Faculty Chairs

To be the best, you must learn from the best. To achieve this mission, the Johnson gift has endowed two professorships at Washington and Lee: one in the Williams School of Commerce, Economics, and Politics focusing on entrepreneurship and leadership, and another in the College of Arts and Sciences exploring how individuals and ideas shape the course of history.

Jeff ShayJeffrey Shay, Johnson Professor in Entrepreneurship and Leadership

Shay joined the W&L faculty in July 2009 as the Johnson Professor of Entrepreneurship and Leadership. Prior to coming to W&L, he was the Poe Professor of Entrepreneurship and taught entrepreneurship, international business, and strategic management at the University of Montana, where he received seven teaching awards and two service awards. He has also taught courses at London School of Economics, Peking University, Cornell University, and University of Brescia.

Dr. Shay was recognized in March 2006 as one of the Western Academy of Management's Ascendant Scholars, an award given to scholars who make an early and significant impact on their field. His research has been widely presented at conferences and published in numerous journals, including Academy of Management Journal, Journal of International Business Studies and International Journal of Cross-cultural Management.

Dr. Shay's professional experience includes providing strategic planning, international business planning, and new venture development consulting services through his company, Shay Consulting International.

"I'm the guy with the keys to the candy store," Shay said. "Students are typically given an assignment analyzing other people's products," he says. "In entrepreneurship, I'm letting you pursue something you have dreams of doing."

Shay is particularly enthusiastic about working with students in an intimate class setting and introducing them to the opportunities that a background in entrepreneurship can offer. "My goal is to teach students to think differently, to make them more motivated to excel, and to teach them to be able to read between the lines."

More about Dr. Shay's work at W&L:


Nicolaas RupkeNicolaas Rupke, Johnson Professor of History

A native of Rotterdam, the Netherlands, Rupke was trained in earth sciences in Groningen and in marine geology at Princeton University. After establishing an impressive research record in marine geology, Rupke turned his interests to the history of science, particularly to late-modern biological and physical sciences as they developed in Germany and Great Britain.

He has employed a biographical approach to historical figures in science - an approach that blends historiography and the history of ideas to show the ways in which scientific leadership is a product not only of individual genius, but also of collective ideas and institutional forces. He is the author of several books and has held distinguished research fellowships at the Smithsonian Institution, the University of Oxford and the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, among others.

More about Dr. Rupke's work at W&L: