Home News
Colgate News / alumni

Hannah Robinson ’11, lawyer without borders

January 13, 2016
Hannah Robinson ’11 stands outside a Mayan steam bath in Guatemala.

Hannah Robinson ’11 outside a Mayan steam bath in Guatemala

From the autumn Colgate Scene:

While investigating human rights cases in Guatemala for the past year, attorney Hannah Robinson ’11 felt somewhat safe as an American citizen — but she did “get nervous every time a motorcycle pulled up next to [her].” With good reason: 26 legal professionals have been murdered there since 2013; the most recent was in June by gunmen on motorbikes.

The Colgate Scene first Skyped with Robinson in January 2015, the midpoint of her year in Guatemala, where she was building cases involving genocide crimes. Robinson is supported by a fellowship through Loyola Law School, from which she graduated last spring. She was the first from Loyola to pursue this work — it was her idea and design.

Read more

SophoMORE Connections returns

January 13, 2016
Portrait of Sian-Pierre Regis ’06

Sian-Pierre Regis ’06

This weekend, January 15–16, SophoMORE Connections returns to Colgate. Keynote speaker Sian-Pierre Regis ’06, Swagger founder and pop-culture/social contributor to CNN/HLN, heads a long list of alumni arriving on campus. They’ll talk with students about life after commencement — and how to take advantage of the full suite of Colgate resources between now and then to prepare for a successful career launch.

Sian-Pierre will be joined at the signature Center for Career Services event by fellow grads like Amy Dudley ’06Jon Sendach ’98, Jamil Jude ’09, and many others.

Visit colgate.edu/sophomoreconnections to find out more about the program and to watch the keynote speech live at noon this Friday, January 15.

From the Scene: Colgate Folklore, Facts & Falsehoods

December 29, 2015
Man standing on shore while piano sinks into Taylor Lake

Illustration by Jonathan Carlson

From the outlandish to the perfectly plausible, the Colgate Scene explored 13 Colgate legends in hopes of either verifying or disproving the titillating tales that have been told over the years. Read the feature at colgate.edu/scene, test your knowledge, and prepare to be surprised.

For example …

Found at the bottom of Taylor Lake: a piano, cars … and a hatchet


You know the joke: What’s the difference between a piano and a fish? You can tune a piano, but you can’t tuna fish. However, there may be both fish and a piano in Taylor Lake, according to a 1997 Maroon-News article on Colgate mythology. The authors, Neal Bailen ’99 and Peter Lindahl ’98, cite a source as saying it’s a “credible rumor” that a piano melted through the ice after a winter party and rests at the bottom of the lake.

Read more

Jeffrey Sumber ’92 offers relationship advice

December 17, 2015
Jeffrey Sumber ’92 stand in front of a cityscape

Jeffrey Sumber ’92

As you gather together with your family for the holidays, check out this alumni profile from the autumn Colgate Scene.

Jeffrey Sumber ’92 is encouraging couples to take responsibility for their own happiness with his new book, Renew Your Wows: Seven Powerful Tools to Ignite the Spark and Transform Your Relationship.

At Colgate, Sumber double-majored in peace and conflict studies and political science. Now a licensed psychotherapist, university professor, and relationship consultant, he also has a master’s in theological studies from Harvard University and a master’s of transpersonal psychology from Southwestern College. Sumber’s premise for healthy relationships is that we must embrace the power of personal responsibility as the counterbalance to projection. “If we want to be happy, we can’t look across to our partners and blame them for our own lack of engagement, passion, and sense of gratitude,” he said. Here are his tools to transform our relationships with ourselves and shift our relationships with others. Keep reading.


Gregory Casagrande ’85 shares experience with students as Executive in Residence

November 18, 2015
Casagrande accepts the Day of Impact Award from the Presidents' Club.

Greg Casagrande ’85 (left) received the first-ever Colgate Impact Award at the Presidents’ Club breakfast during Reunion Weekend. (Photo by Gerard Gaskin)

Social entrepreneur Gregory Casagrande ’85 spent three days this month on campus as the Robert A. Fox ’59 Executive in Residence at the Center for Career Services, sharing his extensive business knowledge with the campus community.

