EDUCATION FOR A LIFETIME W&J Profiles in Success July 2007
Written and Compiled by Caleb Leonard Class of 2010
Education for a Lifetime When first-year students arrive at W&J, wide-eyed and excited, they wonder who their classmates will be at this prestigious college. Will they be studious? Social? Liberal? Conservative? They also wonder what they will become. Although Washington & Jefferson College has only about 12,000 living alumni, it has graduated leaders in almost every field from architecture to zoology. The College is rated first in the country (per capita) for producing lawyers and third in the country (per capita) for producing physicians and medical researchers. This brief book offers a glimpse into the lives of some of these remarkable W&J graduates and the paths that they have taken from freshman dormitories to corner offices, art studios, medical labs, and the halls of Congress. Washington College and Jefferson College were founded in the late 1700s to educate young men who would help move European settlements westward by graduating teachers, ministers, doctors, and civic leaders. And they fulfilled their missions well. Together the two original colleges and the united college, Washington & Jefferson College, have graduated 88 men who became college presidents. Among these leaders were the founding president of Ohio University (Reverend Jacob Lindley) and presidents of Princeton ( James Carnahan), Pennsylvania State University (Lawrence Colfelt), Miami University of Ohio (George Junkin), and the University of Michigan ( John Montieth). In other fields, W&J graduated civic leaders like James G. Blaine (1847), who ran for president three times, coming close to winning in 1884. He served 13 years in the House of Representatives (six of them as Speaker of the House) and seven years in the Senate as well as being twice appointed Secretary of State. In this category, we also are proud to claim John White Geary (1841), the last mayor of Spanish San Francisco and the first of American San Francisco. Later in life, he became governor of Kansas and then of Pennsylvania. Geary Street in San Francisco is named for this alumnus. W&J also produces pioneers and entrepreneurs in abundance. Gene Yost (1950) founded Black Box, a leading company in computer interfacing, and Joseph Walker (1942) made the first NASA X-15 flight and was the first to pilot the Lunar Landing Research Vehicle, which was used to develop the piloting techniques employed in lunar landings. Another groundbreaking scientist who studied at W&J was Jesse Lazear, a member of Walter Reedâ€™s research team studying yellow fever in Cuba, who intentionally infected himself with the disease and is credited with a major role in discovering its cause and cure. In the field of education, William Holmes McGuffey (1826) produced the McGuffey readers, which taught morals and reading to American schoolchildren for most of the nineteenth century. Sales of these books topped 3
122 million. Stephen Foster, the preeminent songwriter of the nineteenth century whose music defines the idiom of the American folk song, received his only formal education at W&J. Washington & Jefferson College also has a strong tradition of producing student-athletes. Not only is W&J the smallest college to have competed in The Tournament of Roses (now called The Rose Bowl), but it can also boast John Heisman as one of its legendary coaches. Student-athletes from W&J include the first African-American quarterback in The Tournament of Roses, Charlie West, who later became a well-respected physician just outside of Washington, D.C. “Deacon” Dan Towler (1950), who had an illustrious career as a fullback for the Los Angeles Rams in the 1950s, is perhaps our best known student-athlete. As part of the Rams’ famous “Bull Elephant Backfield,” he led the NFL for yards carried in 1952. W&J continues to produce leaders in every field, as the following profiles attest. We credit this success to the combination of small, challenging seminars, a dedicated faculty and staff, and exceptional research opportunities for our undergraduates. Washington & Jefferson College is dedicated to providing the very highest quality education for all our undergraduates. Some of their success stories are recorded here and will continue to be recorded in subsequent volumes in this series.
Dr. Tori Haring-Smith President
Author’s Foreword When Dr. Tori Haring-Smith approached me with her idea for “Education for a Lifetime”—which we then called “The Proof is in the Pudding”—my initial reaction, as a first year student, was “Why me?” However, as I started to do preliminary research, I began to get excited about interviewing alumni from various occupations and finding out what they enjoyed about Washington & Jefferson College. My ears were soon ringing with stories of good times, bad times, fun times, hard times, and regular old, run-of-the-mill times. Through all of the anecdotes, stories of professors, and tales of lessons learned, there was a principle that would surface in almost every interview. Alumni would say, “W&J taught me how to think,” “W&J taught me how to learn,” or “I learned how to learn at W&J.” Returning for my third year as a student at W&J, I am beginning to realize that the goal of teachers has not changed much here. The faculty still wants not only to fill a student’s head with knowledge but also to teach that student to fill his or her own head with knowledge. Alumni like Judge McCune, who continues to enjoy learning at 90 years old, are typical W&J graduates. Besides learning what W&J is all about, I have also met W&J professors through the stories of alumni. I now know professors from Asoke Wongcha-Um to Dr. Dieter and Dr. Porter. Many of these professors have long since retired from the college or passed away, so it was exciting to hear tales of many W&J greats. These tales usually included something about the professor being a good friend or mentor of the student. This testimony to my faculty along with my personal experience has convinced me that W&J has some of the best professors of any college. Maybe my biggest surprise was learning how many truly successful alumni graduated from W&J. I never knew that my college had graduated international breast cancer researchers, South African retail moguls, innovative engineers and architects, New York Stock Exchange presidents, precedent-setting judges, and brilliant entrepreneurs. I would like to thank God and everyone who has made this project possible. Dr. Tori Haring-Smith deserves all of my gratitude for having faith in a freshman. Thank you to all of the alumni who agreed to be profiled and who so candidly shared their times at W&J with me. Thanks to the editor who made “Education for a Lifetime” comprehensible and to everyone in the Office of Development, Office of Communications, and Alumni Relations who came up with so much needed information. Finally, thanks to anyone I may have forgotten and to W&J for being the best liberal arts college in the world. Whichi Coax! Caleb M. Leonard ’10 Writer and Compiler
Table of Contents EDUCATION
LIFETIME . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
AUTHOR’S FOREWORD . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 CAPTAINS
Richard Clark ’68, President and CEO, Merck & Co., Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 Dr. Walter Flamenbaum ’62, Managing Partner, Paul Royalty Funds . . . . . . 13 Roger S. Goodell ’81, Commissioner, National Football League . . . . . . . . . . 15 George S. Hender ’64, Management Vice Chair, The Options Clearing Corp.. 17 Joanne Ladley ’74, Co-Owner, Kitchen Kettle Village . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 Dr. Kenneth Melani ’75, President and CEO, Highmark, Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . 21 Thomas M. Priselac ’73, President and CEO, Cedars-Sinai Health System . . . 23 John Reed ’62, Former President and CEO, Citicorp . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25 Stephen Ross ’74, CEO, EdCon of South Africa . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27 Athena Sarris Simms ’99, Director of Marketing, Sarris Candies . . . . . . . . . . 29 Stephen B. Tily III ’60, Chairman Emeritus, Delaware Charter Guarantee & Trust . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31 LeAnne Trachok ’87, Vice President, Catholic Healthcare West . . . . . . . . . . . 33
Gary Churgin ’75, CEO, The Harry Fox Agency . . . . . . . . Patricia Harrison Easton ’74, Children’s Book Author . . . . Elizabeth (Betsey) Hurwitz-Schwab ’74, Civic Arts Leader Gerald Lee Morosco ’81, Architect . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
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Dr. Mariano R. Garcia, Jr. ’39, Mathematician and Bridge Master . . Dr. Ronald V. Pellegrini ’59, Cardiac Surgeon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Dr. Neal R. Pellis ’66, NASA Scientist . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Dr. Philip Raskin ’62, Diabetes Researcher . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Dr. E. Ronald Salvitti ’59, Ophthalmic Surgery Innovator . . . . . . . . Dr. Gary A. Silverman ’78, Neonatologist . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Dr. Dennis Slamon ’70, Cancer Researcher . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Dr. Sheldon Weinstein ’59, Gynecologic Surgeon and Entrepreneur
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.47 .49 .51 .53 .55 .57 .59 .61
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Dr. Walter Cooper ’50, Civil Rights and Educational Activist . . . . . . . . . . . . .65 Melissa Hart ’84, Former U.S. Representative . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .67 John S. Kern ’64, Transportation Strategist . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .69 David Kier ’65, Defense and Security Researcher . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .71 Walter Massenburg ’70, Vice Admiral, U.S. Navy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .73 7
Table of Contents The Honorable Barron P. McCune ’35, Retired U.S. District Court Judge A. Michael Pratt ’81, Attorney and Partner, Pepper Hamilton, LLP . . . . Luke Ravenstahl ’03, Mayor, City of Pittsburgh . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . M. Gerald Schwartzbach ’66, Defense Attorney and Civil Rights Leader . The Honorable William Thomas ’91, Circuit Judge . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
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.75 .77 .79 .81 .83
Barrett Burns ’67, CEO, VantageScore Solutions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .87 Lyn M. Dyster ’80, Co-Founder, Kynex Pharmaceuticals . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .89 Ellis L. Hyman ’87, Co-Founder, CapAd Communications . . . . . . . . . . . . . .91 Larry A. Makel ’75, Attorney and Bank Director . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .93 Charles Marcy ’72, Founding President, Healthy Foods Holdings . . . . . . . . .95 Dr. Glenn Rice ’78, CEO, Bridge Pharmaceuticals . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .97 David A. Ross ’78, Real Estate Developer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .99 David J. White ’77, Founder, Universal Hotel Liquidators . . . . . . . . . . . . . .101
HThe education that I received at W&J gave me confidence.I
Richard T. Clark
President and CEO, Merck & Co., Inc. Class of 1968
s president and chief executive officer of Merck & Co., Inc., one of the world’s premier pharmaceutical companies, Richard Clark knows all too well the challenges that he faces in returning Merck to its leadership position in the industry. But thanks to the early success of a blueprint that he and his executive team put in place in 2005, Merck is achieving results—bringing novel medicines and vaccines to market and delivering value to customers and shareholders. With the 2006 launch of Gardasil, Clark is reminded of the deep sense of satisfaction that all Merck employees feel by contributing to such an important development in women’s health. “We know among the lives saved may be our own sisters, daughters, or granddaughters,” Clark says. Clark attended W&J in the late 1960s, majored in history, and was active in Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity. Being a first-generation college student, he did not know what to expect from college life. However, the closeness of the relationships with his fellow students at W&J made college seem like home. His classmates and professors became like his family—always ready to help him. Clark has fond memories of his professors, especially Dr. Williams Mitchell in the history department. “He was a diligent lecturer who would force you to think through the issues,” Clark says. “I think W&J professors must have a special knack for knowing when you aren’t prepared for class. You could never hide from Dr. Mitchell.” After graduation, Clark received his M.B.A. from American University in 1970 and spent two years as a U.S. Army lieutenant before joining Merck in 1972. He has stayed with the company ever since, working his way up through the ranks and serving as vice president in several different areas before being appointed as CEO in 2005. “The education that I received at W&J gave me confidence,” Clark says, “and the mixture of liberal arts, the humanities, and sciences at W&J helped prepare me to meet any challenge.”
