The Colgate Scene
September 2006

Around the college

Amy Barnes, associate vice president for human resources, and Samer Shehadeh '05 of Information Technology Services take their turn at the mic for karaoke at Spirit Day, Colgate's annual employee appreciation picnic and celebration. [Photos by Timothy D. Sofranko]

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Campus, village flood
During storms that devastated areas around New York state in June, Hamilton endured heavy rains and resulting flash floods called the worst in decades.

Bucking the recent trend in higher education, Colgate continued to experience an increase in unrestricted giving as it set a record for fundraising in fiscal 2006, according to Murray Decock '80, vice president for institutional advancement. Overall gifts to the university totaled $45.2 million, exceeding the previous best year by six percent.

The university surpassed its unrestricted Annual Fund goal of $6.28 million by $113,000, raising a record $6.39 million. That increase counters the declines in unrestricted giving that many universities around the nation are experiencing, a factor that can hurt support of general operations.

Presidents' Club support accounted for $37.5 million, or 83 percent, of the fundraising proceeds this fiscal year. In addition, Presidents' Club membership reached a record 2,966. The Parents' Fund met and surpassed its $1.7 million goal in March on the way to setting a record of $2.45 million. Planned gifts exceeded $4.2 million during the fiscal year.

Colgate maintained its alumni giving rate at 50 percent for the second year in a row.

Assisted by the Office of Corporate, Foundation, and Government Relations, Colgate brought in institutional and faculty grants totaling more than $2.4 million. Institutional grants to the university (primarily foundation grants) totaled $533,781, while faculty grants (primarily from government agencies) totaled $1,871,654.

Decock said the fundraising records are a testament to the strong connections alumni feel toward their alma mater, and to the leadership shown by President Rebecca S. Chopp and the Board of Trustees.

"The continued support of our alumni enables Colgate to build on its strengths -- providing connections between high-caliber faculty and students, residential education and international programs, Division I athletics, and a focus on the arts and public service, just to name a few," he said.

The Board of Trustees has elected two new members this year: Yvonne Gyimah '01 and Duncan Niederauer '81.

Gyimah is a senior consultant in the transaction integration group within Ernst & Young's Transaction Advisory Services practice in New York City. Niederauer has been with Goldman Sachs for more than 20 years and is a managing director responsible for the North American distribution of equity.


Chenango Summer MusicFest celebrates 10th season

In June, Colgate's Chenango Summer MusicFest celebrated its tenth season. The festival took audiences back in time to experience the rich history and lush scenery of its home: Madison County celebrates its bicentennial this year. With the theme of "Friends and Neighbors," the four-day festival featured a blend of chamber music concerts by world-renowned artists, musical celebrations with local talent, and family activities.

Right: Bart Dentino of the popular duo Bart and Devin strums out a tune at Village Day on the green. Left: chamber musicians Carmelo Galante (left), Steven Heyman, and Maximilian Dimoff perform.


Two new academic division directors took their posts in July. Robert Garland, Roy D. and Margaret B. Wooster Professor of the classics, began a three-year term as director of the Division of the Humanities. Marilyn Thie, Christian A. Johnson Endeavor professor in liberal studies and professor of religion and women's studies, began her three-year term as director of the Division of University Studies.


Poets Tim Suermont and Amy Small-McKinney read from their work during the 11th Chenango Valley Writers Conference.

Nearly 40 writers from across the nation packed up their manuscripts and traveled to Colgate in June. The university became a writer's utopia, hosting the weeklong Chenango Valley Writers' Conference, now in its 11th year.

Participants' days began at 9 a.m. with a craft talk by a Pulitzer Prize or PEN/Faulkner finalist, a bestselling author, or prestigious poet. Workshops followed, with analysis of their stories, books in progress, poems, or novels. Interspersed throughout each day were readings by instructors and participants, many open to the public. Bestselling and award-winning author Peter Balakian, Colgate's Donald M. and Constance H. Rebar Professor in the humanities, began the week with a reading.

"Lasting professional and personal friendships are born during this week, and many of our alums stay in contact regularly after meeting at the conference," said director Matthew Leone. "They share problems and accomplishments in their writing lives. They then return each summer as much to cele-

brate their writing successes throughout the year and to renew old friendships as they do to pick up additional insights and professional friendships."

The writers, Leone added, also experience the magnanimity of the senior instructors and fellow participants "that infuses and shapes all of the best creative expression."

The conference's founder, the esteemed author and longtime Colgate professor Frederick Busch, who died in February, is perhaps the original example of this conference magnanimity, and Leone said that Busch's spirit permeated the week.

"Many, like me, know of no one more multi-faceted in his gifts: he was one of the finest and most prolific contemporary writers. But how many writers of his stature would be prolific and expert at helping students find work in publishing? Or in publishing their own work?

