A son of Williams, after studies at the University of Cambridge, a brief foray into business, and graduate school in philosophy, you returned to the haunts of your undergraduate experiences. These included a magna cum laude degree in philosophy and mathematics, service as a junior advisor, and exploits as captain of the water polo team that we won’t be going into. You have relished the chance to introduce curious, young minds to the methods of philosophical inquiry, especially those associated with German idealism, while as Gaudino Scholar you have coaxed students, faculty, and alumni to take calculated risks in new modes of uncomfortable learning. Your time as provost was marked by clarity of both mission and expression. You advanced the college’s work on focusing resources on its central purpose, aligning fundraising priorities with needs, treating everyone fairly, and continuing to open the college to students of whatever means. At the same time you managed to clarify for audiences, here and beyond, the complicated-seeming system by which Williams and colleges like it are financed. You now apply this unique set of skills as the twenty-seventh president of Washington and Lee, where you go with the deep pride and gratitude of your alma mater.
I hereby declare you recipient of the honorary degree Doctor of Laws, entitled to all the rights, honors, and privileges appertaining thereto.
June 4, 2017