Seven Finalists Named for $50,000 George Washington Prize

Seven books published in 2018 by the country’s most prominent historians have been named finalists for the 2019 George Washington Prize. The annual award recognizes the past year’s best written works on the nation’s founding era, especially those that have the potential to advance broad public understanding of early American history.

“A gifted historian sheds light on the present as well as the past,” says Adam Goodheart, director of Washington College’s Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience, one of the prize’s three cosponsors. “Each of these seven authors helps illuminate a nation still struggling to understand and define itself after nearly two and a half centuries. We at Washington College—whose own history goes back to the nation’s founding—are pleased to honor them.”

Created in 2005 by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, George Washington’s Mount Vernon, and Washington College, the $50,000 George Washington Prize is one of the nation’s largest and most notable literary awards. Written to engage a wide public audience, the books provide a “go-to” reading list for anyone interested in learning more about George Washington, his contemporaries, and the founding of the United States of America.

The 2019 George Washington Prize finalists are:

Colin CallowayThe Indian World of George Washington: The First President, the First Americans, and the Birth of the Nation (Oxford University Press)

Stephen FriedRush: Revolution, Madness, and Benjamin Rush, the Visionary Doctor Who Became a Founding Father (Crown)

Catherine KerrisonJefferson’s Daughters: Three Sisters, White and Black, in a Young America (Ballantine Books)

Joyce Lee MalcomThe Tragedy of Benedict Arnold: An American Life (Pegasus Books)

Nathaniel PhilbrickInto the Hurricane’s Eye: The Genius of George Washington and the Victory at Yorktown (Viking)

Russell ShortoRevolution Song: A Story of American Freedom (W.W. Norton & Company)

Peter StarkYoung Washington: How Wilderness and War Forged America’s Founding Father (Harper Collins Publishers)

The winner of the 2019 prize will be announced, and all finalists recognized, at a black-tie gala on October 24, 2019, at The Union League Club in New York City. More information about the George Washington Prize is available atwww.mountvernon.org/gwprize.

The Books in Brief

The Indian World of George Washington: The First President, the First Americans, and the Birth of the Nation

Colin Calloway tells the fascinating story of Washington’s lifelong engagement with Native America. The book paints a new and, at times, disturbing portrait of the nation’s first president as an untested militia officer on the banks of the Ohio, as a diplomat who gradually learned to work with Indians on their own terms and, during his final years, as a disappointed Indian land speculator. Unusual for a Washington biography, Shingas, Tanaghrisson, Cornplanter, Red Jacket, and Little Turtle, among many other native leaders, play leading roles in Calloway’s account. America’s first inhabitants, the book shows, were as central to the founding of the American republic as the nation’s first president.

Rush: Revolution, Madness, and Benjamin Rush, the Visionary Doctor Who Became a Founding Father

Benjamin Rush comes alive in Stephen’s Fried’s biography of this versatile, multi-talented founder. Fried captures Rush’s ambition to better the world by founding hospitals and asylums, calling for the abolition of slavery, and championing public education. As the Continental army’s surgeon general, Rush pushed to reform battlefield medicine during the Revolutionary War, and he played a key role in the creation of the United States’ political system. In Fried’s skillful hands, we learn about Rush’s life as a devoted husband and father, as well as his lasting legacy for so many areas of the early American Republic.

Jefferson’s Daughters: Three Sisters, White and Black, in a Young America

Catherine Kerrison tells the story of Thomas Jefferson’s three daughters, freeborn and enslaved. The first half focuses on the lives of Jefferson’s daughters by his wife, Martha Wayles Jefferson, while the second part chronicles the difficult and precarious life of his third daughter, Harriet, born to his slave, Sally Hemmings. Well documented and powerfully told, Kerrison’s book is as much an account of America’s mixed and often-troubled heritage as it is about three strong women fighting to define their own destinies in a new nation.

The Tragedy of Benedict Arnold: An American Life

Joyce Lee Malcolm writes a bracing account of America’s most famous traitor. Along with Arnold’s well-known frustrations as a Continental army officer, Malcolm recounts the story of his difficult childhood and his father’s descent into alcoholism and bankruptcy, which fed Arnold’s ambition as an adult. The book also takes a fresh look at Arnold’s lifelong hatred of France, dismissed by many scholars as a pretext for switching sides in 1780, but that Malcolm depicts as a genuine expression of attitudes that Arnold first acquired as a teenager in the Connecticut militia during the French and Indian War. Malcolm displays particular sensitivity in her treatment of the women in Arnold’s life: his heroic mother Hannah Waterman, his sister Hannah, and his second wife Peggy Shippen, whose life was destroyed by her husband’s treason.

