On & Off Campus

“Can’t buy me love,” said Robert Reich (in so many words) at Bates’ 135th Commencement.

Edited by H. Jay Burns

Bates’ 135th Commencement

Seek satisfying careers and strike a balance between work, home life, and friendships, former Secretary of Labor Robert B. Reich told graduates at the 2001 Bates Commencement on June 4. “Too many rich people these days don’t much like what they do during most of their waking hours,” he said. “Find a job that makes you happy. Ideally, one that also makes the world a slightly better place to live in. Find a mate whom you love and will love you back. Have children who will grow into decent men and women, because you are a decent and loving parent. And make time for good friends.”

Reich, who said he left the Clinton cabinet because he was unable to strike a balance between work and personal life, noted that graduates today express great worries about their financial future.

“Much of your concern about earning enough money, I think, has to do with the widening gap between rich and poor in this country,” Reich said. “The reward for landing on the prosperous side of the gap is far greater than it was 30 years ago. And so is the penalty for landing on the poorer side.” Reich told the 434 graduates and their families that he has “comforting news” for them: “College graduates almost always land on the winning side of the gap. Not because they have a piece of parchment, but because they have the right tools to gain new knowledge.” Joining Reich as honorary degree recipients were Anna Quindlen, Pulitzer Prize-winning essayist and novelist; Mary Frances Berry, civil rights champion and scholar; Bruce Alberts, president of the National Academy of Science; and James Moody ’53, retired Hannaford Bros. CEO and now Bates Trustee chairperson emeritus.

For Moody, June was a time of honors and transition. At the June meeting of the Board of Trustees, he turned over the Trustee chairmanship to Burton Harris ’59 of Swampscott, Mass. Moody served as chair for 14 years. Harris, a former law partner and chairman of the prominent Boston law firm Bingham Dana, served as executive director of the Massachusetts Industrial Finance Agency. A Trustee since 1983, he chaired the search committee that brought President Harward to Bates in 1989. In recent years he has been an independent business consultant, and has completed the furniture artisan program of the famed North Bennett Street School in Boston’s North End. Moody will retire from the board in 2002 after 33 years of service, becoming Trustee emeritus, an honor accorded members “who become 70 years of age prior to the Annual Meeting of any year,” according to the bylaws of the College.

Ninety Years Young

“Take a Chance on Me” is the familiar if campy anthem from ABBA, the Swedish pop band of the 1970s. But a similar refrain was heard throughout Reunion weekend from alumni, circa 1951 through 1976, who forever regard Milt Lindholm ’35 as the admissions dean who “took a chance on me.”

Milt had a June to remember. Feted with hugs and handshakes at Reunion for his 90th birthday (see coverage this issue), he then accepted the congratulations of the state of Maine. State Sen. Peggy Rotundo, also Bates’ associate director of the Center for Service-Learning, introduced a Legislative sentiment honoring Lindholm on his 90th birthday. “Bates has served the sons and daughters of Maine from the beginning,” Rotundo said. “Milt worked hard to recruit many Maine students,” she added, praising the work Milt and his wife, Jane, have done for Bates, “which has helped make Bates a better community, just as their quiet and steady service to Lewiston-Auburn has helped the community.”

“I’m grateful for this honor, especially since it is from Maine people dedicated to service,” Lindholm said. Reflecting on all the attention, he added with the famous Lindholm chuckle, “I’ve come to the conclusion my greatest accomplishment is to turn 90!”

A few weeks later, Lindholm evoked memories of the fictional benefactor John Beresford Tipton from the 1955-1960 CBS television show The Millionaire.

Lindholm is the executor of the estate of the late Bates treasurer emeritus Norman Ross ’22 and his wife, Marjorie Pillsbury Ross ’23. In a Tiptonesque turn, Lindholm had the honor of hand-delivering Ross bequest gifts of $1 million to Bates and $500,000 each to Central Maine Medical Center (Norm chaired the board of trustees there) and to the United Baptist Church (where the Rosses were members for more than 70 years).

Lindholm presented the CMMC check to a surprised administrative assistant and then brought another $500,000 check to the United Baptist Church on Main Street in Lewiston.