Having provided more than $65 million in micro-enterprise financing and small business training to about 60,000 women through his social enterprise in Samoa, Tonga, Fiji, and the Solomon Islands, Casagrande was awarded the inaugural Colgate Impact Award in 2015.

Casagrande has also been recognized as person of the year in Samoa in 2008, and appointed to the United Nations’ Board of Patrons Global Advisors Group. He has served as director of several microfinance boards, including his current role as chairman of three New Zealand software firms, and is an active angel investor. His past professional experience includes positions within the Ford Motor Company, Mazda Motor Company, and Coopers and Lybrand.

While on campus, Casagrande met with professors, administrators, and students in the Benton Scholars and Thought Into Action programs, and he made time for individual student appointments and guest lectures in three classes — Economics 238: Economic Development; Geography 315: Sustainable Livelihoods in Asia; and Geography 186: The Geography of Happiness.

Read more about Casagrande in the latest issue of the Colgate Scene.


A walk in the woods with Rick Marsi ’69

November 17, 2015
Rick Marsi ’69

Rick Marsi ’69 gives Scene readers a peek into Brier Hill in the fall. As he invites in his book Wheel of Seasons: “Take a walk, a little walk.” Especially in autumn, he adds, “As well as offering the universal lessons inherent in all seasons, it may reveal special ones of its own.” (Photo by Andrew Daddio)

Pausing next to a tamarack tree, Rick Marsi ’69 purses his lips and exhales, “pshhht, pshhht, pshhht, pshhht” in staccato breaths. A male common yellowthroat, wearing a black mask, answers the call and alights on a nearby branch. Marsi — economics major, ornithologist, naturalist, writer, and photographer — is seemingly satisfied.

Crunching through fallen leaves at Brier Hill, his 30-acre property in Vestal, N.Y., on this balmy, mellow Monday, Marsi points out landmarks: a towering white oak that he refers to as “the matriarch,” a grove of red pines that grew from seedlings he and his mother planted in the mid-’60s, and mini-waterfalls created by stones that he and his wife piled in the creek. All the while, his feathered friends warble overhead, and the birdman is always listening.

Keep reading in the Colgate Scene

First residential commons named for Diane Ciccone ’74, P’10

November 12, 2015
Students hold up a sign reading "Welcome to the Ciccone Commons"

Students celebrate the naming of Ciccone Commons (Photo by Nick Gilbert ’18)

Colgate’s inaugural residential commons, which opened its doors on Arrival Day 2015, will be named for Diane Ciccone ’74, P’10. Commons residents made the choice by popular vote after reviewing a slate of important names in Colgate’s history.

“I am humbled and honored with the naming of Ciccone Commons,” Ciccone said. “It not only recognizes my lifetime commitment to Colgate but more importantly it acknowledges the many voices of women and people of color in Colgate’s story — a story that will be woven into the historical fabric of the institution’s commitment to coeducation and inclusion.” Read more

Be the Change symposium connects students and alumni for common good

November 12, 2015
Students and alumni stand together at networking event

Students network with alumni from the Common Good Professional Network during the Be the Change Symposium (Photo by Nicholas Friedman ’16)

More than a dozen Colgate alumni made the trip to Hamilton this October for the first-ever Be the Change: Careers for the Common Good Symposium, sponsored by the Max A. Shacknai Center for Outreach, Volunteerism, and Education (COVE) and the Common Good Professional Network. The symposium focused on building alumni-student relationships and advancing careers in the common good sector, which includes nonprofits, education, government, and other enterprises for social good.

“Having the chance to have dinner and great discussions with students was wonderful,” said Susan Retik-Ger ’90, co-founder of Beyond the 11th. “I was delighted with how engaged and thoughtful the students were.”

Read more

“Queen of Soul” Aretha Franklin to perform at Colgate

November 10, 2015
Portrait of Aretha Franklin

Aretha Franklin

Legendary vocalist Aretha Franklin will perform on campus as part of the Kerschner Family Series Global Leaders at Colgate at 7 p.m. on Saturday, March 5, 2016, in Sanford Field House. Tickets for the Colgate community and the general public will be released in mid-January — watch colgate.edu/globalleaders for details as they become available.

