News for the Smith College Community //August 30, 2001
Opening Convocation: Some Things Never Change
Though this year's Opening Convocation will see a new president and provost welcoming back students, a new dean of religious life giving the benediction, and a new Student Government Association (SGA) president making her first appearance before the student body, one thing is sure to remain the same at the college's annual event: the noise.
Opening Convocation, at which students convene with faculty and administrators to ring in the academic year, will take place on Wednesday, September 5, at 7:30 p.m., in John M. Greene Hall. Student attendance is mandatory.
As it is every year, the convocation is sure to be loud and raucous, as students don an assortment of creative attire and challenge the security of the hall's historic foundations with stomping, chanting, whooping and cavorting, all to celebrate the beginning of another year at Smith.
John Connolly, acting president, will have the task of quieting the crowd (relatively) as the evening's first speaker. He will attempt to do so with a talk titled "Interregnums at Smith: Then and Now."
Also, Susan Bourque, the new provost and dean of the faculty, will speak on "Educated Women: 'a perennial blessing to the country and the world.'"
Connolly and Bourque assumed their positions last June following the departure of Ruth J. Simmons, who became president of Brown University. Connolly will serve as president through the 2001-02 academic year, after which Carol T. Christ will assume her new post as president of Smith College (see related story).
Bourque and Connolly will be joined in presenting at the convocation by this year's student speaker, Anna Franker '02, the new SGA president.
And to close the convocation, Jennifer L. Walters, the new dean of religious life, will make her first appearance at a campus event when she gives the benediction.
In addition, Maureen Mahoney, dean of the college, will announce student prize winners from last year as well as the recipient of the 2001 Arthur Ellis Hamm Prize, which is annually presented to the first-year students from the previous year with the best academic records.
The Smith College Glee Club, conducted by Jonathan Hirsh, will provide a musical interlude with Praise His Holy Name, by Keith Hampton, with piano accompaniment by Clifton J. Noble, Jr.
But noise, of the loud
variety, is sure to define the evening. After all, it's the last
best chance for 2,700 Smith students to raise the rafters before
the solemn business of classes kicks off at 8 the next morning.
On July 30, a little more than a month after the departure of Ruth J. Simmons for her new post as president of Brown University, the Smith College Board of Trustees appointed a new president.
Carol Tecla Christ will assume her position as Smith's tenth president next June. She was the unanimous choice of a 20-member search committee that had worked since last November-when Simmons announced her impending departure-toward naming the next president.
Christ, who recently served as executive vice-chancellor and provost at the University of CaliforniaBerkeley, is a widely respected scholar of Victorian literature. Berkeley's top academic officer from 1994 to 2000, she has established a reputation as a champion of women's issues and of diversity. She is credited with sharpening Berkeley's intellectual focus and building top-ranked departments in the humanities and sciences.
Christ joined the English faculty at Berkeley in 1970 after receiving her doctorate from Yale University. She entered Berkeley's administration in 1988, serving first as dean of humanities and later as provost and dean of the College of Letters and Science. She was vice-chancellor (later executive vice-chancellor) and provost from 1994 until 2000, when she returned to full-time teaching.
Christ will spend the 2001-02 academic year completing her teaching obligations at Berkeley. Acting President John Connolly will continue to serve until Christ assumes her post.
New Students to Discuss Fadiman Book
When first-year students gather in their new living rooms on Tuesday, September 4, to discuss this year's summer reading assignment, they will have no shortage of challenging, thought-provoking topics.
Their assigned reading, The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down: A Hmong Child, Her American Doctors, and the Collision of Two Cultures, by Anne Fadiman, a lecturer in English language and literature, is a nonfiction work about the cultural clashes that result when an immigrant family takes its 3-month-old epileptic daughter to a California hospital. The attempts of the girl's parents and the doctors to communicate through language barriers and disparate ideologies lead to tragedy for the daughter and her family. Through the family's experiences, Fadiman illustrates the difficulties encountered by immigrant populations as they assimilate into American society.
