which is free and open to the public, is titled “Lowering the Temperature, and the Stakes, of Politics.”
George Will is the keynote speaker for this year’s Washington and Lee University Institute for Honor Symposium, “Civility and Public Discourse.” He will give his address on Friday, March 1 at 4 p.m. in Lee Chapel.
Will’s talk, which is free and open to the public, is titled “Lowering the Temperature, and the Stakes, of Politics.” The talk will be available to watch online here.
Will’s newspaper column has been syndicated by The Washington Post since 1974. Today, it appears twice weekly in more than 440 newspapers. In 1976, he became a regular contributing editor of Newsweek magazine, for which he provided a bimonthly essay until 2011. In 1977, he won a Pulitzer Prize for commentary in his newspaper columns.
In June 2019, Will will release his most recent work, “The Conservative Sensibility.” Altogether, eight collections of his Newsweek and Washington Post columns have been published, the most recent being “One Man’s America: The Pleasures and Provocations of Our Singular Nation” (2008). Will has also published three books on political theory. In 1990, he published “Men at Work: The Craft of Baseball,” which topped The New York Times bestseller list for two months. Will’s most recent book on baseball is “A Nice Little Place on the North Side: Wrigley Field at One Hundred” (2014). In July 2000, Will was a member of Major League Baseball’s Blue Ribbon Panel, examining baseball economics.
In addition to writing, Will has spent more than three decades providing regular television commentary, beginning in 1981, when he became a founding panel member on ABC television’s “This Week.” After that, he spent three years with Fox News, where he appeared regularly on “Special Report” and “Fox News Sunday.” Will is now a regular contributor to MSNBC and NBC News.
Will was educated at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, as well as Oxford University. He earned his doctorate and currently serves as a trustee at Princeton University. He has taught political philosophy at Michigan State University, the University of Toronto and Harvard University. Will served as a staff member in the United States Senate from 1970-72. From 1973-76, he was the Washington editor of National Review magazine. Today, Will lives and works in the Washington, D.C., area.
Established in 2000 at Washington and Lee by a generous endowment from the Class of 1960, the Institute for Honor includes an array of initiatives and specific programs designed to promote the understanding and practice of honor as an indispensable element of society. The Institute for Honor Symposium is dedicated to the advocacy of honor as the core value in personal, professional, business and community relations. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
W&L Hosts Todd McGowan for Public Lecture McGowan’s lecture, which is free and open to the public, is titled “The Politics of Sacrificial Enjoyment: Freud and the Death Drive."
Washington and Lee University will host Todd McGowan, professor of English and film studies at the University of Vermont, for a lecture on March 7 at 5 p.m. in Northen Auditorium on the W&L campus.
McGowan’s lecture, which is free and open to the public, is titled “The Politics of Sacrificial Enjoyment: Freud and the Death Drive.”
In his lecture, McGowan will argue that one of Sigmund Freud’s basic claims is that humans find satisfaction through our unconscious self-destruction. McGowan suggest that if humans accept this understanding of the structure of satisfaction, then they can make sense of political situations that seem otherwise indecipherable—specifically, the fact of people acting politically contrary to their own self-interest. His talk will lay out the political implications of the role of self-destructive enjoyment and how our theorizing about politics might take it into account.
McGowan has written widely about film, comedy and contemporary American culture. His recent books include “Only a Joke Can Save Us: A Theory of Comedy”; “Capitalism and Desire: The Psychic Cost of Free Markets”; “Psychoanalytic Film Theory and The Rules of the Game”; and “Enjoying What We Don’t Have: The Political Project of Psychoanalysis.” His newest book, “Emancipation After Hegel: Achieving a Contradictory Revolution,” is forthcoming in May.
McGowan’s visit is sponsored by the Washington and Lee Philosophy Department and the Root Lectures Fund.
W&L Concert Guild Presents Imani Winds and Jon Nakamatsu Their public performance is titled “Old Made New.”
The Washington and Lee University Concert Guild presents Imani Winds and pianist Jon Nakamatsu in concert on March 9 at 8 p.m. in the Wilson Concert Hall on the W&L campus.
Their public performance is titled “Old Made New,” and ticket prices for the event are as follows: adults, $20; senior citizens, $15; W&L faculty and staff, $10; and students, $5. University Swipe is available.
Imani Winds is a wind quintet with an eclectic repertoire and a spirit of inclusivity. They are dedicated to the creation and incorporation of a diverse range of cultures in music, including European, American, African and Latin American. They have performed in multiple venues, including the Lincoln Center, Kennedy Center, Disney Hall and Carnegie Hall. In 2006, the group was nominated for a Grammy Award for their recording of “The Classical Underground.”
Nakamatsu is a classical pianist from San Jose, California. He holds degrees in both German studies and education, but his heart is in music. After being the first American to win the Gold Medal at the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, in 1997, Nakamatsu abandoned his job as a German teacher in order to pursue a career as a classical pianist. His playing grips the piano with both agility and sensitivity to the heart of the music. Nakamatsu draws zealous passion from the keys with each performance. He has played internationally at locations such as Chicago, Boston, Paris, London, Milan and more.
Tickets are required and available through the Lenfest Center box office at 540-458-8000 or online at https://www.wlu.edu/lenfest-center.Box office hours are Mon.–Fri., 9-11 a.m. and 1-3 p.m. The box office will also be open for one hour prior to performance time.
Washington and Lee Concert Guild to Feature Soprano Danielle Talamantes Talamantes has released two albums: “Heaven and Earth: a Duke Ellington Songbook” and “Canciones Españolas.”
The Washington and Lee University Concert Guild will present soprano, Danielle Talamantes, in recital in Wilson Concert Hall on Sunday, March 3 at 3 p.m. A native of Vienna, Virginia, Talamantes regularly performs throughout the U.S., including engagements with the Metropolitan Opera.
Talamantes has released two albums: “Heaven and Earth: a Duke Ellington Songbook” and “Canciones Españolas.”
The recital at W&L will open with Claude Debussy’s “Chansons de Bilitis,” followed by the “Tres Arias” of Joaquin Turina. The feature work of the program is Henry Dehlinger’s setting of “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock,” T.S. Eliot’s monumental poem written using the stream of consciousness technique. Dehlinger, an American composer of contemporary classical music and fusion of classical music and other genres, composed this piece specifically for her and will accompany her on the piano.
The recital will conclude with three settings of Duke Ellington songs by Larry Ham, Caren Levine and Henry Dehlinger, respectively.
Tickets are required and may be purchased through the Lenfest Center box office at 540-458-8000 or online at wlu.edu/lenfest-center/buy-tickets-now. Box office hours are Monday–Friday, 9-11 a.m. and 1-3 p.m. and will be open one hour prior to performance time.
Former Army Secretary John O. Marsh Jr. ’51L Dies at 92
John Otho Marsh Jr., a member of the School of Law Class of 1951 who served as Secretary of the Army in the 1980s, died on Feb. 4 at an assisted living facility in Raphine, Va. He was 92.
A native of Harrisonburg, Va., Marsh enlisted in the Army out of high school and served as a lieutenant with American occupation forces in postwar Germany.
He entered W&L as an undergraduate in September 1947 with transfer credits from Madison College (now James Madison University). He took undergraduate classes through 1947-1948, including the summer and fall of 1948. In the spring of 1949, he was admitted to the School of Law as a second-year, or intermediate, student. He completed the Bachelor of Laws (LL.B.) and graduated in August 1959.
While at W&L, Marsh was active in numerous campus activities. He was a member of Phi Kappa Psi, served on the Assimilation Committee, ran track and cross country, and was a member of the Cotillion Club and Fancy Dress.
After being admitted to the Virginia Bar in 1952, Marsh practiced law in Strasburg, Va., serving as town judge. From 1954 to 1962, he was the town attorney in New Market, Va.
Marsh won election to the U.S. House of Representative as a Democrat from Virginia in 1963 and served until 1971. While serving as in the House in 1966, he volunteered for a month-long stint in the Vietnam War as part of his National Guard duty without ever telling his fellow soldiers that he was a Congressman.
In 1973, Marsh was appointed U.S. Secretary of Defense and, in January 1974, as National Security Advisor for Vice President Gerald Ford. He was considered one of Ford’s top aides. Among other duties, Ford appointed Marsh to an investigative committee that studied CIA abuses, including illegal domestic spying.
Marsh switched political parties in about 1980 and served two terms as Secretary of the Army under Reagan, which made him what the Washington Post described as “the longest-serving civilian administrative leader in modern times.”
Marsh helped deploy Pershing II missiles to Western Europe, increased the Army’s budget, and was credited with maintaining several crucial elements that were instrumental in the 2011 raid that killed Osama bin Laden.
From 1989 to 1994, Marsh served as Chairman of the Reserve Forces Policy Board and was also Chairman and interim CEO of Novavax, a pharmaceutical company.
In 2007, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates appointed Marsh and former Secretary of the Army Togo West to an independent review panel to investigate medical and leadership failures at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.
He was six times the recipient of the Department of Defense Public Service Award. He also earned the Presidential Citizens Medal and was decorated by the governments of France and Brazil. Other honors include Virginian of the Year (as awarded by the Virginia Press Association), the George Catlett Marshall Medal for Public Service, and the Harry F. Byrd Jr. Public Service Award. The National Guard Armory in Strasburg also was named in his honor.
Marsh will be interred in the Hall of Valor in New Market, Va.
W&L a Top Producer of Fulbright U.S. Students Four students from W&L received Fulbright awards for academic year 2018-2019.
Washington and Lee University is proud to be included on the list of U.S. colleges and universities that produced the most 2018-2019 Fulbright U.S. Students. Each year, the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs announces the top producing institutions for the Fulbright Program, the U.S. government’s flagship international educational exchange program. The Chronicle of Higher Education publishes the lists annually.
