Committee Debates Aquatics Center — Arlington’s Committee of 100 debated the merits of the planned $79 million Long Bridge Park aquatics and fitness center last night. A park bond that would help fund the center is on the Nov. 6 ballot. [Sun Gazette]
Marymount University and Diversity — WUSA 9′s Peggy Fox profiles Marymount University, which she says is one of the “most diverse regional universities” despite a “race blind” admissions process. Instead of considering race during the admissions process, the university instead actively encourages minority students to apply. The U.S. Supreme Court will soon consider a case that challenges the legality of affirmative action, which allows race and ethnicity to be considered in school admissions processes. [WUSA 9]
Construction at Hayes Park — Due to construction behind the tennis courts at Hayes Park (1516 N. Lincoln Street), the park’s parking lot will be closed from 7:00 a.m. today to about 2:00 p.m. [Ballston-Virginia Square Civic Association]
Leverett was struck by a car while walking his dog near his Northwest D.C. apartment Monday morning. He was later pronounced dead at a local hospital. The accident happened after the driver of the striking vehicle suffered a medical emergency and ran off the road, according to WJLA.
A visitation for Leverett will take place from 3:00 to 7:00 p.m. tomorrow (Saturday). A memorial service is scheduled on Monday, Oct. 8 at 11:00 a.m. Both events will take place at the Joseph Gawler’s Sons Funeral Home in the District (5130 Wisconsin Ave NW), according to the Marymount website.
A separate memorial service is taking place on the Marymount campus. That service is planned from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 17. It is to take place under a tent on the school’s Ireton Lawn. In the event of inclement weather, it will be held in the Lee Center.
Marymount also announced that it is setting up a scholarship fund in Leverett’s memory.
The university described Leverett as “a passionate historian, a southern gentleman, a humorous storyteller and, above all, an outstanding teacher and advisor.”
Professor Leverett was a member of Marymount’s faculty since 1991. He held degrees from the University of Alabama and the University of Illinois, and his teaching focused on European history. During his tenure at Marymount, Professor Leverett developed a number of courses, including The History of Modern France, Comparative Revolutions, and Women in European History since 1700. Additionally, he worked with other faculty to develop two team-taught, interdisciplinary graduate courses: Shakespeare: Text and Performance and Gender, Race, and Empire in 19th-Century British Literature. A popular and engaging teacher, Professor Leverett brought history to life by focusing on people and their stories.
Marymount President Dr. Matthew D. Shank reflects, “Everyone who knew Rhett Leverett would agree that this was a man with a great heart. He will be remembered for many things, including his kindness, his sense of humor, and his unfailing dedication to Marymount University and our students.”
(Updated at 5:10 p.m.) Rhett Leverett, a history professor at Arlington’s Marymount University, has died after being struck by a car in Northwest D.C. this morning.
Marymount president Matthew D. Shank announced Prof. Leverett’s death in an email to students this afternoon. According to various news reports, which didn’t identify Leverett as the victim, he was struck by a car around 9:00 a.m. on the 400 block of Sixth Street NW, near the Archives Metro stop.
Leverett, 60, lived in a condo one block away, according to public records. After the accident, he was transported to a local hospital, where he passed away. D.C. police are investigating the accident.
On the website RateMyProfessors.com, students described Leverett as a somewhat tough grader, but at the same time said he was fun, introduced humor into his lectures, and had a knack for making the material interesting.
“Love his lectures and [he is] a great person,” one student wrote.
“Greatest History Professor I have ever had,” said another.
Wrote another student: “Leverett is the best! He makes class interesting and fun, but he knows what he’s talking about.”
Leverett specialized in history about modern and early modern Europe, according to the Marymount website. He earned a master’s degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1975 and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Alabama.
In his email, Shank urged students to keep Prof. Leverett and his family in their prayers.
It is with great sorrow that I write to inform you that a member of our faculty, Professor Rhett Leverett, died in an accident this morning. While walking near his home in DC, Mr. Leverett was struck by a car; he was transported to George Washington University Hospital, where he passed away.
A member of our faculty since 1991, Mr. Leverett was known as an outstanding teacher and advisor. He will be remembered for many things, including his kindness, his sense of humor, and his unfailing dedication to Marymount University and our students.
We will hold a service to honor Mr. Leverett’s memory here on campus in the near future; I will inform you of the details once the arrangements have been made.
