Pros—and a con—on new ski area
Thirty years ago I was disappointed to read that the Colby ski area had been closed. Now I’m elated to learn that it is to enjoy a new burst of recreational activity.
Back in the 1960s and 1970s the area provided various learning opportunities for students. Buses carried phys ed students to the hill for ski lessons taught by other students (who were somewhat more proficient); dozens learned first aid so they could qualify to work as ski patrollers. It was great fun earning $1.25/hr as a ski lift operator, greeting classmates after each run, while at the same time developing PR skills in dealing with the paying public.
The hill added a new dimension to Winter Carnival. It was great for Colby during those years. Now it appears it will be great for Colby and the greater community for many more years to come, and in a much more sustainable way.
Peter Anderson ’66
Morgan Hill, Calif.
When I was president of the Outing Club in 1956, Dr. Donaldson Koons (geology) and President Seelye Bixler encouraged me to speak with the then-owners of the Waterville Ski Area on Colby’s behalf. The administration’s negotiations to purchase the land had come to a standstill. The owners were elderly and they wanted to be sure that the area would be available to the citizens of Waterville. It took several more years of negotiation before Colby eventually was able to purchase the property.
I congratulate John Koons ’72 and Waterville City Manager Mike Roy ’74 for following through on making this unique area a multiuse park for the use of Colby and the city of Waterville. To have the trails designed professionally by John Morton, the former Dartmouth Ski Team coach, is an added bonus.
Nathaniel “Buddy” Bates ’57
If I remember correctly, we called it the Colby Ski Slope in the early 1960s, and, for me, access to the hill opened up a whole new world of outdoor adventure. I purchased bright red skis downtown from Pete Webber’s Ski Shop. Sugarloaf was pretty much beyond my budget and, since women couldn’t have cars in those days, the big mountain was not easy to get to. The Colby Ski Slope was close, however, and 50 years later I am still enjoying the sport as are my two grown children. I agree with other writers who suggest that well-planned outdoor facilities can have lasting value for a community.
Marcia Sheldon ’64
Scotch Plains, N.J.
Quarry Road Recreation Area is a wonderful area with tremendous potential and should encourage many segments of the local population to participate in outdoor activity. We had so much fun as kids that I felt that with a little effort we could generate a similar experience today in an otherwise economically depressed area. Feel free to contact me at 207-872-5252 or firstname.lastname@example.org with any additional thoughts or suggestions. I would like to see this get to a higher, sustainable level.
John Koons ’72
[Regarding Quarry Road Recreation Area] it’s sad that they’re proud of the “boulevard” they created in this wooded area. What was once a serene spot for running, walking, and just enjoying nature’s wonders has been ruined. Sadly, only of few of us will remember the diverse woodland, beaver pond, and vernal pools this group demolished to feed the insatiable appetite of skiers for more trails.
Andy Smith ’11
On Nietzche and the NEA
Hearing about an old friend and one of the philosopher kings of his freshman class made me smile broadly. I had lost track of Rocco Landesman ’69 and the small coterie of his friends who kept me up at night listening to arguments about Nietzche, Marx, and others. These were freshmen who were going someplace, and they obviously did. It was great hearing about Rocco’s success and continuing impact on the arts.
Rick Zimmerman ’66
Iowa City, Iowa
Proud of International Colby
While I have not been in touch with my alma mater since I graduated in 1971, I love the fact that somehow you have found me [through Out of the Blue]. It especially pleases me to read (“International Colby,” spring 2010 Colby) that the international population at Colby has risen to over 10 percent.
For the past 33 years I have been attempting to raise global competence in this little corner of the world, in the East Bay of San Francisco. Sadly, I have not been able to do what Colby has done.
We had over 200 [international] students in the early 1990s. We are now down to fewer than 60. The program I started in 1978 to bring international students to Saint Mary’s College of California has been disbanded by our administration. And the program I established for language and culture for the undergraduate and graduate population is on the verge of being disbanded.
What can I say? Perhaps I should have made attempts to return to my alma mater after my terminal degrees in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages and attempted to work at Colby. Alas! I did not do so.
But I consider the work I had been engaged in at Saint Mary’s for over three decades to be a most worthy pursuit. For now, I am embarking on yet another voyage in my life—establishing a foundation in the Middle East to work with those the West has abandoned. The only time the United States is drawn to my part of the world is when it needs to extract its mineral resources.
Nushi Safinya ’71
Director, Studies for International and Multilingual Students
Saint Mary’s College
Maintain Commitment to International Students
The Davis family opened the door for international applicants from the United World College system to enter Colby, and various testimonials in this magazine over the last five years have shown that international students at Colby have enhanced the College’s social and academic climate.
Although the new limit on scholarship available through the Davis scholarship will mean that Colby’s financial aid office will have to commit a substantial amount of their funds to attract international students, it also provides an opportunity for Colby to show that it is committed to attract bright international students despite the new financial limits. The $10,000 cap of the Davis scholarship also means that Colby has an opportunity to diversify its international population, so that international students at Colby do not have to come primarily from UWC schools.
Colby has made significant progress enrolling international students. Although the cap imposed by the Davis scholarship is a big blow to the admissions office, the Davis fund should not be used as an excuse to significantly lower the enrollment of international students.
Also, Colby cannot limit itself to full-paying international students. If it does, Colby will no longer bring a diverse international student body to the College.
Lokesh Todi ’09
Editor’s note: Though a significant number of international students at Colby are Davis Scholars, they have never been the majority, according to admissions records.
Pentagon Dropped Colby ROTC
As a graduate of the AFROTC program at Colby and an Air Force pilot in Vietnam, I need to correct a misconception. Writer Robin Respaut ’07 (“Colby on the Front Lines,” spring 2010 Colby) states that “... many colleges, including Colby, dropped Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) programs.” It was the Pentagon that removed the AFROTC program at Colby because Colby was not supplying enough candidates to make the program effective. President Strider, in a letter to the editor, corrected this same misconception found in another Colby article some years ago confirming that it was the Pentagon, not Colby, that dropped the program.
Ralph Kimball ’63
Will O.J. Be Next?
Regarding “Angela Davis on Activism,” (spring 2010 Colby), admittedly, I attended a liberal arts college and not a conservative arts college, yet I am still bothered by the choice of Davis as a keynote speaker. While she may have a perfectly valuable message (I am not familiar with her message) I am disappointed that Colby would provide her a stage from which to share her views.
Davis was implicated and eventually charged (not convicted) as an accomplice to the kidnapping and murder of Judge Harold Haley in 1970.
Forty years have passed, but that should not soften our views. Giving Davis a platform is to lionize and validate her. Will O.J. be our next guest?
Jamie Hansman ’80