Monday, March 26, 2007

Jewish Student Center

Washington and Lee approved plans to build a Center for Jewish Life, or Hillel House, on campus. Please mention the plans for this new building during your tours. Joan Robins, the director of the Jewish student group Hillel, described the house to include a multipurpose room for Shabbat services, study lounges, and offices. There might also be a Kosher Cafe!

Here's Hillel's web site for more info:W&L Hillel
Here's an article I wrote about the construction of the Hillel House for the Rockbridge Report: Hillel House story and video

Also, don't forget about the other religious organizations on campus: Reformed University Fellowship, the Baptist Student Union, Generals' Christian Fellowship, Joyful Noise, as well as the churches nearby, including a sizeable Latter-Day Saints population in Buena Vista.

Friday, February 23, 2007

The College Search

The top story on the NPR website yesterday was on finding "hidden gem" colleges. I read and listened, waiting for mention of Washington and Lee, our tucked-in-Lexington, VA "diamond in the rough." The article didn't reference W&L, but it did bring up some great selling points for small schools and non-big name places. Keep these ideas, from Colleges that Change Lives director Martha O'Connell, in mind as you sell the school on your tours!

She tells the college-bound to:
1. examine what they want out of the school
2. recognize that their college does not have to be bigger than their high school
Most good liberal arts colleges have a population of fewer than 4,000 for a reason; college is a time to explore, and a smaller community is more conducive to internal exploration. It is not the number of people, but the people themselves and the kind of community in which you will learn that really matters. Many large universities have established "honors colleges" within the larger university for these same reasons.
3. realize a name-brand college will not guarantee their success
4. understand they don't need to pick a major to pick a college
5. not be scared by the "sticker price" of tuition
It is difficult to talk about money, but if you investigate all the options and ask for help and advice, you will find affordable choices. Online resources, as well as financial aid workshops sponsored by high schools in local communities, are widely available to get you started. College and university financial aid Web sites offer useful information and links as well. Investigate early and ask for help.
6. look for a college where you fit now and could see fitting in as you develop

Take a look at the rest of what the news package had to say about college-searching:

Monday, January 01, 2007

Football Chatter

A word on the football team.

The team made it to the first round of the NCAA tournament this fall, after winning the Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) Championship in November, with a 7-2 overall record and 5-1 ODAC record. It's the first time W&L has claimed the conference since 1985.

Head Football Coach Frank Miriello was also named the Division III Coach of the Year (by Sportexe, which is a turf company). He was also Coach of the Year for the ODAC Division, Region, and State.

Eight W&L players were selected to the All-State Football Team, compiled by the Virginia Sports Information Directors.

Also, up ahead... remodeling the football stadium is a part of the University's Master Plan!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Williams Investment Society

The Washington Post’s Daniel de Vise writes about the C-school’s Williams Investment Society.

Read his article below, and more about the Williams Investment Society on its web site,

Donor's gift gives financial class unique opportunity to learn ins, outs of stock market

… one of a small number of schools in the nation devoting an entire seminar to investing, a topic more commonly taught as part of an economics or financial planning class.

Intriguing aspect: The most intriguing part, financial educators say, is that students will invest real money.

''You have to have real money involved in order to get the students to take it seriously,'' said Scott Hoover, adviser to the student investment club at Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Va. ''If you can get the students to take it seriously, they can do wonders.''

At Washington and Lee, one of a growing number of universities that give students real dollars to invest, the club has $1.6 million at its disposal and has performed as well as the best professionals, Hoover said.

Info on New President

Ruscio officially becomes Washington & Lee's 26th president

(AP reports) - Washington & Lee University inaugurated Ken Ruscio as its president on Saturday.Ruscio, 52, is the university's 26th president. Before his appointment, he served four years as dean of the University of Richmond's Jepson School for Leadership Studies.

At his inauguration, Ruscio said he wants to make Washington & Lee combine rigorous intellectual questioning with respect for all.

"The opportunity for higher education indeed our obligation is to model a democratic culture of learning through mutual respect and trust, where we can be critical and skeptical without being dismissive and cynical," he said.

Ruscio got his undergraduate degree in politics at Washington & Lee in 1976, then earned his master's and doctorate degrees at Syracuse University's Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs in 1978 and 1983.

