Walter Shaub, Former Federal Ethics Chief, Speaks at WC April 5

Walter Shaub, the no-holds-barred, outspoken former director of the U.S. Office of Government Ethics, will be the guest speaker on April 5 in Washington College’s Holstein Program in Ethics. Shaub, who says that the United States has almost overnight transformed from the international gold standard in ethics to a laughingstock, will speak on “Ethics in Crisis: The Threat to the Government Ethics Program and the Path Forward.”

The free, public event begins at 5 p.m. in Decker Theatre, Gibson Center for the Arts. A reception in the Underwood Lobby will follow the talk.

Shaub, an attorney who first joined the Office of Government Ethics in 2001 and in 2013 was appointed to a five-year term as director by then-President Barack Obama, resigned in protest last year over what he has described as an ethics crisis in the federal government. In an interview with PBS after his resignation, he said that the Trump administration has “set a tone from the top that ethics don’t matter.”

Since his resignation, he has joined the non-partisan Campaign Legal Center, a Washington, D.C., as senior director of ethics. He has also continued to call for tighter ethics rules and more transparency, unleashing his own storms on Twitter, where he calls out instances of dubious ethical behavior in government. In his talk at the College, Shaub will discuss the problem now facing the government’s ethics program, which he argues is the proverbial canary in the coalmine portending even bigger problems to come if left unaddressed. He will also offer his proposals for stemming the erosion of ethics in government.

About the Holstein Program in Ethics

The Holstein Program in Ethics was established in 2014 thanks to the $5 million legacy gift of Richard Holstein ’68, a pediatric dentist. In addition to bringing national leaders in ethics to speak with students and the community about current issues, the program supports and enhances the study of ethics throughout the curriculum and fosters interdisciplinary research on a broad range of ethical issues. Its goal is to spark an appreciation for the importance of moral courage as a foundation for leading a life of purpose and meaning. For more information about the Holstein Program in Ethics see https://www.washcoll.edu/departments/holstein-program/.

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 35 states and a dozen 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 President Kurt Landgraf to Speak at Jones Seminar in American Business Lecture

Washington College President Kurt Landgraf, whose deep experience in financial accountability, information technology, and integrated business strategies helped place him in the top echelons of corporate America, will give the J.C. Jones Seminar in American Business lecture on March 29.

Hosted by the Department of Business Management and the Sigma Beta Delta Business Honor Society, the free, public lecture begins at 4 p.m. in Decker Theatre, Gibson Center for the Arts, and will be followed by a reception in the Underwood Lobby.

Landgraf, a former senior executive who was named president of Washington College in May of 2017, discusses his “situational” approach to the diverse leadership positions that he’s held throughout his career. Whether driving sales at DuPont Merck or resuscitating the failing Educational Testing Service, Landgraf has adopted different leadership approaches to achieve the desired outcome while operating consistently within a framework of corporate or institutional social responsibility. Whatever environment he’s in, Landgraf abides by three core values: 1. On performance, no excuses; 2. Everybody deserves special treatment; and 3. businesses are social institutions. Distilled to its essence, it simply means doing the right thing.

Landgraf has a decades-long resume as a senior executive with DuPont, including serving as Chief Operating Officer, Chief Financial Officer, Chairman of DuPont Europe Middle East and Africa, Chairman and CEO of DuPont Pharmaceutical Company and CEO of DuPont Merck Company. His 13-year tenure as President and CEO of Educational Testing Service (ETS), helped revive the world’s largest private educational testing and measurement organization and leader in educational research.

The James C. Jones, Jr. Seminar in American Business was endowed in 1978 by the George W. King Printing Company in memory of its former company president who was a graduate of Washington College and served on its Board of Visitors and Governors.

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 35 states and a dozen 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.

Women on Fire: A March 22 Expert Panel

Vanessa Williams

A distinguished panel of women from journalism, academia, politics, and public policy are headlining on March 22 what is sure to be a compelling and timely panel on the dynamic and evolving role of women in the political arena in general and in the 2018 elections in particular.

