For 88 years after the end of the Civil War, Storer College educated hundreds of African Americans who gathered on its campus in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia. This is the story of Storer’s longest serving black teacher. A Storer graduate himself, William Allen Saunders became the school’s beating heart. He was known as a devoted friend of struggling youth, who not only boarded students in his home but was said to do everything in his power to aid their progress. While Storer College helped make “Prof Saunders” the man he was, he taught so many courses over so many years and touched so many lives that he, in turn, significantly impacted the twentieth century Storer experience.
Over his 54 years as a resident of Harpers Ferry, Saunders also became a trusted spiritual leader and a well-known figure throughout the thriving Black community then living beyond Storer’s campus. All of these aspects are explored here by author Lynn Pechuekonis, who resides in Saunders’ former home.
This book uniquely turns its focus on Black life both at Storer College and in Harpers Ferry during the Jim Crow era—all viewed through the lens of this dedicated teacher who was praised as a “man of sterling worth” and the “friend of every righteous cause.”
Last fall I helped the UVA School of Education and Human Development by doing the copywriting for their 2020 Annual Report.
Supporting Early Childhood Education
Long dedicated to promoting investment in early childhood education in Virginia, philanthropist Jane Batten became acquainted with the School of Education and Human Development through its work with Elevate Early Education (E3), where she sits on the board of directors. The School’s Center for the Advanced Study of Teaching and Learning (CASTL) had collaborated with E3 to develop a comprehensive curriculum model for birth to five that blends academic and social-emotional learning.
The more she learned, the stronger Batten felt about the importance of supporting our work. Last fall, the School announced that she had made a $10 million pledge to fund professorships and fellowships in early childhood education – a gift representing the largest ever to a School program.
“I’m delighted to support an initiative that’s so close to my heart,” Batten said. “I’ve long been a passionate champion of early childhood education, and it is fulfilling to provide the School with resources that will enable it to generate new knowledge in the field.”
This fall I helped the University of Virginia rework some of their web content in preparation for their website redesign. The new site is now up and here’s one of the articles I wrote for them:
With a renewed focus on encouraging your long-term health and wellbeing, Hoo’s Well is offering a new suite of programs, tools, and resources for the UVA employee community. Beginning in 2019 all employees covered by the UVA Health Plan, as well as their covered spouses, will have access to an expanded menu of options for activities that include both cross-Grounds wellness “Challenges” and personal “Journeys” designed to develop lifelong healthy habits.
Our mission is to foster a culture of wellness among UVA employees, leading to a happier, healthier, and more positive work environment. In response to employee feedback, we are now able to help you shape your healthy lifestyle in an even more personalized, holistic, and sustainable way. We are partnering with RedBrick Health to give you more choices and a wellness pathway tailored to your lifestyle and interests.
As you choose among all of the opportunities for growth that the Hoo’s Well program offers, you may experience unexpected personal rewards and see the symbiotic relationship between individual and community wellness. Participate in an on-site fitness class through IM-Rec, purchase a healthy and affordable lunch through the Hoo’s Choice program, or get involved with your physical, financial, and emotional wellbeing on a completely new level with Hoo’s Well. For example, President Jim Ryan enjoys running and was surprised to find it can also be a way to build community across Grounds as he meets more UVA students and employees who share his passion for fitness and join him on weekly runs.