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Terrence Des Pres Memorial Conference

The Terrence Des Pres Memorial Conference, "Genocide and Memory," will be held the weekend of November 1-3 in honor of Des Pres, who taught at Colgate from 1973 until his death in November 1987. His books The Survivor: An Anatomy of Life in the Death Camps; Praises & Dispraises, Poetry and Politics in the 20th Century and Writing into the World remain significant contributions to the field of holocaust studies and literary criticism.

Each day of the conference will feature two talks about witness and genocide denial, with respondents and discussion around each talk. On Friday, Geoffrey Hartman will speak on intellectual witness and Richard Hovannisian will speak on Armenian genocide denial. On Saturday Robert Jay Lifton will discuss professional witness and Deborah Lipstadt will speak on holocaust denial. At the closing session Sunday morning colleagues and friends of Des Pres will offer assessments of his work and career.

For more information or to register for the conference, please contact the English department at Colgate University, 13 Oak Dr, Hamilton, NY 13346.

Outreach 2000, a new program, gave 26 first-year students an opportunity to begin their Colgate careers with two days of community service. The students spruced up the Earlville Opera House, did chores at Heritage Farms and prepared picnic tables for Hamilton's new pavilion at the Eaton Street Recreation Center.

Excellence duly noted

Colgate has much to be proud of in its most recent graduating class. Three members of the Class of 1996 -- Sarah Clawson, Carrie Dean and Bill Willis -- have been awarded Fulbright Fellowhips for 1996-97 and Scott Worden was one of 12 in the nation to be selected for a prestigious award from the Carnegie Endowment for Inter-national Peace.

For her Fulbright, Clawson is teaching conversational English and American literature and culture at the Lycée Jean Macé, a high school in Rennes, France. Dean is studying at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver in the fields of environmental management and Canadian environmental policy. And Willis, who was a geology and German major, is in Sachsen-Anhalt, Bundesland, west of Berlin, teaching German and American culture to high school students.

Worden was awarded a full-time editorial assistantship at Foreign Policy magazine in Washington, DC from the Carnegie Endowment.

"These four graduates represent the achievements of our very finest students," says Jane Pinchin, provost and dean of the faculty, "but they are indicative of, rather than the exception to, what Colgate produces. It's pleasing to see their excellence at Colgate has been noted and honored in an external world."

Writers' Conference

Forty-six writers from 13 states came to campus the week of June 30-July 6 for the inaugural Chenango Valley Writers' Conference. With full-time occupations ranging from doctor and lawyer to teacher and homemaker, participants indulged their common passion for words through a series of workshops, consultations, craft talks, readings and informal conversations on writing fiction, nonfiction and poetry. Participants visiting central New York for the first time marveled at the natural beauty of the campus and surrounding area. They quickly discovered peaceful spots for writing, whether setting up their laptops on picnic tables or opening their notebooks beside Taylor Lake.

Author Hilma Wolitzer leads a discussion during a workshop at the Chenango Valley Writers' Conference.
Carolyn Anderson, a grantwriter for North Slope Borough in Barrow, Alaska, traveled the greatest distance to attend the conference and pursue her interest in writing fiction. "I expected a lot from the conference and it exceeded my expectations," noted Anderson, who offered high marks across the board for the weeklong experience. And she especially enjoyed Colgate's July 4th fireworks display, since near-constant daylight in her remote home on the Arctic Ocean precludes July fireworks.

Fred Busch served as director of the conference and led one of three workshops on writing fiction. Joining him were fellow English faculty members Peter Balakian and Leila Philip, who led respective workshops in poetry and nonfiction. The instructional staff included other accomplished writers, editors and publishing experts. Also offering assistance that ranged from critiquing manuscripts to passing out dorm room keys were recent Colgate graduates who served as interns: Meredith Beam '94, Kim Mattson '92, Vivek Narayanan '92, Kerry Neville '94, Kate Schmitt '95 and Elise Vogel '97.

Lost and found

East Hall gave up a secret this summer after 47 years. Donald Beal '53 was a freshman in 1949 when he lost his wallet. Life went on. He played basketball that first year and was on the baseball team for four years. His senior year he homered twice in a game, setting a Colgate record.

The long-forgotten wallet was found during work on telephone lines in the dormitory attic. It was turned over to Campus Safety, who contacted Brenda Mason of Alumni Affairs. Mason called a "totally shocked" Don Beal, who found nearly 50 pictures of high school friends and family and a concert punch ticket when he received the wallet.

"All my memories of Colgate are pretty good," said Beal, who plans to return to campus for his 45th reunion in 1998. Now he can add the forgotten wallet to the list.

Among the additions made to Lawrence Hall during a summer of garden-level refurbishment were two back door entryways and a stone patio with a view of the valley. The upper floors are scheduled for renovations next summer.

A world champ

The practice paid off.

Gail Majdalany Heaslip '79, who returned to campus early this summer (July '96 Scene) to train for the World Masters Diving Championships and work with her former coach Mark Randall, won the three meter competition and was second from the one meter board.

"I was very consistent for a change," says Heaslip of her diving in Sheffield, England, where the international event was held. "I really didn't miss any dives."

The competition began from the one meter board and after finishing second, Heaslip, who admits to being "very nervous," was able to relax. "I kept telling myself no one cares what you do when you are 39, but I cared."

Heaslip followed her international success with three national titles in late August. Competing at the Rose Bowl Pool in California, Gail was first from one meter and in two synchronized events.

"I was pretty surprised," says Gail Heaslip of her world championship. Coach Randall wasn't, though. He was just excited. And proud.