At Bates, President Harward took a break from his office work to accept the gift, which creates an endowed fund for the general purposes of the College. On a radiant summer day, he and Lindholm walked outside to pose for photographs near restored Lake Andrews (an appropriate setting, since the Rosses championed the beauty of the Bates campus). “Norm and Marjorie Ross were essential parts of our community and its institutions for nearly a century,” said President Harward. “Not only do these gifts extend their impact in perpetuity, but they remind us of the kind of commitment and support a community needs to remain vital.”

Their Eyes Lit Up

“You’ve probably never seen Prometheus Bound on stage,” Lisa Maurizio said with a laugh, “because it’s very grim and nothing happens.” With Prometheus shackled to a rock for much of the play, it ain’t Neil Simon. But Maurizio, assistant professor of classics, took on the challenge of bringing the play to the Schaeffer stage during Short Term.

Around and Beyond the Quad

Perhaps the largest first-year class ever, approximately 590 students, was expected in residence Sept. 5 for the start of Bates’ academic year. (The size of the Class of 2005 rivals the largest group ever, the Class of ’97 that arrived 523 strong in 1993.) The incoming class was selected from 4,424 applications, Bates’ third straight record year. Among other qualities, never before have so many states (41) been represented in a Bates first-year class….

New Bates Trustees are Susan Bove Kinney ’78 of West Simsbury, Conn.; Rick Powers ’67 of Old Greenwich, Conn. (both elected to the Board of Overseers from the alumni ballot), as well as David Barlow ’79 of Wellesley, Mass., and the Rev. Professor Peter Gomes ’65 of Cambridge, Mass. Kinney is medical director at Lincoln National Life Insurance Co. in Hartford, Conn., while Powers is president of the U.S. personal products division of Playtex Products Inc. Barlow is president of the private investment firm Black Diamond Capital. Gomes, who rejoins the board after a five-year hiatus, is the Plummer Professor of Christian Morals and Pusey Minister in The Memorial Church at Harvard University (see Class Notes for Gomes’ latest honorary degree)….

Bates’ 10-year reaccreditation last spring yielded a feel-good report from the team evaluating the College. The eight-member group of college scholars and administrators, led by Middlebury president John M. McCardell noted that “the fundamental culture of Bates College is remarkably egalitarian, respectful of every individual, becomingly modest, averse to self-promotion, wary of adornment…. Bates has emerged as a national college of genuine excellence, competing for students with the very best institutions in the country.”…

How do Indian students with scarce educational resources consistently outscore U.S. students in math and science? Ian Bleakney ’91, supported by the inaugural Barlow Alumni Travel Grant, hopes to find the answer. A science teacher and department chair at Merritt College High School, a small public high school in Oakland, Calif., Bleakney traveled to India this summer, where he studied teaching strategies and administrative methods in the city of Pune. Learning about Indian public science education and, on a broader level, how Indian administrators run their schools effectively despite scarce resources, Bleakney hopes the Indian educational model will provide ideas for U.S. educators, especially those who teach in low-income areas. David ’79 and Ann Barlow established the endowed program for teachers as part of their $1.5-million gift creating a range of endowed study-abroad programs for Bates students and alumni….

Playwright and Professor of Theater Martin Andrucki (“The Playwright and the POW,” winter/spring issue) was honored as the College’s newest Charles A. Dana Professor of Theater. He also has been selected as a Fulbright Scholar in Hungary for spring and summer 2002….

Margaret Maurer-Fazio, assistant professor of economics, and Francisca López, associate professor of Spanish, won Phillips Faculty Fellowships for a full year’s paid research leave. Maurer-Fazio will continue her work on the integration of China’s urban labor markets. López will explore the impact of globalization and European integration on contemporary understanding of Spanish identity, particularly in the context of the country’s rapid transition from dictatorship to democracy.

More Bates News

“Bates Now” on the Bates Web site offers expanded coverage of these news items and others: www.bates.edu/bates-now.xml

“Bates is able to enhance hands-on learning while addressing community needs,” wrote President Harward in Connection, a magazine devoted to New England higher education and economic development. Harward’s summer-issue essay discussed various Bates service-learning efforts in Lewiston and Auburn, including an $80,000 grant funding 10 Community Research Fellowships for Bates students. The fellows work with community leaders and Bates advisors on a range of projects spearheaded by LA Excels, Bates’ community-development partner.