Four students from W&L received Fulbright awards for academic year 2018-2019. “The Fulbright awards are of great consequence to W&L,” said Marc Conner, W&L’s provost and Jo and James Ballengee Professor of English.“They support many of our brightest students in global learning endeavors, as they build on their Washington and Lee education and go on to teaching and research projects throughout the world. The university’s reputation as a leading place of learning is enhanced through these awards as well. The hard work of our students and faculty in earning these fellowships is significant and a testimony to their brilliance and dedication.”
“We thank the colleges and universities across the United States that we are recognizing as Fulbright top producing institutions for their role in increasing mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries,” said Marie Royce, assistant secretary of state for Educational and Cultural Affairs. “We are proud of all the Fulbright students and scholars from these institutions who represent America abroad, increasing and sharing their skills and knowledge on a global stage.”
The Fulbright competition is administered at W&L through the Office of the Dean of the College, by Jon Eastwood, professor of sociology and the Fulbright Program Adviser.
Since its inception in 1946, the Fulbright Program has provided more than 390,000 participants—chosen for their academic merit and leadership potential—with the opportunity to exchange ideas and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns. Over 1,900 U.S. students, artists and young professionals in more than 100 different fields of study are offered Fulbright Program grants to study, teach English, and conduct research abroad each year. The Fulbright U.S. Student Program operates in over 140 countries throughout the world.
The Fulbright U.S. Student Program is a program of the U.S. Department of State, funded by an annual appropriation from the U.S. Congress to the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, and supported in its implementation by the Institute of International Education.
The Fulbright Program also awards grants to U.S. scholars, teachers and faculty to conduct research and teach overseas. In addition, some 4,000 foreign Fulbright students and scholars come to the United States annually to study, lecture, conduct research and teach foreign languages.
For more information about the Fulbright Program, visit eca.state.gov/fulbright.
Washington’s Will is ‘a True National Treasure’ The will, a favorite piece for use in accounting and taxation classes at W&L, reveals much about Washington's character and views.
At first glance, the diminutive, 32 page piece is not terribly impressive. It is browned with age, and its original plain paper wrappers are hand-sewn with threads as issued in 1800. However, on closer inspection, the immensely human document reveals the moral character as well as the material estate of our country’s founding father and Washington and Lee University’s namesake, George Washington.
Dated from Mount Vernon on July 9, 1799, five months before his death, Washington’s last will and testament recorded his enlightened attitude towards slavery as well as his progressive thoughts on education and public service. Washington and Lee’s copy, which is exceedingly rare on the market (no auction records for many years), is a first edition printed by the Alexandria Gazette. Often referred to as the most famous will in American history, the unassuming piece is one of the most significant items in the Special Collections vault and has become a favorite piece for use in accounting and taxation classes, particularly those taught by Professor Jack Bovay.
After providing for his “dearly beloved wife Martha,” Washington’s next priority was to free his slaves, but he could not do so before Martha’s death.
“Upon the decease of my wife, it is my will and desire that all of the slaves which I hold in my own right shall receive their freedom. To emancipate them during her life, would, though earnestly wished by me, be attended with such insuperable difficulties on account of their intermixture by marriage with the dower [Martha’s] Negroes, as to excite the most painful sensations, if not disagreeable consequences.”
He provided for the welfare and education of his freed slaves, most notably for the helpless children and the old and infirm among them, then “most pointedly and most solemnly enjoin it upon my Executors…to see that this clause respecting Slaves and every part thereof, be religiously fulfilled…without evasion, neglect, or delay.” He immediately freed and gave an annuity to a biracial man, “William [Lee]…as a testimony of my sense of his attachment to me, and for his faithful services during the Revolutionary War.”
The first “education president” provided for the endowment of a free school in Alexandria and confirmed his gift of 100 shares of stock in the James River Company for the “use & benefit” of Liberty Hall Academy, whose name was changed to Washington Academy upon receipt of his gift in 1798.
“It has always been a source of serious regret with me to see the youth of these United States sent to Foreign countries for the purpose of Education, often before their minds were formed …contracting too frequently…principles unfriendly to Republican government, and to the true and genuine liberties of mankind.”
Washington also reiterated “a principle which I had adopted, and had never departed from – namely –not to receive pecuniary compensation for any service I could render my country in its arduous struggle with Great Britain for its rights.” He gave Mount Vernon and all his books, pamphlets and private papers to his nephew, Bushrod Washington, was generous to many other nephews and nieces, remembered Lafayette with a pair of pistols, and forgave many large debts. Finally, he asked that the family burial vault, which was poorly placed and needed repairs, be replaced with a new, larger brick at the foot of the Vineyard Inclosure, where it can now be seen. Washington died with “but few” debts “and none of magnitude.” His property to be sold under his will amounted to $530,000, equivalent to $7.5 million dollars today. That amount did not include Mount Vernon and other farms given away, but it did include land, from Virginia and Kentucky to the Northwest Territory.
Washington died on December 14, 1799. His executors presented his handwritten will for probate on January 10, 1800, to the Fairfax County Court, where the original still resides. By mid-January, the will was printed in Alexandria at the offices of the Alexandria Gazette newspaper and distributed in pamphlet form throughout the country. More than a dozen reprints were issued in 1800 alone, throughout America and England.
While the lucid and powerful prose of the text of the will displays Washington’s distinctive style of writing, the contents reveal much about his character and his views, as well as about his diverse and valuable property, real and chattel, acquired over a lifetime. With extraordinary care and precision, he spells out how—and under what conditions—his land and other possessions should be distributed among his extended family, his old friends and his dependents, all the while providing extraordinary insight into the workings of his mind and the impulses of his heart. The language and content combine to make George Washington’s will a true national treasure.
Washington and Lee Team Wins 20th-Annual VFIC Ethics Bowl The two-day event focused on ethics and social justice issues.
Washington and Lee University won the 20th-annual Virginia Foundation for Independent Colleges Ethics Bowl championship Feb. 10-11, when its six-member student team successfully devised and presented solutions to ethical dilemmas.
The members of the W&L student team were Alex Farley ’19, a senior majoring in economics and philosophy; Allie Rutledge ’19, a senior majoring in neuroscience and philosophy; Cat Spencer ’20, a junior majoring in politics; Clare Perry ’21, a sophomore majoring in history and philosophy; and Charles Thomas ’21, a sophomore majoring in mathematics and philosophy. Accompanying the team as an alternate was Kushali Kumar ’22. The faculty coordinator for the team was Melina Bell, W&L professor of philosophy and law.
The Virginia Foundation for Independent Colleges (VFIC) and Wells Fargo sponsored the annual Ethics Bowl, now in its 20th year, at Roanoke College in Salem. VFIC is a nonprofit, fund-raising partnership supporting the programs and students of 15 leading private colleges and universities in the commonwealth.
The two-day event focused on ethics and social justice issues. The case study in the final round involved whether a women’s shelter worker should, ethically speaking, allow a transgender woman to stay in the shelter for the night. The hypothetical woman’s driver’s license recorded that she was male (the sex assigned to her at birth), which was how the worker discovered she was transgender. No law governed the matter, but it was an unwritten policy that shelters in the area were to admit people based on their sex assigned at birth. The woman seeking shelter indicated that she would feel unsafe in a men’s shelter. W&L argued that the woman should be admitted to the women’s shelter, and that the worker should attempt to have a trans-inclusive policy instituted at the shelter.
Professionals from business, law, education, finance, journalism and other fields listened to team presentations and offered reactions to the students’ presentations.
“Judges commented that W&L’s ethical arguments were crisp and persuasive, and their delivery polished and remarkably well-coordinated,” said Bell. “It takes a lot of talent and practice to develop principled, convincing arguments in a few minutes, and to deliver them confidently and eloquently in front of judges and an audience. I couldn’t be more proud of the team!”
Barnett to Give Inaugural Lecture for Endowed Professorship The title of Barnett’s talk, which is free and open to the public, is “Lost (And Found Again) in Translation.”
Jeffrey C. Barnett, the S. Blount Mason Professor of Romance Languages, will present an inaugural public lecture to celebrate his endowed professorship on March 13 at 5:30 p.m. in Northen Auditorium.
The title of Barnett’s talk, which is free and open to the public, is “Lost (And Found Again) in Translation.”
Barnett will reflect on his personal experiences as a literary translator of Spanish-American authors, such as Carlos Fuentes, Uva de Aragón and Zurelys López Amaya, among others.
“Sometimes readers wonder if it’s possible for a translation to be faithful to the original,” Barnett explained. “It’s true that there are many examples of inadequate translations, but a good translator performs an artistic balancing act between what is overly literal on the one hand and excessively embellished on the other.”
After receiving his doctorate from the University of Kentucky, Barnett joined the W&L faculty in 1989. He has taught classes on language, culture and literature, both on campus and abroad, including courses on the Spanish-American novel on the “Boom Generation,” Caribbean literature and literary translation. Barnett has served as director of the Global Stewardship Program and as program head of the Latin American and Caribbean Studies Program from 2007 to the present.
The S. Blount Mason Jr. Professorship was established in 1973 in memory of Mason, Class of 1905, through trusts created by Mason and his wife to benefit certain charities. Since its inception, it has been held by professors Sidney Mathias Baxter Coulling, professor of English emeritus; Dabney Stuart, professor of English emeritus; and most recently Jim Warren, professor of English emeritus.
“It’s an incredible honor to join the ranks of such renowned and beloved colleagues as professors Coulling, Stuart and Warren,” Barnett said.
Two for the Price of One University Collections of Art and History recently purchased prints by iconic American artists Thomas Hart Benton and James Abbott McNeill Whistler, and they are already being incorporated into courses in art and art history.