HAt W&J, I learned how to learn.I
Walter Flamenbaum, M.D.
Managing Partner, Paul Royalty Funds Class of 1962
Dr. Walter Flamenbaum found out about
Washington & Jefferson College from a W&J graduate, whose roommate at the University of Pennsylvania Law School was dating his sister. “In all of the times I have spoken with people, I have never come across somebody who was so enthusiastic about a college, never mind enthusiastic enough to spend the better part of an afternoon telling me all about the quality of life at W&J,” says Flamenbaum. “The next day he asked me if I was going to apply and I said, ‘You know something? I have to because of your enthusiasm.’” While at W&J, Flamenbaum met many professors and administrators who influenced him in a positive way. The faculty member that made Flamenbaum feel most at home and welcome in a strange place was Professor Arthur Jay Sachs. “He was the first professor who invited me to his house for dinner,” he says. “And then I realized that professors had wives and kids and they ate and probably had other regular family functions. That wasn’t necessarily part of what you always thought about professors.” As college continued, Flamenbaum had trouble deciding what his major should be. He still isn’t completely sure what his degree is. “It could have been history or political science, but I initially went to W&J wanting to be a pre-med major,” Flamenbaum says. “I think I graduated with a ‘biology-chemistry degree.’” However, Flamenbaum had no doubts that he wanted to be a medical doctor, so he went to medical school and, according to him, “the rest is history.” After practicing medicine until 1991, Flamenbaum went into what he calls the business of medicine. He now is a managing partner for the Paul Royalty Fund, one of the largest dedicated healthcare funds globally, with approximately $1 billion in equity capital commitments. In this job, he learns new things every day—a talent he picked up at W&J. “At W&J, I learned how to learn,” Flamenbaum says.
HMy education at W&J taught me how to learn, how to communicate, and how to work with othersGthe three most important skills in any job.I
Roger S. Goodell
Commissioner, National Football League Class of 1981
hen he graduated from W&J, Roger Goodell wrote his father a letter, thanking him for college. In the letter he wrote, “The only thing I want to do in life, other than to be the commissioner of the NFL, is to make you proud.” Goodell is someone who, in his own words, “just won’t take ‘no’ for an answer.” He wanted to work for the NFL after college, and so he wrote letters to the central office and to each of the 28 teams in hopes of getting an internship. Although many people told him that all his letters would be ignored and he received many rejections, his persistence paid off. He landed a three-month internship in Commissioner Pete Rozelle’s office just a year out of college. And, except for a one-year internship with the New York Jets in 1983, Goodell has been at the league office ever since. At first, Goodell clipped and copied news articles in the public relations department, but his talents were quickly recognized. By 1987, he was serving as assistant to the president of the American Football Conference and, by 2001, he was appointed as the NFL’s executive vice president and chief operating officer. In the latter position, he played a major role in all aspects of league operations, making him the natural successor to Commissioner Paul Tagliabue in 2006. He says wistfully, “My dad was not alive to see me become commissioner, but I know that, wherever he is, he is smiling.” As he looks back over his 24-year journey through the National Football League, Goodell attributes much of his success to Washington & Jefferson College. “The first day in Professor Salbach’s economics class he said there would be two hours of homework for each class period. I thought I’d never make it.” However, Goodell stuck with it and found that the challenge was enjoyable. “My education at W&J taught me how to learn, how to communicate, and how to work with others—the three most important skills in any job,” he says.
HThose are my fondest memories; the friendships I made and continue to have.I
George S. Hender
Management Vice Chairman, The Options Clearing Corporation Class of 1964
nce upon a time, Washington & Jefferson College had weekend classes—which wasn’t as bad as it could have been when you had Dr. Homer Porter as your teacher. “On party weekends, you would take your date to Dr. Porter’s class because he was such a great performer,” laughs George Hender. “He was an excellent lecturer with a good sense of humor.” Because students and faculty at W&J are so close, Hender remembers a “family atmosphere” at the College that created lifelong friendships. “Those are my fondest memories; the friendships I made and continue to have,” he says. After Hender graduated from W&J, he earned a law degree and then worked in several securities firms before joining The Options Clearing Corporation, also known as OCC, where he is now management vice chairman. OCC operates under the jurisdiction of both the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). Under its SEC jurisdiction, OCC clears transactions for put and call options on common stocks and other equity issues, stock indexes, foreign currencies, interest rate composites, and single-stock futures. As a registered derivatives clearing organization under CFTC jurisdiction, OCC offers clearing and settlement services for transactions in futures and options on futures. OCC is the world’s largest derivative clearing organization, clearing a record 1.5 billion options contracts and 5.7 million futures contracts in 2005. Immediately following September 11, 2001, a partnership was created between the financial industry and the government to ensure the survival of the financial sector in the event of another attack. “My son was 100 to 200 yards from the World Trade Center when it was attacked,” says Hender. “And many associates of mine did not survive that day. I love my country and will do everything in my power to ensure that this will never happen again.” Toward that end, Hender also serves as chairman of the Financial Services Sector Coordinating Council for Critical Infrastructure Protection and Homeland Security and vice chairman of Financial Services Information Sharing and Analysis Center, organizations that gather and distribute homeland security information to financial services firms.
HFinding people who would listen to your thoughts, your requests, and your questions was not difficult at W&J.I
Co-Owner, Kitchen Kettle Village Class of 1974
oanne Ladley’s experience as one of the first women at W&J in 1970 was challenging. She remembers the signs that read “Co-eds go home,” the “panty raids,” and the last-minute realization that the co-eds should have a representative on the Homecoming Queen Court. “Of course it improved, but I do remember saying to the only other co-ed on an intersession trip to Vienna, Austria, that I was tired of being a pioneer,” Ladley says. “Could we just do something because it was a tradition? W&J was so full of tradition, but hardly any of it came from our perspective. Blazing trails can be exhausting!” However, Ladley says that W&J adapted quickly and soon she felt welcome on campus. Ladley says that she learned the “skill of challenging people or, perhaps more appropriately, challenging myself at W&J.” When she asked a professor if she could write a paper on the role of women during the Civil War, he approved the topic but was less than enthusiastic and told her that she wouldn’t find much material on this subject. A few weeks later, he admitted to the class that her paper was the best in the group. Similarly, when she wanted to study in American University’s foreign policy semester, she was told repeatedly by male students that no programs were available. “It wasn’t up on any bulletin boards or in any admission catalogs, but I asked a political science professor about it and one semester later I was attending American University,” remembers Ladley. “Finding people who would listen to your thoughts, your requests, and your questions was not difficult at W&J. If you had a plan, someone was usually available to facilitate it.” Ladley is still a trailblazer. After she graduated from W&J, she and her brothers took over the reins of her family’s business, Kitchen Kettle Village, a community of shops, restaurants, and lodging built around a manufacturing operation in Intercourse, PA. She says that the best part of her job is “being able to stretch people and show them that they can do much more than they think that they can do”—a skill she learned at W&J.
HW&J gave me the foundation to succeed by providing me with a great education.I
Dr. Kenneth Melani
President and CEO, Highmark, Inc. Class of 1975
W&J taught Dr. Ken Melani to make difficult
decisions, an essential skill for a man who runs a company that affects the health of 27 million Americans daily. “At W&J, I had the ability to control my own destiny,” says Melani. “W&J gave me the foundation to succeed by providing me with a great education, but that alone wasn’t enough. For the first time in my life, I was on my own, and during my four years at W&J there were a lot of critical decisions that had to be made.” He credits the dedicated faculty and staff at W&J with helping him to find his way because “they were exceptionally concerned about not only the students’ education but about their overall well-being. They were willing to provide one-on-one support whenever it was needed.” Now, as president and CEO of Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield, “the hardest part of my job is knowing that my decisions could affect millions of people,” says Melani. “And my time at W&J has undoubtedly helped to prepare me well for this role.” Melani wanted to attend a small liberal arts college that balanced academics, athletics, and social life. And he found just that combination at W&J. “I was very involved in academics, but I also had fun on campus with fraternity life and the friendships that I had,” he remembers. “This balance, combined with the essential skills I learned through the liberal arts curriculum, prepared me to work in any environment.” After practicing medicine in Pittsburgh, Melani was hired by Highmark in 1989 as corporate medical director. He quickly climbed the ladder, serving as president of Keystone Health Plan West and later as executive vice president of Strategic Business Development and Health Services before becoming CEO in 2003. Melani has overseen the growth of Highmark into a multi-billion dollar company, employing 17,500 individuals and operating in all 50 states and seven foreign countries. At the same time, he has expanded the company’s role by recently initiating a $100-million foundation in an effort to improve children’s health by focusing on nutrition, physical activity, self-esteem, grieving, and bullying.
HW&J was rewarding in ways that I never imagined.I
Thomas M. Priselac
President and CEO, Cedars-Sinai Health System Class of 1973
Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles,
California, is the largest hospital in the western United States. In one year, it conducts more than $60 million in research, frequently making research breakthroughs in the treatment of cancer, inflammatory bowel disease, cardiology, and transplantation. At the head of this health system, as president and chief executive officer, is Thomas Priselac. “It was the academic reputation and the opportunity to play football that attracted me to W&J,” says Priselac. “I remember the year that W&J won the Presidents’ Athletic Conference Championship in football,” he explains. “The camaraderie and friendship that developed among all members of the team was remarkable.” Priselac describes his time at W&J as stimulating. “The education that I received at W&J opened me up to the world,” he says. “There was a lot of exposure to things that were extremely difficult to understand because they were opposite to the things that I believed.” But this exposure gave Priselac the ability to adapt to a wide range of situations and taught him the enjoyment of working to make an impact in the community. After earning his master’s degree in public health, health services administration and planning, from the University of Pittsburgh, Priselac began working on strategic planning for hospitals in Pittsburgh and then Los Angeles, where he teamed up with bright people all trying to help the community. He found that his W&J education served him well—and he excelled in his chosen field. “W&J was rewarding in ways that I never imagined,” says Priselac. “My W&J education gave me the proper preparation for entering the field of health management and health policy.”
