WASHINGTON COLLEGE MAGAZINE SPRING 2018
Photo by Cameron Gilson â€™19
Pippin: The Musical in one of broadway’s favorite pieces of musical theater, a young Prince Pippin finds himself searching for personal fulfillment in a world muddied by complexity, only to discover it in the ordinary routines of everyday life. In February, Washington College audiences came along on his existential journey when the Department of Music staged the show in Hotchkiss Hall. Pippin was directed by Ernest Green, an Annapolis-based musician who teaches chorus and chamber ensemble at WC. The cast of two dozen singers, dancers, choreographers, costumers, and set and light designers began rehearsing their vignettes and preparing for the show a week before the start of the spring semester. Before long, Green says, “we were all together, all the time, which I have to say I loved. My job was to give them some direction and say, go! They did such an extraordinary job, and we’re already looking forward to the next time.” The show—the first to be staged solely by the Department of Music—was led by Will Rotsch ’21 as Pippin (see inset). He was surrounded by a talented cast of characters played by (pictured from left) Dan Palmatary ’21, Maddie Battle ’21, Berkleigh Fadden ’21, Megan Stagg ’18, Nic Job ’21, Josh Cohen ’20, Abbey Kostecki ’19, Jilly Horaneck ’20, Emily Kreider ’19, Megan Dietrich ’20, and Regina Bothwell ’20. — Emily Holt ’19
F E AT U R E S
20 Real Money
The Brown Advisory program introduces undergrads to the risks and rewards of investing—and to careers in the industry. by marcia c. landskroener M’02
25 Making It
With John Harris ’94 at the helm, Chesapeake Light Craft is the world’s largest kit-boat building company. by wendy mitman clarke M’16
30 Rethinking Water Two former classmates are shaking up the kids’ drink market, rolling out a line of premium fruit-flavored waters. by Joan Katherine Cramer
32 The Business
A start-up company in New Zealand provides environmentally sustainable food sources for adventurous eaters. by Meghan Livie ’09 and Bex De Prospo ’03
D E PARTM E NTS
News Frederick Douglass is posthumously awarded honorary degree. College joins efforts to restore oyster populations.
14 Faculty Rachel Durso helps victims of domestic violence. Rebecca Fox evaluates agricultural best management practices. 16 Students Future pharmacist trains at Walgreens. Student Environmental Alliance launches Food Recovery Network. 35
Alumni Update Class notes. Alumni spotlights.
46 Development Former tennis player leaves $2 million. Jim Lim ’91 endows professorship in economics. 2
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Volume LXVIII No. 2 Spring 2018 ISSN 2152-9531
Cover design by Marie K. Thomas. For this special issue about some of Washington College’s business leaders, entrepreneurs, and business programs, we wanted a cover that “pops.” Departing from our usual magazine paper selection, we chose a new sheet that would best show off a spot UV printing technique.
Marcia C. Landskroener M’02 ASSOCIATE EDITOR
Wendy Mitman Clarke M’16 ASSISTANT EDITOR
Karen M. Jones CREATIVE ART DIRECTOR
Marie K. Thomas STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER
Shane Brill ’03 M’11 CLASS NOTES EDITOR
Erin Oittinen EDITORIAL CONSULTANT
Rolando Irizarry CONTRIBUTING WRITERS
Doryann Barnhardt M’15 Joan Katherine Cramer Sophie Grabiec ’20 Emily Holt ’19 Jamie Kirkpatrick Meghan Livie ’09 Victoria Smith
ORIGINAL MAGAZINE REDESIGN
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PRINTING AND MAILING
Dear Readers, I
was just fifteen when I made my first foray into business. It would also be my last. I was robbed by a six-year-old. I never got over the humiliation. Marti’s Sweet Shoppe operated out of the basement of the Hotel Imperial in Chestertown. We sold Rheb’s Candies, a line of fine confections made in Baltimore, as well as nuts from Jeppi, another Baltimore icon. But the after-school crowd was more interested in the glass case full of penny candy. marcia c. It was my mother’s idea, landskroener actually, to open a candy store. m’02 As much as she loved sweets and antiques, I suspect it was her way of keeping me out of boys’ cars. She and I outfitted the space with wrought-iron tables and chairs, an antique brass cash register, and old oak and glass cases straight out of Baltimore’s Lexington Market. I would spend my afternoons and weekends at the shop, selling bags of goodies to the patrons of the movie theater and the downtown shoppers. I had my regulars. Henry Salloch, the husband of German professor Erika Salloch, came in every week for the dark chocolate almond bark. The neighborhood kids were always in and out. But business was generally slow. I got bored. We hired an 80-year-old lady to watch the shop while I ran around with boys. My entrepreneurial spirit sputtered completely when I walked in one morning to discover a screwdriver jammed into the brass cash register and a trail of Mary Janes and Squirrel Nuts leading out the back door. Some people are born for business. I was one and done. The risk of failing again was too great, even for all the chocolate turtles in the world. And oh, by the way, I know who you are.
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Situational Leadership by Kurt M. Landgraf
eing a leader is like being a football coach. You know the game no matter where you coach, but the tactics you use to inspire and motivate your team will be different, depending on your situation. If you are coaching at the high school level, you will likely be more nurturing and kindly than you might be if you happen to coach the Philadelphia Eagles. It’s the implementation of your knowledge and your value system that changes, according to the given situation. You assess the strengths and challenges your team is facing and respond accordingly. In both circumstances, you are going to ask your players to perform their very best, and to act with honesty and integrity, even if a win is unlikely. I’ve been in many different leadership roles throughout my career. I’ve been a Navy officer and a corporate executive. I’ve worked at the largest educational testing organization in the country, and I’m now leading one of the nation’s oldest liberal arts colleges. I’ve been vice chairman of New Jersey’s Higher Education Commission, and president of the National Consortium for Graduate Degrees for Minorities in Engineering and Science. In each situation, I’ve considered how to be most effective in achieving the desired outcome— while also acting within the framework of corporate or institutional social responsibility. As we saw at DuPont Merck, driving sales and making meaningful contributions to society are not mutually exclusive. As we saw at ETS, staying true to your social mission doesn’t preclude you from financial growth and sustainability. All the places I’ve worked are vastly different organizations, with vastly different challenges, but with one thing in common. 4
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At Washington College, situational leadership sometimes calls for the president to take the pitcher’s mound. Before a double-header with Roger Williams University on March 2, President Landgraf, who played briefly in the minor leagues, threw out the first pitch. Photo: Pamela Cowart-Rickman
They were led by someone who has always followed three guiding principles: honesty, integrity, and caring for people. In whatever leadership situation I’ve been, I’ve followed three core values. 1. On performance, no excuses; 2. everybody deserves special treatment, and 3. businesses are social institutions. Distilled to its essence, it simply means doing the right thing. “No excuses” refers not to results, but to personal conduct. No matter what the
situation, I want people to understand my expectations—that everyone performs to his or her maximum ability. I have found that people will only do that if they believe they have a responsibility to the organization and to their fellow employees. When people take ownership and commit to the success of the organization, then they’ll go above and beyond to make that happen. “Everybody deserves special treatment.” I believe that. You can’t expect people will
leave their problems at the front door. Life is messy. Young children and aging parents need care. Marriages dissolve. People face serious medical problems. A good leader will make allowances when an employee is dealing with serious personal issues. And when that particular crisis is past, your employees will remember how you treated them. When you demonstrate empathy and compassion for the individual, you’ll cultivate a more committed and caring workplace. “Businesses are social institutions.” Growing up in an orphanage taught me some important life lessons. I learned that all people have value and need respect. And I came to understand the imperative that all segments of society recognize that they have social responsibilities; whether you are an individual, an institution, or a corporation, you are part of the social matrix. Corporations have social responsibilities to be ethical, to be terrific corporate citizens, to provide employment, and to try to avoid ever having to take people’s employment away from them. People who manage big corporations need to be cognizant of the power they have over people’s lives and not abuse that power in any way. Corporations get into trouble when they forget that they have social responsibilities, that they are not entities in and of themselves. I would also say that a strong leader will understand the macro environment in which he or she is operating. You have to understand the external environmental factors affecting your organization’s success. Only then can you adjust your expectations and interactions with people so that they will be able to operate and feel good about what they do. At both DuPont Pharmaceuticals and DuPont Merck, I was able to implement
policies that guaranteed equal pay for equal work, that would protect employees from discrimination and harassment, and that would positively impact diversity within the organization. But the fundamental thing that a leader must do is communicate in a transparent way, be honest, and be empathetic toward every one of his constituencies. And Washington College has a lot of constituencies, each with its own set of concerns and challenges. Faculty, staff, the Board of Visitors & Governors, alumni, parents, donors, friends within the Chestertown community —each has a personal relationship with this institution. A good leader will understand the needs and the psychological well-being of those constituencies. How you treat those people is situational, dependent on where they are emotionally and psychologically. And this is where I see leaders fail. They don’t take the time to assess and understand the environment they find themselves in. When I first came to Washington College, one of my main objectives was to understand what’s valued here. To do that, I talked to people—a lot of people— to gauge what they were feeling not only about the state of the institution but about the people who make up this community. What I learned is how important those interpersonal relationships are, and how committed people are to this place. In all my years, I have never been in a place where people preface any remark—even grievances—with these words: “I want you to know that I love Washington College.” Understanding your constituents and their motivation is really important. If you pay attention to those four things, the last thing you have to be aware of as a leader
is, what are you looking for as an outcome? What’s the vision? That, too, will be situational. At ETS, the goal was to link its social mission to firm financial performance. At DuPont Merck, the vision was to drive growth, with an emphasis on employee development and heightened awareness on diversity. What do I want for Washington College? I want this place to make a difference in the lives of our students, so that they can embrace their own social responsibility to make the world a better place. These remarks are excerpted from Kurt Landgraf’s keynote address given in March as part of the J.C. Jones Seminar in American Business.
TOP ROW David Blight, author of a new biography of Frederick Douglass forthcoming from Simon & Schuster, received the College’s Award for Excellence. Ken Morris (at right) received a similar award. MIDDLE ROW Chestertown trio Sombarkin’—Lester Barrett, Jr., Karen Somerville, and Jerome McKinney—performed two songs about the African-American struggle for freedom. Alumni Board Chair Arian Ravanbakhsh ’89 presented the Alumni Service Award to Ed Nordberg ’82, a member of the Board of Visitors & Governors since 2003 who was board chair for nine years. BOTTOM ROW President’s Medals were awarded tp Sabine Harvey, a Master Gardener and president of the Chestertown Tea Party Festival, and to Emmanuel Episcopal Church-Chester Parish. FAR RIGHT Ken Morris, co-founder of the Frederick Douglass Family Initiatives, shares his family's story before handing out copies of Douglass’s autobiography to 150 local eighth-graders. Members of the College’s Black Student Union have promised to help mentor young readers of the book. Photos by Caroline J. Phillips For more Convocation photos visit: http://bit.ly/wcfebconvo18.
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Remembering the Life and Legacy of Frederick Douglass Marking the bicentennial of Frederick Douglass’s birth, Washington College posthumously awarded him the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws—and opened the doors to racial conciliation and empowerment.
For the first time in our long history,” College President Kurt Landgraf remarked during ceremonies honoring Frederick Douglass, “Washington College is presenting an honorary degree posthumously. We do this not just because we take pride in this son of the Eastern Shore who became one of our country’s preeminent citizen-leaders. We do it because Douglass’s work is not finished: not in our community, not in our nation, not in our world. Today, we commit ourselves to his model of education and to his example of moral courage — as, with deep gratitude and admiration, we confer the honorary degree of Doctor of Letters.” This was a day filled with uplifting messages about the value of education and the importance of social action. A day when Douglass’s great-great-great grandson, Kenneth Morris, stood before a roomful of eighth-graders and reminded them that the blood of heroes flowed through their veins, too. A day when David Blight, a professor of history at Yale University and director of the Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance and Abolition, urged undergraduates to keep faith with Douglass’s message in the months and years ahead. A day of important conversations about Washington College’s institutional will to be more open and inclusive.
Born into slavery in February 1818, not far from the College’s campus on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, Douglass came to understand at a very young age that education would be his path to freedom: “Knowledge unfits a child to be a slave,” he wrote. In 1838, he escaped slavery and spent the rest of his life speaking out on human rights issues, including abolitionism and women’s rights, in addition to serving as a federal official and diplomat. His first autobiography, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass (1845), is taught in universities around the world. When Douglass was born, Washington College — the first college in Maryland and one of the oldest in the United States — had already existed for almost 40 years. Among its founding donors, alongside George Washington, were members of the Lloyd family, on whose Eastern Shore plantation Douglass was enslaved during his childhood. The College remained a racially segregated institution until the late 1950s. “Even without a formal education, Frederick Douglass steeped himself in newspapers, political writings, and treatises to become one of the most famous intellectuals of his time,” Landgraf says. “Washington College should have been thrilled to enroll such a promising scholar. We can’t change that history, but we can and should learn from it.”
George Washington Prize Finalists Seven books published in 2017 by the country’s most prominent historians have been named finalists for the George Washington Prize. The annual award recognizes the past year’s best-written works on the nation’s founding era, especially those that have the potential to advance broad public understanding of early American history. S. Max Edelson The New Map of Empire: How Britain Imagined America Before Independence (Harvard University Press) Kevin J. Hayes George Washington: A Life in Books (Oxford University Press) Eric Hinderaker Boston’s Massacre (Harvard University Press) Jon Kukla Patrick Henry: Champion of Liberty (Simon & Schuster) James E. Lewis, Jr. The Burr Conspiracy: Uncovering the Story of an Early American Crisis (Princeton University Press) Jennifer Van Horn The Power of Objects in Eighteenth-Century British America (University of North Carolina Press) Douglas L. Winiarski Darkness Falls on the Land of Light: Experiencing Religious Awakenings in Eighteenth-Century New England (University of North Carolina Press) The winner of the 2018 prize will be announced, and all finalists recognized, at a black-tie gala on May 23, 2018, at George Washington’s Mount Vernon.
Starry, Starry Night
n a dimly lit classroom, students are examining a photo of the night sky that Brian Palmer has just brought up on a big screen. Everyone’s faces are aglow in the weird projected light. “There are three streaks here in the sky,” says Palmer, director of Digital Media Services, which oversees IDEAWORKS, a multimedia resource for students. “Do you know what they are?” Planes, answers one student, and he’s right, at least partly. When Palmer zooms in on one of the streaks, the repetitive blips of white, green, and red stitched across the sky reveal the navigation lights of a plane that the camera’s open shutter captured. But when Palmer zooms in on the other two, the colors and patterns definitely aren’t coming from anything that took off from planet Earth. They are meteors, scorching a luminous furrow across the black field of space. “Why is the color different?” asks Charlie Kehm, chair of the Department of Physics and a physics and environmental science and studies professor. “It’s in the ice, or the minerals. Potentially different materials burn in different colors.” The stars, too, have different colors, he says, and when Palmer zooms in some more, what were once little white dots become clear individuals of blue, red, yellow. “Oh, yeah!” says another student. The night sky, always wondrous, starts to reveal its mysteries in this collaboration between Kehm and Palmer, who introduce 8
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students in Kehm’s astronomy class to astrophotography. The students and teachers spent several hours one night last fall at the College’s River and Field Campus (RAFC), using cameras and gear provided by IDEAWORKS, shooting the night sky. “It was the first time I had ever seen so many stars in one place,” says Kate Voynow ’20, an American studies major and history minor. “It was surreal. There was something really magical about it.” The class surveys the universe, starting with Earth and moving through space and time to galactic clusters, supernovae, and black holes. Kehm says this is the second time that he and Palmer have collaborated to bring the art of photography into the science of astronomy. “For students, this is one of the most enjoyable experiences of the semester,” Kehm says. “[We] spend some time with the night sky, view constellations, observe the Milky Way, and sometimes see planets. We even get to see evidence of stellar colors in our long-duration exposures. “What I like most about the lab is the way it inspires the students,” he continues. “There’s something about that pursuit of the aesthetic and the immersion under the starry sky that activates imagination and gets students excited about the subject. And even after doing this for many, many years, I’m still in awe every time I go out.”
Natalie Diaz. Image via Blue Flower Arts
When a physics professor and a digital media master gather students at the River and Field Campus to learn the fundamentals of astrophotography, the sky is literally the limit.
