Archive for May, 2008

Five years of sports milestones

Monday, May 5th, 2008 | Trisha Wolf


Maggie Grabow (cross country) named UAA Player of the Year

Brad Duesing (football) named UAA Player of the Year

John Woock (football) named Academic All-American

Charlotte Felber (women’s soccer) named UAA Player of the Year and Academic All-American

Collen Winter (volleyball) named UAA Player of the Year

Winter, Kara Liefer and Megan Houck (volleyball) named All-Americans


Kelly Manning (women’s basketball) named UAA Player of the Year

Manning and Hallie Hutchens (women’s basketball) named All-American

Alex Antilla, Michael Slavik, David Stein, Eric Triebe, Ross Virmir and Cory Zimmerman (men’s swimming) named All-Americans

Allie Boettger, Tina Deneweth, Katie Hodges, Brianna Krull, Meredith Nordbrock and Jenny Scott (women’s swimming) named All-Americans

Nordbrock named UAA Swimmer of the Year and Rookie of the Year

Natalie Badowski, Lauren Ehret, Grabow, Dorothy Gregg, Katelin Gruber,Beth Herdon, Hallie Hutchens, Michelle McCully and Danielle Wadlington (track and field) named All-Americans

Badowski named Academic All-American

Andy Shields (baseball) named UAA Rookie of the Year

Ryan Corning (baseball named Academic All-American

Laurel Sagartz (softball) named UAA Player of the Year

Sagartz, Liz Swary and Amy Vukovich named All-Americans

Swary named Academic All-American Player of the Year

Ari Rosenthal (men’s tennis) named All-American

Herndon (cross country) named UAA Player of the Year

Herdon and Tyler Mulkin (cross country) named All-Americans

Duesing named UAA Player of the Year

Duesing and Joe Rizzo named All-Americans

Houck, Whitney Smith, Haleigh Spencer and Emilie Walk named All-Americans


Manning named UAA Player of the Year

Manning and Danielle Beehler (women’s basketball) named All-Americans

Shanna-Lei Dacanay (women’s basketball) named UAA Rookie of the Year

Tyler Nading (basketball) named UAA Rookie of the Year

Troy Ruths (basketball) named Academic All-American

Slavik and Triebe (men’s swimming) win national titles in the 50-meter freestyle and 200-meter freestyle respectively

Antilla, Geoff Hart-Cooper, Kevin Lecky, Slavik, Triebe, Virmir and Zimmerman (men’s swimming) named All-Americans

Deneweth, Kim Jenkins, Kelly Kono, Kelly MacArthur, Nordbrock, Scott and Priya Srikanth (women’s swimming) named All-Americans

Morgen Leonard-Fleckman, Delaina Martin, Greg Reindl, Dave Skiba, Cameron Williams and Karl Zelik (track and field) named All-Americans

Sagartz named UAA Player of the Year and All-American

Laura D’Andrea (softball) named Academic All-American

Charlier Cutler and Rosenthal (men’s tennis) named All-Americans

Rosenthal named UAA Player of the Year

Carrie Preston (women’s tennis) named All-American

Herdon (cross country) named UAA Player of the Year

Herdon and Tricia Frisella (cross country) named All-Americans

Drew Wethington (football) named UAA Player of the Year and All-American

MeghanMarie Fowler-Finn (women’s soccer) named UAA Player of the Year, National Player of the Year and Academic All-American

Spencer (volleyball) named UAA Player of the Year

Smith, Walk, Audra Janak and Nikki Morrison (volleyball) named All-Americans


Aaron Thompson (basketball) named UAA Rookie of the Year

Ruths named UAA Player of the Year, Academic All-American Player of the Year, and All-American

Men’s basketball makes first ever Final Four appearance

Alex Beyer, Perry Bullock, Brian Kushner, Lecky and Virmir (men’s swimming) named All-Americans

Beyer (men’s swimming) named UAA Rookie of the Year

Marin Hawk, Hodges, Kono, Jessie Lodewyk, Nordbrock and Srikanth (women’s swimming) named All-Americans
Srikanth named UAA Diver of the Year

Alli Alberts and Martin (track and field) named All-Americans

Badowski named Academic All-American

Shields named All-American

Softball qualifies for first-ever College World Series, finishing second overall

Sagartz named UAA Player of the year and Academic All-American

Sagartz and Carter Malouf named All-Americans

Cutler named UAA Player of the Year

John Watts (men’s tennis) wins national singles title, UAA Rookie of the Year and national Rookie of the Year