The book was chosen "for its clarity, the issues addressed (cultural, medical, scientific), its writing style and approach, and accessibility," says Tom Riddell, dean of the first-year class, who chaired the committee of faculty, staff and students that chose the book.
Fadiman will read from The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down on September 4 at 7:30 p.m., in John M. Greene Hall. The reading, which will be followed by a reception and booksigning in Neilson Browsing Room, is part of incoming students' orientation.
Each summer all incoming first-year students are assigned a reading, which they discuss in group sessions during orientation. The discussion groups, which take place in students' residences, are facilitated by faculty and staff members. "The discussion groups give the students an opportunity to share an intellectual activity with their fellow students and with faculty and staff," says Riddell.
Fadiman, who joined the Smith faculty last fall for a two-year term as lecturer in English, is a graduate of Harvard University and past winner of the National Magazine Award for reporting. She serves as editor of The American Scholar and writes the "Common Reader" column for Civilization, the magazine of the Library of Congress. The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down, Fadiman's first book, began as a magazine assignment.
Fadiman's book joins past required summer reading selections, such as Toni Morrison's The Bluest Eye, Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot's Respect, and last year's assignment, My Year of Meats, by Ruth Ozeki, a Smith graduate.
Savored Moments Add Up to Four Years
By Eunnie Park '01
As Eunnie Park, last year's AcaMedia intern, prepared to graduate last May 20, she penned this essay about her experience as a Smith student.
A few weeks ago, my friends and I took a walk near Paradise Pond after dinner. We settled near the swinging bench overlooking the pond and the Japanese tea hut, and we watched the sky darken from deep plum to indigo. While twirling leaves of grass between our fingers, we talked about all the sweet and bitter moments we shared during our four years at Smith, often pausing to sigh and say, "I can't believe we're graduating."
Because I know I cannot relive my college days, I want to remember only the sweet moments: remaining in bed as the Mountain Day bells rang; reading Wordsworth on Seelye Lawn during an English class; going sledding near Paradise Pond on a snow day last winter; joining in the 10 o'clock scream the night before final exams start; loitering downtown with friends on a perfect spring day. Already I am nostalgic for those simple moments that made my Smith days extraordinary.
In all honesty, my days at Smith were not entirely sweet. In fact, I faced many problems during my four years: thinking I was not smart enough or talented enough; being unsure of who my friends were; not knowing if I even belonged at Smith; and feeling trapped, confined and misunderstood in a place I could never call home. At times, I tried to shut everyone out, convinced that no one could understand how unhappy I was. I thought I was incapable of loving Smith and I hated myself for once thinking that Smith was perfect.
I was given many opportunities to enjoy Smith, but I didn't take advantage until my junior year. It was a semester in which most of my friends were away on JYA, and I had to put my life together on my own. I belatedly declared my major, registered for classes that did not have limited enrollments and decided to find at least one thing I loved about Smith. I surprised myself by finding many Smith pleasures, including some small ones: coming to understand the thoughts of a Romantic poet, having a late snack with a friend at the Davis Center.
My four years at Smith were neither blissful nor miserable. They were complete. Though I may not want to repeat my Smith experiences, I know that each of them taught me to be a little wiser and more grateful for what I've been given. There is nothing I would want to take back, including (especially) the difficult days. Looking back on my four years, I realize that even the bad times are a piece of the mosaic that makes my days at Smith extraordinary.
As I spend my last days at Smith, sprawled under the white stars of the sky over Northampton, I am savoring every precious moment-both difficult and simple-that Smith has to offer.
Park, who is from Leonia, New Jersey, received a bachelor of arts degree in English language and literature.
Prof's Prints Add Color to Smith Club
If you've visited the Smith College Club recently, you've no doubt admired the work of Dwight Pogue, professor of art. Though the club was renovated in 1999, no original art had graced its walls until last fall, when Pogue's prints took up residence in the club's upper and lower dining rooms.
"We are extremely pleased to have Dwight Pogue's prints at the Smith College Club," says Patty Hentz, RADS supervisor. "Not only are his colors and designs striking, but also we're honored to display the work of a Smith artist."
Pogue, who joined the Smith faculty in 1979, is known for his tapestry-like lithographs and monoprints of floral forms that may combine anywhere from 12 to 15 separate color plates. His work is in numerous national and international juried print exhibitions, including the British International Print Biennale and the Norwegian International Print Tri-annual. The Smith College Club prints, however, represent a new direction for Pogue. These prints are giclée, which Pogue describes as "a fancy word for ink-jet prints." This printmaking process uses a sophisticated type of ink-jet printer, specially modified for the precision of fine art printing.
When Lisa Lukas, Smith's interior designer, approached Pogue two years ago about prints for the Smith College Club, he had already begun experimenting with adapting his work to digital form. "It seemed like a timely opportunity to further explore the medium," he says.
Lukas says she sought out Pogue's work because it lent itself to the club's spaces, both in terms of size and image. "Viewing distances in those spaces are great," she explains. "The images had to be ones that could be experienced at a distance in terms of an overall effect as well as up close in terms of detail." Pogue's prints "just seemed right," she adds.
Gracing the club's upper dining room are two prints hanging side by side, titled Queen of the Night Forever and Forever Queen of the Night. Downstairs, in a space used for meetings and dining, are Christmas Cactus and Moon Cactus. Flowering Creeping Cereus, Northern Mexico; Sowerby's Rattail Cactus; and Jumping Jupiter, each of which is approximately 25 by 35 inches, are also displayed at the club. Jim Hume, shop supervisor in the art department, built maple frames for all the prints.
Lukas admires how Pogue's saturated colors and dynamic images carry. "His spaces are active spaces and much of the image is very intricate. His work is very energetic," she observes.
Lukas and Hentz are quick to emphasize Pogue's generosity in making his prints available to the club. "Dwight was incredibly generous at a very hectic time," says Lukas. "Not only was it a gratis offering, but he also accommodated our need for the prints right when Hillyer Hall faculty were packing up their offices and relocating for the building's renovation."
Hentz encourages members of the Smith community to take a look at the prints. "As all our visitors agree, Dwight has done a great service to the college," she says.
Dies In Summer Bike Accident
Will return next week.
Free To Succeed: Designing the Life
You Want in the Free Agent Economy is the title of the latest
book by Barbara B. Reinhold, director of the Career Development
Office. The book, which was published last spring by Dutton/Plume
publishers, explains how to bring about satisfaction by exercising
creativity in the workplace. Free To Succeed, according to the
publisher's cover notes, provides work- and career-related exercises,
plus advice such as "The 10 Essential Strategies for Succeeding
in the New Free Agent Economy," "The 7 Steps to Free
Agency," and "Developing a 'sidecar' venture to satisfy
creative needs and help transition you to a more rewarding career."
It also lists resources, helpful organizations and Web sites.
Of the book, Barbara Harris, editor-in-chief of Shape magazine,
wrote, "It provides a framework for negotiating the new
economy andgetting closer to your dreams faster-not only for
satisfying and successful work but for a better life." In
1997, Reinhold published Toxic Work, a book of stories and research
to help people overcome stress in the workplace.
Cypriane Williams AC '02 was recently awarded the Beinecke Brothers
Memorial Scholarship Award. The Beinecke Program "seeks
to encourage and enable highly motivated students to pursue opportunities
available to them and to be courageous in the selection of a
graduate course of study." According to Kevin Quashie, assistant
professor of Afro-American studies, Williams "is already,
at this stage, doing work that I consider to be graduate-level.
