Friday, February 20, 2009

Washington College Announces $50,000 George Washington Book Prize Finalists

Chestertown, MD — In commemoration of George Washington's birthday, Washington College today announced three finalists for the 2009 George Washington Book Prize.

The books, which were chosen from 78 entries, include an epic history of Thomas Jefferson's African-American relatives, a prodigious exploration of Jefferson's literary and intellectual development, and a tale of investment skullduggery and financial meltdown that eerily foreshadows today's headlines.

The finalists are: Annette Gordon-Reed's The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family (Norton), Kevin J. Hayes's The Road to Monticello: The Life and Mind of Thomas Jefferson (Oxford), and Jane Kamensky's The Exchange Artist: A Tale of High-Flying Speculation and America's First Banking Collapse (Viking).

The $50,000 award—co-sponsored by Washington College, the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, and George Washington's Mount Vernon—is the largest prize nationwide for a book on early American history, and one of the largest literary prizes of any kind. It recognizes the year's best books on the nation's founding era, especially those that have the potential to advance broad public understanding of American history.

"This year's finalists prove that good history can offer insights both timely and timeless," said Adam Goodheart, Hodson Trust-Griswold director of Washington College's C.V. Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience, which administers the prize. "The Washington Prize recognizes books that not only vividly recount the past, but also speak eloquently to the present."

The winner will be announced at a gala celebration May 28 at George Washington's Mount Vernon Estate & Gardens in Virginia.

The finalists were selected by a jury of three distinguished historians: Joyce Appleby, professor of history emerita at the University of California, Los Angeles, who served as chair; Ira Berlin, Distinguished University Professor of History at the University of Maryland; and Jay Winik, best-selling author and one of the country's leading public historians.

They selected the finalists after reviewing 78 books published last year on the founding period in American history, from about 1760 to 1820—time of the creation and consolidation of the young republic.

In The Hemingses of Monticello, Annette Gordon-Reed "sweeps away any remaining doubts of the existence of [Thomas Jefferson's] relationship with [his slave] Sally Hemings," and, in the process, "answers important questions about America's founding generation," the jurors wrote. A professor of law at New York Law School and of history at Rutgers University, Gordon-Reed is the author of Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings: An American Controversy (1997), the editor of Race On Trial: Law and Justice in American History (2002), and co-author with Vernon Jordan of Vernon Can Read: A Memoir (2001). She was awarded the 2008 National Book Award for Nonfiction for The Hemingses of Monticello.

Kevin Hayes's The Road to Monticello is "a superb study" that "mined every conversation with Thomas Jefferson ever recorded" for accounts of the literary and artistic experiences that shaped him, from his undergraduate years at William and Mary until he left Washington "with another eight crates of books" to retire at Monticello, the jurors reported. A Professor of English at the University of Central Oklahoma, Hayes is also the author of A Colonial Woman's Bookshelf (1996), An American Cycling Odyssey (2002), Melville's Folk Roots (1999), and Poe and the Printed Word (2000).

The jurors described Jane Kamensky's The Exchange Artist as a "fascinating window into the pitfalls of unfettered capitalism" that tells the story of Andrew Dexter, Jr., a New England entrepreneur-turned-con-artist who dreamed of erecting the tallest building in the United States—a scheme financed by "a string of giddy banks" and "hopeless overleveraging" whose spectacular collapse "almost hauntingly fits within the zeitgeist of the issues the nation is wrestling with today." A professor of history at Brandeis University, Kamensky is the author of Governing the Tongue (1998) and The Colonial Mosaic (1995), and co-editor and co-founder of the online history magazine Common-place ( She is also the co-author, with fellow historian Jill Lepore, of Blindspot: A Novel, which was published last year.