Cutler, Watts and Chris Hoeland (men’s tennis) named All-Americans

Frisella, Mulkin and Kate Pentak (cross country) named All-Americans

Men’s soccer advances to the Elite Eight

Onyi Okoroafor (men’s soccer) named All-American

Caryn Rosoff (women’s soccer) named UAA Player of the Year and All-American

Morrison, Janak and Erin Albers (volleyball) named All-Americans

Volleyball head coach Rich Luenemann named National Coach of the Year


Ruths named Academic All-American Player of the Year, National Player of the Year and Jostens Trophy recipient

Mark Edwards (basketball) named National Coach of the Year

Alex Hoover (basketball) named UAA Rookie of the Year

Michael Flanagan, Beyer, David Chao, Kushner, Leckey and Bullock (men’s swimming) named All-Americans

Kono, Lodewyk, Hodges, Srikanth, Nordbrock, Liz Caravati, Kristen Mann and Claire Henderson (women’s swimming) named All-Americans

Srikanth named UAA Diver of the Year

Leonard-Fleckman wins national championship in the pole vault

Leonard-Fleckman, Wadlington, Sangeeta Hardy, Kelli Blake, Erika Wade and Taryn Surtees (track and field) named All-Americans

Leonard-Fleckman and Wadlington (track and field) named UAA Players of the Year

Ben Harmon (track and field) named UAA Rookie of the Year

Women’s golf becomes an official varsity sport

Senior athletes say goodbye to Wash. U.

Monday, May 5th, 2008 | Josh Goldman

This year has been a historic one for Washington University athletics. Volleyball recaptured the national title after a three-year hiatus, overcoming top opponents, whom that it had lost to earlier in the season in the NCAA tournament.

Men’s soccer reached the Sectional Finals of the NCAA Division III Championship, ending the year as the sixth-ranked team nationally. The women advanced to the first round of the NCAA Division III Championship and also won the UAA title.

Women’s Cross Country won the UAA title and finished third in the NCAA Championships, placing six All-Americans in the process.

The basketball season brought high hopes, with both the men’s and women’s teams grabbing the top rankings in national polls. The men were forced to overcome the loss of junior point guard Sean Wallis for the season, but the team contended for the UAA title before falling to the University of Chicago. The team earned a bid to the NCAA tournament and defeated the College of Wooster and Augustana College in Rock Island, Ill., downed Buena Vista University and Millsaps College at home and won the national title in Salem, Va. with wins against Hope College and defending-champion Amherst College. The win against Amherst brought Wash. U. its first men’s national title.

The women overcame the loss of junior All-American Jaimie McFarlin by contending for the UAA title until a loss to Chicago in the final game of the season, and the team lost in the NCAA Regional Finals to DePauw University.

Indoor track captured the third national title of the year, as senior All-American Morgen Leonard-Fleckman won the pole vault with a height cleared of 3.86 meters. The women finished third at the NCAA Indoor Championships out of 67 teams.

While most sports at Wash. U. are team sports, individual efforts have been recognized. Of these individuals, the seniors have competed for the last time and deserve special mention.

Troy Ruths of the men’s basketball team won the Jostens Trophy and has been the ESPN the Magazine College Division Academic All-American of the Year for the past two seasons. Ruths was first team all UAA his final three seasons at Wash. U. and was UAA Player of the Year two seasons ago.

From the cross country and track teams, Tricia Frisella garnered All-America citations the past three seasons, as did teammates Tyler Mulkin and Leonard-Fleckman. Angela Hartman and Kate Pentak have been named All-Americans.

Elie Zenner has been first team all UAA for the past two seasons and was named to the ESPN the Magazine College Division Academic All-America Third Team. He and Onyekachi Okoroafor were named to the 2007 NCAA Division III All South-Central Region First Team.

Caroline Sear was named to the 2007 NCAA Division III All South-Central Region First Team.

Swimmer Meredith Nordbrock has been named an All-America 21 times before this season began, and she added to that total this winter. Classmate and diver Priya Srikanth also added to her All-America tally this season. Srikanth was also named UAA Diver of the Year this season.

Spencer was named the UAA’s Most Valuable Player her junior year and third team All-America.

What is your best memory of Wash. U. sports?

Nordbrock: My best memory would have to be the friends that I have made over the years. Athletes tend to create special bonds. We see each other everyday, whether it’s in the pool, on the field or just in passing in the AC.

Sear: Two of the best games I have ever been part of: our 4-0 win over Emory my junior year and our 3-0 win over Denison in the second round of NCAAs. Both were great wins and great memories from Francis Field.

Dave Working: My sophomore year, my parents came to watch us play in the NCAA Regionals, which we were hosting. I had spent the previous nine months recovering from reconstructive surgery on my throwing shoulder after being told after my senior year of high school I might not ever throw a baseball again. My mom had spent the previous five months battling breast cancer, and her doctor let her come watch us in between chemo cycles. To our surprise, I got in our first game as a defensive replacement, so my parents got to watch me play. My mom tells me that watching me take the field again, after what I had been through, helped give her strength to continue her own treatment. To have helped my mom fight cancer, even by doing something as small as playing baseball, is something I will never forget.

