The Mudd Center for Ethics

Given the state of ethics in our current culture, this seems a fitting time to endow a center for the study of ethics, and my university is its fitting home.~Roger Mudd, Class of 1950

Established in 2012 by a gift from Washington and Lee's distinguished alumnus and award-winning journalist Roger Mudd, of the Class of 1950, The Mudd Center for Ethics is committed to fostering serious inquiry into, and thoughtful conversation about, important ethical issues in public and professional life. 

The Center seeks to advance dialogue, teaching, and research about these issues among students, faculty, and staff across all three of the University's schools — the College, the Williams School, and the School of Law. By facilitating collaboration across traditional institutional boundaries, the Center aims to encourage a multidisciplinary perspective on ethics informed by both theory and practice.

The Center's ultimate goal is to provide the tools and resources necessary for thinking freely, critically, and humanely about the complex ethical questions we face in an increasingly diverse yet interdependent world.

Angela M. Smith, professor of philosophy at Washington and Lee University, has been named the first Roger Mudd Professor of Ethics and the Mudd Center's first director. The seven-member advisory board of the Center consists of  Johanna Bond (Professor of Law), William Connelly (John K. Boardman Professor of Politics), Greg Cooper (Associate Professor of Philosophy), Jill Fraley (Assistant Professor of Law), Pamela Luecke (Reynolds Professor of Journalism), Howard Pickett (Director/Assistant Professor of Shepherd Poverty Program) and Sandra Reiter (Associate Professor of Business Administration).

In addition to Mudd's endowment gift of $4 million, income for the Center will be supplemented by existing endowments for W&L's Society and the Professions Program, which will come under the umbrella of The Mudd Center.

About Roger Mudd

Mudd is a 1950 graduate of W&L, where he majored in history. He received a master's degree, also in history, from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1953. He began his journalism career in Richmond, Va., as a reporter for the Richmond News Leader newspaper and for WRNL, a local radio station. He moved to Washington in the late 1950s and worked at WTOP News before joining the Washington bureau of CBS News in 1961.

Between 1961 and 1992, he served as a Washington correspondent for CBS News, NBC News and the "MacNeil/Lehrer Newshour" on PBS. He won the George Foster Peabody award for two CBS programs, "The Selling of the Pentagon" in 1970 and "Teddy," a famous interview with Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, in 1979. He has also won the Joan S. Barone Award for Distinguished Washington Reporting, in 1990, and five Emmy Awards.

Mudd published his memoir, The Place to Be: Washington, CBS, and the Glory Days of Television News, in 2008. Between 1992 and 1996, he was a visiting professor of politics and the press at Princeton University and at Washington and Lee University.

He is a member of the advisory committee for W&L's department of journalism and mass communications.He serves on the board of the Virginia Foundation for Independent Colleges (VFIC) and helped establish that organization's Ethics Bowl, an annual competition in which teams of students from Virginia's private colleges and universities debate ethical issues.He is also on the board of the National Portrait Gallery and on the advisory boards of the Eudora Welty Foundation and the Jepson School of Leadership at the University of Richmond. In 2010, Mudd donated his papers to Washington and Lee's Leyburn Library. That gift followed his 2006 donation of his collection of 20th-century Southern fiction. He was awarded the University's Washington Award in 2011, in recognition of his distinguished leadership and service to the nation and extraordinary acts of philanthropy in support of W&L and other institutions.

A Discussion with Roger Mudd

Mudd Center News

Roger Mudd '50

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Clearing a Path for Ethics in the 21st Century

Roger Mudd, a member of Washington and Lee's Class of 1950, writes about ethics and the new Roger Mudd Center for ethics in an op-ed in The Richmond Times-Dispatch.