“The Benton lithograph and the Whistler etching are now part of the university’s art collection, which serves as an academic resource that crosses disciplines. Students can learn directly from these prints and other artwork, gaining a sense of scale that neither textbooks nor digital images provide.”
~ Patricia Hobbs, associate director, University Collections of Art and History
Outside the art history classroom in Wilson Hall, University Collections of Art and History (UCAH) and the Art and Art History Department have created an informal study gallery that features paintings and prints from the university’s art collection. During Winter Term, the works on exhibit are supporting classes that include Survey of Western Art and American Art to 1945. Recently, two newly acquired prints joined the display: “Billingsgate,” an etching by the notable 19th-century artist James Abbott McNeill Whistler (1834-1903), and “The Fence Mender,” a lithograph by the iconic 20th-century artist Thomas Hart Benton (1889-1975).
This past summer, I had the opportunity to bid at auction for these prints. Initially, I was interested in Benton’s lithograph, which I saw illustrated in an auction catalog. A noted leader of the American Regionalist movement, Benton was not represented in our collection. After talking with art faculty to gauge their interest in the print, and then researching market prices, I made a recommendation to our collections committee that we attempt to acquire the lithograph and make a bid not to exceed a particular amount. Later, I learned that an etching by Whistler would be in the same auction. A significant artist, he was not represented in the collection, either. After additional research and some creative thinking, I suggested that if the Benton lithograph sold for less than the amount already approved by the committee, I might also bid on the Whistler, not to exceed the original approved total maximum. The committee said yes, our bids were successful, and ultimately we were able to purchase “two prints for the price of one.” Such are the opportunities that auctions sometimes offer.
Thomas Hart Benton’s popularity and influence was at its peak in 1940, when the Associate American Artists published “The Fence Mender” in an edition of 250 prints. A lithograph is a type of print in which an image is drawn on a specially prepared lithographic limestone with grease pencils or crayons. The stone is then treated with a chemical etch, inked and run through a press under a damp paper. The resulting image is a mirror of the original drawing.
A native of Missouri, Benton was known especially for his murals that depicted the American heartland. He studied at the Art Institute of Chicago and the Académie Julian in Paris, where he met the Mexican muralist Diego Rivera. He also became acquainted with the abstraction of the Synchromism art movement, which stressed the musical qualities of color. These two influences and his work during WWI as a Navy architectural draftsman contributed significantly to his distinctive and recognizable style of realism.
After the war, Benton returned to New York City and later taught at the Art Students League, where Jackson Pollock was one of his students. He produced a series of murals for the New School for Social Research entitled “America Today,” now in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, which launched him as one of the leaders of the Regionalist movement, along with Grant Wood and John Steuart Curry. During the 1930s, Benton completed a number of mural commissions for the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York and the Century of Progress Exposition in Chicago. He used his murals to protest the KKK, lynching and fascism during the 1930s and 40s. Extremely popular during this time, Benton and Regionalism were overshadowed just a few years later by the Abstract Expressionism that surged after World War II.
American born James Abbott McNeill Whistler became a leading proponent of Aestheticism, or “art for art’s sake,” and was a predecessor of modernist abstraction. He may be best known for his widely reproduced 1871 seated portrait entitled “Arrangement in Grey and Black No. 1: Portrait of the Artist’s Mother.” Like Benton, Whistler was interested in the relationship between music and color, and often titled his works “nocturne,” “symphony” and “arrangement” in reference to his exploration of tonal harmonies. His fascination with Japanese art and woodblock prints is reflected in the compositions and spatial organizations of his paintings and prints, and in his famous decorative “Peacock Room” that is now located in the Freer Gallery in Washington, D.C.
Whistler, a skilled draftsman and a meticulous craftsman, was also a noted printmaker who was on the forefront of a renaissance of the art of etching in Britain during the late 19th century. An etching is a type of intaglio print that is drawn on a copper plate prepared with an acid-resistant ground that is scraped away with etching needles, exposing lines that are later eaten away in an acid bath. The plate is inked, wiped and run through a press under a dampened piece of paper. The result is a reverse image that might stand as initially pulled, or the plate can be worked and reworked in several states until the artist determines that it is finished. Whistler experimented extensively with the process, inks, tone and papers, and created almost 500 prints during his lifetime.
In 1859, early in his career, Whistler moved to London, where the hubbub of the docks and the effects of encroaching modernity on the Thames River fascinated him. He began a series of etchings depicting the region, and “Billingsgate” was among the earliest. In it, workers stand along a landing with a line of fishing boats to the right. The horizontal and vertical elements of the composition, along with the cropped, frontal placement in the immediate foreground of a barge with boatmen, exhibit influence from Japanese prints.
The Benton lithograph and the Whistler etching are now part of the university’s art collection, which serves as an academic resource that crosses disciplines. Students can learn directly from these prints and other artwork, gaining a sense of scale that neither textbooks nor digital images provide. In Wilson Hall, as in other academic buildings, the students are invited to examine the works up close and revisit them throughout the term, absorbing details and making new discoveries along the way.
Mark Rush Talks ‘American Politics 101: James Madison and Cuba’ Mark Rush's piece was published Feb. 13 in the Richmond Times-Dispatch.
In an opinion piece published on Feb. 13 in the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Washington and Lee University’s Mark Rush, Stanley D. and Nikki Waxberg Professor of Politics, reflects on “how unfortunate it is that the nature of interest group politics in the USA can lead to a foreign policy that is antiquated and destructive—and keep it in place for 60 years.”
Read the full piece here.
‘Other Perspectives on Business’ As part of the Sydney Internship and Study Abroad Program, Mariam Samuel '20 is taking courses at the University of Sydney and interning at Wheatley Wealth Management.
We arrived in Sydney on a scorching hot day, with a high of 100 and hail! This weather was no deterrent to our expectations, and so far, we have little to no complaints about our time abroad.
Many of the classes at the University of Sydney (USyd) are group oriented. Without the stress of how our marks will affect our GPA, it was a great opportunity to focus on actually working as a group rather than working to get the best marks possible. While I would hate any situation where my group’s performance is an overall blanket grade, it was refreshing to see the types of ideas which spurred from collaboration, without the bickering of grade-related tension.
The class I am in is an information systems class. The class is not as rigorous and encompassing as one at Washington and Lee, but it provided me with the knowledge I would not have received otherwise. There are many other classes taught at USyd which cannot be taken at Washington and Lee. This is a great opportunity to experience other perspectives on business. I would definitely recommend taking at least one class which is not taught at Washington and Lee.
I am interning at Wheatley Wealth Management. This has been the most fulfilling part of my abroad experience. I am gaining insight on a career path which I had never before considered, all while experiencing genuine Australian work-life balance.
A day we had long anticipated, Australia Day is often referred to by the locals as “a dampened 4th of July.” Because we arrived during the summer holiday, we had not had a chance to celebrate with locals. Instead, we celebrated with other American students from Washington and Lee from a different program. This was very exciting and a great opportunity to share perspectives and reflect on how the schools differed.
Now that we have been in Australia for almost a month, we are getting pretty comfortable with the beach trips and sunny skies. We can not wait for the full semester to begin!
At the Forefront of Economics Margaret Kallus ’19 will be the second W&L alumna to join a team of economists at the Harvard University research institute, Opportunity Insights.
Margaret Kallus ’19 has earned a prestigious research position at Opportunity Insights, a Harvard University based research institute led by economists Raj Chetty, John Friedman, and Nathaniel Hendren, that seeks to revive the American dream by empowering families throughout the United States to rise out of poverty, leading to better life outcomes.
“For someone wanting to pursue a Ph.D. in economics, this position is as good as it gets,” said Associate Professor of Economics Katie Shester. “They often receive approximately 600 applications for about eight positions, and all of those 600 applicants are interested in going to graduate school. This is an incredibly prestigious position.”
Opportunity Insights’ team of researchers and policy analysts work together to analyze new data and create a platform for local stakeholders to make more informed decisions. Their research results have appeared in the New York Times and Wall Street Journal and have been cited in policy discussions, including the President’s State of the Union Address.
Margaret originally had no interest in economics but discovered her excitement for the discipline during her sophomore year. After coming across the job on the National Bureau of Economic Research’s website, Margaret submitted her application online. The process began with a data test to demonstrate skills, such as coding style and data visualization experience.
Following the test, Margaret participated in two rounds of interviews with economists and research assistants working on the project.
For the first time, W&L will have two alumnae working in this prestigious role. Amanda (Mandie) Wahlers ’18 will be heading into her second year of the fellowship when Margaret joins Opportunity Insights this summer. Mandie and her team are currently preparing and analyzing several datasets for an upcoming project that seeks to investigate the role of colleges as a pathway to upward mobility.
“Mandie started working on the project last year and was really friendly, helpful, and supportive throughout the application process,” said Margaret. “I also cannot thank Professor Shester and Professor Chris Handy enough. Their advice, support, candor, and encouragement helped me put my best foot forward.”
Mandie believes it’s a credit to the investment that W&L professors make in each student that she and Margaret will be working at Opportunity Insights together next year. “It has been an opportunity to gain exposure to rigorous research at the forefront of economics on a full-time basis,” she said. “I have learned a ton directly from my contributions to the project and through the time I spend tackling challenges with my fellow predoctoral fellows.”
Margaret will be missed in her research assistant position at W&L. “Margaret has tremendous intellectual curiosity that drives a genuine enthusiasm for research. She is destined for great things. We’ll also miss her wide-ranging anecdotes and quick wit,” said Assistant Professor of Economics Chris Handy.
Following her two-year appointment at Opportunity Insights, Margaret plans to attend graduate school in economics.