Frisella: My best memory of Wash. U. sports was when our women’s team made it to nationals in cross country this year, and the guys came to cheer us on dressed in flannel shirts with mullets, blacked out teeth and extremely short jean cut offs.

Mike Elliot: My greatest sports memory would have to have been watching the men’s basketball team win the national championship on television. It was amazing to see those guys pull it together on the big stage.

What has been your greatest athletic accomplishment?

Spencer: Winning the national championship.

Zenner: My greatest accomplishment was succeeding as a three year captain in changing the culture of the team and pushing everyone to get the most out of themselves. To go from where we were when I first became captain to making the Elite Eight and coming within a goal of the Final Four means the world to me. Going to the All-American convention was pretty sick too.

Nordbrock: This year at nationals, two of my times were under the previous year’s national records. While I do not hold the title in either event, I swam faster than I ever thought possible.

Okoroafor: Being named Third Team All-American.

How have you changed as a player?

Spencer: I’d like to think over my four years that I developed into a smarter, more consistent hitter and passer.

Working: I am much stronger mentally than I was before I came here. I used to be worried about stats.

Sear: I became a more mature player but still a somewhat emotional and competitive player. I understand the position of goalkeeper and how it impacts the game and a team.

Nordbrock: I have become more confident in my abilities. Knowing that you can achieve your goals is half the battle.

Elliot: I appreciate the sport more. I appreciate the hard work and discipline it takes to play Division III. It’s been a blessing to pour so much into something I love deeply, and I’ve come to appreciate football that much more.

How will being a student athlete here help you in the future?

Nordbrock: Being a student athlete forces you to learn to prioritize and find balance in your life.Plus, employers love it on a résumé!

Zenner: I have developed my leadership skills to the point where I feel comfortable leading a group through positive, but forceful encouragement. I also had tight-knit relationships with an awesome group of guys who will be life-long friends.

Spencer: Time management skills an athlete develops are probably one of the most important skills to have for the future.

What will you miss the most?

Working: I will miss traveling with my teammates. There are few moments where teams bond more closely than when we’re exhausted, filthy, full of terrible food and laughing our minds out because someone just read off a hilarious answer to a loaded question.

Zenner: I will miss too much to say in one quote but mostly just working hard with a group of guys that loved soccer and wanted to win. Being unified by a single goal can be pretty inspiring.

Frisella: My teammates and the feeling of shared accomplishment after races. Our team dinners at Center Court, 100 minute long runs, theme run Friday, Oak Knoll park, post-race singing in the showers, playing mafia on bus rides, team break downs, cheering for Tim Meahl, water polo and camp week, summer newsletters, coach’s wisdom, UAA meets… I’ll even miss 5 a.m. shake out runs on race day.

What has Wash. U. meant to you?

Zenner: It’s not always easy to have a lot of school spirit here, but I was part of a team that was trying to put Wash. U. on the map for soccer and reach some of the heights other teams were reaching, and that makes me proud. Overall, Wash. U. has been a great place to spend four years, and my heart will always be behind the soccer team. I want nothing more than to see them continue to excel.

Working: I tell my friends that, as weird as it sounds, my freshman year of college seems longer ago than my senior year of high school. The changes that I’ve made as a student, an athlete and a person have been so vast that I would barely recognize the kid who stepped onto campus in 2004.

Sear: My time at Wash. U. has been four of the best years of my life. I have made friends through the soccer program that will be some of my best friends for life.

What advice would you give to incoming freshman?

Nordbrock: Enjoy your time here because it will fly by! Take any and every opportunity that is presented to you and run with it. Try not to sweat the little stuff because in the grand scheme of things, it probably won’t matter. It’s easy to get caught up in work and suddenly find yourself graduating, so slow down, take a look around you and enjoy every moment of it!

Okoroafor: Keep an open mind.

Sear: Enjoy you time, and always be grateful for the time you have. Leave everything on the field, trust your teammates and coaches on and off the field, procrastinate and leave papers to the last minute because it builds character and friendships in the library, beat up on Emory and not just in the box score.

Working: Despite what people say, the world after college is not “The Real World.” It’s all the real world. It’s your life, you’re in control of it, and don’t ever let anyone else convince you otherwise.

Elliot: Don’t quit. Put in the time, and the rewards will pay off. You don’t have to be the biggest or the fastest or the strongest, but if you have the will to succeed, you absolutely can.

Zenner: Don’t get down if things don’t go perfectly right from the start. It is a long four years, and if you work hard, it will all be worth it. But you have to earn your success.

Frisella: Don’t forget to have fun and soak it up; it’ll be over before you know it.

