Nomination and Election of a Member of the University Board of Trustees

Alumni Election of a Member of the University Board of Trustees

History

Every other year since 2003, the Alumni Association Board submitted a three-person slate to the Board of Trustees, from which they chose one person to become a trustee. In 2019, the Trustees asked that the Alumni Association revise the process in order to make alumni better aware of and more directly involved in the election. 2021-2022 is the first implementation of this new process.

URGENT: As noted in numerous communications since September 2021, a Colonnade Connections account will be required to vote in the Alumni Trustee election. It is quick and easy to verify your existing account here, or visit colonnadeconnections.wlu.edu and complete the New User Registration. No proxy voting is allowed.

Process

  1. Last fall, the Alumni Association, acting through the Alumni Board of Directors and the Alumni Engagement Office, solicited nominees from all alumni for consideration to be one of three candidates on an alumni ballot for election to the Washington and Lee Board of Trustees.
  2. Alumni Engagement used various digital and print methods, including the W&L Magazine, Generally Speaking, W&L alumni social media platforms, and emails to all contactable alumni, to publish the new process. For the current nomination cycle, nominations had to be submitted by Oct. 15, 2021.
  3. Any alumnus or alumna was eligible to nominate an alumnus or alumna.
  4. The Alumni Engagement Office sent each person nominated a link to the Trustee Job Description, Responsibilities of the Board and Strategic Plan documents. Those are the Board's controlling documents. Each person wishing to advance for formal consideration was asked to accept the nomination and:
    • affirm an understanding and acceptance of the controlling documents;
    • agree to serve faithfully if elected; and
    • assert qualifications and the desire to serve if elected.
  5. The Alumni Board received 107 nominations, and 65 of them advanced for active consideration. Approximately 400 endorsements of different nominees were received.
  6. The nine members of the Alumni Board's Trustee Election Committee are:
    • Alumni Association president Nelson Bunn, '08 (chair)
    • Executive Director of Alumni Engagement Beau Dudley, '74, '79L
    • Jane Ledlie Batcheller, '03, '08L
    • Heather Brock, '90
    • Sam Englehart, '73
    • Sandy Hooper, '97, '03L
    • Jessica Jones, '11
    • Meredith King Ledford, '03
    • Alumni Association vice president Lindsey Strachan, '09
  7. Between Oct. 22, 2021 and December 13, 2021, the Trustee Election Committee met five times in confidence. Additional work was done between meetings. The committee gradually reduced the field of candidates with the goal of choosing three alumni for the ballot who have significant talent, experience, W&L service, and diverse perspectives. We had to be confident that any one of the three would be a good trustee if elected.

    As the list of nominees shrunk, choices became more difficult and nuanced. The committee embraced and applied the Board's controlling documents, including but not limited to searching for alumni who can be expected to serve the university as a whole rather than on behalf of any particular internal or external constituency, and by noting the responsibility of Trustee to set and support the mission, policies and purposes of the university.

    The full Alumni Board will receive the proposed slate and approve the three finalists for the ballot.
  8. On or about Jan. 25, 2022, after notifying nominees who were not selected for the ballot, the Alumni Association will email the ballot to all alumni and open electronic voting. The voting will close at 5 p.m. on Feb. 7, 2022.
  9. The winner's name will be given in confidence to the Trusteeship Committee of the Board of Trustees. The expectation is that the winner will be elected at the Trustees' February 11 meeting absent extraordinary circumstances in which the Trustees, in the exercise of their fiduciary duties, find that the winner is disqualified from effective service as a Trustee.
  10. The Alumni Association expects to announce the winner in February 2022, and that this new Trustee will take the oath at the Board of Trustees' meeting in May 2022.