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W&L Announces Expansion of Schlegel Prize on 9/11 Anniversary

On the seventh anniversary of the September 11 attacks on the Pentagon and the World Trade Center, Washington and Lee University has announced the restructuring and expansion of the Schlegel Prize for International Studies, which was created to honor Commander Robert Allan Schlegel, a 1985 alumnus of W&L who was killed at the Pentagon.

Cmdr. Schlegel was serving as Deputy Current Operations and Plans Branch Head for the Chief of Naval Operations at the Pentagon when American Airlines flight 77 struck the building.

Established in 2002 through a fundraising campaign spearheaded by members of Chi Psi fraternity of which Schlegel was a member, the prize will now support three initiatives:

  • Support for W&L students to participate in foreign affairs conferences, including both the Student Conference on United States Affairs at West Point and the Naval Academy Foreign Affairs Conference in Annapolis;
  • Establishment of the Schlegel Prize for the best paper on foreign affairs or international relations in a given academic year;
  • Support for student research projects related to international affairs.

“With these awards, and the implementation of a more formal solicitation process, we will be able to recognize the Schlegel family and honor the memory of Commander Robert Schlegel in a more public, consistent manner,” said Mark Rush, Robert G. Brown Professor of Politics and Law, head of the politics department and director of the Program in International Commerce.

After graduating in French and journalism from W&L, Cmdr. Schlegel earned a master’s degree in International Affairs from Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Va. In 1986 he completed Officer Candidate School in Newport R.I., and was commissioned as an Ensign in the United States Navy. He received a Naval War College diploma in 1998 for completion of the Joint Professional Military Education program.

During his fifteen-year Naval career he was the recipient of a Meritorious Service Medal, four Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medals, the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, five Sea Service Deployment Ribbons, the Armed Forces Service Medal, a NATO Medal, an Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, a Meritorious Unit Commendation, a National Defense Service Medal and a Purple Heart.