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Gleanings from the campus newsletter, FYI


Who Knew?
Colby's Gould Music Shell was, in an earlier incarnation, the Greater Portland War Memorial Music Shell. Julie Macksoud (college relations) found a piece in the Portland Press Herald July 10 reporting that the shell was erected in 1947 at South Portland High School (now Mahoney Middle School) by the Stewart P. Morrill American Legion Post. It was used for concerts only about 10 times in 13 years, so the decision was made to demolish it for scrap metal. In 1960 a then-anonymous patron bought it and donated it to Colby, paying to have it reassembled here in 1965. When the benefactor was identified as Ralph T. Gould of Cape Elizabeth, the owner of an equipment company, the structure was named the Gould Music Shell.

Seeing the U.S. of A.?
Colby showed up in the Chattanooga Times Free Press in July when Justin Dubois '05 and Kevin Selby '05, both from Canada, and Mark Chapman '05 from Zimbabwe spent a week there en route from Waterville to New Orleans on bikes. "This trip has given us a sense of how big the U.S. is . . . especially every state south of New England," Chapman told reporter Susan Price. The trio was making about 70 miles a day. "People have been really generous and kind. I think we wouldn't have been able to get this far without help from strangers," Chapman said. Count these three Davis-UWC scholars among the Good Samaritans on America's highways-they worked for Habitat for Humanity and an urban youth center before leaving Chattanooga.

Rank Rankings
There was much ado in the media again this fall as college rankings were announced. The Princeton Review's offbeat lists ("party schools," "dorms like dungeons," "reefer madness," etc.) were released just in time to scoop U.S. News & World Report rankings, and at the end of September The Wall Street Journal used the headline "Want to Go to Harvard Law School?" to rank top "feeder schools." Though Colby shows up in all of the above, you won't find out how Colby fared in our own publicity or admissions materials. Why? Because, as President William Adams wrote in the L.A. Times last spring, America needs "to abandon the notion that the qualities of a particular institution can be summed up and translated into a prestige rating." For details, see Adams's op-ed online at

Women Comics on Radio
On August 15 Margaret McFadden (American studies) was featured on an hour-long Odyssey program on WBEZ, Chicago Public Radio. The topic: "Women and Comedy." Margaret and Lynn Spigel of Northwestern talked about Lucy, Roseanne, Margaret Cho, Lily Tomlin and other female comedians who have played important roles in entertainment. They addressed questions like "What kind of a range exists for women comics?" "What are the limits?" "How do clever comics get around them?" The whole show is audible online at And worth hearing.

Health Center Hours Adjusted
Colby's inability to hire qualified nurses for all shifts at the Health Center precipitated an 11th-hour decision in August to begin the year with a reduced Health Center schedule.

The College had been studying the possibility of reducing the 24-hour, seven-days-a-week schedule. But the nursing shortage necessitated action a year before implementation of a final decision was expected, according to Dean of Students Janice Kassman.

The decision was made shortly before students arrived back on campus, and alternate services and protocols for handling health emergencies were being developed and refined as the school year began. Early in the year a number of cases in which intoxicated students needed medical treatment sharpened the debate surrounding the decision and highlighted the need for a clear understanding of what to do to get emergency health services when the Health Center is not open.

School opened with the Health Center operating from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday and from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. A professional nursing service accessible by telephone was engaged by the College to cover hours when the campus Health Center is closed.

Though the decision was supposed to have waited for completion of a review by a working group of trustees, some studies of health services conducted in recent years had recommended scaling back hours of operations, administrators said. Ninety percent of American colleges do not have round-the-clock health center hours, according to Melanie Thompson, M.D., Colby's medical director, and among the NESCAC colleges, four have round-the-clock health center hours while seven don't.

Lovejoy Laureates Named
Two Chicago Tribune reporters, Steve Mills and Maurice Possley, received the 51st Lovejoy Award in a ceremony on October 15. Investigative stories by Possley and Mills have been instrumental in the release of wrongly convicted death row inmates, and former Illinois Gov. George Ryan credited the reporters' work with influencing his decision to impose a moratorium on the death penalty in Illinois.

Ryan said Mills and Possley had achieved "one of the highest callings in journalism" when they saved the lives of innocent men awaiting execution for crimes the men didn't commit.