Into the Hurricane’s Eye: The Genius of George Washington and the Victory at Yorktown

Nathaniel Philbrick’s page-turning narrative describes the last and greatest American victory of the Revolutionary War. Philbrick gives the various global players at Yorktown their due, including the young nation’s French allies, who had their own complicated politics and motives, and the defeated British, but the book’s central character is George Washington. The American general’s insights, leadership, and attentiveness to his allies were instrumental in forcing the British to surrender. So too, the book suggests, was a dose of good fortune. Philbrick sheds new light on the often-misunderstood battle that finally secured American independence.

Revolution Song: A Story of American Freedom

Russel Shorto studies the American struggle to define the meaning of individual freedom in his book that takes us to America’s founding and weaves together the stories of six individuals whose very lives test a philosophical idea through the force of action and sometimes violent change. From the story of an African who liberated himself and his family from American slavery, to the exploits of George Washington during and after the American revolt, Revolution Song is a wide-ranging, gripping history of a people trying to define what it means to be free.

Young Washington: How Wilderness and War Forged America’s Founding Father

Peter Stark recounts the drama of George Washington’s formative years during the 1750s fighting the French and their Indian allies in the Ohio Valley. Mortified by his initial encounter with a mixed-race French-Seneca officer in western Pennsylvania, Washington worked to master the ways of his European and native foes, and eventually, Starks shows, of the British soldiers, allied Indians, Tidewater gentry, frontier squatters, and imperial politicians whose help he needed if he was to realize his own ambitions. By the time he married Martha Dandridge Custis in 1759 and moved to Mount Vernon, Washington had perfected the chameleon-like ability to adapt to his surroundings that would define the rest of his storied career. The wilderness, Stark shows, is where Washington became the leader we remember today.

The Sponsors of the George Washington Prize

The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History
Founded in 1994 by visionaries and lifelong proponents of American history education Richard Gilder and Lewis E. Lehrman, the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History is the leading American history nonprofit organization dedicated to K-12 education. With a focus on primary sources, the Gilder Lehrman Institute illuminates the stories, people and moments that inspire students of all ages and backgrounds to learn and understand more about history. Through a diverse portfolio of education programs, including the acclaimed Hamilton Education Program, the Gilder Lehrman Institute provides opportunities for nearly two million students, 30,000 teachers and 16,000 schools worldwide. Learn more at gilderlehrman.org

George Washington’s Mount Vernon
Since 1860, more than 85 million visitors have made George Washington’s Mount Vernon the most popular historic home in America. Through thought-provoking tours, entertaining events, and stimulating educational programs on the estate and in classrooms across the nation, Mount Vernon strives to preserve George Washington’s place in history as “First in War, First in Peace, and First in the Hearts of His Countrymen.” Mount Vernon is owned and operated by the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association, America’s oldest national preservation organization, founded in 1853. In 2013, Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association opened the Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington, which safeguards original books and manuscripts and serves as a center for research, scholarship, and leadership development.  Learn more at mountvernon.org

Washington College
Washington College was founded in 1782 as the first institution of higher learning established in the new republic. George Washington was not only a principal donor to the college, but also a member of its original governing board. He received an honorary degree from the college in June 1789, two months after assuming the presidency. The College’s Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience explores the American experience in all its diversity and complexity, seeks creative approaches to illuminating the past, and inspires thoughtful conversation informed by history. Learn more at www.washcoll.edu.

Thad Bench of Benchworks Appointed to Washington College Board

Thad Bench, CEO of the Chestertown-based international marketing and branding firm Benchworks, will be the newest member of Washington College’s Board of Visitors and Governors. Bench was nominated in May to Governor Larry Hogan for designation to one of the 12 governor-appointed seats on the 36-member board.

Bench, whose daughter Morgan graduated Washington College in 2018 with a double major in environmental studies and art and art history, has had a long relationship with the College, with many of its students getting hands-on experience as interns at Benchworks and alums signing on as full time employees, including Melissa Johnston ’98, Benchworks’ president.

