The Colgate Scene
May 2000
Table of contents
Around the college

An alumni panel of "heroes," in the words of Professor Ellen Kraly, co-director of the Center for Ethics and World Societies, spoke on "How You Can Change the World: Jobs in Emergency and Relief Services." From left, immigration lawyer Anne Corsano '78, Tania Connaughton-Espino '97, a program associate with the Public Welfare Foundation, founder of Earth Rights International Katharine Redford '90, Don Rabig, citizenship director of the Mohawk Valley Center for Refugees and Dr. Daniel Fountain '52, H '78, a medical missionary.
Colgate/Zogby poll
Colgate and international polling expert John Zogby have combined resources to take an in-depth look at the opinions and attitudes of upstate New Yorkers. Defining upstate as the area from Buffalo to Albany and from Plattsburgh to Poughkeepsie, the Colgate/Zogby poll will provide insight into an important region that accounts for 42 percent of the population of the Empire State.

     In collaboration with members of the Colgate faculty in political science, geography, sociology, economics and psychology, Zogby will launch the study with a series of three surveys to determine upstaters' attitudes on such subjects as work, community, government and their relationship to New York City. The resulting database will provide a wealth of information that can be used in analyzing conditions upstate. Sponsored through the office of Dean of the Faculty and Provost Jane Pinchin, the series began in April with calls to 1,000 randomly selected Upstaters.

     Zogby International, based in Utica, gained international prominence when it was the first major polling organization to predict George Pataki's win over Mario Cuomo in the New York State election for governor. Since then, the results of Zogby polls have been widely and frequently reported through major media in the United States and abroad.

     Zogby will deliver three public lectures at Colgate in the coming year, the first in the early fall in conjunction with the Center for Ethics and World Societies' study of corruption. Colgate students will be introduced to Zogby's techniques through summer internships and course practicums.

[IMAGE] Dr. David Kessler H'99, dean and professor at Yale Medical School and former commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, brought "The Tobacco Wars" to campus in April. His Wolk Foundation Lecture was less speech and more audience participation as faculty and students were asked to play various roles in the ongoing debate about a substance that kills 425,000 Americans annually.

Tuition announced
At its March 6 meeting, the Board of Trustees approved a 2000-2001 operating budget of nearly $95 million. Based on a modest increase in student charges, the operating budget nevertheless supports several key initiatives that will add faculty positions, increase the number of classes with fewer than 20 students and en-hance the liberal arts core curriculum.

     Highlights of next year's initiatives include the addition of three tenure track faculty positions in the departments of history, geography, and sociology and anthropology -- underscoring the university's commitment to a low student-to-faculty ratio (currently at 11 to 1); an increase in available funds that will allow roughly 40 percent of the student body to receive financial aid; a pilot program in "connected learning" that would support the relationship between and among courses, departments and divisions of the university; the introduction of an interdisciplinary Medieval and Renaissance studies program; the elevation of the men's and women's crew teams to varsity status; and the opening of Little Hall, the $13 million art and art history building currently under construction.

     Total student charges for 2000-2001 will increase by $990 to $32,070, continuing a 12-year trend in lower percentage increases. According to Elizabeth Eismeier, financial vice president and treasurer, endowment growth and strong gift support from alumni and other donors have made it possible to hold the price at this level.

Watsons, Fulbrights
Three seniors have been selected to see the world with Watsons and three with Fulbrights.

     Rachel Cherry, Uchechi Obichere and Mihaly Sztaray have been awarded traveling scholarships from the Thomas J. Watson Foundation to pursue independent research outside the United States for one year following graduation.

     Sztaray will study the mysteries of the Argentine tango in Buenos Aires; Montevideo, Uruguay; Callella, Spain; Santiago de los Caballeros and Toulouse, France. Obichere will investigate the making of memory in various South African provinces. Cherry will travel to Vladimir, Voronezh, Saratov, Nizhny Novgorod, Leningrad and Oblast to study Russian agricultural workers and decollectivization.

     The Fulbright winners are Courtney McDonough, Beth Willis and Jennifer Durgin. All three plan to teach in Europe.

     Only 60 Watson Fellows were selected this year and the three Colgate seniors represent the greatest number of awardees from any one of the 50 selective private liberal arts colleges and universities nationwide participating in the competition.

[IMAGE] New York State Poet Laureate Sharon Olds gave one of several poetry readings during the spring. Included was a poem she showed the audience that had been revised just prior to her appearance in the Ho Lecture Room.