More about Margaret
Hometown: Montgomery, NY
Majors: Mathematics and Economics
What’s your favorite place to eat in Lexington and what do you order?
Napa Thai, I love the green curry.
Professor Shester’s urban economics class, Professor Handy’s labor economics class, and econometrics with Professor Anderson are a few of my favorites; I definitely can’t narrow it down to one.
What’s something people wouldn’t guess about you?
Senator John McCain once told me a joke on a train!
BLSA Moot Court Headed Back to Nationals
The Washington and Lee School of Law Black Law Students Association (BLSA) moot court team has advanced to the national competition following a second place finish at Mid-Atlantic Thurgood Marshall Moot Court Competition.
The team of 3L Angelique Rogers and 2L Junior Ndlovu advanced. They will head to Little Rock, AR in March for the national competition. Rogers and Ndlovu also advanced to the national finals last year.
W&L fielded teams for both the moot court and mock trial competitions held in Annapolis during the Mid-Atlantic Black Law Students Association (MABLSA) conference. The conference also serves as an opportunity for students to network with other students as well as practitioners and potential employers.
This is the eighth year teams from W&L have competed in the BLSA moot court and mock trial competitions. W&L teams have advanced to nationals every year.
W&L to Screen Finch Documentary ‘Triton: America’s Deep Secret’ Washington and Lee will host a public screening of “Triton: America’s Deep Secret” on Feb. 26 at 6 p.m. in Stackhouse Theater on the W&L campus.
Washington and Lee will host a public screening of “Triton: America’s Deep Secret” on Feb. 26 at 6 p.m. in Stackhouse Theater on the W&L campus. Kevin Finch, W&L assistant professor of journalism, wrote, directed and produced the film, which is about the USS Triton, a nuclear-powered radar picket submarine, that completed the first completely submerged circumnavigation of the Earth in 1960. The submarine spent 60 days, 21 hours under water.
The event will begin with a short introduction from Finch, followed by a full screening of the 56-minute documentary. After the screening, Col. Bradley Coleman, an endowed chair of history and director of the Adams Center for Military History at the Virginia Military Institute, will join Finch on stage for a Q&A to discuss how the film fits into the broader story of the Cold War.
Finch oversaw the creation of the documentary, tracking down interview subjects and conducting all of the interviews himself. He located several crew members at a Triton reunion in Mobile, Alabama, in fall 2014.
A large portion of his work consisted of chasing down archival film and still images from the Navy, the National Archives, NASA, the Eisenhower Library, the Marshall Museum and Library, and more. In post-production, he oversaw the graphics, video editing and music.
“There are a million details involved in producing,” said Finch. “It’s a mix of the creative with the logistics necessary to organize a production from start to finish. There’s always another detail.”
Finch has shown the film to several networks, entered it in a few film festivals and organized screenings in the Midwest and East. Its debut was as an Official Selection of the Silicon Beach Film Festival in April 2018 in Los Angeles. More recently, in November 2018, the film had its broadcast premiere on Connecticut Public Television, a statewide network of public TV stations with a signal that reaches into Massachusetts and Long Island, New York.
Expert in Paleontology Sculptures to Give Keynote Speech for SSA The title of Gary Staab’s presentation is “Digital Dinosaurs: Fleshing out the Past."
Gary Staab, freelance artist and an expert in paleontology sculptures, will give the keynote address for Washington and Lee University’s Science, Society and the Arts conference on March 16 in Evans Hall. The keynote luncheon will begin at noon, with remarks beginning at 1 p.m. The conference and luncheon are open to the W&L community, but space is limited and registration is required to attend the lunch and Staab’s talk (https://www.wlu.edu/ssa/keynote).
The title of Staab’s presentation is “Digital Dinosaurs: Fleshing out the Past.”
Staab’s work has captured the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology’s Lanzendorf-National Geographic PaleoArt Prizefour times, and his projects have appeared in over 30 different museums across the world. Visitors to the Indianapolis Children’s Museum will note one of Staab’s largest sculptures, a 75-foot-long, 50-foot-tall Brachiosaurus, peeking through the museum’s glass walls.
His more recent work includes a replica of Ötzi, the 5,000-year old “Iceman” discovered on the Italy-Austria border. This work was commissioned by the Dolan DNA Learning Center and is documented in a NOVA special, “Iceman Reborn.” In addition to his freelance work, Staab is a research associate with the Denver Museum of Nature & Science, as well as an honorary affiliate faculty at Idaho State University. A graduate of Hastings College, Staab completed a flexible degree program that combined practical museum experience with studies in art and biology.
W&L’s Science, Society and the Arts is a multi-disciplinary conference involving undergraduate and law students in the presentation of their academic achievements before an audience of their peers and the faculty. Conference participants share their work via oral presentations, traditional academic-conference-style panels, poster sessions, artistic shows or creative performances. The 2019 conference will be held March 15 and 16.
Original work is presented as part of one of many panels, as a poster at one of the four sessions, as a performance of dance, theater or music, or as a display of visual art such as drawings, painting or photography. Additionally, students, faculty and staff can take part in one of 25-plus book and film colloquia.
Find a complete schedule of the 2019 SSA conference here.
W&L Student is Finalist for Hearst Journalism Award Hannah Denham, ’20, is one of the top 20 finalists in the Hearst Journalism Awards’ enterprise writing contest.
Hannah Denham, ’20, is one of the top 20 finalists in the Hearst Journalism Awards’ enterprise writing contest.
The Hearst awards program is a national competition open to students at 104 accredited journalism programs across the country. Denham was recognized for a series of stories about the Florida SunPass system, written while she was a summer intern at the Tampa Bay Times. Denham’s entry was one of 129 from 72 schools.
Denham, a journalism major and Johnson Scholar from Spanish Fort, Alabama, will work as an intern at The Washington Post this summer.
Last spring, a story she wrote for the Ring-tum Phi was a national finalist in the Society of Professional Journalists’ Mark of Excellence competition. The story, honored in the in-depth category, focused on Washington and Lee students affected by Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).
Judging the Hearst writing competitions this year are: Audrey Cooper, editor in chief, The San Francisco Chronicle; Dwayne Bray, senior coordinating producer/enterprise reporting unit, ESPN; and David Zeeck, former president and publisher, The News Tribune, Tacoma, Washington.
The Hearst Journalism Awards Program, now in its 59th year, is conducted under the auspices of accredited schools of the Association of Schools of Journalism and Mass Communication and fully funded and administered by the William Randolph Hearst Foundation. The 14 monthly competitions consist of five writing, two photojournalism, one radio, two television and four multimedia categories, with championshipfinals in all divisions. The program awards up to $700,000 in scholarships and grants annually.
Marrying Research and Public Service Zainab Abiza '19 interviews Morten Wendelbo '12 about his research focusing on economic development, humanitarian aid and food security.
Editor’s note: In this series, “Living the Shepherd Dream,” current students in the Shepherd Program for the Interdisciplinary Study of Poverty and Human Capability at Washington and Lee interview alumni of the program who are working in a field that interests both. Look for additional installments in this series on The Columns.
“As an academic, my entire focus is on producing research that can help others make better decisions about how to maximize well-being.”
~ Morten Wendelbo ’12
Zainab Abiza ’19 is a senior from Rabat, Morocco, who is majoring in economics and global politics, with a minor in poverty and human capability studies. She is interested in the fields of international affairs and economic development. Last summer, Abiza secured a Davis Projects for Peace grant that enabled her to design and implement a project aimed at increasing educational attainment for rural girls in Morocco. She is currently working to expand this program domestically. Abiza is Princeton PPIA alumna and has conducted research on counterterrorism. She is fluent in Arabic, French and English. Next year, she will pursue an M.A. in China as part of the Schwarzman Scholars program.
Zainab recently interviewed Morten Wendelbo ’12 to learn more about his post-undergraduate career in the field of public service. Wendelbo is a research fellow in the Scowcroft Institute of International Affairs at the Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University and a PhD student in Government at American University. He is a development economist by training and his research focuses on economic development, humanitarian aid and food security, especially as they are affected by complex emergencies such as natural disasters, pandemics, epidemics and conflict.
How did W&L prepare you for your public service work?
The late President H.W. Bush once called public service “a noble calling.” As I arrived on campus in 2008, I already knew I wanted to enter public service, partially because I, too, thought of public service exactly this way. As a college freshman, I had no idea how to make that dream come true, nor how I could make the biggest positive impact on the world around me. Almost immediately after arriving on campus, however, that changed.
My first semester, I volunteered with Campus Kitchen at Washington and Lee, an organization dedicated to combating hunger in Lexington and Rockbridge County. I met a dozen other students who shared my aspirations, who spent the better part of their time in college putting people around them before themselves. I learned a lot from just getting to know this group of people who showed me that balancing school and community service wasn’t only possible, but incredibly rewarding, too.
When I graduated from Washington and Lee in 2012, I had spent nearly 1,000 hours at CKWL, eventually as an executive officer with the responsibility of an entire branch of the organization. I even had the opportunity to serve as acting director for a short period, managing all of the kitchen’s programs and volunteers. These opportunities gave me a chance to understand many of the different aspects of public service, and gave me a tremendous respect for those who carry out the unfathomable amount of administration necessary for any charitable or government organization to run well.
Shortly after arriving in 2008, I applied to the Bonner Scholars program, which is a leadership program that helps budding public servants develop leadership skills. It was the Bonner Scholars program that helped me be able to spend such a large part of my time at CKWL, and to be successful at managing often very large groups of volunteers. As part of Bonner Scholars I was able to spend my breaks doing meaningful work, as well, including a service trip to New Orleans, and to later lead such a trip for other students to Shreveport.
