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Distinguished Historian Addresses Phi Beta Kappa Convocation

Washington and Lee University will induct new members into the prestigious Phi Beta Kappa academic honor society at the Phi Beta Kappa/Society of the Cincinnati Convocation on Thursday, March 14, at 11:45 a.m. in Lee Chapel.

The convocation, which is free and open to the public, will recognize and honor 49 members of the junior and senior classes and four graduates from the Class of 2012, all of whom were accepted into Phi Beta Kappa based on their exceptional academic achievements.

• Download a pdf of the program

The event will feature Elizabeth R. Varon, the Langbourne M. Williams Professor of American History at the University of Virginia, giving a talk titled “Writing Virginia History: A Journey in the Liberal Arts.”

Varon is a distinguished scholar of the American South, the Civil War era, women’s and gender history, and intellectual and cultural history. She has written three acclaimed books: “Disunion!: The Coming of the American Civil War, 1789-1859”; “Southern Lady, Yankee Spy: The True Story of Elizabeth Van Lew, A Union Agent in the Heart of the Confederacy”; and “We Mean to be Counted: White Women and Politics in Antebellum Virginia.” Her new book, “Appomattox: Victory, Defeat and Freedom at the End of the Civil War,” will be published this year by Oxford University Press.

In recognition of their outstanding contributions to the professions of history and teaching, the chapter will induct two W&L professors of history as alumni members of Phi Beta Kappa: Theodore C. DeLaney (Class of 1985) and John Holt Merchant Jr. (Class of 1961).

The chapter also will induct the guest speaker, Elizabeth Varon, as an honorary member.

Phi Beta Kappa also will announce the winner of the Phi Beta Kappa J. Brown Goehring Sophomore Award at the convocation. 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. It is named in honor of J. Brown Goehring, a retired chemistry professor at W&L. During his 38 years at the University, he spent 22 years as secretary-treasurer of the Phi Beta Kappa chapter.

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 2012:

Ann C. Bernacchi (Asheville, N.C.); Blair Constance Gillespie (Atlanta); Alexis Wurth Harrison (New York, N.Y.); Jessica Rene Strait (New York, N.Y.).

Class of 2013:

Rachel Katherine Alexander (Prairieville, La.); Weining Bai (Houston); Derek Arthur George Barisas (Fort Collins, Colo.); Alicia Owen Bishop (Jacksonville, Fla.); Danielle Kay Breidung (Waunakee, Wis.); Michelle Amanda Coriell (Annandale, N.J.); Ainsley Olivia Daigle (Lafayette, La.); Elizabeth Rebecca Engel (Lexington, Ky.); Paige Elizabeth Gance (Wilton, Conn.); Michael Lawrence Grimaldi (Stroudsburg, Pa.); Wayde Zachary Christian Marsh (Milford, Del.); Madison Shea McCune (Nacogdoches, Texas); Michael Scott McGuire (Easton, Md.); Amy Leigh Nizolek (Easton, Md.); Leslie McFann Peard (Atlanta); Allison Emily Plump (Arlington, Texas); Katharine Mary Price (Nashville, Tenn.); Nathaniel Wilson Reisinger (Urbana, Ohio); Courtney McNeill Ridenhour (Charlotte, N.C.); Delaney Oliver Rolfe (Dallas); Kelly Mae Ross (Endicott, N.Y.); Hannah Juliet Sackfield (Louisville, Ky.); Thomas John Sanford (New York, N.Y.); Qiuchi Sun (Chengdu, China); Richard Dixon Sykes (Wellesley, Mass.); Aleksandr Vladimir Vandalov (Vienna, Va.); Emma Cait von Maur (Bronxville, N.Y.).

Class of 2014:

Ebony Lynne Bailey (Winterville, N.C.); Emily Grace Comer (Dallas); Hillary Faith Cooper (Roanoke, Va.); Erin Gretchen Dengler (Rocky Mount, N.C.); Ryan Atticus Doherty (Morristown, Tenn.); Kathryn Elizabeth Driest (Davidson, N.C.); Max Dyer Farrington (Severna Park, Md.); Caroline Hodges Gill (Charlotte, N.C.); Virginia Claire Higginbotham (Memphis, Tenn.); Christopher Winthrop Ives Jr. (Fairhope, Ala.); Jordan Taylor Kearns (Nicholasville, Ky.); Joseph Liu (Ormond Beach, Fla.); Annelise Alissa Madison (Roca, Neb.); Olivier Mahame (Musanze, Rwanda); Julia Elizabeth Murray (Mooresville, N.C.); Karen Arlene Roth (Southborough, Mass.); Andrew Michael Seredinski (Flourtown, Pa.); Eric Matthew Shuman (Black Mountain, N.C.); Lorraine Marie Alice Simonis (Lexington, Va.); Haley Elizabeth Smith (Asheville, N.C.); Jake Elijah Struebing (Amherst, N.Y.); Thomas Christopher Wolff (Fairfield, Conn.).

News Contact:
Julie Campbell
Associate Director of Communications and Public Affairs

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