Spencer: It’s going to be hard and you’re going to feel like you can’t possibly do both school and sports, but stick with it. It gets easier, I promise.

Stepping Out

Monday, May 5th, 2008 | Brooke Schachner and Eric Bierman
Brooke Schachner

Sidney Street Café

Rating: 4.5
2000 Sidney Street
St. Louis, MO 63104
Price Range: $20-30

For the Commencement issue, we decided to try a restaurant we had never been to before that would be a good choice for eating with parents. The well-reviewed Sidney Street Café seemed like the perfect place for a graduation dinner. With a large menu that changes sporadically, and truly delicious food, Sidney Street Café did not disappoint. Though the loud atmosphere and décor made it seem at times more like a lively pub than an elegant restaurant, this did not take much away from the overall experience.

Sidney Street Café is located in the Benton Park neighborhood near the Anheuser-Busch Brewery. Though we had detailed directions, we still got lost trying to find the restaurant. When we finally arrived, the décor caught us by surprise. The exposed brick walls and street lamp style light fixtures looked like they belonged in a different environment. Additionally, there were several large groups in the main dining room creating a great deal of noise. Needless to say, we were not off to a great start.

This situation did not improve much after being seated at a very small table against the wall. However, once we saw the menu, our sprits were raised. As there was only one hand-written menu due to occasional changes made to the courses, our very attentive waitress explained every dish in detail. She also explained that it is possible to choose several appetizers to make a sampler plate.

The menu consists of a wide array of choices, including lobster, steak, lamb, duck and chicken. Several of the first courses are more traditional, such as the crab corn cake, while others, like bacon-wrapped honey mustard shrimp, are less common and very interesting. Perhaps the most enticing dish on the menu was the pasta of the day, which was duck ravioli. The list of entrees has several fish choices, as well as a variety of meats and a vegetarian option. In addition, the main course comes with either the soup of the day or one of several salads. Finally, Sidney Street Café also has an extensive wine list and drink menu.

To start, we decided on veal dumplings and duck ravioli. The veal dumplings are pot stickers filled with veal, spinach, corn and ginger and served with a Chinese salsa. The veal was tender and delicious, while the Asian flavors were spicy but not too overpowering. The duck ravioli was particularly excellent, with very well-cooked pasta and flavorful meat.

The soup of the day was a house beef tenderloin soup, which was tasty but couldn’t compare to the first course. Though the taste was good, the consistency was less than appetizing. While there were several salad choices, we picked the house salad. This dish was simple but delightful thanks to the freshness of the greens.

Finally, our main courses of Tuscan sea bass and buttermilk chicken arrived. The sea bass was lightly breaded and topped with asiago cheese. It was very light and cooked perfectly. The asparagus and string beans served with the fish added a refreshing aspect to the dish. The buttermilk chicken was also delicious. It was extremely tender and aesthetically pleasing, as it was served in a small pot. This dish also came with vegetables, which were good, but the best part of the entrée was the side of fingerling potatoes. They were slightly crunchy and truly delectable with the light gravy from the chicken.

Though at first we weren’t sure about Sidney Street Café, it proved itself through delicious, well-cooked food and an interesting menu. We would recommend it for a date, special occasion or, of course, dinner with visiting parents.

Word on the Street

Monday, May 5th, 2008 | Michelle Stein
Scott Bressler

“What was the best part of your four years at Washington University in St. Louis?”

“The small community and teachers…the ability to take that passion outside the classroom and start a student group or do anything with it. It literally is the Ivy of the Midwest. You have all this power and prestige, and it is so accessible.”

-Michael Morgan

“Improv-the ability to make a difference on campus by being part of a public group.”

-Atina Rizk

“My favorite part has been the relationships I made and the friendships I’ve gained. Just thinking about the future and the friendships I will keep in touch with.”

-Marcus Woods

“My friends, obviously…Just hanging out. I will miss not having responsibilities.”

-Mark Sobin

Stepping Out: other graduation restaurants

Monday, May 5th, 2008 | Brooke Schachner and Eric Bierman

A map of the best restaurants to go to before and after graduation

Pomme Restaurant
40 North Central Avenue
St. Louis, MO 63105

Pomme is a classic French bistro with 14 tables and impeccable service, located right in downtown Clayton. Be sure to try the lamb, duck confit and apples for Olivia.

1059 South Big Bend
St. Louis, MO 63117

Harvest boasts a seasonal menu, serving the freshest local ingredients. The spa menu delivers the most delicious low-fat, low-cholesterol food you have ever eaten.

Eleven Eleven Mississippi
1111 Mississippi Avenue
St. Louis, MO 63104

Sauce magazine reader’s choice #1 restaurant in the city. You cannot go wrong with anything on the menu.

