Autumn 2015

Brian Casey named 17th president

Brian W. Casey, the president of DePauw University, has been named Colgate’s 17th president. He will take office on July 1, 2016.

“I have long admired the academic excellence, rich traditions, and spirit of [Colgate],” said Casey. “Colgate is a distinctive institution, with a unique scale and atmosphere. Throughout the search process, I encountered members of the community committed to moving Colgate — even more than it is today — into the very highest ranks of American colleges and universities. To achieve that, I know I will be building on the work of the faculty, the leadership of the Colgate board, and the profound support of the university’s alumni.”

“Colgate is incredibly fortunate to have attracted such an experienced, proven, and nationally recognized leader,” said board chair Daniel B. Hurwitz ’86, P’17. “He possesses a strong creative vision, coupled with an extraordinary record of collaborative leadership.”

Casey was the committee’s unanimous first choice, noted Douglas Johnson, a psychology professor and director of Colgate’s Center for Learning, Teaching, and Research. “He recognizes the opportunities and challenges facing higher education, and he persuasively argues that academic excellence is the cornerstone of Colgate’s future. A strong supporter of faculty, he understands that the symbiotic relationship between teaching and scholarship is the bedrock of that excellence. Brian is a great unifier and creative leader — thoughtful, conversational, connected, and intellectual. He combines a sense of wonderment with a practical, analytical, and realistic understanding of how institutions of higher education operate.”

Search chair Michael Herling ’79, P’08,’10,’12 said that Casey’s “fit with Colgate and his understanding of Colgate’s distinctive strengths is truly compelling.”

Born and raised in New Jersey, Casey graduated Phi Beta Kappa and summa cum laude in philosophy and economics from the University of Notre Dame, where he was captain of the varsity swim team and the 1985 Scholar-Athlete of the Year. He earned his JD with honors from Stanford University Law School. After beginning is career as an attorney with the Wall Street firm of Davis Polk & Wardwell, Casey earned his PhD in the history of American civilization from Harvard University.

“I had many conversations with students who wanted an energetic, visible, and involved president,” said Joanna Howe ’16, a search committee member. “Brian encompasses exactly what we were looking for. He has a contagious energy, and his genuine care for students and student life is obvious. I was especially impressed when he told me he gets up and does morning practice with the swim team, and that he has dinners with students at his house and an open-door policy for students.”

Prior to his appointment at DePauw in 2008, Casey was associate dean for academic affairs in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Harvard University, and assistant provost at Brown University, where he spearheaded a multidisciplinary approach to the study of commerce and entrepreneurship. He was a key figure in efforts to develop academic programs with Brown’s neighbor, the Rhode Island School of Design. He also helped to develop an international, interdisciplinary seminar that brought together faculty, students, and visiting fellows involved in the study of America’s past.

As DePauw’s president, Casey has led a comprehensive and successful period of growth. He led efforts to develop a comprehensive campus master plan, and, with the faculty, established a new general education curriculum. Under his leadership, in addition to making major investments in academic programs, campus projects, student advising, and postgraduate planning, as well as DePauw’s home city, Greencastle, Ind., the school has secured more than $56 million for financial aid.

The board’s approval of Casey’s appointment followed his selection by a committee — 11 trustees, five faculty members, three students, and a member of Colgate’s senior leadership team — that was formed in early February 2015, after former President Jeffrey Herbst announced that he would conclude his tenure at Colgate at the end of June 2015.

“In this year of transition, I look forward to working with Interim President Harsin, members of the board, senior administrators, and the Colgate faculty to learn all I can about Colgate and to develop — with all these groups — a robust path forward for the institution,” said Casey. “I also look forward to joining the Hamilton community.”

Pictured Above: President-elect Brian Casey visited the campus during homecoming weekend in September to meet students, professors, and staff members. (Photo by Andrew Daddio)


Selfie of the first Residential learning common residents.

Mark and Rebecca Shiner, co-directors of the first residential commons (formerly called the residential learning communities), take a selfie with its members from the Class of ’19, whose home is Curtis-Drake Hall. “I value community deeply,” Rebecca said at the open house of the new living-learning program. “There is a whole field of research within psychology that investigates what promotes happiness,” added Rebecca, a psychology professor. “I believe that, if we go about creating our commons the right way, we will have the key ingredients for happiness.” For more information, visit (Photo by Gerard Gaskin)


Colgate mourns two students

Colgate Memorial Chapel as viewed from the academic quad.