Great Putnam Eight
The William Lowell Putnam Mathematical Competition, featuring nearly 3000 undergraduates, mostly math majors from the United States and Canada, taking what may be the world's most difficult exam, was held in December. The six-hour test has 12 problems, each graded on a 10-point scale. Nineteen hundred out of the 2900 students taking the test got 0 points and the highest score was 74 out of 120.

     Bei Shen '02, Alex Qian '03, Deni Gintcheva '02, Joe Converse '03, Ashwin Lall '03, Dan Cain '01, Jon Bloom '01 and John Zomberg '01 made up the Colgate team, which placed 20th of 431 institutions, the highest Colgate finish ever!

     According to Tom Tucker of the mathematics department, Colgate finished among the top of the liberal arts colleges and ahead of most Ivy League and large public institutions. Alex Qian had the best individual performance, ranking 147th out of the 2900 students. In all, five Col-gate competitors finished in the top quarter of all students.

     The Putnam Eight is already planning for next year's exam -- aiming to be one of the only liberal arts college teams ever to crack the top ten in the 60-year history of the competition.

Al Chagan '64 was among the many helping coach Mark Randall celebrate his 90th birthday. In addition to good wishes, there were tributes and proclamations honoring the coach and founder of the Chenango Water Exercise Group. Chagan's hat pays tribute to Randall, who is affectionately known as the Whale.
Dean of admission
Gary L. Ross '77, assistant to the president and secretary of the Board of Trustees, has been named dean of admission effective July 1, 2000, succeeding Mary Hill '83, who will leave the college in July to become co-director of college counseling at St. Paul Academy in St. Paul, Minnesota. Ross, who has been in his current position since 1985, was interim director of admission from 1993 to 1995.

     In a late March announcement to the campus community, President Charles Karelis wrote: "Over the past five years, Mary and her staff have restructured Colgate's selection process and identified a diverse and academically talented group of students. Hallmarks of the past few classes include increased enrollment of Alumni Memorial Scholars; rising numbers of ALANA students; increased international enrollment; and high academic quality across all segments of the enrolling classes.

     "When Mary arrived at Colgate she stepped into a program that had been capably managed by Gary Ross. During Gary's tenure as interim dean, applications to Colgate increased by 25 percent, campus visits increased by nearly half, the acceptance rate was lowered, yield on offers improved, average SATs for enrolling students increased, and applications from ALANA students increased.

     "We are indeed fortunate to have on staff a respected colleague with proven abilities as dean who is willing to step forward and accept this important position. Colgate and all of us who are closely affiliated with the college are and will continue to be the beneficiaries of the work of these two talented individuals."

Creative writing fellowship
Poet John Poch, managing editor of the American Literary Review, has been awarded the English depart-ment's first annual Fellowship in Creative Writing. The fellowship is designed to support a writer completing a first book through a generous stipend, office space and the benefits of an intellectual community.

     Poch, who has published nearly 40 poems in various journals, will spend the academic year at Colgate beginning in the fall. He will teach a creative writing workshop each semester and give a public reading of his work.

     According to Chair of the English Department Linck Johnson, response to the fellowship "was far beyond our initial expectations," with nearly 200 applicants, which he termed, "extraordinarily impressive." The fellowship's attractive features and the strong reputation of the creative writing program accounts for the flood of applications, in the opinion of Johnson.

[IMAGE] AIDS researcher Dr. Robert Fullilove '66 returned to campus to provide an update from the epicenter. "The question is, what are you going to do?" Fullilove asked students during his Scientific Perspectives lecture.

Conference honors Bryce-Laporte
In honor of the retiring Roy S. Bryce-Laporte, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Professor of sociology, the Department of Sociology and Anthropology and the Center for Ethics and World Societies will sponsor a conference, "Diaspora and Diversity: Aspects of the Black Experience," during Reunion. Bryce-Laporte will receive the Alumni Association Distinguished Teaching Award on Friday, June 2. On Saturday, June 3, from 1:30 to 6 p.m., the conference will include readings by acclaimed novelist Paule Marshall from her forthcoming book The Fisher King and by Austin Clarke from his recently published memoir on growing up in Barbados. Papers on "Immigration, Identification and Linkage" will be presented along with a session on "Blacks in Communities and Institutions." Housing will be available at Gate House and all former students of Professor Bryce-Laporte are especially invited. For additional information, contact Stacey Snyder at 315-228-7807 or

"It's an accumulation, not a collection," said Professor of Music Emeritus Bill Skelton of his many instruments on display in the Longyear Museum. Skelton talked about his fascination with Indian music and played the sitar at the opening of the show in Alumni Hall.
Volcanic adventure
A field component to two geology courses -- Tectonics and Volcanology -- took 19 Colgate students on a two-week trip to Spain and the Canary Islands in January.