HW&J was exactly what I was looking for.I
Retired Chairman and CEO, Citicorp Retired Interim Chairman and CEO, New York Stock Exchange Class of 1960
Washington & Jefferson College’s atmosphere
certainly caught John Reed’s eye. He was born in Chicago, the son of an executive with Armour & Co., but his family moved to Argentina when he was six years old. He spent his childhood and teenage years in Brazil and Argentina, graduating from high school there. So in looking for a college, he says, “I was looking for the real America, and I think I found that at W&J.” Having spent so little time in the United States, he did not know what everyday life was like here. By coming to W&J, Reed believes that he not only found a fine liberal arts program, but also began to really experience America. W&J’s 3-2 engineering program attracted Reed to the College because he felt that it would give him a great mix of liberal arts at W&J and focused study in engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). “W&J was exactly what I was looking for,” Reed says. One professor that Reed remembers in particular was a religion professor and a minister at a local church who “took the study of the Bible, which did not seem interesting to me at first, and made learning about that subject enjoyable.” After his graduation, Reed worked for Goodyear Tires but found his true calling several years later when he joined Citicorp. He quickly climbed the ladder, becoming chairman and CEO in 1984, a position he held for more than 14 years. During his leadership of Citicorp, the company grew 12 percent yearly, pushing its value to in excess of $4 billion. Later, when the New York Stock Exchange was facing a host of crises in 2003, he was asked to come out of retirement and serve as interim chairman and CEO, which he did. At the NYSE, he led the push for governance reform, while earning a symbolic salary of only $1 per year.
HThe benefits of a liberal arts education endure over a lifetime, and some of the benefits are only revealed years after you have left school.I
CEO, Edcon Class of 1974
tephen Ross is excited about retiring from his job as CEO of one of South Africa’s blue-chip retailers. “As I begin to contemplate retirement, I am excited at the prospects of receiving more education, this time with the benefit of experience to enrich the learning,” he says. This desire is something that Ross attributes to “the respect for education and the stimulation of curiosity that was instilled in me at W&J by professors like Peter Skutches, who helped me understand the importance of imagination.” A fearless imagination has been important to Ross throughout his career. When Ross graduated from W&J in 1974, there were many more graduates than jobs, so he decided to create a job by starting his own small business cleaning boat bottoms. “It was basically all the work the boaters and sailors really didn’t want to do themselves,” he says. “It paid well, but neither my partner nor I saw much potential value over time of this ‘service’ industry, so we decided to grow up. He became a stockbroker; I went into retail.” Ross worked for Macy’s, Sears, and Phillips-Van Heusen before being courted to lead Edgars Consolidated Stores Limited in South Africa. Having never heard of Edgars or been to Africa, he did his research and decided to accept the position. This multi-billion dollar company, now called Edcon, is the leading retailer of clothing, footwear, textiles, and accessories in southern Africa. When he took over Edgars, the company’s earnings were down 85 percent. In 2004, Edcon reported earnings growth exceeding 70 percent, making it one of the most significant turnarounds in the history of South African corporations. Today, the group has more than 700 stores with more than 3.5 million active customer accounts. “I work in a business that involves consumers, ideas, and taste, as well as numbers. My well-rounded W&J education enables me to synthesize those disparate components,” Ross says. “The benefits of a liberal arts education endure over a lifetime, and some of the benefits are only revealed years after you have left school.”
HThe level of education at W&J far exceeds that of any other small college.I
Athena Sarris Simms
Director of Marketing, Sarris Candies Class of 1999
thena Sarris Simms is like chocolate—impossible not to love—and, appropriately, her family’s company, Sarris Candies, makes some of the best. Since graduating from W&J, Simms has been influential in the growth and recognition of the multi-million dollar candy company. If you tried to attach a descriptive title to her position with Sarris, you might come up with something like “director of marketing and sales supervisor as well as catalog producer and editor along with Web site designer and anything else you need her to be.” Of course, an easier way to say this would be “Jack of all trades,” which is exactly how she describes herself. When Simms began work at Sarris, the company needed just a handful of people to take orders, even at the busiest times. Now, even during the summer months, a slow time for any candy company, Sarris has a staff of 20 people to field orders for their delicious confections. Simms completed most of her college education at Duquesne University, but transferred to W&J for her last three semesters. “I was shocked to find out how quickly I was accepted,” Simms says. “For example, I was elected to homecoming court only six weeks after I started going to W&J.” Because of the size of the school, W&J felt much more like a family to Simms. Dr. John Gregor, professor of business, was her mentor. He and other professors gave her personal attention and got to know her outside of the classroom. Simms discovered that “at W&J, everything is on a first-name basis. You’re not just a number, so you look forward to classes.” The high quality of her W&J education made Simms feel prepared for entering the world of big business and made her confident that she could succeed. “The level of education at W&J far exceeds that of any other small college,” she says. Simms feels that her W&J education prepared her to change careers and succeed in any environment. But rest assured, she has no plans to leave the family business—we all will be enjoying her delicious chocolate and candies for years to come.
HAll of the faculty and staff +at W&J, knew the students, so you felt at home.I
Stephen B. Tily III
Chairman Emeritus, Delaware Charter Guarantee & Trust Company Class of 1960
tephen Tily III is probably glad that he was not born 20 years later. If that had been the case, Tily could not have attended Washington & Jefferson College. His father only agreed to pay for a college that was all-male. “W&J looked like a nice college,” he says. “And they were flexible in their attitude about what you could declare as your major.” He soon found out that there were more admirable characteristics about W&J. “It was a very friendly atmosphere and a very comfortable school,” Tily remembers. “All of the faculty and staff knew the students, so you felt at home.” Dr. John May in the economics department was Tily’s favorite professor. “He liked me and I liked him. I never wanted to be on his bad side, because he certainly would put the fear of God into you,” he says. After graduation, Tily served briefly in the U. S. Army, but soon interviewed with SKF, a ball bearing manufacturer, which hired him to work in labor relations. “I started to go to law school at night,” he says. “But Industrial Valley Bank offered me a good position and I moved to banking.” After a stint as vice president of Farmers Bank, Tily decided to step out on his own by starting a trust company that specialized in retirement plans offered through stock brokerage firms. Although this move was risky, it clearly paid off. For many years, Tily was chairman and CEO of that company, Delaware Charter Guarantee & Trust Company (now known as Principal Trust Company), which is the largest trust company of its type in the country with $50 billion in trust assets and more than 280,000 accounts. According to Tily, the most rewarding thing about owning a trust company is when you find out, years after you retire, that people are still satisfied with your product. While golfing, Tily often meets people whom he does not know, but whose retirement plan is being funded through the trust company, and they thank him for his work. Tily worked hard to please his customers, a value he learned at W&J where he worked hard to do well for the professors.
HMy W&J education was crucialGit had taught me how to learn.I
Vice President, Catholic Healthcare West Class of 1987
hile growing up, LeAnne Trachok always tried to do everything her older brother did. That became difficult when he went off to all-male Washington & Jefferson College. Fourteen years her elder, he would tease her that she could not follow him there. “I remember when he would bring his friends from school to our house,” says Trachok. “They always seemed so polite, intelligent, and fun, and that made me want to go there even more.” When the College became co-educational in 1970, Trachok got her wish and matriculated at W&J. After graduation, unsure of what she wanted to do, Trachok went to an employment agency. The agency director declared her unfit for any available jobs because she lacked the requisite experience or a professional degree. However, the agency director agreed to send her out for an accounting position at National Medical Enterprises, Inc. (NME). “You won’t get the job, of course, but the man who will interview you will let me know how well you present yourself. It will be good practice for you,” the agency director said. Much to everyone’s surprise, Trachok landed the position. “I had no real accounting background,” she says. “But I learned fast. And my W&J education was crucial—it had taught me how to learn.” Trachok was quickly promoted to managing the accounting department and then to the corporate offices and then to the West Coast where she became the youngest person in the corporate office to attain a “director” level position. She is now a vice president at Catholic Healthcare West, the eighth largest not-for-profit hospital system in the country, serving more than 4 million patients annually. “My job has evolved to mission work and helping the uninsured and underserved,” says Trachok. “It’s a good fit for me.” She credits her rapid promotions and early successes to her W&J education. One supervisor told her that he always wanted her with him when he was interviewing prospective clients because no matter where the conversation went, she knew about that subject—whether it was boxing or Bolivia. “That’s the result of a liberal arts education,” she says.
HW&J was supportive, nurturing, stimulating, and it sparked my intellectual curiosity.I
President and CEO, The Harry Fox Agency Class of 1975
he Harry Fox Agency (HFA) is the leading U.S. music rights licensing organization, representing more than 30,000 music publishers and their catalogs of more than 1.5 million songs. It collected $371.5 million in royalties for its publishers in 2005, with 1.9 million mechanical licenses processed in the year. At the head of this 80-year-old company is Gary Churgin, who says, “W&J gave me the basic tools to go and work in any environment.” He certainly proved that when he joined HFA in 2001 after successful careers in government and banking, but with no experience in the music industry. Growing up in Milburn, New Jersey, Churgin enjoyed easy access to New York City. So, when he learned that W&J offered an excellent pre-professional education as well as a series of special lectures by various authors, artists, and musicians, this made it attractive. “W&J was supportive, nurturing, stimulating, and it sparked my intellectual curiosity,” says Churgin. Churgin believes that “it is important to be open to new ideas.” The goal of a liberal arts college, such as W&J, is to open students’ minds through the exploration of various and diverse ideas and cultures. And he should know. Not only does he work globally with a wide variety of cultures and genres every day in the music industry, but he has helped The Harry Fox Agency and its staff to understand and take advantage of new technologies and business practices in the fast-changing marketplace that is today’s music industry. Since Churgin joined the company, he and his team have transformed it into a client-focused, collaborative business model which allows HFA to expand its offerings, adding licensing for online subscription services, ring tones, digital background music, lyrics, and more to its primary business of mechanical licensing. Moving from what most consider to be the “Dark Ages,” HFA was the only publishing-related entity to be included in the 2006 “Digital Music Power Players” list published by Billboard magazine. Every day, Churgin practices the openness to new ideas that he learned at W&J.
