In This Issue
– Dan Shea Named Next Director of the Goldfarb Center
– Washington Alums Hear About the Election
– Chief Justice Wallace Jefferson Receives Morton A. Brody Distinguished Judicial Service Award
– Nonprofit Leadership Institute to Address Social Media
– Maine Philanthropy Awards to Honor Neil Rolde
– April Events

Dan Shea Named Next Director of the Goldfarb Center

A political scientist and coeditor of a new book about the degradation of civil discourse in American politics will be the next director of the Goldfarb Center, President William D. Adams announced March 7. Daniel M. Shea of Meadville, Penn., will come from Allegheny College, where he served as professor of political science and director of the Center for Political Participation. Shea, who will also teach in the government department at Colby, was selected following a national search. He will start at Colby August 1.

In 2002 Shea initiated the creation of the Center for Political Participation at Allegheny, which offers student-centered programs such as fellowships and internships, community outreach projects, and scholarly activities including conferences and lectures. A number of the center’s initiatives, particularly those centered on the decline in civility in politics, have garnered national media attention. Its April 2010 report, “Nastiness, Name-calling and Negativity: The Decline of Civility in American Politics,” was covered in more than 400 media outlets throughout the United States and abroad.

As director of the Goldfarb Center, Shea will oversee programs and programming, build closer ties between Colby’s curriculum and community outreach activities, and develop and implement a vision for the center as a hub for campus intellectual life. 

“I’m so excited to be joining one of the nation’s finest, most prestigious liberal arts institutions, and to be teaming up with such a thoughtful, committed group of faculty, staff, and administrators. And of course I’m giddy about working with Colby students. I have no doubt that we can do wonderful things for the campus and the broader community. I can’t wait to get started.”

Read more about Dan Shea.

Washington Alums Hear About the Election

On Thursday, March 22, a Colby crowd of more than 100 heard Stu Rothenberg ’70, Amy Walter ’91, and Colby parent Geoff Garin P’13 discuss the 2012 presidential election. The panel was moderated by Robert Hoopes ’89, who hosted the event on behalf of the Goldfarb Center. While the dust of the Republican nominating process had not settled at the time of the panel, all agreed that Mitt Romney was the likely nominee. The panelists also concurred in their assessment of the election’s likely outcome — that it would be very close and that events between now and November would determine the outcome. However, the panelists seem to disagree on the impact of the extended Republican nominating contest on Romney’s prospects, two concluding that the process reflected a fissure in the Republican party and that his candidacy was damaged accordingly, and one asserting that the GOP would unify behind him well before November. The entire evening was one of fascinating discussions and contagious Colby camaraderie — a great introduction to the Goldfarb Center and Colby for incoming director, Dan Shea, who was in attendance and introduced to the group by Dean of Faculty Lori Kletzer.


Chief Justice Wallace Jefferson Receives Morton A. Brody Distinguished Judicial Service Award

The 2012 Morton A. Brody Distinguished Judicial Service Award was presented to Wallace Jefferson, chief justice of the Supreme Court of Texas on Sunday, April 1. The convocation, at which President William D. Adams presented the Chief Justice with an honorary Colby degree, was preceded by a thought-provoking panel on the subject of judicial selection.

The panel was chaired by John Woodcock, chief judge of the U.S. District Court for the District of Maine and chair of the Brody Selection Committee. Panelists included U.S. District Court Judge Barbara Lynn P’09 (Northern District of Texas) and law professors Dmitry Bam (Maine), James Sample (Hofstra), and Jed Shugerman (Harvard). The panel discussed the selection process in various states, highlighting the exponential rise in campaign spending in those states in which judges are elected. While many on the panel agreed that merit selection of judges is preferable to election of judges, a consensus emerged that reform in that direction was unlikely and that, therefore, increased length of terms — to increase the amount of judicial independence — was a goal worth pursuing.

In his convocation address, Chief Justice Jefferson picked up on the theme of the panel. He asked the audience, which filled Ostrove Auditorium, to imagine being at an event in an affluent section of Houston and demonstrated how he would appeal to potential donors. The Chief Justice told how he was originally asked to run despite having no political background and related how he explained to the governor, who appointed him to fill a vacancy, that his assets could overcome that apparent liability when he ran for election. Chief Justice Jefferson went on to describe the role he played, as president of the Conference of Chief Justices, in attempting to reform the system, away from the most blatant types of political selections, often dominated by those with the most money, toward a system based on merit selection with long terms and effective review. 

The evening concluded with a dinner in Chief Justice Jefferson’s honor, attended by students, faculty, staff, the panelists, members of the Brody family, and members of the local community, including thirteen federal or state judges. Both of the public events were audio recorded and will be posted online shortly on the Goldfarb Center podcast page.

Read more:  Roots in Slavery Tell Bigger Story (Colby News)

Nonprofit Leadership Institute to Address Social Media

Colby College and the Maine Association of Nonprofits will host the 4th annual Nonprofit Leadership Conference, Social Power: The Emergence of Social Media as a Force for Social Change, at Colby on Wednesday, April 11.  This year’s event will feature a keynote address by Paul C. Light, Paulette Goddard Professor of Public Service at the Robert Wagner School of Public Service at New York University. Light has written extensively on nonprofit effectiveness, government reform, and organizational change including Driving Social Change: How to Solve the World’s Toughest Problems. The keynote address will be followed by a series of workshops focusing on strategies, techniques, and success stories shaping social change today; a nonprofit careers panel for Colby students; and a social media lab. The conference will conclude with a dinner featuring the Maine Philanthropy Awards.

For more information about the institute or to register please visit the Maine Association of Nonprofits website.

Maine Philanthropy Awards to Honor Neil Rolde

The 5th annual Maine Philanthropy Awards, to be presented at a dinner on Wednesday, April 11, will honor Maine author and historian Neil Rolde and four additional honorees. Rolde has served his adopted state of Maine as an historian, philanthropist, and public servant, representing York County in the Maine House of Representatives for sixteen years after serving six years on Governor Ken Curtis’ staff. In addition to Rolde, who will be named the 2012 Maine Philanthropist of the Year, the program will recognize exceptional individuals from a Central Maine High School, Colby College, and Central Maine who have made an extraordinary contribution to the service of others. The awards serve as the celebratory conclusion to the Nonprofit Leadership Institute.

April Events

Tuesday, April 3, 7 p.m.
Wind Energy in Maine: Clean, Renewable, and Homegrown
Room 122, Diamond Building

Tuesday, April 10, 7 p.m.
The Future’s in the Dirt: Digging into the Potential for Local Food Systems to Revitalize Community and Economy
Page Commons, Cotter Union

Wednesday, April 11, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Nonprofit Leadership Institute and Maine Philanthropy Awards
Diamond Building and Schair-Swenson-Watson Alumni Center

Thursday, April 12, 4 p.m.
Plastic Ocean: How a Sea Captain’s Chance Discovery Launched a Determined Quest to Save the Oceans
Ostrove Auditorium, Diamond Building
Co-sponsored with the Mid-Maine Global Forum

Monday, April 16, 7 p.m.
Love, Commitment, and Marriage: Messaging Strategies to Win Marriage Equality
Room 122, Diamond Building

View the online Calendar of Events for more details.