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Colgate University celebrates 194th commencement

May 18, 2015
Graduation cap from Commencement 2015 reading "Fortune favors the bold."

Photo by Andrew Daddio

During commencement exercises yesterday, Colgate University extended congratulations to the Class of 2015, family members cheered, and seniors enjoyed one final class together as undergraduates.

The lesson came in three parts. First, President Jeffrey Herbst reflected on America’s cultural obsession with being busy and asked students to reconsider how they answer the simple question, “How are you?”

“When asked how you are, never say ‘busy,’ Herbst said. “Rather than expressing to others the velocity at which you are doing things, why not discuss what you are doing?”

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Baccalaureate speaker tells graduates: “You’re not ducking for the camera”

May 18, 2015
Rev. Gay Clark Jennings. Photo by Gerard Gaskin

Rev. Gay Clark Jennings ’74 delivered Saturday’s baccalaureate address. Photo by Gerard Gaskin

When Rev. Gay Clark Jennings ’74 was a student in Colgate’s first graduating class of women, she was part of historic change. A varsity volleyball player, she pressed the university’s president for equal medical benefits for female athletes under Title IX; investigated grocery store price gouging in Madison County’s poorest areas; and marched against the war in Vietnam. Read more


Commencement is live at 10:30

May 17, 2015

Today, Colgate sends 732 freshly minted alumni into the world. Valedictorian is John Robert Murphy of Bainbridge Island, Wash., graduating with a 4.10, summa cum laude, with high honors in international relations. Salutatorian, with 4.03 GPA is Ariel Elizabeth Sherry of Needham, Mass, a psychology and religion double major. Sherry also earned summa cum laude distinction and high honors in psychology.

Eddie S. Glaude Jr., the William S. Tod Professor of Religion and African American studies and the chair of the Center for African American Studies at Princeton University, will deliver the keynote address at today’s 194th commencement.

Livestream starts at 10:30 at www.colgate.edu.


Presidents’ Club members feel as good as gold on 50th anniversary

May 14, 2015
An overhead shot of the 50th anniversary of the Presidents' Club

The 50th Anniversary of the Presidents’ Club. (Photo by Lorenzo Ciniglio.)

When Colgate’s Presidents’ Club was founded, the university’s endowment was approximately $12 million, and the giving society had 93 members whose generosity would help modernize the university. Fifty years later, the coffer holds more than 50 times that amount, and there are 30 times more members.

Today the Presidents’ Club is much more than a giving society. It’s a collection of generous alumni, families, and friends — representing all ages, career fields, and giving capacities — who are dedicated to advancing the university. The club creates educational and career opportunities for students on campus and around the world. For example, it partners with Colgate’s Center for Career Services to bring new life to campus events such as Homecoming. Read more


Colgate University’s Task Force on Performing Arts Facilities submits final report

May 11, 2015
Theater students on stage in "Wald, a wondertale"

Colgate’s Task Force on Performing Arts Facilities has submitted its final report regarding space for theater, dance, and music on campus (Photo by Duy Trinh ’14 of the Children’s Theater Workshop presentation “Wald, a wondertale”)

Colgate’s Task Force on Performing Arts Facilities, chaired by Professor of Art and Art History Padma Kaimal, has submitted its final report to the university community. The document offers recommendations to revitalize the creative landscape on campus.

President Jeffrey Herbst formed the task force in spring 2014, responding to a call made in the university’s new strategic plan for a comprehensive review of Colgate’s dance, music, and theater performance spaces. While the group is not an official building committee, its findings will inform future decisions and financial models developed by the administration and approved by the Board of Trustees.

“Colgate has long recognized the contributions that the performing arts can make to a liberal arts education,” said President Herbst. “The task force has produced an important document that can serve as a roadmap for the future.”

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Colgate joins new consortium for online pedagogy

May 11, 2015
Administrators collaborate at a shared table

Left to right: David Smallen, vice president for libraries and information technology, Hamilton College; Wendy Raymond, vice president for academic affairs and dean of faculty, Davidson College; Douglas Hicks, provost and dean of the faculty, Colgate University; Andrew Shennan, provost and dean of the college, Wellesley College (credit: Wellesley College)

Colgate University and three peer liberal arts institutions joined together today in a new consortium focused on online teaching and learning.

The agreement between Colgate, Davidson College, Hamilton College, and Wellesley College is aimed at strengthening collaboration around online technologies, including the edX platform, where Colgate is now hosting its first fully open online learning experience: Greeks at War.

