The Colgate Scene
September 1999
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Around the college

Students from the Oneida Nation clean items they unearthed during an archaeological field study with Associate Professor of Anthropology Jordan Kerber over the summer. The students found European beads, animal bones, projectile points and wampum shell beads. The items were dug at a Stockbridge site about 10 miles from campus and date from the mid-1600s, according to Kerber.
1999-2000 Center for Ethics and World Societies
The Center for Ethics and World Societies began its second year under the topic "Homeless in the World: Refugees, Immigrants and the State."

     "This year, we are integrating the center's activities even more into the curriculum and the lives of students," said co-director Ellen Kraly, professor of geography and director of the Division of University Studies, who is joined by co-director Jack Dovidio, Charles A. Dana professor of psychology.

     Thomas Bass' Vietamerica: The War Comes Home, about the resettlement of Amerasian children of U.S. soldiers from Vietnam into the United States, became one focus for the beginning of the year. Sent to first-year students for their summer reading assignment, the book was discussed by Link groups during orientation, and a visit by the author brought the subject to the entire student body. The center awarded prizes for first-year essays and other creative reflections on the reading.

     A symposium during Family Weekend included a second campus visit by Thomas Bass; a presentation with slides by history professor Andrew Rotter on "Vietnam at Century's End: War and Reconciliation"; and the film AKA Don Bonus, the story of a Cambodian refugee's senior year in high school.

     Other fall events include a lecture by a major figure in immigration research, Douglas Massey, professor of sociology at University of Pennsylvania, who will speak on "Reasonable Immigration Policies for a Globalizing Economy," and "One Song, Many Voices: The Asian Pacific American Experience," an exhibition in the Longyear Museum of Anthropology.

New faculty chairs
At their July meeting, the Board of Trustees confirmed appointments to two new distinguished chairs.

     The Donald M. and Constance H. Rebar Chair in the Humanities will be held by Peter Balakian, professor of English. Balakian, who has been on the faculty since 1980, has served as director of Core Distinction and was 1998-99 director of the Center for Ethics and World Societies.

     The George Carleton Jr. Endowed Chair in Philosophy will be held by Maudemarie Clark, professor of philosophy and religion. On the Colgate philosophy and religion faculty since 1987, Clark has served as coordinator of philosophy for her department.

Administrative appointments
Jeff Baldani, associate professor of economics, has stepped into the chair of associate dean of the faculty. In student affairs, Arlene Hunter is the new associate dean of the college and director of campus life. Also joining the staff are Kim Joyce as the assistant dean of the college/director of judicial programs and Maryann Stark as director of residential life. Additionally, in career services, associate director David Bell is serving as director for 1999-2000 while a national search is being conducted for that position.

First-years do windows. As part of Outreach 2003 several members of the entering class took on projects all over the community. In addition to washing windows at the Chenango Nursery School, first-years picked up trash, painted and generally lent a hand even before orientation began.
Pavel Palazchenko, who first visited Colgate as Mikhail Gorbachev's translator in April of 1997, has returned to campus as an O'Connor visiting professor. An author and president of the Gorbachev Foundation, Palazchenko is teaching in the Russian Department. Palazchenko

CASE Circle of Excellence
In July, Colgate was presented with a 1999 Circle of Excellence in Educational Fund-Raising Award from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE). The award recognized Colgate for exemplary performance in fundraising conducted during the last year of Campaign Colgate, based on data the university submitted to the Council for Aid to Education annual Voluntary Support of Education survey.

One first-year to many others


After the tolling of the bell, after the parading of Konosioni and the faculty, after the Class of 2003 filled the Chapel, after the singing of the old hymn ("Grant us wisdom, grant us courage") the new president, Charles Karelis, delivered the Founders' Day speech, launching the university's 180th year.

     Tackling Colgate's unofficial motto, "work hard, play hard," Karelis explored the beer ad simplicity of the slogan and the balance of nonacademic and academic pursuits model before offering his own take on the phrase.

     "But still, work hard, play hard makes me nervous, and I think I know why. Telling ourselves to play hard leaves out things like meditation, watching sunsets, visiting Chapel House and ambling through fields with a novel under your arm. Nonacademic time doesn't have to be high-energy and goal-directed to be worthwhile. A recent graduate told me that Colgate students can't sit still. She meant it as a compliment. It may be an accurate generalization about Colgate students or it may not; it doesn't really matter, because I am talking to you and you are a new class that can do things your own way. But I am sure that I would not wish for you an inability to sit still.