HHe +my father, never finished college, so, when I told him that I was going to finish my two years at W&J, tears filled his eyes.I
Patricia Harrison Easton
Award-Winning ChildrenKs Author Class of 1974
Patricia Harrison Easton’s most memorable moment
at W&J is not difficult for her to identify. “At home, I always talked to my mom about this wonderful English professor,” she remembers. “Mom insisted that if he were interested he would ask me out, but I told her he wouldn’t ask me out until final grades were turned in. And, sure enough, we went out to dinner on the day he handed grades in.” And the rest is history—she married Richard Easton, professor of English, and both have continued to be very active at Washington & Jefferson College for the past 34 years. Her husband continues to work full time in the English department, and Easton shares her expertise in children’s literature by teaching that subject at the College. Easton’s first choice for a college was not W&J. She was a transfer student from Trinity College in Texas. When she moved back home after her first two years at Trinity, she was not sure if she was going to finish school. “My father was a W&J student at the outbreak of World War II, and his whole fraternity enlisted in the Army,” Easton says. “He never finished college, so, when I told him that I was going to finish my two years at W&J, tears filled his eyes.” After her graduation, Easton started a family and quickly developed a love for children’s literature. She began to write, but was not published until six years later. She remembers when she received the phone call. “I was at home all by myself and I was supposed to pick up my kids from school,” she says. “So, I drove there and proudly announced to everybody I saw that I now was a published author.” Her most recent book, Davey’s Blue Eyed Frog, won the Beverly Cleary Children’s Choice Award, an award chosen by her audience— young children. She supports local writers by serving as the regional advisor for the Society of Children’s Bookwriters and Illustrators, a group with approximately 300 members.
HMy fondest memory of W&J would have to be the camaraderie of the women during that first year +of co-education,.I
Elizabeth Betsey Hurwitz-Schwab
Civic Arts Leader Retired Vice President of Human Resources, Little Me Childrenswear Class of 1974
Betsey Hurwitz-Schwab knows what it’s like to lead
the way. She was one of the first women to enroll at Washington & Jefferson College in 1970, a period of considerable upheaval at the College. She remembers that some professors were opposed to the acceptance of women and she faced “Women Go Home” signs during that first semester. This tension was difficult to handle at times, but it helped the new female students to band together. “My fondest memory of W&J would have to be the camaraderie of the women during that first year,” Hurwitz-Schwab says. Growing up near Washington, D.C., Hurwitz-Schwab was not accustomed to small, personal institutions. But she came to love W&J for being just that—a college where students were not just numbers but individuals with names and personalities that could be developed. According to Hurwitz-Schwab, this personal touch helped to improve the self-esteem of the women in her class. The importance of W&J to these women can be gauged by the tremendous impact they have made on the world. Hurwitz-Schwab wanted to make an impact early. After she graduated, she joined VISTA, a volunteer organization designed to help people throughout the U.S. From there, she was hired as the first and only woman at a day program for delinquent boys. Soon she found herself working with troubled families in her community. She went on to create a human resources department at the childrenswear manufacturer, Little Me. When she arrived, they had more than 390 employees but no human resources department. Most of the policies and procedures that she designed are still in use today. Now retired, she continues to make a difference in her community of Cumberland, Maryland, by supporting arts organizations and helping to revitalize the town by creating an arts center. “What I enjoy the most about all the things that I do is being able to see where I make a difference,” she says. “The toughest is seeing a situation where you know it is almost impossible to help.” But, just as when she was a freshman facing those angry signs, she will not shy away from any challenge.
HW&J is a college with supportive faculty.I
Gerald Lee Morosco, AIA
President, Gerald Lee Morosco Architects, PC Class of 1981
erald Lee Morosco is an architect, author, and lecturer of national reputation who serves currently as chairman of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation. Drawn to Washington & Jefferson College in the footsteps of his father, also an alum, he began his studies as an English major. In his junior year, recognizing Morosco’s interest and aptitude in architecture, Professors Hugh Taylor and Bill Keen encouraged him to add an additional major in art so he could pursue architecture in graduate school. Double majors were not common then, so Morosco’s professors petitioned the faculty to allow him to do this. By doubling up on classes and taking summer and night classes, he accomplished the difficult task, graduating cum laude and with honors in art. It is no wonder that Morosco remembers W&J as a college with supportive faculty. After graduation, Morosco pursued his education as an architect by way of traditional apprenticeship at Frank Lloyd Wright’s landmark estates at Taliesin in Wisconsin and at Taliesin West in Arizona, where he lived and worked with many who knew and studied directly under the master. Morosco relocated to Pittsburgh in 1986 to pursue his interest in historic preservation, establishing his architectural practice in 1989. For more than 20 years, he has worked to preserve the architectural heritage of Pittsburgh’s South Side while also gaining national recognition for the craft and beauty of his sophisticated residential designs, his restoration of historic structures, and especially through the house he built for himself in Pittsburgh, which has been featured on the Home and Garden Network and won numerous architectural awards. His projects have also been featured in Metropolitan Home, Inspired House, Old House Journal, Old House Interiors, and Style 1900 as well as other magazines and periodicals. The recipient of many awards, he is the youngest individual to be nominated for the Otto Haas Award, Pennsylvania’s highest preservation honor. Now in its third printing, Morosco’s bestselling first book, How to Work with an Architect, was published in May 2006. The release of his second book, Reinventing the Rowhouse, is anticipated in 2008.
SCIENTISTS AND THINKERS
HThe teachers +at W&J, were always willing to help you.I
Mariano R. Garcia Jr., Ph.D.
Mathematician and Bridge Master Class of 1939
r. Mariano Garcia took a leap of faith when he came to W&J, an act that took him from Puerto Rico to southwestern Pennsylvania. As the recipient of a full-tuition scholarship to Washington & Jefferson College, Garcia left his birthplace of San Juan without any money to attend a school he had never seen before. Lillian Weirich, matron of W&J’s Caldwell House, helped Garcia adjust to American life, and professors like Dr. Howard Shaub in the mathematics department guided and challenged him. “The homework was hard, but the teachers were always willing to help you,” he recalls. A few years later, Garcia received his doctorate in mathematics from the University of Virginia. Garcia simply loves numbers. “Mathematics has been the love of my life, but the passion of my life is amicable numbers,” he says. (Amicable numbers are two integers for which the sum of the divisors of each number, excluding the number itself, equals the other number.) Even though he is currently retired, Garcia and a team of researchers continue in this mathematical research. In 2001, Garcia announced that he had discovered more than one million new amicable pairs, bringing to more than two million the total of known amicable numbers and strengthening the validity of the as-yet unproven conjecture that there are infinitely many such pairs. Garcia also discovered one of the largest amicable pairs known to date, with 5,577 digits in each number. When he’s not searching for amicable numbers, Garcia loves to play bridge. This passion dates from his years at W&J when he once stayed up all night on a weekday before a test to play. (He passed the test.) Garcia has now attained the status of diamond life master in the American Contract Bridge League. He has to his credit more than 5,000 master points, which puts him in the upper 1% nationally. Garcia was very thankful to his W&J professors for focusing on his individual needs as a student, a practice he carried on in his own teaching in Puerto Rico and at several colleges in the United States.
HIKm a very lucky man because my vocation and my avocation are the same.I
Ronald V. Pellegrini, M.D.
Chief, Adult Cardiac Surgery, UPMC Class of 1959
hen Dr. Ronald Pellegrini applied to W&J, he received a generous scholarship, but he was forced to delay coming to college for one year. His parents were out of work and he needed to earn money for his family by working in the coal mines like his father. That year taught him a great deal and made him even more determined to succeed in college once he got there. And succeed he did. In fact, Pellegrini was admitted to medical school during the fall of his junior year. “This happened to be very rare and unusual,” he says, “but when I told Dr. [Dewey] Dieter, all he said was, ‘What did you expect?’” Pellegrini’s life has continued to be exceptional. In 1974, Pellegrini headed a four-person team that installed the first commercial model of an intra-aortic balloon pump, paving the way for the widespread use of this important surgical technique. And now, after helping to develop the Mercy Heart Institute, he serves as chief of adult cardiac surgery at UPMC and is widely recognized as one of the leading heart surgeons in the country. Although he works 12 to 15 hours a day, Pellegrini loves what he does. “The most enjoyable thing about my job is my job,” says Pellegrini. “I’m a very lucky man because my vocation and my avocation are the same.” Pellegrini credits W&J with providing the kind of education that prepares students like him to be flexible and ready for anything. He applauds the professors for focusing not only on teaching facts but also on teaching students to learn things independently. He remembers most fondly Dr. Edwin Moseley, who “never gave a lecture but would always talk about learning, methods of learning, and the importance of being able to learn on your own.” After Pellegrini and his classmates had memorized dates and facts for a test on the Civil War, “Dr. Walter Sanderlin stood up and wrote, ‘What were the causes of the Civil War?’ That question was the whole test,” Pellegrini recalls. Teaching students to think for themselves is a hallmark of W&J that prepared this physician for his remarkable career.
HThere is a total experience that you get there +at W&J, that stays with you forever.I
Neal R. Pellis, Ph.D.
Associate Director for Science Management, NASA Associate Director of Biological Sciences, Johnson Space Center Class of 1966
ver the years, Dr. Neal Pellis has met with Neil Armstrong, talked extensively with astronaut John Glenn, and given a presentation to President Bill Clinton. Now he helps lead NASA’s efforts to study the effects of gravity on cells in order to explore how space travel affects the human body. Under his direction, experiments are conducted to engineer tissue for research, use microorganisms and cell design to create new drugs, and prepare better models of human tumors. One line of research, for example, tries to determine how T-cells, key players in the human immune system, are altered in low-gravity environments like the international space station. This information could help scientists learn how to strengthen human immunity to fight disease or temper it to accept transplants. Several of Pellis’s experiments have been taken into space on NASA space shuttles. Pellis attributes much of his success to the education that he received at Washington & Jefferson College. “W&J gives you an education that’s a preparation for a whole life, not just the first five years of your career,” he says. “There is a total experience that you get there that stays with you forever.” Pellis fondly remembers the academic “family” he developed during his years at W&J, which he describes as one of the strongest aspects of the small school. “You can’t hide from these professors or from others in the community, so immediately you start to become somebody,” he says. Pellis especially remembers Dr. Homer Porter, professor of biology, as a man who was well read in and out of science. “He had a pattern about his speech that was flowing and interesting,” says Pellis. “He obviously kept my attention because when I look in my notebooks from his classes there are no doodles.” Pellis’s motto is “You never know what you’re going to need to know, so try to learn everything that you can while you can,” an excellent goal for someone who has held positions in the military, medicine, and scientific research. “This type of school will be the mainstay for thinking people in the future,” Pellis says.