     "We wanted to show the students the effects of recent volcanism in the Canary Islands," said Art Goldstein, professor of geology, "comparing them to older volcanic rocks found in southeast Spain."

     Made possible by the generosity of Sylvia and Malcolm Boyce '56, the dean of faculty and the Faculty Development Council, the trip was led by Dr. Wes Gibbons, visiting Whitnall professor of geology, Dr. Teresa Moreno, visiting research associate, Karen Harpp, assistant professor of geology, and Goldstein.

     The group of mostly geology majors spent a week traversing Spain's Betic Mountain Belt. At Cazorla, they examined the geology of the frontal portion of the Betics and spent several days in San Jose, around which can be seen the remains of a volcanic arc that has been inactive for many years.

     Next the group visited the oceanic, volcanic Canary Islands. On Las Palmas, they visited sites representative of the full history of such an island, from its submarine inception on the sea floor to its eventual subaerial activity. On Tenerife, the most recently active island of the Canaries, they spent three days in the shadow of El Tiede, the impressive central volcanic core of the islands. In addition to both its top and flanks, the group also visited other recent volcanic formations including two lava flows.

     "Before the trip, it was hard to realize the magnitude of the formations," said junior geology major Bill Sweeney. "To be able to walk on these lava fields that were only laid down in the past 30 years and then climb to the top of the volcano and see what was created over millions of years was amazing."

Konosioni Charity Auction
The Konosioni Charity Auction, in March, raised more than $8,500 for Madison Family Outreach. Sam Solovey '98 returned to campus to serve as auctioneer for the third time.

     Colgate faculty, staff, students and alumni, as well as several area businesses, made more than 115 donations to the auction. Among the items up for bid were car washes, gift certificates, baskets of goodies, a pearl necklace, Colgate team jerseys and athletic gear, and tickets to a Yankees game with an escort by Catholic Chaplain John Donovan.

     The largest bid was posted by Konosioni's president and vice president, Sara Batsell and Hollie Young -- $550 for dinner for six with Assistant to the President Gary Ross.

Actor Edward James Olmos was the keynote speaker during the first Justice For All Week, held to raise issues of "representation, respect, resistance and power." Discussions about diversity, the Confederate flag and a speak-out against sexual violence were also held. Olmos encouraged his audience to learn about other cultures. [IMAGE]

Panhellenic awards
At the joint meeting of the Northeast Panhellenic Conference and the Northeast Interfraternity Conference in Pittsburgh in February, Simi Wilhelm, director of fraternity and sorority affairs, was awarded the Overall Panhellenic Advisor Award.

     In addition, Colgate's Panhell-enic Council was named Outstanding College Panhellenic for excellence in academics, community service, programming and communication, for the second year running, and received the Progress Award for improvement.

     Attending the conference were Panhellenic Council member Erin Gannon '00 and Interfraternity Council members Jeff Goran '02, Rod Forter '02, IFC President Joe Barnes '01 and Kyle MacNaughton '01.

Theta Chi closed until fall
In early March, Colgate's chapter of Theta Chi was closed for the rest of the semester and placed on probation until December 2001 following violations of state law and the college's alcohol policy in early February.

     The members of the Theta Chi Alumni Corporation made the decision to suspend the fraternity, which had already been on probation for a hazing incident last fall. The 16 residents were relocated to university housing for the remainder of the semester. The house will be permitted to re-open in the fall, but social events will be limited and alcohol will not be permitted. Kappa Kappa Gamma was placed on social probation for the rest of the semester.

Yahoo! We're two
Yahoo! Internet Life magazine has placed Colgate second on its list of "100 Most Wired Colleges" for 2000. The top 50 colleges and baccalaureate schools and the top 50 universities and research schools are ranked separately. Now in its fourth year, Yahoo's ranking of wired institutions is compiled from surveys submitted by participating colleges and universities.

     The survey ranks schools for their computing resources according to subcategories in the areas of Access and Infrastructure, Administrative, General Resources and Support Services. Colgate earned just over 86 out of 100 possible points. In a "Notes and Comments" sidebar, Yahoo! observed that "On mystery meat night, students can connect PCs to dining hall network ports and seek out food alternatives online."

Top of page
Table of contents
<<Previous: "People on the go" Next: "Sports" >>