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W&L Celebrates Distinguished Alumni and Record-Setting Reunion Gifts

Washington and Lee University bestowed its Distinguished Alumni Awards on four graduates—an endocrinologist, a lawyer, a financier and a military judge—during its annual Alumni Weekend, May 1–3. The presentations came on May 3, during the annual meeting of the Alumni Association.

At the same event, W&L celebrated the 25th reunion of the Class of 1989 (the first undergraduate coeducational class) and the 50th reunion of the Class of 1964, who presented their record-setting gifts to the University.

Distinguished Alumni Awards

Dr. Arthur E. Broadus ’64, of New Haven, Conn., is the Ensign Professor of Endocrinology at the Yale School of Medicine. He holds a B.A. in pre-med from W&L and an M.D. and Ph.D. from Vanderbilt University. Following a residency at Mass General and a fellowship at the National Institute of Health, he joined the Yale faculty in 1976. In 1983, he received the prestigious John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship. In 1987, he and his laboratory group discovered the parathyroid hormone-related peptide (PTHrP). He served as director of Yale’s Diabetes Endocrinology Research Center. As a student at W&L, he majored in pre-med, was tapped for Omicron Delta Kappa, served as a dorm counselor and on the Interfraternity Council and Dance Board, and belonged to Kappa Alpha. As an alumnus, he has supported the James Keith Shillington Scholarship, which honors the legendary chemistry professor.

Conway H. Sheild III ’64, ’67L, of Newport News, Va., has practiced law for more than 43 years with Blechman, Woltz & Kelly P.C. He holds a B.S. and an LL.B. from W&L. In 2005, he and other business leaders established the Virginia Company Bank. Sheild served with the Army in Vietnam, 1967–1969. He sits on many civic and charitable boards and is active with the Virginia Bar Association and the Virginia State Bar. He has received the Virginia Peninsula Chamber of Commerce Distinguished Citizen Award, the Humanitarian Award from the Virginia Conference for Community and Justice, and the Peninsula Boys & Girls Club Award. As a student, Sheild belonged to the football team, ROTC, 13 Club, Sigma Society, Interfraternity Council and Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity.  As an alumnus, he has served as a class agent, on the Alumni Board and on the committees for his 25th, 45th and 50th reunions.

Emily Bevill Lordi ’89, of Wellesley Hills, Mass., is the head of finance for Sanofi Global Oncology. She holds a B.S. in business administration and accounting from W&L and an M.B.A. from Duke University. She pursued her financial career with Deloitte & Touche and Fidelity Investments before moving in 2004 to Sanofi, the world’s fourth-largest multinational pharmaceutical company. As head of finance, she oversees key investment with external partners, infrastructures, industrial affairs and commercial operations. She belongs to the Wellesley Mothers Forum and the Junior League, for which she has served as treasurer and board member. As a student at W&L, she competed on the swimming and water polo teams and belonged to Christian Athletes. She served as a peer counselor and on the Calyx and the Media Board. As an alumna, Lordi has served as president of the New England Chapter and the Northern New Jersey Chapter, as a class agent and as a director of the Alumni Board.

Capt. Michael C. Holifield ’89, of Washington, is a judge with the Navy-Marine Corps Court of Criminal Appeals. He received a B.A. in philosophy from W&L, a J.D. from Indiana University and an L.L.M. from the University of Virginia. He served as the command judge advocate for the Naval Air Station in Jacksonville, Fla. In 2004, he reported to Carrier Strike Group 8 in Norfolk and spent two years on aircraft carriers. Holifield volunteered for service in Iraq, where he served as the chief legal counsel to the Regime Crimes Liaison’s Office at the U.S. Embassy. He worked with the judges of the Iraqi High Tribunal on the trials of Saddam Hussein and others. He returned to Norfolk as a senior prosecutor, and then served as the senior mentor to the Afghan National Army’s judge advocate general, helping to create a viable military justice system. He has also worked at the Navy’s International and Operational Law office at the Pentagon, helping to shape the Navy’s response to the growing threat of maritime piracy. In 2010, he returned to Jacksonville as the staff judge advocate for the Southeast. He has also provided training on humanitarian law to foreign military personnel in the Czech Republic, Liberia and Azerbaijan. In 2011, he received the Outstanding Career Armed Services Attorney Award. As a student, Holifield served on the Student Activity Board and as a dorm counselor and belonged to Phi Kappa Psi. He also spent three summers in W&L’s Summer Scholars Program. As an alumnus, he has supported Washington and Lee through his volunteer work with the Jacksonville Chapter and his 25th and 20th reunion committees.

Reunion Gifts and Awards

The Class of 1964 gave $8.56 million in honor of its 50th reunion. Part of that gift will supplement the class’ 25th-reunion gift for the arts at W&L; another portion will go to the Center for Global Learning.

The Class of 1989 celebrated its 25th reunion with a gift of $2,250,000, the largest 25th reunion gift ever at W&L. The first coeducational undergraduate class at the University designated the funds for the Center for Global Learning, the Annual Fund, scholarships and other purposes.

Other classes enjoyed reunions and made their own significant gifts to their alma mater, adding up to the largest reunion totals W&L has ever received: $1.5 million for this year’s Annual Fund and $5 million in current gifts and pledges to the Annual Fund. The Classes of 1994, 1979 and 1969 (20th, 35th, 45th reunions) also broke overall records for their classes.

The John Newton Thomas Trophy goes to the class with the largest percentage increase in annual fund commitments over the previous year. With a 123 percent increase in their one-year Annual Fund total: Class of 1999. This class also broke the 15th reunion single-year record, overall record and participation record. In recognition of that accomplishment, they also received the Clean Sweep Award.

The Trident Trophy is presented to the class with the highest percentage of members participating in the Annual Fund. With 63 percent percent of the class: Class of 1969.

The Colonnade Cup is awarded to the class with the largest reunion gift to the Annual Fund, including current gifts and future pledges.  With a reunion gift of $1,040,000 (also a 45th-reunion record): Class of 1969.

Reunion Attendance

More than 650 alumni came back to campus to celebrate the weekend. Most classes were at or near record attendance, with the 50th, 40th, and 25th classes all setting records for the largest number of returning classmates.

The Reunion Bowl goes to the class with the highest percentage of members registered for the weekend. With 37 percent percent of the class in attendance: Class of 1964.

The Reunion Trophy is awarded to the class with the greatest number of members registered for the weekend. With 133 registrants: Class of 1989.

The Reunion Traveller award for farthest distance traveled to attend the reunion: Paul Chapman ’84, who came from Japan.

Class Reunion Chairs

1999: Cory Mettee Birdsall and T. Blair
1994: Kimberly Dickinson French and Jimmy Kull
1989: Alston Parker Watt and Rowan Taylor
1984: Dwight Emanuelson and John Howard
1979: Jack Bovay
1974: Russ Chambliss and Phifer Helms
1969: Rick McMillan
1964: Barry Greene, John Michaelsen, Buck Ogilvie, Burt Staniar