The Colgate Scene
January 2003

Around the college

Jazz pianist extraordinaire Kenny Barron, left, and bassist Ray Drummond perform and discuss musical arrangements for a small audience gathered for a workshop in early November. Barron, the Christian A. Johnson Endeavor Foundation Artist-in-Residence for the 2002-03 academic year, will return to Colgate for a second workshop and performance the weekend of February 15-16. [Photos by Timothy D. Sofranko]
Leach named vice president for communications

James Leach has been appointed vice president for communications and public relations, following a national search for a leader to coordinate Colgate's public information, publications and public relations programs.

"The search for someone to direct Colgate's communications efforts attracted more than 150 applicants, including some candidates with surprising credentials," said President Rebecca Chopp. "Following a number of on-campus interviews and extended conversations with several candidates, it became clear to me and to the faculty, staff and trustees who advised me in this search that the college would be best served if we were to increase our resources in such key areas as web development, media relations and publications design, and if Jim were to return to lead the office he headed for many years."

Leach joined Colgate in 1980 as director of communications, a position he held for 20 years. He has served as secretary of the college, providing administrative assistance to Colgate's president and board of trustees since fall 2000. In his new position, he will take on additional assignments for the president while coordinating an expanded communications program.

Leach is a graduate of Utica College of Syracuse University and the State University of New York. He has also worked in public relations for the State University of New York at Plattsburgh and Eisenhower College.

"Jim's wisdom, knowledge of communications and of Colgate, and his ability to tell our story will serve us well as we increase our efforts to ensure national and international awareness of the excellence of our school and of individual faculty members," Chopp said.

Image of Chris Hedges '79 Chris Hedges '79, award-winning New York Times journalist, ponders his response to a question from an audience member during a presentation and discussion of his book, War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning, at the Colgate Bookstore in November.

Chinese dissident poet Huang Xiang, center, greets May Liu, left, as she arrives to a reading of his poetry in November. Liu is the wife of John Crespi, Luce Assistant Professor of Chinese.
Fundraising challenge issued, another met

Colgate has been issued a $1 million challenge by Dan Benton '80, who is interested in reversing the declining percentage of alumni participation. To meet the challenge, the college must secure gifts, of any level, from 52 percent of alumni by the close of the current fiscal year, May 31, 2003.

"There is a gap between the allegiance alumni feel for Colgate and our rate of participation as donors," said Benton, a trustee, who is the CEO and chairman of Andor Capital Management. "I know that many alumni wonder if modest gifts make a difference. I have known for a long time that they do, but I hope there is added incentive now. I am optimistic the challenge will raise awareness and create leverage to bring our participation in line with our loyalty," said Benton.

"The percentage of alumni participation is an important barometer for measuring alumni interest and support. While Colgate alumni are passionate about their college, we lag behind many of our peer institutions in this category," said President Rebecca Chopp. "Still, during the past three years more than 65 percent of our alumni made a gift. We think the challenge will encourage annual giving and restore Colgate to a place among the national leaders in participation."

By raising more than $8 million in gifts and pledges to the Hamilton Initiative Fund, Colgate has fulfilled the terms of a $500,000 challenge grant from the Fred L. Emerson Foundation.

The challenge grant required Colgate to raise the funds by November 1, 2002. The funds support downtown initiatives that include the new university bookstore and the Palace Theater. At the time of receiving the challenge grant, Colgate had raised $4.5 million towards its final goal of $9.4 million. As of early December, nearly $8.8 million had been raised. The Hamilton Initiative, which supports economic development, is funded by Colgate through contributions from alumni, parents and friends who have an enduring interest in the village.

"The Emerson Foundation has partnered with Colgate on a number of projects through the years," noted Vice President for University Relations Bob Tyburski '74. "They were impressed with the objectives of the Hamilton Initiative and presented a very generous challenge that added even more incentive for donors to participate."

The Emerson Foundation, located in Auburn, N.Y., is a private foundation that focuses its grant-making efforts on private institutions of higher education, social service and youth organizations, community funds and cultural programming in central New York.