HIt was simple. They +W&J, said, JIf you get through our pre-med curriculum we almost guarantee you entrance into medical school.KI
Philip Raskin, M.D.
Diabetes Researcher and Clifton and Betsy Robinson Chair in Biomedical Research, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas Class of 1962
HIt was simple,” Dr. Philip Raskin says. “They said,
‘If you get through our pre-med curriculum we almost guarantee you entrance into medical school.’” This promise offered by Washington & Jefferson College attracted Raskin to the small college near his hometown of Carnegie. Little did he know that in addition to a fine education, he would make lifelong friends. Two years later, when his father died, Raskin turned to his Zeta Beta Tau fraternity brothers for solace. He also was comforted by one of his political science professors. “He put his arm around me and it meant a lot when I was only 19,” Raskin recalls. While at W&J, Raskin served as social chair and president of his fraternity, learning creative problem solving as the fraternity members built an organization from the ground up. After the fraternity rented a house on Beau Street, they discovered that there was not enough room for everyone to live there. So, he and his roommate begged some wood from Raskin’s father and enclosed the front porch to increase the living area. After that, the fraternity bought an old stove and refrigerator from a local synagogue to complete their fraternity kitchen. He remembers learning a lot from his roommate, who took him to symphonies that he would never have attended on his own. Upon graduation from W&J and medical school, Raskin interned and completed his residency at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. He is now a diabetes researcher and holds the Clifton and Betsy Robinson Chair in Biomedical Research at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, where he earns international recognition for his work. One of his responsibilities is teaching medical residents, which he enjoys tremendously. The most important thing that Raskin says he learned in college was not the zoology, chemistry, or math—it was the liberal arts. The majority of doctors “only know the innards of a sand rat,” says Raskin. “They have never learned how to think on their own.” Raskin believes that the ability to think on your own is essential to success in all fields, and it is developed excellently at W&J.
HW&J has a great interest in preparing students for their career objectives.I
E. Ronald Salvitti, M.D.
President and Director, Southwestern Pennsylvania Eye Center Class of 1959
r. E. Ronald Salvitti has been in the practice of ophthalmology since 1973. He is the founder and medical director of the Southwestern Pennsylvania Eye Center. Salvitti has been an innovator in the field of ophthalmic surgery, designing intraocular lenses for cataract surgery that were widely used nationally in the early 1990s. He also continues to work as a consultant with many research and development staffs of the country’s leading companies, contributing to the development of cataract instrumentation technology. Because of his contributions to the field, he is frequently sought out to coordinate various eye surgery courses available to his peers. In 2005, Salvitti and four nationally and internationally known surgeons performed live surgery from the Eye Center, which was broadcast to the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery conference in Washington, D.C. He continues to remain strongly committed to his work, and his goal is to accept change and to be more knowledgeable each day. While attending W&J, Salvitti was a four-year letterman for the W&J basketball team. (He is a member of the W&J Athletic Hall of Fame.) Salvitti remembers the College as a place where academics superseded athletics. Both, however, required hard work and perseverance. “W&J has a great interest in preparing students for their career objectives,” Salvitti says. “I had many friends who were students and who were working toward the same goals as I. That helped me strive for excellence, stay committed, and adopt a good work ethic.” Dr. Homer Porter, professor of biology, was Salvitti’s favorite faculty member. He knew the student athletes and respected the additional time needed to be a Division III athlete. He encouraged participation in varsity athletics along with academic excellence. As a student, Salvitti particularly appreciated the balance of arts, sciences, and humanities courses that he received at W&J, a balance that provided the foundation for everything that he has done. Today, Salvitti sees students at W&J who are passionately committed to their goals and at the same time enjoying the college community experience.
H+W&J is, the ultimate school for faculty that really desire to teach.I
Gary A. Silverman, M.D., Ph.D.
Chief, Division of Neonatology and Developmental Biology, Magee WomenKs Hospital and ChildrenKs Hospital of Pittsburgh Class of 1978
When Dr. Gary A. Silverman first visited his advisor at
W&J, the meeting did not go well. The ambitious freshman had come to ask Dr. Dennis Trelka to be his advisor for an honors project. There was only one catch— no student at W&J had undertaken an honors project in biology before his junior year. The two argued, and Trelka recommended that this brash young man find another advisor. But Silverman did not give up, and, besides, he liked this professor who looked him in the eye and challenged him. One year later, when he completed his honors project at Hahnemann Medical College (now Drexel), Trelka was there to guide him. The two continue to be close friends today and Silverman remembers W&J as “the ultimate school for faculty that really desire to teach.” After W&J, Silverman continued to pursue remarkable challenges, applying to one of the most competitive physician-scientist programs in the country, the M.D./PhD. program at the University of Chicago. He went on to a Pediatric residency at The Children’s Hospital Boston and a Neonatal-Perinatal Fellowship at St. Louis Children’s Hospital, as well as a Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in the laboratory of Stanley Korsmeyer, M.D., where he worked on the forerunner of the human genome project. A Youngstown native, Silverman returned to Pittsburgh in 2004 as chief of the Division of Neonatology and Developmental Biology for Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh and Magee Women’s Hospital. Every day, Silverman experiences the miracle—and pain—of new life. “Obviously, the toughest part is when one of those lives is cut short,” he says. In addition to this position, he conducts his own research on proteins called serpins, which could be instrumental in finding a cure for certain cancers. He is one of only a handful of neonatologists who combine the rigors of clinical practice and ground-breaking research. There were two primary reasons that Dr. Silverman chose W&J—a place on the football team (despite his 5’9” frame) and the appeal of the school’s size. “It was small and intimate,” he says. “You would not get lost in the crowd.” Little chance of that for this remarkable physician.
HWhen you went to talk to him +Dr. Homer Porter,, he was all there, all concentrated on you. ThatKs what makes a small college so special.I
Dennis Slamon, M.D., Ph.D.
Chief, Division of Hematology-Oncology, UCLA Class of 1970
Dr. Dennis Slamon is a master of multi-tasking. An
internationally recognized breast cancer researcher, a professor of medicine, a fundraiser, and an administrator, Slamon is one of the busiest men in Los Angeles. At the University of California, Los Angeles, he currently holds positions as professor of medicine and chief of the Division of HematologyOncology, director of Clinical/Translational Research at the Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, director of the Revlon/UCLA Women’s Cancer Research Program, and executive vice chair for research for the Department of Medicine. Slamon also serves as director of the medical advisory board for the National Colorectal Cancer Research Alliance. Slamon is best known for the research he conducted that led to the development of Herceptin, a breast cancer drug that targets a specific genetic alteration found in about 30 percent of breast cancer patients. Slamon’s work marked a shift in cancer treatment from a “one size fits all” approach to killing tumors to a study of the genetics of specific cancers. This research, which has occupied Slamon for the past 20 years, has earned him numerous national and international awards, including the Medal of Honor from the American Cancer Society, the top award bestowed by the organization. Slamon’s first foray into serious biology research was made at W&J. The son of a West Virginia coal miner, he came to W&J because of its strong reputation for pre-medical education. After W&J, Slamon continued his education at the University of Chicago, earning both a doctorate in cell biology and a medical degree. When he first arrived at Chicago, he was concerned that he might not be able to compete in that prestigious program, but he says that W&J had prepared him well to succeed there and through the rest of his life. Slamon remembers Dr. Homer Porter, professor of biology, as the man who was most influential on his career. “He never rushed,” says Slamon. “When you went to talk to him, he was all there, all concentrated on you. That’s what makes a small college so special.” Given this strong influence, it is little wonder that Slamon continues to work in an academic setting where he mentors young researchers, including several graduates of W&J.
HHe just made the pre-med students feel specialG like we all would go on to become physicians.I
Sheldon Weinstein, M.D.
Retired Clinical Professor, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Branch Class of 1959
t is no surprise that Dr. Sheldon Weinstein won the Society of Gynecologic Surgeons (SGS) Distinguished Surgeon Award in 2005. As an obstetrician and gynecologist, he has developed surgical instruments that have saved numerous lives and made surgery easier. He also earned international recognition for his work, traveling to numerous foreign countries to speak at conferences and seminars. Weinstein attributes his remarkable career to inspiration from Dr. Dewey Dieter at Washington & Jefferson College. “Dr. Dieter inspired me to the nth degree,” says Weinstein. “He just made the pre-med students feel special—like we all would go on to become physicians.” Like many W&J graduates, Weinstein remained in touch with Dieter long after he left the College. Not only did Dieter help guide his career, but he was also a model for Weinstein, showing him how to be a good mentor. When Weinstein taught military ob-gyn residents at Walter Reed Hospital, and later when he became a clinical professor at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Branch at Dallas, he tried to lead his students as Dieter had guided him. Weinstein continues to teach and operate a private gynecology practice in Dallas. During his career, he also worked for six years as ABC’s medical reporter in Dallas, informing the public about how to protect its health. While Weinstein is extremely thankful to W&J for giving him the foundation that he needed to enter the medical world, he is even more grateful for the multi-disciplinary liberal arts education he received. Even though he was a pre-med student, he particularly enjoyed courses in religion and economics, which gave him a break from his concentration in the sciences. The College’s sense of community and the dedication of its faculty also bred in him the desire to give something back to the community in which he lived.
HW&J gave me an opportunity to succeed in life.I
Walter Cooper, Ph.D.