As CEO of Benchworks, Inc., a family of companies that specializes in the health care and pharmaceutical industry, Bench is a seasoned executive with extensive experience in marketing, brand positioning, and product launch management. Under his leadership, Benchworks has grown sixfold since 2014 and has been named to the Inc. 5000 list of America’s fastest-growing private companies for the last four years.

Bench was named one of the 2016 ELITE 100 in the Entrepreneur category by PM360 magazine, an honor given to the 100 most influential people in the health care industry. He has managed hundreds of large-scale marketing initiatives for Fortune 500 companies with a particular emphasis in the pharmaceutical industry, including nine product launches. He has owned and continues to own a number of closely held family businesses, including manufacturing and distribution operations and commercial real estate holdings.

Bench graduated from Elmira College in 1984 and lives with his wife Renee in Chestertown.

Mid-Shore Education: In Search of a Different Kind of Diversity with WC’s Danitha Isma

A few weeks ago, the Spy profiled a few graduating high school seniors who had participated in the Talbot Mentors program. Three out of the five we interviewed had made the decision that they would be enrolling in what is known as Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU).

Their reason was simple. While they had benefited greatly from their public school education, it lacked one thing they were all looking for; a setting where the majority of students were young people of color.

So it was interesting when we sat down with Danitha Isma, a rising senior at Washington College, who had received her high school education in some of the most diverse and urban schools in the country, that she desired the complete opposite experience as a undergraduate. A native of Atlanta, and now with Miami as her hometown, Danitha specifically sought out this small, rural liberal arts college to understand a culture significantly different from her high school years.

In our interview, the physics major also talks about her experience with Chestertown outside of her academic life and how she grew to love its “small is beautiful” lifestyle.

This video is approximately five minutes in length. For more information about Washington College please go here.

Leo E. Strine, Jr., Delaware Supreme Court Chief Justice at WC Commencement

Delaware Supreme Court Chief Justice Leo E. Strine, Jr.

Delaware Supreme Court Chief Justice Leo E. Strine, Jr., whom Business Insider has called “one of the most influential behind-the-scenes figures in American business,” will be the speaker at Washington College’s 286th Commencement on May 19th. Strine, who became chief justice of Delaware’s highest court in 2014, will receive the honorary degree Doctor of Laws.

Known for his forthright outspokenness and rapier wit, Strine is “about the closest thing to a celebrity in the buttoned-up world of corporate law,” according to The Wall Street Journal. His opinions “are considered among the most influential rulings in corporate law,” says The New York Times.

Before becoming the eighth chief justice of Delaware’s Supreme Court, Strine, at 34 years old, was one of the youngest judges ever to sit on the Delaware Court of Chancery, becoming Vice Chancellor since 1998. In each of these positions, he has issued some of the most influential decisions affecting corporate law in the nation, because more than half of publicly traded U.S. companies—among them 66.8 percent of the Fortune 500—are incorporated in Delaware.

As chief justice, Strine has emphasized the need to address persistent racial inequality and to provide more equitable access to justice for all Delawareans, regardless of wealth. Among his many decisions as chief justice, Strine authored the decision striking down Delaware’s death penalty statute because it denied defendants the right to have their fate determined by a jury.

Strine holds long-standing teaching positions at Harvard and University of Pennsylvania, where he teaches classes in corporate law addressing, among other topics, mergers and acquisitions, the role of independent directors, valuation, and corporate law theories. He also serves as a Senior Fellow of the Harvard Program on Corporate Governance, as well as acting as an advisor to Penn’s Institute for Law & Economics.

He speaks and writes frequently on the subject of corporate law, and his articles have been published in The University of Chicago Law ReviewColumbia Law ReviewHarvard Law Review, and Stanford Law Review, among others. Before joining the court, Strine served as counsel and policy director to former Delaware Governor Thomas R. Carper, who awarded him the Order of the First State in 2000. In 2006, he was selected as a Henry Crown Fellow at the Aspen Institute.

Washington College’s 286th Commencement will be held on Sunday, May 19, 2019, at 10:30 a.m. on the campus green, weather permitting. If outdoors, it is free and open to the public. If inclement weather drives the ceremony into the Johnson Fitness Center Field House, admittance is by ticket only. Each graduate is given nine tickets to distribute to family and friends.