The 2009 George Washington Book Prize Jurors

Joyce Appleby, who served as chair of the jury, is professor emerita of history at the University of California, Los Angeles, where she taught for 20 years. She currently acts as co-director of the History News Service, which distributes op-ed essays by historians to more than 300 newspapers. A noted historian of the early national period in American history, Appleby is a former president of the American Historical Association and the Organization of American Historians. She earned her Ph.D. in history at Claremont College in 1966. Her first book, Ideology and Economic Thought in Seventeenth-Century England (Princeton, 1978), won the 1978 Berkshire Prize. Her recent publications include Inheriting the Revolution: The First Generation of Americans (Harvard, 2000), Thomas Jefferson (Henry Holt American Presidents Series, 2003), and A Restless Past: History and the American Public (Rowman & Littlefield, 2005). W.W. Norton will bring out her The Relentless Revolution: A History of Capitalism in 2009. She has been a member and chair of the Council of the Institute of Early American History and Culture at Williamsburg and has served on the editorial boards of the American Historical Review and the William and Mary Quarterly. In 2009, the Society of American Historians awarded Appleby the Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., Award for Distinguished Writing in American History.

Ira Berlin is a leading historian of African-American life and a Distinguished University Professor of History at the University of Maryland, where he has also served as Dean of Undergraduates and of the College of Arts and Humanities. He earned his Ph.D. in history at the University of Wisconsin in 1970. His first book, Slaves Without Masters: The Free Negro in the Antebellum South (The New Press, 1974), was awarded the Best First Book Prize by the National Historical Society. He has authored or edited many other books about what he calls the "striking diversity" of life under slavery, including Many Thousands Gone: The First Two Centuries of Slavery in North America (Harvard, 1998) and Generations of Captivity: A History of African American Slaves (Harvard, 2003). In 1991, the Maryland Department of Education named him the state's Outstanding Educator. He is the founder of the Freedmen and Southern Society Project, which he directed until 1991. He has been awarded numerous fellowships and grants, including a Guggenheim and grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Rockefeller Foundation. He has served on the Advisory Board of the National Archives, chair of the Council of the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and president of the Organization of American Historians.

Jay Winik is one of the country's leading public historians, renowned for his gifted approaches to history. A regular contributor to the Wall Street Journal as well as The New York Times, he is the author of the critically acclaimed New York Times bestseller April 1865: The Month that Saved America (HarperCollins, 2001), a book that had the rare distinction of becoming an instant classic and which became an award-winning documentary on the History Channel. He is also the author of the bestselling The Great Upheaval: America and the Birth of the Modern World, 1788-1800 (Harper, 2007), a USA Today and Financial Times best book of the year. Winik received his B.A. and Ph.D. from Yale University and a Master's from the London School of Economics. He has been a lead commentator on frequent PBS and History Channel documentary specials, and was the Presidential Historian for Fox News's coverage of Barack Obama's historic inauguration. A senior scholar of history and public policy at the University of Maryland, he sits on the governing council of the National Endowment for the Humanities and has served as a trustee on a number of other nonprofit boards, including American Heritage Magazine, the Civil War Preservation Trust, the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission, the James Madison Book Award, Ford's Theatre, and The Lincoln Forum.

About the Sponsors of the George Washington Book Prize

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 C.V. Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience, founded in 2000, is an innovative center for the study of history, culture and politics, and fosters excellence in the art of written history through fellowships, prizes, and student programs.

Founded in 1994, the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History promotes the study and love of American history. The Institute serves teachers, students, scholars, and the general public. It helps create history-centered schools, organizes seminars and programs for educators, produces print and electronic publications and traveling exhibitions, sponsors lectures by eminent historians, and administers a History Teacher of the Year Award in every state. The Institute also awards the Lincoln, Frederick Douglass and George Washington Book Prizes, and offers fellowships for scholars to work in the Gilder Lehrman Collection. The Institute maintains two websites, and the quarterly online journal

Since 1860, over 80 million visitors have made George Washington's Mount Vernon Estate & Gardens 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.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Neil Labute's 'Fat Pig' Staged at Washington College

Chestertown, MD — The Washington College Department of Drama will present Neil LaBute's "Fat Pig" at the Norman James Theatre on Friday and Saturday, February 27 and 28, at 8 p.m.

"Cow." "Slob." "Pig." How many insults can you hear before you have to stand up and defend the woman you love? That's just the question facing handsome office-worker Tom when he falls for Helen, an extremely overweight librarian. Forced to explain his new relationship to his shallow (although shockingly funny) co-workers, he finds himself having to deal with a plot hatched by them to sabotage the relationship.