She is most deserving of this honor." Students from more
than 100 schools nationwide competed for the scholarship. Twenty
students were chosen to receive the award, which pays the recipient
a $2,000 stipend before graduate school and an additional $30,000
while she attends graduate school.
Sources of further information, if any, are indicated in parentheses. Notices should be submitted by mail, by e-mail email@example.com) or by fax (extension 2171).
S.O.S. Sweater Sale
Museum of Art Event
Lyman Conservatory Renovations
Museum of Art Information
Faculty and Staff
Activities Committee Messages
Course Registration and Changes
S.O.S. House Reps
Study Skills Workshops
Equestrian Team Tryouts
Fellowships Information Session
Jacobson Center Jobs
International Study Meeting
Nina Rothchild Fund
Sources of further information, if any, are shown in parentheses at the end of event descriptions. An asterisk following a listing indicates that the event is open to the public. Admission charges, if any, are listed when known. Items for this section must be submitted on Event Service Request Forms.
Friday, August 31
Saturday, September 1
President's welcome panel for entering students and families. 2:30 p.m., John M. Greene Hall
Sunday, September 2
Morning Worship with the Ecumenical Protestant community to welcome new and returning students, faculty and staff. The Reverend Dr. Leon Tilson Burrows and student leaders will preside. Reception follows on Chapel steps. All welcome. 11 a.m., Chapel*
Roman Catholic Mass Fr. Stephen-Joseph Ross, OCD, celebrant, and Elizabeth Carr, Catholic chaplain. First-year and returning students, faculty, staff and local community especially welcome. 4:30 p.m., Chapel*
Monday, September 3
Tuesday, September 4
Wednesday, September 5
Opening Convocation featuring addresses by John Connolly, acting president, and Susan Bourque, provost/dean of the faculty (see story, page 1). 7:30 p.m., John M. Greene Hall
Thursday, September 6
S.O.S. Welcome party for students interested in community service. Learn about volunteer opportunities as companions, tutors, case advocates, hotline workers or house reps. 4:30-5:30 p.m., Dewey Common Room
Friday, September 7
Saturday, September 8
Volleyball vs. Eastern Nazarene. The first 50 people to arrive at this home opener will receive free t-shirts and water bottles. Also, win prizes during a serving contest between the second and third games. 1 p.m., Ainsworth Gym*
Tennis vs. Clark. The first 50 people to arrive will receive free t-shirts and water bottles. 1 p.m., Outdoor Tennis Courts*
Sunday, September 9
Meeting Gaia, for students interested in the environment. 5:45 p.m., Chapin
Meeting Feminists of
Hillel bagel brunch Welcoming event for first-year students. 11 a.m., Kosher Kitchen, Dawes
Morning worship in the Ecumenical Protestant tradition with the Rev. Dr. Leon Tilson Burrows, Protestant chaplains and student leaders officiating. A community brunch follows in Bodman Lounge. All welcome. 10:30 a.m., Chapel*
Roman Catholic Mass Fr. Edward O'Flaherty, SJ, celebrant, and Elizabeth Carr, Catholic chaplain. Dinner follows in Bodman Lounge. All welcome. 4:30 p.m., Chapel*
Paradise Gate A site-specific architectural sculpture made of natural materials by North Carolina sculptor Patrick Dougherty that will remain on campus all year. Sponsors: Smith College Museum of Art; Botanic Garden. Burton Lawn*
The Journey, Not the Arrival: Anne Morrow Lindbergh, 1906-2001 An exhibition of rare materials from special collections chronicling the life of the aviator, author and 1928 Smith graduate. Sponsors: Sophia Smith Collection, college archives, Mortimer Rare Book Room. Through October 31. Morgan Gallery (in Neilson Library entrance corridor) and third floor of Neilson Library*
Linear Dimensions Recent figurative works, including paintings, drawing and sculptures, by Eileen Kane '67. Through Oct. 31. Alumnae House Gallery*