Retired Scientist, Eastman Kodak Research Lab Civil Rights and Educational Activist Class of 1950
r. Walter Cooper is committed to education. “All education, from my philosophical framework, is vital to the future,” he says. Growing up in a large family and as the son of a coal miner, he did not think that it would be possible for him to go to college without taking on an enormous financial burden. However, Cooper had at least two advantages—he was smart and he was fast. He graduated as salutatorian of his high school class and received a scholarship to Washington & Jefferson College. Furthermore, whereas other colleges in Pittsburgh refused to let him compete athletically because he was AfricanAmerican, W&J welcomed him to their athletic program. Cooper enjoyed the rigorous academics at W&J. He grew especially fond of Professors Allan Dickie, professor of German, and Bernie Staskiewicz, professor of chemistry, both of whom he describes as scholarly and demanding, but also energetic and excited because they loved the subjects that they were teaching. After earning his degree in chemistry from W&J, Cooper went on to become the first African American to earn a doctorate in physical chemistry from the University of Rochester. He had a long and successful career as a scientist at Eastman Kodak Research Labs, where he managed the Office of Research Innovation and became the holder of three patents. Cooper is living proof that the liberal arts curriculum at W&J prepares students to be involved in a community. As chairman of the education committee of the NAACP from 1959 to 1965, a founding member of the Rochester, New York, Urban League, and Regent of the State of New York for the Seventh Judicial District from 1988 to 1997, he has certainly been a community leader. Cooper was very active during the Civil Rights period, standing shoulder to shoulder with Medgar Evers and Martin Luther King Jr. to educate community leaders and politicians about the unequal treatment of the black community. As a scientist, community leader, and social activist, Cooper has become a model for many young men and women. He credits his success to W&J saying, simply, “W&J gave me an opportunity to succeed in life.”
HFrom the moment you arrive, the faculty are there to advise and challenge youGlike it or not. But they will also give you lots of freedom.I
Former Representative, Pennsylvania Fourth Congressional District Class of 1984
Melissa Hart started her political career by running
for recording secretary of the student council at her middle school. She lost that race, but that didn’t put an end to her public service aspirations. At W&J, she was politically active, founding the College Republicans with several friends. Following her political path, in 2000 she became the first female Republican elected to the U.S. Congress from Pennsylvania. Often referred to as a rising star, she served on the House’s powerful Ways and Means Committee as well as the Republican Whip Team, that guides the party’s agenda through Congress. Hart likes a challenge. In 1990, then a young real estate lawyer, she won a seat in the state senate by knocking on more than 10,000 doors. She was the first Republican to win in that district in more than two decades. Ten years later, she won her Congressional seat against even longer odds. One of her most noted accomplishments was the signing into law of her bill, the Unborn Victims of Violence Law, which stipulates that if violence is committed against a pregnant woman and her unborn child is harmed, the perpetrator may be charged with crimes against two victims. She also sponsored the 529 bill, which made tax-free college savings accounts permanent, allowing college savings to be spent on tuition, not taxes. She found many challenges as a student at W&J as well. While she was known for her conservative politics, one of her favorite professors was Dr. Jim Donnelly, a staunch Democrat. “He would challenge me in class, out of class, or wherever, and I loved it,” she recalls. Hart initially pursued a double major in business and German, imagining her future in international business. An internship with a local judge changed her mind, and, after taking only one political science course in her senior year, she headed for law school. She greatly appreciated the flexibility that W&J gave students, enabling them to change direction, as she did. “From the moment you arrive,” she says, “the faculty are there to advise and challenge you—like it or not. But they will also give you lots of freedom.”
HW&J broadened and diversified my experience.I
John S. Kern
Director, Joint Planning and Development Office, U.S. Department of Transportation Class of 1964
o say that John Kern enjoys flying would be an understatement—flying has been at the heart of every position that he has held since his graduation from Washington & Jefferson College. The son of a steel worker and a school teacher, Kern started his flight training at W&J through the U.S. Army ROTC’s flight program. “There were five or six of us,” he recalls. “We went to Washington County Airport and all got our pilot licenses.” Immediately after his graduation, he became a U.S. Army pilot in Vietnam, service that earned him the Bronze Star and Air Medal with Oak Leaf Clusters. At the end of the war, Kern began working his way up through the Federal Aviation Administration, eventually becoming one of the FAA’s highest ranking officials. After 20 years there and then 10 years at Northwest Airlines as a crew member and in four different vice president positions, Kern retired. But his retirement was short lived. After only a year, he was called to help design the Next Generation Air Transportation System Integrated Plan as director of the Joint Planning and Development Office. In this position, he coordinates researchers, scientists, and policy makers from the Departments of Transportation, Defense, and Homeland Security, the FAA, NASA, and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. His task? Nothing less than designing a new air traffic system to handle the increased demand for air travel with no delays, speedy and convenient flights from all cities, and reliable service despite the weather. He says it’s a 20- to 25-year plan. Kern is a man of vision who knows how to solve complex problems by leading diverse teams of military personnel, scientists, industry CEOs, and U.S. senators. Where did he learn this skill? “At W&J,” he says. “I got to know people with totally different lifestyles and backgrounds. W&J broadened and diversified my experience.” In addition, the variety of classes he took at W&J prepared him to talk to leaders from science, the military, and industry. His W&J education gave Kern confidence that he could pursue any field that he chose.
HW&J professors are incredibly knowledgeable in their field, enjoy interacting with the students, and are demanding but fair.I
Vice President and Managing Director of Missile Defense, Lockheed Martin Corporation Class of 1965
avid Kier wanted to fly from the time he was in high school. “As soon as I was old enough to take flight lessons, I began doing odd jobs around the neighborhood so that I could earn money to learn,” he says. It is no surprise that he joined the U.S. Army reserves with hopes of becoming a pilot, but due to his below par eyesight, he was prevented from flying for the military. Still wanting to be involved in flight, he joined NASA and moved into the business of flight testing. He concluded his 35-year national service career by serving concurrently as the deputy director of the National Reconnaissance Office and principal deputy assistant secretary of the air force for space. He has since moved on to the private sector, joining Lockheed Martin in 2001, where he is now vice president and managing director of missile defense. Most of his major achievements are classified. Kier is an entrepreneur who enjoys discovering innovative ways to provide for national protection through new and existing technologies. Most recently, he has been working on Lockheed Martin’s huge airships, which some day may hover, without tethers, for more than three months at a time to provide radar coverage of missile approaches to the United States. Through this work with Lockheed Martin, Kier has the potential to influence American international policy—as well as that of other countries. While working with the intelligence community, Kier says that he must always have a critical eye. “I heard a lot when I was in intelligence, a lot of information that was non-factual or just speculation,” he says. “It caused me to think critically before making a decision.” According to Kier, critical thinking is the most important skill that one can learn—a skill that is taught effectively at Washington & Jefferson College. “W&J professors are incredibly knowledgeable in their field, enjoy interacting with the students, and are demanding but fair,” explains Kier.
HThe most important thing that I learned at W&J was how to be a leader and how to deal with relationships.I
Vice Admiral, U.S. Navy Director, Naval Air Systems Command Class of 1970
ice Admiral Walter B. Massenburg, head of the Naval Air Systems Command, is a vital part of keeping the U.S. Navy in top fighting condition and working as a team—something he learned at W&J. In high school, Massenburg hoped to attend the U.S. Naval Academy, but when it was time to begin his higher education, another institution offered him admission—Washington & Jefferson College. He continued to pursue his dream of attending the Naval Academy, but when it came calling during his freshman year, it was too late. He had fallen in love with W&J and stayed, majoring in physics and serving as equipment manager for the basketball team, an experience he credits with teaching him the importance of teamwork and the realization that everyone on a team is important. “The most important thing that I learned at W&J was how to be a leader and how to deal with relationships,” he says. He remembers basketball coach David Scarborough as his chief mentor. When he left W&J, Massenburg became a P-3 pilot, serving in numerous squadrons. In 1995, he assumed command of the Maritime Surveillance Aircraft Program Office and, in 2003, he was given the task of leading the Naval Air Systems Command, where he works with approximately 27,000 civilians, 9,000 contractors, and 3,000 military personnel. In this role, Massenburg is in charge of providing cost-efficient readiness and dominant maritime power as well as improving the integration and effectiveness of the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps. He guides his team well because he learned it from the bottom up, building on the foundation he gained at W&J. Massenburg’s achievements range from a place in Baltimore City College High School’s Hall of Fame to The Society of Logistics Engineers Founders Award to the Alumni Achievement Award from W&J. His numerous military decorations include the Legion of Merit with two gold stars, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal, and the Navy Commendation Medal with two gold stars. However, he says his greatest achievement is helping to create a safe environment for U.S. citizens and citizens of the world.
HWe had a good laugh over that.I
The Honorable Barron P. McCune Retired U.S District Court Judge Class of 1935
ife at W&J has changed a good bit since the Honorable Barron P. McCune was a student. But at 92 years old, he still attends every home football game and vividly recalls his years at Washington & Jefferson College. He remembers the tradition of freshmen and sophomores wrestling one another on the college field where Cameron Stadium now sits. As they wrestled, the men would pull the pants off their opponents and throw them up into the trees. When everyone was exhausted, the class with the highest number of men still wearing pants was declared the winner. He also fondly remembers Dr. Alfred Sweet, a history professor, who used to tell wonderful jokes. McCune recorded some of the professor’s best jokes and submitted them to Judge magazine. “When they accepted one of these jokes for publication, they sent me a check for $2, which I split up between the two of us,” he recalls. “I said if he continued to tell jokes, I would write them down and send them in, and we could continue to split the earnings. Of course, we had a good laugh over that.” After his graduation, McCune initially took a job with Firestone and moved to Akron, Ohio. However, his father quietly urged McCune to study law, emphasizing that having a law degree did not necessarily mean he had to practice it. And so, McCune left Firestone when he was accepted into the University of Pennsylvania’s Law School. Upon graduation he returned to Washington to begin his own law practice. By the time he left to serve in World War II in 1942, that practice had become one of the most successful in Washington County. Four years after he returned from service, he was elected as a common pleas judge. Then, in 1971, President Richard Nixon appointed him as a U. S. District Judge for Western Pennsylvania. In this position, which he held until 1995, McCune earned widespread respect, presiding over prominent cases as disparate as those involving cocaine trafficking in major league baseball and those determining the rights of women with breast cancer to have insurance coverage for bone marrow transplants. McCune retired in 1995 as a 50-year member of the Pennsylvania Bar Association.