The Louis L. Goldstein Program in Public Affairs Women in Public Affairs Project is pleased to present “Women on Fire: How Trump and the #MeToo Movement are Shaping the 2018 Elections.” The free, public event begins at 5 p.m. in Hynson Lounge. Panelists are Vanessa Williams, a staff writer on The Washington Post national desk, Kelly Dittmar, an assistant professor of political science at Rutgers University–Camden, and Krish Vignarajah, candidate for governor in Maryland and former policy director for First Lady Michelle Obama.

Moderated by Melissa Deckman, Chair and Professor of Political Science at Washington College, this panel will consider the reasons why an unprecedented number of women have filed as candidates for office in 2018, how the Trump presidency and the #MeToo movement relate to this trend, and what women’s chances are for success.

Kelly Dittmar

Vanessa Williams is a staff writer on the national desk at The Washington Post, where she has worked since 1996. She writes about race and gender issues in the current tumultuous state of our political institutions. Williams joined the Post as a reporter covering D.C. City Hall. She has also been an editor on the metro and national desks. Before joining the Post, Williams was a reporter/writer for the Philadelphia Inquirer, where she covered local and state government and politics. She began her career at her hometown newspaper, The St. Petersburg Times, in Florida. Williams is a longtime member of the National Association of Black Journalists, of which she served as president from 1997-1999. She is a graduate of Florida State University, with a Bachelor’s degree in English.

Kelly Dittmar is an assistant professor of political science at Rutgers University–Camden and scholar at the Center for American Women and Politics at the Eagleton Institute of Politics. She is the author of Navigating Gendered Terrain: Stereotypes and Strategy in Political Campaigns (Temple University Press, 2015), as well as a forthcoming volume on women’s representation in the U.S. Congress (with Kira Sanbonmatsu and Susan Carroll). Dittmar’s research examines gender and American political institutions with a particular focus on how gender informs campaigns and the impact of gender diversity among elites and professionals in policy and political decisions, priorities, and processes. At CAWP, Dittmar manages national research projects, helps to develop and implement CAWP’s research agenda, and contributes to CAWP reports, publications, and analyses. This year, she directs Gender Watch 2018, a project to monitor and analyze gender dynamics in the 2018 election. She has been an expert source and commentator for media outlets including MSNBC, NPR, PBS, The New York Times and The Washington Post. Dittmar earned her B.A. from Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and her Ph.D. from Rutgers University-New Brunswick.

Krish Vignarajah

Krish Vignarajah is running for governor in the state of Maryland. She served in the Obama White House as policy director for First Lady Michelle Obama and at the State Department as senior advisor under Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Secretary of State John Kerry. Before joining the White House, Vignarajah worked at McKinsey & Company, where she consulted for Fortune 100 companies, practiced law at Jenner & Block in Washington, D.C., clerked for Chief Judge Michael Boudin on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, and taught at Georgetown University as an adjunct. An advocate of women and girls, Vignarajah has spoken widely on this subject, including at Hood College,where she recently delivered a commencement address that was recognized by BuzzFeed as the #4 Most Inspiring Speech of 2017.The daughter of Baltimore City public school teachers, Vignarajah’s parents emphasized education her entire life. She attended Woodlawn High School in Baltimore and then Yale College. She was a Marshall Scholar at Oxford University, before returning to Yale Law School.

Melissa Deckman

Melissa Deckman is the Louis L. Goldstein Professor of Public Affairs and chairs the Department of Political Science at Washington College.  Deckman’s areas of specialty include religion and politics, women and politics, and state and local politics. Her latest book is Tea Party Women: Mama Grizzlies, Grassroots Leaders, and the Changing Face of the American Right (May 2016: NYU Press). The updated third edition of her best-selling textbook, Women and Politics, written with Julie Dolan and Michele Swers, and which analyzes the 2016 presidential election, is now available through Rowman & Littlefield. Deckman is also an affiliated scholar and chair of the board of the Public Religion Research Institute.

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 35 states and a dozen 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.

Washington College Students work with Eastern Shore Towns to Identify Energy Savings

Higher education can have real world greening impacts. Case in point: The Shore Power Project, launched several years ago at Washington College, has helped local governments on Maryland’s Eastern Shore find ways to reduce energy costs while also shrinking their carbon footprint.

