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Eighth Wall; High Flattery?
As conceptual art is supposed to, Sol LeWitt's 12-foot-high, 68-foot-long sculpture, Seven Walls, has provoked debate ever since it was installed on the museum's lawn. The latest salvo in this public discourse on the nature of art is a double whodunit. In the wee hours on the last day of classes, a small eighth wall, built of concrete blocks that perfectly matched those in Seven Walls, was erected adjacent to the sculpture. It was hastily disassembled that morning. "The piece was executed in the best artistic sense," said Museum Director Dan Rosenfeld. Problem is, no one knows whom to commend or whom to condemn. No one is saying who ordered its removal, and the identity of the artist(s) remains shrouded in mystery as well. An image is online at www.colby.edu/news/photos/8thwall.jpg.
The quirkiest news coverage of a huge gift toward a new Colby building was in the Financial News (U.K.). On June 1 that publication reported that Bob Diamond '73, whom it described as "the sharp-dressing doyen of debt," had written a "cheque for no less than $6m (Euros 5.04m)" for Colby's proposed social sciences and interdisciplinary studies building. The story portrayed a gasping President William Adams, "as he gazed in awe at the college's updated bank balance," and said "$6m is enough to make sure that any embarrassing, big-haired graduation photos from the early 1970s disappear when journalists come asking for them."
A Coffin in the Field House
Todd Coffin '83, named Colby's 19th head coach of cross country and track and field, has a pair of shoes waiting for him when he arrives at the Alfond Athletic Center August 1. Colby's first NCAA champion in any sport, Todd won the 1983 NCAA Division III steeplechase, and the College retired his track shoes in a ceremony 10 years later. A geology major, Todd earned an M.S. in geology from Purdue and worked as a geologist in Houston, Massachusetts and Maine. He coached runners at USM and was an assistant cross-country coach at a small college in Brunswick before that. Even though his shoes retired, he won the Masters New England Half Marathon in 2002. Welcome back Todd, who replaces his mentor, Jim Wescott, who retired July 1 after 25 years at Colby.
Kids Getteth, Kids Giveth Back
The family of Roberts Professor of Literature Doug Archibald (English, emeritus) has endowed The Archibald Scholarship Fund to provide need-based financial aid for English majors. Doug's five kids had good reasons to recognize their dad and his 30 years of distinguished service as a professor and dean of faculty, but they had another reason, tooto acknowledge how important Colby's tuition subsidy was in getting them through Dartmouth (2), Colby, Middlebury and Hamilton. Hats off to them for The Archibald Scholarship Fund, an elegant way to have reciprocated. Friends, colleagues and former students who wish to contribute to the fund may contact Ellen Corey (firstname.lastname@example.org or 207-872-3410).
Shock to the System
A Colby student took a reserve book on spring break only to have his backpack, with the library book inside, stolen at an airport, Eileen Fredette (library) reports. The student diligently reported the loss as soon as he arrived back on campus, and librarians, with the help of the course professor, arranged a replacement. Two days later the library received a package with a note that said, "This book was found in the Copenhagen Airport on March 24. Now it is at home again." The backpack is still at large, but the return of A Shock to the System delivered a minor shock when it resurfaced.
Smoke-Free in '03
In May, Colby joined the tide of institutions banning smoking in all buildings by expanding the no-smoking policy from all administrative and academic buildings on campus to include residence halls and on-campus apartments. The ban went into effect following commencement. Because smoking is "a major public health concern," the College has a duty to protect, where possible, students, employees and visitors who choose not to smoke, said President Bro Adams. College Physician Melanie Thompson, M.D., says the Health Center offers resources that can help employees and students quit.
Project R.E.S.C.U.E., which recycles the treasures and detritus that used to go into Colby's Dumpsters at the end of the year, got a plug from the Environmental Protection Agency when a description of the program was included in a "best management practices" catalog on the EPA Web site. The catalog was designed to help institutions with pollution prevention, resource conservation and environmental stewardship. Kudos to Pat Murphy and Dale DeBlois (PPD) must add list of other committee members if we use this for their stewardship of the program and this notice. See all the ideas, including Colby's project, at www.epa.gov/ne/assistance/univ/bmpcasestudies.html.
Mom in Absentia
Maine is a long way from North Dakota, especially when you have one child graduating in each state on the same day. For at least one family, our commencement webcast helped. Margery Michael wrote that the family watched son Michael Richardson '03 march Sunday morning and then attended his sister's high school graduation hours later. Ms. Michael was grateful for more than just the webcast. "We are not a wealthy family by monetary standards. We are, however, wealthy beyond measure in that our son has had the opportunity to be educated at Colby College," she told President Bro Adams in a thank-you note.
Reading Recs '03
Looking for summer reading? Consult the annual Senior Class Book Recommendations list, presented to the distinguished Class of 2003 at the senior banquet to send graduates on their way with reading suggestions from professors, classmates and staff. Barbara Kingsolver's The Poisonwood Bible takes most-popular honors; six members of the Class of '03 (all women) recommended it. Seven books got three recommendations, but only one of those, Empire Falls by Richard Russo, had crossover appeal among faculty, staff and students. The Pulitzer Prize winner was recommended by Bob Nelson (geology), Paul Meyer (ITS) and Sean Flood '03.
A Ton of Service
If Wendy Benney (dining services) tells you "we served a ton of lobsters commencement weekend," it's not a figure of speech. Kitchens are open 5 a.m.-1 a.m. and barely cool off during the feeding frenzy. The Class of '03 lobster bake consumed 1,900 lobstersmore than a tonnot to mention 1,700 pounds of clams and mussels, 325 pounds of butter and 900 pieces of chicken. And that's just one of many special meals during the three-day marathon. In Dana, Chef Jody Pelotte reports turning 135 cakes into 2,160 servings and cooking 2,133 portions of au gratin potatoes. It all comes out so well they almost make it look easy.
The Colby College Museum of Art has grown steadily in stature over the
past four decades. Lynne Moss Perricelli '95 looks at the museum's past,
present, and future.
Pride and Prejudice
Gay Colby students are demanding more visibility and inclusion in the
College community. Colby details their concerns, and those of
students who think the gay community has gone too far.
Construction begins for The Colby Green, the centerpiece of the
College's most significant expansion in a half-century.
All that Jazz
Vinnie Martucci '77 composes and improvises to make a life in music
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