Please keep Mr. Leverett and his family in your prayers.
Matthew D. Shank
A letter from a student of Prof. Leverett’s, after the jump.
New Exhibit At N. Va. Art Center -- The new Northern Virginia Art Center in Crystal City will be hosting a new exhibit starting tomorrow, Sept. 1, until Sept. 30. The exhibit, entitled “Grand Visions: Small World,” features a jury-selected collection of visual artworks (including paintings, pottery and sculpture) from a variety of local artists. An opening gala will be held from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 14. [Northern Virginia Art Center]
Marymount Receives Cybersecurity Grant — Arlington-based Marymount University has been awarded a $1.9 million grant from the National Science Foundation to fund a four-year cybersecurity scholarship program. [Press Release]
Reminder: Labor Day Closures and Traffic – Most county offices, with the notable exception of the election office, will be closed for Memorial Day. Drivers should expect busy highways if they’re heading out of town.
Four Mile Run Rapist Still on the Loose — Arlington County police are still looking for a man who raped a woman on the Four Mile Run Trail two weeks ago. Police are issuing warnings to women who use the trail, in English and in Spanish. Officers are also patrolling the trail on bike and motorcycles. [WJLA]
Marymount, O’Connell Teaming Up for Baseball Field — Marymount University will be adding a varsity baseball team to its athletic program after striking a deal with Bishop O’Connell High School to use the school’s baseball field. Marymount will fund the renovation of the O’Connell’s field to NCAA standards, in exchange for partial use of the field. Marymount hopes to have the baseball team ready for its first season by Spring 2014. [Sun Gazette]
N. Va. Critical to Obama Re-Election — The road to the White House runs through Northern Virginia, according to some political watchers. Experts say President Obama must score a big victory in Northern Virginia in order to capture the Commonwealth, one of three crucial, hotly-contested swing states. As a result, residents can expect a bombardment of political ads this fall. [WUSA 9]
Flickr pool photo by Damiec
Arlington Wins Diversity Award — The National League of Cities has presented Arlington with its 2012 Cultural Diversity Award. The awards showcase “examples of how cities achieve excellence in diversity, promotes the positive results of ‘total community collaboration’ and honors community leadership in developing creative and effective programs to improve cultural diversity.” [Arlington County]
Hen Raising Critics Speak Out — Critics of a proposal to allow backyard hen raising in Arlington spoke out during Saturday’s County Board meeting. “Send it to the slaughterhouse,” civic activist Robert Atkins said of the proposal, which is supported by a group called the Arlington Egg Project. Critics say backyard hens could produce noise, odors and neighborly conflicts, among other ill effects. [Sun Gazette]
Hagel to Speak at Marymount Commencement — Arlington-based Marymount University announced yesterday that former U.S. Senator Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.) will be its 2012 commencement speaker. Hagel will address Marymount grads at D.A.R. Constitution Hall on Sunday, May 20.
Flickr pool photo by Divaknevil
Problems at PBS NewsHour — The PBS NewsHour is facing serious challenges. The hour-long news program, which is produced at the WETA facilities in Shirlington, has been shedding staff and viewers. A number of top news and business personnel have left recently, while viewership is down 11 percent year-over-year. Meanwhile, a top sponsor is pulling out at the end of the year, leaving a $2 million hole in the NewsHour’s budget. [New York Times]
Elementary School Goes Solar — A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held at Glebe Elementary School yesterday to mark the installation of a 1.1 kilowatt solar panel system. The solar panels will not only generate enough clean energy to power one classroom, but will also serve as an educational tool. Students, parents and teachers will be able to monitor the system’s electricity output using any web-enabled device or smartphone. [Arlington Public Schools]
Park Gives Marymount New Athletic Facilities — Long Bridge Park is more than an attractive new green space to Arlington’s only four-year university. Marymount University paid about $2 million toward the cost of one of the three multi-use synthetic-turf fields at the park. In exchange, the school’s Division III soccer and lacrosse teams will utilize the field as their “home base.” When the field is not in use by the school, it will be available for use by the public. [Sun Gazette]
Ballston BID Director Hired — The newly-created Ballston Business Improvement District has a new executive director. Tina Leone is leaving her post as president of the Alexandria Chamber of Commerce to run the BID. [Alexandria Times]
Trail Parking – This car chose an interesting place to park — on a stretch of trail between the county’s new Dept. of Human Services building and Washington Boulevard.