For students and staff at the private liberal arts college in Chestertown, the project offered a chance to help Shore communities address climate change by adapting to the shifting energy landscape.

“The energy sector is an important force for change for the future,” explained Mike Hardesty, the associate director for the college’s Center for Environment and Society. “We’ve always wanted to get involved to assist the community to become more energy efficient.”

With funding from the Town Creek Foundation, the project’s student interns and staff pored over power bills and recommended cost-saving alternatives to nine Shore towns, two school districts and one county.

Grant Samms, an environmental sociologist who oversees the student interns’ work, said they contacted local government offices around the Shore to connect with town managers, public works directors or other staffers who dealt with energy. They initially pitched that they could identify opportunities for cost savings by analyzing where the locality’s energy dollars were going. But they also pointed out the environmental benefits, Samms noted, of reducing power consumption and switching to renewable energy.

“There’s a general assumption when it comes to rural communities, [that] they’re conservative and don’t care about climate change,” Samms said. “That may in part be true, but when you have a resource constraint, there’s always interest in saving money.”

The project started out working with Chestertown, home of the small liberal arts school. The municipality had already taken some steps to reduce energy costs, including the bidding out of electric supply contracts for all town meters and the installation of a 3-megawatt solar facility at its wastewater treatment plant.

Town Manager Bill Ingersoll said he’s constantly thinking about how to save money. The Shore Power project’s initial contribution to the town in that regard was more conceptual than detailed practical advice, he said.

“What they do is they may create a climate where you may want to think more about what you’re doing,” Ingersoll said. As a follow-up to the project’s initial study, he has since asked it to examine what the town’s paying for electricity generated by the solar facility, to see if the savings promised by the provider have panned out.

In Easton, the Washington College group assisted the town in going forward with a plan to install new cost-saving LED streetlights.

“What was really helpful was having the Shore Power Project look at this and say, ‘If you did this, this could be your savings,’” said Kelly Simonsen, spokesperson for Easton Utilities. Within three years, with grants from the Maryland Energy Administration to help pay for the replacements, the new lights reduced the town’s electricity consumption by 30 percent, Simonsen said.

That LED streetlight replacement, which is continuing, has contributed to the town’s successful bid to become a Maryland Sustainable Certified community, she said.

“We needed someone to kind of look at our overall energy usage and things we could change and implement, so we could get that credential,” Simonsen explained. “[The certification] puts Easton in a place on the map to show we’re forward thinking and we’re doing things for our community to be more sustainable and (to) consider our environmental impact.”

The college has offered internships to seven students over the project’s five-semester lifespan, according to Hardesty. Three students have stuck with it and done repeat stints. And for at least one, it’s opened up a career path.

Tori Alpaugh said that working on energy usage data for the Shore communities while an undergraduate at Washington College piqued her interest. So, when the New Jersey native graduated in May 2016, she started looking for energy-related jobs.

Her search led to AWS Truepower, a renewable energy services provider based in Albany, NY, where she pitched her Shore Power experience.

“That was the No. 1 thing on my resume,” she said, “and the No. 1 thing we talked about on my interview.” Hired in August, she’s now a project coordinator, working with meteorologists, engineers and GIS specialists on large-scale renewable energy projects.

“I think it’s safe to say it’s the reason I got my job here,” Alpaugh said of the Shore Power project.

The foundation’s funding for the project ended last year; now, the college aims to continue the project as a fee-for-service consulting business. Even though communities are almost certain to realize long-term savings from taking steps to conserve energy and build in climate resiliency, Samms acknowledged that the upfront costs pose a “perennial challenge” for small towns with competing short-term priorities.

“So,” he said, “we are putting forward a hybrid system that is partially underwritten by support from our center and continued support from foundations, as they are realized. This will save towns money and lower the impediment to energy conservation measures.”

The center also wants to address another, non-financial barrier. The recent flurry of solar energy arrays cropping up on farmland across the Shore has generated a backlash in affected communities. Samms said he hopes the project can conduct research and community outreach “to identify ways to truly lower the barriers to this type of development while ensuring it goes forward in a democratized manner.” The center hopes to get foundation support for that effort as well.

