Gifts to Environmental Studies


Kathelen V. and Daniel P. Amos

In 2018, a gift from Kathelen and Dan Amos of Columbus, Georgia, established a new tenure-track faculty position in the Environmental Studies Program, as well as the position of John Kyle Spencer Endowed Director for Environmental Studies in memory of Kathelen Amos' son, John, a member of the Class of 2013. John Spencer, who majored in both philosophy and environmental studies, died unexpectedly in January 2016. At the time of his death, he was a graduate student in the Odum School of Ecology at the University of Georgia. He received his M.S. in ecology posthumously in December 2016. The Amos' gift strenthens the Environmental Studies Program, defines the leadership and creates additional coursework, advising and research opportunities in an area of increasing interest to W&L students. 

Earle Salisbury Bates, '54

A member of the Phi Gamma Delta fraternity and the Phi Beta Kappa society, Earle Bates earned a bachelor of arts in history from Washington and Lee University in 1954 and then sought a law degree from the University of Virginia. He practiced corporate and securities law in Washington, D.C. After retiring in 2000, he moved to Lexington and became a frequent visitor to W&L's campus. Being a dedicated environmentalist, he took an immediate interest in the environmental studies program, which was in its fledging stage at that time. In 2002, he established the Earle S. Bates '54 Environmental Studies Fund, which was endowed upon his death in August 2017. The endowment supports the Earle Bates Memorial Lecture series as well as the Earle Bates Prize in Environmental Studies and the Earle Bates Prize in Environmental Citizenship, awarded to rising seniors at Commencement each year.

Stephen S. Sloan, '54

Steve Sloan was a member and president of the Phi Epsilon Pi fraternity during his time at W&L, as well as co-captain of the baseball team. He was president of Lehman Brothers Realty Company and then started his own firm, 510 Park Avenue Corporation. He was a well-recognized environmentalist and sportsman, winning 44 International Game Fishing Association World Records and authoring and co-authoring books on fishing. Sloan chaired the Fisheries Defense Fund and was involved in several other conservation organizations, and in 2004, he received W&L’s Distinguished Alumni Award in part for those efforts. A supporter of the Environmental Studies Program, he donated the painting White Shark and Sea Lion by Richard Ellis (1975). He died in April 2005.


The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation recently awarded Washington and Lee a four-year, $600,000 grant to expand and enhance place-based learning in the Environmental Studies program. The grant will enable W&L to create a specialization in the Chesapeake Bay and its watershed, the nation’s largest estuary and the largest Atlantic watershed, where critically important ecological services are being eroded by pollution, over-fishing and other impacts of development.

The Associated Colleges of the South

The Associated Colleges of the South Environmental Initiative (ACSEI) annually funds two to five student environmental interns as well as a faculty member to supervise these students who are charged with initiating environmental projects and activities on their campuses. In the 2002-2003 school year, Washington and Lee University has four environmental interns. ACS also provides grants to individuals and organizations on campus. This year Washington and Lee University has received close to $5,000 in grants for various environmental projects.

The Jessie Ball DuPont Foundation

The Jessie Ball DuPont Foundation awarded the Environmental Studies Program a $200,000 grant which allowed the program allowed the Environmental Studies Program to intensify its activities in many directions, including curricular development, co-curricular activities, and campus sustainability. With this grant students and faculty developed a significant number of activities that contribute to the understanding and practice of environmental citizenship at the local, regional, national and global level.

Fund for the Improvement of Post-Secondary Education

The Fund for the Improvement of Post-Secondary Education (FIPSE) from US Department of Education awarded Washington and Lee a significant grant to fund the US-Brazilian Consortium, which includes Washington and Lee University, Fairfield University in the US, and the Universidade do Amazonas and the Universidade Estadual do Norte Fluminense in Brazil. The project is entitled the Environment, Economic Development and Quality of Life Nexus, and provides $208,000 for student exchange, the development of a common, North-South curriculum in environmental studies, the development of internet-based teaching resources and faculty interaction.

The Huntington Library

English Professor Jim Warren received a research grant from the Huntington Library in San Marino, California for one month during the summer of 2002. Dr. Warren conducted his research on American nature writers John Muir, John Burroughs, and Mary Austin, the culmination of which will eventually become the book, John Burroughs And The Place Of Nature.

The Tennessee Valley Authority

The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) (sub-contracted through University of Tennessee during 2000-2001) awarded Environmental Studies Program director, James Kahn a $23,000 for his project “Integrated Environmental Decision-Making.”

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) awarded Washington and Lee biology professors, Dr. Maryanne Simurda and Dr. John Knox a grant for $10,000 to study the genetic and taxonomic relationships of the federally protected rare plant, Helenium virginicum from 2000 to 2002. The results of this study have been used to extend federal protection through the Endangered Species Act to a disjunct population of Helenium found in Missouri. All other populations of the rare plant exist in two counties of Virginia.

The Virginia Endowment for the Humanities

The Virginia Endowment for the Humanities (VEH) awarded former Washington and Lee politics professor Ken Ruscio a grant for $5,035 in 2000-2001 for his project “Growth and Conservation: Lessons from the Humanities.”