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W&L's ODK Circle Honors Four Honorary Initiates, Inducts 31 Students (Video)

Washington and Lee University’s Alpha Circle of Omicron Delta Kappa recognized four honorary initiates in addition to 31 student initiates at the Founders Day/Omicron Delta Kappa Convocation.

Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer Ron Chernow addressed the convocation. The title of his speech was “Washington: A Life,” which is the same title as his 2010 book about George Washington.

Omicron Delta Kappa (ODK), the national leadership honor society, was founded at W&L on Dec. 3, 1914, by 15 student and faculty leaders. ODK encourages superior scholarship, leadership and exemplary character. The organization recognizes achievement in five areas: scholarship; athletics; campus/community service, social/religious activities and campus government; journalism, speech and the mass media; and creative and performing arts.

The ODK honorary inductees are Alfred Harrison, of Wayzata, Minn.; Hal F. Higginbotham, of New York; Suzanne Parker Keen, of Lexington; and Elizabeth Goad Oliver, of Lexington.

Alfred Harrison is the retired vice chairman of the board for Alliance Capital Management Corp. He holds a B.A. and M.A. with honors from Christ’s College, Cambridge University, in his native England. He attended Washington and Lee in 1957-58 on a scholarship to commemorate the 350th anniversary of the first English settlement at Jamestown. At W&L, he played on the soccer team and participated in theater productions.

Prior to joining Alliance Capital in 1978, Harrison was president, CEO and co-founder of IDS Advisory Corp., the pension fund investment management subsidiary of Investors Diversified Services Inc. He had previously managed the IDS Progressive Fund, a large mutual fund oriented to capital appreciation. He and his wife have generously supported the arts and championed organizations and institutions focusing on higher education, international health and human services, and children’s health. He is a life trustee of the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, where he was previously chairman of the board, and he is a governing member of the board of the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. He has served the Center for the Victims of Torture, and he has been a patron of German and French language camps for Concordia Language Villages. He is also a former chairman of the board of the University Children’s Foundation, an affiliate of the Minnesota Medical Foundation. Harrison was inducted into the Twin Cities Volunteer Hall of Fame in 1998.

Hal F. Higginbotham Jr. is senior vice president of The College Board, a not-for-profit organization comprising more than 5,700 schools, colleges, universities and other educational organizations. He leads and advises on key strategic planning and implementation projects on behalf of the office of the president. He announced his retirement in 2010 but continues to serve during the transition of leadership.

Higginbotham is a 1968 graduate of Washington and Lee, with a major in German. At W&L, he belonged to Phi Beta Kappa, Phi Eta Sigma and the debate team, and served as vice president of Tau Kappa Iota Society. He did graduate work at Brown University and the Christian-Albrects-Universität (Kiel, Germany). After serving in the Army, Higginbotham began his career in higher education as a financial aid officer at Georgetown University. During more than 30 years at the College Board, he served as vice president for the student financial aid division and, subsequently, all enrollment services. In 2002, he became president of the organization’s wholly owned Internet subsidiary, and in 2005, he assumed responsibility for all technology services as chief information officer, a position he held until 2009.  Higginbotham is a current member of the board of trustees for the New York Metropolitan Library Council, serving as treasurer and sitting on the board’s executive committee. He has also been active on its strategic planning committee. He is co-author of The CSS Guide to Implementing Financial Data Processing System. In 1975, he received the Robert P. Huff Golden Quill Award for contributions to the literature on student financial aid.

Suzanne Parker Keen is the Thomas Broadus Professor of English at Washington and Lee. A member of Phi Beta Kappa, she earned an A.B. in English and studio art and an A.M. in creative writing from Brown University, then an M.A. and Ph.D. in English from Harvard.  She taught for five years at Yale University before joining the W&L faculty in 1995. The State Council for Higher Education in Virginia (SCHEV) awarded her an Individual Artist Fellowship in 1997, and she received an NEH Fellowship in 1999. She is past president of the International Society for the Study of the Narrative. An active Rotarian in service to the community, she received the Paul Harris Fellowship and the William E. Skelton Fellowship from the Lexington Rotary Club.

In 2008, she delivered the Founders’ Day Convocation address in Lee Chapel. The same year, SCHEV presented her with its Outstanding Faculty Award. Keen is also on the faculty of the Bread Loaf School of English, a summer graduate school of Middlebury College. A highly regarded scholar, she is the author of three books: Victorian Renovations of the Novel: Narrative Annexes and the Boundaries of Representation (1998), Romances of the Archive in Contemporary British Fiction (2001) and Empathy and the Novel (2007). She has also published a volume of original poetry entitled Milk-Glass Mermaid and a textbook on narrative form, and she was the guest editor of two issues of the journal Poetics Today.

Elizabeth Goad Oliver is the Lewis Whitaker Adams Professor of Accounting at Washington and Lee. She earned an A.B. in English from Mary Baldwin College, an M.A. in English from the University of Kansas, an M.S. in accounting from the University of Virginia and a Ph.D. in accounting from Texas A&M University. The head of the Accounting Department and former associate dean of the Williams School, she serves as a faculty adviser for Washington and Lee Student Consulting. She chaired the President’s Committee on Women at W&L and the Universal Study of Incremental Salary Differences. The numerous other committees on which she has given service to the University include the Faculty Executive Committee, the President’s Advisory Committee and the Student Affairs Committee.

Her extensive service to the American Accounting Association includes the offices of secretary/treasurer of the financial accounting and reporting section and chair of the membership committee. An impressive résumé of community service includes the Rockbridge Choral Society, where she is on the production team and helped found the Friends of the RCS. She served as treasurer of the organization to build the community playground Kids Playce, and she sings in the choir and serves on several committees at R.E. Lee Memorial Church. Oliver has compiled an impressive list of articles in refereed journals, conference proceedings and scholarly presentations.

Class of 2012

Lauren J. Acker (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.); Laura A. Ball (Eldersburg, Md.); Samuel G. Campbell (Winnetka, Ill.); Robert S. Day (Roanoke, Va.); Bradley D. Harder (Redding, Conn.); Gregory A. Hillyard Jr. (Media, Pa.); Kelli L. Jarrell (Dry Creek, W.Va.); Jasmine M. Jimenez (Ingleside, Ill.); Danielle N. Maurer (Duncansville, Pa.); Katherine A. McFarland (Norfolk, Va.); Katherine A. Michelini (West Chester, Pa.); Clarke D. Morrison (Atlanta, Ga.); B. Sorelle Peat (Lexington, Va.); Melissa M. Powell (Hattiesburg, Miss.); Olivia Riffle (Hudson, Ohio); Brooke L. Sutherland (Lawrence, Kan.); John A. Wells (Columbia, S.C.).

Class of 2013

Gregory W. Barton (New York, N.Y.); Joseph R. Landry (New Ipswich, N.H.); Joseph J. Lasala (Wilton. Conn.); Wayde Z.C. Marsh (Milford, Del.); David S. Phillips (Reisterstown, Md.); Jennifer B. Ritter (Mariposa, Calif.).

Law Class of 2012

Negin Farahmand (Gainesville, Va.); Anthony G. Flynn Jr. (Wilmington, Del.); Stephen G. Harper (Garden City, N.Y.); Edward S. Hillenbrand (Summit, N.J.); Mallory A. Sullivan (Hilton Head Island, S.C.).

Law Class 2013

Claire M. Hagan (Pittsburgh, Pa.); Thomas T. McClendon (Lexington, Va.); Samuel C. Vinson (Fort Worth, Texas).

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Jeffery G. Hanna
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(540) 458-8459