“We’ve proven it over and over again that there’s cost savings here,” Hardesty said. “Now that we’ve got a proven model in hand, we’re looking to expand on it.”

by Tim Wheeler

Timothy B. Wheeler is associate editor and senior writer for the Bay Journal. He has more than two decades of experience covering the environment for The Baltimore Sun and other media outlets.

Acclaimed Author Jack Bohrer to Speak at WC March 20

This year marks the 60th anniversary of the assassination of political icon Robert F. Kennedy. On Tuesday, March 20, John R. “Jack” Bohrer ’06, news producer at MSNBC and author of The Revolution of Robert Kennedy: From Power to Protest after JFK, will return to campus to discuss his acclaimed book. The recently published work examines three critical years in the life of Robert Kennedy, just after his brother John F. Kennedy’s assassination.

The event will begin at 5:30 p.m. in Hynson Lounge, Hodson Hall, and will be followed by a book signing. Sponsored by the Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience and the Department of Political Science, the program is free and open to the public.

Bohrer’s book grew out of his political science senior thesis at Washington College in 2006. He also worked on the project as one of the first student fellows at the Starr Center, writing at a desk in the Custom House. Speaking of his upcoming visit to Chestertown, Bohrer says: “Adam Goodheart and the Starr Center took me on my first archives trip and gave me hands-on experience with historical research, so this is a homecoming for me.”

The Revolution of Robert Kennedy argues that RFK—a less-than-charismatic attorney general and JFK’s reputed hatchet man—was transformed by the events of 1963 and their aftermath, and that he emerged from that crucible the champion of the dispossessed who captured Americans’ collective imagination.

Published by Bloomsbury last June, Bohrer’s first book has received rave reviews. Matt Bai, one of the country’s finest political pundits, declared The Revolution of Robert Kennedy “fast-paced and full of new detail” and said it “signals the arrival of an unusually gifted writer and historian.”  Kirkus Reviews described it as a “poignant sketch of a lost champion of social justice from an age when it could still be said that ‘politics is still the greatest and most honorable adventure.’”

“I couldn’t be more excited to welcome Jack back to campus,” says Goodheart, the Starr Center’s Hodson Trust-Griswold director. “Washington College can be proud of the contributions that this exceptional young alumnus is making in the fields of both journalism and history. And we can be especially proud that his important work on RFK began here in Chestertown.”

A reporter, historian, and television producer for MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” Bohrer has helped produce high-profile interviews, including with nearly every major 2016 presidential candidate. His research has been cited by the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Boston Globe, and his writing has appeared in New York magazine, The New Republic, Politico, and USA Today, among others. In addition to Washington College faculty, two of his mentors on the RFK project were former senator Birch Bayh and the late political journalist Richard Ben Cramer, both senior fellows of the College.

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 35 states and a dozen 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.

Washington College Partners with Colonial Williamsburg

Washington College and Colonial Williamsburg have partnered to offer a unique hands-on experience in the archaeology and material culture of the Revolutionary era, enabling students to work closely with museum curators and skilled tradesmen to gain perspective on the cultural and social dimensions of the American War for Independence.

The intensive, two-credit, weeklong course will take place over spring break in mid-March. After preparatory sessions at Washington College, students and faculty will travel to Williamsburg, Virginia, where they will go behind the scenes in Colonial Williamsburg’s collections with curators and learn trades first-hand in various workshops. Students will spend time in the blacksmith shopat the public armoury, as well as try their hand at tinsmithing, carpentry, gunsmithing, leather work, and more. They will prepare some of their meals over an open hearth and spend at least one night in a military camp.

Blacksmiths work at Colonial Williamsburg, where WC students will immerse in a weeklong hands-on class. Credit Colonial Williamsburg

By applying experimental archaeology and period technical skills, students will gain a deeper perspective into the daily lives of the people who fought for America’s independence.

“This is a truly unique experience, and we see it as a pilot program that could open up many more experiential learning and research opportunities for our students at Williamsburg,” says John Seidel, director of the College’s Center for Environment & Society and the Lammot du Pont Copeland Associate Professor of Anthropology and Environmental Studies. “This is the kind of engaged learning, partnering with experts from one of the world’s premier living history museums, that sets Washington College apart.”