And, of course, [I learned from] the coursework and research I did while at W&L. In particular, I learned from my faculty that I could marry my desire to be a public servant and my desire to do research. Today, these two are combined in almost everything I do. As an academic, my entire focus is on producing research that can help others make better decisions about how to maximize well-being.
Why did you decide to go to graduate school?
I quickly got tired of asking questions which I didn’t always have the skills to answer. W&L funded the research I did for my thesis, and that opened up a whole new world to me. It made me ask more questions, and find the answers necessary to make better policy decisions. But the type of modeling necessary to find answers is highly technical, and not something I could learn at W&L. I did my master’s degree in international development and economic policy to acquire some of those skills, and I’m now doing my Ph.D. for many of the same reasons.
What are your future career plans?
I plan mostly to continue doing what I’ve been doing for the past few years. I spend part of my time doing research, a part of my time writing for several media outlets, and a part of my time consulting for different countries and international organizations. They all tie into trying to generate knowledge and then apply that knowledge in a way that benefits the most people in the most ways. Recently, I’ve worked a lot on malnutrition and natural disaster outcomes – specifically how to help individuals, families and communities prepare for, withstand and recover from different types of disasters.
How does a government shutdown affect the federal government’s long-term ability to ensure good public health?
In the short term, it will hardly have any effect. The effect is longer term, and quite destructive. First, although the hundreds of thousands of dedicated public servants we have are not in it for the money, it will be hard for them to defend working for the federal government when the government routinely causes their families economic hardship. Especially the best and the brightest, who can easily get jobs in the private sector, will likely feel a pressure to take that job to make sure they can provide for their families in the future.
Second, the disaster off-season, during which the shutdown occurred, is the time when forecasters, firefighters, and many other groups of public servants pivotal during the disaster seasons, have lost. The shutdown went on for so long that there is no way to fully recover before the disaster season starts. If we have a severe disaster season for the third year in a row, we will pay for the shutdown in lives lost during summer and fall disasters.
Washington and Lee Hosts Public Lecture with Erin Walcheck Averett Averett’s talk, which is free and open to the public, is titled “Frightening the Frightful: Grotesque Visages from Ancient Cyprus.”
Erin Walcheck Averett, associate professor of archeology at Creighton University and adjunct curator of antiquities at the Joslyn Art Museum, will give a public lecture at Washington and Lee University on Feb. 28 at 5 p.m. in Hillel House Rm 101.
Averett’s talk, which is free and open to the public, is titled “Frightening the Frightful: Grotesque Visages from Ancient Cyprus.”
In her talk, Averett will discuss the complex role of the grotesque, the monstrous and the strange in Mediterranean religion, ritual and society. Her focus is the apotropaic imagery in Iron Age Cyprus. The island’s position at the intersection of East and West provided fertile ground for a wide range of grotesque and monstrous representations. In the lecture she will attempt to answer what was the function of these apotropaic devices within local Cypriot contexts and in service of local communities.
Averett has excavated widely in Greece and Cyprus and is the assistant director of the Athienou Archaeological Project on Cyprus, which is funded by an NSF-REU grant. She also serves as the president for the Lincoln-Omaha Archaeological Institute of America chapter. Her research area includes Cypriot art and archaeology, with special focus on terracotta figurines and Iron Age religion in the eastern Mediterranean.
She published an article on Cypriot masked performances in The American Journal of Archaeology on her new 3D imaging project in antiquity, and has co-authored a site report on the last three seasons of the Athienou Archaeological Project in the Journal of Field Archaeology.
Averett graduated with a B.A. in Latin and classical archaeology from the University of Georgia, and received her M.A. and Ph.D. in classical archaeology from the University of Missouri-Columbia.
Her lecture is co-sponsored by the Department of Classics and the Archaeology & Technology Cohort.
Wali Bacdayan Joins Washington and Lee University’s Board of Trustees
Wali Bacdayan, who graduated summa cum laude from Washington and Lee University in 1992 with a B.A. in economics and mathematics, was sworn in as a trustee of his alma mater on Feb. 8, in Lexington, Virginia.
Bacdayan earned his M.B.A. from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University in June 1997. He is a former founding partner of Incline Equity Partners, where he was responsible for all aspects of investment management including fundraising, strategic planning, regulatory compliance, sourcing and executing new investments, and managing existing portfolio company performance.=
Prior to co-founding Incline, Bacdayan was a partner at PNC Equity Partners and a financial analyst in the Acquisition and Private Finance Group of Dean Witter Reynolds, Inc., where he focused on private debt equity financing for middle market companies. He currently serves as an investor and a board director of several private companies and nonprofit organizations.
Active in alumni engagement, Bacdayan served as co-chairman of his fifth and 25th class reunion committees and as associate class agent from 1992-1997. He has served as the president of the Pittsburgh Alumni Chapter, chair of the chapter’s Alumni Admission Program, and a business competition judge in W&L’s Williams School of Commerce, Economics, and Politics. In May 2017, he was a recipient of the university’s Distinguished Alumnus Award.
As a student, Bacdayan was elected to Phi Beta Kappa and Omicron Delta Kappa, and served as a dorm counselor and co-chairman of the Student Recruitment Committee. He played football and track and field, and was a member of Sigma Chi fraternity.
Bacdayan and his wife, Dr. Wendy (Neel) Bacdayan ’94, have three sons, Ben, William and Charlie.
Washington and Lee Names LaRiviere New Associate Dean of the College Fred LaRiviere, associate professor of chemistry and biochemistry at Washington and Lee University, is the new associate dean of the college, beginning Feb. 11.
Fred LaRiviere, associate professor of chemistry and biochemistry at Washington and Lee University, is the new associate dean of the college, beginning Feb. 11. He succeeds Gwyn E. Campbell, who has held that post since 2017. Campbell will continue to work with students and faculty on fellowships until June 30, when she will begin a previously awarded sabbatical before her retirement.
LaRiviere, who teaches courses in biochemistry, general chemistry, writing 100 and forensic science, came to W&L in 2006. He holds a B.A. in chemistry from Clark University and a Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of Colorado, Boulder. Prior to joining the faculty at W&L, he held post-doctoral research and teaching positions at Brandeis University and Colby College.
An active researcher in the field of RNA biochemistry with a focus on quality control mechanisms involved in translation and ribosome degradation, LaRiviere has supervised over 35 student researchers at W&L and has been published in numerous journals, including Science, Molecular Cell, and RNA. He is the recipient of grants and fellowships from the National Science Foundation, the Jeffress Memorial Trust, the Dreyfus Foundation, and the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation. He has served on several committees, including the President’s Advisory Committee, the Faculty Executive Committee, and QEP Selection Task Force.
“I am grateful to Dean Hill for this new opportunity,” said LaRiviere. “Although I will miss teaching every day, I look forward to serving W&L in this new role. I am excited to work with Dean Hill and Dean McCoy and to work with and support students and faculty from across the college.”
The associate dean of the college focuses on academic performance and support, collaborating when appropriate with the Office of Student Affairs. The associate dean will also work to strengthen faculty development programs and strategic priorities.
“Fred brings thoughtfulness, commitment and considerable experience,” said Lena Hill, dean of the college. “He possesses a detailed understanding of university processes and policies. He is a strong advocate of student success, diversity and inclusion, and the importance of bridging the many disciplines of the college. He also brings important disciplinary knowledge to the Science Center project. I am excited to welcome him to the associate dean’s position.”
Campbell, professor of Spanish at Washington and Lee, arrived at W&L in 1985. She holds an honors B.A. in French and Spanish, summa cum laude, from McMaster University, an M.A. in Spanish from the University of Western Ontario, and both an M.A. and Ph.D. in Spanish from Princeton University. She served for a number of years as head of the Spanish division of the Department of Romance Languages, and as affiliate faculty in both the Medieval and Renaissance Studies and Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies programs. In addition to the committees she chaired or on which she served as associate dean, as a faculty member Campbell served on many university committees, including the Graduate Fellowships Committee, the Committee on Courses and Degrees, the Student Affairs Committee and the Faculty Executive Committee. She was the university’s Fulbright program adviser for three years before being appointed associate dean of the college in 2017.
“When Gwyn accepted the appointment to serve as associate dean from then-Dean Keen, she graciously put off a sabbatical leave,” said Hill. “Her passionate, focused work has helped establish a culture of fellowships at Washington and Lee and will be part of her legacy to the university. We are enormously grateful for her contributions to the Dean’s Office and the university as a whole, and we wish her all the best as she begins her long-awaited sabbatical and retirement.”
W&L Students Provide Income Tax Assistance The students will provide basic preparation of state and federal income tax returns to qualified residents.
A group of Washington and Lee University students will provide free income tax assistance in February and March to qualified residents in the Lexington-Rockbridge County community through the Internal Revenue Service’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program.
The volunteers, who have passed the necessary tests in order to become IRS-certified, are students in a Winter Term accounting course taught by John and Barbara Glynn Distinguished Visiting Professor of Accounting Jack Bovay. The students will provide basic preparation of state and federal income tax returns with electronic filing during the following time slots:
Saturday, Feb. 2, 10 a.m.-noon, Lexington Presbyterian Church
Saturday, Feb. 9, 10 a.m.-noon, Lexington Presbyterian Church
Sunday, March 3, 4-6 p.m., Lexington Presbyterian Church
Saturday, March 9, 10 a.m.-noon, Wilford P. Ramsey Education Center, Buena Vista
Saturday, March 23, 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Glasgow Library
Saturday, March 30, 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Glasgow Library
According to the IRS website, the VITA program serves people who generally make $54,000 per year or less, as well as people with disabilities or limited English language knowledge who need help preparing their own tax returns. Along with VITA, the Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) program provides tax preparation to all taxpayers, especially those who are at least 60 years old. The TCE program is designed to help answer questions about pensions and other retirement-related issues.
