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ODK Inducts 10 During Opening Assembly for W&L’s 2008 Reunion Weekend

Washington and Lee University’s 2008 Reunion Weekend began with an Opening Assembly on Thursday, May 1, featuring a Welcoming Address from Executive Director of Alumni Affairs Waller T. Dudley ’74 and an invocation by William C. Datz ‘75, coordinator of religious life.

The keynote address, “Reflections of Three Wise Men,” was given by three members of the class of ’58 celebrating their 50th W&L reunion–Farris Hotchkiss, Lewis G. John and Andrew (Uncas) McThenia, also a member of ‘63L.

As part of the opening assembly, Sara Rhodes Proctor ‘08, president of W&L’s chapter of Omicron Delta Kappa National Leadership Fraternity (ODK), introduced and initiated eight new ODK members. They are juniors Shreya Durvasula of Princeton Junction, N.J.; Jacob Geiger of Overland Park, Kansas; Elissa Hanson of Boca Raton, Fla.; Regina Mills of Warrenton, Va.; Katie Tabb of Minneapolis, Minn.; and Christopher Tutor of Collierville, Tenn.

Richard Peter “Duke” Cancelmo Jr. ’80, of Houston, Texas, and Michael A. Pleva of Lexington, Va., were given honorary memberships in ODK.

Cancelmo manages the Balanced Fund and leads the equity trading team for Bridgeway Capital Management, Inc. He is a member of the West University Rotary Club and was named Rotarian of the Year in 2005. He also serves on the Shepherd Program Alumni Advisory Board.

Pleva, professor of chemistry at W&L, was head of the department for 10 years. He is been the unofficial head of the women’s tennis “B” team, escorting them to matches when the coach was busy, for at least 20 years. He also is on the Shepherd Poverty Program’s faculty advisory committee, has served on a presidential search committee, and a number of terms on the faculty Presidential Advisory Committee.

The Opening Assembly also provided W&L’s chapter of ODK an opportunity to recognize other individuals and groups for their achievements with the annual presentation of the Rupert Latture and James Graham Leyburn Awards.

The Rupert Latture Award, named after one of the 15 original ODK founders, Rupert N. Latture ’15, is given each year to a sophomore who has demonstrated outstanding leadership potential and a commitment to the ODK ideal of unselfish service.

This year’s Latture Award was bestowed upon James Christian Dick ‘10, of Schenectady, N.Y. Dick serves as a Bonner Leader, as a co-chair of LIFE, as a member of the Williams Investment Society, the Classics Club, the Wind Ensemble, Chamber Singers and Sigma Nu fraternity. He will be a dorm counselor and member of the EC next year.

The James G. Leyburn Award is presented to community and campus leaders who provide exemplary community service. Dr. James G. Leyburn, for whom the award was named, served Washington and Lee as distinguished teacher, scholar, administrator, churchman, author and mentor to generations of students.

This year’s Leyburn Award recipients were Quiana McKenzie ’08 of Chicago, and the Christmas Basket Program in Lexington, Va.

McKenzie is a member of the General Spirit committee, the Courses and Degrees committee, the E-Matters Mentoring Program, is a dorm counselor, a Peer Counselor and a Freshmen Leadership Council advisor. She served as president and social chair of the Multicultural Student Association, as facilities chair for Mock Convention, as Joyful Noise Gospel Fest coordinator and publicity chair and administrative vice president of the General’s Activities Board. She also volunteered at Lylburn Downing Elementary School and Kendall Senior Home.

The Christmas Basket Program has delivered goodwill to needy families throughout Rockbridge County, Buena Vista and Lexington since 1949. Last year, over 1500 large boxes of food and age appropriate toys were delivered to almost 1000 families, utilizing volunteers from every area of the county.