Archive for December, 2009

Major Award for Gerry Lenfest

Gerry Lenfest

Gerry Lenfest, Washington and Lee alumnus and benefactor, was the recipient Saturday of the Gold Medal for Distinguished Achievement from The Pennsylvania Society, a non-profit, charitable organization founded in 1899. Lenfest, ’53, ’55L, was recognized at the 111th annual dinner of The Pennsylvania Society at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York City. He joins an impressive list of previous Gold Medal recipients, including George H.W. Bush, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Jane G. Pepper, Joe Paterno, Dr. Gertrude Barber, Bill Cosby, Tom Ridge, Chris Matthews, Judith Rodin, Arlen Specter and Dan Rooney. The award is given in recognition of leadership, citizenship and contributions to the arts, science, education and industry.  In recognition of the award, The Pennsylvania Society contributes $50,000 to a Pennsylvania charity chosen by the recipient of the Gold Medal. Gerry’s choice was to divide grant between two organizations — The Woodmere Art Museum and The Children’s Scholarship Fund Philadelphia. Gerry’s speech at the dinner is being re-broadcast on Pennsylvania Cable Network TV tonight at 8 p.m. and Tuesday at 10 a.m.

W&L Junior Crighton Allen Publishes Op-Ed in Washington Post

Crighton Allen

Crighton Allen, a junior at Washington and Lee from Thomasville, Ga., participated in the Shepherd Alliance Summer Internship Program this past summer when he worked with the Public Defender Service in Washington, D.C. What Crighton saw during his time in D.C. made him wonder about the way the system worked. So he wrote about his concerns in an essay that has been published today in the Washington Post’s “All Opinions Are Local” section. You can read Crighton’s piece, “Too many hands holding D.C.’s youth safety net,” on line. It’s the Hot Topic on the Post Web site. Crighton is a history major with a concentration in the Shepherd Poverty Program. He’s also currently chairman of the Student Judicial Council.

From Banking to Building

Wright MarshallAccording to a post on his blog, “The Georgian Revival,” Wright Marshall had intended to become either an investment banker or a lawyer when he entered Washington and Lee in 1991. But today Wright is an advertisement for the value of a liberal arts education. Although he majored in business administration at W&L, Wright  said that he took every architectural history course he could get at W&L and also did an independent study on the Colonial Revival style in Georgia. His blog entry about the Atlanta architecture firm of Frazier and Rodin, which was designing Colonial Revival style homes in Atlanta between 1926 and 1939, cites that W&L project. But Wright’s interest is no longer academic. He is the founder and owner of Revival Construction, which takes as its mission “to build beautiful homes and lasting relationships, focusing on classically designed whole-house renovations and additions to houses built before WWII in the in-town areas of Atlanta.” The firm was received a Regional Contractor of the Year Award for the Southeast region for Residential Historic Renovation and Restoration in 2008 from the National Association of the Remodeling Industry for a whole house renovation. Coincidentally, three of he homes that Revival Construction has renovated were originally designed by the Frazier and Rodin firm that Wright first studied at W&L.

More than Two Decades in KD Country

Dave Crawley '69

Anyone from Western Pennsylvania or even anyone who has spent some time traveling through Pittsburgh over the last two decades has probably seen and heard a Washington and Lee alumnus who has become a fixture on KDKA-TV, Pittsburgh’s CBS affiliate. Dave Crawley of the Class of 1969 celebrated two decades with the station in April 2008, and he’s still going strong. According to Dave’s bio on KDKA’s Web site, he has taped more than 3,000 stories and has won 10 Emmy awards as “Outstanding Feature Reporter” in Mid-Atlantic states. On his 20th anniversary, both KDKA and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette had major feature stories about his career. A history major, Dave has also published several books of children’s poetry. At KDKA, the primary vehicle for Dave’s stories is a segment called “KD Country” for which he’s interviewed visiting celebrities along with local characters. You can watch those segments on the KD Country video library. If you go there, be sure to watch Dave’s 2008 story about “Champ, the Car Honking Dog.” And next time you’re in the Pittsburgh area, tune in.

“Fan” W&L Career Services

Washington and Lee’s Career Services has a Facebook fan page that keeps students (and others) up to date on the various opportunities that the office has. Become a fan. And while you’re on the page, check out the new Career Services blog. Speaking of Career Services, Beverly Lorig, the director, offered interesting observations about job prospects for a recent media tip sheet. Referring to the college graduates of 2009 through 2011, Lorig said, “Students are no longer being courted, praised, and rewarded lavishly. Those of us in this business for many years remember talking [before] to candidates about showing they were ‘hungry’ for the particular job. I believe we are returning to that reality.”

Two New C-SPAN Videos With W&L Connections

W&L journalism professor Ed Wasserman on C-SPAN

If you missed them on C-SPAN television, there are two videos with Washington and Lee connections currently available from the C-SPAN Video Library. A recent installment of the C-SPAN weekly series, The Communicators, features an interview with Meredith Attwell Baker, the 1990 Washington and Lee alumna who is the newly appointed Commissioner to the Federal Communications Commission. Here’s the link to that program, which originally aired Nov. 23, 2009. In addition, C-SPAN’s production of the W&L Journalism Ethics Institute is available in its entirety on the C-SPAN site. The video includes W&L journalism professor Ed Wasserman’s introduction of Blair, the New York Times reporter who resigned in disgrace when the Times discovered that he had fabricated and plagiarized stories. In addition to Blair’s prepared remarks, the program has the length question and answer session, including numerous questions from W&L students participating in the institute. That video is available at this link.

Alumni Battling Childhood Cancers

Patrick Chance, left, and Brennan Simkins

Back in November Stephen R. Chance of the Class of 1989 and his family stopped by Lexington on their way back to Atlanta from Philadelphia. Stephen decided to show his family around his alma mater. As he walked across the footbridge, he spotted a banner for St. Jude Childrens’ Research Hospital from the University’s group of the “Up ’til Dawn” fundraising program for St. Jude. The banner had special meaning to Stephen and his family since they were on their way back from Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia where six-year-old Patrick was being treated for relapsed stage IV Neuroblastoma, for which there is no known cure. You can read about the Chances and Patrick’s battle on the family’s Press On Web site. Coincidentally, Stephen grew up with another W&L alum, Turner Simkins of the Class of 1987, and his wife, Tara Rice Simkins. The Simkins’ son, Brennan, 7, has relapsed acute myeloid leukemia and, even as Stephen was spotting the St. Jude banner on W&L’s footbridge, the Simkins were actually at St. Jude where Brennan was undergoing continued chemotherapy in preparation for a second transplant. According to Stephen, Patrick’s and Brennan’s chances are similarly very poor, and the two families have established, Press On to CURE Childhood Cancer, a named fund under the auspices of CURE Childhood Cancer, Inc., to raise money in support of research. When Stephen returned to Atlanta last month, he sent a note to W&L relating his experience in Lexington and expressing his thanks for the Up ’til Dawn fundraiser for St. Jude. “I have never been more proud of W&L than I was at that moment,” he wrote. In the weeks since that initial email from Stephen, current student organizers of W&L’s Up ’til Dawn event have been in contact with the Chances as planning for the Feb. 9, 2010, fundraiser goes forward. Stay tuned.