The Colgate Scene ON-LINE

PEN Prize for Balakian
The PEN American Center, the national association of literary writers, presented Professor of English Peter Balakian with the 1998 Martha Albrand Award during ceremonies May 14 in New York. Balakian's highly acclaimed Black Dog of Fate begins with his boyhood, growing up very American in affluent New Jersey suburbs in the '50s and '60s, in an extended family with a strong Armenian heritage. His understanding of that heritage evolves through his college years and beyond, defining him personally and professionally as he discovers the impact of the Armenian Genocide in the family's history.

Black Dog of Fate has been praised as one of the most profound and moving books ever written about the 1915 Armenian Genocide -- the century's first genocide -- and its aftermath. In announcing nominees for its 1998 awards, the PEN American Center called the memoir "arguably `the' literary genre of the decade." The Book-of-the-Month Club was host to the awards presentation, where Frank McCourt (Angela's Ashes) delivered the featured address, and Arthur Miller was recognized with the Laura Pels Award for Drama.

Balloons and confetti rained down on Presidents' Club members and their guests who gathered in the Grand Ballroom of the Waldorf Astoria in April for their annual dinner and to celebrate the successful completion of Campaign Colgate. Members of the Presidents' Club gave more than 80 percent of the $157,968,113 contributed over the five years of Campaign Colgate. The club listed a record 1,950 members in 1997/98. Gloria Borger '74 of USNews & World Report and Washington Week in Review was master of ceremonies for the April dinner, sharing the podium with Presidents' Club Chairman John Birk '74 and University President Neil Grabois.

Three join board of trustees
Three new members have joined the college's board of trustees. Meeting on campus in May, the board added to its membership Carin B. Mueller '94, Michael J. Poulos '53, and George A. Whaling '59.

Mueller fills one of the "recent graduate" positions on the board. A biology major at Colgate, she worked as a biotechnology research associate and later as a business analyst before enrolling in the MBA program at Stanford.

Poulos retired in February as chairman, president and CEO of Western National Corporation. He was affiliated with American General Corporation as an officer and director for 23 years prior to joining Western National, and was re-elected as an American General director in March.

Whaling was successful for many years in the graphic arts industry, and for twenty years presided over the growth of the Petty Company, an Illinois commercial printer. In 1997 he founded Kingston Capital Corporation, which invests in small manufacturing firms in the northeast that need capital or management support. He is the father of two Colgate alumni.

Completing their board terms in May were Lorie Slutsky '75, Douglas Campbell '50 and John Higgins '92.

Representatives of the Oneida Indian Nation presented the university with a check to sponsor a cooperative archaeological workshop that will be held on the Oneida Nation this summer. From left, Brian Patterson from the Men's Council, President Neil Grabois, Clan Mother Beulah Green, Clan Mother Iva Rogers and Men's Council assistant chief of staff Dick Lynch. The project, under the direction of associate professor of anthropology Jordan Kerber, will help determine historic and prehistoric sites that are potentially significant to Oneida People.

Let it rot
Emily Loeb, Jared Margolis and Brian Scranton, all '98 graduates, have spent a year and a half working on the creation of a campus composting facility. Spawned from a class presentation in professor Paul Pinet's ecology, ethics and wilderness course, the project grew into a year-long independent study. The students put together a proposal demonstrating the sound ecological and economic sense of such a facility. The study included research from the Ithaca College plant, a cost benefits analysis and the help of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation to share start-up costs.

The facility will take care of all organic waste from the dining halls, cutting the amount of tons of waste disposed in the Wampsville landfill by 250 tons and drastically decreasing the university's environmental impact.

Composting will produce a nutrient-rich, highly organic topsoil that can be used in place of fertilizer. The facility will also be used as a field laboratory for environmental studies and biology students researching microbiological action and decomposition.


Noah Wintroub '98 won the Alumni Association's 1819 Award for four years at Colgate, "marked by excellence and contributions that will have a lasting impact." Cited for his "involvement in a wide range of activities," Wintroub is a member of Phi Beta Kappa, served on a myriad of university governing boards and was a "strong voice and advocate for students' interests," particularly in his role as a Maroon-News commentator. Active in student government, student activities, admissions, Jewish life and the Russian study group, Wintroub was recognized for "long hours of dedicated work he has committed to excellence as a scholar and student leader over the past four years."

Celebrating Morrill's 60th
A number of events in 1998-99 are being held in celebration of the 60th birthday of composer Dexter Morrill '60, Charles A. Dana professor of music. The Colgate Chamber Players started it all off with a piece they commissioned from Morrill for the Chenango Summer MusicFest in June. Ethan Hecht '98, Kendra Harpster '99, Maureen Taylor '98, Nathan Cook MAT '95 and Kimberly Holmes '00 performed the world premiere of "Summer Music" for String Quintet at the Alumni Brunch under the tent on the Merrill House lawn on the final day of the festival.

Also in the series is a concert at New York City's Merkin Concert Hall -- Abraham Goodman House on October 7 at 8:00 p.m. that will feature Laura Klugherz, Evan Jones and Daryl Pugh of the Colgate string faculty and Penny Ho '92, as well as saxophonist Stephen Duke. The program includes Morrill's Saxophone Concerto, Dance Bagatelles for Viola and Piano and Three Lyric Pieces. For information call the Merkin Hall Box Office at 212-501-3344. The Alumni Club of New York will sponsor a reception after the concert. Call the alumni office at 315-228-7433 for details.