W&M Digest - Oct. 28


Former Defense Secretary speaks at W & M

William and Mary Chancellor and former U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates spoke Friday afternoon to a packed Phi Beta Kappa Hall during an educational symposium.

Gates was interviewed by New York Times White House correspondent Peter Baker on "Confronting Growing National Security Threats," one of three leadership discussions held over Homecoming Weekend.

Baker tapped Gates' lifetime of service to answer questions about Benghazi, Russia, Libya, Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, China, Ukraine and Cuba. Gates responded about the use of email, the raid that killed Osama Bin Laden, whether he is backing a presidential candidate (he named no one) and even whether he would consider a run for president ("Nice try. And thank you").

He opined on what the nation's leaders could do to prevent Russia's current aggressive stance and what likely motivates Russian President Vladimir Putin, speaking as a man who had met Putin face-to-face while deputy director of the CIA.

"He and I had a very interesting relationship," he said. "I think he saw it very much as CIA-KGB. So we would talk to each other with a bluntness, with a directness that sometimes horrified some of our diplomats," Gates said.

Virginia's first lady cooks, dines with students at VIMS

Eight second-grade students from local elementary schools visited the Virginia Institute of Marine Science in October to learn about the link between a healthy Chesapeake Bay and the seafood they eat with Virginia's First Lady Dorothy McAuliffe and Virginia Executive Mansion Chef Ed Gross.

Created by VIMS scientist Dr. Kirk Havens, the event - A Healthy Bay for Healthy Kids - allows students to learn the importance of keeping the bay healthy to have fresh, sustainably harvested Virginia seafood, and how it contributes to a healthy diet. The hands-on event allowed the students to prepare and enjoy a tasty seafood lunch with their parents and McAuliffe.

This year's dish featured a Virginia blue crab and cabbage coleslaw wrapped in lettuce.

The second-graders came from schools in Gloucester, Newport News and York County, VIMS officials said.

W&M law honors Harvard professor with property rights prize

Harvard Law School's Joseph William Singer was awarded the 2015 Brigham-Kanner Property Rights Prize. Named in recognition of Toby Prince Brigham and Gideon Kanner for their contributions to private property rights, the prize recognizes scholarly or professional achievements affirming of property rights.

Singer was honored at a dinner in the historic Sir Christopher Wren Building on Oct. 1. The dinner marked the start of the 12th Annual Brigham-Kanner Property Rights Conference at William and Mary Law School. The conference included the following panels: "Property as a Form of Governance," "Civil Forfeiture of Property," "Of Pipelines, Drilling, and the Use of Eminent Domain," and "Property Rights in the Digital Age."

During the awards dinner, conference co-chairman Joseph T. Waldo, a 1978 graduate of the Law School, and founding partner of Waldo & Lyle in Norfolk, spoke of the annual event's importance to property rights. "The academy needs to interact with the practicing bar, and the practicing bar needs to learn from the academy," Waldo said. "The conference has been a great exchange of practice experience and theory."

Canty can be reached at (757) 345-2341.

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