“Colonial Williamsburg offers a classroom like no other, where we preserve and interpret the lives and livelihoods of a nation on the verge of independence,” says Mitchell B. Reiss, president and CEO of the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation and former president of Washington College. “We’re thrilled to have students from my former home in Chestertown join us and learn by immersing themselves in our shared American story.”

Among the topics students will explore are the roles of diverse social, racial, and economic groups of the time; the military culture, tactics, logistics, and organization of General George Washington’s Continental Army; and understanding the complexities of the military dimensions of the War for Independence within a broader social, cultural, economic, and political framework. Faculty will include Seidel and Charles Fithian, lecturer in anthropology.

For more information about the new partnership, contact John Seidel at jseidel2@washcoll.edu or Charles Fithian at cfithian2@washcoll.edu.

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 35 states and a dozen 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 Colonial Williamsburg

The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation preserves, restores and operates Virginia’s 18th-century capital of Williamsburg. Innovative and interactive experiences highlight the relevance of the American Revolution to contemporary life and the importance of an informed, active citizenry. The Colonial Williamsburg experience includes more than 400 restored or reconstructed original buildings, renowned museums of decorative arts and folk art, extensive educational outreach programs for students and teachers, lodging, culinary options from historic taverns to casual or elegant dining, the Golden Horseshoe Golf Club featuring 45 holes designed by Robert Trent Jones and his son Rees Jones, a full-service spa and fitness center, pools, retail stores and gardens. Philanthropic support and revenue from admissions, products and hospitality operations sustain Colonial Williamsburg’s educational programs and preservation initiatives. Additional information is available at colonialwilliamsburg.com.

WC Names Greg Farley First Director of Sustainability

Washington College’s first director of sustainability, Greg Farley, didn’t start his career as what he calls the “we-need-to-recycle-that-please-turn-off-your-lights guy.” But, it wasn’t a long stretch from his work as a biology teacher at Chesapeake College. The science, he says, “demands that you do something.”

So Farley has been doing something—helping Chesapeake College become a regional leader in renewable energy use, stormwater management, and resource conservation—and now he’s bringing that something to Washington College. Earlier this month, he assumed a newly created position as director of sustainability, in which he will work closely with operations and administration to help the College align environmental and financial sustainability as it continues to move forward.

“The climate change science is devastatingly clear,” Farley says. “So the science drives what I want to do, which is try and fix it before it’s too late.”

Farley grew up south of Boston but calls himself a “fully naturalized southerner,” having earned his undergrad degree at Duke University and his masters at Florida State University. He studied invertebrate zoology, evolutionary biology, and marine science, and in 2003, Chesapeake College hired him as a junior faculty member teaching biology. That’s where he started noticing problems he thought he could help solve.

“We were generating about 31,000 plastic bottles every month from vending machines and other sources like the cafeteria and bookstore,” Farley says. “And we were taking them to the trash. So, I assigned some students an honors recycling project—go fix that—and that got some people’s attention, and it got the institution thinking about some things. So that kind of grew into my avocation, instead of just my teaching position.”

That avocation came into full flower after a sabbatical leave in 2011, when he studied at the Sustainable Living Institute of Maui, part of the University of Hawai’i Maui College. He became the director of Chesapeake College’s Center for Leadership in Environmental Education, where he worked to bring the concepts and actions of sustainability into the classroom, across the campus, and throughout the larger community. Using a variety of methods, the college trimmed energy use by about 30 percent. Then, under a PPA (power purchase agreement) with Solar City, the college developed a two-megawatt solar array that, in its first year of operation, saved $85,000.

“On a good sunny day, we can run the entire campus off solar,” he says.

At Washington College, Farley’s initial focus will be generating cost savings from energy reduction and using alternative energy sources. At the same time, he hopes to raise energy consciousness so that it’s an ingrained part of campus culture as staff, faculty, and students become more aware of how their everyday actions can help conserve energy, lower costs, and ultimately benefit the bottom line and the environment. For instance, he says, along with obvious things like turning out the lights when you leave a room, unplugging computer and phone chargers from the walls when they’re not in use can dramatically cut “vampire” load, which can be up to 20 percent of a building’s energy use.