Melanie Cruz '05, center left, Rodney Mason '06, center, and Edna Akoto '05, lower right, share a laugh with former Virginia high school football coach Herman Boone. Boone and his fellow coach, Bill Yoast, are the real-life coaches featured in the film Remember the Titans, an account of the integration of an Arlington, Va. high school in the 1970s. Boone and Yoast delivered a lecture titled "A Lesson in Diversity," in Memorial Chapel in late October. Roger Goodrich '38 and his wife, Doris, take in the action on the gridiron during Colgate's 31-24 victory over Lafayette, the 624th consecutive Raider football game attended by Goodrich. A former television reporter and anchor, Goodrich ran his attendance streak to 627 games by season's end.

Family and friends of the four young people killed in an accident on Oak Drive in November 2000 comfort one another after the dedication of Katie's Garden in early November. The garden honors Katie Almeter, a Colgate student who was one of the four who lost their lives.
Two new distinguished chairs appointed

The Board of Trustees confirmed appointments in September to two distinguished chairs for associate professors endowed by G. Kirk Raab '59 (a new chair) and Robert Hung-Ngai Ho '56.

The first G. Kirk Raab '59 Chair in Biology will be held by Barbara Hoopes, associate professor of biology. A graduate of the University of Maryland who earned a doctorate at Harvard, Hoopes has been on the Colgate faculty since 1993. She has served as department chair since 2001, and has directed Colgate's Wales Study Group. Hoopes' teaching specialties and research interests include molecular biology, genetics, recombinant DNA technology, the control of gene expression in eukaryotes, and focusing on the yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae. She has published articles in Cell, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, Nucleic Acids Research, Journal of Biological Chemistry and Journal of Molecular Biology.

The Robert Hung-Ngai Ho Chair in Asian Studies will be held by Yufan Hao, associate professor of political science. Yufan has been on the Colgate faculty since 1990. He is a graduate of Heilongjiang University and earned his masters and doctorate at The Johns Hopkins University. He has served on the Asian Studies Steering Committee and directed Colgate's China Study Group. Yufan's teaching specialties and research interests include comparative politics of East Asia, Chinese politics, Chinese foreign policy, U.S.-China relations, East Asian international relations, U.S.-China relations, Chinese corruption, organizational and bureaucratic behaviors in Chinese politics, the trend of local autonomy and corruption, East Asian security relation and China's crisis management. His most recent books include: Constrained Engagement: Possible Trend of Bush's China Policy (co-editor, Xinhua Publishing House, Beijing, China 2001); An Invisible Hand: Domestic Determinants of Sino-American Relations (co-author, Xinhua Publishing House, Beijing, China 2000); American Policy toward China 1948-1998 (Taihai Press, Beijing, China, 1998); and Dilemma and Decision: An Organizational Perspective on American China Policy Making (Institute of East Asian Studies, University of California, 1997).

Image of Jeanne White-Ginder Jeanne White-Ginder, mother of the late Ryan White, waits before discussing AIDS issues and her personal experiences as the parent of a child with AIDS in Persson Hall Auditorium in October.
Environmental and human rights activist Winona LaDuke discusses "Native American Environments" in Olin Hall's Love Auditorium in early November. Image of Winona LaDuke

Sr. Helen Prejean, CJS, author of Dead Man Walking (which inspired the film of the same name), chats with Catholic Chaplain John Donovan before her lecture in Memorial Chapel in November. Prejean has worked with poor residents at the St. Thomas Housing Project in New Orleans and counseled death row inmates at the Louisiana State Penitentiary since 1981. She has accompanied five condemned men to their executions.

"I could do with a few more choices on life decisions -- and [fewer] choices on breakfast cereal -- like, should I have clean air, access to transportation, clean water? Those would be decisions I'd like to have a little more say on than . . . on breakfast cereal."

"Large-scale, geographically extended technologies enable us to move about as we wish; to communicate freely; to be released from the urgent demands of day-to-day survival that confronted previous generations and which confront many people in other parts of the world. But it now seems another dimension -- a more terrifying dimension -- of technological complexity calls for attention. The dependency on complex technological systems now looms as the sole source of vulnerability. If any major component within systems that support our lives ceases to function for a significant period of time, our prosperity, freedom and comfortable lives are threatened." "You don't develop interests when you don't have the opportunity to develop that interest" "When good things happen in the arts, it's 'cause you got spunky little people in there that belong to the `Salmon Club,' and they swim against the tide of the culture to make it happen. The film Dead Man Walking is an example of that."
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