Photo by Andrew Daddio

A hush of mourning covered the Academic Quad as the Colgate community gathered on September 21 to grieve the deaths of Cathryn (Carey) Depuy ’19 and Ryan Adams ’19. The silence was punctuated by words of comfort, songs of hope, and 13 chimes from the chapel bell.

Depuy and Adams, both from Ridgefield, Conn., died in a plane crash in Morrisville, N.Y., after taking off from Hamilton Municipal Airport on the afternoon of September 20.

“This is where we look for answers,” Dean of the College Suzy Nelson told the more than 2,000 students, as well as professors and staff members, who had climbed the hill to share their sorrow and remember two of the Colgate family’s newest members. “We are left with more questions than answers. There are many here who will offer support.”

The vigil’s speakers were joined on the chapel steps by Adams’s family, including his mother, Mary Lou Hanney ’82, who described her son as “a person of vast interests and talents — a person of unfailing character and integrity.”

Class of 2019 President Michael Vitale said, “I am overjoyed and proud that I had the God-given opportunity to meet, learn from, and become a better person through the shining symbols of compassion and empowering energy that Carey and Ryan brought into my life.”

Assistant music professor Ryan Endris, chapel music director Dianne McDowell, and the Colgate Chamber Singers provided music. By the glow of 2,000 candles, University Chaplain Mark Shiner closed the vigil, inviting everyone to look around at the pinpoints of light across the Quad.

“That is what learning to love each other looks like,” he said. “We leave in silence, but in hope. We will love and care for each other in these dark days.”


Brown bags

Colgate’s campus community often unites at mealtime, which is most apparent during the afternoon lunches held by various departments, organizations, and teams every semester. Brown bag lunch series offer students the chance to take a break from class and studying, enjoy lunch with peers, and learn about a new theme or topic pertinent to the host group. Here is a sampling of several brown bags that were on the menu this September:

“The F Word”
September 1
11:30 a.m.–1:00 p.m.
Center for Women’s Studies Lounge

Women’s studies concentrators Monica Hoh ’16, Charity Whyte ’16, and Toni Stickler ’16 spoke about personal feminisms and conducted a Q&A session about the definitions of feminism.

Senior Meet-up: Creating a LinkedIn Profile over Lunch
September 9
12:30–1:30 p.m.
Batza Meeting Room, Case-Geyer Library

Career services hosted a meet-up for seniors to learn the fundamentals of creating and maintaining a LinkedIn profile in order to promote professional networking throughout the year.

Acid Rain in the Adirondack Mountains: Legacy and Recovery
September 11
12:20–1:20 p.m.
ALANA Cultural Center

During this environmental studies gathering, Richard April, Dunham Beldon Jr. Professor of geology, presented the historically deleterious effects of acid rain in the Adirondack Mountains.

Vegetables and produce

Panel Discussion: Experiences and Perspectives from Local Food Producers
September 18
12:20–1:20 p.m.
ALANA Cultural Center

Three regional food producers shared their viewpoints on local sourcing of produce and food products in upstate New York. The event was a part of the Local Food Cultures: Traditions and Futures Series presented by the Upstate Institute and the Lampert Institute for Civic and Global Affairs.

— Compiled by Lauren Casella ’16


Fox Partnership boosts financial aid

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 in July 2014, 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.

As a student-athlete, Fox broke swim-team records while holding down campus jobs that included cleaning the pool, lifeguarding, and various room-and-board assignments. After Colgate, he earned an MBA from Harvard University and went on to serve as CEO of seven companies and sit on dozens of boards.

At a dinner held recently in his honor, Fox told guests, “I’ve had a great life, and it happened because I went to Colgate. I was only able to be there because of financial aid.”

Fox, now 78 and mostly retired, knows his gift will impact hundreds of lives while also raising awareness about the impact of financial aid on “students to live their lives to their full potential,” he said.

Every one of the Fox partners expresses love and gratitude for Colgate. Of the 26 partners, 16 have sent one or more of their children to Colgate; 14 graduated in the 1980s; and there are three Colgate couples.