The Lovejoy Selection Committee named the pair as co-recipients of the 2003 award for their courageous journalism, which in the tradition of Elijah Parish Lovejoy sought justice for innocent, voiceless members of our society. Lovejoy, valedictorian of Colby's Class of 1826, became a martyr to the cause of emancipation and America's first martyr to press freedom when a St. Louis mob killed him for his crusading anti-slavery editorials. The Lovejoy Award has been given annually at Colby since 1952.

Hall of Famer
Women's basketball head coach Patricia O'Brien and the whole 1986 Salem State College national championship women's basketball team on which she played were inducted into the New England Basketball Hall of Fame September 19 at the University of Rhode Island. Trish won the Unsung Hero Award for the only NCAA Division III women's basketball team from New England to win a national title. At off guard and small forward, she scored 1,280 points in four seasons at Salem and is already in the Salem State Athletic Hall of Fame. Twice she was the team's MVP, and she was a District I Regional All-American. Trish is beginning her ninth year as head coach here.

Rooted in the Palestine
Raji Sourani is a human rights lawyer on the front lines of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict who defends victims of human rights abuses in Palestinian and Israeli courts. He is the 2003 Oak Human Rights Fellow, but he has not received a visa to fulfill the fellowship. Eliza Denoeux (Oak Institute) reports that as a matter of principle he refuses to sign a document authorizing the release of his court records or police file by the Israeli government to the U.S. government. He objects to the third-party role of Israel in the transaction. In addition, Israel refused a formal request by the US. embassy to provide the documents directly, a hand-off to which Sourani apparently doesn't object. Denoeux is working with Maine's congressional delegation, but now a month into the fellowship, the outcome is not clear.

Colby Green
What's "green" about drilling rigs and bulldozers on campus? The Colby Green-the most ambitious campus expansion since Colby moved to Mayflower Hill more than 50 years ago. Drilling trucks spent several weeks drilling geothermal wells that will be used for eco-friendly heating and cooling in the new alumni center. The new building will face Colby Green, an oval lawn that is the focal point for a whole new campus district. Colby's ambitious expansion plans call for two new academic buildings to join the alumni center and the existing admissions building in the new district, which is designed around a classic New England village green. For information see

Admissions Final
The box score on the Class of 2007 is complete since that illustrious group of 479 first-year students arrived on Aug. 26. With 4,126 applicants, the acceptance rate was 34 percent this year. Quick facts about the Class of 2007 are up to date and online at The annual COOT orientation trips saw 474 new students (first-year, transfers, language assistants) head for all corners of Maine with almost nary a hitch; one COOTer broke an arm in a biking accident. As regrettable as that injury is, it's not a bad record overall, when you have 600 (including trip leaders) hither and yon.


Through-hiker Through
Speaking of COOT, a report from Gordon Warnica, who completed a through-hike of the Appalachian Trail came back to Colby reporting on students he encountered along the way. "I wanted to tell someone that they were the best kids I have ever had the occasion to meet," he e-mailed the College. One group was 50 yards from his lean-to and so quiet he didn't realize they were there. He shared a site with a friendly COOT group and passed a couple of other courteous Colby groups on the trail. "If that is a good cross section of your student base, then Colby and wherever they end up in life are going to be all the better. I thank you for helping restore my faith in the youth of today," he wrote. More about Colby's outdoor orientation trips can be found at

It's Not Brain Surgery
Last summer four docs who flew to Maine for a Colby medical course, rented a van and realized when they saw the "Welcome to New Brunswick" sign that they had wanted I-95 South from Bangor. This year an orthopedic surgeon from western Canada flew into Boston with driving directions, provided by his travel agent, to "Colby, Maine." Who knew there's a neighborhood in New Sweden called Colby? (Special Programs' Jacques Moore did; he's from The County and helped track the wayward orthopod.) After locals pointed him south, our determined doc drove past Waterville to Gorham, since he was somewhat familiar with that town. There he finally got the directions he needed. At 3:30 a.m., after driving more than 20 hours and 700 miles, he arrived on Mayflower Hill.



The Word on Posse
Colby is enrolling top students from New York City,
who arrive as Colby's Posse. Read all about them,
and the fast-growing Posse program.

Educated Travelers
Alumni Travel Programs, which include faculty experts
on countries and cultures, are more popular than ever.

The Great Mudpuppy Escape
The origin of unusually large salamanders in the
Belgrade Lakes? A Colby professor was the culprit.

Paul L. Coffey '98 and Joshua Scharback '98 discovered
theater at Colby. They've never looked back.

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