Barry Glassman ’84, County Executive of Harford County, Maryland, and Carolyn Choate-Turnbull ’80 P’15, a retired television producer and breast cancer survivor, activist, and advocate, will receive Alumni Citations for Excellence in their fields during Commencement ceremonies.

The event will also be livestreamed here: https://www.washcoll.edu/offices/digital-media-services/live/

About Washington College

Founded in 1782, Washington College is the tenth oldest college in the nation and the first chartered under the new Republic. It enrolls approximately 1,450 undergraduates from more than 39 states and territories and 25 nations. With an emphasis on hands-on, experiential learning in the arts and sciences, and more than 40 multidisciplinary areas of study, the College is home to nationally recognized academic centers in the environment, history, and writing. Learn more at washcoll.edu.

WC to Host Meet and Greet Event Featuring Justice Leo Strine, Jr.

Washington College is hosting a meet and greet event featuring Justice Leo Strine, Jr. on Saturday, April 27th at 4pm in Hynson Lounge. It truly is a once in a lifetime opportunity to meet the Chief Justice of the Delaware Supreme court. He will be making some remarks and there will be a networking opportunity afterwards.

There will also be 25 special law affiliated alumni, faculty members and Board members scheduled to attend including Joe Getty, who is a judge on the Maryland Court of Appeals. Getty was appointed to that court in 2016, by Governor Larry Hogan. He is a former state senator and delegate, where he represented Maryland’s 5th district.

Here is the event invitation on the WC site:

https://www.washcoll.edu/live/events/21584-meet-and-greet-the-honorable-leo-strine-jr

And more information about Leo Strine:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leo_E._Strine_Jr.

This event is free and open to the public. We hope you can join us!

Spy Time Machine: A Vincent Hynson Scholar in 2011 Plans for College and Career

In today’s Spy, there is a short interview with the Eastern Shore Land Conservancy’s project manager Darius Johnson on an upcoming planning conference on traffic problems and solutions for Bay Bridge congestion. We encourage our readers to view this conversation here to learn more about this important program.

In the middle of our interesting chat about one of the Spy’s favorite subjects, there was a wave of emotion as the interviewer had a momentary flashback to one of the early stories of the Spy in the 2011. Eight years ago, we met Darius and his father, Barry, in front of Sam’s shortly after he had received news that he had been awarded Washington College’s Vincent Hynson Memorial Scholarship. Just a few weeks from graduating from Kent County High School, Darius talked about his hopes for college life and career aspirations.

Fast forward to the spring of 2019 and the Spy found a unmistakable  joy in seeing this young man well on his way in serving the Mid-Shore he loves so most. The full circle of Darius’ journey  speaks volumes about the benefits of higher education, but more so much about Kent County schools, Washington College, and most importantly, the impact of hundreds in our community who gave time and resources to make it possible for Vincent Hynson’s memory to be so brilliantly celebrated.

We have reposted our article from May 30, 2011 below.

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Kent County High School Senior Darius Johnson is looking forward to attending Washington College for the 2011-2012 school year. But he won’t have to travel far for a home-cooked meal or to get some laundry done. Darius will live on campus, but his home is just a few miles away in Worton.

Darius won the 2011 Vincent Hynson scholarship, established by former Washington College President Baird Tipson. The scholarship honors the life and achievement of local pastor, teacher, and WC graduate, Vincent Hynson, whose leadership in the community made a difference in the lives of Kent County’s youth and his congregation.

Before the big graduation day, Saturday, June 4, the Spy asked Darius to answer a brief questionnaire on his recent achievements and his decision to stay home for his college years.

Darius Johnson and father Barry Johnson

Question: Besides winning the Vincent Hynson Scholarship, what are among your greatest personal and academic achievements at Kent County High School, what will you remember most about your years at KCHS?

Answer: I would have to say being inducted into the National Honor Society and being voted Most likely to Be Successful by my peers. The NHS is an achievement that basically speaks for itself, and being recognized by those my own age as Most Likely To Be Successful makes me feel like all my hard work has not gone unnoticed. I feel that when one’s peers acknowledge another’s accomplishments, it is a big deal. It is usually adults who show acknowledgment. Honestly, the connections I’ve made with so many people at KCHS will be in my mind forever – the staff, and my friends. I get along well with the majority of the people no matter the age. I’ve became more of a people person throughout my four years at KCHS and I have built some strong relationships.

