The Columns

Mike Fahey Named Unsung General of the Year

— by on March 20th, 2008

Washington and Lee University senior Mike Fahey of Marshfield, Mass., was named the John W. Elrod Unsung General of the Year at the sixth annual Celebrating Student Success Gala Awards Assembly held Wednesday night, March 19, in Lee Chapel.

Fahey was chosen with input from the campus community and the University’s Celebrating Student Success committee from among a group of 27 student nominees for his leadership and volunteer service to W&L.

The award carries a $1,000 prize, to be split between Fahey and the campus or local organization of his choice. He will also have his name engraved on a plaque in the John W. Elrod University Commons. His original nomination for the Celebrating Student Success Initiative was in the area of social/programming for his extensive contributions to campus life.

“Being named as Unsung General is such an honor,” Fahey said. “W&L has given me so much over the last four years, and all of the work I have done on campus is just a small effort to give something back to the community. We’re so lucky that there are so many ways for student leaders to get involved at W&L and make an impact on the community. I’ve really benefited and grown from the experiences that W&L has offered me–whether it is working in journalism or helping with Traveller or the Gender Relations Committee.”

A senior majoring in journalism and sociology, Fahey is the executive producer of “The Week in General,” the student-operated television program; sports editor and writer for the Trident; and reporter for the Rockbridge Report.

Also, Fahey stepped in as communications chair of Mock Convention this past fall, and was responsible for press coverage of the event. He met with political experts and media, created video montages to open the convention, introduced speakers and ran the Mock Con press conferences, among other things.

Fahey is also co-chair of GRC, organizing events, planning speakers and planning Date Night. He has served as the dispatch coordinator of Traveller, managing the schedule of cars that pick people up and provide safe rides home. As a member of Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity he’s in his second year as social chair working with its budget. After graduation, he hopes to work as a television producer or editor.

According to Brian Richardson, professor of journalism and head of the department, “Mike Fahey is the lynchpin of our Rockbridge Report, the community news broadcast and Web site of the Department of Journalism and Mass Communications. He’s also the impetus for The Week In General, an extracurricular TV program of campus news. Mike is so dedicated to his work here that he keeps an electric razor and a change of clothes in the news lab in Reid Hall. News done well reflects selfless service to a community, and Mike does news well. We are all very happy for him.”

In addition to Fahey, the Celebrating Student Success committee recognized students in the following categories at the awards ceremony:

More information about the above winners will be on the Student Affairs Web site (Celebrating Student Success—2008) soon.

Also recognized at the awards assembly was sophomore Taylar Hart, winner of the University’s Decade Award, which honors a sophomore woman who has exhibited exemplary leadership and who has advanced the discussion of women’s issues on campus.

Hart is an accounting and business administration major with a concentration in the Shepherd Poverty Program. She is a Bonner Leader, is on the Campus Kitchens Project Leadership team, and is a volunteer for Project Horizon. She is a member of SPEAK and was a trip leader for volunteer venture. This coming spring and summer she will participate in a 14-week internship in New York.

The award was presented to Hart by Elizabeth Knapp ‘89, associate dean of the College. Knapp said, “The Decade Award was given initially at the 10-year benchmark of coeducation at Washington and Lee and reintroduced at the 20th Anniversary Celebration of Women at Washington and Lee. Taylar is a fantastic woman leader on our campus, and she shows much potential for the years to come.”

The awards assembly also provided student organizations and groups the opportunity to honor individual members who provided inspiration, leadership and direction for their organizations. There were many organization members honored in this way.

The Celebrating Student Success initiative began in fall 2001, with a charge from the Dean of Students’ office to recognize those students who contribute to University life in ways not often seen by the larger community, and who bring both depth and breadth to the University community and campus life.