Trattoria Marcella
3600 Watson Road
St. Louis, MO 63100

Trattoria Marcella is one of The Hill’s finest Italian restaurants. The tenderloin, pastas and fish are excellent.

Students organize to protest Schlafly degree

Monday, May 5th, 2008 | Sam Guzik
Courtesy of WUSTL Photo Services

More than 30 students representing Washington University’s graduate and undergraduate schools met on Monday to begin planning a protest of the University’s decision to award Phyllis Schlafly an honorary degree.

Many of those in attendance were members of the Class of 2008, but several professors, community members and underclassmen took part in the discussion as well.

The announcement that Schlafly, a leader of the national conservative movement since the 1960s, would receive an honorary doctorate has galvanized students who take offense with her stances on marital rape, abortion and the role of women in society to speak out.

“She is not representative of the community we want to build here. She has made statements that go against the basic tenets of the University,” said Dan Tilden, a graduating senior and the leader of the protest. “I couldn’t sit in commencement as a senior and do something that is recognizing her not as a politician but as a person.”

According to Tilden, the students involved with the effort are looking to find a way to reverse the University’s decision to award Schlafly a degree or, if that proves impossible, to make a statement of protest during the commencement exercises.

A Facebook group, entitled “No honorary doctorate for anti-feminist Phyllis Schlafly,” has gained more than 1,000 members since being formed a week ago. In comparison, a group supporting Schlafly, entitled “In Support of Phyllis Schlafly’s Honorary Degree from Wash U,” has approximately 25 members.

“Outside of how anyone feels about her political views, its important that the University be willing to give degrees to conservatives as well as liberals,” Rachel Wisdom, a freshman and the creator of the pro-Schlafly group, said. “In addition, I think she’s actually a strong defender of women’s rights.”

According to Wisdom, Schlafly’s stances protect women’s exemption from the draft and the right of women to choose to serve in the role of homemaker.

Schafly is best known for her role in leading efforts to block the Equal Rights Amendment in the 1970s and for leading a critique against feminism.

According to The Sun Journal, a Maine newspaper, at a speech at Bates college in 2007 Schalfly belittled the feminist movement as “teaching women to be victims,” argued that feminism “is incompatible with marriage and motherhood” and asserted that “By getting married, the woman has consented to sex, and I don’t think you can call it rape.”

Students who support awarding Schlafly with a degree took issue with the way that her statements in Maine were portrayed, arguing that Schlafly saw other ways to protect women from spousal abuse.

“I spoke with Mrs. Schlafly about that [statement] yesterday and the issue is that she was trying to create a legal distinction,” Wisdom said. “Women who are being abused by their husbands are protected by existing assault and battery laws and it would be trouble to argue that something is rape when you have already consented to sex by getting married.”

At the meeting, participants discussed options for protesting the decision during the commencement ceremony, including wearing pink armbands, holding signs to protest Schalfly’s presence and facing away from the lectern when Schlafly was awarded her degree.

“Don’t think that the very possibility of a disruption to the University’s most solemn event would not sway the University,” Michael Murphy, a lecturer in the Women and Gender studies department, said during the discussion.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported on Monday that Mary Ann Dzuback, the director of the women and gender studies department, would not take part in commencement exercises, along with several other members of the department.

Though Wisdom agreed that students and faculty had a right to protest the decision to award Schlafly a degree, she felt that boycotting commencement exercises-especially on the part of faculty-was extreme.

“Graduation to me is not about Phyllis or Chris Matthews or any of the other honorary degree recipients, its about the students,” Wisdom said. “The professors should be there to support their students regardless of their political beliefs.”

At the meeting, one student suggested using the slogan “There is only one woman at this ceremony that should not be getting a degree,” in response to Schlafly’s positions about women’s gender roles.

The meeting also looked to answer questions about how to inform the student body about Schlafly’s views and how to alert the University community-and the outside media-about the dissatisfaction over Schalfly’s selection.

In response to protest over the announcement made last Monday, the University issued a statement over the weekend affirming its decision to award the degree.

“In any community with a large number of people and a diversity of viewpoints, it would be impossible to make a selection with which everyone would agree. That is the very nature of a university,” the statement read. “Alumna Phyllis Schlafly’s articulation of her perspectives has been a significant part of American life during the last half of the 20th century and now the 21st century, serving as a lightning rod for vigorous debate on difficult issues where differences of opinion are profound and passionate.”

The statement brought to light the University’s decision-making process for honorary degrees, which requires a unanimous vote of the Board of Trustees based on recommendations from the Honorary Degree Committee. The committee is chaired by a member of the Board of Trustees and includes about 20 Washington University students, faculty, staff and other members of the Board of Trustees.

