The Colgate Scene ON-LINE


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Poet Cleopatra Mathis read from her fourth book, Guardian, as part of the English department’s Poetry Series. The Dartmouth professor also read new poems, many of which hadn’t been heard in public before.

Commencement ’98
New York State Governor George Pataki will deliver the commencement address when the Class of 1998 — the largest class in Colgate history — graduates May 17.

"We’re happy and honored that the governor is taking time out of his busy schedule to come speak to us at our commencement," said senior class President Carmella Alvaro.

Elected governor in 1994, Pataki is the state’s first Republican/Conservative chief executive. In his campaign address he committed himself to the principle: "Much good can come from the people’s determination to see that the government remains their servant and not their master."

During the first three years of Pataki’s tenure as governor, his administration has cut income taxes, reformed the welfare system, and made possible tougher sentencing for violent criminals. He created a coalition of New York State’s major businesses, environmental groups, and organized labor in 1996 to win passage of a $1.75 billion Clean Water, Clean Air bond act.

As a state assemblyman, Pataki was named "State Legislator of the Year" by the Environmental Planning Lobby. Later, as a state senator, he was named "Environmental Champion of the Year" by the League of Conservation Voters Education Fund.

Senior Class Day speaker will be Monica Crowley ’90, a commentator for the Fox News Channel and National Public Radio’s Morning Edition program and author of Nixon Off the Record.


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The Sojourners, Colgate’s gospel choir and the University Church "house band," held their annual concert in the chapel. "We aren’t here to entertain you," leader Joy Buchanan ’99 told the audience. "We’re here to praise God."
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Author Mel Watkins ’63 was the keynote speaker during Greek Week, a series of events highlighting the Greek letter system’s contributions to campus life. Watkins read from his memoir Dancing with Strangers, which includes his arrival at Colgate and the path he took to Phi Tau.

Assessing Colgate
Regular accreditation is a long-standing practice designed to ensure the continuing quality of colleges and universities in the United States. The Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools oversees Colgate’s accreditation. Key to the process are an extensive, once-a-decade self-study, followed by a visit to campus by an evaluation team appointed by Middle States.

Professors Margaret Maurer (English) and Thomas Tucker (mathematics) organized the 18-month-long self-study that focused on the college’s curriculum, but also addressed wide-ranging questions regarding virtually all aspects of the college’s operations.

Gordon Haaland, president of Gettysburg College, chaired the 11-member Middle States team that visited Colgate for four days in early April. Middle States calls for visiting teams to summarize their findings in a brief oral presentation as they depart campus, and then to follow up with detailed written reports to summarize their findings. In his parting presentation April 9, Haaland said the team found in Colgate, "An institution of high quality, strength and breadth." He described the self-study document as, "complete, forthright and exceptionally strong and useful."

Among other highlights of Haaland’s presentation: the team found Colgate’s general education core "adaptable and flexible"; the curriculum is "regularly evaluated, with good balance"; institutional integrity and mission are "consistent and appropriate"; the team was "uniformly impressed with the dedication of faculty to a mix of teaching and scholarship"; admission was described as "an area of strength"; the success of Campaign Colgate was seen as evidence that the board of trustees is "effective, cohesive and committed to the college"; the library is "among the top tier of libraries at liberal arts colleges nationally"; finances are "carefully and prudently managed, consistent with the needs of the program."

While Haaland said the team’s written report would include some "suggestions" of "opportunities" for the college (as opposed to "recommendations," which he said would imply more weight), he concluded that the team found at Colgate a "strong institution in the measures that matter most."


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The Latin American Students Organization (LASO) celebrated its 25th anniversary with a discussion of chronology, workshops, after-parties and a banquet. The weekend event brought together alumni and students to talk about the historic role of Latinos at Colgate as well as to formulate ideas for the future.

In march, the board of trustees approved the college’s lowest percentage increase in comprehensive fees in 25 years. The cost of tuition, room and board will increase by a total of 4.3 percent in 1998/99.

Tuition for the coming year will increase 4.9 percent to $23,715, while average room and board charges increase two percent to $6,235.

Financial Vice President and Treasurer Elizabeth Eismeier wrote to parents of students to say that the college’s goal "is to control the growth of tuition and fees at the average rate of increase of family incomes nationally, using a two-year average of personal disposable income as a guide."

Colgate’s operating budget for 1998/99 will total $105 million, including financial aid.


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An international dinner, with a global buffet and a world of entertainment, was held in the Commons to celebrate the contributions of Colgate’s international students. In addition to dancing, there was music from India and Brazilian martial arts.
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The Faculty Show, featuring recent work by art and art history professors, was held in Dana in late March. Among the featured pieces was "Polyunguia Dress for the Psychotropic Itch" by assistant professor Daniella Dooling. The mixed media frock was made from artificial nails.

Two Watson Fellows
Seniors Terri Keeley and James Bradley ‘Brad’ Carrick have received Watson Fellowships for a year of independent study and travel abroad. Established in 1968 by the family of Thomas J. Watson, Sr., founder of IBM, the Watson Fellowship Program provides graduates of small liberal arts colleges an opportunity to undertake an independent 12-month overseas wanderjahr to explore a topic of their own devising.