A Poet of Mythic Power
Natalie Diaz, whose poems are grounded in her life and witness within the Native American experience, riveted a full house at the Rose O’Neill Literary House in February, where she read as part of the Literary House Series. The following afternoon, she led students in a hands-on “TEXTaural” workshop in which, among other exercises, they listened to her poetry while blindfolded and responded through drawings and sketches. Born and raised in the Fort Mojave Indian Village in Needles, California, on the banks of the Colorado River, Diaz is Mojave and an enrolled member of the Gila River Indian Tribe. Her first poetry collection, When My Brother Was an Aztec, was published by Copper Canyon Press in 2012. Publishers Weekly has described her work as “rooted in Native American life with personal and mythic power,” and that power was clearly on display as she read, enfolding English, Spanish, and Mojave. Her discussion of creating an “image system” to help her approach subjects as fraught as, for instance, her brother’s drug addiction, helped deepen the audience’s understanding of poems from her astonishing When My Brother Was an Aztec. She also allowed humor—if frequently dark— into her reading. Diaz’s award-winning work has appeared in Narrative Magazine, Gwarlingo, The Rumpus, and Ploughshares.
Conservationist of the Year Citing its “preeminent” leadership in environmental education, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) tapped Washington College to receive its Conservationist of the Year Award. CBF President Will Baker presented the award to WC President Kurt Landgraf on Feb. 26 at the third annual DC on the Half Shell gala in Washington, D.C. A longtime leader in innovative environmental instruction, Washington College in recent months has announced several major expansions to its environmental programs. These include the launch of the 4,700-acre River and Field Campus, a new dual-degree program for environmental science or environmental studies majors with Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment, groundbreaking for Semans-Griswold Environmental Hall, and a $500,000 grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to expand a project that motivates landowners to reduce polluted runoff into the Chesapeake. Located on the Chester River, Washington College uses the Chesapeake Bay region as a learning laboratory. The River and Field Campus (RAFC) is home to the only bird banding station and observatory on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, an innovative native grassland restoration project, and part of the Chester River Watershed Observatory. The College’s Center for Environment and Society, which focuses on the relationship between human communities and natural systems, oversees RAFC and also manages the school’s two research vessels. Its Chesapeake Semester immerses a small group of students each fall in studies that examine the challenges facing the Chesapeake through the lenses of the Bay’s economy, culture, history, environment, ecology, and politics.
10 Billion Oysters Washington College joins the Chesapeake 10 Billion Oysters Partnership, an ambitious initiative to fully restore the Bay’s oyster population by 2025.
s filter feeders, oysters are the Chesapeake’s most powerful indigenous weapon in the fight to clean the Bay, and only with a healthy oyster population is a restored Bay possible. This spring, through the Chesapeake 10 Billion Oysters Partnership, Washington College is joining forces with others across Maryland and Virginia to bring back the species to historic population levels. Washington College, which is already involved in several projects related to oyster restoration, is the only liberal arts college in Maryland among the dozens of participants that include the University of Maryland’s Center for Environmental Science, the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, the Coastal Conservation Association, the National Aquarium in Baltimore, regional river associations, watermen, and oyster growers. “By generating new partnerships and sparking innovation, we hope this coalition will accelerate efforts that already show tremendous promise for the Bay’s oyster populations,” says Allison Colden, the Maryland fisheries scientist at the Chesapeake Bay
Foundation, which is helping to coordinate the Chesapeake 10 Billion Oysters Partnership. “This kind of ambitious yet achievable goal is precisely what is needed in so many of our environmental restoration efforts,” says John Seidel, director of the College’s Center for Environment & Society (CES). “To realize such a lofty objective, to have real impact, we need an all-hands-on-deck approach. We at Washington College will do everything we can to help meet the partnership’s goal, using the power of bivalves to filter the Bay’s waters.” The partnership aims to develop opportunities to expand and improve current restoration efforts, supporting science-based management of the public fishery to increase the number of oysters on public bars while investing in more bottom rehabilitation and planting to make the oyster industry more sustainable, and continuing to support and grow the aquaculture industry throughout the Bay while creating structured habitat for commercial and recreational fisheries.
CAMPUS NEWS | BY THE NUMBERS
Business Management: The Active Liberal Art Established in 1982, the Department of Business Management today operates the most subscribed major on campus. Beyond benefiting from an array of internship opportunities, a leadership speaker series, and a global business component, students can also minor in information systems or marketing, specialize in accounting and finance, or pursue graduate studies leading to a masterâ€™s degree in accounting at either the College of William & Mary or Loyola University. The partnership with Loyola also offers an Emerging Leaders MBA program.
$2,498,764 Current endowment value of the Connie and Carl Ferris Program in International Business, established with gifts totaling $2 million n 2003 and 2004.
$936,919 The value of the Brown Advisory Student-Managed Investment Fund, as of the end of January 2018. The fund has nearly doubled in value over the past decade.
The ratio of male-to-female students in the major. In contrast, the most recent incoming class includes a higher ratio of women, 64/36.
$232,000 Total amount directed to students through the Schottland Business Leadership Award since 2000, including $122,000 in scholarship dollars and $110,000 in tuition dollars for graduate school.
$129,314 Funds for experiential learning provided by the William Johnson Internship Award.
93.5% 1,126 Nine months after graduation, the percent of business majors in the Class of 2017 were either employed or in graduate school.
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The number of entrepreneurial alumni on LinkedIn, self-identifying as business owners, partners, principals, and founders, representing approximately 13 percent of our alumni body. The number of alumni with MBAs.
Over the last five years, the departmentâ€™s International Summer Experience has drawn the largest number of WC students (of a total 402) going abroad for short-term travel/study.
Business majors completing semester-long study abroad experiences over the last five years. Only international studies majors log more air travel.
The number of top business leaders sharing their expertise with students through the J.C. Jones Seminar in American Business, launched in 1991.
The Hodson Trust Grants $3.5 Million for Scholarships The Hodson Trust, whose generosity has supported hundreds of Washington College students over 81 years, this year is donating $3.5 million to endow student scholarships. Representatives of the Trust presented the gift to College President Kurt Landgraf on Dec. 7. “It is hard to overstate how critical this funding is for our students and programs, and how much we appreciate the loyal support that The Hodson Trust continues to show Washington College,” Landgraf says. “We believe that the education and opportunities we offer to undergraduates are unparalleled, and we are grateful to Chairman Gerald Holm and the Hodson trustees for seeing that value and consistently supporting it with this endowment funding.” This year’s donation provides $2.75 million to the Hodson Merit Scholarship endowment, and $750,000 to the George’s Brigade scholarship endowment. Already this academic year, as a result of previous Hodson gifts, 105 students are receiving an average merit scholarship in the amount of $21,000. “The need is great,” Landgraf says. “Gifts such as this generous scholarship funding from The Hodson Trust are invaluable for our students in their ambition to attain the strong foundation that a college education in the liberal arts and sciences provides.” The Hodson Trust is the school’s largest single benefactor. Starting with a grant of $18,191.12 in 1935, the Trust has given Washington College nearly $80 million.
Joining up with Georgetown Continuing to build alliances with outstanding post-graduate institutions, Washington College has developed a new partnership with Georgetown University Medical Center for students in biomedical sciences.
ashington College students who are interested in pursuing a master’s degree in a range of biomedical science and research disciplines have a new opportunity thanks to a strategic partnership the College has developed with Georgetown University Medical Center in Washington, D.C. The partnership enables qualified graduates to receive a partial tuition scholarship for any master’s programs offered through Georgetown’s Biomedical Graduate Education (excluding online programs). “For pre-med students, this partnership provides an opportunity for additional training before applying to medical school,” says Mindy Reynolds, co-chair of the Department of Biology and associate professor of biology, who helped develop the partnership. “But the breadth of the programs also enables our students to launch a career in health-related and biomedical science and research. For instance, earning a master’s in bioinformatics would prepare a student to do high-level data analysis in a research lab.” Charlie Kehm, chair of the Department of Physics who has been leading Washington College’s efforts to develop partnerships
with institutions offering post-graduate options for students in the Division of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, says GU’s master’s programs provide excellent opportunities for students who are interested in the science and technology side of emerging social health issues, as well as those interested in the basic sciences and medical training. “We are thrilled to officially partner with Washington College and offer their students the opportunity to further their studies on our campus,” says Barbara Bayer, Senior Associate Dean of Biomedical Graduate Education and chair and professor of neuroscience. “Over the past few years, WC alums have successfully graduated from our various MS programs in areas such as Biotechnology and Health Physics, and have gone on to start their careers in the metropolitan DC area. I am delighted that our institutions have come together to create a pipeline for bright and talented WC graduates to study biomedical sciences at Georgetown University.”
Discipline to Win
This summer, Washington College coach Jake Alvarez will represent his father’s homeland as a member of Puerto Rico’s national lacrosse team, competing at the 2018 Federation of International Lacrosse World Championship.
hen sports performance coach Jake Alvarez asks Washington College athletes to train harder, run faster, or eat better, they can see before their very eyes how that type of discipline pays off. The man timing their agility drills or checking their lifting form is a world-class competitor—heading to Israel this summer to play in the international lacrosse world championship games. He knows what it takes to excel, just as he recognizes the obstacles they might be facing. Alvarez’s own collegiate lacrosse career sputtered and stalled at Ithaca College in upstate New York. He had been playing lacrosse since the age of 10, but he didn’t make the cut in his freshman year and rode the bench as a sophomore. Alvarez quit the varsity team in his junior year, started playing club lacrosse, and switched his major from psychology to exercise science. “I felt like I wasn’t able to develop at Ithaca,” Alvarez recalls. “I wasn’t training hard, and I had my priorities skewed. At that point in my life, I wasn’t ready to fully commit.” That all changed when Alvarez, who describes himself as “decently talented,” decided he wanted a second chance. He committed to the training—the speedwork, agility, conditioning, and strength training— that would help him develop into the most athletically fit person he can be. Today, Alvarez is playing the best lacrosse of his life. “Most athletes decline after college,” says the 25-year-old. “I have to get a lot better between now and July. That’s what I think about every day. Many of these student-athletes are more talented than me, but I have the mindset that no one will work harder than 12
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Jake Alvarez is training for the World Championship games, to be played this summer in Israel.
me. I’m in the gym every day for two hours to make myself better. Once I’m tired, I don’t stop. That’s the only difference. I’m not the most talented player, but I train super hard.” He’s gearing up for training camp in June, when he’ll meet his teammates—all “heritage players” whose parents were born on the Caribbean island of Puerto Rico. After two weeks of practice, the team will travel to Israel to play against teams in the Central America division, which includes Costa Rica, Jamaica, and Mexico.
Washington College and Colonial Williamsburg—where former College President Mitchell B. Reiss is now CEO—have partnered to offer a handson experience in the archaeology and material culture of the Revolutionary era, enabling students to work closely with museum curators and skilled tradesmen to gain perspective on the cultural and social dimensions of the American War for Independence. The intensive, two-credit course took place over spring break in mid-March. Students and faculty went behind the scenes in Colonial Williamsburg’s collections with curators, spending time in the blacksmith shop at the public armoury and trying tinsmithing, carpentry, gunsmithing, leather work, and more. By applying experimental archaeology and period technical skills, students gained a deeper perspective into the daily lives of the people who fought for America’s independence. “This is a truly unique experience, and we see it as a pilot program that could open up many more experiential learning and research opportunities for our students at Williamsburg,” says John Seidel, director of the College’s Center for Environment & Society and associate professor of anthropology and environmental studies. He joined Charles Fithian, lecturer in anthropology, to teach this inaugural course. “This is the kind of engaged learning, partnering with experts from one of the world’s premier living history museums, that sets Washington College apart.”
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The Power of Story
“Mr. Abe’s victory is good for America,” said Andrew Oros, director of international studies at Washington College in Maryland, citing continued stability in the management of the Japan-U.S. alliance and a good rapport between the two leaders. Trump “visiting his probably best friend in the world stage right after a major victory of Mr. Abe gives President Trump a strong partner in Asia,” Oros said. But with Abe’s dominant Liberal Democratic Party and its coalition partner Komeito retaining a two-thirds majority in the House of Representatives, Abe appears set to push forward his proposal to add a reference to the Self-Defense Forces in the Constitution’s war-renouncing Article 9 despite Komeito’s reluctance and more than half the Japanese people opposing constitutional change under Abe’s leadership. . . “There is a danger that a focus on constitutional change would create worsening relations between Japan and South Korea, which is another U.S. ally, and between Japan and China, at a time when all of these countries are trying to work together to address the North Korea nuclear threat,” Oros said.
A Call to Civic Action
“Part of his inspiration in writing A Christmas Carol in 1843 was to solve some of the real financial difficulties he was facing in the moment. And, his primary goal was to really bring attention to the plight of the poor. This is the ‘Hungry ’40s.’ I think as Americans we’re most familiar with the potato famine that killed over a million people in Ireland, but food scarcity was a pressing problem in England as well, and people were quite literally starving. So, Dickens knew that he wanted to bring attention to the plight of these people, and initially he thought he wanted to write a political pamphlet. He thought he would call it, “An Appeal to the People of England on Behalf of the Poor Man’s Child.” But as the months went by in 1843 he changed the genre of his piece and he decided that really writing a story would be the strongest way of touching people’s hearts. And he described this as a ‘sledgehammer that would come down with 20 times, no 20,000 times the force’ of the original political pamphlet.’’
“As you know, the theme of this event is to get involved and unite. And get involved is a big deal. It’s one thing to sit back and talk about whatever your beliefs are, but what matters most is to get involved. Take your principles and put them into action. It’s not what people say, it’s what they do. On this particular day, we need to remind ourselves to rededicate ourselves to the fact that we are all here together, all of us need help, all of us need kindness that goes with providing human support in every possible way we can. Whether it is with children or adults, an act of kindness will make a huge amount of difference.” Washington College President Kurt Landgraf, quoted at the annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Breakfast in January. http://bit.ly/MLKLandgraf
Katie Charles, Assistant Professor of 18th- and 19th-Century Literature, interviewed by Tom Hall on WYPR’s Midday Program http://bit.ly/KatieCharlesWYPR
No Compromise on Extending Slavery
“In February 1861, a group of northern and southern leaders met at the Willard Hotel in Washington to revive many of the essential pieces of the Crittenden plan. That failed too, largely for the same reasons as the original effort. “The Republicans were dead-set against expansion, and the slave-owning states saw it as the key to survival. “‘The pro-slavery states were correct that the election of Lincoln and Republican control of Congress could set in motion a long-term series of events that could end slavery,’ Striner said. ‘If every new state was non-slave owning, then it was just a matter of time before they would have the votes to ban it everywhere.’’’
Andrew Oros, Professor of Political Science and International Studies, quoted in The Kyodo News
Richard Striner, Professor of History and author of Father Abraham: Lincoln’s Relentless Struggle to End Slavery, and Lincoln and Race, quoted in Politifact.
FA C U LT Y
Crisis Intervention A collaboration among a Washington College sociology professor, the College’s GIS Lab, and the Mid-Shore Council on Family Violence (MSCFV) is helping provide resources to women in crisis and creating strategies to reach more victims in the community. by Marcia C. Landskroener M’02
he work of sociologist Rachel Durso occupies that sweet spot between data and heart, right at the intersection of social science and community outreach. Durso, assistant professor of sociology and black studies, is employing the power of data collection and analysis to help the Mid-Shore Council on Family Violence (MSCFV) better target its mission. In 2016, the Mid-Shore Council on Family Violence was one of several local and state agencies and nonprofit organizations in Maryland to receive a VOCA grant, administered by the Maryland Governor’s Office of Crime Control & Prevention. The grants are intended to support services such as crisis intervention and advocacy. Durso, a criminologist who had previously examined gender violence as a doctoral student at Ohio State University, was drawn into the project through the College’s GIS program and her meetings with Jeanne Yeager, Executive Director of MSCFV. “I was really impressed by MSCFV’s mission and the fact that they served the five rural counties of Kent, Caroline, Dorchester, Talbot, and Queen Anne’s. It just seemed like something I could do to use my expertise to make a real difference in our community,” Durso says. At the time of their initial meeting, MSCFV had a main office in Easton and three outreach offices. “You can imagine that if somebody needs help and she lives in an isolated area of Dorchester County, it’s really difficult to receive services.” Last summer, Durso interviewed MSCFV clients to collect data sources that could 14
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inform the non-profit’s strategies to increase access to services. Accompanied by her research assistant, senior Kaitlynn Ecker, Durso spoke with survivors of domestic violence to better understand their needs. Framing the recurring themes of poverty, transportation, and communication were the concepts of social cohesion and isolation. Durso found that, for victims of domestic violence, living in a rural community “where everyone knows your business” can put them at a disadvantage. “In a lot of criminological literature, we see the idea that living in a small town can deter crime,” Durso notes. “You can expect that people watch out for each other. But what has not been thoroughly explored is the idea that social cohesion is not great for [victims of] domestic violence. Because domestic violence is often seen as a private, even shameful matter, it can prevent people from seeking help.” Also, by mapping where MSCFV clients were coming from, Durso and the GIS team were able to generate a macro view of what’s going on in the region and make the case to open an additional office in Cambridge. With more data on social cohesion and isolation, social media, access to resources, and particular barriers to resources, MSCFV can better understand where they need to target resources, and where other grant money might be directed. The interviews informed what other resources could be mapped: hospitals, rehab centers, public transportation, daycare providers, police jurisdictions, public libraries with computers, and access to affordable housing.
