The Columns

Debut Novelist to Deliver Address at W&L Phi Beta Kappa Convocation

— by on March 11th, 2015

The Phi Beta Kappa chapter at Washington and Lee University will induct new members into the prestigious academic honor society at the Phi Beta Kappa/Society of the Cincinnati Convocation on Thursday, March 19, at 5 p.m. in Lee Chapel.

The convocation, which is free and open to the public, will recognize and honor 57 members of the junior and senior classes and six graduates from the Class of 2014, all of whom were accepted into Phi Beta Kappa based on their exceptional academic achievements. It will be streamed live online.

The event will feature a keynote talk, “Any Road, Any Travels,” by Katy Simpson Smith, novelist and historian. She is the author of the novel “The Story of Land and Sea” (2014) and the nonfiction book “We Have Raised All of You: Motherhood in the South, 1750–1835” (2013).

Smith, a native of Jackson, Mississippi, attended Mount Holyoke College. She holds a Ph.D. in history from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and an M.F.A. from the Bennington Writing Seminars. She lives in New Orleans and has been an adjunct professor at Tulane University.

In “The Story of Land and Sea,” Smith writes about three generations of a North Carolina family during the Revolutionary War. It has received favorable reviews from The New York Times, the Washington Post and the New Yorker, among other publications.

“We Have Raised All of You,” based on Smith’s Ph.D. dissertation, examines motherhood as experienced by white, African American and Native American women in the South between 1750 and 1835.

The Phi Beta Kappa chapter will induct as an alumnus member Judge William Francis Stone Jr., a member of the W&L undergraduate Class of 1968 and law Class of 1970, in recognition of his outstanding contributions to the legal profession.

Also at the convocation, the chapter will announce the winner of the Phi Beta Kappa J. Brown Goehring Sophomore Award. The award goes to the student with the highest cumulative scholastic average through the end of the fall term of his or her sophomore year.

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.”

Class of 2014 Initiates:

Class of 2015 Initiates: