The Colgate Scene
September 2003

Around the college

The university's Fourth of July fireworks display attracts thousands of people to Hamilton each year. [Photos by Timothy D. Sofranko]
Four named to board

With a brand-new eatery constructed as part of this past summer's renovation of the Coop, the Scene thought it would be fun to take a look at the state of student dining at Colgate.
The Board of Trustees elected four new members in May: Jeffrey Fager '77, Gerald Fischbach '60, Michael Martin '69 and Janna Pistiner '01.

Since July 1998, Fager has served as the executive producer of 60 Minutes II, winner of five Emmy awards, an Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University award, three Peabody awards, a Delta Sigma Chi award, two Investigative Reporting and Editing awards, two Edward R. Murrow awards and five American Women in Radio and Television Gracie Allen awards. He will become executive producer of 60 Minutes in June 2004, succeeding Don Hewitt, the program's creator.

Physician and neuroscientist Gerald D. Fischbach, M.D., is executive vice president for health and biomedical sciences, dean of the faculties of health sciences and dean of the faculty of medicine at the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University. He is a graduate of Cornell University Medical School. His son is Peter Fischbach '87, M.D.

Martin, immediate past president of the Colgate Alumni Corporation Board of Directors, enjoyed a 34-year career with Equitable and its successor, AXA Financial, Inc., where prior to retiring he held several key positions including executive vice president and managing director of retail distribution, chief marketing officer and chairman and CEO of AXA Advisors. He and his wife, Mary Catherine, are the parents of three Colgate graduates, Derek '92, Jeremy '95 and Emily '99.

Pistiner, who received an M.S. degree in earth sciences from Oxford University as the first recipient of Colgate's Paul J. Schupf Fellowship, has been writing her thesis for an M.Sc. in comparative and international education at Oxford. This fall, she began teaching high school chemistry and earth science in a charter school in Queens, N.Y.

Top left: The Thunder Lizard Singers perform a traditional Native American dance in the Colgate Bookstore during Village Day of the seventh annual Chenango Summer MusicFest in June. The theme of the day was "America's Encounters at the Hamilton Crossroads."
Bottom left: A decorative mirror in the Colgate Inn's Green Room reflects a chamber music vignette by cellist John McGann '06, left, and violinist Sophia D'Addio '06 at the Chenango Summer MusicFest.
Right: Violinist Julie Saiko from Edmeston, N.Y. plays Bach's Sonata No. 1 in G minor during a Chenango Summer MusicFest masterclass in the Barge Canal Coffee Company.
Administrative changes

Several appointments and departures among the university's administration were announced during the summer months.

Vice President for Student Affairs Michael Cappeto, who served as dean of the college from 1992 to 2002, has resigned his position to join the College Board in New York City as vice president for higher education assessment programs. In his new position, Cappeto will oversee all of the College Board testing instruments that are employed by colleges and universities. His first project will be to supervise the final stages in the development of the new Scholastic Aptitude Test -- the standard assessment taken annually by more than three million students preparing to enter college in the United States. The new SAT will be implemented in March 2005 and is intended to focus on writing ability and cognitive, educational and developmental skills, rather than simply assessing what has been learned in high school.

In order to streamline and coordinate Colgate's business operations in the village of Hamilton, President Rebecca Chopp announced in July that Trish St. Leger, associate provost, would expand her portfolio of duties, working through the treasurer's office to provide university oversight of the Hamilton Initiative, Palace Theater, Hamilton Movie House, Colgate Inn and Barge Canal Coffee Co.

"With her business background, knowledge of Colgate and interest in the community, Trish brings a wonderful mix of skills, experience and sensitivity to this new position," said Chopp. Hamilton Initiative President Roger Bauman will report to St. Leger and provide day-to-day supervision, in collaboration with the managers of the respective businesses. "They will work together to ensure that these properties provide attractive and diverse social alternatives for our students and our community," said Chopp.

Janet Little, senior associate director of the Division of Physical Education, Recreation and Athletics, will serve as interim director while a search is conducted to replace Mark Murphy, who left to become athletic director at Northwestern University. Little has been a member of the Colgate athletics staff since 1977. Little's administrative responsibilities at Colgate span two decades, during which time she has assumed a consistently expanding leadership role within the university and the division. Her primary oversight areas include budget and personnel administration, in addition to chairing Colgate's physical education program. Little serves as the advisor to the Student-Athlete Advisory Council and as an administrative liaison for several Colgate athletic programs, and assists with the CHAMPS Life Skills and NCAA compliance programs.

S&P affirms Colgate's credit rating

Standard & Poor's Ratings Services has assigned its AA- rating to civic facility revenue bonds issued by Colgate through the Madison County Industrial Development Agency.

According to Standard & Poor's, the rating reflects Colgate's high levels of unrestricted and expendable resources; a long history of positive operating performance; an endowment that has grown to total more than $400 million; the university's strong admissions picture; high student quality indicators; and a manageable debt burden.

"This rating underscores the university's financial health," said David Hale '84, financial vice president and treasurer. "S&P has affirmed our strength by maintaining our rating as we borrowed $20 million in late July."

The new bonds are funding the renovation of the O'Connor Campus Center, installation of the Alumni Hall HVAC system, renovations of Cutten Hall and Ryan Studio completed in 2002, future work on student residences and a variety of other on-campus renovation projects.