Known around the world by her first name, and as the reigning “Queen of Soul,” Franklin’s repertoire spans pop, soul, jazz, rock, blues, and gospel.

Franklin was named the #1 Vocalist of All Time by Rolling Stone magazine in 2009. The first woman to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987, she is the recipient of numerous awards, including 18 Grammys, five American Music Awards, and four NAACP Image awards. To date, she has received 12 honorary doctorate degrees.

The Global Leaders series, sponsored by Colgate’s Parents’ and Grandparents’ Fund, allows the university to invite inspirational leaders like Franklin to campus. Other guests have included former prime minister of Israel, Shimon Peres; Sir Richard Branson, Virgin Group founder; Hillary Clinton, former secretary of state; President Bill Clinton; Russian political activist Gary Kasparov; Tony Blair, former prime minister of Great Britain; Felipe Calderón, former president of Mexico; and the Dalai Lama, spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhism.

Related Links
Global Leaders at Colgate
Hillary Clinton defends America’s role as world leader during Global Leaders address
Richard Branson to Colgate University: ‘The world needs entrepreneurs’
Aretha Franklin on Twitter

Colgate takes next step on international journey

October 20, 2015

It was a Colgate Hello that could be heard around the world.

On October 15, Colgate ushered in a new era of internationalism and officially celebrated the opening of the Center for International Programs (CIP). The center will serve as a hub for the university’s numerous global initiatives, conducted by faculty and students.

Read more

Students benefit from internship advice and access

October 1, 2015
Emily Bradley ’10 stands with the press corps outside the White House

Emily Bradley ’10, pictured here during her internship with the White House press corps, recently returned to campus to give advice to students.

“Connect with a real live human being – be more than a piece of paper and a GPA.”

This was just one piece of advice offered by Emily Bradley Greenfield ’10, the keynote speaker at the 2nd Annual Internship Banquet, hosted by the Center for Career Services (CCS) on September 29.

The banquet allowed first-year students and sophomores to sit down with upperclassmen, who were readily prepared to provide advice about how they landed their internships, catalog tricky questions they’ve encountered in interviews, and describe the day-to-day life of an intern.

Read more

University community gathers for candlelight vigil

September 21, 2015
Chapel at nighttime

Photo by Andrew Daddio

A hush of mourning covered the academic quad this evening as the Colgate community gathered to grieve the deaths of first-year students Cathryn Depuy and Ryan Adams. The silence was punctuated by words of comfort, songs of hope, and 13 chimes from the chapel bell.

“Our lives are intertwined,” said Interim President Jill Harsin. “Some of those threads have been broken. The shape of our community will be different without those connections.”

Read more

Colgate community mourns loss of two students

September 20, 2015

Colgate Memorial Chapel

The Colgate community is mourning tragic news that two students, Cathryn (Carey) Depuy ’19 and Ryan Adams ’19, both of Ridgefield, Conn., died Sunday afternoon in a plane crash in Morrisville, N.Y., after taking off from Hamilton Municipal Airport. No further details are available at this time.

For Colgate students affected by this difficult news, counseling center and chaplain’s office staff members will be available in Judd Chapel on the lower level of Memorial Chapel this evening. Monday, the counseling center will be open and available to Colgate students. As always, counseling is available to members of the faculty and staff through the Employee Assistance Program.

In light of this tragedy, some of Monday’s campus events will be postponed or cancelled. Please consult the campus calendar for updates.

A community vigil will be held at Colgate Memorial Chapel at 7:30 p.m. Monday evening.

Fundraising grows by 13 percent in Fiscal Year 2015

September 10, 2015
Scenic photo of the Academic Quad

Photo by Andrew Daddio

Somewhere, Colgate’s 13 founders are smiling.

Those forward-looking benefactors, who launched a university with $13 and 13 prayers, would be proud to know that Colgate received $45.8 million for financial aid, academic programs, the arts, athletics, facilities, and more during Fiscal Year 2015. That is a lucky 13 percent increase over Fiscal Year 2014. Another $22.2 million came in the form of pledges, bequest intentions, and other commitments.

“I want to thank the entire Colgate community for their commitment,” said Interim President Jill Harsin. “Working together, we continue to expand access for bright, ambitious students. We ensure that the opportunities they encounter here will shape their success long after graduation.”