"Fred was more than an expert mentor -- and he was that, without equal -- he was also a father, an extraordinarily caring and effective one, to many appreciative souls."

It's this support that makes the Colgate conference unique, Leone said. "I am told by many conference-goers and by its faculty that nowhere else are participants granted so much daily, hourly individual attention and access to senior writers."


Works by Lee Brown Coye were on display in the Palace Theater as part of a communitywide celebration of the central New York artist in July.

In a communitywide celebration of Lee Brown Coye -- a central New York artist known worldwide for his illustrations and pulp magazine covers and regionally for his many murals -- more than 100 works were on display in several locations in Hamilton, including Colgate's Palace Theater, in July.

The exhibition at the Palace featured works from Morrisville State University's Lee Brown Coye Collection, the largest holding of works by Coye in the country, and exhibits from Robert Coye's personal collection of his father's works and the collector Chuck Westfall of Syracuse. Many of the pieces had never before been publicly displayed. A massive Coye mural of a Hamilton street scene also hangs in the lobby of the Hamilton Post Office.

A large tempera painting, Coye's 1942 Frankie and Johnny, was also unveiled in its new home at the Colgate Inn. Originally hung in Casey's (later White's) Tavern in Dewitt, N.Y., it is one of a series of five paintings inspired by popular American songs. After the tavern closed, the painting was acquired by the artist's sister, Helen Gilchrist, who donated it to Colgate's Picker Art Gallery.

Inspired by the folk song that tells how a woman shoots and kills her cheating lover, Coye sets his scene in a barroom filled with characters including a gossiping bartender, the pistol-packing wronged woman, and her surprised victim. Coye painted himself in the middle of things, as the piano player reading sheet music for the song, "Frankie and Johnny."

Upon learning that the painting was to be rotated off display at the Picker Gallery, Ben Eberhardt, operator of the Colgate Inn, approached the gallery regarding the relocation of the painting.

With the assistance of director Elizabeth Barker, special arrangements were made to allow the painting to be loaned to the inn and to be placed in the Tap Room. A Hamilton shop, Evergreen Gallery, spent considerable effort to protect the mural by framing, glazing, and installing the 40" by 111" painting.

The celebration was organized by the Hamilton Business Alliance, the Colgate Inn, Exhibition Alliance, Colgate and the Picker Art Gallery, and Morrisville State College.


High school teachers John Backus of Delaware Academy, Dave Johnson of North Country High School, and Edward Hasenohr of Mill River Union High School (left to right) conduct an experiment in Lathrop Hall during a workshop at Colgate in July.

There is a growing interest in the physics community to improve physics education at all levels, particularly high school, according to Colgate physics professor Enrique "Kiko" Galvez.

"High school is a critical time for drawing kids into the sciences," he said. "Teaching physics the old way -- as some sort of intellectual boot camp -- just doesn't work. Instead of drilling students, we want to get them excited about experimentation; we want to bring out their curiosity and let them discover."

In July, a group of 34 secondary school science teachers from rural districts across New York, New Hampshire, and Vermont gathered on campus to discuss the physics of electricity -- and learn innovative and engaging pedagogical techniques in the process. The teachers stayed in university residence halls, attended classes, and ate in Frank Dining Hall as part of American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT) workshops hosted by Colgate and sponsored in part by the Upstate Institute and the Division of Natural Sciences and Mathematics. In its third year on campus, the program is funded by a National Science Foundation grant.

"The objective is to show the participants how to teach physics to today's young people in interesting, fun, and approachable ways and to give them a tutorial on new methods and technologies," said Galvez, who serves as a rural regional coordinator for the AAPT and played a role in coordinating the meeting.

Certified AAPT instructors ran the workshops, but Galvez and fellow physics professor Beth Parks also delivered lectures on their own research. Galvez explored the eye and vision; Parks talked about the physics of magnets and magnetism.

The timing of the electricity-themed workshop was excellent, with 2006 being the 300th anniversary of Benjamin Franklin's birthday.


A new antenna, provided by central New York's WRVO stations, was installed on the top of Drake Hall over the summer to facilitate broadcast of National Public Radio programming over WRCU.
Hamilton fans of National Public Radio (NPR) can now find Morning Edition, Car Talk, Prairie Home Companion, and more at 90.1 on the FM dial, thanks to a new partnership between Colgate's WRCU-FM and central New York's WRVO stations. In the past, loyal area NPR listeners were frustrated when atmospheric conditions made it difficult to receive a clear, reliable signal. Sometimes there was no signal at all.

The partnership is also good news for the students at WRCU, whose listenership has been growing. David Simon, a junior who serves as the station's general manager, believes the affiliation will inspire professionalism in the more than 100 students who contribute to WRCU's programming.

"Following NPR programming means we'll be measured against the best. That's a huge motivation," said Simon. "WRVO's local news also will draw more listeners to our station." WRCU airs jazz, independent rock, world music, faculty interviews, and other programs of interest to the community. Programming will continue to evolve.

Simon, who had his own show featuring central European folk music last semester, said that he hopes to fulfill one of his big dreams this fall, "to host a public affairs show about Hamilton and the surrounding area."

As Colgate's campus station, WRCU will continue to offer afternoon and evening programming while school is in session. During the hours when WRCU is quiet, it will broadcast NPR and original WRVO news and feature reporting. During the summer and other university holiday periods, WRVO's NPR programming will air continuously.

"Media literacy is such an important thing," said Arthur Cohen, a radio programming professional and Hamilton resident who helped Colgate secure the partnership. "Bringing in NPR programming every morning provides a more professional context for what the students are doing, and it shows them the power of radio to build community."

Along with Corey Landstrom, director of Colgate's Center for Leadership and Student Involvement, and Professor Michael Coyle of the English department, Cohen has been advising and mentoring the WRCU board for more than two years, to help them upgrade the station's engineering capabilities, broaden programming, and plan for the station's future. He's also helping students develop their management skills.

Now that the technology is in place, all parties are hoping for a lasting relationship. WRVO provided a radio antenna, which was mounted atop Drake Hall, home to WRCU's studio. The antenna receives the WRVO signal from Utica, then boosts it and sends it through the WRCU receiver, which broadcasts at 2000 watts. Colgate also now has remote control monitoring equipment that ensures that WRCU is in compliance with WRVO and NPR rules.


Members of the Cornell group celebrate after winning a tug-of-war competition at Sanford Field House, part of Summer Leadership Sports Day. Colgate's Office of Undergraduate Studies invited participants from its summer institute counterparts at colleges around the region for a day of activities, from basketball, kickball, and races to trivia, a talent show, and talks.

Anthony Aveni, Russell Colgate Distinguished University Professor of astronomy and anthropology and Native American studies, has received two honors for his book The First Americans: The Story of Where They Came From and Who They Became.

The book was named a Spur Award winner in the category of juvenile nonfiction. Spur Awards are given annually by the Western Writers of America for distinguished writing about the American West, and are among the oldest and most prestigious in American literature. The First Americans was also named as one of 10 titles chosen for the International Reading Association's Teacher's Choices for 2006 list. Since 1989, the Teachers' Choices project has developed an annual annotated reading list of new books that will encourage young people to read, and that contribute to learning across the curriculum.

Continuing a decades-old tradition at Colgate, six graduates have been awarded grants to study or teach abroad during the 2006-2007 academic year.

Five were tapped for French Government Teaching Assistantships in English, which are administered by the country's Ministry of Education, while the sixth received a Fulbright award.

The French Government Teaching Assistantship recipients and their locations are: Carolyn Collins '06, Montpelier; Jameson Hyde '06, Nante; Toria Johnson '06, Orleans; Alisa Levine '06, Rennes; and Alexandra Quinn '05, Nice.

Naseema Noor '06 was one of only 10 U.S. students to land a Fulbright grant to study in Egypt, where she will explore the development of Islamic political thought. In completing her project, she will take classes in Islamic studies and study Arabic.

"In today's global society, the international experience and personal development gained through these experiences is extremely valuable," said Ann Landstrom, associate director for fellowship, scholarship, and graduate school advising.

"The recipients of these awards have strong academic records, solid language preparation, excellent project proposals, and outstanding personal qualifications. I know that they will make a strong impact upon each of the communities they serve."

Just 50 French Government Teaching Assistantships in English were awarded through the Ministry of Education this year, according to the Institute of International Education.

Through the initiative, students spend a year teaching in France, enabling them to explore contemporary French society, master the language through linguistic immersion, and gain teaching experience.

The Fulbright program funds one academic year of study or research abroad. Fellows undertake self-designed programs in disciplines ranging from social sciences, business, communication, and performing arts to physical sciences, engineering, and education.

At Colgate, both programs are administered through the Center for Career Services. During the past five academic years, a total of 37 Colgate alumni were awarded Fulbrights or teaching assistantships in France.

In addition, Michael J. Bukoski '07 was given a Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship for the 2006-2007 academic year. He will receive a one-year scholarship that will cover the cost of tuition, fees, books, and room and board up to $7,500 at Colgate. Mark Frankel '06 received a Thomas J. Watson Fellowship (Scene, July).

Beta Theta Pi's Beta Theta chapter won the Campus Involvement Award and the Virginia Tech Award (for academics) this July at the fraternity's 167th general convention in Toronto, Ontario. The Virginia Tech Award honors chapters that place first in grades among the fraternities on campus for one semester or quarter during the year. It also recognizes the highest GPA and most improved chapters.

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