Washington and Lee University presented Distinguished Alumni Awards on Saturday to a highly decorated public-service lawyer, a successful private-wealth adviser and a former U.S. senator who is now a college president, during the annual meeting of the W&L Alumni Association, in Lee Chapel.
In addition to celebrating the accomplishments of the three alumni, the University announced the significant fund-raising achievements by members of the reunion classes, especially by the Classes of 1963 and 1988, who were celebrating their 50th and 25th reunions, respectively.
The three Distinguished Alumni awardees:
Ashley T. Wiltshire Jr., a member of the Class of 1963, from Nashville, Tenn., was executive director of the Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee and the Cumberlands for more than three decades. The organization grew under his leadership and now serves low-income individuals in 48 Tennessee counties. After receiving his bachelor's degree from W&L, he earned a master's of divinity from Union Theological Seminary in New York and served as a missionary and teacher in Thailand. He received his law degree from Vanderbilt University. He has received the Reginald Heber Smith Award of the National Legal Aid and Defender Association, and the Tennessee Bar Association created the Ashley T. Wiltshire Public Service Attorney of the Year award in 2007 for representation of the indigent above and beyond the call of duty. W&L recognized him for a "lifetime of distinctive and lasting achievements in legal services for the indigent, and public service impacting the greater good."
Paul S. Trible Jr., a 1971 graduate of the School of Law, has served since 1996 as the fifth president of Christopher Newport University, in Newport News, Va. He is widely credited with CNU's transformation into an institution recognized for making the most promising and innovative changes in academics, faculty, students, campus and facilities in recent years. Prior to becoming CNU's president, Trible held several elected offices in Virginia. He was commonwealth's attorney for Essex County from 1974 to 1976, when he won election to his first term in the U.S. House of Representatives. In 1982, he successfully ran for the U.S. Senate seat that was vacated by Harry F. Byrd Jr. After one term in the Senate, Trible declined to run for re-election. He has also served as a member of the U.S. Delegation to the United Nations and was a teaching fellow at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard. The Distinguished Alumni Award recognizes Trible's "lifetime of distinctive achievements in politics, higher education and support of Washington and Lee."
Floyd M. (Buck) Wiley graduated from Washington and Lee in 1988 with a major in history. He received both a law degree and an M.B.A from the University of Georgia. He also obtained an L.L.M in international law from the University of Brussels. He began his career with KPMG’s international tax practice. He worked in the Moscow office of a private equity firm, leading a team on corporate acquisitions in Eastern Europe. Since returning to the U.S, Wiley has worked for Bank of America/Merrill Lynch in private banking and investment. As a managing director in the firm’s Global Institutional Consulting Group, he assists clients in 30 states and several foreign countries. Barron’s magazine recognized him as one of the top 25 financial advisors in Georgia and nationally in 2009, 2010 and 2011. In honoring Wiley, the Alumni Association praised him "for life well and productively lived, his sterling reputation in financial matters and his devotion to alma mater."
In announcing the 50th reunion gift, William P. Boardman, co-chair with classmate Daniel T. Balfour of the Class of 1963 reunion committee, noted how meaningful it was for the members of the class to repay their debt to the University.
The gift, he added, "will help others benefit from the superior education in an environment where honor, integrity, civility still matter. It fills us with great joy and pride to show that our classmates have left such a legacy at W&L, a place we all cherish so much."
The Class of 1963, which also won the Reunion Bowl for the highest percentage of members registered for the weekend, presented W&L President Kenneth P. Ruscio with a check for $2,159,143.75.
The 25th Reunion Class — 1988 — made a $2 million gift to the University, the largest ever by a class celebrating its 25th.
"We had originally set a goal of $1,988,000, but we blew through our goal," said James M. Rallo, who served as co-chair with J. Baker Gentry.
In accepting the gifts on behalf of W&L, Ruscio said he was reminded that W&L is distinctive in many ways, especially because of "this intergenerational contract that we have here at the University. It goes like this: if we benefit today from the sacrifice of those who come before us, which we surely do, then we should take advantage of that sacrifice today, provided that we sacrifice equally for those who come after us.
"Over the course of this institution's history, that intergenerational bond, or agreement, contract, bargain, whatever you want to call it, has made this institution better and better over the years."
Other awards presented:
- Reunion Trophy to the Class of 1993, recognizing the class with the most members registered for the weekend. The class had 107.
- Reunion Traveller Award, recognizing the alumnus who has traveled the farthest for the reunion. Jeff Branflick, of the Class of 1988, journeyed to Lexington from his home in London.
- John Newton Thomas Trophy to the Class of 1988, recognizing the class with the largest percentage increase in Annual Fund gifts over the previous year. The class had an 84 percent increase. It also won this award at its 20th reunion.
- Trident Trophy to the Class of 1968, recognizing the class with the highest percentage of members participating in the Annual Fund. The class had 66 percent.
- Colonnade Cup to the Class of 1973, recognizing the class with the largest reunion gift to the Annual Fund, including current gifts and future pledges. The class gave $742,000.
The meeting was the last as president of the Alumni Association for Brodie Gregory, a 2003 graduate, from Arlington, Va. The incoming president is J. David Stewart III '96, of Birmingham, Ala.
Elected to the board were Kirkpatrick Adamson '08, of London; Meghan Hayde Bollens '04, of Pittsburgh; Ryan Duffy '04, of Washington; Donald Eavenson Jr. '73, of New Hope, Pa.; Elaine Harris '92, of Louisville, Ky.; and Elizabeth Thompson '99, of Denver. Virginia Wortham '07, of Richmond, was elected to the University Athletic Council.