As Tom finally comes to terms with his own preconceptions of the importance of conventional good looks, LaBute's thought-provoking play not only critiques society's slavish adherence to Hollywood ideals of beauty, but boldy questions our own ability to change what we dislike about ourselves.

The Washington Post hailed "Fat Pig" as "a surprisingly gentle portrait of the pressures exerted on unconventional love, of the power those deemed attractive hold over people of less streamlined allure."

The Washington College production of "Fat Pig" is directed by senior Blane Wyche and features James Maguire, Allison Valliant, David Melnick and Aileen Brenner. Admission is free, but reservations are required; call 410/778-7835 or e-mail

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Pocahontas: Constructing the Jacobean Princess

Chestertown, MD — As a daughter of Powhatan, the powerful chief of the Algonquian Indians in the Tidewater region of Virginia, Pocahontas played a significant role in American history. In 1616 John Smith wrote that Pocahontas was "the instrument to pursurve this colonie [Jamestown] from death, famine, and utter confusion." Her contributions as a vital link between the native Americans and the English will be explored in a lecture by Dr. Karen Robertson on Thursday, March 5, at 4:30 p.m. at the Casey Academic Center Forum at Washington College.

Karen Robertson received her Ph.D. from Columbia University, where she wrote her dissertation on Jacobean revenge tragedy. Dr. Robertson has taught at Vassar College since 1982. Her recent publications include "Pocahontas at the Masque" Signs and Maids and Mistresses, Cousins and Queens: Women's Alliances in Early Modern England (New York: Oxford University Press, 1999), a volume of essays co-edited with Susan Frye. She is writing a book on Pocahontas among the Jacobeans, a study of the intersections of gender, race and class in Jacobean England.

"Pocahontas: Constructing the Jacobean Princess" is free and open to the public. It is sponsored by the Friends of Miller Library and the Center for Environment & Society at Washington College. For more information, contact 410-810-7161.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Doomed Lovers of the Gilded Age: Author Donna Lucey Presents 'Archie and Amélie' at Washington College

Chestertown, MD — Author Donna M. Lucey will discuss sex, drugs, insanity and a tempestuous, ill-fated marriage at the turn of the 20th century when she presents "Archie and Amélie: Love and Madness in the Gilded Age" at Washington College's Rose O'Neill Literary House on Wednesday, February 25, at 4:30 p.m.

The lecture is presented by the Literary House in conjunction with the C.V. Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience.

In her dual biography Archie and Amélie, Lucey uncovers the real-life story of two Gilded Age celebrities who were the F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald of their day. Archie Chanler, heir to the Astor fortune, was an eccentric (some said insane) millionaire; Amélie Rives was a bestselling novelist who scandalized society with her evocations of feminine passion.

Their marriage began with a "secret" wedding that found its way onto the front page of The New York Times, to the dismay of Archie's relatives and Amélie's many gentleman friends. To the world, the couple appeared charmed, rich and famous; they moved in social circles that included Oscar Wilde, Teddy Roosevelt and Stanford White. But although their love was undeniable, their private life was troubled from the start.

A celebrated couple too dramatic and unconventional to last, their tumultuous story had largely been forgotten until the recent publication of Lucey's acclaimed book, which brings back to life these extraordinary lovers and their sweeping, tragic romance.

Lucey is an award-winning writer and photo editor whose previous books include Photographing Montana, 1894-1928: The Life and Work of Evelyn Cameron and I Dwell in Possibility: Women Build a Nation, 1600-1920. She is currently residing in Chestertown with her husband, historian Henry Wiencek, who is here for a one-year residency as Washington College's first-ever Patrick Henry Fellow. Lucey and Wiencek hail from Charlottesville, Virginia—where the fascinating, stranger-than-fiction story of Archie and Amélie first captivated Lucey.