At Colgate, where the average aid award in 2015–2016 was $46,602, Fox Partnership proceeds will go a long way, especially when combined with the $142 million raised for financial aid during the university’s recent Passion for the Climb campaign and the $45 million raised in the two years since.

The partnership total includes $11.77 million in estate and life-income arrangements and $15.05 million in cash — it also provides ongoing incentive for others to support Colgate’s financial aid program in years to come.

“Financial aid ensures not only access and socioeconomic diversity, but it also widens the pipeline for the best and brightest students,” said Murray Decock ’80, senior vice president for external relations, advancement, and initiatives. “Access is a passport to opportunities, achievement, and career fulfillment. Thanks in large measure to Bob Fox and his partners, the word is out that Colgate is more accessible than ever, and counselors are now steering an ever-more diverse group of students to our campus.”


New board leadership

Daniel B. Hurwitz ’86, P’17

Daniel B. Hurwitz ’86, P’17
(Photo courtesy of DDR Corp)

Colgate’s Board of Trustees elected new leadership during its July meeting. Vice Chair Daniel B. Hurwitz ’86, P’17 took up the chairmanship beginning on September 1. He succeeded Denis F. Cronin ’69, P’09,’10, who has served as a trustee for a total of 14 years and had been chair since 2011.

New vice chairs Gretchen H. Burke ’81, P’11,’19 and Michael J. Herling ’79, P’08,’10,’12 succeeded Hurwitz and 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.

Hurwitz, a Maroon Citation winner and member of the James B. Colgate Society, has been a trustee for six years. He has served as chair of the Capital Assets Committee, vice chair of the Audit Committee, and a member of the Executive Committee, while serving on the Academic and Faculty Affairs, Athletic Affairs, Nominating and Trustee Development, and Planning and Governance committees. In those roles, he has provided oversight for construction and renovation projects and worked to expand the impact of the Colgate experience while containing costs associated with the rising demands of operating an institution of higher education. Committed to the full spectrum of Colgate’s liberal arts offerings, he has become well known for the time he spends outside of trustee meetings connecting with professors and students. He was also a member of the Presidential Search Committee.

Earlier this year, Hurwitz left Cleveland-based DDR Corp, where he had been CEO, to form the real estate investment and advisory firm Raider Hill Advisors, LLC. He holds a bachelor’s degree in history from Colgate and serves on the board of directors of several real estate companies as well as the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Burke, a member of the Alumnae Leadership Council and the James B. Colgate Society, has volunteered as a class gift committee member and served the last four years on the Board of Trustees. An Executive Committee member, she has chaired the Nominating and Trustee Development Committee. Burke graduated with a degree in English before earning her MBA at Harvard University. She is a community leader and former chair of the board at Philadelphia’s Episcopal Academy. She also served on the Presidential Search Committee.

Herling, a recipient of the Maroon Citation and the William Brian Little ’64 Award for Distinguished Service, chaired the Presidential Search Committee. A member of the Executive Committee, he chairs the Athletic Affairs Committee. In addition to his eight years on the board, he served 10 years on the Alumni Council, 15 years on his class gift committee, and six years on the Presidents’ Club Membership Committee. A founding partner of the law firm Finn Dixon & Herling LLP, Herling majored in history and earned his JD from Stanford.


Adonal Foyle speaks at homecoming 2015.

For love of the game — and Colgate. A slam-dunk homecoming keynote speech by Adonal Foyle ’98 began with his poem, “Love Song to a Game.” He read, in part: “You showed me a world that few have dreamt of / Colgate’s golden steeple / A sojourn where ancient teaching flooded my mind / There in Chenango Valley where 13 sang.” Watch the full speech here.


Xiamen-Colgate relationship expands

At the end of July, 17 exchange students from China’s Xiamen University gathered with faculty, staff, and Colgate students to wrap up their month-long visit to Colgate through the Xiamen Student American Experience program.

For Xiamen students, it was an opportunity to travel to the United States; visit places such as Cornell University, New York City, and Washington, D.C.; explore the Chenango Valley; and connect with distinguished Colgate alumni along the way. It was also a chance to form friendships with the more than 203 Colgate students on campus this summer.