Washington and Lee acknowledges and appreciates the willingness of Lexington Presbyterian Church, the Glasgow Library, and Buena Vista City Schools to collaborate and open their facilities for VITA.
Walk-ins are welcome and will be assisted on a first-come, first-served basis. For more information, email Jack Bovay at email@example.com.
Quick Hit: The Egg-Drop Scoop Students in General Physics Lab I send eggs bungee jumping in the Science Center. The goal? Calculate correctly lest your project be a bust.
Exploring Corporate Responsibility A market research project generated by W&L students is helping a Danish company to align its initiatives with the UN's Sustainable Development Goals.
“The work done by Andrew, Elle, Austin, and Jordan was W&L at its best — students with broad but overlapping interests working to frame a complex problem, debating various analytical approaches, and finally communicating a very elegant means of advancing our understanding of the SDGs and their use in business.”
~ Dean Rob Straughan
Novo Nordisk, a global health care company, has released a market research project that was generated by four W&L students during a Spring Term course in Denmark. The report was released in connection with the publication of the company’s annual results for 2018.
Andrew Agrippina ’19, Elle Chancey ’19, Austin Jennings ’19 and Jordan Watson ’19 conducted the project during Spring Term 2018 as part of a course called Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Practicum. The project-based course explores the concepts of CSR and sustainability as practiced in Denmark, where Novo Nordisk is headquartered. The students worked for the company for four weeks, creating a map that presented how it interacts with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The SDGs are a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity.
Novo Nordisk’s key contribution is to discover and develop innovative biological medicines and make them accessible to patients throughout the world. The company aims to drive change to defeat diabetes and other serious chronic diseases.
Anne Gadegaard, associate director and senior advisor for corporate sustainability at Novo Nordisk, came up with the idea of visualizing the connections between the company’s initiatives and the SDGs. The students then created an advanced model using Kumu, a data visualization platform.
“People typically look at each SDG as sort of a separate entity, but there are 17 of them,” Austin said. “And in fact, they actually interact together very intimately and have cause-and-effect relationships.”
The map created by the students works as both an external and internal communications tool that helps the company see what initiatives it is doing and which SDGs those initiatives align with “so that they can see where they might be lacking in trying to work towards achieving some of these SDGs and direct initiatives and projects there,” said Chancey.
The four students, who come from interdisciplinary majors, went to Denmark with different goals in mind.
Chancey, a business administration and environmental studies double major, is interested in a career in social responsibility or sustainability. She considered the trip to Copenhagen a perfect opportunity to get her feet wet in that field. Agrippina, a business administration major who is minoring in creative writing, thought it would be interesting to learn about corporate social responsibility “directly from a country that does it so much better than the U.S.”
Jennings, a math major, looked forward to a Spring Term abroad opportunity during his junior year that would enrich his career interests. “It just looked like a great fit in terms of getting that consulting experience in an area that I wasn’t familiar with,” he said. Watson, an economics major, talked to students who had very positive experiences in the course, and she thought the real-world experience of working for a client would help with her job applications.
Although their reasons for going to Denmark are not the same, the students said they worked very well as a team, contributing to different aspects of the project by deploying their major skills. “We all had a lot of skills to bring to the table,” Jennings said. “Having that broad background among us is really helpful for getting the project done.”
Chancey added: “We were all able to collaborate pretty well, and we each contributed to the project in ways that others might not be able to. At the same time, we educated our other group members.”
In addition to their academic achievements, these four students are also active on campus. Agrippina is a first-year residential adviser and chairman of the Student Judicial Council, and has been a university track and field athlete for three years. Jennings is the president of University Singers and was on the swim team for two years, while Chancey and Watson have been on the swim team for all four years and are currently on its senior leadership board.
“For our group as a whole, the fact that we have all done collegiate sports made us very disciplined,” Watson said. “For this job we were given a problem and then it was up to us to put in that work during the week. We had no set schedule except for on Wednesdays, when we went to the company, so it definitely helped us to make our own schedule and really put in the work so that we could have a really awesome final product.”
The two course instructors, Williams School Dean Rob Straughan and Associate Dean Elizabeth Oliver, also helped students when they were working on the project. They traveled to Copenhagen before Spring Term to set up and stayed for one week to guide students. They went back during the last week to help students do their presentation.
“They pressed us with questions,” Agrippina said. “We presented to Dean Oliver nearing our final presentations and she gave very helpful feedback.”
Straughan said he’s very satisfied with the results of the students’ project.
“The work done by Andrew, Elle, Austin, and Jordan was W&L at its best — students with broad but overlapping interests working to frame a complex problem, debating various analytical approaches, and finally communicating a very elegant means of advancing our understanding of the SDGs and their use in business,” he said. “The smiles on the students’ faces when Anne Gadegaard immediately turned to her team and said, ‘This is something that will prove very useful to us!’ will stick with me for a long time.”
The students said this experience is valuable to their career development.
“It was a taste of what a real consulting engagement would be like in that we were totally on our own to interface with the client,” Agrippina said.
Jennings said it was interesting to work for a company whose mission statement is to defeat diabetes. “Their number one goal is to defeat diabetes, so it totally flips a normal business strategy on its head. It was really interesting to work with that company and see how they think about problems as opposed to companies that focus more on growth or profits.”
Employees at Novo Nordisk said they have been enjoying working with W&L students and are satisfied with their contribution.
“It has been great to work with the W&L students, as their spirit, engagement and hard work helped us get to grips with how we wanted to highlight one of the most important principles of the SDGs; their inter-connectedness,” Gadegaard said. “Our next step in this journey is to figure out whether we can add actual impacts to this work, and I look forward to meet the next W&L student team.”
W&L Community Grants Committee to Evaluate Proposals in March
Washington and Lee University’s Community Grants Committee would like to remind the community of its Spring 2019 proposal evaluation schedule. Proposals may be submitted at any time but are reviewed semiannually: at the end of the calendar year and at the end of the fiscal year. The deadline for submitting a proposal for the Spring 2018 evaluation is 4:30 p.m. on Friday, March 1, 2019
Established in the spring of 2008, the purpose of the program is to support non-profit organizations in the Lexington/Rockbridge community. The program began its first full year on July 1, 2008, coinciding with the start of the University’s fiscal year. The University will award a total of $60,000 during the program’s 2018-19 cycle.
During the first round of the 2018-19 evaluations held in November, 2018, twenty-four organizations submitted proposals for a total of over $115,000 in requests. The University made $30,036 in grants to 16 of those organizations. Those organizations were:
- American Red Cross of the Roanoke and New River Valleys Virginia
- AmeriCorps VISTA Program
- Boxerwood Education Association
- Bridge to Hope Food Pantry
- The Community Closet at Christ Episcopal Church
- The Community Table of Buena Vista, Inc.
- Rockbridge Area Habitat for Humanity
- Hoofbeats Therapeutic Riding Center
- Mission Next Door
- Natural Bridge/Glasgow Food Pantry, Inc.
- PMHS Boys’ Varsity Soccer
- RACS: Rockbridge Area Prevention Coalition
- RCHS Parent Teacher Student Association
- John’s United Methodist Church
- Valley Program for Aging Services
- Rockbridge Area YMCA
Interested parties may access the Community Grants Committee website and download a copy of the proposal guidelines at the following address: http://go.wlu.edu/communitygrants.
Please call 540-458-8417 with questions. Proposals should be submitted as electronic attachments (word or pdf) via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
Secretary of the University
Chair, Community Grants Committee
204 W. Washington Street
Washington and Lee University
Lexington, VA 24450
Washington and Lee Presents an Afternoon with Rebecca Traister “An Afternoon with Rebecca Traister,” on Feb. 11 at 5:30 p.m. in Northen Auditorium, is free and open to the public.
Rebecca Traister, an award-winning writer for New York magazine with a recently published book on the “revolutionary power of women’s anger,” is coming to Washington and Lee University on Feb. 11 and 12 as this year’s Fishback Visiting Writer.
“An Afternoon with Rebecca Traister,” on Feb. 11 at 5:30 p.m. in Northen Auditorium, is free and open to the public.
Traister’s latest book, “Good and Mad,” has drawn a host of reviews and opinion columns for its relevance to the #MeToo movement and the Brett Kavanagh hearings. Earlier books include “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” about women and the 2008 election, and “All The Single Ladies,” about unmarried women in America.
A winner of a National Magazine Award and Sidney Hillman Prize, Traister covers women in politics, media and entertainment from a feminist perspective. Aside from being writer-at-large for New York magazine, she has written for The New Republic, Elle, Salon, The Nation, The New York Times and The Washington Post.
Her visit, which includes time with students and faculty in classroom and at meals, is sponsored by the Fishback Program for Visiting Writers, the Department of Journalism and Mass Communications, the Department of History, and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. Northen Auditorium, where she will give her public talk, is in Leyburn Library on campus.
William H. Fishback Jr., who died in 2017, was a Washington and Lee journalism major of the Class of ’56. He generously endowed the Fishback Fund for Visiting Writers at W&L in memory of his parents, the late Margaret Haggin Haupt Fishback and William Hunter Fishback. The Fishback Fund is administered by W&L’s Department of Journalism and Mass Communications. The fund brings to campus annually an outstanding writer to deliver a public lecture. In selecting the visiting writer, the campus-wide Fishback committee’s first consideration is to those who have written with distinction about public affairs, nature and the environment, history and the theater – all special interests of the Fishbacks.
An Unassuming Man Professor Emeritus Harry Pemberton 1925-2017
“Harry’s commitment to promoting global learning at home and abroad informed his desire to support the Center for International Education’s programming.”
