Feature Stories Campus Events All Stories

W&L Celebrates Return of Five-Star Generals to Campus Alumni enjoyed one another's company and a variety of weekend festivities.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Washington and Lee University welcomed nearly 70 alumni and guests from the classes of 1973 and earlier back to campus March 7-9 for Five-Star Festival 2024. Festival participants traveled from 14 states to reconnect with one another and their alma mater. The classes of 1969, 1964 and 1959 were honored in recognition of their 55th, 60th and 65th W&L reunions, respectively. Recognition was given to two special attendees, Hardin Marion ’55, ’58L (69 years post-graduation) and Henry Porter ’58 (70 years post-graduation). The festival also marked the second collaboration with the Office of Lifelong Learning and the Institute for Honor Symposium.

The Five-Star Festival weekend featured dynamic programming, entertainment and activities that provided unique opportunities for attendees to reconnect with one another and the university.

Highlights of the weekend schedule included:

  • Opening Assembly led by John Jensen ’01, executive director of Alumni and Career Services, and Paul Youngman ’87, associate provost and Redenbaugh Professor of German;
  • Commemorative reunion pin presentation for those in attendance from the classes of 1969, 1964 and 1959;
  • President Will Dudley hosted a reception for alumni and guests in Lee House;
  • Presentation of the 2024 Five-Star Distinguished Alumni Awards to John Carrere ’69, Barry Green ’64 and Lash LaRue ’59;
  • University update given by President Dudley, followed by a campus construction update from Executive Director of University Facilities Tom Kalasky;
  • Programming including an opportunity to hear from a panel of today’s exceptional W&L students and a presentation that explored ways to stay active and maintain an energetic and healthy lifestyle with alumni Jim Farrar ’74 and Bob Priddy ’67 alongside W&L Manager of Retiree and Employee Benefits Jason Bunn;
  • Oral history interviews were collected by University Archives and Special Collections; and University Archives held an open house featuring an exhibition on Mock Convention;
  • Celebration of Life service in University Chapel with Beau Dudley ’74, ’79L, senior advisor to University Advancement, and Harlan Beckley, religion professor emeritus, with a special tribute honoring the life and memory of Farris Hotchkiss ’58, former vice president of University Relations and secretary of the university;
  • The Institute for Honor Symposium opening keynote address delivered by journalist and author Beth Macy;
  • Joint reception and dinner with the Institute for Honor attendees; and
  • The Institute for Honor panel discussions on medical, legal and business ethics.

Vice President for University Development Tom Jennings recognized the efforts of Annual Fund volunteer class agents and provided updates on current Annual Fund totals for the reunion classes.

  • The Class of 1959 has raised $23,281
  • The Class of 1964 has raised $58,437.48
  • The Class of 1969 has raised $62,965.05

2022-23 Annual Fund trophy winners were also recognized:

  • The Bierer Trophy: Class of 1969, led by Class Agents John Wolf and Joe Davenport, with 12.15% of this class being members of The President’s Society.
  • The Washington Trophy is awarded to the class that raised the largest amount of money for the Annual Fund. The recipient for 2022-23 is, again, the Class of 1969, with $165,635.32 raised.
  • The Richmond Trophy: Class of 1955, led by Class Agent Dave Berlinghof, with 80% participation.
  • The McCutcheon Trophy: Class of 1955, led by Class Agent Dave Berlinghof, with an amazing 80% of the class enjoying 1749 Circle membership.
  • The Early Impact Trophy: Class of 1955, led by Class Agent Dave Berlinghof, with 40.63%

“Our Five-Star alumni were welcomed back to campus on a beautiful spring weekend to reconnect and celebrate together,” said John Jensen, executive director of Alumni and Career Services. “In addition to enjoying time for reminiscing, socializing and fellowship, this year’s attendees heard the latest updates from campus and engaged with today’s impressive students, continuing the special thread that binds our W&L community across the generations.”