The bulk of his career has been spent at Washington & Lee, where he was a professor of politics, assistant dean of the Williams School of Commerce, Economics and Politics and dean of freshmen before taking the Jepson School position.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Programs to brag about

Whenever W&L has something that's the first, the oldest, or the best (that seems to cover a lot), it's worth mentioning on tours. And, if you've got a prospective interested in that area, you can go on to talk more about the program.

This post provides some more details, and, well, bragging points, about the proverty program and the journalism program.

*Why the poverty program? If you haven't read the Washington Post article linked up on the W&L homepage and sent out by broadcast mailer, do. Right now.

Some additional info from its website: the program began in 1997 and, as far as we know, is the only one of its type at an undergraduate school. The program begins with Poverty 101 and 102, the first an introduction and the latter a field-work program volunteering in the area. Then comes an 8-week, fulltime summer internship. The program seeps into other disciplines as well... combining with literature, journalism, politics, sociology and others.

*Why the journalism program? I'm a journalism major and am sitting in a newsroom right now. Don't ask questions.

Robert E. Lee offered at least 50 journalism scholarships during the 1869-1870 school year. The guys who took those scholarships were the first-ever students of journalism in the country. (FYI: Not until about 40 years later did the University of Missouri debut its journalism program, which it calls the world's oldest.)

Today, journalism majors can actually specialize and major in broadcast journalism, print journalism, electronic journalism, business journalism or communications. That's the widest selection of any Virginia school.

A historical bit: 1941 journalism alum, Frederic Farrar, saw a newspaper with the headline "Lincoln elected" in a country store in Vermont. He bartered to get the owner to sell it. He's donated the paper, and about 2,000 others, to the school, staring in 2003. They now make up the Farrar collection in the library, with papers dating back to 1559. That's old school.

To level the playing field, if you would like to post about your major or your favorite part of the school, send me an email! We'd love to incorporate what you think is important.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Let's start at the very beginning

Hey SRCers-
I'm going to try to find some of W&L's basic historic info and lesser-known oddball stuff to post over the summer. If you're stuck in not-so-exciting office jobs or bored on rainy days, take a look at the posts and learn more about the school. Some of the stories can be good "filler" for when groups are less chatty, others may come in handy if people ask questions, and the rest can just be good to know.

To start us off, some more detail about the very beginning. A synopsis: Washington's way popular after being president, and he's got too much money than he knows what to do with. He wants to fund education, but more specifically, a school near the James River. Liberty Hall Academy beats out Hampton-Sydney and other area schools for the grant. And as it turns out, W&L shares history with Princeton... both began as Presbyterian institutions.

Read on... story excerpts from alum Glenn Allen Scott (The Virginian-Pilot, July 1997).

"Washington's 1796 gift (valued at $ 20,000) to Liberty Hall Academy in Rockbridge County caused the overseers of the little Presbyterian institution, whose primary mission was to train clergy, changed the school's name to Washington College.

Nearing the close of his presidency, Washington was eager to depart public life. 'Public adulation added to his problems. He was in demand for everything, receiving unending visits, honors, letters, and gifts. Pressing him also was the question of how he could turn away, without offense, valuable gifts, which he had declined as a matter of policy.' The Virginia General Assembly voted in 1785 to give Washington 100 shares of James River Company stock and 50 shares of another canal-building enterprise, the Potomac Company.

A decade later, Washington accepted the legislature's gifts, on the condition that he could use them for worthwhile public purposes. In his mind, he had earmarked the windfall for education. Thomas Jefferson proposed that Washington use the gifts to import faculty from the University of Geneva in Switzerland. The suggestion fell flat. Washington wanted to give the James River Company stock to a college near the headwaters of the James.

In addition to Liberty Hall Academy, those seeking Washington's favor included Hampden-Sydney College in Prince Edward County, New London Academy in Campbell County and the towns of Staunton, Fincastle, Lynchburg and Charlottesville. The finalists were Staunton and Liberty Hall Academy. That the latter was Presbyterian didn't count against it. As Rouse reports, Washington had sent his stepgrandson, George Washington Parke Custis, to Presbyterian College of New Jersey, later Princeton University. "

By the way, not all the entries will be this long. Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, July 04, 2006


Starting Fall 2006, this site will be the place for schedules, special tour information, and new W&L trivia for you to include in your tours. Bookmark it and keep checking in!