The Colgate Scene
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|The Colgate Scene invites responsible letters, addressed to the editor, regarding any subject that may be considered of interest to the Colgate community. We reserve the right to edit for length and clarity.||
Remembrances . . . .
. . I didn't know in August that I would be going on to college in September 1956. I had received an acceptance letter from Colgate and was absolutely thrilled. No mention of scholarship or financial aid was included in the letter and I struggled with the bittersweet feelings about what might have been. Financial aid was a necessity.
In a few weeks, a phone call, taken by my mother, came from the office of the President. Dr. Everett N. Case was on the line. Absorbing the shock, she listened as he told her that I had been selected as one of three entering freshmen to receive the newly established President's Scholarship. She listened nervously as he described some of the details outlining the scope of the award.
Not the least of those details, covering the room and board costs, was the fact that I would be living with his family, in what is now Merrill House, during my freshman year. I would be working in the Student Union for meals and serving family and university guests at receptions and dinners in the house. This stunning development was an absolute life saver -- no, more like a life shaper. It altered my life forever, along with the lives of everyone connected to me.
Everett and Josephine Case were remarkable people, warm and encouraging and very down-to-earth. They were not aloof or uncaring. They had a ready ear when we needed a sounding board and were quite savvy as to our needs and personal growth.
While I was truly impressed and overwhelmed by it all, I never felt smothered or unworthy in their presence. Quite the contrary, classmates David Maxfield and Larry Badendyck and I were made to feel empowered and in the best possible environment to prepare us for the world's challenges. We could succeed in whatever we chose to undertake in life with confidence born of our Colgate experience.
By 1985 President Case was living in the family homestead a few miles east of Hamilton, in Van Hornesville. It was becoming more difficult for him to travel back to Colgate, but he eagerly accepted my invitation to be the keynote speaker during our Class of 1960 25th reunion dinner, where he shared his memories of our special times together and what Colgate means to all of us.
My wife Chris and I will always remember warmly and gratefully the time and special gifts we've received as part of the Case and Colgate family.
JOHN F. BLANCHARD '60
David Breen '82 and Donald House. I work for AK Peters, Ltd. and I was the production editor in charge of that book. Would you believe that I spent two crazy months working with Dave and Don in a desperate (and, thank goodness, successful) attempt to get this book done under deadline and that Dave and I never knew that we were fellow alumni?
I wrote to him as soon as I saw the '82 after his name in the review. His reply? "I wish I had known! We could have traded Colgate war stories and had a drink (or two)!"
Thank you for showing Dave and me that we had an even greater bond than we had previously thought. Oh, and I forgive you for neglecting to mention that there were two alumni who worked on this book, although I must say that David's part was much, much greater than mine.
ARIEL JAFFEE '98
Recently I thought I'd go to a Picker Art Gallery reception and talk, and planned to arrive in time to get some cookies. However, I got involved putting up a shelf in my studio and discovered I had only five minutes before the event. Late again! But I decided to go anyhow, hoping I could sneak in behind people and find a seat without causing a disruption.
I easily found parking in the new lot below Dana, and huffed up the stairs toward the upper gallery. Finishing the last flight, I saw that the reception was still taking place at the upper landing. As I arrived, a little breathless, people turned and welcomed me. Someone offered me delicacies from a tray. This wasn't the shameful late entrance I had dreaded.
The program hadn't started yet; indeed, the speaker was seated comfortably on a couch and didn't seem impatient to start. So I took in the array of delicious-looking food, visually and then gastronomically. Then I easily joined a small, affable group in conversation until the program started. What a pleasant surprise!
I appreciate such warm social encounters at Colgate, whether or not I look like a Colgate alumna or parent. I also like the placement and architecture of the new buildings on campus. Suburban sprawl may be rampantly spreading elsewhere, but not on campus. Compact placement of buildings underscores that students don't all need cars.
I also appreciate Colgate's involvement in the economic scene, from the Barge Canal Coffee Company to the Partnership for Community Development and the Farmers' Market. Vendors can tell when school is in session, especially during special weekends that bring in many additional people to the park. Thank you for enhancing community life here.
Lastly, has anyone ever considered starting an "art theatre" series that could be screened in the downtown movie theatre? A group of students and townies could decide which films to show -- classics, a certain theme, alternative cinema flicks. Like a co-op, there could even be a ballot to choose the following semester's films. I'd like to see La Strada again. I think the community could support an art movie house like the one in Manlius. A discussion could take place at the Barge following the film. I haven't yet been inside the renovated theatre, but I've heard that there are now several small viewing rooms, perfect for taking a chance on an art movie series.
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