~ Mark Rush, Waxberg Professor of Politics and Director of International Education
Beloved philosophy professor Harry Pemberton’s quiet influence extended far beyond the confines of the campus where he taught over four decades (1962-2004). He was great friends with renowned Lexington artists Sally Mann and Cy Twombly and is likely the only faculty member whose name has been mentioned in Artforum, in an article by noted critic Arthur C. Danto, whom Pemberton invited to campus to speak.
Pemberton was known to neighbors and friends for his hospitality and fabulous dinner parties, once serving a suckling pig that appeared in one of Mann’s photographs. Late art history professor Pam Simpson loved to recount how Pemberton, so quiet and unassuming, dined with Twombly and his gallerist, Larry Gogosian, along with other art world bad boys, including Julian Schnabel, who was at the time painting on velvet. Simpson chortled over Pemberton’s quiet understatement, “Oh yes, that’s very nice. I’m familiar with that style of painting.”
A good and kind neighbor, Pemberton was also a world traveler, going to Moscow in 1982 for Twombly’s opening there. He took students to Greece along with professors Ed Spencer and Herman Taylor and wrote an acclaimed book “Plato’s Parmenides: The Critical Moment for Socrates” while living in a stone cottage overlooking the ocean in Greece. On leave from Washington and Lee in 1971, he taught at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.
In 2003 a former student, Erik Curren ’87, returned to the area and introduced Pemberton to the Bodhi Path Buddhist Center in Natural Bridge. The head lama, Shamar Rinpoche, sent Pemberton to teach Western philosophy to His Holiness the 17th Karmapa Trinley Thaye Dorje, head of the Kagyu lineage, and the monks in Kalimpong, India. Pemberton’s memoir, “The Buddha Meets Socrates: A Philosophical Journal,” came out of the experience.
“When you travel abroad….you learn so much about other countries and their cultures, and you often find out just how strong you are,” Pemberton observed. His global perspective inspired him to endow The Harrison J. Pemberton Fund for International Study through his estate.
“Harry’s commitment to promoting global learning at home and abroad informed his desire to support the Center for International Education’s programming,” noted Waxberg professor of politics and director of international education Mark Rush. “Thanks to his kindness, love of learning and love for Washington and Lee, the CIE will be able to broaden and deepen its support of global educational experiences for our faculty and students.”
Pemberton’s largess also extended to W&L’s University Collections of Art and History (UCAH), to which he left 75 pieces from his personal collection, including a series of tulip photographs that he shot with his friend, Twombly. “Dr. Pemberton’s eclectic art collection documents his life and interests, his international travels, and most especially his friendships,” observed Pat Hobbs, associate director of UCAH. “But the bequest of his art collection to the university has broader purpose and application than mere documentation. It serves as an interdisciplinary teaching resource. His influence as a teacher, friend and mentor was wide and deep; it will continue for years to come through his art collection that is now here at W&L.”
For more information on charitable remainder unitrusts or other planned gifts to the university, please contact Jamie Killorin in the Office of Gift Planning at email@example.com or 540.458.8429.
Bob Strong Talks Trump’s Approach to the State of the Union In the op-ed, Strong examines Trump's "norm-shattering presidential behaviors."
“Both Trump’s tweets and his troubles with the truth are norm-shattering presidential behaviors, which is absolutely related to his norm-shattering extemporaneous speaking style. The norm in presidential communication (until now) has been control. Prepared remarks are just that: Prepared, and normally not by the president’s own hand.”
Washington and Lee University’s Bob Strong, William Lyne Wilson Professor in Political Economy, discusses what to expect from a State of the Union address delivered by President Trump in a piece published on Feb 5. in NBC News’ opinion section, THINK.
Read the full piece on the THINK website.
Law Review Symposium to Explore Shareholder Rights and Activism The 2018-2019 Lara D. Gass Symposium will feature a diverse collection of leading scholars and experts on corporate law to explore the past, present, and future of social and environmental shareholder activism.
The Washington and Lee Law Review’s annual Lara D. Gass Symposium at the Washington and Lee University School of Law will explore the past, present, and future of social and environmental shareholder activism.
The event is scheduled for Feb. 15 in the Millhiser Moot Court Room, Sydney Lewis Hall on the campus of Washington and Lee University. The symposium proceedings are free and open to the public.
Sarah Haan, a corporate law expert at W&L and faculty advisor for the symposium, says that shareholder activism on corporate social and environmental policies has emerged as a powerful source of private ordering in the twenty-first century.
“When the 2019 proxy season starts up in April, we will see lots of shareholders voting on proposals about economic inequality, human rights, discrimination, and diversity,” says Haan. “Each year, shareholder activism on these issues grows, giving investors the opportunity to weigh in through corporate democracy.”
The aim of the Symposium is to connect the movement’s origins to the modern era, addressing both the past and the future of ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) shareholder activism, and the broader question of how private ordering and economic activism regulate corporate actors. Panelists also will explore issues at the intersection of civil rights and corporate governance.
The event will feature a keynote address, open to the public, by Lisa M. Fairfax, the Leroy Sorenson Merrifield Research Professor of Law at the George Washington University Law School. Three panels will bring together scholars who write in the areas of civil rights, securities regulations, and corporate governance to address the past and future of shareholder activism and the broader question of how private ordering and economic activism help regulate corporate actors.
- Harvey Pitt, CEO, Kalorama Partners and 26th Chairman of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, serving from 2001-2003
- Omari Simmons, Howard L. Oleck Professor of Business Law and Director of Business Law Program, Wake Forest University School of Law
- Virginia Harper Ho, Associate Dean of International and Comparative Law, Professor of Law, and the Co‑Director of Polsinelli Transactional Law Center, University of Kansas School of Law
- Barbara Krumsiek, Former Chief Executive Officer and Chair of Calvert Investments, Inc.
- Cary Martin Shelby, Associate Professor of Law, DePaul University College of Law
- Ifeoma Ajunwa, Assistant Professor, Cornell University’s Industrial and Labor Relations School (ILR) and Associated Faculty Member, Cornell Law School
- Wendy Greene, Visiting Professor of Law, Washington and Lee University School of Law
- David Webber, Professor of Law, Boston University School of Law
A full schedule is available online. For questions regarding the event, contact Claire Flowers ‘19L at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Lara D. Gass Symposium is named in honor of Lara Gass, a member of the Law Class of 2014 who passed away in an automobile accident in March of 2014. Gass served as Symposium Editor for the Washington and Lee Law Review, organizing the Law Review’s 2014 symposium focused on the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade. Lara was active within the Women Law Students Organization and also served as a Kirgis Fellow, the law school’s peer mentoring group, during the 2012–2103 academic year. In January 2014, Lara received recognition for her academic achievements, her leadership abilities, her service to the law school and university community, and her character when she was inducted into Omicron Delta Kappa, the National Leadership Honor Society.
Organized and hosted by the W&L Law Review, this event is sponsored by the Frances Lewis Law Center, the Dean’s Office, the Provost’s Office, and the Class of 1960 Institute for Honor.
Washington and Lee Faculty Concert Presents ‘From Russia with Love!’ The duet features W&L music faculty Julia Goudimova, on cello and Anna Billias, on piano and highlights 20th-century composers.
Washington and Lee University presents the faculty duet Anima e Grazia, on Feb. 12 at 8 p.m. in the Wilson Concert Hall.
The performance, “From Russian with Love,” is free and open to the public.
The duet features W&L music faculty Julia Goudimova, on cello and Anna Billias, on piano and highlights 20th-century composers Dmitri Shostakovich, Alexander Scriabin and Sergei Rachmaninoff.
“In our program, we have tried to combine the unique musical language of Shostakovich with the soulful jewels of his contemporaries,” said Billias. “We are hopeful that through Rachmaninoff and Scriabin’s music, our audience will understand the essence of the recital’s name ‘From Russia with Love.’”
Office Hours with David Bello The Elizabeth Lewis Otey Professor of East Asian Studies takes a bug-eyed view of history.
Q: When did you become interested in the relationship between humans and the insect world?
Most of my work on the frontiers of China’s last dynasty, the Qing (1644-1912), has been on environmental relationships of political significance between people and animals.
That was what my book, “Across Forest, Steppe and Mountain: Environment, Identity and Empire in Qing China’s Borderlands” was all about. I devoted a chapter to the political effects of malarial mosquitoes on the politics of southwestern China, where indigenous peoples were able to resist full control by the Qing central government because their homelands were too disease-ridden for direct occupation by government officials and troops.
My current book project, which examines Qing Empire in the context of frontier water and climate issues, discusses how certain state flood-control policies inadvertently preserved wetland reproductive habitats for locusts, which were a major problem for pre-modern Chinese agriculture that was supposed to be the main beneficiary of these same flood-control policies.
These sorts of unexpected connections between things historians don’t usually notice (like insects) and things they tend to obsessively focus on (like people) are the main reasons for my interest in human-insect and human-animal relations.
Q: How did the lowly grasshopper influence relationships among neighboring provinces?
It created political problems between provinces, and between them and the central government in Beijing, because of the biology of locust behavior. There are documents in which the senior officials of one province claim that a devastating locust swarm that was affecting another province next door, did not originate in their jurisdiction, but in that of their affected neighbor’s.
This accusation is serious because there were regulations ordering officials to eradicate locusts before they grew wings when they were still eggs or immature. Once in flight, they were not only more difficult to eradicate, but they could devastate much larger areas of farmland causing widespread famine.
Consequently, Beijing was very interested in holding a jurisdiction culpable once locusts took off across a given provincial boundary; it was clear that some provincial officials had not dug up locust eggs or caught young hoppers in time.
