The Colgate Scene
July 2005

Around the college

Dave Thomas '05 receives the prestigious 1819 Award from President Rebecca S. Chopp at the annual awards ceremony in April. [Photos by Timothy D. Sofranko]

Also:
Through him, we all know Colgate better
Jim Leach, who served Colgate for 25 years, retired at the end of May.
Ten Greek-letter organizations will be active on the Colgate campus in the fall of 2005.

Two years after Colgate's trustees adopted a plan requiring that all students (except for 250 seniors who are traditionally granted permission to live off campus) live in university-owned housing, Beta Theta Pi, Delta Upsilon, Gamma Phi Beta, Kappa Alpha Theta, Phi Delta Theta, and Theta Chi have transferred ownership of their houses to Colgate. Sigma Chi has terminated a long-term lease agreement with the university and one inactive organization, Phi Gamma Delta, is finalizing arrangements so that it may generously donate its property to the university, bringing to a close the two-year negotiation process.

In addition to the seven active Greek-letter organizations listed above, three others that are not currently based in houses -- Delta Delta Delta, Phi Kappa Tau, and Kappa Kappa Gamma -- will receive university housing this fall.

"This is an important new chapter in the relationship between Colgate and its Greek-letter organizations," said Colgate President Rebecca S. Chopp, "and I thank all of those Greek-letter students and alumni who have worked with the university to get us to this point."

"This spring we began focusing our attention on transition issues and I have been impressed and very pleased with the dialogue between the dean of the college staff, fraternity and sorority students, and their alumni leaders," Chopp said. "These efforts will help Colgate form an upperclass community of residences that preserve the positive aspects of the traditional system while creating new opportunities for students to form friendships and develop the skills they need."

Only one active undergraduate Greek-letter organization, Delta Kappa Epsilon (DKE), has chosen not to transfer ownership of its house to Colgate and is instead pursuing legal action against the university.

Two other houses on Broad Street are currently owned by the alumni corporations of inactive Greek-letter organizations. Alpha Tau Omega has agreed to lease its property to Colgate, providing much-needed space for library staff in the coming academic year. Kappa Delta Rho has not entered into negotiations with Colgate.

"The dialogue has been intense at times, but the organizations whose members voted overwhelmingly to approve the sale of their properties demonstrated a strong commitment to current and future generations of students," said Bob Tyburski, Colgate vice president. "Their commitment is matched by Colgate's sincere desire to foster a new and productive partnership with the Greek-letter organizations.

"As with any transition, there are some details to be resolved, and some individuals want to keep everything as they remember it," said Tyburski. "But for the first time since I joined the system in the early 1970s, adversarial sentiments are being replaced by an awareness that the system needed new forms of support that Colgate could best provide. A common goal to create a Greek-letter system that can succeed has formed a strong new foundation."


Justin Spencer '05 smiles while speaking at the annual Scholarship Recognition Dinner. He served as student speaker for the evening, addressing the audience in the Hall of Presidents. In his speech, Spencer emphatically thanked the university administration, faculty, and scholarship donors for their support and encouragement of Colgate students.

Three people were recognized at commencement on the occasion of their retirements.

Ellen B. Bolland, associate professor in the university libraries and catalogue librarian/interlibrary loan-borrowing services, emerita, served as catalog librarian since 1989 and in 1995 assumed the added responsibilities of head of interlibrary loan. She was cited as an enthusiastic and energetic participant in library instruction. In addition to her library responsibilities, Bolland served on the Women's Studies Advisory Board and the University Student Conduct Board. During her many years at Colgate, she remained active in library professional affairs, particularly in the area of statewide resource sharing initiatives.

R. Braden Houston, instructor in physical education; senior associate director of the Division of Physical Education, Recreation, and Athletics; and head golf coach, emeritus, joined the Colgate faculty in 1969. Highlights of his career are outlined in Sports.

Judith Gibson Noyes, professor in the university libraries and university librarian, emerita, has served Colgate for 18 years. Nearly two thirds of the books Colgate now owns were acquired under Noyes's leadership. Noyes was cited for bringing the Colgate libraries into the digital age and for her work as a tireless advocate for the library renovation project currently underway. Library instruction also flourished under her leadership, earning Colgate a national reputation in this field. In addition to her contributions to Colgate, Noyes has achieved international recognition for her work in the development of bibliographic standards now at use in libraries throughout the world.

Courtney Hostetler '04, Colgate's newest Schupf Fellow, said her list of people to thank for their encouragement and support is "endless."

"Everyone I encountered at Colgate seemed intent on helping me succeed in my endeavors, both in the classroom and in the [Schupf] fellowship application process," she said.

As the Schupf Fellow, Hostetler will pursue graduate studies at the University of Oxford in England. The fellowship was created through the generosity of Colgate University alumnus and trustee emeritus Paul J. Schupf '58. While at Oxford, Hostetler will work towards an MPhil in development studies, a two-year interdisciplinary program that uses three foundation subject areas (economics, history and politics, and social anthropology) to examine the processes of political, economic, and social change in developing countries and in the international sphere. Her thesis will address the role local political movements and community initiatives play in the peace and reconstruction processes in northern Uganda.