Farley was excited to learn that the College has already switched to LED lighting, a project that is saving 1.2 million kilowatt hours annually. Along with material savings—LED lamps last as much as 10 times longer than fluorescent ones for, example—the dollar savings is $145,000.00 per year, says Reid Raudenbush, construction project manager. A $200,000 Delmarva Power rebate helped ameliorate some of $1 million cost for the project, which should take about six years to reach the return on the investment.

The College’s geothermal system is also extremely energy-efficient. Using the earth’s constant 55-degree temperature, fluid pumped through 300-foot-deep wells is heated or cooled, then used to heat or cool buildings. Geothermal fields serve William Smith Hall, the Miller Library, Cromwell Hall, the Hodson Dining Hall, and Chester, Sassafras, and Corsica residence halls, Raudenbush says. The new Hodson Boathouse and the Semans-Griswold Environmental Hall will be geothermal, and the Cullen residence hall is being designed for geothermal as well.

Farley says he hopes ultimately to make Washington College one of the greenest in the country.

“We need to make that obvious to consumers, that this is part of the College’s mission, and just the simple act of doing that can make the rest of the institution understand, hey, this is important. This is a part of our culture. . . Once you make inroads into the conversation,” he says, “it’s not hard to envision that’s something we could do.”

WC Launches Piano Festival, Invites Students to Apply

Washington College this spring is holding its first Piano Festival, an event in which participants of all ages can further develop their talents through workshops, performances, lessons, and competitions. The Piano Festival is set for April 21, although the Department of Music is seeking participants to apply by March 1. The event is geared toward high school and college students.

The featured guest artist, Lydia Artymiw, Distinguished McKnight Professor of Piano at the University of Minnesota, will teach a master class and present a concert at 7:30p.m. in Decker Theatre in the Gibson Center for the Arts as part of the Washington College Premier Artists Series. For more information, or to purchase tickets in advance, see the Washington College Concert Series at https://www.washcoll.edu/about/campus/gibson-center-for-the-arts/concert-series/.

The Washington College Piano Festival is an immersive educational experience, geared to advancing participants’ skills and talents while also having a lot of fun and meeting other pianists. The festival kicks off with a piano competition in Hotchkiss Recital Hall in which students perform a single piano piece for a panel of Washington College faculty judges. Up to $500 in cash prizes will be awarded to winners, and they will also be featured in the festival’s student concert later that day.

Other events include an informational workshop providing an overview of Washington College’s Department of Music and a Q&A about practice techniques and possible careers in music. Students will have the opportunity to meet and have piano lessons with Washington College’s piano faculty, Matthew Brower and Woobin Park.

Students’ families are welcome to stay during the event and to observe.

To apply, students must submit a completed application, found on the Washington College Music Department Events webpage https://www.washcoll.edu/live/events/19705-washington-college-piano-festival, along with a recording of a single piece and a $25 application fee by the March1 deadline. Applicants will be notified by March 15 if they have been accepted and will not have to pay an additional fee to participate in the festival.

For more information, call 410-778-7839 or email concertseries@washcoll.edu.

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 35 states and a dozen 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 Admissions Won’t Penalize High School Students Who Protest Gun Violence

Washington College today joined dozens of colleges and universities around the country to ensure high school students who protest peacefully against gun violence that their admissions status won’t be affected if they are suspended or otherwise disciplined for their actions.

After the tragic killings of 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida on February 14, high school students around the country have rallied behind the #NeverAgain movement in an effort to force state and federal lawmakers to pass safer gun laws. Some high schools have suspended or otherwise disciplined students for walking out of class as part of their protest—all at the moment when many high school seniors are seeking admission to college or have already been admitted.

Typically, college admissions officers would look at a disciplinary action like suspension as a mark against a student, but dozens of higher-education institutions, from MIT to Yale and now Washington College, have stated that they will not rescind admissions decisions for these students.