HIKm very proud to say that IKm a graduate of W&J.I
A. Michael Pratt
Partner, Pepper Hamilton LLP Vice Chancellor, Philadelphia Bar Association Class of 1981
Michael Pratt decided to attend W&J because of its
strong academic environment and the chance to play sports at a collegiate level. But when he arrived on campus, he found that there were many other reasons to love W&J, notably the closeness of the faculty to the students. As he looks back on his experiences at the College, Pratt realizes that the strong commitment of the College to the future of its students helped him appreciate how valuable knowledge is. The professors and administrators at W&J helped Pratt to obtain a broader world view by advising him to widen his perspective and be open to new ideas. This prepared him to make a contribution to the society. He speaks of how professors’ doors were always open and they were always ready to inspire and encourage him. Dr. Joseph DiSarro, a political science professor, encouraged Pratt’s interest in becoming a lawyer, and after college he went to law school. After he graduated from law school, he spent one year clerking for a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit and then interviewed at Pepper Hamilton LLP, where he has been employed for the past 20 years as a litigator focusing on complex commercial disputes and toxic torts. He enjoys the challenge of being creative in law and being in a unique position to give something back to his community and profession. Most recently, he has been elected vice chancellor of the Philadelphia Bar Association and will become chancellor in 2008. “There has been an increase in diversity since I was at W&J,” he says. “And being African American, this is very important to me.” However, while Pratt admits to experiencing some racially insensitive episodes, he does not mention any difficulties with others or direct discrimination during his four years at W&J. He also is impressed at the physical changes on campus since the time when he was a student here. “There has been a great deal of new construction,” he notes. “And, the campus looks good.” Knowing that W&J continues to improve, while maintaining the same commitment and concern for students that it has always had, Pratt says, “I’m very proud to say that I’m a graduate of W&J.”
HIKm a firm believer that W&J contributed directly to my success.I
Mayor, City of Pittsburgh Class of 2003
Luke Ravenstahl certainly knows what it is like to
break records. While at Washington & Jefferson College, he was the captain of the football team, which was not really unusual considering his leadership abilities and enthusiastic spirit. However, it was very unusual because Ravenstahl was the place kicker, and captains are more traditionally the quarterbacks and linemen. When he shattered the team record for the most successful field goals, what he remembers most is the excitement on the faces of his teammates. He also breaks records off the football field. Just one year after his graduation from W&J, Ravenstahl was elected as the youngest member ever of the Pittsburgh City Council. He quickly climbed the ladder, becoming City Council president in only two years. Ravenstahl says that the most difficult job in politics at all levels is getting everyone on the same page in order to make a decision with which everyone can agree, something he practiced regularly on City Council. Then, when Pittsburgh Mayor Bob O’Connor died only eight months into his term, Ravenstahl became not only the youngest mayor in Pittsburgh’s history, but also the youngest mayor ever of a major U.S. city. W&J taught Ravenstahl to accept the respect that he earned on the football field and also to respect the expertise of others, notably his teachers and the College administrators. He vividly remembers Dr. James West, professor of economics and business, whose ability to relate classroom activity to the real world was impressive. “We were shown what would happen if you applied the things that we learned in the classroom to a situation that you might see in the world of marketing,” says Ravenstahl. This “real-world” environment prepared Ravenstahl for his future in the world of politics. “I’ve watched the development of excellent housing facilities and other new buildings at W&J,” says Ravenstahl. “However, I’m glad that there has been no change in the excellence of education that one receives there. I’m a firm believer that W&J contributed directly to my success.”
HOne thing that has not changed is the intimacy of the College, where students interact with the professors who help to train their minds and mold their values.I
M. Gerald Schwartzbach, Attorney
Law Offices of M. Gerald Schwartzbach, P.C. Class of 1966
hen M. Gerald Schwartzbach attended W&J, diversity was almost nonexistent. In fact, only two fraternities at the all-male College would accept Jews or African-Americans. Those experiences helped to make him what he is today—a lawyer recognized by his peers as one of “The Best Lawyers in America” and a tireless champion against injustice. Schwartzbach returned to W&J in 2005 to speak as part of a legal forum, his first visit in 39 years. He very much appreciated the changes, particularly in the area of diversity. “One thing that has not changed,” according to Schwartzbach, “is the intimacy of the College, where students interact with the professors who help to train their minds and mold their values.” Schwartzbach’s love of sports ran deep at W&J, where he played basketball and baseball. “I wanted to become a sportscaster,” he remembers. But he decided to attend George Washington University Law School instead. After law school, he joined VISTA and moved to Detroit, where he says he became “politicized” before leaving for California in 1972. Many of his trials have become civil rights landmarks. He prevented an extradition from Michigan to Arkansas by successfully arguing that the Arkansas penal system violated the constitutional prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment. Appearing before the California Supreme Court, he successfully argued that all California felony defendants have a right to a preliminary hearing, whether prosecuted by indictment or by complaint. In 1982, he convinced the same California Supreme Court to establish the presumptive right of defendants in capital murder cases to have two court-appointed attorneys. He has also won several famous acquittals. He helped pioneer the Battered Women’s Syndrome Defense in his successful defense of Delores Churchill; obtained an acquittal of civil-rights attorney Stephen Bingham, who was charged with conspiracy and multiple murders in an internationally publicized case; and won the release of Glen Buddy Nickerson, who had been wrongly convicted and incarcerated for 18 1/2 years. In 2005, Schwartzbach also obtained the acquittal of actor Robert Blake in a highly publicized murder trial. Schwartzbach says that at W&J, he learned to recognize and respect others’ ideas and fight for his own. 81
HBefore W&J, I wasnKt sure who I really was. But after I graduated, I had such a sense of who I was and what I wanted to do.I
The Honorable William Thomas
Circuit Judge, Miami-Dade County Class of 1991
The Honorable William Thomas recalls a professor
at W&J telling him, “You can’t measure yourself against everybody else. You measure yourself against the goals that you have set for life.” It’s a message that he has taken to heart and applied to his life inside and outside the courtroom. While at W&J, he always tried to exceed his own expectations. As the first from his family to graduate from college, he never took the experience for granted. He worked hard in the classroom, but he also found time to establish the first multicultural group at W&J, the Cultural Awareness Support Enrichment Group. At W&J, he learned to set his sights high—a trait that no doubt contributed to his election as circuit court judge at the age of 37. In 2004, there were only four African-American judges in Miami-Dade County, Florida—a fact that Thomas felt needed to be changed. So the former public defender in the Miami-Dade County and federal public defender offices decided that he should run for a judgeship. He won that hotly contested race and is now sitting as a circuit court judge in Dade County. “The toughest thing about being a judge is the political pressure that’s placed on you to do what is popular rather than doing what is right,” he says. However, Thomas maintains that even if it ends up costing him his position, he will follow the law and do what is right. Another challenge in Thomas’ work is keeping the power that a judge holds in check. In order to keep perspective, Thomas reminds himself of the adage that “with great power comes great responsibility.” “For being a small school, W&J is very reflective of what the real world is like,” Thomas says. He believes that life is a continual learning process, something he learned at W&J. “Before W&J, I wasn’t sure who I really was,” he remembers. “But after I graduated, I had such a sense of who I was and what I wanted to do.”
ENTREPRENEURS AND INNOVATORS
HW&J trusted the students and gave us opportunities to have responsibility.I
President and CEO, VantageScore Solutions Class of 1967
Barrett Burns has been a leader and an
entrepreneur all his life, learning how to manage risks while being innovative. During college, he chaired the senior prom. “W&J trusted the students and gave us opportunities to have responsibility,” he says. “But if you messed up something like the prom, everybody hated you, so there was a lot of pressure.” As prom chairman, he hired an unknown band for an afternoon concert, a move that was not widely accepted on campus. However, his decision was validated a couple of weeks before the prom when that unknown duo, Simon and Garfunkel, released their chart-topping single “Sounds of Silence.” In 2006, Burns became the first president and CEO of VantageScore Solutions, an innovative company that provides a highly predictive approach to determining consumer creditworthiness. Burns helped to found this company, launched by three national credit reporting companies. “It is exciting to harness the horsepower of those three companies and watch them work,” he says. Burns was a natural choice for this position since he had plenty of previous senior management experience. During his 27 years at Citibank, he rose through the ranks so quickly that he had a new job every 18 months. He moved on to become senior vice president of Bank One’s finance company, the fifth largest in the U.S. at the time. He was also chief operating officer of its largest division. His next role was executive vice president of global risk management for the Ford Motor Credit Company before moving to U.S. Trust Company as an executive vice president. It was his time at Washington & Jefferson College, he says, that prepared him for the constant changes in his career, he says. Burns enjoyed fraternity life at W&J and continues to stay in touch with his fraternity brothers. “Fraternities taught their members to stand up for what they believed,” he says. Burns is proud that W&J still produces leaders and gives graduates the opportunity to go many different directions. “While you are there, W&J puts you into situations that you have never been in before,” Burns says, “but they guide you through so that you learn to succeed.”
HThe liberal arts helped me because I learned to be flexible.I
Lyn M. Dyster, Ph.D.
Co-Founder and Vice President of Drug Discovery, Kinex Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Class of 1980
Dr. Lyn Dyster has devoted her life to fighting
cancer and other debilitating disorders through ground-breaking research and drug discovery. She has helped develop new breast cancer diagnostic and therapeutic technologies and is a founder of Kinex Pharmaceuticals, a biotech firm that is developing break-through medicines for cancer, osteoporosis, hearing loss, obesity, and ischemic disease. During her years as a student at W&J, Dyster developed lasting relationships with several professors—and not all of them scientists. She remembers Dr. Richard Dryden, professor of biology, as “supportive and challenging” and Dr. Hugh Taylor as a “phenomenal” art professor. She studied piano with Professor William Hudgins and still plays the instrument as a relief from the rigors of her scientific research and business leadership responsibilities. According to Dyster, this balance between science and art is one of the most important things that a student can learn in college. “When I started a company, the liberal arts helped me because I learned to be flexible,” she says. As the leader in a growing firm, she still has to be flexible. “I don’t really have one particular job,” she says, “I love being involved in many aspects of the company.” Dyster remains very involved with W&J. She enjoys being a member of the Board of Trustees and watching the College grow and change. “Greek life is toned down, the food is much better, and the facilities are much more upscale” than when she was a student, she says. But these changes have not affected the focus on the students that defines the essence of W&J. Dyster is committed to the College today because W&J was so committed to her as a student.
