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Shakespearean Scholar to Address W&L’s Phi Beta Kappa Convocation

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 Sunday, March 13, at 3 p.m. in Lee Chapel.

The convocation, which is free and open to the public, will recognize and honor 48 members of the junior and senior classes and five graduates from the Class of 2015, 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, “Commencing with Shakespeare,” by Ayanna Thompson, a professor of English at the George Washington University and a trustee of the Shakespeare Association of America. Thompson, who holds a Ph.D. from Harvard University, specializes in Renaissance drama and focuses on issues of race and performance. She is a Phi Beta Kappa member from Columbia University, where she received her B.A.

Thompson’s most recent book is “Teaching Shakespeare with Purpose: A Student-Centred Approach,” co-written with Laura Turchi. Her other books include “Passing Strange: Shakespeare, Race, and Contemporary America” and (as editor) “Colorblind Shakespeare: New Perspectives on Race and Performance.” She is now working on one book about Peter Sellars’s approach to directing Shakespeare, and on another book about Shakespeare and revenge.

Thompson’s speech to Phi Beta Kappa dovetails with the university’s celebration of Shakespeare 2016!, part of the worldwide commemoration of the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death.

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 2015 Initiates:

Betsy Buchanan Cribb
Roger Thomas Day, Jr.
Sarah Elizabeth Hampton
Colton Tyler Klein
Katherine Clark Strickland

Class of 2016 Initiates:

Laura Margaret Spencer Ackell
Stephen Michael Ball
Kennedy Antony Castillo
Christina Cheadle
Grace Victoria Duncan
Lindsay Paige George
Ryley Michelle Goldsworthy
María José Herrera Quesada
Ijezie Aloysius Ifechukwu Ikwuezunma, Jr.
Emily Katherine Jaekle
Christina Kamis
Alexandra Kinzer
Gabriella Dawn Kitch
Kiril Todorov Krendov
Brian Michael Krouskos
Amanda Maner
William Payson Miller
Andrea Mason Owen
Danielle Marie Rosenthal
Caroline Mae Sanders
Crystal Rae Santos
Richard Lester Snyder, II
Emma Maria Swabb
Geoffrey Lines Tickner, III
Jean J. Turlington

From the Class of 2017:

Mauricio Jose Bustamante
Alice Lane Cannon
Matthew Louis Carl
Katie Clemmons
Brooke Rose Donnelly
Joshua Michael Duemler
Elliot Emadian
Melina Lauryn Knabe
John Wilson Miller, II
Stephen Carrington Mitchell, Jr.
Christopher William Myers, II
Ashley Ooms
Zoe Helen Ottaviani
Scott Valentine Philips
Austin William Piatt
Jacob Stuart Roberts
Zachary Santangelo
Kristin Angelle Sharman
Elizabeth Stanton
Padget Ayres Sutherland
Zachary Joseph Taylor
Jenny J. Wang
Jamie Layne White