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Japanese Speech Contest fosters cultural connections

May 8, 2015
Photo by Zoe Zhong '17

The Japanese Speech Contest, now in its 13th year, was open to students of Japanese and all other disciplines. Photo by Zoe Zhong ’17

The Japanese Speech contest celebrated its 13th year this April with a lineup of 13 competing speakers and a variety of Japanese food and performances. Read more


Alexandria Dyer ’14 awarded a Fulbright to conduct research in Ghana

May 6, 2015

Alexandria Dyer ’14, of Portland, Ore., has been awarded a Fulbright research grant to travel to Ghana to study public health.

Dyer will conduct research on the empowering social space of women’s hair salons and will then develop a pilot women’s health workshop for these informal settings.

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Members of Colgate Class of 2015 award their Torch Medals

May 1, 2015
Ben Cook '15 gave his torchmedal to Roxanne Benson

Ben Cook ’15 gave his Torch Medal to Roxanne Benson, the administrative assistant for Outdoor Education.

From professors to deans, food service employees to athletic coaches, and many more, countless individuals contribute to students’ academic and personal growth while at Colgate. This spring, members of the Class of 2015 are recognizing those who have influenced their time over the last four years by honoring them with Torch Medals. Read more


Roleplaying club brings people together through storytelling

April 30, 2015
Colgate's Roleplaying Game Society. Photo by Anna Heil '16

Colgate’s Roleplaying Game Society brings together students, faculty, and staff. Photo by Anna Heil ’16

A jungle ranger, an alchemist, a nomadic bard, and a cleric of the sun goddess struggle to save a fantasy desert region from a war fueled by racial discrimination. In other words, a small group of Colgate students, staff, and faculty members are gathered together in the Coop for their weekly role-playing game session. This group is just one segment of a new organization on campus called the Colgate Roleplaying Game (RPG) Society. Read more


Colgate ranks #2 in the nation in new survey of college outcomes and value

April 29, 2015
Colgate alumni give students an important leg up in the business world.

Colgate alumni give students an important leg up in the business world.

Behind only California Institute of Technology and ahead of MIT, Stanford, Harvard, Princeton, Yale and many others, Colgate today was ranked second-highest among four-year schools for “value-added” with respect to mid-career earnings.

A new report from the Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program, titled Beyond College Rankings, a Value-Added Approach to Assessing Two- and Four-Year Schools, is the first to study a broad array of colleges on economic outcomes for graduates, using a blend of government and private data sources, including Linkedin and PayScale.

It also factors in seven quality metrics: Curriculum value, percent graduating in a STEM field, alumni skills, graduation rate, retention rate, aid per student, and instructional staff.

Read here for a summary of the report and the list of  the “10 universities that will increase your career earnings the most.”

According to Inside Higher Education, “Brookings characterizes the unobservable reasons why an institution might provide a large value-added boost to its graduates as ‘x factors,’ and attributes 59 percent of Colgate’s value added to such unobserved factors.”

Jonathan Rothwell, lead author and a fellow at Brookings, said, “It’s not the majors that are driving their student success, and it’s not the skills they list on résumés. It may be they have access to great teachers; it may be that their alumni networks are strong.”

According to Brookings, the survey improves on conventional rankings in several ways. The survey includes a much larger number of schools; it focuses on factors that best predict measurable economic outcomes; and it attempts to isolate the effect colleges themselves have on those outcomes, above and beyond what students’ backgrounds would predict.

“This report is serious and comprehensive,” said President Jeffrey Herbst. “The focus on outcomes makes it superior to other rankings. It measures salaries, which is important but not, of course, the whole story. The report articulates the power of our Colgate University professional networks .”

The timing of the new survey from Brookings is attracting widespread media attention, as it comes as many families are in the final throes of weighing college admission and aid offers.

So far, Colgate has been mentioned by Inside Higher EducationNational JournalCNN Money, cbs.com, National Journal, Fusion, and Huffington Post.


Leader of campus reform earns 1819 Award, Colgate’s highest honor

April 28, 2015
Kori Strother '15 receives the 1819 Award

Kori Strother ’15 accepts the 1819 Award from President Herbst at the awards ceremony. (Photo by Andy Daddio)

Kori Strother ’15, an Africana & Latin American studies major from Saint Louis, Mo., is the 2015 recipient of Colgate’s 1819 Award, the highest student honor granted by the university.

The 1819 Award is given annually to one student representing character, sportsmanship, scholarship, and service above and beyond their peers. While this year’s winner represents all of those qualities, she also had the courage to look Colgate in the eye to say, “you can do better.”