Professor Rachel Durso is helping the Mid-Shore Council on Family Violence leverage a $1 million grant.
“The partnership with Washington College, through Professor Durso and the GIS team, has helped the agency grow and expand in ways that directly respond to the specific needs of rural victims of domestic violence,” says Yeager. “It has been a tremendous experience for MSCFV.” Beyond collecting and analyzing the data to inform policy, Durso says the project offered something just as important: validation to battered women who have silently borne horrific cruelty. “When we asked our clients what MSCFV service they are most grateful for, a great majority said they appreciated the chance to tell their stories. For many, it was the first time they had shared their story. Someone believed them.”
Teaching Green Gathered around a lab station in a Kent County High School classroom, Alex Riedel ’18 is helping three high school students attach small glittery dots to a paper surface until they have completed what is roughly a diamond-shaped pattern. What they’re testing is how well their creation—a coarse model of a material called Sharklet film—can hold onto a Post-It note as small binder clips are attached to it. The broader technology they are learning about— Sharklet—is a product that mimics on a molecular level the skin of a shark, enabling it to easily repel germs and bacteria from surfaces without the use of chemicals. What they’re learning is how well nature is engineered. Sharklet technology is an example of biomimicry—when scientists mimic something that occurs in nature, explains chemistry professor Anne Marteel-Parrish, who is there with her undergraduate students to introduce green chemistry to the high schoolers. In this case, she says, the inventor realized that the skin of sharks, comprised of denticles in a distinct diamond-shaped pattern, acts as a natural repellent. Marteel-Parrish, chemistry department co-chair, textbook author, green chemist, and materials scientist, also happens to be the mother of two students in Kent County’s public schools. She approached the high school science teachers last year about introducing their students to green chemistry through a series of four experiments, which she and her undergraduates would present. “Green chemistry is all about trying to prevent pollution before it’s formed,” she tells the students. While using chemical-based cleaners may purge a surface of germs or bacteria, those chemicals enter humans and the environment, causing all sorts of unintended consequences. “We are trying to design everyday products so they don’t harm the environment.”
Down on the Farm Through multiple research projects with the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science’s Horn Point Laboratory, Rebecca Fox is helping farmers and scientists better understand the effectiveness of best management practices that are critical to the Chesapeake Bay’s health. by Wendy Mitman Clarke M’16
Rebecca Fox, assistant professor of environmental science and studies, (left) and Anne Gustafson, faculty research assistant at the University of Maryland’s Center for Environmental Science, take stream discharge measurements after a big rainfall.
farmers’ implementation of BMPs. If they could get more BMPs such as cover crops and controlled drainage structures in place, they wondered, would they be able to pick up changes in water quality in the streams? Tangentially, they and other researchers at Horn Point studied the social science involved, reaching out to residents and farmers to learn how they felt about BMPs—how hard or easy they were to implement, and why. “From my original training, as a scientist, I just thought about water quality in terms of nutrients. I wasn’t thinking about the social aspect of it,” she says. “The first-year surveys basically showed that the two main impediments to BMP adoption are money and time.” Fox is also second author on a newly published paper in Agriculture, Ecosystems, and the Environment resulting from another project analyzing the impacts of different BMPs on nitrate runoff, greenhouse gas emissions, and crop yield. A third project—taking place at a single farm in Caroline County—is measuring the effects of controlled drainage structures.
hen she set out to be a scientist and teacher specializing in greenhouse gases, Rebecca Fox, assistant professor of environmental science and studies, didn’t expect to be posting flyers at gas stations or going door-to-door recruiting local residents to participate in her work. But connecting with those whose livelihoods depend on farming has been key to research that Fox and fellow scientists have been conducting in Caroline County evaluating best management practices in agriculture, a critical element to the overall health of the Chesapeake Bay. It’s one of several projects that Fox is conducting on the Choptank River and its tributaries, all related to better understanding the effects of best management practices (BMPs) farmers use to limit nutrient and sediment runoff into the Chesapeake. Fox began the oldest project while still a post-doctoral researcher at Horn Point. Since 2013, she and UMCES Professor Tom Fisher have been monitoring four small Choptank tributaries where water quality typically has been stagnant or declining in terms of nitrogen and phosphorus, despite
A Woman of Many Talents A scholar-athlete, scientist, environmentalist, campus leader, and campus gardener, Julia Portmann ’19 has it all going on. By Joan Katherine Cramer
here is something quietly superhuman about Julia Portmann ’19. While setting records—and never missing a practice—as a member of the varsity swim team, she is double majoring in biology and environmental science, minoring in German, and seems to be everywhere at once, wholeheartedly embracing every opportunity WC has to offer. As vice-president of the Garden Club, she has helped raise bees and harvest honey, labored over huckleberries and other native plants, and composted table scraps from the dining hall. As a permaculture intern, she helped foster the garden’s transition to a sustainable ecosystem that recently earned it certification as a model conservation landscape. She helped research African American publishing history using Global Information Systems (GIS) technology as an intern in the GIS Lab. She is a member of the Honor Board, the Student Environmental Alliance, and the National Leadership and National Environmental honor societies. She has been named Centennial Conference Swimmer of the Week twice and Shorewoman of the Week seven times in three seasons. She is president of the German Club, a member of the National German Honor Society, and last summer organized her own trip to study German for the Natural Sciences at the University of Freiburg in Germany with a grant from the Cater Society, of which she is student vice-president. Plus, she has taken full advantage of WC’s summer science research internships. “I have been really impressed with Julia’s drive to learn everything she can,” 16
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says Robin Van Meter, assistant professor of environmental science/studies and biology and Portmann’s advisor. “Her time management skills amaze me. She juggles the swim team with other extracurricular activities while still maintaining a 4.0 GPA and working with me in the lab. On top of that, she is friendly and easy-going, very collaborative, and has a natural gift for research. It’s a joy to work with her.” Between her freshman and sophomore years, Portmann was a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) intern at UC Santa Cruz studying the impact of rising water temperatures on fish. She loved the science, and had dreamed of becoming a marine biologist, living near the water, which was part of what drew her from her hometown of Palatine, Illinois, to Washington College. “I always felt like a water baby,” she says. “And Washington College immediately felt like home.” But hovering over fish and their offspring for 11 weeks made her question whether she really wanted to spend all of her daylight hours in a lab. “I love hard science,” she says. “But I want to know what I can do with it, how I can use it to make a difference.” It was an internship the following summer doing bat research at Eastern Kentucky University and the Daniel Boone National Forest—through the National Science Foundation and its Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program—that inspired her to think beyond the lab. And even beyond the water. “I fell in love with the forest,” she says. “And one of the best parts for me was shadowing a Forest Service employee who
Last May, the campus garden earned Bay-Wise certification, thanks to (from left) Melia Greene ‘20, Emily Castle ‘18, and Julia Portmann ’19, pictured with environmental educator Shane Brill ’03 M’11.
is involved in just about every project there. She helps with bat and bird and plant surveys and puts them all together in reports that are really about ‘How can we use this information to better manage the forest, help the wildlife, improve the experience for visitors?’ I’m not sure exactly what I’ll end up doing—there’s so much still to explore—but I thought that was pretty cool, using science to make things better.”
Food Recovery Network Feeds Bodies and Souls Washington College’s Student Environmental Alliance (SEA) last fall recovered 1,207 pounds of food as part of its Food Recovery Network, donating the leftovers to a weekly dinner at a Chestertown church. But helping stop food waste is only one benefit of this new program. “We usually sit down and eat with them, get to know them, and it’s fun when you go into town and someone says, ‘Oh, you served food at the dinner!’ It’s nice to be connected to the town in that way,’’ says sophomore Gillian Heckert-Mitchell, an anthropology major who is now in her second semester of participating in the FRN. “It’s by far my favorite thing of the week. It gets you off the campus, and I just like to serve and meet the community.” Like many other clubs on campus, the SEA wanted to become more directly involved with the larger community, says junior Samantha Trikeriotis, a psychology major who heads up the FRN. In 2016, several students worked to create a local chapter of the FRN, a national organization that mobilizes college students to prevent food waste by donating food that would not otherwise be used. “In the past, it got tossed, and it was just a waste,” says Don Stanwick, Director of Dining Services, who helped the students organize the FRN. “This allows us to give food to somebody who needs food, and that’s why we like the program and we like to support it.” Pastor David Ryan of First United Methodist Church says the Community Table typically draws 100 to 125 people each week. The students help set up, serve, and clean up. “We love it when the students come,” says neighbor and volunteer Cheryl Hoopes. “They’re just wonderful. It’s like Christmas every week for us.”
The Man behind the Counter Bradley Long ’18 took one look behind the pharmacy counter at age 10 and knew that was where he wanted to spend his career, bridging the gap between patient and doctor. To help him get to the other side of the counter, Long turned to Washington College and its pre-health professional studies. By sophie Grabiec ’20
Before heading to pharmacy school this fall, Bradley Long ’18 is completing a pharmacy tech program at Walgreens in Chestertown.
radley Long ’18 likes the idea of being the man with the answers. “One of the biggest issues with health care today is communication,” he says. “There is a lot of confusion about how insurance works, and keywords that people don’t understand. Pharmacists can help patients navigate the system and help them get the medical care they need.” Long landed a position as a registered pharmacy technician at the Walgreens in Chestertown in his junior year. On his way to completing the 180-hour pharmacy tech program, Long assists with filling prescriptions and handling insurance information for patients. He says his experience at Walgreens opened his eyes to the mechanics of pharmacy and the everyday tasks of a pharmacist at work. “I saw that people don’t always know how medications work or how insurance works; I felt like there was a disconnect between a patient and the doctor. I think of a pharmacist
as a good enzyme that brings everything together and makes it work,” Long says. The biology major/chemistry minor is one of six Washington College students on track to pursue pharmacy school. He initially considered the College’s 3:4 pre-pharmacy program with University of Maryland, but he opted to take his fourth year of studies at Washington College to complete his thesis studying “the efficacy of gabapentin in conjugation with opiates as a therapy for treating neuropathic pain.” Long will enroll this fall in the Virginia Commonwealth University’s School of Pharmacy, where he’ll pursue his PharmD and obtain a master’s degree in public health. His plan ultimately is to work in a hospital setting in palliative or hospice care.
At Home in the World Debashish Goenka ’18 is finishing his undergraduate degree at Washington College with a second home and a promising future in finance. By Emily Holt ’19
Midfielder Debashish Goenka ’18 was named to the Centennial Conference All-Sportsmanship Team for men’s soccer last fall. A walk-on in his freshman year, Goenka was one of the team’s captains in his senior year.
ebashish Goenka ’18, known as Deba around campus, has made the world his home. Despite the 7,945mile distance from his birthplace in Mumbai, India, Chestertown has become an equal source of comfort to Goenka. “I have no preference between the two places I live, and I have no idea where I will end up.” While considering several colleges in the United States, Goenka ultimately chose Washington College with assistance from former vice president of enrollment, Satyajit Dattagupta, who met him in their shared home city. This personal connection cemented Goenka’s decision to settle in Maryland and become a Shoreman. Outside of the classroom, Goenka is driven by a passion for soccer that spans international borders. An ardent Manchester United fan off the field and a collegiate competitor on the field, Goenka is indisputably devoted to the sport. As a varsity athlete, Goenka has embraced a multi-faceted experience at Washington College, thriving inside and outside of the classroom. Majoring in economics and minoring in business management, Goenka plans to work in finance following his graduation. “I’ve
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applied to a lot of jobs that range from investment banking to financial trading…. I’m looking for real experience before I hopefully go on to get my MBA.” While he is unsure of the specifics of his career trajectory, Goenka has built a strong foundation of financial skills through his participation with the Brown Advisory Student-Managed Investment Fund. Students selected to participate in the program actively invest in a fund that has grown since its inception in June 2008 from $500,000 to $936,919 in real dollars as of January 31, 2018. Managing such a significant portfolio is an unusual responsibility for undergraduate students, and Goenka has taken the opportunity to better launch his career in finance through in-depth fiscal experience and a certification in Bloomberg Market Concepts. Looking to his promising professional career after four years at Washington College, Goenka has affirmed the strength of international education through his impressive academic career and contributions to the wider college community.
Banking on the Future On First Fridays in Chestertown, most students gravitate to the art galleries and boutiques along High Street. Austin Hepburn ’18, a business management major and varsity lacrosse player, makes a beeline for Chesapeake Bank and Trust, on the corner of High and Cross streets. Over the cheese plates and cookies, Hepburn and his friends talk hunting, fishing, investing, and future careers in banking. “At the Career Fair last fall, I met a lot of great people from the Eastern Shore, and one of them was Glenn Wilson, president of Chesapeake Bank and Trust,” Hepburn recalls. “He asked for my résumé and later reached out to me. He’s on the board of a foundation that gives scholarship money to college students, and he encouraged me to apply.” Hepburn—who interned last summer with a mortgage lender in Pennsylvania and who is writing his senior thesis on Bryn Mawr Trust near Philadelphia—learned in January that he had been awarded a $3,000 scholarship from Risk Management Association (RMA), a professional association for the financial services industry. If the money weren’t earmarked to help pay for college, he says, he would have invested it. “Investing has always been an interest of mine,” says Hepburn, who has taken relevant classes with Hui-Ju Tsai, associate professor of business management, every year. Last year, Tsai encouraged him to interview for a spot in the Brown Advisory program, directed by industry expert Richard Bookbinder. “The Brown Advisory program has been one of the most influential and one of the best classes I’ve taken here,” Hepburn says.
Cultural Immersion in South Africa A double major in anthropology and psychology, Sidney Stone ’18 traveled on her own to South Africa to intern with SAVE, South African Volunteering Experiences, where she saw first-hand the poverty, violence, and social dislocation facing the people living in the townships.
f the purpose of beyond-theclassroom experiential learning is to push students out of their comfort zones, then Sidney Stone’s internship last summer in Cape Town, South Africa, was an unqualified success. “It was really intense. When I left, I was like, ‘Wow! I am so happy to be home,’” says Stone, who spent a month-and-a-half in Cape Town. “But at the same time, I really miss it. I had a great time, I made some great friends. I can’t really contact my kids because they don’t have social media, but I really miss the kids that I worked with. They were making great progress, too.” Stone learned about SAVE through Julie Markin, associate professor of anthropology. Based in Cape Town, the organization draws volunteers from around the world to help in a broad range of capacities in six African countries, from working with wildlife to helping young entrepreneurs learn marketing skills. The Hodson Trust helped fund Stone’s travel. Her primary internship was at a skills development workshop, teaching adults from the townships how to build websites and use social media to help market themselves and their businesses. “I was teaching them how to use Twitter and Instagram, Snapchat if they wanted to,” she says. “One of my biggest projects was for twin brothers who had finished high school. They really wanted to market their skills in traditional South African music, and they wanted to teach kids to use this music. They were super creative, but they didn’t know how to market themselves. So it was my job to teach them how to use Facebook and how to make pages for themselves to get people to know who they are.”
Atop Table Mountain, Sidney Stone ’18 takes in the view overlooking Cape Town, South Africa.
Stone also worked for SAVE’s Adventure Surf Club, which provides disadvantaged youth from townships in the Western Cape with positive after-school activities, including learning to swim and surf. In a township school called Zusakhe, she helped elementary and middle school students with everything from motor functions to social skills and language, including English, Afrikaans, Zulu, and Xhosa. When she wasn’t working in the townships, Stone was based in a hostel in a suburban Cape Town neighborhood. The juxtaposition of the townships to the rest of Cape Town was jarring, she says, as was the nature of the work and the immersion into the culture itself.
“I had never been so intensely active with a culture before,” Stone says. “This was not like a tour around some museum. It was, ‘Here you go,’ and they threw me in. I said, ‘I don’t know what I’m doing,’ and they said, ‘We don’t know what you’re going to do either, so do it!’’’ The internship, she says, taught her an enormous amount about controlling her fears. “I learned I had to smile more and actually feel how lucky I was to be there,” Stone says. “I really valued that opportunity, and I needed to help myself feel that.”
