The Colgate Scene
November 2002

Around the college

Ben Merchant, president and co-owner of Kerner & Merchant Pipe Organ Builders in East Syracuse, reassembles the Holtkamp pipe organ after painstakingly dusting and cleaning the 2,000 pieces in Memorial Chapel's musical centerpiece. The organ is cleaned about once every decade. [Photos by Timothy D. Sofranko]

After ten years at Colgate, Dean of the College Michael Cappeto announced that he will step down at the end of the academic year. Cappeto is spending his final year as vice president for student affairs, assisting President Chopp in planning for the Task Force on Campus Culture. Cappeto's term was the second longest of any dean of the college.

Adam Weinberg, associate professor of sociology, has accepted the post of interim dean of the college. Weinberg will continue to serve as co-director of Colgate's Center for Outreach, Volunteerism and Education (the COVE), a community service organization that he helped to establish in September 2001. Weinberg has worked on the board of directors of the Partnership for Community Development in Hamilton, helped launch a national community-based education effort called Democracy Matters, and served from 1998-2000 on President Clinton's Council on Sustainable Development. During the past year, Weinberg has also served as associate dean, academic/student life initiatives.
— Sarah Towers '03

At the conclusion of her welcome to the Class of 2006 at the annual convocation ceremony, which took place shortly before September's Friday the 13th, President Chopp taught first-year students a new word: triskaidekaphobia.

"I want to ask you to do one thing for me," she said to the class. "Pronounce the following word: Triskaidekaphobia. On Colgate's campus, it is forbidden. You know what triskaidekaphobia is? Fear of 13.

"For Colgaters, 13 is lucky. As many of you heard when you took a tour of Colgate for the first time, Colgate was founded by 13 men who had 13 dollars and 13 prayers. We love 13. Our university is located at 13 Oak Drive. Did you know that Colgate's zip code, 13346, is special? If you take the first two numbers you have 13, and then if you add up the remaining three numbers, you have a sum of 13.

"Why do we ban triskaideka-phobia at Colgate? Because we are dedicated to not being superstitious, not being conformist, not staying comfortable in our little boxes, not putting persons in stereotypes, not finding things boring. Wear 13 proudly. Live it out: risk learning new things, engaging with new persons, climbing new hills. Don't be a triskaidekaphobe or a person with a morbid fear of doing anything different, of learning new things, of getting to know persons different than yourself. Live 13 proudly like all Colgaters do.

"Celebrate Friday the 13th as a day to learn something different! We are proud of banning triskaideka-phobia from our campus, our communities, our practices, our hearts and our words! Welcome times 13. One more time, say it with me: Triskaidekaphobia. It is forbidden!"


Katy Goodrich '03 soaks in some late September afternoon sun while catching up on classwork outside of Lathrop Hall
Emily Murphy, right, and Trevor Chapman, both seniors at Hamilton High School, frolic in the sprinkler on Colgate's football field. The pair, both children of Colgate employees, were enjoying the warm weather of early September and watching the day's sporting events. Dan Cain '01 chats with senior computer science major Jun Qian after Cain's presentation "My life since Colgate: From math at Penn to the NSA" in McGregory Hall in late September. Cain is currently a student in the graduate mathematics program at the University of Pennsylvania and returned to campus to participate in the math department's seminar.
USN&WR ranking

Colgate ranked 18th on the latest U.S. News & World Report Best Liberal Arts Colleges — Bachelors list, in a three-way tie with Colby and Hamilton Colleges. This category includes the 217 liberal arts schools that emphasize undergraduate education and award at least half of their degrees in liberal arts disciplines.

Colgate was also listed among the 25 schools from which students graduate with the least debt, as well as at number six under Great Schools at Great Prices, which, according to U.S. News, bases the list on "a formula that relates a school's academic quality, as indicated by its U.S. News ranking, to the net cost of attendance for a student who receives the average level of financial aid."

Jonathan Schell
Jonathan Schell, of Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government and The Nation Institute, gave the opening lecture for the Center for Ethics and World Societies. He discussed "The Unfinished Twentieth Century" in Cotterell Court on September 4.
Science, Technology and Values

This year, the Center for Ethics and World Societies (CEWS) is exploring the theme of "Science, Technology and Values." Established in 1998 through an anonymous gift to the college, CEWS facilitates discussion of issues arising from the interactions of different nations, peoples and communities, with an emphasis on the ethical aspects of those issues. The center seeks to develop in students an intellectual and ethical orientation and to help bring about a vital connection between campus life and the world outside.

