from The Bridge: Fall/Winter 2011 issue
Stanley Doobin '81, father of Michael '14 and David '11, has made a generous pledge to the campaign, for the restoration of the Colonnade, and to the Annual Fund. Doobin said he made his gifts out of his enduring love for the school. "My time at Washington and Lee shaped the person that I have become," he says. "I am so grateful to those formative years, not only what I learned academically, but also the values of the Honor System: to be a gentleman, to live a life of integrity. These same values carry through today and have helped my two sons as well."
Doobin believes it is important to give even during difficult economic times. "There is no guarantee that things are going to get any better. We need to make whatever sacrifices are necessary to ensure that the school continues to be the first-rate institution it has always been," he continues. "My success has been based on the core values of the school as embodied by the Honor System that has been upheld since 1865. The Colonnade represents that tradition in a concrete way. When people think of the school, they think of the Colonnade. It should be there for generations to come."
Alston Parker Watt '89 could not agree more. She, along with her husband, Philip Watt, has committed $100,000 to the campaign for the Colonnade renovation. Watt has also contributed $30,000 to the Annual Fund, another important priority of the campaign. Watt, who recently completed two consecutive terms on the Board of Trustees, believes that a commitment to the campaign and a donation to the Annual Fund should not be mutually exclusive.
"It is important that the school have strong alumni support through the Annual Fund. The University needs to have access to unrestricted funds so it can provide the quality education it gives its students. The school needs to know the graduates care enough to give back," Watt explains. "I do not think committing to the capital campaign absolves one from giving to the Annual Fund. Alumni need to do both. And by giving to the Annual Fund, I was delighted to be able to be restrictive with our (other) gift to the capital campaign."
Watt, a member of the Campaign Cabinet, names two reasons for designating part of her campaign gift for the Colonnade. "The Colonade infers a sense of place that is Washington and Lee. It is a National Historic Landmark for many reasons," she says. "Washington and Lee's historic buildings inform the education that happens inside those walls and enriches that experience. I remember walking down the Colonnade on those bricks beneath the strength of those pillars. They inspired a sense of awe.
"I was thrilled when the restoration became a centerpiece of the capital campaign," Watt continues. "We have to be good stewards so students 200 years from now can benefit as well. I believe deeply in historic preservation. But is not just about restoration of the outer walls. It is in support of the students and faculty and the real magic, the learning, that happens inside those walls."