Real Money Over the past decade, the Brown Advisory Student-Managed Investment Fund portfolio balance has nearly doubled in value, but the students learning to navigate the financial industry are reaping even greater rewards. By Marcia C. Landskroener M’02
ach Wednesday morning, at the ambitious hour of 8 a.m., a cadre of freshly scrubbed students in business suits files into a classroom in Daly Hall, where Richard Bookbinder P’10 is waiting for them. Bookbinder, a financial industry expert and Washington College’s executive-in-residence, has already traveled three hours from his home in New Jersey to lead a class that has no syllabus and offers no academic credit. Still, the students—mostly young men and women intent on careers in finance or banking, many of them varsity athletes—come prepared. In the days leading up to the class, they’ve read the Wall Street Journal, followed daily news online, and studied corporate prospectuses, company releases, and annual reports. This morning, they talk about what’s happening in the world that impacts their holdings (General Mills’ offer to purchase Blue Buffalo represents a nice windfall, for instance), and consider whether to sell some positions to generate some cash for next year’s class. With Bookbinder teaching the weekly classes, providing mentorship, and opening doors to the world of finance for his students, the Brown Advisory Student-Managed Investment Fund Program has developed into a flagship program for the Department of Business Management and for Washington College. In recent years, the program has grown to incorporate other notable elements, including trips to Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholders’ meetings, underwriting the Bloomberg Market Concepts course, and formal events in which students share their work with faculty, staff, and alumni.
The program seamlessly connects with the rigorous finance curriculum provided by Professor Hui-Ju Tsai. The W. James Price IV Associate Professor of Business Management, co-director of the accounting and finance program, and faculty advisor for the Brown Advisory program, she teaches courses in financial analysis, corporate finance, investments, and financial derivatives. Her best students gravitate to the Brown Advisory program, where they can put their financial knowledge to the test with real money. On this day in February, business management major Austin Hepburn ’18 noted that consumer confidence in the market is at an all-time high. Because of the ongoing cybersecurity threat, economics major Tanner Barbieri ’18 remains confident in his stock picks: Palo Alto Networks and Raytheon. Business management major Tyler Powers ’18 mentioned the change of management at GE, which could bode well for the troubled company, and Shreyas Suresh ’18, a double major in business management and economics, brought up Comcast’s $13 million investment in a major expansion of its fiber network throughout greater Philadelphia and New Jersey. But the big news this morning is the release of Berkshire Hathaway’s 95-page annual report— required reading for the class. “Surely one of the most interesting companies, with one of the most interesting people on the planet running the company,” Bookbinder tells them. The class discusses the diversity of the companies under Berkshire Hathaway’s umbrella, and the pros and cons of continuing to hold a half-position in Warren Buffett’s behemoth company.
Tim Hickey ’18, a double major in business management and economics and chief investment officer for the fund, is a big Buffett fan. Hickey, one of five varsity lacrosse players in the class, had been following February’s market sell-off and expected stock prices would continue to fall. That may have been good news for Buffett, who in 2017, the students noted, had a hard time finding reasonably priced acquisitions. “Buffett thinks companies are overpriced,” Hickey says. “When prices fall, that’s the time to buy. Then everything’s on sale.” Wise words for one so young, notes Jonathan Price ’80, a portfolio manager at the namesake company Brown Advisory in Baltimore, and the son of W. James Price IV, a former partner and managing director of Alex. Brown & Sons who 10 years ago made a remarkable gift to Washington College—a half-million dollars for students to invest as they see fit. The portfolio now known as the Brown Advisory Student-Managed Investment Fund has grown from $500,000 in 2008 to $904,000 by the end of February 2018. The elder Price, now 93 and a former member of the Board of Visitors & Governors, years ago explained his motivation for making the gift. “When I finished college, I had no real-world knowledge of the investment world. When I started at Alex. Brown & Sons, I had great mentors but, as I look back, I always wished I had started with more knowledge of investments.” The younger Price, too, came at the financial industry sideways. “Back in the day, honestly there weren’t a lot of us who knew exactly where we wanted to go,” Price recalls. “I spent three or four years figuring it out. I moved furniture for a few weeks, and then I went to work for my uncle in the import/exports business and became his executive assistant. When I started at Alex. Brown in 1986, the only training and experience I had was reading out of a book and passing a test. To this day, I cringe at the idea of anyone wanting to start an account with me. If I had had some experience back in my college days, maybe it would have steered me towards Alex. Brown or Merrill Lynch earlier on.” Right after the investment fund was created, the student fund managers would make an annual pilgrimage to Baltimore, where they would spend the morning meeting with the analysts, portfolio managers, and the CEO of Alex. Brown, and then spend the afternoon at T. Rowe Price. For whatever reason, those trips fell by the wayside, until Price and Robert Hopkins ’83 reconnected with Bookbinder. “The sad part of the story is that there’s this gap where nothing happened,” Price says. “But now we’re well on our way to reestablishing that relationship.”
In fact, Bookbinder had arranged for the Brown Advisory students to visit the Baltimore offices on March 23 (at press time). Susan Vowels, associate professor and chair of the business management department, couldn’t be happier. “When we say that our students are competitive, it’s not just our opinion. We’re seeing increasing evidence of the quality of our students ranging from their success in external competitions to their entering rewarding careers and top graduate schools,” Vowels says. “This makes our re-engagement with Jon Price and his colleagues at Brown Advisory particularly gratifying— we’re thrilled that our students will have the opportunity to learn from them and we’re excited to be able to share with them the impacts of his father’s gift. I am truly looking forward to our renewed collaboration.” At the class meeting in February, Bookbinder was prepping his protégés for what might be considered an early job interview. “There’s a difference between being rehearsed and being prepared,” Bookbinder told them. “I want all of you to be prepared to speak intelligently about our portfolio. What do we own, and why? Under what circumstances would you sell a company? And be ready to have a conversation about Warren Buffett and Berkshire Hathaway. What are the component parts? How would you describe that company from a risk management perspective? From a job perspective, it’s a great way to have a conversation.” Bookbinder is confident they’ll make a good impression. “It’s rewarding to see the level of proficiency among the students in that class,” he says. “What I am most proud of is their ability to communicate. The one thing that has not changed in this digital world, where everybody’s using their thumbs on social media, is that verbal skills are still very important. What I see with these students here is that they are prepared. They want to learn. And they know how to talk to people, because people who can speak and speak well will be successful in life.” Some Brown Advisory veterans are well on their way. Four of Bookbinder’s former students—Connor Harrison ’16, Ryan Leigh ’17, Rick Schmidt ’17, and Alex Smith ’17— went on to the College of William & Mary for master’s degrees in accounting. Mason Faust ’17 is earning a master’s degree in finance at University of Rochester’s Simon Business School. Audrey Utchen ’17 is in the UK, pursuing a master’s degree in behavioral economics and finance at the University of Exeter. Jonathan Wendeborn ’17 is working for Vanguard in Philadelphia. Bookbinder is equally impressed with the Washington College students he knows
Emily Summers ’16 looks on with Richard Bookbinder P’10 at the Hannon Armstrong presentation in 2016.
W. James Price IV … 10 years ago made a remarkable gift to Washington College— a half-million dollars for students to invest as they see fit. The portfolio now known as the Brown Advisory StudentManaged Investment Fund has grown from $500,000 in 2008 to $904,000 by the end of February 2018.
Business management professors Hui-Ju Tsai (far left) and Susan Vowels (top, far right) pose with Washington College's executive-in-residence Richard Bookbinder P’10 (at right) and the students in the 2016-17 Brown Advisory Student-Managed Investment Fund Program. First row: Autumn G. Spence ’18, Tyler A. Powers ’18, Austin B. Hepburn ’18, Joseph D. Lozupone ’18, and Thomas S. Heffernan ’18. Middle row: Yuanqi Zhou ’18, Olivia M. Auer ’19, Tanner M. Barbieri ’18, and Brady J. Oneill ’19. Top row: Amy E. Rudolph ’18, Daniel H. Redmond ’18, Michael A. DeMaio ’18, Timothy J. Hickey ’18, Shreyas S. Suresh ’18, and Peter D. Mikulus ’18.
through his son, Jonathan, a business management major and Kappa Sigma fraternity brother who graduated in 2010. “They are all gainfully employed, and they all know how to speak well,” Bookbinder says. “Is it because of who they are? Is it Washington College? Is it the business management program? These students are a rare breed. These are kids who can express themselves— and negotiate.” He recounts what happened after four Brown Advisory students—Leigh, Suresh, Utchen, and Wendeborn—returned from the Berkshire Hathaway annual meeting in Omaha two years ago. After weeks of discussing whether to purchase shares in the company, the proposal was put to a vote. The vote was 50/50. “The dissenters’ reason was the same reason expressed today,” Bookbinder says, “Buffet’s mortality. Now, there are two components to that: those who really believe it’s an issue, and those who don’t want to make a decision. Audrey, who was one of the co-CIOs at the time, said “Hey, look. Let’s negotiate here. Let’s see if we can decide what we should 22
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do.’ And because of what she said, other students agreed and we bought some stock. Here you have a student—we’re not talking Wharton or Harvard Business School, we’re talking a Washington College student in the Brown Advisory Fund—who had enough smarts to say, ‘What will it take to get this thing done?’ ” The students’ portfolio picks are driven not by value or dividends, but by themes such as global warming and climate change, new technology, and social and economic trends. “Blue Buffalo is a great example,” Bookbinder says. “The rationale for buying Blue Buffalo was two-fold. When Olivia Auer [’19] mentioned Blue Buffalo back in September, I knew nothing about the company, which I immediately found out makes an organic pet food. We looked at two demographic groups: millennials and baby boomers. Millennials are getting married later, having kids later, and they want to have a pet. With baby boomers, the kids are out of the house and they want a pet. And both want to feed their pets organic. There are 150 million pets in the country. To
me, that makes an awful lot of sense, so we bought a half-position, which for us is somewhere between $27,000 and $32,000.” Typically, the Brown Advisory group will buy a half-position, wait a few weeks to see how the stock performs, and then if they still like it, they’ll buy another half-position. As Bookbinder explained it to the group today, Blue Buffalo was trading at General Mills’ deal price, so “we don’t have to do anything,” he says. “Owning Blue Buffalo is money in the bank.” Bookbinder, the founding director of the green-investment fund, TerraVerde Capital Management, and an ex-officio member of WC’s Board of Visitors & Governors Investment Committee, has served as Senior Advisor for the Brown Advisory fund since 2011. At the outset, his students liquidated much of the original portfolio and started fresh with a lot of cash and some new ideas. Under Bookbinder’s direction, the fund has performed well every year versus the S&P, but 2017 was a banner year, with the fund rocking the S&P by 200 basis points. He attributes its
strong performance to “a high allocation in some sectors that performed well—including tech—and a low allocation in some sectors such as energy and utilities that underperformed, in addition to having a small cash position.” Under his influence, the fund tends to favor companies that are good for the environment. Holdings include American Water Works, one of the country’s largest publicly traded water utilities, and Hannon Armstrong, an Annapolis-based company that provides financing for green technology and renewable energy companies. The company’s president and CEO, Jeffrey Eckel, made a successful pitch to the student investors on campus in 2016. “While we don’t own any oil companies, and haven’t owned any during my tenure, last year we had a discussion in class over many months and the final outcome was 50/50. Audrey Utchen, who’s from California, was very upset with that.” Other holdings that might be out of favor are Coke and Pepsi. The students reportedly never touch the stuff, preferring to drink water rather than sugary drinks. This conundrum points to an imperfection in the Brown Advisory program. “The biggest problem,” Bookbinder says, “is that there’s a high rate of turnover every year. Students come and go. Students graduate. When this group leaves in May and we start over in September, the next group might say, ‘We love Coke and Pepsi!’ It’s their decision. I call myself Dr. No, wielding some influence. But it’s ultimately their decision. So if they say they want to sell those positions, and it’s well thought through, if there’s good rationale, I’m all in favor of that.” His job, as he sees it, is to educate them about the things that influence the market and help point them in the right direction. From his perspective, that includes sharing his keen sense of social responsibility. “You ask me why I do this? To have an impact on these kids,” Bookbinder says. “When I look at issues of global warming and climate change, there are no do-overs. The clock is ticking. There is no way to stop the melting of the ice caps, whether it’s in Antarctica or Alaska. We can’t stop it. But we can slow it down. I believe that the students who come through the class have a greater understanding of how the capital markets and investment management can impact global warming. They have an appreciation for what’s going on out there in the world, so that if some of these students in five or seven or ten years are in positions of responsibility, they can do something about it.”
After meeting the Oracle of Omaha at the Berkshire Hathaway annual stockholders' meeting in 2016, Ryan Leigh ’17, Audrey Utchen ’17, Jonathan Wendeborn ’17, and Shreyas Suresh ’18 show off their Buffett pride.
“I believe that the students who come through the class have a greater understanding of how the capital markets and investment management can impact global warming. They have an appreciation for what’s going on out there in the world, so that if some of these students in five or seven or ten years are in positions of responsibility, they can do something about it.” Richard Bookbinder P’10
MAKING IT John Harris ’94 was a music major who loved
anything to do with designing and building small, beautiful boats. Now, he’s owner and CEO of the world’s largest kit-boat building company — and still making music on the side. by Wendy Mitman Clarke M’16
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“The liberal arts degree was the best degree for me as a small business owner,
because I learned how to write.”
Chesapeake Light Craft’s teardrop camper has captured the imagination of outdoor adventurers around the world.
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iberal arts degrees have come in for a lot of punishment lately, as prominent politicians and others have questioned their value in a society increasingly shaped and driven by technology. So it’s refreshing when John Harris, the owner of what is arguably the world’s most successful kit boat company, unequivocally points to his undergraduate work at Washington College as a cornerstone in his career. “The liberal arts degree was the best degree for me as a small business owner, because I learned how to write,” says Harris ’94, who owns Chesapeake Light Craft (CLC) in Annapolis. “I was already a good writer, which is why I liked Washington College in the first place… Now, I spend all day writing. We do these instruction manuals, and you can’t kid around with these things. You’re not doing this for a grade, you’re doing this for people who pay you a lot of money for this kit, and if they don’t have a good experience, we are screwed. And if they don’t have a good experience, a lot of times that’s because the manual was not up to snuff.” Amateur builders—CLC’s bread and butter—count on the thick, substantially illustrated guidebooks for clarity and accuracy to help them stay on track through complex projects. Yet what could be pedantic and tedious is anything but: “If by accident you glued the galley flat to the hatch lid with epoxy, there’d be a bit of a fight getting the hatch loose from the camper shell,” CLC’s teardrop camper manual notes at one point. “But nothing you couldn’t sort out with a bit of patience, salty language, and imprecation.” And it’s not just the manuals, Harris says. It’s being able to write convincingly to investors. It’s being able to write entertaining, informative blogs for the business’s website, and emails to potential customers, as he recounted last fall. “I just finished copy for a mailing that’s going out to 82,000 people. In 2017, you get an email? It had better sparkle or you’re not going to read it,” he says. “Just getting somebody to open an email marketing initiative is hard enough, but if it’s garbage, forget it. It’s got to have dash and be funny and engaging, and every single one of them has to be like that. You can’t go slack.” This probably comes more naturally to Harris than most. A born polymath, he
- John Harris ’94
exhibits those very traits of whimsy, humor, savvy, and tenacity. Coupled with his intense and abiding passion for interesting, beautiful, small boats and not a little bit of an engineer’s innate mechanical ability, this has been a potent combination for Chesapeake Light Craft, which, in 2016, had revenues of $4 million. With 112 designs ranging from sea kayaks to pocket cruisers, rowing shells to paddleboards—and now the wildly popular teardrop camper—CLC on average ships 2,000 kits annually to over 70 countries. Its patented LapStitch construction method makes it relatively easy for woodworking newbies to build small craft in their garages and proudly take to the water in beautiful vessels having invested more sweat equity than money. Harris has been profiled in publications ranging from Forbes and The Washington Post to Professional Boatbuilder and WoodenBoat (flagship publications in the boatbuilding business), and CLC has been on the Today Show, the History Channel, and Voice of America. People come from around the globe to attend building classes in specific designs at the shop in Annapolis, and CLC provides the curricula for classes to be taught worldwide. Not bad for a guy who came to Washington College as a music major, specializing in trombone, a talent for which he remains a popular collaborator in a variety of regional ensembles. Harris’s father, who instilled in him his love of sailing from childhood, is an engineer who designed, among others things, the fuel cells for NASA’s deep space probes. A maker by nature, long before people called it by that name, Harris’s father would go out in the garage and build whatever he happened to need, from coffee tables to televisions. “If he needed an air compressor, he would build it himself from parts,” Harris says. “So I just thought that was normal.” It’s probably no surprise, then, that when the teenaged Harris wanted a boat and it became evident his parents weren’t going to buy him one, he built one. His first effort was “absolutely hideous” (although he still keeps the bow section on a shelf in his office). “But the next one was better, and I was completely taken … I was just completely enchanted by boatbuilding and design. I wanted to go to an apprenticeship program, but my parents said, ‘No, you’re going to a four-year college.’’’