Question: Most young men your age want to go away to school, why did you decide to stay home to attend college?

Answer: Originally, I did want to get away from Kent County because I felt like it was the thing to do. Everyone else I was friends with has done it or aspired to do it. Hence, why I applied to Drexel University and Mount St. Mary’s. It was not until Fall of my Senior year that I realized that moving away does not determine one’s college experience. I believe college is as enjoyable as one makes it, and I could enjoy WC as much as any other college. I ultimately chose WC because I loved the atmosphere. It fit my laid-back personality and it has a huge variety of people from all over the country. Living on campus will still provide me with the college experience I yearn for, while also staying connected with my roots. So I feel as if I am getting the best of both worlds.

Question: Explain your relationship with your parents, and how that influenced you in your success. What golden rules did they teach you as you grew to be a successful young man?

Answer: My parents are amazing people. They always encourage me to do my best, but never force me to do anything I am uncomfortable with. They are the type of people to teach by example and work hard towards the goals, which naturally was instilled in me. They set a good foundation for their lives by knowing and following their priorities, leading to us living comfortable and happy lives. I’ve learned to always stick by my friends, family and morals in life. To always keep a level head and an open mind. The examples they have provided me with have shaped me into who I am today.

What will your major be at WC, and why did you select the major?

Answer: As of now, I want to major in Criminal Justice or some form of Law. I have always been interested in law and with how the world is today, I cannot help but want to make it a better and safer place. Just looking at the news and seeing all the stories about crime really upset me. I may be only one person, but even one person can make some kind of a difference, and I hope to have a part in fighting against those with a disregard for the law. It seems to be getting worse with the murders and kidnappings of young children, gang violence, and hate crimes. I hate to see someone get hurt, especially if they have no reason for such wrath.

Question: What are your plans after college – do you plan to study abroad, go onto a Master’s degree program, or begin a career?

Answer: After college I plan to go onto a Master’s degree program. I believe I should go as far as I can take myself with my education, so I can put myself into a better position for finding a career. Eventually, I hope to end up working in the Department of Justice.

 

 

Stanley Black & Decker CEO Jim Loree at WC on March 25

Jim Loree, President and Chief Executive Officer of Stanley Black & Decker, will be the speaker for Washington College’s spring 2019 James C. Jones Seminar in American Business on March 25.

Loree will give a talk entitled “Purpose-Driven Performance: Staying Relevant for 175 Years and Beyond.” The event, sponsored by the Department of Business Management, takes place in Decker Theatre, Gibson Center for the Arts at 4 p.m. and is free and open to the public. A reception will follow in the Underwood Lobby.

Stanley Black & Decker operates the world’s largest tool and storage company featuring iconic brands such as Craftsman, DeWalt, Porter-Cable, Stanley, and Bostitch. Loree joined the company, then Stanley Works, as CFO in 1999 when the company generated just over $2 billion in revenue, according to the company’s website.

“In that role, he led a massive restructuring of the business and began a re-architecting of the company’s portfolio,” the website states. “Since that time, he was promoted to COO, President and then CEO in 2016, as the company generated significant growth both organically and through acquisitions to stand at $13 billion in annual revenue (more than 5x growth since 1999), with more than 58,000 employees across 60 countries.”

Loree is also the husband of Rebecca Corbin Loree ’00, a member of the College’s Board of Visitors and Governors, and the namesake of the Rebecca Corbin Loree Center, which houses the College’s Center for Career Development.

The James C. Jones, Jr. Seminar in American Business was endowed in 1978 by the George W. King Printing Company of Baltimore in memory of its former company president. Jimmy Jones, a 1947 graduate of Washington College, served on the Board of Visitors and Governors from 1974 until his death in 1978. Previous speakers include College President Kurt Landgraf; Paul Reed Smith, founder of PRS Guitars; Michael Bloomberg; and ABC News business correspondent Betsy Stark.