“Washington College was founded on the principles of moral courage, civic engagement, and commitment to action. I applaud these students’ willingness to put their futures in jeopardy in order to stand up for what they believe in,” says Lorna Hunter, Vice President for Enrollment Management. “These are the students who will build upon our strong foundation and carry on the Washington College name for generations to come. We will not penalize them or rescind their admissions status due to any disciplinary action they incur for seizing this moment to peacefully effect change in their world.”

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 35 states and a dozen 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.

Seven Books Named as Finalists for the 2018 George Washington Prize

Seven books published in 2017 by the country’s most prominent historians have been named finalists for the George Washington Prize. The annual award recognizes the past year’s best-written works on the nation’s founding era, especially those that have the potential to advance broad public understanding of early American history.

“Understanding the first chapter of our national story is more essential today than ever,” said Adam Goodheart, director of Washington College’s Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience, one of the prize’s three cosponsors. “These books reconnect us with ideas that made the United States a beacon for democratic movements around the world.”

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.

The finalists’ books combine depth of scholarship and broad expanse of inquiry with vivid prose that exposes the complexities of our founding narrative. 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 2018 George Washington Prize finalists are:

S. Max Edelson, The New Map of Empire: How Britain Imagined America before Independence (Harvard University Press)
Kevin J. Hayes, George Washington: A Life in Books (Oxford University Press)
Eric Hinderaker, Boston’s Massacre (Harvard University Press)
Jon Kukla, Patrick Henry: Champion of Liberty (Simon & Schuster)
James E. Lewis, Jr., The Burr Conspiracy Uncovering the Story of an Early American Crisis (Princeton University Press)
Jennifer Van Horn, The Power of Objects in Eighteenth-Century America (University of North Carolina Press for the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture)
Douglas L. Winiarski, Darkness Falls on the Land of Light: Experiencing Religious Awakenings in Eighteenth-Century New England (University of North Carolina Press for the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture)

The winner of the 2018 prize will be announced, and all finalists recognized, at a black-tie gala on May 23, 2018 at George Washington’s Mount Vernon.

More information about the George Washington Prize is available at https://www.washcoll.edu/centers/starr/george-washington-book-prize.php

AUTHOR BIOGRAPHIES

S. MAX EDELSON is associate professor of history at the University of Virginia and the author of Plantation Enterprise in Colonial South Carolina (Harvard University Press). He was the recipient of the National Endowment for the Humanities Digital Implementation Grant to develop MapScholar, a dynamic visualization tool for historic maps.

KEVIN J. HAYES, Professor Emeritus at the University of Central Oklahoma, is the author of several books including The Road to Monticello: The Life and Mind of Thomas Jefferson (Oxford University Press) and A Journey through American Literature (Oxford University Press). He is the recipient of the Virginia Library History Award presented by the Library of Virginia and the Virginia Center for the Book.

ERIC HINDERAKER is professor of history at the University of Utah and author of The Two Hendricks: Unraveling a Mohawk Mystery, which won the Dixon Ryan Fox Prize by the New York State Historical Society and the Herbert H. Lehman Prize by the New York Academy of History.

JON KUKLA is the author of Mr. Jefferson’s Women and A Wilderness So Immense: The Louisiana Purchase and the Destiny of America, as well as many scholarly articles and reviews. He has served as the executive director of the Historic New Orleans Collection and of Red Hill-The Patrick Henry National Memorial in Charlotte County, Virginia.

JAMES E. LEWIS, JR., is professor of history at Kalamazoo College. His books include The Louisiana Purchase: Jefferson’s Noble Bargain? and John Quincy Adams: Policymaker for the Union.

JENNIFER VAN HORN is assistant professor of art history and history at the University of Delaware and specializes in early American visual and material culture.

DOUGLAS L. WINIARSKI is an associate professor of Religious Studies and American Studies at the University of Richmond, where he teaches a wide range of courses on the history of religion in early America.

ABOUT 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. www.mountvernon.org

Washington College was founded in 1782, 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, which administers the George Washington Prize, explores the American experience in all its diversity and complexity, seeks creative approaches to illuminating the past, and inspires thoughtful conversation informed by history.

For more information: www.washcoll.edu.