"In the Virginia hunt country ... where I live, the older people still tell stories of a strange couple who died some two generations ago," Lucey wrote. "The stories involve ghosts, the mysterious burning of a church, a murder at a millionaire's house, a sensational lunacy trial, and a beautiful, scantily clad young woman prowling her gardens at night as if she were searching for something or someone—or trying to walk off the effects of the morphine that was deranging her. I was inclined to dismiss all of this as tall tales Virginians love to spin out; but when I looked into these yarns I found proof that they were true...."

The New York Times hailed Archie and Amélie as "an irresistible account ... of a combustible couple's torrid descent amid opulence.... Ms. Lucey tells it beautifully.... [Her] success with the book also owes much to its subjects. When a man can (as Archie did) enjoy a breakfast of roast duck and vanilla ice cream while wearing leather pajamas and sitting near a fresh corpse, he certainly holds up his end of the story."

Admission to "Archie and Amélie: Love and Madness in the Gilded Age" is free and open to the public.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Steny Hoyer, Andrew Kohut to Be Honored at Annual Washington's Birthday Convocation

Chestertown, MD — A politician who has served the people of Maryland for many years and a pioneering expert in the field of public-opinion research will be honored at Washington College's annual George Washington's Birthday Convocation at the College's Benjamin A. Johnson Lifetime Fitness Center on Friday, February 20, at 3:30 p.m.

Receiving honorary degrees at the annual ceremony will be Congressman Steny Hoyer and Andrew Kohut of the Pew Research Center. Also being honored are the 2009 Washington College Service Award recipients.

Congressman Hoyer represents Maryland's Fifth Congressional District, which includes Calvert, Charles and St. Mary's counties and portions of Prince George's and Anne Arundel counties. Now serving as the majority leader of the U.S. House of Representatives, Hoyer is charged with managing the House floor as well as scheduling legislation to be considered on the floor.

He also plays a key role in helping House Democrats determine their legislative agenda and political strategy, and in building support for the Party's positions and delivering the Democratic message both in Washington and nationally. Prior to being elected Majority Leader, Hoyer served two terms as the Democratic Whip.

Members on both sides of the aisle recognize Hoyer as an effective leader and committed consensus builder who knows how to get things done. He is widely regarded as a champion for federal employees and is a well-known leader on education issues. As the former Chairman of the Helsinki Commission, he also is a respected voice on human and civil rights. He is perhaps best known for serving as the lead House sponsor of historic Federal election reform (the "Help America Vote Act") and for guiding the landmark Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) to passage.

Andrew Kohut—founding president of the Pew Research Center in Washington, D.C.—is an expert in public opinion. The former president of the Gallup Organization and founder of Princeton Survey Research Associates now acts as Director of the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press, and for the Pew Global Attitudes Project. Kohut often comments on public opinion for television news programs including PBS's "NewsHour with Jim Lehrer."

Kohut has written widely about public opinion for leading newspapers and magazines, as well as for scholarly journals. He is a frequent op-ed essayist for The New York Times and in the past has been a regular columnist for Columbia Journalism Review and AOL News. He has authored four books, including, most recently, America Against the World (Times Books) and The Diminishing Divide: Religion's Changing Role in American Politics (Brookings Institution Press).

Kohut received the first Innovators Award from the American Association of Public Opinion Research, and was given the New York AAPOR Chapter award for Outstanding Contribution to Opinion Research. Most recently, he was awarded the 2005 American Association of Public Opinion Research's highest honor, the Award for Exceptionally Distinguished Achievement.

The George Washington's Birthday Convocation also will serve as the occasion to honor members of the College family with the 2009 Washington College Service Awards. The President's Distinguished Service Award will be presented to Vickie B. Anderson, Billie S. Dodge and Shirley Dorsey. The President's Medal this year goes to Richard W. Miller and Leslie P. Raimond '63. And the 2009 Alumni Service Award will be received by Barbara T. Cromwell '55.

A reception will follow the ceremony in the Lifetime Fitness Center.

Poet Thom Ward to Give Reading at Washington College

Chestertown, MD — The 2008-2009 Sophie Kerr Lecture Series continues with a reading by poet Thom Ward at Washington College's Casey Academic Center Forum on Thursday, February 26, at 4:30 p.m.