“Deep in the woodsy heart of Maine” is how Time magazine began a 150-word article in May on the internationally recognized Bates Dance Festival. Generously illustrated with two campus photos, the piece was part of a “College Detours” feature showing how families can “transform a routine summer tour of campuses into a cultural education for the whole family.” The article ended with a note that Bates visitors “may also want to check out Bowdoin in Brunswick and Colby in Waterville.”

In May, anthropology professor Danny Danforth illuminated the culture and physics of Greek firewalking for the Pulse of the Planetradio show . Danforth discussed a firewalking ritual integral to a three-day festival celebrating saints Constantine and Helen. “In a well prepared firewalk, the coals are light and fluffy,” he said, “and even though they’re hot, they don’t conduct the heat to my foot very well. And so if I don’t stay on too long, or don’t step on a nail or a penny, or step on a piece of wood that’s got pitch and sticks to my foot, then I probably won’t get burned.”

Listeners of The Osgood File, the syndicated news show hosted by Charles Osgood, heard assistant chemistry professor Rachel Austin commenting on research conducted by colleague Howard Patterson at UMaine. Patterson is seeking ways to use inexpensive minerals, called zeolites, to render harmless pesticides that find their way into water supplies. Austin occasionally works with Patterson and has welcomed his students to Bates to use instruments not available in Orono. The July 13 show is archived at <http://wcbs880.com/osgood/>.

Rommel Padonou ’01’s path from his native Gabon to Bates is one reason the World Scholar-Athlete Games are great, according to the July 1 Providence Sunday Journal. The games, founded by Dan Doyle ’72, draw 2,000 student-athletes from around the world. Padonou, now with CIBC Oppenheimer in New York City, came to the United States in 1997 after a Peace Corps volunteer in Gabon identified him as a candidate for Doyle’s games.

Maine Public Radio’s Maine Things Considered profiled Ryan Williamson ’91 (Bates Magazine, summer 1999). The piece focused on Williamson’s close-to-nature living style (the Virginia native slept outdoors most nights of his Bates career) as well as his thoughtful environmentalism.

In a nationally syndicated Boston Globe story, writer Barbara Meltz led with Ned and Sally Helms of Concord, N.H., parents of Meg ’04, on the need to discuss house rules with students before they return home from their first college year. Said Meg: “We agreed things are different now, but they said they just wanted to figure this out together, not just lay down rules. That makes a difference for me. I don’t resent it.”

The Globe in July noted that Matt Bazirgan ’00, the former Bates starting quarterback, joined the Elancourt Templiers of the French elite league last spring. “Only problem…was that the team’s coach skipped town after two weeks. So Bazirgan was suddenly the team’s offensive coordinator. Faced with a language barrier, the team struggled to a 1-5-1 record. But that won’t deter Bazirgan from continuing as a coach; he’ll be going back to Bates as an assistant in the fall.”

Assistant Professor of Education Kevin Kumashiro wrote an op-ed piece for the Houston Chronicle criticizing President Bush’s education plan, including his support of a school-voucher program. “The reward-and-punishment approach [of school vouchers] incorrectly assumes students fail because teachers and administrators are not trying hard enough…. Federal funds should instead address inequities in resources so that some public schools are not spending twice as much per student as others.”

“What started as an anonymous gift to Bates College…quickly turned into a two-day adventure with world-renowned chef Martin Yan,” said a feature story on guest chefs at Bates and Princeton in On-Campus Hospitality, a national publication serving college and university dining services. Yan, whose visit was funded by a gift from Bates parents interested in Asian studies, hosts the syndicated television show Yan Can Cook.

Presidential search update

The Presidential Search Committee continues its historic work in nominating a candidate to serve as the next president of Bates College. The 16-member committee has met regularly since early March and hopes to present a candidate for approval by the Board of Trustees in January.

After meeting with members from all areas of the Bates community and generating a position description, the committee’s focus has shifted to developing a broad and deep pool of candidates.

You can bookmark the committee’s Web page <www.bates.edu/presidential-search.xml> as well as the Presidential Search message board <www.bates.edu/alumni-intouch.xml> for information updates and discussions about the search.

As always, the committee welcomes input from all areas of the community concerning this important and exciting step in the future of the College. Please direct any comments to the Office of the Presidential Search Committee on the Bates campus:

Presidential Search Committee
Bates College, 22A Coram Library
42 Campus Ave.
Lewiston ME 04240
phone 207-753-6955
fax:  207-753-6939
e-mail: Presidential_Search_Committee@bates.edu