Bates in the News

Hansen shines in The Sun

In December, President Elaine Tuttle Hansen turned up in Baltimore’s Sun with a call for renewed attention to Housekeeping, Marilynne Robinson’s 1980 novel. Revisiting the territory of her own book Mother without Child: Contemporary Fiction and the Crisis of Motherhood, Hansen used the occasion of a new Robinson title to discuss the novelist’s earlier tale about two motherless sisters. Housekeeping, Hansen said, is more relevant than ever to a nation whose “level of confusion about maternal rights and responsibilities has never been higher.”

Professor Margaret Creighton’s new social history of the Battle of Gettysburg (see page 10) drew attention from California and Chicago newspapers and from the publishing industry bible Kirkus Reviews, which called The Colors of Courage “a lively work of Civil War scholarship.” Closer to home, economist Anne Williams talked to the Maine Sunday Telegram about her new work on the history of jigsaw puzzles, a field in which Williams is a national authority.

Professor of Psychology Kathryn Low shared her expertise with The Associated Press and People magazine, commenting to the former about seasonal affective disorder and to the latter about student abuse of Ritalin and similar medications. “Very, very talented students come in wanting a prescription,” Low told People. “They blame themselves because they want to be perfect.”

Thanks to the AP, the March debut of the revamped SATs brought new attention to Bates’ landmark study of the academic success achieved by students who did and did not submit SAT scores upon applying to Bates. National Public Radio, meanwhile, invited Vice President Bill Hiss ’66 onto All Things Considered for a Jan. 4 commentary on the topic.

Short Terms Media coverage of U.S. politics and the Iraq war continued to benefit from the expertise of Bates faculty, including political scientists John Baughman and James Richter and historian Chris Beam. Beam, archivist for the Edmund S. Muskie Archives at Bates, also spoke to the Bangor Daily News about the passing of Jane Muskie, widow of statesman Edmund Muskie ’36. . . . Once again Bates Dining Services was held out as a model of good practices. In an Associated Press story about institutions buying fresh, locally grown foods instead of the usual industrialized fodder, Dining Services Director Christine Schwartz said that Bates spends up to 30 percent of its food budget on Maine products. . . . Finally, a letter to the editor of The Bates Student raised a stink about the student body. Letter writer Melissa Jubel ’05 never used the words “dirty hippies,” but did link some students’ casual approach to personal hygiene with left-wing political activities on campus. Six angry retorts in the subsequent issue did little to clear the air.

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