Snakehead Fish Invade Four Mile Run — Predatory snakehead fish have invaded the waters of Four Mile Run, between Arlington and Alexandria. There’s concern that the so-called “frankenfish” could kill off native fish in the stream, as it has decimated native populations of bass and shad in the Potomac. [WJLA]
Marymount Names New President – Arlington’s Marymount University has named a successor for retiring president James Bundschuh. Matthew Shank, dean of the business school at the University of Dayton, will take over as president in July. [Washington Post]
Cell Phones to Get Emergency Alerts — Soon, cell phones in the D.C. area will be capable of receiving emergency alerts via text message. [New York Times]
Gaslight Square Condos Selling Quickly — McWilliams|Ballard and Abdo Development have sold nearly $12 million worth of luxury condos at the still-under-construction Gaslight Square project between Rosslyn and Courthouse. [Marketwire]
Dr. James Bundschuh has served as Marymount’s president since July 2001. He oversaw the recently-completed 26th Street Project, which added several new buildings to the school’s main North Arlington campus.
Marymount is a Catholic university with approximately 3,600 students enrolled in a variety of undergraduate and graduate programs. The school has about 450 full-time employees and 300 part-time employees.
Marymount’s press release about Dr. Bundschuh’s retirement, after the jump.
The Multi-Million Dollar Irish Pub – Samuel Beckett’s Irish Pub, expected to open in Shirlington at the end of November, is quite the ambitious undertaking. Owner Mark Kirwan is sinking $2.2 million into the project, according to the Washington Business Journal.
Another Road Gets Sharrows — The county added some bike-friendly sharrows to 15th Street North between North Courthouse Road and North Rhodes Street over the weekend. The sharrows remind drivers to share the road with bicyclists. More from Ode Street Tribune.
New Marymount Dorm Opens — Dozens of Marymount University students are moving out of the Ballston Holiday Inn and into the newly-completed Rose Bente Lee Ostapenko Residence Hall. The building, part of the university’s 26th Street Project, can house up to 239 students. More from the Sun Gazette.
Paving Update — Now that the section of Wilson Blvd near Whitlow’s is paved with smooth blacktop, workers are focusing on Washington Blvd. As of Sunday afternoon, one lane between North Highland Street and Pershing Drive was torn up, awaiting fresh asphalt. TBD reports that the repaving of Washington Blvd will stretch into next week.
Flames Seen From Plane Engine — The Associated Press reports that flames were seen coming from the engine of a US Airways plane landing at Reagan National Airport. The captain of the flight from Charlotte, N.C. declared an emergency but landed without incident. No flames were seen after it landed.
‘Old Guard’ Returns from Iraq — Soldiers from the Fort Myer-based Old Guard arrived back home Saturday night after serving one year in Iraq. More than 120 soldiers from the historic regiment, best known for its ceremonial duties at Arlington National Ceremony and the White House, provided security at an Iraqi prison. More from WUSA9.
Students Return to Marymount U – The familiar sight of parents helping their children move into the dorms returned to Marymount University over the weekend. The school’s incoming class includes a record 440 freshman and a record 335 transfer students. More from the Sun Gazette.
Arlington police are investigating a threatening letter sent to an official at Marymount University.
The letter was delivered to the Arlington campus over the Easter holiday but was discovered Wednesday afternoon.
“Our campus safety staff is aware of it, and proper security policies are in place and being followed,” said Shelley Dutton, Vice President of Communications and Marketing for the university. She declined to reveal what sort of threat was made or who it was sent to, citing the ongoing police investigation.
Dutton said she could not recall any previous instances of threats made against university administrators.
Marymount University students cleaned up Rock Spring Park on Sunday in remembrance of classmates who have died in recent years. Twenty students, Rock Spring Garden Club members and other volunteers spread mulch, pulled weeds and gathered dead leaves and branches as part of the fifth annual Marymount Remembrance Day.
Remembrance Day was established in 2006 in honor of Tara Howard, a Marymount freshman who was tragically killed in a car accident in Baltimore. Howard’s parents, Bill and Linda, were on hand to help out with the beautification.
The clean-up was also dedicated to Marymount students Adam Dowell, Mateo Rios and Maggie Dibble. Dowell and Rios were also killed in car accidents.
“We are always so grateful to you for all your wonderful help,” garden club member Margaret Clarkson told the students.
Photos courtesy Victoria Motsay.