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W&L Honors Three Alumni, Receives $8.5-Million Reunion Gift

Washington and Lee University honored three graduates with Distinguished Alumni Awards and celebrated one of the largest reunion gifts in school history on Saturday, May 12, at the annual meeting of the W&L Alumni Association, held during Alumni Weekend.

The Distinguished Alumni honorees were J. McDaniel Holladay, a 1967 graduate, from Atlanta; R. William Ide III, a 1962 graduate, also from Atlanta; and William H. Miller III, a 1972 graduate, from Baltimore.

In addition, the Classes of 1962 and 1987, celebrating their 50th and 25th reunions, made special gifts to the University. The Class of 1962’s reunion gift was $8,536,170, with $2.6 million of that total designated for the ongoing renovation of Washington and Lee’s historic Colonnade. The gift will be recognized by the naming of the presidential suite in honor of the class.

The tri-chairs of the Class of 1962 reunion committee — Rupert H. Johnson, Michael H. Monier and Jack W. Vardaman — made the presentation to Washington and Lee President Kenneth P. Ruscio.

Speaking for his classmates, Vardaman, a member of the W&L Board of Trustees, said there is no institution that he and his classmates have served over the years that they care more about than Washington and Lee. “The time we spent together on this campus and the time we spent together the last 50 years have been not only great fun,” he said, “but it is who we are, and it made us who we are.”

The Class of 1987, which had established a goal of $1.4 million for its 25th reunion gift, surpassed it with $1,572,687. Those monies are going to the Annual Fund, the Colonnade renovation project and scholarships.

In accepting the reunion gifts, Ruscio noted that the tangible support means a great deal, but that the intangibles are equally important. “This place matters to so many people,” he said. “The Colonnade is not just a building but is a reflection of a fundamental ethical principle we have here. We have this intergenerational contract that has meant so much to the University over the years — that is, we benefit so much from the sacrifice of those who came before us, and we must sacrifice equally for those yet to come.”

Waller T. (Beau) Dudley, executive director of alumni affairs, presented the Distinguished Alumni Awards.

J. McDaniel (Mac) Holladay is chief executive officer of Atlanta-based Market Street Services, a leading community- and economic-development firm with clients across the Southeast.

A U.S. Naval aviator from 1967 to 1972, Holladay worked in economic development for many years and was the only person ever to head the economic development organizations of three different states — South Carolina, Mississippi and Georgia. He belonged to the Commission of the Future of the South from 1986 to 1992. He was named a life member of the American Chamber of Commerce Executives Association in 2009.

As a student at W&L, he was a member of the football team, the Inter Fraternity Council, the Student Conduct Committee, the Dance Board and Sigma Chi social fraternity. He has supported the University through the W&L Annual Fund and was particularly involved in the project that led to the renovation of Wilson Field.

R. William Ide III is a senior partner in the Atlanta office of McKenna Long & Aldridge, a leading international law firm. His practice focuses on representation of boards of directors, audit committees and company management in special investigations, crisis management, ethics and corporate governance.

Ide earned his law degree from the University of Virginia and an M.B.A. from Georgia State University. He was a judicial law clerk to the late Hon. Griffin Bell of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. He has served as senior vice president and special counsel to E.F. Hutton and as senior vice president, general counsel and corporate secretary of Monsanto Corp. He was president of the American Bar Association from 1993 to 1994 and a member of the ABA Task Force on Corporate Responsibility. He was a founding member of the executive committee and board of directors of the Atlanta Committee for the 1996 Olympics Games.

A history major at W&L, Ide wrote for the Ring-tum Phi student newspaper, served as a dormitory counselor, was on the Student Activities Board and the Dance Board, and was a member of Kappa Alpha Order social fraternity. He has supported Washington and Lee through the Annual Fund, the Mason T. New honor scholarship and the ongoing Colonnade renovation.  He has also served as a member of the 50th Reunion Class Committee.

William H. Miller III is chairman and former chief investment officer of Legg Mason Capital Management and the portfolio manager for the Value Trust and Opportunity Trust mutual funds. He began at Legg Mason in 1981 as director of research and then co-managed the legendary Legg Mason Value Trust from its inception in 1982 until 2011. He was the principal architect of that fund’s unprecedented stretch of 15 consecutive years of positive returns, and widely regarded as a giant in his field.

As a result of his investment acumen, he was ranked among the top 30 most influential people in investing by Smart Money. He was also named by Money magazine as the Greatest Money Manager of the 1990s and was named Morningstar’s 1998 Domestic Equity Manager of the Year. In 1999, he was selected as the Fund Manager of the Decade by Morningstar.com. Also in 1999, Barron’s named him to its All-Century Investment Team. Business Week has called Miller one of the Heroes of Value Investing.

Miller majored in economics at W&L, served as a military intelligence officer overseas and then pursued graduate studies in philosophy in the Ph.D. program at Johns Hopkins University. At W&L, he was a member of the baseball team, treasurer of the Commerce fraternity and a member of Sigma Nu social fraternity. In addition to supporting the W&L Annual Fund, he has also funded the William H. Miller Professorship Endowment as part of the Lenfest Faculty Support Challenge Endowment.

In addition to honoring the three alumni, W&L gave awards to several reunion classes:

  • Reunion Bowl to the Class of 1962, recognizing the class with the highest percentage of its members registered for the weekend. The Class of 1962 had 39 percent.
  • Reunion Trophy to the Class of 1987, recognizing the class with the most members registered for the weekend. The Class of 1987 had 91.
  • Reunion Traveller Award, recognizing the alumnus who has traveled the farthest to return to Lexington for reunion. Paul Cheever, of the Class of 1967, and David Benn, of the Class of 1962, shared the award. Cheever and Benn live in the same town in Australia and traveled 9,600 miles to attend their reunions.
  • John Newton Thomas Trophy to the Class of 1987, recognizing the class with the largest percentage increase in Annual Fund gifts over the previous year. The Class of 1987 had a 68 percent increase.
  • Trident Trophy to the Class of 1967, recognizing the class with the highest percentage of members participating in the Annual Fund. The Class of 1967 had 79 percent.
  • Colonnade Cup to the Class of 1972, recognizing the class with the largest reunion gift to the Annual Fund, including current gifts and future pledges. The Class of 1972 gave $750,215, with an additional $3,172,000 in capital support.

The meeting was the last as president of the Alumni Association for James R. Small, a 1981 graduate from Midland, Texas, and five other members of the Alumni Board of Directors — Elizabeth H. Brown ’95, of Bethesda, Md.; Richard F. Cummings Jr. ’95, of Nashville, Tenn.; R. Maxwell McGrew ’87, of Atlanta; E. Carson Flowers Tate ’98, of Charlotte, N.C.; and Wilson F. Vellines Jr. ’68, of Staunton, Va.

The association elected six new members to the board: Guy Kerr ’75, of Dallas; Justin King ’95, of Oklahoma City; Frost Bush Osborne ’95, of Atlanta; Nicole Davol Rhodes ’04, of Chapel Hill, N.C.; Charles Van Horn ’81, of New Orleans; and Joseph Ciccone ’93L, of Lawrence Township, N.J.

The new president of the alumni board is Brodie Gregory ’03, of Lexington, Va., while J. David Stewart ’96, of Birmingham, Ala., was elected vice president.

News Contact:
Jeffery G. Hanna
Executive Director of Communications and Public Affairs
jhanna@wlu.edu
(540) 458-8459