Enter Washington College and mentors such as John Wagner, then waterfront director, and the late Garry Clarke, who developed the College’s music program and went on to become acting president of the College for two years and dean for six. “Thank gosh for Garry Clarke. Boy, do I miss him,” Harris says. “He was one of these astonishingly intellectual polymaths. He was so smart, I was just always amazed. He grew me up a lot. He was my music professor and my advisor. He basically took me by the shirt collar and dragged me through four years, like, ‘This is how to be a scholar, you dumb ass, because you have no idea what you’re doing, clearly.’ And he did it with grace and humanity.” Harris found his second College home at the boathouse, under Wagner’s wing. “I don’t think I had to advise him very much at all,” Wagner says. “I just provided an environment to enable him to do what he wanted to do.” That included giving Harris some space to work on his own boat projects, in exchange for which Harris helped maintain the College’s fleet. And, it
also meant introducing him to the region’s wooden-boat builders, including John Swain, Graham Ero, Jay Benford, and others. “These would be my weekend expeditions,” Harris says. “Instead of partying, I spent four years basically driving around visiting boatyards and boat shops. In my first year, I made it my goal to meet every single person in Chestertown who had a boat. John Wagner is how I found them.” One of those people was running a small boatbuilding shop off of Cross Street (in what is now Chestertown Natural Foods), and Harris started working there after graduating. Part of the shop was producing kits for Chesapeake Light Craft, which entrepreneur Chris Kulczycki had started in Arlington, Virginia. Harris realized that this idea—“turning out wooden boat widgets all the time” in a mass-production way—fit perfectly with his ever-evolving notions of beautiful small craft. It would let him experiment with designs, make money, and have fun. And, it was the only part of the boatbuilding shop that was succeeding financially. When the shop, strapped for cash, laid him off, Harris went to Kulczycki and pitched the concept of setting up an independent CLC shop in Annapolis. Kulczycki agreed, and in 1995 the shop opened. Harris soon became general manager, “and then we caught the sea kayak craze of the 1990s.” CLC took off.
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Everything was going swimmingly, until Kulczycki started urging Harris to buy him out. It seemed like too big a bite for Harris, until he realized that if Kulczycki sold the company to someone else—and it was looking like that could happen—he’d be out the door. “If someone sells the company, you get sacked because they’re going to put their own manager in,” he says. “And I realized, I love my job. I get to play with boats all day.” He was 27 years old with about four grand in the bank. He asked around in the local maritime industry for potential investors, “and I went back to my liberal arts education. I had to be extremely articulate. I had to make the ultimate elevator pitch.” In the end, he found what he calls an “angel investor” who was willing to back him if he could come up with more money. His college roommate’s dad was a VP at Bank of America, so he pitched him, and one by one he pulled it together—a deal in the millions of dollars. “It was wondrous strange,” he says. “I could never do it now. I wouldn’t have the confidence now. But when you’re 27, you’re just blithely confident.” Along with a business, Harris now had a new challenge in a board of directors secondguessing his concepts and methods. “I was pretty eager to please, but I got frustrated fairly quickly because the foundation of Chesapeake Light Craft’s success has always been creativity, trying things out, doing things a little bit different, having some fun, and building an affinity group of people who appreciate interesting small boats,” Harris says. “This costs money to do. It costs money to try out ideas and fail. Some of those ideas turned into gigantic sellers, and the business continued to grow quite nicely. But they wanted their money back, and it was very, very difficult to balance that.” Ultimately, his angel investor enabled him to buy out the remaining investors, and then, by 2004, he bought the whole business. “And I immediately embarked on the way I thought it should be, which is creativity first and the sales will follow. And that has been the case ever since, just coming up with fun ideas and then pursuing them to a logical conclusion.” Of course, it’s not that simple. An enormous amount of thinking, designing, planning, and trial-and-error goes into the development of a CLC kit. When it shows up on your doorstep, neatly packaged in flat boxes, each piece has already been cut to precise specification on the shop’s $240,000 CNC (computer numerical control) machine, ready for assembly. This sounds (and
appears) so simple, but here’s a little look inside the sausage factory from a blog Harris wrote on the CLC site in 2014 about the evolution of CAD design and CNC technology at Chesapeake Light Craft: “Puzzle joints, for joining plywood panels to lengths over eight feet, may have done as much as epoxy and CAD design to make boat kits more accessible to the amateur boatbuilder. They’re also pure hell for the manufacturer. Tolerances need to be perfect: not too tight, not too loose. They need to fit even if the kit is shipped across three time zones and with a 50% shift in humidity. We cut thousands of them—every Annapolis Wherry, for example, has forty individual puzzle-joint cuts—and they require unwavering vigilance at the CNC machine. They can be cut only with a new router bit; a dull bit has lost some of its diameter, enough to throw off the fit.” One of the clever perks Harris gives his employees is a kit each year. They go home and build them, learning first-hand what their customers may encounter as they build their own boats. When a customer calls CLC with a question, someone’s invariably there who can speak to their experience, a camaraderie that helps nurture the almost fanatical following of CLC owners. Fundamentally, Harris’s business philosophy comes back to the maker culture that his father mentored when he was a youngster. “If you want to make it, you’ve got to be a maker,” he says. “You’ve got to make something that’s unique, that can’t be easily or legally copied, and the only way to get there is to be willing to not make any money for a long time. And just keep trying fun stuff… It’s hard to compete with China, so we have to keep coming up with products we can not only build here but build affordably here.” During the Great Recession, CLC actually grew, Harris says, “because the maker thing just did so well … the expensive kits weren’t selling but the small stuff was. Even buying a set of plans and building from scratch—people were clearly staying home and building stuff.” Although the economy is stronger now, and CLC continues to go like gangbusters, Harris is cautious enough to be developing smaller, less-expensive items— for instance, a CLC tool box, and models of CLC boats—that could help the company withstand another downturn. His biggest investment now, he says, is in other creative, passionate people. “I’m really into hiring people with that spark and drive, because now that I’m a dad, my attention and time are not what they were 15 years ago,” he says. With 23 employees,
he’s about 85% management now, and while he loves developing and working with the CLC team, it’s difficult for someone as hands-on as he is to let some of the work go to others. It’s also hard to find time for whimsy, for doodling, for playing, for creating, so each morning he tries to carve out time to draw or tweak a boat before hitting the day’s work. “I still have all my Washington College notebooks, and instead of keeping them because they’re full of academic notes, I keep them because they’re full of boat drawings,” Harris says. “Classroom 9 in the Gibson Fine Arts building had these perfect benches for drawing, so I would draw boats and enter design contests and things like that.” Sometimes, these drawings, and even doodles from high school, end up making it into a new design (http://bit.ly/nanoship). “I really have a liberal arts degree, and I can’t think of a better grounding. It ended up being one of the best things, especially in the people I met,” he says. But he also credits his “creative passion” and his lifelong commitment to creating beautiful, clever boats. “The people who can make stuff will do OK. What we’re trying to do here is just be makers.” For more of Harris’s thoughts on boatbuilding, sailing, creativity, life, the universe, and everything, visit his “Life of Boats” blog on the CLC website: http://www.clcboats.com/life-of-boats-blog/ Wendy Mitman Clarke M’16 and her husband, John, are building a CLC teardrop camper in their garage, with ample help from their son, Kaeo Clarke ’20.
“If you want to make it, you’ve got to be a maker. You’ve got to make something that’s unique, that can’t be easily or legally copied, and the only way to get there is to be willing to not make any money for a long time. And just keep trying fun stuff…” - John Harris ’94
The connection between baseball and a wildly successful bottled water business may seem obscure, but to Matt Swanson ’09 and Chris O’Donovan ’09, it is an obvious straight line. By Joan Katherine Cramer
Matt Swanson ’09 (left) and Chris O’Donovan ’09 are expanding their boxed beverages business with a line of flavored water for children. Photo: Permission from the Baltimore Sun.
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hey met as freshmen on the ball field— Matt Swanson ’09 was a lefthander who pitched a one-hit shutout in his first game at Washington College and Chris O’Donovan ’09 was an outfielder. They’ve been best friends ever since. They each served as best man at the other’s wedding, they talk on the phone constantly, and they’ve been tossing around ideas for starting their own business—“mostly bad,” quips O’Donovan—since soon after they graduated. In October 2015 they took the leap. With the promise of $500,000 from angel investors, they left their jobs—Swanson was working for Google on the West Coast and O’Donovan was on the East Coast working for the popular sports drink startup BodyArmor—and launched Rethink Water in Swanson’s parents’ basement in Highland, Maryland. Their idea was to sell highly purified water in ecofriendly tetrahedron-shaped cartons made of 70 percent paperboard. Within a year, Rethink Water was boasting sales of $400,000. In 2017 they hit $3 million. This year they expect sales of $7 to $10 million. Rethink Water is now on shelves in stores—including Walmart, Safeway, Giant, and Wegman’s—in all 50 states. In April, the partners rolled out Rethink Kids Water—a line of pure organic fruit-flavored waters for small children. No sugar, no sodium, packaged in recyclable paper cartons, it is the healthy equivalent of juice boxes and was immediately picked up by 10,000 stores across the country. They expect it to eventually comprise most of their business. “We believe Rethink can change the way consumers from zero to 15 years of age consume beverages,” Swanson says. Swanson and O’Donovan are both avid consumers of market analyses and a lot of research went into
Rethink’s strategy. “We noticed that premium bottled water was and continues to be on this unbelievable rise,” O’Donovan says. “It has passed carbonated soft drinks as the leader in the beverage industry.” They also noticed that there was no premium water on supermarket shelves for children. “The category of drinks for kids is dominated by a few big manufacturers and, in our opinion, they got lazy,” says Swanson. “Parents had two choices if they wanted their kids to drink water—plastic bottles or filling up sippy cups. We feel we’re poised to bring consumers something they are going to prefer to what’s out there today.” Swanson says what he learned about leadership as a business management major at WC was invaluable in preparing him to launch a company. But he and O’Donovan, a human development major, say they learned just as much on the baseball field. “Baseball really set me up,” Swanson says. “It taught me the value of teamwork, leadership, perseverance, and competing. It’s the same skill set you need to start a business.” Both men agree that, as much as they wanted to start their own company right out of school, they weren’t ready 10 years ago. “We were so naive,” says O’Donovan. “We had no idea how competitive it was. We discovered very quickly that we needed more experience, and we learned so much working in the jobs we had.” Swanson went straight from WC to work at Procter & Gamble’s Cincinnati headquarters as an account executive in customer business development. O’Donovan went to work for Tessemae, a successful startup launched by another Washington College alum to sell his mother’s all-organic salad dressing. Later, Swanson went to Google and O’Donovan to BodyArmor.
“Matt worked for major, major companies. He was part of a bigger picture, a bigger retail strategy,” says O’Donovan. “I was lucky to work right out of WC in the early days at a startup like Tessemae and have a chance to learn what it’s like to take a product to market. So Matt’s and my experiences mesh incredibly well.” Rethink Water now has an office and warehouse in Columbia, Maryland, and the partners have hired seven people, including a company president, a chief financial officer, as well as office, sales, and fulfillment staff. Swanson is CEO and focuses on fundraising and national retail partnerships. Already, the company has gone through several more rounds of financing, raising an additional $2 million. And though their roles overlap, O’Donovan is head of business development and focuses on calling on retailers and helping to streamline operations. Swanson and his wife, who still works for Procter & Gamble, live in Michigan. O’Donovan lives in Chevy Chase. And they are both constantly on the road. “When you’re bright-eyed and bushy-tailed and you’ve never done this, you don’t realize how competitive it is, how much work it takes,” Swanson says. “I tell everybody there is no shortcut to building a brand. I used to think it was mostly about funding, but it really comes down to perseverance. I came from a world of resources at Google and P&G, and now it’s just us, and we’ve had to do everything from putting product on the shelf to jumping on an airplane and flying to Walmart’s world headquarters to make a presentation to a vice-president. People say I work 70 hours a week and I really don’t, but the business is on my mind 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. It’s what I dream about, you know?”
“I tell everybody there is no shortcut to building a brand. I used to think it was mostly about funding, but it really comes down to perseverance.’’ -Chris O’Donovan ’09
O’Donovan says he and Swanson are sustained by their passion for what they’re doing. He says that he and his wife, Kathleen Nealon O’Donovan ’08, have a toddler and “it’s one of the coolest things in the world to be able to come home at night and give our 20-monthold daughter an organic, zero sugar, zero sodium product that we’ve produced ourselves. It’s part of what drives us.” The other part, he says, is that the beverage business has somehow gotten under their skin. “Working at BodyArmor was an amazing experience,” he says, “and it made me realize that this is what I want to do for the rest of my life.”
The Business of Bugs In the spring of 2016, Bex De Prospo ’03 left behind a comfy day job for something less stable, a lot more exciting, with 100 percent more bugs. Intro by Meghan Livie ’09 | Excerpt by Bex De Prospo ’03
ex De Prospo ’03 was living a safe, practical existence in Christchurch, New Zealand, the city she calls home, but she longed for a life of purpose. The former English major had a well-established career as a music and theater venue manager and was well-respected in her field, but there was no buzz, no passion. With graduate degrees in entrepreneurship, English literature, and sound design, De Prospo’s knowledge and skill set were constantly evolving, but still she felt unfulfilled. Looking to discover that “something missing,” De Prospo attended StartUp Weekend Christchurch, a hands-on gathering of entrepreneurs with start-up dreams, looking to see if those dreams are viable. She came away from that weekend with a business partner, Peter Randrup, and a vision for the business that would emerge from their whirlwind meeting: Anteater, New Zealand’s supplier for premier edible insects. With a passion for sustainability and global food security at the forefront, De Prospo and Randrup founded Anteater to add delicious edible insects into mainstream culture as a substitute for protein sources that come at a much higher cost to the environment. From foraged lemongrass ants to native grass-fed locusts dubbed “sky prawns,” Anteater’s delectable bugs are a huge hit with forward-thinking chefs with a cutting-edge menu or environmentally sustainable food sources in mind. In the two years since its inception, Anteater has won or been nominated for many awards, including grand prize and best business plan prize in the Entre $85k Challenge, run by the University of Canterbury. Most recently, the business owners were selected as fellows for the prestigious Edmund Hillary Fellowship, a groundbreaking entrepreneurial platform that brings international leaders together in New Zealand for three years of focused business development. Here, from De Prospo’s blog @BusinessBex on Medium.com, is an excerpt detailing a trip to Southeast Asia for edible insect research.
Bex De Prospo ’03 flash-fries locusts at TEDx Christchurch.
IF YOU WANT TO LIVE FOREVER,
START A BUSINESS.
Chef Seiha (far right) is very satisfied with himself after putting a scorpion on Bex De Prospo’s shoulder.
Entrepreneurship has completely altered my perception of time. In my former “day job” life, the hours and days often seemed excruciatingly long, while the months and years unceremoniously slipped away in seconds. Now, the days race by so quickly that we frequently wish we had another three or four hours to carry on. But we’re learning and achieving so much that the weeks feel more like months, the months, years. As I write, Peter and I are in Sydney Airport on one final layover after wrapping up an Anteater research trip to Thailand and Cambodia. We have been there for two weeks testing various edible insect products and meeting with most of the biggest and best players in the bug business. Southeast Asia was immense. There were several 24-hour periods which, upon completion, we could no longer recall how they started. The best of which started on a Sunday night as we arrived into Siem Reap, got shamelessly ripped off crossing the border, and eventually clambered awkwardly, sweating, with all of our possessions into a tuk tuk to our hotel. That first ride from the airport in the dark was already enough to make me teary
about Cambodia. Such extraordinary landscape. Such extraordinary people. Such extraordinary poverty. I have traveled as much and as far as I have been physically and financially able for as long as I have been adult enough to make decisions for myself. But Cambodia was immediately the most foreign place I’d seen. We spent that first evening drinking the compulsory $0.50 beers on Pub Street (yes, Cambodia prefers U.S. dollars to their own riel and yes, there really is a “Pub Street”). And then we were up with the following dawn to meet a Cambodian chef named Seiha who would take us deep into the countryside to meet a local tarantula and scorpion hunter. The hunter (who spoke not one word of English but whose incredible character was immediately obvious) took us deep into the wild lands surrounding his humble home with several of the village children to show us his craft. The children competed to see who could find the most tarantula and scorpion lairs for him to pillage. Once the nests were identified, he would expertly extract his catch, quickly removing fangs and stingers with no more than a shovel and a stick and years of very evident experience behind him. He was as skilled a hunter as I can possibly imagine. Along with a few mischievous little boys, one beautiful, precocious girl of about eight years old joined us in the hunt. When presented with a live tarantula whose fang had not been entirely removed, she promptly bit the offending fang out with her teeth and spat it out with a big grin. She popped the giant furry spider into the bamboo cage with the all the rest before skipping off into the wilderness to find the next. I turned to Peter, completely stunned and said, simply, “Badass.” When our cage could hold no more, we returned to the village: the soft-spoken chef with the unenviable job of translator, the pro insect hunter, the fearless children (who may or may not have been his children) and us — the two strangers who hunt ants the size of pinheads and probably still belong at the kids’ table. The hunter bathed himself with a barrel of water under a makeshift tap, inscribed in English, saying that it had been donated to the village by a couple of humanitarians some decades before. Seiha, the chef-translator, explained in broken English that we would now eat our catch. Peter and I sat on a wooden platform under a thatched banana-leaf roof with the children while the hunter washed and prepared the scorpions and tarantulas with as much pride and care as any top chef we have ever worked with. Slowly stir-fried over an open fire, those insects were one of the most beautiful and lovingly prepared dishes I have ever had the good fortune to taste. The children watched us with curiosity and amusement as we ate and, when we offered to share the spoils, eagerly helped us devour the whole bowl. 34
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Business partners Peter Randrup and Bex De Prospo ’03 supply their edible insects to a New Zealand restaurant chain, Mexico.
No sooner had we finished, then a couple of the village women arrived, one on a bicycle with a basket full of bee larvae wrapped in banana leaf. Again, they fed their harvest to the strange foreigners and we gratefully accepted as we watched the wheeling and dealing of larvae weighed, prices negotiated, and money exchanged. As our tuk tuk pulled away, it felt like the whole village was there to wish us off. All the women and the children waved and shouted “Bye bye!” until we were out of sight and, once again, I found it hard to hold back my tears for Cambodia. A quick shower and a change at our hotel and then we were welcomed at the extraordinary Bugs Café, the ultimate purpose of the Cambodian leg of our journey. This very fine restaurant is the final destination for the insects we had hunted earlier in the day. And we spent that evening surrounded by the owner and a table of his local friends and acquaintances. We tried every dish on the menu, all expertly prepared by Seiha who, I’m told, was convinced to come to Bugs Café from a more conventional chef position at a nearby hotel. He humbly confessed that afternoon that he got his first lesson in insect preparation from the hunter. It was one of our more extravagant meals in Asia and consisted of several tasting platters of expertly prepared dishes, but still carried a price tag of only about $10 for each of us. We ate and drank and laughed and reveled in the hospitality of these wonderful local entomophagists. We ate our fill of items both on the menu and off, our endless questions and special requests being accommodated graciously at every turn. Our
bug feast complete, we were then coaxed to a deeply locals bar, the name of which I never learned, where the owner proudly presented us with a shot of the local specialty, Mekong Whiskey, and we saw a spectacular array of talents on display in open-mic fashion featuring one of the best beat boxers I have ever seen. We stumbled back to our hotel at the end of that, our first day in Cambodia, and felt that we had already lived 10 lifetimes there (and we never, ever wanted to leave). We had gained the knowledge of a year’s worth of industry research. We had challenged and overcome the last of our own remaining fears and misconceptions about eating insects. And we had been so deeply, utterly moved by this place. Changed. A piece of our hearts forevermore inhabited by Siem Reap and its residents. We head home now with our hearts full and our heads whirring with ideas and inspiration for the time ahead. How has this only been two weeks? What will happen in the next two weeks? What might we possibly achieve in the next six months? I simply have no scope to imagine it. What I do know for certain is that it will feel like several lifetimes have transpired in that time. Seriously, if you want to live forever, start a business.
This excerpt has been edited for length and clarity.
CLASS NOTES 36 |
WEDDINGS 41 | BIRTHS & ADOPTIONS 41 | OBITUARIES 4 4
A GOLDEN ANNIVERSARY: It all began with this crew in 1968. Washington College is celebrating the 50th anniversary of its rowing program during Alumni Weekend. As part of a regatta with the Eastern Shore Community Rowers on Sunday, June 3, two legendary coaches—Mike Davenport and John Leekley—will be honored, and guests can enjoy a cookout and see the construction progress of the Hodson Trust Boathouse. The regatta gets underway at 10 a.m. To participate—and to identify any of the rowers pictured here—contact Sean Flanigan at email@example.com or 410-778-7233.
ekend, June 1 – e W 3 ni
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Julian Dorf celebrated his sister’s 98th birthday on Dec. 25. He takes her to dinner every week.
Dale Tyler has retired. He is married to Sharon van Curen, who is an active horse barrel racer. His home is in the Sacramento Mountains, with snow and a ski lift five miles away. Visitors are welcome, with the offer of a free guide to the Sun Spot, White Sands, and Carlsbad Caverns!
WC Alumni: Share your news! We are proud to share your stories with our community in “Class Notes.” Submit your alumni news and photos to CLASS_NOTES@WASHCOLL.EDU
Fred Barmwater is enjoying retirement in Colorado with family and grandkids nearby. He has 13 years of volunteer service with the Denver Museum of Nature and Science.
Melissa S. Younger worked 20 years in advertising/marketing. After having her second son, she decided to switch gears and joined a publishing house, working her way up from copywriter/editor to managing editor.
Raymond Trucksess has retired and resides in Springfield, Pennsylvania. His two sons and two grandchildren also live near him, and his daughter lives in Denver.
Lisa Turner recently published her second book, House Keys: Tips & Tricks from a Female Home Inspector, available from Amazon.
Jeff and Susan Aiken Coomer are now enjoying their retirement as fulltime residents of Chestertown. Garrison Keillor recently read three poems from Jeff’s first poetry book (A Potentially Quite Remarkable Thursday) on segments of the nationally-syndicated public radio program, The Writer’s Almanac. They’re available on the program’s website.
Katie Washart ’16 just received her white coat at Lincoln Memorial University College of Veterinary Medicine. She is doing well in the DVM program and she earned her master’s degree in December 2017. She is an active student member of the ethics and honor code committee and is also working on her certificate for diversity and inclusion in humancentered veterinary medicine. Katie credits her peer mentor training for preparing her for this certificate.
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Jack Gilden is the author of Collision of Wills: Johnny Unitas, Don Shula and the Rise of the Modern NFL, to be published by University of Nebraska Press in August 2018. Jack’s work has appeared in many publications, including the Baltimore Sun, the Evening Sun, Orioles Magazine, The Jewish Times, Style Magazine, Sports Heritage Magazine, the Italian Times, Chesapeake Life, and others. As a freelance journalist, Jack has won numerous writing awards, including two Columbia Gold Circle Awards, The Simon Rockower Award from the American Jewish Press Association, and an IRMA award from the International Regional Magazine Association.
Mark Bradley’s family recently moved from northern Virginia to Greensboro, North Carolina. He is open to connecting with alumni in the area.
Erin Murphy’s co-edited anthology Creating Nonfiction: Twenty Essays and Interviews with the Writers (SUNY Press) won a Gold Medal in the Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Awards. Her seventh book of poetry, Assisted Living, won the Brick Road Poetry Press Prize and will be published in May 2018. She is Professor of English at Penn State University, Altoona College, and was proud to represent Penn State at the inauguration of President Kurt Landgraf in September. Sarah Pyle Moore is a “recovering swim mom” to sons Charlie, 17, and Peter, 14. She earned her master’s in clinical mental health counseling at Marymount and is in private practice at Sunstone Counseling in the City of Falls Church, Virginia. She specializes in working with family members affected by substance abuse and perinatal mental health, supporting women across the fertility, pregnancy, and postpartum span. She also plays tennis regularly.
Clay Eichelberger bounced back and forth between New York and California, working for a while at 20th Century Fox and for a short time at Disney. He is entering his 10th year at DC Comics, pretty much in his dream job, and is living in overly-sunny southern California. He has been married for 23 years (no kids, but one cat) and is still working on his novel.
Rebecca Smith Cottenoir taught biology and botany at Arkansas State University and Southern Illinois University, and geology at South Plains College. She is now an adjunct professor at Wingate University.
Since 1994, Ciaran O’Keeffe has lived in London, Madrid, Liverpool, Toulouse, Kingston, and Oxford. He has constantly been involved in investigative and parapsychology and has appeared on many TV programs as a consultant or contributor on those subjects. He is now head of psychology at a university ranked sixth in the country for its BSc, according to the National Student Survey. He has four children—ages 9, 3, 2, and an infant born in January.
David Michael Kraft was married in 2005. He has two daughters.
Tanae Brown-Kenney retired from the State of Maryland in 2014. She and her partner, Lonita (see Just Married), live in Baltimore with three honor roll scholars—Joseph 17, Samnae, 11, and Sarah, 9.
Charles Black ’77 celebrated his daughter Emily’s wedding on Nov. 11, 2017. The wedding in Baltimore was attended by many alumni including, left to right: Bo Lewis ’79, Kevin Murphy ’77, John Cheek ’77, Tim Norris ’80, Emily Black Soref, Jon Price ’79, Rick “Fuzzy” Norris ’74, Chuck Black ’77, John Moag ’77, Rob Wilder ’79, Myrt Gaines ’78, and Gary Norris ’78.
John Filicicchia, a school administrator, recently retired after 29 years of service to the State of Delaware. He is now employed at Amazon, and his son Jackson is a member of Washington College’s Class of 2021.
Seth Miller Gabriel ’01, Rielle Miller Gabriel ‘02, Erin Gabriel ‘02, and Raj Mukherjee ‘00 shared the holidays together in Stockholm. Kara Beth Lee is the mother of two girls, ages 10 and 8. Kara works as a project manager in the payments CRO AML department of US Bank. Nick Hoover was invited back to WC to talk to six teaching interns about the principal’s perspective on teacher training and what principals are looking for in candidates. Nick is the principal at Meredith Middle School in Middletown, Delaware, and on occasion has taught as an adjunct for the Education department.
Lindsay Bergman-Debes recently accepted a position in the public information office at Cecil County Public Schools in Elkton, Maryland. She lives with her husband, Dan, and dog, Pugsley Addams, in Elkton, where she also serves on the Cecil County Democratic Central Committee and the board of the Cecil County Democrat Club. George Best married his college sweetheart and has two kids, Hudson and Eloise.
Amanda Finley Boutwell worked as an art studio manager for seven years, painting and selling art. She volunteers with the non-profit Baltimore Rock Opera Society and is currently running a start-up business brewing kombucha.
Challys Withers Gretsinger joined the Society for Creative Anachronism and recently started working for the Prince George’s County Publick Playhouse as a
During recent extreme ice conditions, Shawn T. Orr ‘86 (left), who is captain of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) vessel Sandusky, teamed with fellow alum and DNR Assistant Secretary William C. Anderson ’80 in clearing the channel at Kent Narrows.
A L U M N I U P DAT E | C L A S S N O T E S
Alums Zach Dixon ’07, Ben Hyson ’05, Kathy Bands Schindler ’10, Katie Blaha ’09, and Kim Strachan ’09 connected over cocktails and conversation at the reception with President Kurt Landgraf at The Center Club in Baltimore on Nov. 28, 2017.
front of house assistant. She married Alexander Gretsinger, a 2006 University of Maryland graduate, and moved to Washington, D.C.
adults with intellectual disabilities through its residential, respite, educational, vocational, and supported employment programs in Maryland and Pennsylvania.
David Finnegan-Hosey’s first book, Christ on the Psych Ward, will be released this spring through Church Publishing Inc. Learn more at christonthepsychward.com.
Anjelika Jackson Todd earned her doctorate in clinical psychology in 2015 and now works as a licensed psychologist at Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore. She married Chris Todd ’09 in March 2016.
Stephanie Baker Bradley has been working at JPMorgan Chase for three and a half years and works on compliance— especially terrorist financing and money laundering. She manages a team of 10. She was married in August 2017.
Jenn Hobbs has been named associate director of development for Penn-Mar Human Services, which serves more than 400 38
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Kenton Kilgore M’92 had the pleasure of visiting the George Washington Carver Center for Arts and Technology, a magnet high school in Towson, Maryland, to discuss creative writing with a group of students. His new book, This Wasted Land, was published just in time for the Bay to Ocean Writers Conference on March 10, at Chesapeake College in Wye Mills.
Megan Rose Gentry is studying to be a travel agent.
Brendyn Meisinger is working on his master’s degree at the University of Miami, and raising grouper at a hatchery in Thailand. Katherine Young campaigned for Gov. John Kasich during the 2016 presidential primary.
Hailee Marsh moved to Virginia last year. She is working as a field interviewer for Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk, doing surveillance on HIV in the area as part of a grant made by the Centers for Disease Control. Though her work is in the public health sector, it’s also anthropology fieldwork, and she is intrigued by how the CDC came up with the questions that she is asking people.
In early November, Larry Culp ’85, Dicky Grieves ’83, Peter Murphy ’76, and friend Jim Gillespie enjoyed a day of fishing on the Chester River, with Larry reeling in the largest and most rockfish of the day.
A L U M N I U P DAT E | S P O T L I G H T
Accounting for Success Connor Harrison ’15, now a CPA working for Deloitte, is the first Washington College graduate to take advantage of a partnership with the College of William & Mary to complete a master of arts in accounting. By Victoria Smith
t was a summer job at Kings Dominion and Soak City, a water park near his hometown of Mechanicsville, Virginia, that got Connor Harrison hooked on business. “I was 16 when I started as a line employee, preparing and serving food, working the cash register, cleaning,” he says. “But over the next few years I was promoted four times and became an area supervisor, which included working on projects to increase sales and manage costs, and that got me really excited about business management.” The first Washington College graduate to be accepted into the master of arts in accounting program at the College of William & Mary through a partnership launched in 2015, Harrison completed the program last spring and immediately landed a full-time job at Deloitte, one of the Big Four accounting firms and the largest professional service network in the world. As an audit and assurance senior assistant, Harrison is delighted with his mission. “We make sure that people investing their money in the companies we work on are protected,” he says. Washington College prepared him well. While earning a degree in business management with a minor in economics, he served as Student Government Association president, became an admissions ambassador and fellow, and interned one summer with Greenspring Associates, a venture capital firm in Owings Mills, Maryland, and another with Doha Bank in Qatar. “The internship in Qatar was a once-in-alifetime experience,” he says. “It is a melting
pot with expats from all over the Middle East. And I’ll never forget the food—Turkish kebabs, Lebanese hummus, Iraqi, Sri Lankan, and Indian cuisines all in one place.” Harrison was also active in the Brown Advisory Student-Managed Investment Fund, which gives students real-world investing experience, and the Washington College to Wall Street Program, which introduces students to alums and places them in internships directly related to their career goals. WC to Wall Street led to the Greenspring internship where Harrison met General Managing Partner Jim Lim ’91, who is also a member of the College’s Board of Visitors & Governors. “Connor was an incredible student, hardworking, very outgoing,” recalls Lansing Williams, assistant professor of business management and Harrison’s advisor. “He set some very high goals for himself, and achieved them. He passed the CPA exam on his first sitting, which in itself is a major accomplishment.” Williams administers the W&M partnership and says the application fee is now waived for WC grads who apply to the accounting program and, if their GPA is at least 3.25, so is their Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) requirement. If the student is one of the top three WC applicants, and not a Virginia resident, they receive a $10,000 scholarship. “It was definitely an adjustment, and the curriculum was intense,” says Harrison of the W&M program. “But it’s nothing Washington College students can’t handle.
Connor Harrison ’15 aspires to a career in executive management.
Professor Williams guided me throughout the process, and always had great advice.” Harrison advises students interested in business to take advantage of the rich array of programs that helped prepare him. “Internship experience is critical, and so is getting involved on campus,” he says. “Get as much leadership experience as you can. And, most important, never discredit yourself or count yourself out.”
A L U M N I U P DAT E | C L A S S N O T E S
At a lunch meeting at Dixon Valve & Coupling Co. in January, College President Kurt Landgraf met several Washington College alumni who work for the Chestertown manufacturing company. Pictured from left to right: Dan Lessard M’91, Charlie Athey ’01, Hazen Arnold M’03, Tom Parr ’03, Zachary Holocker ’12, Sean Anderson ’91 (front), Nick Longworth ’12 (behind Sean), Joe Stockburger ’18, James Martz ’15, Thomas Landskroener ’13, JR Everett ’15, Steven Bilinski ’15, Scott Spurrier ’84, Kurt Landgraf, Bryan Matthews ’76 M’86, Dixon CEO Richard L. Goodall, Gary Atkinson ’83, Brian Ford ’94, Tammy Stricker ’05, Wayne Spurrier ’84, Betsy Ricketts ’14, John Rickloff ’90, Jenna Campbell ’11, Joe Miloshevsky ’15, Jeff Newell ’92, Robin Bauer ’82, Scott Jones ’89, and George Best ’06.
John Andrew Richter is working for the Harford County Department of Emergency Services in emergency management. He has been involved in several projects and served as a volunteer firefighter and EMT with the Bel Air Volunteer Fire Department. Grant Twilley is mapping coastlines from planes using LIDAR. The work takes him all over the world.
Sarah Coyle is working as the Republican floor assistant in the U.S. House of Representatives in Washington, D.C. Sarah is a floor assistant for the Office of the Speaker and she works in the Republican cloakroom. She runs the Republican Cloakroom website and helps run an information center for the members and staff.
