Stay Connected

Summer 2016

The Office of Alumni Relations is pleased to offer many ways for alumni to stay in touch with each other, and with Colgate! E-mail me with questions or concerns at — Tim Mansfield, associate vice president, institutional advancement and alumni relations Questions? Contact alumni relations: 315-228-7433 or

Five campers at Camp Fiver

At Camp Fiver, campers of all ages take a break from their regularly scheduled character enrichment activities to attend the summer dance. (Photo by Camp Fiver Staff)

Helpful hacking

When Tom Tucker ’67 founded his nonprofit organization the Fiver Children’s Foundation, he wasn’t thinking about branding, hacking, or technology. He was thinking about at-risk children and how to help them. As the foundation has grown, however, Tucker has been searching for ways to improve on Fiver’s operational and fundraising efforts via its technological footprint — which led to the second-annual Colgate Hackathon, held on March 12 in Manhattan.

Through year-round activities, Fiver serves students aged 10 to 18, as well as their parents, who live in economically disadvantaged communities in New York City and central New York. Its mission: to create engaged, informed, successful citizens.

The hackathon — a day-long event for engineers, coders, technicians, marketers, and nonprofit professionals — provided students and alumni alike with the opportunity to come together and help distinguish Fiver from other organizations with a youth-development focus.

Although hacking is associated with computer programming, hackathons can be used for any kind of group problem solving. In the case of Fiver, goals included jump-starting brand awareness and external messaging, upgrading e-newsletter templates and distribution, creating visual representations of program outcomes, and enhancing the website.

Within eight hours, 12 alumni volunteers had come up with five different technical and practical software-solution presentations. Tucker and the 10 other Colgate alumni affiliated with the Fiver organization will implement those ideas to help the organization’s capability to empower children.

The hackathon was the brainchild of Jeff O’Connell ’95, who hosted the event in his offices at First Look Media. It was co-sponsored by Colgate’s Common Good, Digital Business and Technology, and Entrepreneur professional networks.

— Lee Tremblay ’16

Visiting alumni, revisiting Nixon

Andrew Rotter in his office

Andrew Rotter is the Charles A. Dana Professor of history and director of the Peace and Conflict Studies Program. He is the editor of Light at the End of the Tunnel: A Vietnam War Anthology, now in its third edition. (Photo by Andrew Daddio)

I spent the first Saturday of my March break in Newport Beach, Calif. — and it’s not what you’re thinking. I was invited to speak to the Alumni Club of Orange County by my former student Christian Teeter ’95, who loves Colgate and is a master organizer of alumni events. (Christian had previously invited me to speak to the California East Bay group when he worked at UC–Berkeley.)

This time, the plan was for me to talk about Richard Nixon and the Vietnam War — I have long taught a course at Colgate on the war — at the Nixon Library at San Clemente, but that proved logistically impossible. Up stepped David ’69 and Robyn Grant P’16, who opened their home to us on a beautiful spring afternoon.

I had anticipated that perhaps a dozen people would show up, but I was astounded when nearly 30 arrived. I talked about Nixon and Henry Kissinger, and the war they inherited, pursued, and finally departed. I then answered questions and spent nearly another hour talking with guests about Vietnam, among other matters.

This wasn’t about me: aside from Christian, none of those attending the talk had taken courses with me, and few others knew who I was. It was instead a reminder of the loyalty so many alumni have for Colgate that this bunch was willing to take a chance that the event, like any Colgate event, would be worth their while to attend. I hope they thought it was.

— Andrew Rotter

Women in law share triumphs and challenges

Women in Law participants speak at a gathering on campus

L to R: Natalia Delgado ’03, Avery Blank ’08, Karen Peters, Christine Amalfe P’16 (Photo by Nicholas Gilbert ’18)

Four women working in law came to Colgate in March to share their stories as participants in roundtable and panel discussions, co-sponsored by the Office of the President, the Dean of the Faculty, the Department of Political Science Kulla Fund, the Dean of the College, the Robert A. Fox ’59 Management Leadership Skills Program in Career Services, ALANA Cultural Center, and Gibbons P.C. Christine Amalfe P’16, Avery Blank ’08, Natalia Delgado ’03, and the Honorable Karen Peters talked about how they got into law, as well as the triumphs and challenges of their careers. Here are some of the highlights:

“[Women] look at a job description and say, ‘I don’t have eight of the ten qualifications, so I’m not going to do it,’ and the men look at it and say, ‘I have two of the ten qualifications, I’m prepared.’ In this case, I had none of the qualifications [to defend employment cases], other than I was a good trial lawyer … but I learned it. I’m now chairing the department, and I have about fourteen lawyers who work for me.”

— Christine Amalfe P’16, chair, Employment and Labor Law Department,
Gibbons P.C.

“So many people, so many women, wait for permission to do something, but I’d had it, so I said, ‘I’m going out on my own.’ Now I have my own consultancy, where I work with individuals and organizations that have demonstrated a commitment to the advancement of women.”

— Avery Blank ’08, policy attorney and women’s advocate

“As a woman and as a person of color, the biggest sense of satisfaction that I got was winning — when they weren’t ready at all for you to do anything that you just did, because they discounted you from the moment you walked in the door, based on your physical appearance alone.”

Natalia Delgado ’03, deputy chief legal counsel, Illinois State Police

Living Writers, returned to life

After a yearlong hiatus, Living Writers — one of Colgate’s most popular courses, both on and off campus — will return with a new focus this fall. Led by English professor Jennifer Brice, the course will include a wide range of genres, from journalism to poetry, cartoons to novels, and memoirs to short stories.

Poster of portraits of each Living Writers speakerOnline, the course will offer interactive materials for all 10 visiting writers on the ColgateX platform. Videos, podcasts, and Livestream events with the writers, as well as discussion boards with students on campus will also be accessible on the site. As in past years, participants can tailor the course to their own schedules and interests, engaging with as much (or as little) of the material as they see fit.

The class format will match each visiting writer with a member of the Colgate faculty. Professor Meg Worley (writing and rhetoric) will discuss the multifaceted approach of cartoons with Lynda Barry, the artist and author behind What It Is. Tim Byrnes (political science) will explore an industry’s exploitation of intellectually disabled men with reporter Dan Barry. The course will also feature Professor Peter Balakian and his Pulitzer Prize–winning Ozone Journal, a book of poems on the Armenian genocide and related topics. Jane Pinchin, who retired from the English department in 2015, will return to dialogue with author James Wood (The Nearest Thing to Life). And English professor Nimanthi Rajasingham will introduce Michael Ondaatje (Running in the Family).

Lessons begin with Sundance Film Festival award winner Penny Lane, a documentarian and an assistant professor of art and art history at Colgate, introduced by Brice herself. Clips from Lane’s yet-to-be-released Nuts! documentary will be available to view and discuss online.

— Lee Tremblay ’16

Click here to find out how you can enroll.

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