The partnership started in 2010 when Cheryl Long, then associate professor of economics and the director of Asian studies, began working with the university to increase Colgate’s reputation in Asia through educational collaboration. Long had visited Xiamen University several times for conferences and workshops and was impressed by their programs, entrepreneurial initiatives, and dedicated alumni, so she suggested the forging of a relationship.

Unlike other exchanges, which focus solely on language, Colgate’s summer program aims to offer a varied learning experience. Professors across the disciplines give introductory lectures in their subjects, ranging from economics to classics to religion. In addition, the Chinese students encounter small class sizes, and a liberal arts style of learning, to which they may not have been exposed before.

The partnership continues to grow. This year, two new initiatives were unveiled to accompany the summer program: a faculty exchange and a long-term student exchange. Professor Gao Qianqian, who accompanied the Xiamen students, remains at Colgate for the 2015–2016 academic year teaching economics. In the summer of 2016, Jay Mandle, W. Bradford Wiley Professor of economics, will teach a course at Xiamen University.

The enhanced relationship with Xiamen also includes sending Josh Kahn ’17 there to study this semester and hosting two to three Xiamen students at Colgate for the spring semester, according to Nicole Simpson, associate dean of the faculty for international initiatives.
— Emma Loftus ’16


Shirt Tales

4 students at Konosioni Field days

4 students at Konosioni Field days. Photos by Nicholas Friedman ’16

Sporting black Ts with a skull on the back, these Konosioni members may look intimidating, but they were actually on their way to lead the Field Day fun that welcomes the incoming class.

Sara Hinton ’16 (far right), a studio art and English creative writing major, created this year’s shirt. She is pictured with (L to R): Jessie Sullivan ’16, Josh Goldstein ’16, and Sofia Estay ’16.

“Everyone loves a good frocket T-shirt,” Hinton joked about the front pocket that read “Konosioni Field Day 2015.” The Konosioni Coat of Arms, designed by Cori Schattner ’04, adorned the back of the shirts. “It’s a modern-looking ‘coat of arms’ with a decorative edge and flowers in the [skull’s] eye sockets,” Hinton explained.

All 26 members of the senior honors society wore the shirt, while first-year students color coordinated their outfits according to their residence halls. The Class of ’19 students competed in tug of war, watermelon eating, and egg-and-spoon races.

As an annual part of first-year orientation, Field Day “aligns with [Konosioni’s] core tenets — service, tradition, and leadership,” Hinton explained. “It’s a nice way to introduce tradition to the underclassmen and to get them to meet new people in their residence halls.”

— Jessica Rice ’16


Village Green

Bob McVaugh.

Art & art history professor Bob McVaugh serves as Hamilton Mayor. (Photo by Susan Kahn)

There’s a new mayor in town (well, the village), and it’s Colgate professor of art and art history Bob McVaugh (pictured). He began his term on July 1, after a strong win in the June election, and has since continued to work on finding a balance between the needs of both the university and Hamilton. “The community and Colgate have developed a rhetoric over the past 10 years in which we talk … as if they are two separate entities. To the degree that we can stop talking about it as Hamilton and Colgate, we’re better,” McVaugh told the Maroon-News.

Although this is his first role as an elected official, he has been active in both communities for more than 30 years. He’s served on the board of the Hamilton Public Library, the Village Planning Board, the Zoning Revisions Committee, and Colgate’s Campus Master Planning Committee.

In other Hamilton news, the village green was bustling this summer. The weekly Thursday evening Concert in the Park series featured performances from diverse musical groups. Headliners this year included central New York’s orchestra Symphor!a, Jamie Notarthomas, the Cazenovia Community Band, and Cincinnati Creek. Students and town residents lounged on lawn chairs and picnic blankets to enjoy the tunes during this Hamilton summer staple.

Hamilton village seal

For those looking to satisfy the kid in them, the Hamilton Movie Theater held a Summer Children’s Film Series. Free, open-to-the-public screenings showed popular flicks such as the Tale of Despereaux, Smurfs, and Land Before Time.

Bookworms stocked up on reading material at the Friends of the Library annual sale at the Hamilton Public Library on September 4 and 5. The sale boasted discounted prices for fiction and nonfiction books for readers of all ages. All proceeds went toward the development of a teen space at the library.

— Emma Loftus ’16 and Meredith Dowling ’17