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Washington and Lee Commemorates Veterans Day The Washington and Lee community gathered on Friday, Nov. 10 to honor the military service of current and retired members of the staff, faculty and student body.

Veterans-Day-2023-600x400 Washington and Lee Commemorates Veterans DayCurrent W&L ROTC students joined veterans in W&L’s campus community at the Lee House on Friday, Nov. 10.

At Washington and Lee’s annual commemoration of Veterans Day, held this year on Friday, Nov. 10, President Dudley welcomed current and retired members of the staff, faculty and student body who have served in the military to Lee House to honor fellow service members.

The event was coordinated by Paul Youngman, associate provost and Redenbaugh Professor of German, and Mark Fontenot, fire and life safety systems technician in Facilities Management, who oversee an employee resource group for veterans. Youngman introduced the event’s invited speaker, retired U.S. Army officer Donald V. Phillips.

Phillips, who served with Youngman at various points throughout their careers in the U.S. Army, gave remarks reflecting on Veterans Day and thanked those in attendance for their service. He emphasized that it is “our privilege, and indeed our responsibility,” to commemorate all veterans past, present and future, and also thanked the military families “who have helped shoulder the weight of war and the burden of sacrifice.” He spoke of the visible and invisible scars veterans bear long after their years of service, and how important it is for civilians to hear and understand the experiences of veterans.

“Veterans, share your stories,” Phillips said. “What you will find is stories that reflect the very essence of service and sacrifice.”

After Phillips’s remarks, retired Public Safety Director Mike Young led a closing prayer for the “gathering of heroes,” followed by a reception for the veterans.

The veterans in attendance included current and retired members of the W&L staff and faculty, as well as students currently participating in the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC).


  • Bob Strong, a professor in the Politics Department, was a U.S. Navy officer from 1971-75, serving off the coast of Vietnam and later as a tender in Charleston, South Carolina.
  • Carola Tanna, spouse of President Will Dudley, served in active duty in the U.S. Navy Medical Corps from 1996-2002 at the National Naval Medical Center and Great Lakes Naval Station.
  • Paul Youngman ’87, associate provost and Redenbaugh Professor of German, served in the U.S. Army from 1987-93. He was stationed in the U.S., Europe and the Middle East. He separated as captain of the 82nd Airborne. He is a holder of the Bronze Star with “V” device for valor in a combat zone.
  • Michael Young, retired director of Public Safety, was a Sergeant DS in the 716th MP Battalion in the U.S. Army during Vietnam, serving from 1967-68.
  • Laurie Lipscomb, who is retired from the Communications Office, served in the U.S. Navy in the I Corps Tactical Zone (Northern Vietnam).
  • Donald Gaylord, research archaeologist and instructor, was a nuclear reactor operator in the U.S. Navy on the fast-attach submarine USS Key West (SNN-722) out of Norfolk, Virginia. He served for six years of active duty and was an Electronics Technician Second Class: ET2 (SS).
  • Jerry Clark, a plumber in Facilities Management, was in the U.S. Army’s 23rd Battalion, serving in Hanau, Germany, between 1970-72. He was a Specialist E-4.
  • Dan Newhall, who is retired from Information Technology Services, was an electronics technician in the U.S. Navy.
  • Mark Fontenot, who works in fire and life safety in Facilities Management, served in the Virginia Air National Guard for 21 years and retired in 2008 as an E-7. As an aircraft maintenance technician crew chief, he worked on aircraft such as A-7, F-16 and F-22.
  • Will Mackie ’81, an adjunct professor of law, served as an officer in the U.S. Army Reserve.

ROTC Cadets

  • Carey Camp ’25, Army
  • Francisca Childs ’27, Army
  • Claire Hutchison ’27, Army
  • Kylee Cross ’27, Army
  • James Cardillo ’27, Army
  • Allan Gushue ’27, Army

Phillips earned a bachelor’s degree in zoology and history and received his commission through the U.S. Army ROTC at Duke University in 1987. His military assignments included Operations Officer of the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment in Fort Irwin, California; Professor of Military Science and Leadership at Western Michigan University; and Chief, U.S. Army Rapid Equipping Force, Baghdad, Iraq. He is the recipient of the Combat Action Badge, the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star with Oak Leaf Cluster, the Douglas MacArthur Leadership Award, the Australian Chief of Defense Commendation and the Defense Logistics Agency Meritorious Civilian Service Award.

Phillips retired from the Army in 2010 and joined the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) Disposition Services in Battle Creek, Michigan, where he served as Chief of Customer Support and Division Chief for Contingency Planning and Expeditionary Operations. He deployed to Bagram, Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom providing disposal support for north and central Afghanistan, and in 2022 was named Director of DLA Installation Management. The Pennsylvania native is a 2019 graduate of the Eisenhower School of National Security and Resource Strategy with a concentration in Long Term Strategy, as well as a graduate of the Federal Executive Institute, the Naval Supply Corps Advanced Management Program and the Leading Strategically Program.