Keeley, who last summer was teaching English at a children’s camp in Poland when areas of the country were devastated by massive flooding, will return there for her fellowship. Keeley became interested in comparing how effectively both the Polish government and the Catholic church would help citizens recover from the catastrophe. After the Iron Curtain fell in 1989, the Catholic church lost some of its power in Poland as citizens became more focused on adjusting to democracy. "I suspect that last summer’s flooding, the first catastrophe since the end of the communist government," said Keeley, "has provided an opportunity for the Catholic church to regain its power" as it responds to the needs of the people affected by the flood.

Carrick will travel to the People’s Republic of China, as well as Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore and Thailand, where he will examine the changing role of banquets and connections in Chinese business culture. In China, personal relationships, intimacy, and connections play a large role in the business world. Carrick will involve himself in banquets of many types in order to examine how these kinds of Chinese cultural influence affect the business culture. "The nature of the Watson Fellowship is its flexi-bility," said Carrick, "and I am looking forward to the twists and turns my project will take and how it will surprise me."


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The return of Portfolio, Colgate’s literary magazine, was marked by a reading at the Barge. Contributors, including editors Anna Richter ’00 and Josh Rivkin ’00, made the pages come alive before a packed house.

A Blue Ribbon pinning
Madison Family Outreach, a local center for the prevention of child abuse, kicked off its annual Blue Ribbon Campaign, to increase public awareness about abuse and neglect, at Colgate in March.

The first blue ribbons of this year’s campaign were presented to Colgate President Neil Grabois and Susan Urben of the Oneida Savings Bank, the campaign’s corporate sponsor. "We always do a pinning ceremony to kick off our national campaign," said Tamara Henry Kurtz ’79, MA ’81, executive director of MFO. "This year we decided to start at Colgate in recognition of all it has done for Madison Family Outreach. I thank you very much."

Last fall, Kappa Delta Rho raised $1250 in a halftime Kick-Off Raffle to support the organization’s Parent Aide Program. In February, Konosioni raised $3,300 in its revival of the Charity Auction. Students involved with the Women’s Studies Center have provided child care for MFO clients, and others have volunteered time as parent aides, assisted with community education or helped relocate clients.

Coordinated by Colgate senior Stacey Dundon, who is employed by the organization, Madison Family Outreach’s Blue Ribbon campaign distributed thousands of Blue Ribbon pins to businesses and schools throughout Madison County.


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The Chamber Players with the organizers of one of their benefit concerts, in a state park in Uruapan, Mexico. Left to right: Alejandra Rivas, unidentified, Nathan Cook, Ethan Hecht, Kendra Harpster, Maureen Taylor, Laura Klugherz, Hector Ceballos

Chamber Players in Mexico
Four members of the Colgate Chamber Players joined Professor of Music Laura Klugherz for a nine-day event-packed spring break trip to Mexico. In Morelia, Patzcuaro, Uruapan, Mexico City and Totimehuacán, the group gave a total of six concerts — at major universities and conservatories as well as in smaller venues — to capacity crowds.

"This great group of musicians has worked hard together for four years," said Klugherz, "and it was a wonderful opportunity for them to gain the performance and cultural experience." Two concerts were fundraisers for local cultural and ecological enterprises — a good demonstration of "how we can use music for social causes," said Klugherz.

The string players performed classical Mozart and Brahms, jazz of Gershwin and Ellington, and a piece by Manuel Ponce, one of Mexico’s most important composers. The students were nervous about being Americans playing Ponce’s music for Mexican audiences, but as violinist Kendra Harpster ’99, said, "they were interested in our interpretation because we played it in a different way."

The group was also excited to bring jazz to Mexico and each was surprised that the audiences didn’t seem to take to it, that the toe tapping they saw during the other pieces faded out — although cellist Nathan Cook MAT ’95, stressed that "they were very receptive and eager to hear us."

In Mexico City, Jeffrey Belnap, a Brigham Young University professor and recent Colgate Humanities Colloquium visiting speaker, gave the group a personal tour of the famous Rivera murals and the Frida Kahlo Museum.

"It was a neat experience to be steeped in the history of the towns," said Cook. "The Mexican people are so conscious and reverent of the past."

"The biggest cultural experience was our homestay in Totimehua-cán," said violinist Ethan Hecht ’98 of the small indigenous village in the state of Puebla. Colgate anthropologist Eileen Mulhare, who has a home and does field work there, and her close friends Carmen Graciano Ayala and Miguel Carbente Corona, offered housing and a tour of the town.

"We were eating their food and living their culture," said violist Maureen Taylor ’98. "It was humbling, and amazing." The group was invited to celebrate with the entire town at a lavish daylong coming-out party for Carmen and Miguel’s 15-year-old granddaughter, punctuated by an unexpected eruption of the Popocatepetl volcano. There was also time to visit Totimehuacán area landmarks, including the local pyramids.

The final performance, in the Totimehuacán parish church, yielded the largest audience — including a neighborhood dog who wandered in and stayed to listen. "Afterwards, the parish priest said something really nice for those who were wondering why they were having music in church," said Hecht. "He said, ‘We need to cultivate the entire human soul.’"

The quartet will work together one last time as interns in the Chenango Summer MusicFest in June.