In addition to penning his own verses, Ward is editor for BOA Editions, Ltd., an independent publishing house of American poetry and poetry in translation, headquartered in Rochester, New York. One of the premier poetry presses in America, BOA publishes some of the country's most famous and beloved poets, including Lucille Clifton, Robert Bly, Stephen Dunn and many others. In his 15 years at BOA, Ward has edited more than 80 collections of poetry.

Ward's own poetry collections include Small Boat With Oars of Different Size (2000, Carnegie Mellon University Press); Tumblekid, the winner of the 1998 Devil's Millhopper Poetry Contest (2000, the University South Carolina-Aiken); Various Orbits (2004, Carnegie Mellon); and a limited-edition, leatherette chapbook of prose poems, Fog in a Suitcase (2004, Piccadilly Press). Ward's fifth book, a collection of prose poems, The Matter of the Casket, was published by Custom Words Press in 2007.

The Sophie Kerr Lecture Series honors the legacy of the late Sophie Kerr, a writer from Denton, Md., whose generosity has enriched Washington College's literary culture. When she died in 1965, Kerr left the bulk of her estate to Washington College, specifying that one half of the income from her bequest be awarded every year to the senior showing the most "ability and promise for future fulfillment in the field of literary endeavor"—the famed Sophie Kerr Prize—and the other half be used to bring visiting writers to campus, to fund scholarships and to help defray the costs of student publications.

Admission to the poetry reading by Thom Ward is free and open to the public. For more information, call 410/778-7879.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Janson-La Palme Art Lecture Examines Relationship between 'Bellini and His Patrons'

Chestertown, MD — The Washington College Department of Art and Art History presents the annual Janson-La Palme Distinguished Lecture in European Art History, "Giovanni Bellini and His Patrons," a presentation by Professor Peter Humfrey, Head of the School of Art History at the University of St. Andrews, Scotland, in the Casey Academic Center Forum on Wednesday, March 4, at 4:30 p.m. The event is free, and the public is invited to attend.

The Italian Renaissance painter Giovanni Bellini is considered to have revolutionized Venetian painting, advancing it in a more sensuous and colorful direction. Through his use of clear, slow-drying oil paints, Bellini created deep, rich tints and detailed shadings. His sumptuous coloring and fluent, atmospheric landscapes had a profound effect on the Venetian school of painting.

Dr. Humfrey, a leading authority on both the artist and the era, is the editor of The Cambridge Companion to Giovanni Bellini (Cambridge University Press, 2004) and a host of acclaimed works on Titian and many other Venetian painters. In his upcoming Washington College lecture, the British scholar will address an intriguing aspect of Bellini: how he interacted with his patrons, and the level of artistic autonomy he sought to maintain while at the same time satisfying his underwriters.

In an often-quoted letter of 1506, the eminent man of letters Pietro Bembo wrote that "Bellini does not like to be given many written details" from his patrons regarding his subject matter, and that he "preferred to wander at will in his pictures." So was Bembo referring only to the smaller, private works? Or did the painter secure for himself a greater freedom of operation as his career progressed and his fame increased? Dr. Humfrey's lecture will explore these and similar questions as it surveys the relationship between Giovanni Bellini and a selection of his known patrons.

Dr. Humfrey has a B.A. from Trinity College, Dublin, and an M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of London's Courtauld Institute of Art. He has been a Senior Visiting Fellow at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., a Rush H. Kress Fellow at the Harvard Center for Italian Renaissance Studies, a Member of the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. In recent years he has presented invited lectures at the National Gallery of Art, Oxford University, Cambridge University, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, the Institut National d'Histoire de l'Art in Paris, and numerous other notable institutions.

The Janson-La Palme Annual Distinguished Lecture in European Art History was established by Washington College Professor Emeritus Robert J. H. Janson-La Palme and his wife, Bayly, to bring internationally known scholars on European art to campus for public lectures and presentations.

Previous lecturers in the series include Nicholas Penny (presently Director, National Gallery of London), Jonathan Brown (Institute of Fine Arts, NYU), the late Robert Rosenblum (Institute of Fine Arts, NYU, and Guggenheim Museum), Paul Barolsky (University of Virginia) and Thomas Crow (New York University).