Watch the livestream www.washcoll.edu/offices/digital-media-services/live/

About Washington College

Founded in 1782, Washington College is the tenth oldest college in the nation and the first chartered under the new Republic. It enrolls approximately 1,450 undergraduates from more than 39 states and territories and 25 nations. With an emphasis on hands-on, experiential learning in the arts and sciences, and more than 40 multidisciplinary areas of study, the College is home to nationally recognized academic centers in the environment, history, and writing. Learn more at washcoll.edu.

Joseph Prud’homme to Speak at Talbot County Event March 21

Joseph Prud’homme, Director of Washington College’s Institute for Religion, Politics and Culture (IRPC), will discuss religious liberty in the United States at a presentation March 21 at the Talbot Country Club in Easton.

Prud’homme will present “The Foundations of Religious Freedom” at the event, which is open to the public for a fee of $15 and includes a reception that begins at 5:30 p.m. He will explore how religious freedom is characterized in the media and in policy and legal debates; whether this central liberty is under threat; what challenges individuals and organizations of faith face in contemporary society; and whether current laws adequately defend the freedom of religious belief and practice. Prud’homme will examine these issues from a political, legal and philosophical perspective.

Prud’homme is associate professor of political science at Washington College and The Burton Family Chair in Religion, Politics and Culture. He has been director of the IRPC since its founding. Prud’homme received his doctoral degree from Princeton University and two bachelor’s degrees—majoring in political science, history, and philosophy and minoring in religious studies—from Texas A&M University. He was awarded a fellowship at Harvard University, where he studied at the Harvard Law School and served as a member of the faculty of Arts and Sciences. Prud’homme’s expertise is in the areas of political philosophy, legal theory, intellectual history, and conceptual and historical approaches to the study of religion and political and cultural affairs.

Washington College and Talbot Country Club are co-sponsoring the presentation at 6142 Country Club Drive, Easton, Maryland. The $15 fee pays for the reception and admittance, and is payable by credit card or check to Talbot Country Club at the event. Washington College is not accepting payments. Please RSVP by March 14 to Victoria Corcoran at 410-778-7805 or vcorcoran2@washcoll.edu.

Washington College Partners with Innovative FESCO Energy

Washington College has joined forces with FESCO Energy to help the College reduce carbon emissions while improving energy efficiency and resilience, a major step toward implementing a vigorous and sustainable College-wide energy policy. The College has signed a Master Energy Services Agreement with the Frederick, Maryland company to develop and implement methods that will help the College reduce its energy demand, costs, and carbon footprint. By analyzing and implementing low- and no-emissions energy generation, storage technologies, and energy conservation solutions, the partnership will provide the College increased energy security and limit its dependence on the power grid.

“The agreement secures a long-term approach to reduce our energy consumption and expenses by upgrading our infrastructure and our processes, and we plan to proceed using a shared-savings approach wherever possible,” says Greg Farley, the College’s Director of Sustainability. “All of this will result in a robust energy strategy and policy, which we will use to drive innovation and enact energy security. I think institutions generally in the higher-ed sector haven’t had to think about comprehensive energy strategy from anything but a price perspective, and this gives us a chance to take at strategic look at energy use, procurement, security,and waste in a strategic way.”

FESCO, which in its first six months of operation earned a 2018 Innovator of the Year award from the Maryland Clean Energy Center, was formed to change the way customers manage and optimize their energy use, maximize energy efficiency, and employ the latest technology to manage and produce clean, secure, and grid-independent energy. In the process, FESCO’s customers will become more resilient to volatility in electricity supply and pricing, reduce their energy expenses, and minimize their site-specific impact to climate change. The company’s work with Washington College will pursue all of these goals.

“We are thrilled to help Washington College revolutionize the energy value stream,” says John Dukes, FESCO’s president. “This commitment is a revolutionary leap forward in securing energy resiliency and budget control by implementing energy-related projects that are sustainable, durable, and cost effective. By fully leveraging its annual energy expenses and committing those dollars to acquiring the energy services to meet their clearly defined goals, the College has set the template for others to follow. These services will ensure the College can withstand long-term power outages without additional expense, replace inefficient equipment with the newest equipment to enhance student and faculty comfort and controllability, and reduce overall site air emissions simply by changing what they expect from an energy provider.”

FESCO and Washington College are performing energy and infrastructure audits to identify opportunities for demand reduction and energy security. This work has already begun with examination of the electrical and thermal infrastructure, HVAC, and building control systems in several target buildings.