Taira Sullivan graduated from University of Maryland, College Park at the end of May with an 40
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M.S. in Library and Information Science. On June 1, she started her job as the digital asset specialist for the United States Naval Institute in Annapolis. She has been assisting in the project management of the digital asset management software pilot and the Institute’s oral history program, editing audio and transcripts and putting segments online for public access.
Lily Britt and Vicki Cordes ’76 have stayed in touch after meeting last February at the DC Toast to George. Lily is now with SAP National Security Services. In October, Lily and Vicki attended the annual Solutions Summit together, where they examined real-time content for real-world security decisions.
LEFT Chad Dean ’00 M’07 recently visited his 50th state, Alaska, on his honeymoon with wife, Rebecca. They are pictured here at Bering Land Bridge National Preserve near Kotzebue. RIGHT Philip McQuade ’96 is a proud poppa. His son Colton (pictured) won the 2017 Points Championship at Nicholson Speedway in his rookie year. For the 2018 season, Colton will be competing in the WKA Manufacturers Cup Series, traveling to Indiana, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and North Carolina.
A L U M N I U P DAT E | W E D D I N G S A N D B I R T H & A D O P T I O N S
Just Married L-R Tanae Coates Brown ’97 married the love of her life, Lonita “Chef Dee” Kenney, on July 30, 2017. Escorted by her stepfather and three children, surrounded by their families and friends, they pledged their love to God and to each other on the campus of Morgan State University. Paula DeStefano ’95 and Joseph Radzavicz, Jr. were married Oct.1, 2016,¬ in Wilmington, Delaware. Paula is co-chair of the Wilmington alumni chapter. Pictured left to right, front row: Tony DiPietro ‘95, Jay Derbis ’95, and Giles Beale ’95. Middle row: Megan Ward Cascio ’95, Natalie Guiberson Gentry ’94, the groom and bride, and Laura Heidel Mears ’95. Back row: Elizabeth Herrschaft DeStefano ’66, Nicholas DeStefano ’66, William Ball ’93, Eve Zartman Ball ’94, Christian Mears ’04, and Mollie Storke Graham ’96. Jamie Reed ’05 and Michael Brown were married Oct. 28, 2017, aboard the Dorothy Megan paddle boat on the Choptank River.
L-R, Sarah Hartge ’12 married Tanner Sparks on Oct. 3, 2017. They also had a civil ceremony conducted by Mark Mumford at Wilmer Park a few days before the big wedding. Chestertown has a very special place in her heart. Kris Kelley ’11 and Ben Majors ’09 were married Sept. 23, 2017, at Dragonfly Alpacas Farm in Marydel, Maryland. Pictured left to right: Jennifer Lubkin Chavez ’01, Lauren Myers-Bromwell ’09, Lydia Bull ’09, the groom and bride, Maria Hynson ’15, Cody Griffith ‘09, and Chris Perry ’09. Photo: Haley Rae Photography. Brittani Vanderwiele ‘11 and Joe Phillips were married in Ocean City, Maryland, on July 1, 2017, surrounded by many loving family and friends. The groom is the grandson of the late Shirley Phillips, who served on Washington College’s Board of Visitors and Governors. Alumni in attendance included, from back to front, left to right: groomsman Reno Smith ‘11, Lacy Gentry ‘13, Jon Decker ‘11, Carly Cashen ‘11, Mark Alderman ‘08, Carly Burt ‘11, bridesmaid Sarah Cannon ‘11, maid of honor Kristine Smith ‘11, Stephanie Bradley ‘11, bridesmaid Claire Decker ‘11, Nielly Alderman ‘11, Molly Daeschner ‘11, and Michelle Moore ‘11.
Oh Baby! Lauren Concordia Lickstein ’10 and Eric Lickstein ’07 welcomed their second child, Eliot Louis Lickstein, on Nov. 17, 2017. He joins his big sister, Delilah. The Licksteins live in Lutherville, Maryland.
A L U M N I U P DAT E | S P O T L I G H T
Finding Strength in the Struggle A victim of bullying, rape, and domestic abuse, Robin Sample ’05 overcame her own traumatic background to help other women facing similar challenges. By Joan Katherine Cramer
obin Sample ’05 attended Washington College as a “nontraditional student.” She was in her 30s, had children in the sixth and ninth grades. She commuted from her home in Cambridge in Dorchester County, an hour away from campus. But students and professors she saw every day had no idea just how nontraditional a student she was. “I wore sunglasses, summer and winter, indoors and out, to hide the black eyes,” she says. “I wore a lot of makeup to cover the marks.” Sample was in her second abusive relationship, this time with a man who would sneak into her house at night and wake her up, holding a gun to her head, a knife to her throat. He lived just down the street and regularly threatened to kill her, kill her children, if she ever left him. “The only time I ever felt safe was on campus,” she says. “And I knew my kids were safe because they were in school, too. Between classes I’d sit on a bench watching the squirrels run up and down one of those beautiful old trees and envy them. If only my life could be that simple and carefree.” Now 47, she is happily married to a kind and gentle man (“my best friend”), has published two books and is writing a third, works as a motivational speaker and advocate for victims of domestic violence, rape, human trafficking and other kinds of trauma, and is earning her Master of Social Work at Widener University. But it’s a hard-won peace, gifted only when she came to understand the meaning of her struggle, Sample says.
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“Now I know, with God’s grace, that what happened to me happened for a reason. I can truly understand and help people who are struggling because of what I learned.” In her first book, When I Stopped Being Angry with God, she writes about the years of pain that led to that epiphany. “I was furious with God from the time I was in kindergarten,” she says. “Why did he make me ugly, overweight, with rotten front teeth and crooked glasses, knowing it was going to get me bullied and rejected—at school, on the playground, even in church, which was his house and where I should have felt safe and wanted?” Her grandmother, Laura Geneva Harmon Stevens, tried to help her. “She was amazing and I loved her. Everyone did. They called her Miss Bunch and we were Miss Bunch’s grandchildren. And every Sunday morning we’d go to her house for her fried chicken, but then I’d make excuses or throw a tantrum because I didn’t want to go to church. She never forced me, but she did say, ‘You’re going to need the Lord one day.’ And I didn’t believe her.” When she was 13, Sample discovered alcohol—and men. Flattered by the attentions of strangers, she was raped twice by the time she was 15. In her book, she eloquently describes the sense of unreality, of dislocation, of feelings too enormous to bear. She started spending her time in clubs. The abuse continued, but alcohol numbed the pain. Most of the time. She tried to kill herself three times. By the time she graduated from high school, she was pregnant with her first child,
had the second soon after. “My children saved me,” she says. “It was the first time in my life I felt unconditionally loved.” She wanted to be a better person for their sakes as well as her own. She dreamed of helping people. She was working in a nursing home with Alzheimer’s patients and loved them, but knew she wasn’t cut out to be a nurse. So she enrolled at Chesapeake College and earned an associate’s degree in paralegal studies. “I was working and caring for my kids and going to school. It took me six years,” she says. She stopped drinking and was inducted into the honor society but started up again and graduated just short of honors, to her chagrin. After she graduated, she stopped for good and has been sober for 15 years. “It’s still a struggle,” she says. “I tell my clients that, no matter what the substance, you have to understand your relationship with it and work on it every day.” Sample first heard of Washington College when President John Toll spoke at her Chesapeake College graduation. “The only thing I remembered from that speech was him saying that if you were serious about furthering your education, you should apply to WC, that there were scholarships available,” she says. “I thought it must be in D.C., but I talked to my advisor and he said, ‘No, it’s just up Route 213. You should visit.’” So she did. “I filled out the paperwork and heard a month or two later that I was accepted and they offered me a scholarship. I couldn’t believe it. It was an incredible opportunity.” But it was also a big decision. It would be full time and classes were during the day, so
she’d have to quit her job. And, more than anything, she needed her children’s permission. “I’d promised I would take time off from school to be with them,” she says. “Don’t get me wrong—I never missed a game, I helped run Girl Scouts, I volunteered to help with their homework group. But they had concerns. ‘Who’s going to watch us? Who will cook dinner?’ The normal things. I told them my parents and their father’s parents would help, and that I’d continue to do all the things with them I was already doing, and it would just be two more years. So they agreed, and we all started school together that fall of 2003.” Sample graduated in 2005 with a B.A. in psychology. She has since made her peace with God—a remarkable epiphany she details in her memoir—and realized many of her dreams. Life continues to present challenges— lupus and fibromyalgia, tumors in her legs. But she sees even these as gifts, opportunities to learn, to express joy, to serve and motivate others. In March, Dorchester County recognized her as a Living Legend in her grandmother’s Bethel A.M.E. Church—the church where she felt such torment as a five-year-old. “I had the pleasure of Robin in several classes, and what a wonderful person she is,” says George Spilich, John Toll Professor of Psychology. “Most of our students have fairly happy lives and their concerns are real but not immediate. They have lots of options. Robin’s life was very stressful and she had no option other than to earn a degree and make a life.” He says she reminds him of Julius Caesar —his army exhausted, hungry and vastly outnumbered—going into his last battle with Pompey Magnus. “Asked why he thought he might win despite the odds, he replied that Pompey’s men had many options. His men had only two—to win or die. I think of that when I think of Robin. She came at her classes with the mindset that not finishing was not a possibility. Caesar won the war and so has Robin. She continues to fight for those who need her help and guidance. She is an example of how a person can become a model and an inspiration to us all.”
Robin Sample, a case manager coordinator for MidShore Council on Family Violence, often attends court with her clients. Photo by Caroline J. Phillips
A L U M N I U P DAT E | O B I T U A R I E S
In Memoriam In Memoriam: Barbara A. Mowat Barbara A. Mowat, the former Provost and Dean of Washington College and a Shakespeare scholar who spent much of her career at the Folger Shakespeare Library, died Nov. 24, 2017, at her home on Capitol Hill. She was 83. Former director of research and co-editor of more than 40 editions of the Bard’s plays and poems, Dr. Mowat was a former president of the Shakespeare Association of America. A consulting editor and former editor at Shakespeare Quarterly, and former chair of the Folger Institute, she may be best known for her work over 20 years as co-editor with Paul Werstine of Shakespeare’s works for the Folger Shakespeare Library Editions. More than 17 million copies of these books have been sold, according to Folger, and they have become standard Shakespeare texts in American high schools. Washington College awarded her the honorary degree, Doctor of Letters, in February 2006. She was remembered as a brilliant teacher and scholar, and a kind, generous woman. Dr. Mowat earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics at Auburn University in 1956, followed by a Fulbright scholarship in Austria. She returned to study English literature, earning a master’s degree in English at the University of Virginia, and a doctorate in English at Auburn, where she later taught. She was also editor of Southern Humanities Review.
Clarence Louis Kibler ’39 died Oct.9, 2017, He was 99. Kibby grew up in Greensboro, Maryland, and returned there in retirement. In the interim, he traveled the globe in the service of his country, and then in the company of his beloved wife, Mary Krock. Together they raised six children. Kibby was a meteorologist, but his true passion was helping others. He called church bingo and delivered Meals on Wheels. He was president of his local Lions Club and served as cabinet secretary. He and Mary were fixtures at St Martin’s Barn until well into their 90s. Louise “Pete” Clarke ’44 died Dec. 6, 2017, at her farm in Upper Falls, Maryland. She was 94. When she wasn’t running her antiques shop known as Pete’s Pickins, Pete was active around town. She was outspoken about preserving and protecting the small-town character of Upper Falls and helped push for renovations of the Historic Jerusalem Mill Village in 44
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nearby Kingsville. She is survived by her daughters Ledley and Sally, three grandchildren, and two great grandchildren. Joseph Ray Arnold, Sr. ’45 joined his beloved wife, Jane, in the Beyond Country (as he termed it) on June 24, 2017. Joe attended Washington College and later earned a master’s degree from West Virginia University. In 1945, he began a 35-year career teaching history and civics at Boonsboro High School in Maryland. He married fellow teacher Jane Kottler in 1948. They had two children: Jan and Joey. He will be missed for his quick wit and ability to make people feel good about themselves. Jean Elmore Williams Meredith ’46 died Dec. 9, 2017. She was 93. Jean attended Washington College from 1942 to 1944. On October 4, 1952, she married E. Thomas Meredith. They resided in Maplewood, New Jersey, until moving to Delaware
in October 1983. Jean was a talented homemaker and a lifelong Episcopalian who volunteered at church. She enjoyed going out to lunch with friends, reading, and watching her favorite shows. Margaret Smith Steffens ’46 died at home Nov. 14, 2017. She was 92. Born in Glen Burnie, Maryland, she attended Washington College where she met her future husband, Dietrich H. Steffens ’43, who predeceased her. She was a member of Grace Lutheran Church and the Charles County Garden Club, and was active in local politics and various charities. Peggy enjoyed traveling and entertaining. She is survived by her three children and seven grandchildren. Edward H. Cashell, Jr. ’47 died March 31, 2017. He was 91. Edward is survived by his wife of 48 years, Patricia Ann Cashell, daughters Christine, Carol and Jan, and grandchildren.
Fred G. Livingood, Jr. ’47, an educator in the public schools of Baltimore County, Worcester County, and Wicomico County for 40 years, died Jan. 9, 2018, at Peninsula Regional Medical Center in Salisbury, Maryland. He was 91. Livingood’s father, Fred Sr., was a professor of education and psychology who served as dean and acting president of WC. Barbara Hinson Hales ’48 died Nov. 27, 2017. She was 90. Barbara loved to sew and worked as a seamstress for many years. She was a great lover of animals and over the years had numerous pets. She was a member of Grace United Methodist Church in Cambridge, Maryland, and enjoyed serving in the Flower Guild. She also volunteered at the Salvation Army Thrift Shop and the Richardson Maritime Museum. Doris Kahl Miller ’49 passed away Christmas Day, 2017. Hired right out of college as a fashion coordinator for the May Company, Doris was a member of the New York Fashion Group and the Women’s Ad Club of Baltimore. After her first husband’s death in 1976, she worked as executive assistant to the CEO of International Utilities in Philadelphia. She wed her college beau, Paul G. Miller ’52, at the Naval Academy Chapel in 1979. Doris loved politics and was active in many civic endeavors. Howard Levenberg ’52 died Aug. 30, 2017. Howard enlisted in the U.S. Army after graduation, serving as a special agent in Army Counterintelligence during the Korean War. He married Lore Baer and had two children. Howard served as a county Democratic Committeeman and was president of the Teaneck, New Jersey, Democratic Committee, proudly working on many campaigns. He married Nancy Glube in 1988. Howard was committed to Jewish values and helped his family at their b’nai mitzvot, attended synagogue, and connected with Jewish community members.