An English and peace studies major while at Colgate, Hostetler was one of the top academic students in her graduating class. She was awarded the 1819 Award in 2004, Colgate's highest student honor, and was involved in Students for Social Justice, Exploring Spirituality (a discussion group she started), and numerous other organizations. She was also a member of the women's soccer team and was active in Konosioni, the Madison Tutoring Club, and the Center for Outreach, Volunteerism, and Education. She founded the Sign Language Club, volunteered for the Office of Admission, and was a member of Phi Beta Kappa and Phi Eta Sigma honor societies.

Hostetler currently lives in Washington, D.C., and works as the First Vote program coordinator at the Close Up Foundation.


Students dance lithely to a Bach concerto in a Dance Theater performance choreographed by Jane Tavalin Schwartz. From left: Amelie Lipman '08, Jennifer White '05, Shannon Larabee '08, Stefanie Thomas '05, Sarah Dotson '05, Lisanne Levy '06, and Emily Colahan '06.

[Corrected (September 2005)]

In May the Board of Trustees elected five new members: Scott A. Meiklejohn '77, Mark D. Nozette '71, M. Gerald Sedam II '64, Barry J. Small '76, and Edward M. Werner '71.

Meiklejohn is assistant to the president and vice president for planning and institutional advancement for Bowdoin College. Nozette is President of Attorney's Liability Assurance Society Inc. (ALAS Inc.). Sedam is a partner in Beck Mack and Oliver. Small is chief executive officer and president of Weeden & Co. Werner is vice president of Horn Abbot Ltd. and founder of Brox Co.

"Certainly there are excellent presidents. Ruth J. Simmons (Brown) . . . Leon Botstein at Bard is another, as is Rebecca Chopp of Colgate (she has reaffirmed Colgate's commitment to civic and ethical education as essential)."

Harvard's James Engell, co-author of Saving Higher Education in the Age of Money, as quoted in Inside Higher Education when asked if there are college and university presidents that he respects.

In March, the Board of Trustees approved a $123.6 million operating budget for the 2005-2006 fiscal year. The budget continues to fund Colgate's strategic planning initiatives while accounting for the rising costs associated with the operation of the university. The trustees have established student charges (tuition, room and board, and student activity fee) for the 2005-2006 academic year at $41,170.

"Colgate has a tradition of making efficient use of our resources in order to create the best possible learning environment for our students," said David Hale, financial vice president and treasurer. "The university's strategic plan provides us with a roadmap as we make decisions about how to allocate university resources."

This year's budget includes support for the residential education program, a continued commitment to Colgate's generous financial aid program, increases in funding for campus facilities maintenance and improvement, affirms the university's commitment to the surrounding community through the Upstate Institute and the COVE, and strengthens Colgate's tradition of faculty-student collaboration through research and off-campus study programs.


Participants in the Colgate cooking club help themselves to their own handiwork in the Merrill House kitchen. The club, which launched last semester, provided hands-on experience in making items such as fresh bread and pasta, as well as chocolate mousse and an array of Thai food. Chef Davis Barnes instructed the club.

When Margaret Garner premiered in May at the Detroit Opera House, audience members knew they were witnessing a milestone. Not only is it the operatic debut of a creative team including Grammy award - winning composer Richard Danielpour and Nobel Prize - winning novelist Toni Morrison, it is also a new American work written in English that promises to broaden the appeal of opera.

"It's a very accessible, contemporary piece that could bring a new audience to opera in America," said Marjorie Bradley Kellogg, associate professor of English and University Theater scenic designer. Kellogg designed the sets for Margaret Garner, working collaboratively with director Kenny Leon, costume designer Paul Tazewell, and lighting designer Duane Schuler. She is

honored to have been involved, she said.

"It's been great -- a really wonderful experience," Kellogg said. "The co-producers have supported the creation of this piece so completely. The sense of everyone moving forward in the same direction has been inspiring."

The Michigan Opera Theatre, Cincinnati Opera, and Opera Company of Philadelphia collaborated to co-commission Margaret Garner, a production based on one of the most significant fugitive slave stories of pre-Civil War America. Garner fled Kentucky's Maplewood Farm in 1856, where she chose to sacrifice her own children rather than return them to the bonds of slavery.

"It's a piece with a real moral and social message," Kellogg said. "There's no question of whether it's an important piece to do or not. And as for the music, well, there are moments in this opera of such beauty it brings tears to your eyes."

Kellogg designed the sets of Margaret Garner with a focus on the history of American slavery.

"One of the major motifs is a set of patterns taken from quilts originally made by slaves, patterns sometimes used as signals in the underground railroad," Kellogg said. People would hang these quilts in windows or on porches, she explained, to identify a safehouse or to alert onlookers that someone had passed by safely. Her set design has been a hit with critics and, more importantly to Kellogg, with librettist Morrison.

"The best compliment that I'm storing away is that Toni Morrison peeked in on the set when she arrived in Detroit, and she went right up to the director . . . and said that he'd really gotten it right -- that the set really understood what the opera was about," Kellogg said.

Playing this month in Cincinnati, Margaret Garner is expected to run in additional cities nationwide, including Philadelphia.

Top of page
Table of contents
<< Previous: People on the go Next: Through him... >>