Early projects being examined include a combined heat and power energy generation plant; privatizating electrical and thermal infrastructure; modernizing HVAC systems and campus wide controls; adding motion-activated set back controls to ensure that demand consumption like HVAC and lights go off when no one is present in an area; and repairing and improving building automation systems so that energy use can be automatically adjusted for more efficient use.

Over the long term, Washington College aspires to cut its energy use significantly by upgrading infrastructure and building a culture of conservation, so that faculty, staff, and students make a conscious effort to turn off lights when they leave a room, unplug computer chargers that are not in use, or adjust the thermostat to use less energy when no one is occupying a room or building—to name just a few examples. Significant reduction in energy use, and the potential installation of cyber-secure, grid-independent electricity generation on campus, will work towards a goal of campus carbon neutrality and greater resilience for the campus and the surrounding community.

These goals coincide with the College’s new emphasis on environmental practices, and with improvements to waste-stream management, water efficiency, and remediation of stormwater runoff for the Chestertown campus. Improvements and upgrades will also serve to make the campus into a “learning laboratory” for students who are focusing on the study of the environment, and will help prepare all Washington College graduates for success in the climate-changed future they will inherit upon graduation.

About Washington College

Founded in 1782, Washington College is the tenth oldest college in the nation and the first chartered under the new Republic. It enrolls approximately 1,450 undergraduates from more than 39 states and territories and 25 nations. With an emphasis on hands-on, experiential learning in the arts and sciences, and more than 40 multidisciplinary areas of study, the College is home to nationally recognized academic centers in the environment, history, and writing. Learn more at washcoll.edu.

About FESCO Energy

FESCO Energy provides complete turnkey energy supply, demand and resiliency projects managed by an executive team with over 80 combined years of proven experience. Based in Frederick, Maryland, FESCO develops and implements energy efficiency, distributed generation, renewable energy, water conservation, operations and maintenance, and provides electricity and natural gas commodity contracts nationally for educational, public sector, commercial, and industrial customers. It helps customers develop electricity and natural gas cost-of-service analysis and advises on rate designs using a cloud-based analytics platform that ensures the right rate based on customer usage patterns.

David Blight to Speak at Washington College on February 7

Eminent Yale historian David W. Blight’s new book Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom is the first full biography in decades of the most famous African American of the 19th century. Born into slavery on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, Frederick Douglass escaped north, and went on to become a celebrated orator, leading abolitionist, brilliant statesman and one of the most significant writers in American history. As Blight demonstrates, throughout his long life Douglass never stopped ferociously fighting with his “voice, pen, and vote” for civil and political rights.

Blight will speak at Washington College on Thursday, February 7. The event, which is free and open to the public, begins at 5:30 p.m. in Decker Theatre, Gibson Center for the Arts. Books will be for sale, and a book signing will follow the talk. The program is sponsored by the Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience, the Department of History, and the American Studies Program.

A New York TimesWall Street Journal, and Time top 10 book of the year, Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom captures the complexity of Douglass’s public and personal life with detail and insight. In a recent Washington Post review, Starr Center Director Adam Goodheart wrote that the book “is not just a deeply researched birth-to-death chronology but also an extended meditation on what it means to be a prophet. … In Blight’s pages, [Douglass’s] voice again rings out loud and clear, melancholy and triumphant — still prophesying, still agitating, still calling us to action.”

The author of several other acclaimed works on slavery, race and the Civil War era, David W. Blight is Class of 1954 Professor of American History and Director of the Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition at Yale University.  His books include American Oracle: The Civil War in the Civil Rights Era; and Race and Reunion: The Civil War in American Memory, which won the Bancroft Prize, the Abraham Lincoln Prize, and the Frederick Douglass Prize, among other awards. Last February, Blight received Washington College’s Award for Excellence in recognition of his scholarly work and his work in the world of public history in furthering research and conversation on slavery and its legacy.

About Washington College

Founded in 1782, Washington College is the tenth oldest college in the nation and the first chartered under the new Republic. It enrolls approximately 1,450 undergraduates from more than 39 states and territories and 25 nations.With an emphasis on hands-on, experiential learning in the arts and sciences, and more than 40 multidisciplinary areas of study, the College is home to nationally recognized academic centers in the environment, history, and writing. Learn more at washcoll.edu.

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