     "But there is one last thing that makes me nervous. Work hard, play hard implies that work is work and play is play and the best you can hope to do is balance them; and that may be true in some lives, but when things are really flowing, work itself is like play. If you are lucky, your academic work itself will be like play.

     "How? Your academic work will be like play in three ways. Like play, if you are lucky, your studies will be a joy and not a burden. A hard joy, maybe, not a roller coaster ride, but a joy. Like play, if you are lucky, your studies will give you an outlet for creativity. Bounded creativity, maybe, not the fingerpainting kind, but here and there a thrill at having opened up some new acre of intellectual territory. Finally, like play, your studies will require you to pretend, to make believe that certain propositions are so that you do not really know are so. This pretending is part of hypothesis testing in science. It is also part of exploring alternative world views, which is essential for solidifying your own world view.

     "Where does all this leave work hard, play hard?

     . . . I would hope to have helped you see the relation of work and play in your lives at Colgate as a problem requiring serious, and maybe at the same time playful, attention, and I look forward to seeing what you decide to do about it over the coming years."

     After the speech, the first day of classes quickly followed.

Sophomore lunch
A mealtime program that brings sophomores together for a casual breaking-of-bread with faculty members and university administrators is gaining popularity and a sense of tradition.

     Established in 1993, "Sophomore Lunch was started to help students feel more connected to the university," said Barbara Kershaw, assistant director of development programs, who administers the program. Unlike students in other classes, who have specific mechanisms that provide contact with faculty and administrators -- first-year orientation, junior year study groups and senior year career and graduate school exploration, for example -- sophomores seemed to be "in limbo" and showed a certain amount of detachment.

     Pairs of administrators and faculty members host small groups of sophomores in Merrill House for luncheon in an intimate dining room setting. A loosely organized agenda allows discussion of issues relevant to students. By the end of the year, every sophomore in the class will have been invited to lunch. Last year, 28 percent of the class participated, and attendance has been steadily improving.

     This year, more than 100 faculty members and administrators have signed up to host luncheons, up from 68 last year. Don Martin, senior development officer, said that he welcomes the interaction with sophomores, who are "given the chance to express themselves while they are immersed in the middle of their Colgate experience. It's a fun time for all and personally, it puts me in a better position to talk intelligently to alumni about what the student experience really is."

     "As a faculty member, it's helpful to know what the heartbeat's like on campus," said art professor Lynn Schwarzer, who also feels talking to students at luncheons leads to conversations they would not normally have in the classroom.

     Written student evaluations and host appraisals have provided valuable feedback for many campus offices and reveal that the sophomores appreciate meeting new people and hearing individual administrator and faculty perspectives on issues. As one student wrote, "It really made me feel Colgate cares about me as a student. This is exactly the reason I came to Colgate -- because my opinions and thoughts count."

Venice Lagoon's first archaeological study
A project conducted by Research Associate Albert Ammerman, an archaeologist, and Professor of Geology Charles McClennen has garnered international attention. According to their study, the rate of sea-level rise around Venice, Italy is accelerating, presenting the city with perhaps its greatest challenge ever.

     Theirs is the first study of environmental archaeology ever undertaken in the Venice lagoon, drawing a picture of the world hidden below and calculating the pattern of change in relative sea level going back to 4000 BC.

     Since as far back as the third century, Venetians have struggled with rising tides, ferrying in soil to build up land levels. And, Ammerman says, the city on water may not be saved by the current proposed remedy -- a series of mobile floodgates with a price tag of several billion dollars.

     By employing a small boat, Ammerman and McClennen searched shallow channels never explored systematically. Specially tailored acoustical studies combined with new dating techniques enabled them to determine that relative sea level his risen over time, and at a rate that has accelerated this century.

     This knowledge holds value for the future. A costly mobile gate system now under serious consideration by Venetian authorities would completely close off the lagoon when in use and is based on scant data, Ammerman said. "What the past is telling us is that the best strategy for Venice is the oldest one: Just keep topping off the ground or you're going to lose it."

     Besides new evidence on the lagoon environment, the study turned up a wealth of artifacts: coins from Roman times, amphorae, lamps, domestic pottery, glass cups, decorated bone combs and the remains of a small boat, dated to the fifth century.

     Ammerman's work is partly funded by the National Geographic Society. The study was conducted with Maurizia de Min of the Superintendency of Monuments in Venice and Rupert Housley of the University of Glasgow, Scotland. The results of the project were reported in the June issue of Antiquity.