Schlafly is set to receive a doctorate of humane letters and is an alumna of both the College of Arts & Sciences and the Law School. As an honorary degree recipient, Schlafly will not address graduates, she will only be awarded the degree.

The move to rescind Schlafly’s degree comes less than a week after Northwestern University announced that it would not award the controversial Rev. Jeremiah Wright an honorary doctorate at commencement proceedings there. In recent months, Rev. Wright has drawn attention for his statements on race relations, America, 9/11 and his now severed connection with presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.).

In a statement explaining its decision, Northwestern wrote, “Commencement at Northwestern is a time of celebration of the accomplishments of Northwestern’s graduating students and their families. In light of the controversy around Dr. Wright and to ensure that the celebratory character of Commencement not be affected, the University has withdrawn its invitation to Dr. Wright.”

Schlafly is one of six scheduled to receive an honorary doctorate at commencement on May 16.

Check back throughout the week for more coverage of Commencement including updates on the protest and an interview with Phyllis Schlafly.

Six to receive honorary degrees at Commencement

Monday, May 5th, 2008 | Ben Sales
Courtesy of WUSTL Photo Services

Six scholars, each with expertise in a different field, will receive honorary degrees at Washington University’s 147th Commencement Ceremony on May 16.

The recipients include Chris Matthews, a political commentator on MSNBC who will also give the Commencement address; Quincy Jones, a music composer and film and television producer; Lee Seng Tee, a business executive and philanthropist of the arts; Washington University Professor Egon Schwarz, an expert in 19th and 20th century German literature; Jessie Ternberg, a professor emeritus of pediatrics and pediatric surgery at the University who helped open the door for women into the medical profession; and Phyllis Schlafly, a national leader of the conservative movement.

Schlafly’s distinction in particular has received attention, causing some to criticize the University for what they see as implicit support of her views, some of which have aroused controversy.

In response to her impending award, more than 780 students have joined a Facebook group entitled “No honorary doctorate for anti-feminist Phyllis Schlafly.” The group targets Schlafly’s stances on feminism, marital rape and sex education, saying that they do not “fit with the future [of] the men and women of Wash. U.’s graduating class,” and that her presence at Commencement will be “incongruous at best, offensive at worst.”

Chancellor Mark Wrighton, however-who confirmed the selection of the recipients-says that Schlafly’s accomplishments and fame merit the honorary degree.

“Her contributions have inspired women and she certainly is a leader,” Wrighton said. “She is well known on a national level for the conservative movement.”

Wrighton added that though many-including himself-may disagree with Schlafly’s views, her writings have value in that they serve to enliven the national political discourse.

“I would not myself agree with her political views,” he said. “When you step back from it you have to admire her for working for the great democracy that we enjoy. She’s a prominent leader and a prominent woman, and she happens to be a conservative.”

In selecting the honorees, Wrighton said, the University Board of Trustees pays more attention to the success of a candidate’s career than to the reactions that the candidate’s work has elicited.

“[What is] most important is to select people who have made a difference in the world, who have accomplished vision and distinction in the world,” Wrighton said.

While there are many criteria that the Board examines in the selection process, Wrighton said that special attention is paid to honoring a group whose contributions have touched many areas of life, academic and otherwise.

“When you look at the people being honored, we are spanning a wide spectrum of intellectual activity,” Wrighton said. “We are privileged to be honoring all of these individuals because they made contributions in different areas. Each person has a special element in their contribution that distinguishes them.”

A factor that holds less weight in the Board’s calculus when determining the recipients, however, is their past relationships with the University. Three of this year’s six awardees-Schwarz, Schlafly and Ternberg-come from the University, and Schlafly is a native of St. Louis.

Ternberg, who received a medical degree from the University School of Medicine in 1953, was the first female surgeon on the University’s faculty and the first woman to be head of its faculty council. She was also the first female surgical resident at Barnes-Jewish Hospital.

Ternberg credits the University for her success as a female pioneer in the field of medicine.

“[The University has] been my career,” she said. “The opportunities that it afforded me were unique. When I was trying to get into another surgery program, they were all closed to women.”

By that same token, Ternberg hopes that her impending award will inspire other women to break barriers and help them in doing so.

“For women of my generation it was a wonderful thing,” she said of her work at the University. “For women of today I hope it opens the way for them a little better than when I started off.”

Although she is now retired, Ternberg maintains a connection with the medical school.

“I’m not separated totally [from the school],” she said. “It’s your life, it’s what you enjoy. People are much happier when they get up in the morning and they know what they’re doing. For me it’s been that way the whole time.”

Wrighton hopes that the graduates will see Ternberg and the other recipients as examples of how to lead careers that help them and those around them.

“The most important message is that the work of single individuals can have a profound and positive impact on the lives of many people,” Wrighton said. “Each of the graduates has enormous talent. I hope that talent will be applied to benefiting people.”

