Bates in the News

Edited by H. Jay Burns and Doug Hubley

UFOs, SO2, missing mail and a five-letter word

Bates faculty are always stars on campus, but during the spring several of them shone brightly in the national media firmament too. In April, history professor Dennis Grafflin was the object of a former student’s tribute that plucked heartstrings and touched on key Bates values. In “Our own favorite teachers,” written by staff of the Casper (Wyoming) Star-Tribune, State Editor Nadia White ’87 said that “Grafflin lent me an important confidence in my own ability to use new information to build novel ideas.”

In the May Vanity Fair, rhetorician Stephanie Kelley-Romano tapped her research into UFO and alien-abduction discourse to comment on conspiracy theories. “I’ve read that when sightings of the Virgin Mary go up in Catholic countries, sightings of UFOs go up in the West,” she told columnist Rich Cohen. Meanwhile, Heather Lindkvist, our resident expert on Somali immigrants, told The Associated Press that Lewiston residents have developed a new understanding of Muslim beliefs and practices thanks to the Somali presence here. And, along with Maine newspapers and television, covered Associate Professor Lynne Lewis and her students in “Environmental Economics” as they took their annual bidding in the EPA auction of sulfur-dioxide allowances to the next level of success — retiring nine tons of the acid-rain agent.

Short Terms

Twice in a week in The New York Times, President Hansen harked back to a theme in her inaugural address ( the conflict in academe between the need for unstructured contemplative time vs. competitive pressures that make such time all but unattainable…. Dining Services got two helpings of publicity in March. The trade mag On-Campus Hospitality showcased the 2003 Harvest Dinner and its theme borrowed from Monty Python — a sleuthing contest that subbed “missing mail,” which is to say a suit of armor, for Python’s Holy Grail. Ni! On a greener note, local media and the AP gave prominent play to Bates’ food-waste recycling. At a statewide conference at Bowdoin, Dining Services Director Christine Schwartz held out our money-saving system as a model for Maine…. Bates readers are accustomed to the fine photography of staff shooter Phyllis Graber Jensen.

Readers of the April 2 Chronicle of Higher Education got to share in that pleasure when the Chronicle ran her Puddle Jump image of two minimally clad first-years frozen in mid-plunge against a snowy backdrop…. Finally, U.S. Airways’ in-flight magazine made Bates an answer in its January 2004 crossword puzzle. Position: 50 Across. Clue: “College in Lewiston, Maine” — dull but certainly the way to go if you consider alternative clues for the same five-letter word: “Source for International Harvester tractor parts” (the Bates Corporation of Bourbon, Ind.) or “Family name of cross-dressing killer in Psycho.”