HWashington & Jefferson CollegeKs reputation preceded it. It has some of the best people in any school.I
Ellis L. Hyman
Co-founder, CapAd Communications Class of 1987
ashington & Jefferson College’s reputation preceded it,” says Ellis Hyman. “Two words to describe it are commitment and integrity. It has some of the best people in any school.” Hyman transferred to W&J from Washington College for those very reasons. “That commitment and integrity were exemplified by Professor Steve Zanolli, professor of economics and business,” says Hyman. In order to help Hyman, who had dyslexia and did not do well on written exams, Zanolli took extra time to give him verbal tests. It’s little wonder that Zanolli had a long-lasting relationship with Hyman, continuing to give him advice and encouragment long after his graduation. “W&J helped me greatly with my success,” says Hyman. “The liberal arts education certainly taught me how to adapt to various situations, which has helped me not only in my professional success but also in my life.” Hyman’s first job was with Senator Lowell Weicker’s office, where he worked on drafting the Americans with Disabilities Act and rewriting the OSHA Act of 1970. Out of favor with the Republican Party because of his association with Weicker (the only Republican to vote to impeach President Richard Nixon during the Watergate scandal), Hyman changed his focus from policy to political campaigns. Starting as a fundraiser on two statewide Arizona campaigns, Hyman quickly became one of the top Democratic fundraisers in the country, eventually shattering the record for most money raised by a challenger in a Congressional race. He switched gears again and pursued another campaign specialty field, political phone consulting, opening his own firm, CapAd Communications. CapAd Communications is now a leading Democratic political phone consulting firm with an impressive client list including the last three presidential contenders and candidates in 33 states. Innovation and creativity are the hallmarks of Hyman’s firm that has expanded to also work with nonprofit organizations, corporations, and professional associations. “I hate to lose, even when we know the odds are against us going in,” says Hyman. “But knowing that I’ve done all I can do and that I’m actively part of the process is its own reward.”
HWashington & Jefferson College is the best school in western Pennsylvania.I
Larry A. Makel
Partner and Executive Director, Patton Boggs LLP Corporate Secretary and Director, Texas Capital Bancshares, Inc. Co-Founder, Highlands Bancshares, Inc. Class of 1975
arry Makel is an entrepreneur—as well as a lawyer, a bank director, a school founder, and owner of a hockey arena. One day he may even own part of a professional hockey team. How did he learn this versatility? Makel says W&J taught him how to solve different kinds of problems so that he was prepared for anything. “Washington & Jefferson College is the best school in western Pennsylvania,” he says. “It is small enough that your advisors know how you are doing and they help you respectfully when you are having difficulties. But, with its small classes, you can’t hide either. You have to learn.” After his graduation from law school at West Virginia University, Makel’s law career led him to an appointment as assistant attorney general of Pennsylvania and then into private practice. In 1997, he started the Dallas, Texas, office of Patton Boggs LLP, an international law firm concentrating in global business that also is recognized as the nation’s leading public policy firm. Makel is currently a member of Patton Bogg’s executive committee. Patton Boggs is a firm of 500 lawyers and represents most banks in the United States as well as the 9/11 Fund. Makel’s particular area of expertise focuses on entrepreneurship—business and financial service including structured finance and venture capital as well as the formation of small businesses, investment corporations, and private investment funds. In addition, Makel is one of the founders of one of the largest independent banks in Dallas, Texas—Texas Capital Bank Incorporated, which is approximately $4 billion in size. If that is not enough, he is a partner in Capital Point Partners, a $300-million mezzanine fund, and recently started another bank, Highlands Bancshares, Inc., with five other founders. On weekends, you can find him in meetings with professional hockey players or watching his two sons play hockey in an arena that he owns. When he’s not focused on business or education, Makel helps Dallas develop its strategic plan for urban renewal, guiding the placement of parks, highways, and commercial districts.
HThe best part of my experience at W&J was learning how to think.I
Founder and President, Healthy Food Holdings Class of 1972
harles “Chuck” Marcy understands the value of teamwork, vision, and leadership. He has combined these values successfully as CEO for Horizon Organic and continues to do so as president and founder of Healthy Food Holdings. A recipient of the prestigious Colorado Ethics in Business Award, he guided Horizon Organic past many milestones, including the $200 million sales mark, before selling the company to Dean Foods. Today, he is starting a new venture— and a new team—with Healthy Food Holdings. A recruiter, a friend, and too little time are the three reasons that Marcy came to Washington & Jefferson College. “A friend of mine from high school was already attending W&J when a recruiter from the College came to my high school in upstate New York,” Marcy relates. The recruiter sparked his interest. “As I began to prepare to go to New Zealand for my senior year of high school, I said to myself, ‘W&J is the only college that I know anything about,’ so naturally, it was the only school to which I applied.” Marcy was accepted to W&J and graduated summa cum laude four years later as valedictorian of his class. Marcy has many good memories of W&J, but one in particular sticks out in his mind. He broke his finger playing intramural flag football the night before an important quiz in one of his classes, but the compassionate professor decided that since Marcy could not write, he would postpone the quiz for the entire class. This closeness between the faculty and students is a hallmark of W&J, where most classes have fewer than 15 students. “The best part of my experience at W&J was learning how to think,” says Marcy. During his post-graduate studies at Harvard University, Marcy says that he saw many students who, despite work experience, had limited analytical thinking skills. But, fortunately, W&J taught him that learning is not about memorizing facts heard in class—it’s about careful analysis and precise thinking. These skills have served him well in his career as an innovative entrepreneur.
HLearn Mandarin now!I
Dr. Glenn Rice
Founder, CEO, and President, Bridge Pharmaceuticals Class of 1978
lthough Dr. Glenn Rice majored in biology at W&J, he was also an entrepreneur out of the classroom. Little did he realize the combination ultimately portended his career. During a late night workshop on the “history of the martini” in his junior year with his fellow classmate David White, the two decided to trademark the local slang word “Yunz.” Subsequently they began a thriving T-shirt company based on the wildly successful first T-shirt that simply said “Yunz is Neat.” After graduation, Rice had a choice of pursuing the T-shirt business or going to graduate school in biological sciences. He looks back at the W&J intersession program in cancer research in Allegheny Hospital as a pivotal decision point. The principal investigator with whom he worked, Dr. Ronald Schenken, posited that selling T-shirts for a living, although probably more financially lucrative than a career in academic cancer research, might not be the most rewarding in the context of both intellectual growth and personal contributions to society. After completing a Ph.D. program, Rice became a serial entrepreneur of venture-capital-backed biotechnology companies, using a background in science to commercially develop new pharmaceutical drugs for unmet medical needs. He has individually founded or helped found five biotech companies, some of which have undertaken Nasdaq IPO’s or been merged with publicly traded companies. Currently, Rice is founder, CEO and President of Bridge Pharmaceuticals, Inc., the leading pharmaceutical contract drug development company in China with over 300 employees in laboratories in Beijing, Taipei and Washington, D.C. Previously Rice headed SRI International (Stanford Research Institute, Menlo Park, CA) Biopharmaceuticals. His other companies include ILEX Oncology, Convergence, Cytokine Networks, Cell Therapeutics, C-Path Institute, EmergingMed and Genentech. Rice is currently an inventor on over 20 patents or patent applications, has authored over 75 manuscripts and book chapters as well as being featured on Beijing TV together with the mayor of San Francisco and the two vice mayors of Beijing. Rice’s advice to students is simple: “Learn the technical skills so that you have a base beyond just business, and if I were you, I would learn Mandarin now.” 97
HItKs gratifying to see that the College is keeping itself up with the times; it is worthy of the praise it receives.I
David A. Ross
Co-Founder and President, Atlantic Realty Companies, Inc. Class of 1978
eveloping one of the largest privately owned real estate development companies in a metropolitan area is quite an achievement, but when the metropolitan area is Washington, D.C., and its surrounding suburbs, this achievement is a businessman’s dream. David A. Ross, president and co-founder of Atlantic Realty Companies, Inc., employs 100 real estate professionals who are actively engaged in the development and day-to-day management of more than six million square feet of office and retail properties—valued at more than $750 million. Ross loves to take a piece of land and work with the local jurisdictions and the surrounding community to develop it to its highest and best use. “The challenge is to create something that will be viewed positively and will benefit the surrounding community,” he says. Ross was selected “Citizen of the Year” in Reston, Virginia, where his company had acquired, developed, and/or redeveloped almost two million square feet during the last decade. Ross was not always a leader, but he says that was one of the things that W&J taught him. “I came to W&J not knowing quite what to expect. I was interested in participating in sports and looked forward to receiving a good education but by the time I graduated, I learned what it took to become a leader,” he says. His interest in following a pre-law program in order to enter the real estate field as an attorney changed when he met a professor who had an interest in city planning. “He was instrumental in allowing me to do independent studies outside of the classroom,” Ross remembers. “I began to develop an enjoyment of city planning and real estate development after doing work at the county planning commission and in the summers for a local real estate developer and contractor.” Prior to his graduation, Ross had already helped to plan several developments through the physical sciences department at W&J. This experience allowed him to get a job quickly after his post-graduate study planning developments with the Rouse Company. “Looking back, almost 30 years later, it’s gratifying to see that the College is keeping itself up with the times,” says Ross. “It is worthy of the praise it receives.” 99
HI can say that I am here at my current position because of the opportunity that W&J gave me to get a good education.I
David J. White
Founder and President, Universal Hotel Liquidators Class of 1977
f there were an award for being Washington & Jefferson College’s most avid entrepreneur, David White would be at the top of the list. “I started making t-shirts for the fraternity in college,” says White. “After I graduated I decided to start a company that became YUNZ Industries. When we reached 150 employees, I decided to open retail stores in various parts of the United States and the Caribbean.” In 1995, White sold the company for several million dollars and he met someone who was in the retail business of furnishing hotels. Inspired by his friend, he again decided to start his own company, this time called Universal Hotel Liquidators, which has become a national leader in the hotel fixtures and furnishings resale business. White loves the freedom of being an entrepreneur and he believes that W&J contributed greatly to his success. Encouraged to attend W&J by the housemaster at his Connecticut boarding school, White found that he liked the small liberal arts environment, which, he says, “helped me to become a better person by giving me a larger world view. I can say that I am here at my current position because of the opportunity that W&J gave me to get a good education.” White’s classroom learning, which he remembers as challenging and insightful, was complemented by his experiences on the soccer field, which taught him teamwork. Here, he also developed friendships that continue to this day. “I still keep in contact with all but two or three of my frat brothers,” says White. White loved the one-on-one interaction with professors he experienced at W&J. He describes one of his favorite professors, Dr. William Saalbach, professor of economics, as stimulating because he made classroom study interesting. “I learned a lot from him,” says White, describing Saalbach as one of many professors who helped him succeed. Small wonder, then, that White describes W&J as “a great college with good people.”
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