For information about the protest against Phyllis Schlafly, see this article

Seniors reflect on final year

Monday, May 5th, 2008 | Elizabeth Lewis

Seniors took advantage of their last year at Washington University to hold special events and bond as a class.

The senior class trip to Madison, Wis. was the first big event of the school year to kick off the last semesters at Washington University. Senior Class Council organized the trip, and they provided transportation, booked hotels, and provided guidebooks. With a turnout of between 20 and 30 students, the number was much lower than last year’s 100.

Wendy Xin, the internal vice president of the Senior Class Council, admitted the turnout was not quite what the council had hoped for, but she said, “Everyone who did go had a good time, so it was worth it for us.”

The rest of the first semester was marked by monthly trips to clubs and bars, including the Sub Zero Vodka Bar in the Central West End, which boasts over 140 different vodkas from around the globe.

Second semester, though, was when most of the main senior events were scheduled because Commencement is on most senior’s minds. One event was the Roast and Toast, which marked 40 days until graduation. Seniors had the chance to drink champagne and roast marshmallows with alums.

The Senior Transition Series, a set of seminars that range from personal finance to dressing professionally to cooking, was designed to provide a transition for graduating seniors to the real world. Dress to Impress, for instance, featured representatives from Brooks Brothers who came to talk about wearing the right kind of suit.

Brittany Wright attended several of the events in the series and thought that they were extremely useful.

“I just needed all of the help I could get. I am very apprehensive about moving to a new city. The personal finance seminar was the most useful. There was a woman from Smith Barney who sent me a budgeting spreadsheet and the contact for a financial planner in Houston. I feel more confident about budgeting and joining clubs for entering into a new city,” she said.

The biggest set of events though, most of which were held during the week before graduation, was Senior Week. A University tradition, Senior Week is usually wildly popular.

“Ticket sales have been great. Packets just got distributed, which is the craziest time ever,” Xin said.

The week is usually a hit because it includes fun and unusual activities such as a Cardinals game, a trip to Mount Pleasant Winery in Augusta, Mo., Final Senior Night Out, Casino Night, Final Happy Hour, Return to the 40, a float trip and the Senior Gala.

Senior Week activities generally remain the same from year to year, but the new Lumiere Place Casino downtown inspired a fun addition to the traditional activities.

“Lumiere Place Casino is new and our president [Karan Chopra] thought it would be a good idea,” Xin said.

The Return to the 40 offers seniors the chance to see people from their freshmen floors, play sports games and have barbecue on the Swamp. The Senior Gala is a formal event that follows the Chancellor’s Dinner for Graduating Seniors, an event that is not actually organized by the Senior Class Council.

In addition to Senior Week, Xin is also excited about the senior class gift, which she says will be a tangible legacy that the senior class can leave. This project, done in tandem with the College of Arts & Sciences and the Alumni Association, has seniors donate money-which is then matched by an outside donor-to provide enough for a student to attend the University. “That student will be here for four years and have the experience that we have all loved at Wash. U.,” she said.

On the whole, Xin believes that this year’s council has done a good job in providing activities.

“Everyone is pumped and excited. We have a Web site and do Senior of the Week. All of the execs have gotten really involved with Commencement activities and in celebrating graduation,” she said.

She is also glad to be an instrumental part in creating memories for this year’s seniors to look back on.

“To be able to be a part of organizing one of these last hurrah type of things for the entire class is such a privilege. Over 1,000 people came to pick up their tickets. [I am happy to] see people so excited and feel like I contributed to something really important,” she said.

As senior Julienne Kane reflects on her college experience, she thinks the senior activities, coupled with contacts whom she has met, have helped to prepare her for the professional world. She does not want the support that she has gained from the University to cease and feels that it is necessary for her future success.

“I will feel ready [for the professional world] if the network of support from my peers and the faculty continue,” she said.

Chris Matthews to deliver Commencement address

Monday, May 5th, 2008 | Ben Sales and John Scott
Scott Bressler

Chris Matthews, host of MSNBC’s “Hardball,” will deliver the keynote address at Washington University’s 147th Commencement on May 16.

Chancellor Mark Wrighton says Matthews is a good choice because he is in touch with current social and political issues.

“Chris Matthews continues to be an important figure in the national news media with respect to the American political process,” Wrighton said in a University press release. “He is familiar with both Washington University and the pressing challenges that face our society today-challenges that our new graduates will be working to overcome and address.”

Former Student Union President Neil Patel, a member of the committee that helped select the Commencement speaker, says having Matthews speak is a good way to promote political participation.

“Chris Matthews is an excellent choice for people on campus who are politically aware. He’s an exciting person. He has definite name recognition. He’ll get people’s interest piqued,” Patel, a graduating senior, said.