For more information on upcoming lectures and events at Washington College, visit

POSTPONED - Analyst/Columnist Blumenthal Discusses 'Polls, Pollsters and the 2008 Election' at Washington College

Chestertown, MD — Award-winning political polling expert Mark Blumenthal will present "Polls, Pollsters and the 2008 Election" at Washington College's Casey Academic Center Forum on Monday, February 23, at 4:30 p.m. The lecture is presented by the Goldstein Program in Public Affairs.

Blumenthal is the editor and publisher of, the web site that publishes poll results and a daily running commentary that explains, demystifies and critiques political polling for political insiders and the general public.

Since its launch in September 2006, has attracted nearly 7 million unique visits resulting in more than 30 million page views.

In 2007 Blumenthal and co-creator Charles Franklin were honored with the Warren J. Mitofsky Innovators Award from the American Association for Public Opinion Research. is partly an outgrowth of Blumenthal's "Mystery Pollster" blog, which he started in 2004. In 2005 the National Council on Public Polls awarded Blumenthal and the "Mystery Pollster" blog a special citation for its work explaining polls to the Internet reader.

As a polling analyst for The National Journal, Blumenthal also writes a weekly column for He has been in the political polling business for more than 20 years, conducting and analyzing political polls and focus groups for Democratic candidates and market research surveys for major corporations.

Blumenthal's academic background includes a political science degree from the University of Michigan and course work toward a master's degree at the Joint Program in Survey Methodology (JPSM) at the University of Maryland.

The Communications Chair of the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) from 2007 to 2008, Blumenthal has been a guest lecturer at the Communications School at American University and at training seminars sponsored by EMILY's List, the Democratic National Committee and the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs.

Washington College's Louis L. Goldstein Program in Public Affairs was established in 1990 to encourage students to enter public service by introducing them to exemplary leaders, both in and out of government. The Goldstein Program has hosted journalists, political activists, foreign policy analysts, diplomats, military commanders and government officials of both national and international stature.

The Goldstein Program sponsors lectures, symposia, visiting fellows, student participation in models and conferences, and other projects that bring students and faculty together with leaders experienced in developing public policy.

Admission to "Polls, Pollsters and the 2008 Election" is free and open to the public.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Former Ravens Coach Billick Presents 'Life Lessons for Success' at Washington College

Chestertown, MD — Brian Billick, former head coach of the Baltimore Ravens, will present "Life Lessons for Success" at Washington College's Cain Gymnasium on Thursday, February 19, at 8 p.m.

When Billick became the Ravens' head coach in 1999, the nascent football franchise had endured losing records in each of its first three seasons. Billick quickly changed the course for the team, guiding the Ravens to their first non-losing season (8-8) in his inaugural year.

In 2000, Billick's second year at the helm, the Ravens earned a 12-4 regular season record (including 11 consecutive victories), and then swept through the playoffs to win the Super Bowl XXXV Championship in a commanding 34-7 victory over the New York Giants. The 2000 Ravens defense set the NFL's 16-game standard for fewest points allowed (165). Prior to Billick's arrival in Baltimore, the Ravens defense had never ranked higher than 22nd in the league.

Several more successful seasons followed 2000's historic heights as the Ravens continued to be a force to be reckoned with, more often than not all the way to the playoffs or the brink of the postseason tournament.

Prior to coaching the Ravens, Billick had been offensive coordinator of the Minnesota Vikings. In 1998 he coordinated a Vikings offense that scored the most points (556) in NFL history.

"Passion" and "accountability" are the two words that form the foundation of Billick's philosophy of coaching and leadership.

"You have to have passion for the work you do to succeed," Billick said. "If a player doesn't like to study, practice or train, doesn't like the physicality of the game, he's going to have a very difficult time succeeding. Passion is a lubricant for success."

As for the other cornerstone of Billick's approach, "Accountability is obvious. You have to perform. Accountability is also a sign of respect for your team. It is a reflection of a team's integrity when individuals take responsibility for their actions."

Billick has co-authored two books, Competitive Leadership: Twelve Principles for Success (with Dr. James A. Peterson) and Finding the Winning Edge (with Dr. Peterson and NFL Hall of Fame coach Bill Walsh).