The limits of human administration under circumstances of natural disaster are well-illustrated in this dynamic. Humans are not only forced to race to respond to stages of locust development (from egg to immature hoppers to full-fledged locusts; a process called density-
dependent phase polymorphism), but if they fail to intervene at the correct time, they will be punished by the state administration, which can get to its human servants more effectively than it can get to the locusts causing the real trouble. Human administrations tend to take an anthropocentric approach to environmental problems, regardless of their often non-human origins.
Q: What is your favorite class?
For intellectual purposes, Managing Mongols, Manchus & Muslims: China’s Frontier History (16th-20th centuries) or The Historical Struggle over China’s Environment. These relate most closely to my own research interests.
In the classroom, China: Origins to 20th-Century Reforms, which is the garden-variety intro to Chinese. I enjoy expanding the world a bit for students, many of whom have never had a non-Western course before.
If you know a W&L faculty member who would be a great profile subject, tell us about it! Nominate them for a web profile.
Outside the Classroom
Frequent-Flyer Miles: I have been traveling to China since 1988 and lived for a few years in Beijing. I think most people, including my students, don’t realize how far an odd career like being a historian can take you. I travel around the world, sometimes several times a year.
Little-known Fact About the Grasshopper: Only a very few species of grasshoppers (less than 20 out of more than 12,000) undergo a physical and behavioral transformation to form locust swarms. So, all locusts are grasshoppers, but not many grasshoppers are locusts.
An Interesting Read: “How do Humans and Locusts Make Space in an Early Modern Chinese Grain Field?” in “Molding the Planet: Human Niche Construction at Work.”
Tom Williams, Edwin A. Morris Professor of Physics Emeritus, dies at 77 He taught at W&L from 1974 to 2011.
“An eloquent lecturer and extemporaneous speaker, Tom could find the kernel of any topic and wax eloquently (and briefly!) about it.”
~ Ron Reese, professor of physics emeritus
Harry Thomas “Tom” Williams Jr., Edwin A. Morris Professor of Physics Emeritus at Washington and Lee University, died Feb. 1, 2019. He was 77.
“I did not have the privilege of serving with Tom, but my conversations with him helped me understand why he was so highly regarded,” said President Will Dudley. “He was a wise counselor whose empathy for students and faculty made him an exceptionally effective teacher and administrator. His gentle nature and dry wit belied an inner strength that served him and the university well, especially as he helped to define the role of provost at Washington and Lee. Tom epitomized the core W&L values and inspired us through his example, and we shall feel his loss. Our thoughts are with his wife, Lynn, and their family.”
Williams joined the W&L faculty in 1974 and retired from W&L in 2011, after nearly 40 years of teaching. He attended the University of Virginia, earning a B.S. in physics in 1963 and his Ph.D. in physics in 1967. He did a two-year postdoc at the National Bureau of Standards and another postdoc at the Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg in Germany. He had a one-term teaching appointment at the Virginia Military Institute and was a staff scientist at Kaman Sciences, studying electromagnetic shielding, field propagation, transmission and reception.
Williams always taught an intro to physics class: “It’s important for me to do that,” he said. His favorite class was quantum mechanics, because “that is the last class physics majors take and the one they are least likely to understand. It’s tough to sell a bill of goods that no one understands.” His research interests included quantum information theory and non-equilibrium statistical mechanics involving both analytical approaches and computer simulations to address system behavior in one and more dimensions.
“Tom Williams loved physics,” said Ron Reese, professor of physics emeritus. “He was the benevolent, humble and soft-spoken lion of the department. An eloquent lecturer and extemporaneous speaker, Tom could find the kernel of any topic and wax eloquently (and briefly!) about it. We’ve lost a great and wonderful colleague. I can hear him now chatting with the Almighty, smiling and saying, ‘So that’s how quantum mechanics and general relativity are compatible. Elegant!’ ”
Williams twice served as head of the Physics Department, as well as associate dean of the College from 1986-89, as acting dean from 2002-03, and as provost from 2003-07 before returning to teaching. During his time in Washington Hall, Williams oversaw the now thriving Campus Kitchen project, as well as the Science, Society and the Arts conference. He also helped secure the $33 million Lenfest endowment to supplement faculty salaries.
He published more than 30 articles on atomic and particle physics, many co-authored with colleagues in the physics and mathematics departments and with W&L students. In 2016, he published “Discrete Quantum Mechanics.” According to Irina Mazilu, professor of physics, “When Tom talked about writing a book, it was a toss-up between a Lexington-based detective novel or a quantum mechanics one. The physics side won.”
Mazilu added, “If you wanted to learn about the soul of W&L, you took a leisurely walk around campus with Tom. Past the Leyburn and Science libraries, he would have told you about how proud he was of the expansive book collections, his love of literature and writing, about Jorge Luis Borges and Flannery O’Connor. And if you wanted to hear Tom brag, you would have come to Howe (and Why) Hall. He would have enthusiastically told you about his wonderful colleagues — ‘good, smart people’ — and their accomplishments, and his great students. And if you were lucky, maybe you would have caught a glimpse of Tom in front of the white board, writing his beloved equations in happy shades of red and green. To use the physicist Richard Feynman’s words, ‘the pleasure of finding things out’ was at the very core of Tom’s life.”
Williams was a member of the Fortnightly Club in Lexington, a group that gathered monthly to present and discuss thought-provoking research projects, current events and personal stories. One of his presentations covered the history of the oyster industry at Deep Creek. He volunteered for Meals for Shut-Ins for many years and enjoyed visiting the homebound and sharing their stories. Williams created an emergency supply kit to ensure their basic needs were covered during inclement weather.
Williams is survived by his wife of nearly 44 years, Lynn; his daughter Ann Merkel and her husband, Bob, of Winston-Salem, North Carolina; his son Scott Williams and his wife, Sharon Vandivere, of Takoma Park, Maryland; his daughter Christine Riley and her husband, Jeff, of Charlottesville, Virginia; his daughter Janice Weatherly and her husband, Richard, of Burlington, North Carolina; his daughter Leigh Baker of Moneta, Virginia; and his grandchildren Will and Ben Riley, Elise and Annie Weatherly, Samuel and Abigail Baker, Grace Williams, Isaac Merkel, and Dearndre and Laneisha Scriber.
A memorial service will be held Friday, Feb. 8 at Kendal in the Anderson Center at 2 p.m. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to Meals for Shut-Ins, P.O. Box 581, Lexington, VA 24450.
By Land, Sea and Air Marc Nichols ‘98L oversees legal functions at Saab to assure safety of domestic travelers and the military.
If you’ve ever flown into a major airport and wondered what helps guide the pilot onto the runway or taken a cruise and thought about how the ship navigates in and out of port, chances are that a system from Saab North America (SNA) is working behind the scenes to keep you safe.
“Ensuring people get around safely” is one of the company’s top priorities, said Marc Nichols ‘98L, who has served as executive vice president, general counsel and company secretary since February 2018.
Saab North America is also a major government contractor, developing and making systems for military aircraft, ships and ground-based defense, as well as air defense weaponry and naval surveillance radar. SNA is part of the global Swedish-based Saab group, a company often associated with its cars. No longer in the automobile business, Saab has returned to its roots as an aircraft company that supported wartime needs.
In his role at SNA, Nichols oversees a team of 40 people who cover legal functions, such as contracts, merger and acquisition, labor and employment issues and export control, and an operations team that works on such managerial duties as policies and procedures and ethics and compliance. “My team and I work on negotiating contracts, supply chain, leases, government procurement, etc., and interpretation of laws and how they apply to Saab, of course” said Nichols.
His team’s job recently got a lot bigger, when last September, Saab and Boeing were awarded a $9.3 billion joint contract for the U.S. Air Force. The multi-year contract calls for the companies to develop the next generation of advanced pilot training systems and a new aircraft.
“We have to develop everything from here – supply chain procurement, product development — and ensure we are meeting the obligations of the contract” said Nichols. “Boeing will build the planes, and Saab will develop and add the systems after the frame is built.”
Saab is currently evaluating and deciding whether to build a new manufacturing facility somewhere in the United States or use an existing one. “We are looking at where is the best cost for the product, cost of living for our employees and expats, how expensive it will be for the company and whether tax incentives are available,” said Nichols. “It is educational and exciting.”
It will take about a year or two to get a facility ready to begin manufacturing, but when operational, Nichols says it should add 200–300 jobs.
While Nichols has been with Saab for only a year, he has a wealth of experience in various aspects of the law. After graduating from Washington and Lee School of Law, he worked for a couple of firms in Denver, served as in-house counsel for U.S. West, and then became inspector general for the U.S. Government Printing Office in Washington, D.C.
He then worked as general counsel for a start-up company that provided online gaming financing, before returning to work at a law firm. He also worked for Green Advantage as chief operating officer. The company trains and administers certifications for tradespeople in building sustainable commercial and residential properties. There he oversaw human resources, certification exam test creation and administration and legal issues, and served for the first time as a company secretary.
His next stop was at Rolls Royce North America, “at the height of the recession,” where he was responsible for managing litigation, particularly product liability for their defense business, among other duties. He later became the company’s director of compliance for North and South America.
I saw how institutions and the law can impact people’s lives. It was more than an academic interest.
The varied experiences have served him well at Saab. With corporate headquarters in Sweden, he has had to travel there several times during his first year, as well as to D.C., where part of his staff is housed. The board of one of the North America companies that comprises Saab North America will hold one of its quarterly meetings in Sweden this year (the first time in five years), and as company secretary – responsible for the nine-member board’s administration – he and his team are charged with organizing the meeting, complete with logistics for meetings in three different cities.
Nichols said that law was always an interest and career option for him as an undergraduate at Wabash College, where he majored in philosophy and political science. “I was influenced by To Kill a Mockingbird and 12 Angry Men,” he said. “I saw how institutions and the law can impact people’s lives. It was more than an academic interest.”
He first visited W&L as an