John and Marianne Vardaman Appreciating Tradition and Confronting the Future

Jack Vardaman graduated cum laude from the University in 1962. He majored in history where he was awarded Honors with Exceptional Distinction. While at W&L, he captained the golf team, was president of the Sigma Nu fraternity and Finals Dances, served as vice president of White Friars and belonged to the Cotillion Club, Mongolian Minks, Varsity Club, Student Activity Board and the Dance Board. After W&L, Vardaman went on to obtain a law degree from Harvard Law School in 1965.

Vardaman served as a law clerk to Justice Hugo L. Black of the U.S. Supreme Court in 1965-66. He became a partner at Williams & Connolly, a top litigation firm where he practiced law for more than 40 years. Over his career, Vardaman appeared before the U.S. Supreme Court as well as state and federal courts throughout the country. He is a member of the American College of Trial Lawyers and has served as a member of the D.C. Circuit Advisory Committee on Procedures, the District of Columbia Bar Task Force on Civility in the Profession and the ABA Long Range Planning Group on Civil Justice System Improvements.

A skilled golfer, Vardaman has competed in top tournaments all over the United States and in Britain. From 1999-2002, he served as general counsel to the U.S. Golf Association, and in 2001, Golf Digest magazine named him one of the nation's top senior amateurs. His accomplishments were recognized by the university when he was inducted into the W&L Athletic Hall of Fame in 2011.

Vardaman received the Distinguished Alumnus Award in 2002. He has served as a class agent for the Annual Fund and a member of the D.C. Area Capital Campaign Committee. In 2005 he was elected to the Board of Trustees. He also co-chaired his 50th reunion class committee. He and his wife, Marianne, also have supported the university by opening Malvern Hall, their home in Bath County, Virginia, for W&L events. Malvern Hall was once the home of W&L benefactor Letitia Pate Whitehead Evans.

The Vardamans also have been generous with their gifts to Washington and Lee, supporting construction of the Hillel House, renovation and restoration of the Colonnade, and the Friends of Rockbridge, which benefits the Shepherd Program. They established the John W. Vardaman '62 Law Scholarship, and the Vardaman Family Scholarship Endowment, a permanently endowed fund that provides unrestricted scholarship support to undergraduate students.

The Vardamans reside in Washington, D.C. His father was a member of the Class of 1936 and his son Davis, the Class of 1995.

Washington and Lee does an extraordinary job of expanding and modernizing itself while at the same time preserving the best of what we have enjoyed over the years. When you stand at the Colonnade and look down to Lee Chapel, it's not only one of the most beautiful sights one could imagine, but it's like a step back in time...Yet a visit to the remainder of campus and a report on the state of the University reassures us that the institution is keeping pace with rapid changes that confront us every day and not resting on past achievements.

John Vardaman '62