BatesNews March 2012
In this issue:
During the indoor track and field season, David Pless ’13 improved his Bates shot put record seven different times, saving the best for last: setting the NCAA Division III Indoor Track & Field Championship record by 9.5 inches to claim his second straight U.S. title.
A conception of God’s beauty as expressed in the material world is a theme of items to be offered at auction from the collection of the Rev. Professor Peter J. Gomes ’65 at noon Saturday, March 24. The collection reflects what “he deeply appreciated both spiritually and intellectually,” suggests Nancy Carlisle ’77, senior curator of collections for Historic New England. Gomes, who died Feb. 28, 2011, was the Plummer Professor of Christian Morals and Pusey Minister in the Memorial Church at Harvard and a former Bates trustee.
Great professors like Berkelman, Sawyer and Bertocci once led Bates’ popular Alumni College. This spring, Bates revives that tradition with the 2012 Alumni College, June 10–12, right after Reunion. Course offerings range from an examination of the historical roots of Congress (and the institution’s unpopularity today) to the power of mathematical modeling in explaining everything from roller-coaster safety to the spread of infectious diseases. Participants will stay in college residence halls, dine in New Commons (enjoying Maine-sourced food) and have time to visit familiar haunts and new Bates places. And, of course, no SATs required!
Student writer Izzy McKean ’12 counted 44 dishes from nearly 30 countries at this year’s International Dinner, from the familiar and delicious (spring rolls from Vietnam, chicken enchiladas from Mexico and crepes from France), to the distinctive and delicious: chin chin, a fried donut-like snack from Nigeria and Ghana; saltibarsciai, cold beetroot soup from Lithuania with an unforgettable magenta color; and gajar ka haluwa, an Indian dish made with carrots and milk.
“She gives ‘answers’ to your problems in such a way that you end up answering them for yourself,” says Jennifer Flanagan ’12 about Katalin Vecsey, recipient of this year’s Kroepsch Award for Excellence in Teaching. A senior lecturer in theater, Vecsey teaches courses exploring voice, speech and gender, works with students in every Bates theatrical production and also directs plays. “Students adore her. Students respect her,” says Travis Jones ’13. “They work hard because she works hard.”
A recently published study based on a senior’s psychology thesis suggests that just thinking about money can boost willpower. Co-authored by Associate Professor of Psychology Helen Boucher and recent graduate Monthe Kofos ’11, the paper appears in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology.
The recently announced Bates Challenge offers alumni the chance to push their college into a rare place: 50 percent alumni participation. If alumni reach the 50 percent benchmark, a group of alumni leaders will give $500,000 to the college. The Bates Challenge hopes to keep alumni participation on the rise: from 40 percent participation in 2007, the giving rate is now over 45 percent.
What do black and Latino male students at Bates, Bowdoin and Colby colleges have in common, besides race, gender, general age and the fact that they’re all at top private liberal arts colleges in Maine? One answer that emerged at a Bates-hosted conference was this: They are particularly well-positioned to take on and defeat stereotypes.
Phyllis Graber Jensen presents Close and Inseparable, an audio slide show capturing the sweet intensity of life as a Bates varsity captain, featuring women’s basketball tri-captain Annie Burns ’12.
Key Bates dates through spring include the Mount David Summit (March 30); Commencement (May 27), Reunion Weekend (June 8–10); Alumni College (June 10–12); Admission’s Alumni Legacy Program (June 10–11); and the end of the giving year on June 30.
For bio-focused alums in health graduate programs, the lucrative Bates Pomeroy Scholarship deadline is April 13; if you register for Reunion by April 16 you have a chance at a free Reunion Weekend package; for volunteers and 2013 Reunion organizers, it’s an April 27 deadline for the Volunteer Leadership Summit on May 5; and the financial aid deadline for returning Bates students is May 1.
For the first time since Bates introduced the honors program in 1927, seniors won’t actually “hand” in their honors theses this year. They’ll upload their digital tomes to the college’s Scholarly Communication and Research at Bates initiative. SCARAB promises to make sharing theses with outside examiners easier, and will make Bates theses more easily accessible by the greater academic world. And, digital theses don’t take up physical space at Bates. What’s not changed is the firmness of the honors deadline: 3 p.m. March 23.
Historian Eben Miller ’96 gains attention for his book focusing on the pre-World War II civil rights movement, when the NAACP was in “dire straits.” Bates artist-in-residence and famed pianist Frank Glazer unveils for public radio listeners plans for his 100th birthday concert season. And the financial media buzzes about the prize-winning open-source application created by Pranav Ghai ’93 and Alex Rapp ’93. Their app, Calcbench, is quite the “handy-dandy calculator,” says CFO.com.