Patel added that in the future, the committee should select speakers who are more connected to the University.

“In the future it would be good for the University to focus on people who have stronger ties to the University and aren’t mass-market Commencement speakers,” Patel said. “Someone who has a strong connection with the University, who can share in our experience, can be an effective and motivational speaker.”

In addition to political issues, Patel hopes Matthews will address the broader role of college graduates in the world today.

“I hope [Matthews] will be speaking about what role we can play in the U.S. as a whole, not just in the political arena,” Patel said. “What he thinks the biggest challenges we face as students are, how we’ve been prepared for that.”

In recent years, Commencement has featured other political figures such as Tim Russert, host of NBC’s “Meet the Press” and former British Prime Minister John Major. Patel says that the University should not rely on the assumption that speakers involved in the political sphere will increase political involvement on campus.

“I don’t think it’s an inappropriate choice, but we shouldn’t have the expectation that having Chris Matthews at Commencement will make people more politically involved,” Patel said.

According to Patel, many students would rather have seen other speakers.

“My top choice was Al Gore. That was the top choice of almost every other student [on the selection committee],” he said. “Al Gore is a dream speaker. We knew there was a good chance he would not come.”

Matthews has appeared on NBC’s “Today Show” and has also spoken at several college campuses. Before working at NBC, Matthews worked as a reporter at the San Francisco Examiner and under former President Jimmy Carter, in addition to publishing four books.

Patel says that he is still happy to hear Matthews speak because Matthews can draw on those experiences to comment on the world that graduates will enter.

“He may be meant to push seniors to action,” Patel said. “It’s a way to incite people to do something, to change the worlds they are about to enter. That’s the goal of any speaker.”

Speakers stir controversy on campus

Monday, May 5th, 2008 | Dan Woznica

Around the nation, the 2007-2008 school year saw controversial speakers stirring discussion and debate on college campuses.

The trend began in September when Columbia University drew national attention after inviting Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to speak on the university’s campus in New York.

Ahmadinejad, widely protested by Columbia students and faculty, touched off a firestorm of controversy with his speech when he denied the existence of homosexuals in Iran.

Bringing in such a controversial speaker according to former Student Union (SU) President Neil Patel is not necessarily a bad thing.

“I don’t think controversy should be the sole motive, but if the speaker can be educational, I don’t think controversy should prevent universities from bringing one in,” Patel, a graduating senior, said.

Indeed, as the year progressed, Washington University seemed to have taken Patel’s words to heart and generated its own fair share of controversy regarding the selection of campus speakers.

On Feb. 19, former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales delivered a Student Union-funded speech in which he recounted his life story, addressed many issues related to the war on terror and answered various questions submitted by an audience of about 600 University students, faculty and staff.

“Gonzales had a pretty superficial speech,” Patel said. “But the College Republicans and the College Democrats and the Wash. U. Peace Coalition put forth a lot of effort to educate the student body, and so I think that was a very good thing.”

Gonzales was invited to speak by members of the College Republicans, a student group on campus, and was paid $30,000 for his appearance.

Several student groups on campus, including the College Democrats and the Wash. U. Peace Coalition, protested the event by staging a demonstration outside of the 560 Building on Delmar Boulevard, where Gonzales delivered his speech.

More than 100 University students and faculty waved signs and chanted in protest, with some of them dressed in orange jumpsuits in imitation of the terrorist inmates at Guantanamo Bay whom they believed to be wrongly interned and tortured. The groups’ protest generally centered on what students considered to be Alberto Gonzales’ objectionable tenure as attorney general, as well as the University’s decision to fund his speech.

The protesters had been under the public eye even before the day of Gonzales’ speech, especially when it was announced that SU would provide funding for demonstrations. For the first time in recent memory, the University would be allocating funds to both an event and that same event’s protest.

One month later, the University drew heat once again when it refused to allow Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama to speak on campus. The University, which will play host to the only vice presidential debate in October, made the decision in an effort to avoid appearing to favor any particular candidates in the presidential race.

The University’s highly-contested decision led to the formation of the Student Civic Initiative, a student group dedicated to the promotion of civic engagement on campus through the invitation of more political speakers to the University.

“I think when we do bring speakers to campus, we should be sure that they have some substance behind them and that they’ll teach the student body a lesson, be that in what they say or in what students do when they respond to them when they come to campus,” Patel said.

To finish the year, the University chose a less controversial speaker when it announced that Chris Matthews, host of MSNBC’s “Hardball,” would deliver the University’s Commencement address.

When asked if he thinks Matthews will cap the year with yet another controversy, Patel expressed some doubt.

“He was brought in here to talk to a class and to parents that come from a lot of different points of view,” Patel said.