In describing the context for this year's programming, Director Paul Pinet, professor of geology, wrote: "Science and technology have suffused all aspects of human life. Some critics allege that science and technology reinvent what it means to be human, as they collectively influence and control how people perceive and understand themselves and the rest of the natural world. Also, the imperatives and discoveries of science and technology create new possibilities for human interactions and beliefs, and by so doing they reconfigure ethical domains. Finally, the rational scientific and technological perspectives have become for many the principal approach for answering questions about cultural, social, political, educational and ethical values. These are the complex issues that this year's speakers and events for CEWS will attempt to examine."

Among the guest speakers on this year's schedule are Jonathan Schell, the Shorenstein Fellow at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government and the Nation Institute's Harold Willens Peace Fellow; Langdon Winner, John D. MacArthur Professor of university studies in Colgate's Division of University Studies; Sandra Filippucci, artist and creator of The cyberNuns Series; Anne Foerst of the Departments of Theology and Computer Science at St. Bonaventure University, where she is director of NEXUS: The Religion & Science Dialogue Project; Dave Abram, an ecologist and philosopher; and Lori Andrews, distinguished professor of law at Chicago-Kent College of Law.

Karen Harpp in the lab with students
Recipient of the 2002 Donald and Carolyn Biggs Earth Science Teaching Award from the Geological Society of America, Karen Harpp, right, shares a laugh with some of her students in the lab as they look over a piece of volcanic rock.
Geological society honors Harpp

Karen Harpp, assistant professor of geology, is the recipient of the 2002 Donald and Carolyn Biggs Earth Science Teaching Award from the Geological Society of America. The award recognizes the endeavors and achievements of exceptional college professors early in their careers. In expressing her gratification at receiving the award, Harpp stated that "Colgate students make this kind of experience possible — they're so much fun to work with that you always want to give it everything you've got." The Geological Society of America will present the Biggs Award to Harpp at a luncheon at the GSA's annual meeting in Denver later this year.

Harpp joined Colgate in 1998, specializing in the teaching of geochemistry, instrumental analysis, volcanology and introductory geology. She also teaches a course on the advent of the atomic bomb. A former Churchill Fellow, Harpp has received grants for research and equipment from the National Science Foundation. Her current research focuses on the origin and evolution of the Galapagos Islands and plume-ridge interactions.
— Sarah Towers '03

Diversity/multicultural appointments

Two administrative appointments have been made in Colgate's efforts in support of diversity and multicultural affairs.

Rajesh Bellani is assistant dean/director of multicultural affairs. In this newly created position, Bellani provides leadership for the development of educational, cultural and social programs that enhance intercultural understanding and foster a campus climate that celebrates and respects the uniqueness of all its members.

Bellani is responsible for coordinating the college's existing efforts, including the Office of Undergraduate Studies, the ALANA Cultural Center and the Committee on ALANA Affairs, and will be responsible for developing college-wide policies. Previously, he had been associate director of campus life since September 2001.

Adrianne Morton was promoted to director of the Office of Undergraduate Studies, after serving as acting director for the 2002 OUS summer program and, previously, as OUS coordinator.


Mark Seymour of Genie Services wipes the top side of the skylights in the top-floor lobby of James B. Colgate Hall.

O. Nigel Bolland, Charles A. Dana Professor of sociology, was awarded the Gordon K. Lewis Award for excellence by the Caribbean Studies Association (CSA) for his book The Politics of Labour in the British Caribbean: The Social Origins of Authoritarianism and Democracy in the Labour Movement.

The prize, which was announced at the association's annual conference in Nassau, Bahamas, is awarded for the best book about the Caribbean published over the previous three-year period in any of the four leading Caribbean languages (Spanish, English, French or Dutch). The CSA is an independent professional organization devoted to the promotion of Caribbean studies from a multidisciplinary and multicultural point of view.

At Colgate, Bolland teaches courses on slavery and emancipation, colonialism and development and social change in the Caribbean. Has worked extensively in the Caribbean and Central America and has written several books on Belize and the labor movement in the Caribbean.

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