Colgate moves up on U.S. News list
In August, U.S. News & World Report released its annual Best Colleges issue. Colgate moved up from 21st last year to 18th this year, in a four-way tie with Bryn Mawr College, Colby College and Hamilton College in the category of Best National Liberal Arts Colleges. This category includes the 162 selective schools that emphasize undergraduate education and award at least 40 percent of their degrees in the liberal arts.

A new Maroon Key
In a quest for a name to unify the various student and alumni volunteers who support Colgate's student recruitment effort, the admission office has revived the club known as Maroon Key. Founded in 1931 as a junior honorary society, Maroon Key has not been active on campus for about ten years. The idea was to reclaim a Colgate tradition.

     Maroon Key members of the past hosted prospective students, gave tours and performed other service functions on campus. By the 1980s, Maroon Key was known primarily as a campus service organization. Former recruitment-oriented functions were fulfilled by separate volunteer groups. As other student organizations began to fulfill the rest of the club's original objectives, Maroon Key faded from existence.

     The nomenclature of school color and the word "key" is frequently used to designate admission volunteer groups that help unlock the doors to a school. "Maroon Key seemed a natural choice for us, for the particular history and tradition of the name at Colgate," says the new training handbook for volunteer tourguides, hosts, ambassadors, interns, campus liaisons and alumni representatives.

Haines leaves his mark on the SSHA
When it comes to mortality, Michael Haines, Banfi Vintners distinguished professor of economics, wants to remind people that, as the year 2000 approaches, we can look back upon the 20th century for the greatest achievements of the modern world. Haines, who is also president of the Social Science History Association (SSHA), will deliver this message in his presidential address to the 1999 Annual Meeting of SSHA in Fort Worth, Texas, in November. SSHA is an international professional association with approximately 1,200 members who represent a wide range of academic disciplines. The association promotes an understanding of history using a variety of social science methodologies.

     In a talk titled "The Health Revolution and the Great Modern Mortality Transition," Haines will discuss the fact that while "the decline in mortality is not a done deal" -- the AIDS epidemic being a significant example -- "in the United States, infant mortality has been reduced from 10 percent at the turn of the 20th century to .1 percent today, life expectancy has risen from age 40 to the upper 70s, and cholera and other deadly diseases have been wiped out. The world is better, in significant part due to advances of science, public health and improvements in the standard of living. We sometimes take it for granted."

     Haines, at Colgate since 1990, has done significant research into fertility and mortality in the United States and Europe in the 19th and 20th centuries. He is author of several books, including, with Samuel H. Preston, Fatal Years: Child Mortality in Late Nineteenth-Century America and is widely published in journals as well.

     The SSHA speech will be Haines' final message to the organization as its president; his term ends in November. Under Haines' leadership, the SSHA has made several advances, including a conference website for information and online registration, as well as the inaugural electronic edition of Social Science History, the organization's journal, published with Duke University Press.

A host of weekend activities will mark the inauguration of Charles `Buddy' Karelis as Colgate's fourteenth president.

     President Karelis graciously offered to share with the Colgate community a glimpse of works from his own art collection. On Friday, October 15, the Picker Art Gallery will host an opening and reception for an exhibition of 20 prints, drawings, photographs and mixed media by 11 different artists. The works chosen "all share the same compositional principles," said Dewey Mosby, director of the gallery. "In each, there is a frontal center of interest with action around it." The earliest work is a 1791 print by poet/illustrator William Blake; the most recent, a colorful silkscreen by Belgian artist Eddie Muelen. Pieces by "modern medievalist" John Taylor Arms, a group of strong drawings by 20th century British artist A. Hugh Fisher and a mixed-media grouping of magic wands are also included. The exhibition will be available for viewing until December 17.

     An inaugural concert Saturday night in the Chapel by the University Orchestra and University Chorus, Marietta Cheng and G. Roberts Kolb conducting, will feature American celebratory music, which was requested by President Karelis. "Copland's Rodeo, `Variations on Shaker Theme' (the end of Appalachian Spring) and Gershwin's Cuban Overture are lively and festive," said Cheng. "The chorus will chime in with Cole Porter songs, and the inaugural concert will end with one of the most gorgeously colored works of the entire orchestral repertoire, Respighi's The Pines of Rome."

     On Sunday, October 17, after delegates' registration and a late-morning brunch, the inauguration itself will take place in Memorial Chapel. The Colgate Faculty Brass Quintet will provide processional music and will perform a work during the ceremony.

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