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Transition in the Office of the Provost and Dean of the Faculty

April 27, 2015
Provost Douglas Hicks

Douglas A. Hicks has served as Colgate’s provost and dean of the faculty since 2012.

Today, Douglas A. Hicks announced he will be concluding his term as Colgate’s provost and dean of the faculty at the end of this academic year. Next year, he will be taking a sabbatical leave and plans to focus on his scholarly work, including writing on leadership in higher education.

Since joining Colgate in 2012, Hicks has been instrumental in many strategic initiatives across the university. He played a leading role in developing the university’s 2014–2019 strategic plan and led the successful implementation of the plan’s four academic priorities: internationalization, technological innovation, civic engagement, and pedagogical development.

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Balinese Gamelan Ensemble to perform concert tonight

April 27, 2015
Professor Peter Steele leads a class on Balinese Gamelan music. Photo by Zoe Zhong '17

Professor Peter Steele leads a class on Balinese Gamelan music. Photo by Zoe Zhong ’17

If you’ve walked into James C. Colgate Hall on a Monday afternoon, you might have heard unfamiliar yet intriguing musical sounds flowing out of classroom 209. That’s Colgate’s brand-new Balinese Gamelan Ensemble rehearsing; their concert is tonight. Read more


First ColgateX open online course begins

April 26, 2015

Greeks at War: Homer at TroyOne of Colgate’s best-known professors will reach more than 3,000 people from more than 100 countries in the university’s first public, open, online course, Greeks at War: Homer at Troy, beginning Monday.

Robert Garland, Roy D. and Margaret B. Wooster Professor of the classics will teach the university-quality course on the ColgateX platform. Read more


Colgate this week: jazz, thought-provoking discussions, and a campus fair

April 26, 2015
Historic Chenango Canal

This week’s event highlights finish with a 5K and Fun Run along the historic Chenango Canal towpath trail.

As we head into the last week of classes and students prepare for finals, some of this week’s events can offer a little break. Read more


Commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Armenian genocide

April 24, 2015
Students in class with Colgate professor Peter Balakian

Colgate professor Peter Balakian is a world-renowned Armenian genocide expert.

As the world commemorates the 100th anniversary of the Armenian genocide today, Colgate professor Peter Balakian continues to press the U.S. government to join a growing number of nations and dignitaries, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and Pope Francis, to publicly denounce and formally brand the killings as genocide.

Balakian, a descendant of survivors of the atrocity that killed about 1.5 million people, is a commentator, poet, author of seven books, and the Donald M. and Constance H. Rebar Professor in Humanities, professor of English, and director of creative writing at Colgate. He has provided expert commentary on the legacy and trauma of the Armenian genocide, and what he calls “the continued denial of the Turkish government to come to terms with its past.”

“I think what’s shocking in the Turkish case is the refusal, in the face of large world-wide pressure, not just from Armenians, but from 22 countries that have passed Armenian genocide resolutions, for Turkey to deal with the aftermath of the genocide in an ethical way,” said Balakian. “Turkey’s refusal has been shocking to the world.”

Additional commentary can be found in the news links below.

All Things Considered
Los Angeles Times
The Guardian
60 Minutes Overtime
The Economist
Salon
Chicago Tribune
International Business Times
The Daily Beast
The Take Away
Tablet Magazine
Portland Press Herald

 


Sara Reese ’16 named a 2015 Udall Scholar

April 20, 2015

Sara Reese ’16, of Midlothian, Va., is one of just 50 students nationwide to be awarded a Udall Scholarship in 2015.

The Udall Scholarship is awarded to college sophomores and juniors for leadership, public service, and commitment to issues related to the environment or to American Indian nations. The scholarship honors the legacies of Morris Udall and Stewart Udall, whose careers had a significant impact on American Indian self-governance, health care, and the stewardship of public lands and natural resources.

Read more


This week on campus: juggling, sustainability, and SPW

April 20, 2015
Photo by Andy Daddio

The juggling club will be turning up their act on Tuesday, adding knives and torches to their repertoire. Photo by Andy Daddio

As the semester winds down, plenty of activity still keeps campus buzzing. Here are the events you won’t want to miss this week

On Tuesday from 7:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., enjoy the juggling club’s Light ’em Up show with knives and torches on the Academic Quad.