Herbert Brown ’53 passed away Sept. 19, 2017. He was 86. Herb served honorably in the U.S. Army during the Korean War. He married his first wife, Nancy, in 1952, raising four children with her before their union ended in the 1970s. After his Army discharge, Herb worked for Prudential Insurance, becoming director of sales and marketing for the central Atlantic region. He married his second wife, Patricia, in 1982. Herb was a member of Our Lady Queen of Martyrs Church, the American Legion, and Disabled American Veterans. Nancy R. Neuman ’54 died Jan. 19, 2015. She was 82. Born in Baltimore, she was the daughter of the late Otto and Ivah Ross Neuman. Rev. William Dore ’55 died December 28, 2017. He was 90. Born July 15, 1927, Bill served in the Merchant Marines during the final years of World War II. In 1949, he married Ruth Collins. With a BA from Washington College, he received his STM from Temple University in 1958, and his MDiv from Crozier Seminary in 1963. He served as chaplain with numerous secular organizations, and as scoutmaster, Sea Explorer skipper, 4-H leader, and commander of U.S. Coast Guard Flotilla 12-7. He enjoyed hiking the Appalachian Trail, boating, flying, and reading. Capt. John Law “Blackie” Murdoch ’55, of Centreville, Maryland, died Dec. 18, 2017. He was 85. After graduating from Washington College, John joined the Navy. After his service, he returned to Centreville to run the family farm and floral business, Murdoch Florist. John was a member of the Ruritan Club, Queen Anne’s County Soil Conservation, and the Centreville American Legion. He is survived by his wife of 57 years, three children, 12 grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren. Kenneth Franklin Dollenger ’60 died Sept. 3, 2017. He was 85. Ken was a scout leader, an officer in
the fire company, and a coach of many teams. Baseball and softball were dear to him, and he was a Senior Olympian gold medalist in softball. Ken was a proud Korean War veteran and a lifetime member of the VFW and American Legion. He was a lifelong educator. He is survived by his wife Elizabeth, two sons, eight grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren. David G. “Jerry” McGlothlin ’62 died Sept. 26, 2017. He was 76. Jerry worked for 29 years at Aberdeen Proving Ground, where he held positions culminating in his post as labor/management employee relations specialist in the civilian personnel office. He was active in Grace United Methodist Church in Aberdeen, serving 18 years on the administrative board. He served on Aberdeen’s Taxicab Bureau and Personnel Advisory Committee, and for two terms was adjutant of Susquehanna American Legion Post 135. He is survived by his wife, Leslie, four children, and three grandchildren. Paul Edgar Fastie ’68 died Sept. 16, 2017. He was 71. Paul served in the U.S. Coast Guard from 1968 until 1972. He operated as part of the USCG Squadron 3, the U.S. Navy Task Force 115 Coastal Surveillance Forces, and the Destroyer Division 12, Vietnam. He received the Navy Commendation Medal with Combat Distinguishing Device, Navy Meritorious Unit Citation, USCG good conduct medal, National Defense Service Medal, multiple bronze stars, Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross Unit Citation, and Republic of Vietnam Medal. Paul was a lifetime member of the American Legion and Disabled American Veterans. Jeannette Snyder ’68 died Nov. 7, 2017. She was 70. Jeannette had a career in computer programming in Wilmington, Delaware. After retiring from Astra-Zeneca in 2007, she moved to Richmond to be close to her grandchildren. She was a generous and compassionate woman, volunteering at the animal
shelter and canvassing during election time. She was also a competitive tennis and bridge player and an accomplished cook. Michael Robert Young ’69 of Annapolis, Maryland, died Dec. 25, 2017. He was 70. Born in New Bedford, Massachusetts, Michael earned a bachelor’s degree in political science and later received a law degree from Boston University. Michael’s career in the wine and spirits industry spanned 39 years; he retired in 2011 as sales manager for the northeast division of Bronco Wine Company. In addition to his wife, Sandra, he is survived by two children, both of whom attended Washington College—Sarah Young Wolf ’95 and Joshua Young ’00. Memorial contributions may be made to Washington College or the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. David D. Sherwood ’74, of St. Petersburg, Florida, died Aug. 12, 2017. He was 70. He is survived by his sister, Jane Lemos, and close friend, Tom Heald ’70. David Anson Miller ’80 died Jan. 5, 2018. He was 60. David worked at Fort Detrick as a microbiologist, retiring in 2004. He was a member of St. Ann Catholic Church in Hagerstown, where he was part of the High Places Choir and made soup bowls for the annual soup supper. He also was a member of New Horizon Band and the GadAbouts Square Dance Club. He is survived by his wife, Janene, three children, and three grandchildren. Mary M. Scott M’76 died Dec. 1, 2017. She was 87. Mary graduated from Delaware State College in 1955 with a BA in English and a minor in biology. In 1965, Mary became the first minority educator to join the faculty of the Smyrna School District, where she taught English. With an MA in psychology from WC, she climbed through the ranks to director of education, principal, and assistant superintendent, retiring as superintendent of schools in 1998.
Elizabeth Eileen Burnham M’86 died Nov.18, 2017. She was 69. Elizabeth earned her RN degree at Johns Hopkins and her BS and MA degrees at Washington College. Her nursing career spanned 44 years. A prolific seamstress and quilter, she loved making gifts for family and friends. She led Girl Scout and Cub Scout troops, served as a CASA volunteer, and was a foster parent. Doraethia Bernice Shorter M’00 died Nov. 1, 2017. Dora received her bachelor’s degree in sociology from the University of Maryland Eastern Shore and her master’s degree in psychology from WC. She worked at Head Start, Kent Family Center, Johns Hopkins Medical Center, University of Maryland, and Maryland Rural Development Corporation Head Start. She also served on Chesapeake College’s Advisory Board for paralegal criminal studies. Her greatest joy was spending time with her family. Dora is survived by her father John, two daughters, and two granddaughters.
Correction In the Winter 2017 edition of WCM, Charles B. Clark’s name was misspelled in the obituary for William Bonnet ’52. A professor and dean of men who also coached lacrosse, the late Clark graduated from WC in 1934 and returned to his alma mater in 1946. His 1954 team—of which Frank E. Dickey, Jr., was a member along with Bonnet and Ray Wood, who also recently passed away—was named a national champion of the Laurie Cox Division and ranked fifth in the nation. Thank you to Mr. Dickey for bringing this to our attention.
These obituaries are excerpted from published newspaper accounts.
A DVA N C E M E N T
Nagler Leaves Nearly $2 Million to Alma Mater A former scholar-athlete designated his estate gift to support student scholarships and the tennis program. by Karen M. Jones
ashington College recently accepted a bequest of $1.86 million from William M. Nagler ’42, a manufacturing executive who passed away in 2016. The gift is designated for student scholarships and the College’s tennis program. A resident of San Diego, Nagler was retired from his job as president and CEO of The Pate Company, a manufacturer of roofing products. He held two patents from his work there: one for a pipe flashing unit and the other for a roof penetrating curb, a device that prevents leaks around roof openings. After graduating from Washington College with degrees in mathematics and physics, he joined the U.S. Navy, serving as a radar officer during World War II on the USS Yorktown in the Pacific. He earned an MBA from UCLA in 1951 and worked as a Gallup Poll taker, recording audience reactions to themes in movies, and for an advertising company in Philadelphia. As an undergraduate, Nagler was a member of the tennis team, Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity, and Omicron Delta Kappa honor society. He was also president of the College’s chapter of the YMCA, vice president of the Literary Society, and president of the Society of Sciences. He was married to Betty Lohmuller Story Van Allen-Nagler ’44, who died in June 2017. The two met at Washington College and married after reconnecting later in life. Throughout his life, Nagler’s best friend was Bill Johnson ’40, whose philanthropy gave rise to the Johnson Fitness Center. Nagler gave annually to The Washington Fund for 33 years, was a member of The 1782 Society, and served on the Reunion Committee. Fifty percent of Nagler’s bequest will support full or partial scholarships for students who demonstrate academic 46
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As an undergraduate, William Nagler was a “Big Man on Campus,” an ambitious student and varsity tennis player who was active in several student organizations,
excellence, with preference given to students from Oregon. The other half will fund the highest priority needs of the tennis program. “More often than not, when you use the word ‘game changer’ in athletics, you are talking about a recruit—one who will redefine your program,” says Thaddeus Moore, director of athletics. “But there is no better word to describe Mr. Nagler and his generosity. This gift will greatly enhance our programs and our student-athletes’ experiences.” “I am continually impressed and humbled by the accomplishments of our alumni,” says College President Kurt Landgraf. “William Nagler is a quintessential example of the best of Washington College, and because of his loyalty and generosity, many more young people will have a chance to broaden their own horizons with a Washington College education.”
New Professorship Honors Trustee’s Mother When Young Ja Lim emigrated with her husband and four sons from rural South Korea to Philadelphia in 1973, she couldn’t have imagined how their lives would unfold. After working for more than a decade in a clothing factory, with her husband toiling in a steel mill, the couple opened a dry cleaning business that they ran for more than 30 years. They retired to a Pennsylvania farm, both at age 75, after watching their sons graduate from top schools, including Washington College. Jim Lim ’91, an economics major, is paying tribute to his remarkable mother, who passed away last November, with a $1 million gift to the College to establish the Young Ja Lim Professorship in Economics. Young Ja Lim was born in Hiroshima, Japan, in 1937 to South Korean parents. The family was in Japan when the atomic bombs were dropped in 1945 but moved back to Korea when Young Ja, the eldest of six siblings, was 8. Her education ended after junior high school, and she worked the fields in rural Korea to help support the family until her marriage in 1964. “When I think of my mom, many positive attributes come to mind, but sacrifice and service to others come to the forefront,” Lim says. “My mom always put other people’s needs ahead of her own. It gives my family and me great pride to endow a chair in economics in her name, an honor she never thought possible, given her own limited academic background. What she lacked in academic degrees, she was rich in credentials that really mattered.” In addition to his economics degree from Washington College, Lim has an MBA in finance from Indiana University. He is a managing general partner with Greenspring Associates, a venture capital firm. He was previously a director at Commonfund Capital and managed the private capital portfolio at Pfizer. Lim serves on WC’s Board of Visitors & Governors and on the limited partner boards of more than a dozen financial firms. He also currently serves on the board of Kareo and is a board observer of Exinda. He and his wife, Ann, live in Berwyn, Pennsylvania, with their two children. The recipient of the Young Ja Lim Professorship will be named this fall.
Forge a Legacy Breaks Giving Record The Forge a Legacy campaign recently surpassed a total of $107 million—more than any other campaign has raised in the College’s history. With the help of committed alumni, faculty, staff, students, parents, and friends, the College has gone from raising an average $9 million annually through fiscal year 2014, to an average $23 million for fiscal years 2015–17. Among the results of this extraordinary generosity: • This past fall, the College broke ground for both the Hodson Boathouse and the Semans-Griswold Environmental Hall. • In 2016, WC welcomed students and faculty into the new Barbara and George Cromwell Hall. • Through Forge a Legacy, six academic chairs have received full or partial funding. • Since the start of the campaign, donors have raised $30.62 million for scholarships, ensuring an exceptional education for promising students, regardless of means. With two-and-a-half more years to reach a goal of $150 million, Forge a Legacy still has $43 million to raise. In that time, the College community will see the rise of a new academic building next to Cromwell Hall, eye-opening research at the River and Field Campus, new ways to farm and eat from the Eastern Shore Food Lab, faster tracks to jobs from the Center for Career Development, and more opportunities for students to learn beyond the classroom.
Donor Honors Ancestry With Fellowship The London-Scott Family Fellowship on the American Revolution pays tribute to donor Jack London’s ancestors, whose leadership and generosity at the College stretch back to the founding era of the nation and the institution. by Karen M. Jones
hanks to a new fellowship established by D.C.-area business executive Jack London to honor his family’s legacy at Washington College, students can pursue an internship related to early American history through the Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience. London’s $150,000 gift will create a fulltime summer internship for one deserving student each year to work on a project centered around research, education, presentation, and/or publication related to America’s Revolutionary era. Under the guidance of the Starr Center’s Explore America summer internships program, selected students will collaborate with curators, archivists, and educators at eminent institutions such as the Smithsonian National Museum of American History, the Library of Congress, the Society of the Cincinnati, George Washington’s Mount Vernon, the National Constitution Center, the Maryland Historical Society, Colonial Williamsburg, or similar sites. They may also work closely with Washington College faculty. London’s ties to Washington College are both academic and personal. Several of his Scott family ancestors fought in the Revolutionary War, afterward attending and helping to fund the College in its earliest years. London has also enabled the College’s Archives & Special Collections to preserve documents related to his family history, including diplomas from the 1780s and a George Washington–signed document that hangs in the President’s Office. London is executive chairman and board chair of an Arlington, Virginia–based
A document appointing John Scott to the post of Collector for the Port of Chester was signed by George Washington. Former Starr Center intern James Bigwood ’12 holds the framed artifact.
information services firm that supports the federal government in areas of defense, homeland security, and intelligence. He is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy with a master’s degree from the Naval Postgraduate School and a doctoral degree from George Washington University. A former naval aviator and carrier pilot who saw service during the Cuban Missile Crisis, and a former commanding officer with the Naval Air Systems Command, London serves on the board of directors of the U.S. Navy Memorial Foundation, the Naval Historical Foundation, Friends of the National WWII Memorial, the Senior Advisory Board of the Northern Virginia Technology Council, CAUSE (Comfort for America’s Uniformed Services)—the “wounded warriors” support organization— and on numerous other boards and foundations. SPRING 2018
THE LAST WORD
Book Review A new thriller by Michael Ludden ’73 takes readers on a fast-paced romp through Savannah’s dark streets. by Jamie Kirkpatrick
here are lots of good reasons to read a book: for enlightenment, entertainment, information, escape, even for simple pleasure. In the case of Michael Ludden’s (Washington College Class of ’73) latest self-published novel, you’re reading for one reason and one reason only: for thrills. Tate Drawdy is Ludden’s second novel (his debut novel, Alfredo’s Luck, was published in 2013) and it is further evidence of his considerable skill as a writer of a specific genre of fiction: police blotter thrillers. Think James Patterson, Ian Rankin, or Peter James. Ludden’s titular hero is Tate Drawdy, a blues-and-beer-loving rich kid from Atlanta who forfeits a more parentally palatable career in medicine to become a fast-track detective in the Savannah Police Department. It’s no surprise that there’s still plenty of good and evil down in Savannah, and Ludden mines these themes competently if somewhat predictably. His is a macho world populated with rogue and good cops, psychotic killers, a sex-addled priest, a couple of victims of grisly murders, torture, revenge, jealousy, plenty of collateral damage, and lots of blood and grimy venues. The sound track is heavy on the blues and the beverage of choice is beer and more beer. (Drawdy is a big into running; maybe that’s how he keeps his beer gut under control.) 48
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There are at least four separate plot lines in Tate Drawdy, the common thread being the eponymous hero. There is the random and gruesome killing of a young girl bringing home the groceries. Then there is the grisly murder by bullet and sword of Father Palladino, a cute, charming, and muscle-bound young priest who happens to have quite an appetite for sex, some of it very young. Then there’s John Robert Griffin, the very personification of evil who has it in for Drawdy. Drawdy tracks Griffin to Pittsburgh and recruits four retired cops who team up with the Savannah-based detective to finally count coup on the psycho before he can prematurely end Drawdy’s promising career. Want more? Don’t worry: there’s still another whole tale to tell about a phalanx of dirty Savannah cops getting rich off the city’s illicit drug trade. Mixed in with all these twisted plot lines are a cast of relatively incidental characters including a few potential love interests with exotic names who aren’t sure if they’re cut out for life on the margins of the young detective’s dangerous existence. Before he turned to crime novels, Ludden was a successful newspaper journalist. Perhaps that’s why his writing style is so staccato: he can go an entire paragraph without using a single verb. Moreover, he has an inventive ear for authentic dialogue that reduces “maybe” to “mebbe” and has
Michael Ludden ’73, a former Pulitzer Prize-winning editor at the Orlando Sentinel, has turned to fiction writing.
at least one character eating a ’”buncha” shrimp. I guess that’s how cops talk, but it’s a long way from anything resembling erudite conversation. Then again, mebbe that’s precisely the point. In addition to delving into the reeking muck-and-blood themes of betrayal, psychosis, and pure evil, Tate Drawdy does at least brush up against some redeeming human values: friendship, loyalty, kindness, and empathy, but only on the two last pages. Don’t worry: by then, you’re ready to stop turning pages and go take a shower.
Together We Can
The Washington Fund proves there is strength in numbers. Gifts of every size add up to make a significant impact on students, faculty, and staff. United, we launch lifetimes of learning and leadership. Thatâ€™s a legacy you can be proud of.
#ForgeALegacy Visit washcoll.edu/givenow or text @WASHCOLL to 52014
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In Person: May Kiros ’18 SGA President Melat “May” Kiros ’18 is no stranger to the power of chance. From immigrating to the United States from Ethiopia, to moving from Colorado to attend a small liberal arts college on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, the most important things in her life have happened under fortuitous circumstances. She moved to the United States after her parents won an immigration lottery when she was just 11 months old. She watched her mom work to put her dad, who was a veterinarian back in Ethiopia, through pharmacy school here in the United States. “He always secretly wanted another doctor in the family,” she says when asked how her father feels about her choice to be a lawyer. In preparation for a career in law and politics, Kiros is participating in the Maryland General Assembly internship, coordinated by Melissa Deckman, professor and chair of the political science department. Kiros works with Del. Kevin Hornbacher and his Chief of Staff, Daniel Smith ’15, doing research to bolster the bills they send to the Assembly floor. Kiros says she benefits from the positive reputation Washington College interns have earned in Annapolis. “We are the cream of the crop,” she says. “We get so much more out of the internship because people are excited to work with Washington College students.” She credits Deckman for making that fortuitous connection for her. “She mentioned the internship to me after hearing me speak in public,” Kiros says. In her role as SGA president, Kiros gives her fair share of speeches. She spoke at last year’s “Forge a Legacy” capital campaign kick-off and at President Kurt Landgraf’s inauguration. Her favorite speaking engagement, though, was during “We Love Washington College Day,” when she offered advice to newly admitted students. “Talk to people who know you really well,” she told them. She attributes much of her own success at Washington College to opening herself up to what’s possible, and making the most of every opportunity. “The discovery of things that I didn’t know I wanted to do, that I actually ended up loving, is the theme of everything I’ve done here,” she says. — Doryann Barnhardt M’15
Photo by Caroline J. Phillips
Published three times a year, the Washington College Magazine offers a glimpse of our corner of the world and the people who rock it. We ma...
Published on Mar 28, 2018
Published three times a year, the Washington College Magazine offers a glimpse of our corner of the world and the people who rock it. We ma...