Admission to "Life Lessons for Success" is free and open to the public.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Washington College 2008-2009 Concert Series Continues with Acclaimed Soprano Louise Toppin

Chestertown, MD — The 57th season of the Washington College Concert Series continues with a performance by soprano Louise Toppin at the Norman James Theatre on Friday, February 13, at 8 p.m.

Toppin has received critical acclaim for her operatic, orchestral and oratorio performances in the United States, Czech Republic, Sweden, Uruguay, Scotland, China, England, New Zealand, the Carribean, Bermuda, Japan and Spain.

She has appeared in recital at many concert series including Carnegie Hall, Merkin Hall, Kennedy Center and Lincoln Center.

Toppin also has garnered renown via touring as part of the production "Gershwin on Broadway," and she has to date recorded 12 CDs of American music on the Centaur, Albony, Innova, Cambria and Visionary Records labels.

"Louise Toppin is unquestionably one of our very best all-around sopranos," raved the Raleigh Spectator, while the Boston Globe praised the singer for music that was "sweetly delivered."

The 2008-2009 Washington College Concert Series will conclude with a performance by the Attacca String Quartet on April 17.

All concerts are held at the College's Norman James Theatre in William Smith Hall. Single tickets can be purchased at the door—$15 for adults, $5 for youth and students. For more information, call 410/778-7839.

Monday, February 2, 2009

McColl, Washington College Art Department Chair, Delivers Prestigious Dillenberger Lecture in Berkeley, Cal.

Chestertown, MD — Washington College is pleased to announce that Donald A. McColl, Chair of the Department of Art and Art History, Nancy L. Underwood Chair in Art History, and Director of the Kohl Art Gallery, was recently selected to deliver the prestigious annual Jane and John Dillenberger Lecture in Visual Arts and Religions at the Graduate Theological Union (GTU) in Berkeley, California, co-sponsored by the Center for the Arts, Religion and Education.

Dr. McColl presented "'Sign of the Times': The Cleveland Marbles and the Visual Cultures of Pre-Constantinian Christianity" as the 2008 Dillenberger Lecture at the GTU in December, based on work he has carried out in Turkey and elsewhere over the past two decades, on one of the most remarkable finds in the area of Early Christian art of the latter part of the 20th century.

The annual Dillenberger lecture focuses on issues vital to ongoing discussions among historians, artists and theologians. Past lecturers have included art historians Leo Steinberg, Peter Selz, John Cook, and Diane Apostolos-Cappadona; architects and artists Richard Meier, Christo, James Melchert, Stephen DeStaebler, and Eliza Linley; and theologians Margaret Miles and Ted Gill.

"While daunted at the prospect of lecturing at the GTU, I soon relaxed and enjoyed lively interactions with an extraordinarily diverse group of people, including graduate students from a number of disciplines and faculty from a variety of area institutions," said Dr. McColl. "I was especially pleased to be able to meet Professor Emeritus Jane Dillenberger, whose name the lecture bears and whose work has long been a model for my own. The entire experience, I'm sure, will long remain a highlight of my personal and professional lives."

The Graduate Theological Union is the largest and most diverse partnership of seminaries and graduate schools in the United States, pursuing interreligious collaboration in teaching, research, ministry, and service.

GTU students can pursue the Ph.D., Th.D., and M.A., plus two joint Ph.D. programs with the University of California, Berkeley.

The union comprises the largest theological faculty in the United States, including renowned experts in Christian spirituality and liturgical studies as well as critical and creative scholars in 14 other areas.

The GTU offers a Center for Jewish Studies, a Center for Islamic Studies, and two programs—the Asia Project and Women's Studies in Religion.

Dr. McColl earned his B.A. at the University of Western Ontario, his M.A. at Oberlin College, and his Ph.D. at the University of Virginia, with postdoctoral study at Northwestern University. He has held fellowships at the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts, of the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, and Harvard University's Dumbarton Oaks Library and Research Collection, Washington, D.C.

Washington College was founded in 1782 under the patronage of George Washington and is the first college chartered in the new nation.