Read more

$10 million from Robert Fox ’59 gives rise to $27 million financial aid partnership

August 28, 2015
Robert Fox ’59

Robert Fox ’59

Robert Fox ’59 has been a leader, mentor, and friend to many people at Colgate and beyond. So when he invested $10 million in financial aid at his alma mater last July, others were quick to trust his wisdom and join the Fox Partnership.

Keen to sustain the momentum of financial aid fundraising at Colgate, Fox offered his gift as inspiration. Ultimately, 26 partners each invested a minimum of $250,000. They amassed a total of nearly $27 million in just 12 months, in some cases directing their support to financial aid for the first time.

Read more

New ColgateX online course: Medicating for Mental Health

August 25, 2015
A portrait of Scott Kraly

Scott Kraly, Charles A. Dana Professor of psychology (Photo by Andrew Daddio)

“It is highly likely that you, a member of your family, or a close friend will face the decision of whether to use a medication to treat a diagnosed psychiatric disorder. Do you have the skills and knowledge to participate in the decision to use a drug as therapy?”

That is the opening paragraph for Medicating for Mental Health: Judicious Use of Psychiatric Drugs, a new online course on ColgateX, launching on August 26.  The instructor is Scott Kraly, Charles A Dana Professor of Psychology.

Read more

The Slater brothers’ film festival is back July 30-August 2

July 30, 2015
Wade and Todd Slater, founders of Slater Brothers Entertainment and hosts of the Hamilton International Film Festival

Wade and Todd Slater, founders of Slater Brothers Entertainment and hosts of the Hamilton International Film Festival

Returning this weekend for its 7th year, the Slater Brothers’ International Film Festival will include an impressive range of cinematic experiences while maintaining the intimacy expected from a Hamilton, NY event.

Hamilton natives Grant ’91 and Todd Slater of Slater Brothers Entertainment created the festival 7 years ago to give back to their community. The festival serves as an opportunity for town residents, Colgate students and alumni, and eminent personalities from independent cinema to connect and enjoy great films. Read more

Board of Trustees elects new chair, vice chairs

July 30, 2015
A portrait of Daniel B. Hurwitz ’86, P’17

Daniel B. Hurwitz ’86, P’17

The Colgate University Board of Trustees elected new leadership during a meeting on Friday, July 24. Board Vice Chair Daniel B. Hurwitz ’86, P’17 will take up the chairmanship beginning on September 1. He succeeds Denis F. Cronin ’69, P’09,’10, who has served as a trustee for a total of 14 years and has held the top leadership post since 2011.

Trustees Gretchen H. Burke ’81, P’11,’19 and Michael J. Herling ’79, P’08,’10,’12 will take over as vice chairs, succeeding Hurwitz and Vice Chair Robert A. Kindler ’76, P’04,’08,’12,’17, who has served on the Board of Trustees for 13 years and as vice chair since 2011.

“Dan is a natural leader with strong personal skills who listens closely and patiently, manages adroitly, and inspires high expectations and ambitious outcomes,” said Cronin. “He appreciates Colgate’s many strengths and understands its challenges.”

Read more

Colgate University’s new athletics facility to be named Class of 1965 Arena

June 29, 2015
Members of the Class of 1965 sign a beam to be used in the construction of the Class of 1965 Arena

Members of the Class of 1965 sign a beam to be used in the construction of the Class of 1965 Arena (photo by Andrew Daddio)

Colgate’s new athletics facility, opening in October 2016, will be named the Class of 1965 Arena, thanks to a record-setting gift from the university’s 50th anniversary graduates.

Class members — led by gift chair Jim Himoff, Peter Desnoes, Peter Kellner, John McGonagle, and Robert Forster — offered more than $22 million in support for Colgate to mark their reunion this spring. Their generosity also ensured that Colgate hockey’s home ice, located inside the arena, would be known as the Steven J. Riggs ’65 Rink, in memory of classmate Steve Riggs, killed in Vietnam in 1968. Riggs was team captain and was inducted posthumously into the Colgate Athletics Hall of Honor.

Read more

‘Prepare to be inspired’: Eddie Glaude’s Colgate commencement speech makes NYT

June 12, 2015
Eddie S. Glaude Jr. gives his Commencement address to the Class of 2015, May 17, 2015.

Eddie S. Glaude Jr. gives his commencement address to the Class of 2015, May 17, 2015. (Photo by Andrew Daddio)

After combing through many hundreds of commencement soundbites and snippets, editors at The New York Times highlighted the best of the best for their 2015 Cap and Gown blog. Eddie S. Glaude Jr., recipient of an honorary doctor of humane letters from Colgate and professor of religion and African-American studies at Princeton University, appeared at the top of the blog yesterday, above first lady Michelle Obama, television commentators Stephen Colbert and Katie Couric, author Salman Rushdie, and Apple CEO Tim Cook.

The excerpt chosen by the New York Times begins: “In so many ways, colleges and universities are training grounds for citizenship. Here you either cultivate the habits of courage or learn the habits of cowardliness. Over the past year, you have courageously forced this university to look unflinchingly at itself. You have set the conditions for a nobler university for that fourth grader today who, in a not so distant future, will find herself moving about this campus. And, hopefully, she will not have to ask herself if she belongs here.”

Read the full transcript of Glaude’s speech here.


Downtown incubator abuzz as Colgate Entrepreneurs Fund winners go to work

June 10, 2015
Amanda Brown '15 (left) talks to a student at eWeekend. Brown is one of six eFund winners working in the Thought Into Action incubator space in Hamilton, N.Y. this summer.

Amanda Brown ’15 (left) talks with a student at  Entrepreneur Weekend in April. Brown is one of six eFund winners working in the Thought Into Action incubator space in Hamilton, N.Y., this summer.

Being selected for the Colgate Entrepreneurs Fund (eFund) can change everything for a fledgling start-up, especially when combined with incubator space and direct access to Thought Into Action alumni-mentor support for an entire summer in Hamilton, N.Y.

The $15,000 award that comes with selection opens doors for these new ventures. Some use the funding to hire product engineers, web developers, advertising buys, or just use the capital to allow for full-time work on an idea that otherwise would be attended to only after working another job.

Read more

Colgate’s #2 ranking on economic outcomes continues to pay dividends

June 10, 2015

Yesterday Barron’s became the latest media outlet to report the good news about Colgate’s #2 ranking for “value-added” with respect to mid-career earnings. Colgate ranked ahead of MIT, Stanford, Harvard, Princeton, Yale, and many other four-year schools, on the first list assessing a broad array of colleges on economic outcomes for graduates.

The recent report from the Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program — titled Beyond College Rankings, a Value-Added Approach to Assessing Two- and Four-Year Schools — used a blend of government and private data sources, including LinkedIn and PayScale. It factored 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 the summary of the report and the list of the “10 universities that will increase your career earnings the most.”

The new ranking has attracted much attention, including coverage in Inside Higher EducationNational JournalCNN Money, cbs.comNational Journal, Fusion, and Huffington Post.


Exploring the intersection of MoMA’s print and digital marketing

June 8, 2015
Lauren Casella '15 at MoMA, where she is interning for the summer

Lauren Casella ’16 at New York City’s Museum of Modern Art, where she is interning for the summer

Editor’s note: This blog post is the first in a series written by students about their summer experiences.

Last week, I started my internship in New York City, working for the marketing department at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). Housing collections of architecture, design, drawing, painting, sculpture, photography, and film, MoMA is regarded as one of the most influential modern art museums in the world. Read more

Reunion 2015: New leaves, deeper roots

June 1, 2015
Members of the Class of 1950 march during the annual parade at Reunion. (Photo by Andrew Daddio)

Members of the Class of 1950 march during the annual reunion parade. (Photo by Andrew Daddio)

Raider spirit ran high May 28 to 31, as Colgate welcomed the 0s and 5s home to the Chenango Valley for Reunion 2015. More than 2,000 alumni and guests attended, ushering in the summer while celebrating love for their alma mater.

“This is my fourteenth reunion in a row,” said Bart Hale ’04. “I never miss it because it’s full of so many people who love Colgate, and you see lifelong friends across different years.”

Read more

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?”

Read more