The Oak Awards (or Oakies) will be presented on Wednesday at the Atrium Cuniff Commons in the Ho Science Center. Formerly known as The Green Awards, The Oak Awards (or Oakies) are presented to students, faculty, and staff have made an impact on campus sustainability. The night of fun and awards is a wrap-up of #13DaysOfGreen.

Also on Wednesday, Daniel Wilkinson will give a talk titled “Against All Odds: The Struggle for Human Rights in Latin America” in Persson Auditorium at 4:30 p.m. The managing director of the Americas Division of the Human Rights Watch, Wilkinson is an expert on Latin America. He has conducted fieldwork and advocacy throughout the region, and authored reports on human rights issues in Brazil, Colombia, Cuba, Mexico, the United States, and Venezuela. His book Silence on the Mountain: Stories of Terror, Betrayal, and Forgetting in Guatemala won the PEN/Albrand Award for nonfiction.

3LAU and Skizzy Mars will headline Spring Party Weekend, starting at Sanford Field House at 7:00 p.m. on Saturday. 3LAU (pronounced “blau”) is an American progressive house and electro house producer, and Skizzy Mars is a New York City-based MC who specializes in melodic, slightly left-of-center rap.

To see more events on campus and in the community, check out the Colgate calendar.


Geology professor Karen Harpp wins 2015 Balmuth Award

April 17, 2015
Geology professor Karen Harpp stands next to Provost Douglas Hicks

Geology professor Karen Harpp with Provost and Dean of the Faculty Douglas Hicks (Photo by Alice Virden-Speer)

Last week, Associate Professor of Geology and Peace and Conflict Studies Karen Harpp added a 13th line to her list of teaching accolades when she received the 2015 Jerome Balmuth Award for Teaching and Student Engagement.

“I don’t think there’s anyone in any room who has the energy that Karen Harpp has or the passion she brings to teaching,” Provost and Dean of the Faculty Douglas Hicks told guests who gathered at the Colgate Inn to celebrate the occasion.

Harpp is the sixth faculty member to win the award, which was created through a gift from Mark Siegel ’73.

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Colgate to open first of four residential learning communities in Fall 2015

April 16, 2015
Curtis and Drake Halls

Curtis and Drake Halls will be home to the university’s first residential learning community.

Faculty directors are actively planning, student community leaders are assigned, the housing lottery is underway for current students, and the Class of 2019 is taking shape. That means things are falling into place for this fall, when Colgate will launch the first of four residential learning communities.

The pilot community — accommodating 200 sophomores and 200 first-year students in Curtis and Drake Halls — will be co-led by Rebecca Shiner, professor of psychology, and Mark Shiner, university chaplain.

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Colgate community bids loving farewell to Adam and Eve

April 15, 2015
Swan beside Taylor Lake

Photo by Andrew Daddio

Always known as Adam and Eve, the mute swans that have graced Taylor Lake since 1929 will no longer make their home at Colgate University. The announcement came after the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) published new draft regulations governing their maintenance and care.

“Adam and Eve have been a memorable part of the Colgate landscape for generations of students, alumni, and parents,” said Brian Hutzley, vice president for finance and administration. “They will be missed.”

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This week on campus: Take Back the Night, Earth Day, and Holi

April 13, 2015
Students celebrate Holi annually at Colgate. This year's celebration is Saturday. Photo by Duy Trinh '14

Students celebrate Holi annually at Colgate. This year’s celebration is Sunday, April 19, at 12 p.m. in the Hall of Presidents. Photo by Duy Trinh ’14

Spring is really coming. While you enjoy the vibrancy and sunshine on campus, check out these events! Read more


Susanna Meyer ’15 awarded Fulbright to teach in Mexico

April 12, 2015

Susanna Meyer ’15, of Philadelphia, Pa., has been awarded a 2015 Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship to Mexico.

Read more


All-star Entrepreneur Weekend panel encourages Colgate students to think big

April 10, 2015
Entrepreneur Weekend panel onstage in Cotterell Court

Colgate’s Entrepreneur Weekend 2015 all-star panel (Photo by Andrew Daddio)

Colgate’s entrepreneurial spirit soared tonight as the university welcomed five leading business builders to campus for Entrepreneur Weekend 2015.

The panel included Jessica Alba, founder of The Honest Company; Neil Blumenthal, co-founder and co-CEO of Warby Parker; Greg Coleman, president of Buzzfeed; serial entrepreneur and entertainer MC Hammer; and Rent the Runway co-founder and CEO Jennifer Hyman — all interviewed by Colgate trustee and Chegg! CEO Dan Rosensweig P’15’17.

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