Sue Kazin, senior development researcher in the Division of University Relations, reads a newspaper while taking her turn at an American Red Cross blood drive held in Cotterell Court in July. Sponsored by the Hamilton Lion's Club, the drive exceeded its goal of 45 pints of blood, collecting 58 pints — five from first-time donors.
Much more than an ID

Colgate students are using a new identification card that's "all that" -- and can buy a bag of chips, too.

In addition to being the official campus ID and the entry ticket into dining halls for those on meal plans, the 'Gate Card, introduced this fall, also serves as a declining balance debit card for purchases at the Colgate Bookstore, C-Store (on-campus convenience store), Juice Bar, Coop and mailroom, as well as use of vending and laundry machines, the library and photocopiers. Students and their families can deposit money into their 'Gate Card accounts at any time, in person, by mail or over a secure web page. Members of the staff and faculty can also set up 'Gate Card accounts.

The 'Gate Card can also be used at more than 30 Hamilton businesses, from restaurants and pizza places to the dry cleaners to flower and gift shops to the hair salon. Participating merchants pay a minimal transaction fee each time a student uses the card, but the assumed trade-off is that, with the convenience of the new payment option, students will shop downtown more frequently.

Systems such as the 'Gate Card are becoming standard fare at many universities and colleges across the country because they allow students to access many services, both on and off campus, with a single card.

Driven to gears

Colgate partnered with SUNY-Morrisville this past summer to host a groundbreaking science education program for teenage girls that combined basic auto repair with physics, chemistry and mathematics.

Twenty-four girls between the ages of 14 and 17 participated in the Discovery Under the Hood program, a seven-day residential camp that used the automobile as a "vehicle" to explore topics such as the science, mathematics, engineering and technology behind internal combustion engines, fuel economy, power trains and computerized diagnostic equipment, and how these fields are integrated. In addition, the participants were taught practical skills for basic auto maintenance, such as checking fluid levels, changing a tire and how to safely jump-start a car. The project was funded through a three-year, $300,000 grant from the National Science Foundation.

Morning sessions were held at SUNY Morrisville's Automotive Technology Center, where participants engaged in a hands-on examination of an automobile. Meals, lodging and afternoon and evening sessions were held at Colgate, where the girls further explored the basic scientific principles behind the operation of automobiles and how those principles can be transferred to a variety of other applications.

"I'm pleased with the program," said Beth Parks, an associate professor of physics who was principal investigator on the NSF grant. "The girls had a lot of energy and were very excited about getting their hands dirty. The grant continues for another two summers, and we have a lot of ideas about how to make it even better next year."


A group of schools including Colgate as well as Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, St. Lawrence University, Rochester Institute of Technology and Vassar College has received a grant of $40,000 from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to support planning for a university library consortium. The consortium, called ConnectNY, allows the institutions to share library holdings, making the collections of all five readily available to students, faculty and staff.

In addition to vastly increasing the number of offerings available to library users, the new system speeds delivery of volumes from participating institutions. Library users may borrow materials from ConnectNY libraries by requesting them online, and items are then delivered to their own library for pickup, usually within 48 hours.

Wilson Center Fellow

M. Anne Pitcher, associate professor of political science, is one of 21 scholars from the United States, Africa, Asia and South America named Woodrow Wilson Center Fellows for 2003-2004.

Pitcher, who has taught at Colgate since 1990, will spend the academic year in residence at the center to study the process and outcome of economic restructuring in the African countries of South Africa, Mozambique, Angola and Zambia.

The Woodrow Wilson Center, located in Washington, D.C., was established by an act of Congress in 1968 as a living memorial to President Woodrow Wilson. As both a distinguished scholar -- the only American president with a Ph.D. -- and a national leader, Wilson felt strongly that the scholar and the policymaker were "engaged in a common enterprise." The center awards 20 to 25 residential fellowships annually to individuals with outstanding project proposals in a broad range of the social sciences and humanities on national or international issues whose topics intersect with questions of public policy or provide the historical or cultural framework to illumine policy issues of contemporary importance.

Celebrating 30 years of women's athletics

The Division of Athletics is sponsoring a yearlong celebration recognizing 30 years of women's varsity athletics at Colgate and is inviting all alumni to participate.

"Colgate responded to the interests and aspirations of women students in the 1973-74 academic year by raising several club sports to varsity status," said Janet Little, interim director of athletics. "The steady progression and growth of the women's varsity sports program has continued ever since. We will be making a special effort to reach out to former women athletes and their families this year through special events, an interactive website and increased communication from coaches and current women athletes."

In addition, alumni can share their own 'Gate women's athletics photos and stories both past and present on a special website which can also be accessed directly through a link on Colgate's home page. For more information, call 315-228-7601.

Holidays in error

The 2003 Colgate Calendar contains incorrect listings for several religious holidays, including Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Hanukkah and Eid-ul-fitr.

Rosh Hashanah begins at sundown on September 26. Yom Kippur begins at sundown on October 5. The first night of Chanukah is December 19. Eid-ul-fitr is on November 25.

The university regrets any inconvenience these errors may have caused.

Top of page
Table of contents
<< Previous: Alumni affairs Next: Fair fare >>