Colby Magazine Spring 2019 cover

Thanks for Postscript to a Father’s Story

When my father, William Crowther ’47, passed away last year at age 94, I contacted Colby to have his obituary published in Colby Magazine. Though I only expected Colby to be receptive to a routine set of facts about my father’s life, what occurred instead was an incredibly heart-warming exchange with Colby’s Associate Director of Communications Laura Meader.

Laura welcomed info about my father as well as photos taken of him during his two stints at Colby. He’d entered Colby as a member of the Class of ’45 but halfway through, when WWII began, he enlisted in the Navy. After serving in the Pacific, he returned to Colby on the G.I. Bill and graduated as a member of the Class of ’47— he even gave the Senior Day farewell address.

After learning the above, Laura checked the Colby archives in hopes she’d uncover something there about my father. What she found blew me away.

William Crowther ’47 and grandson James F. Manning ’17 posed on Miller steps— 60 years apart.

Left to right: William Crowther ’47 and grandson James F. Manning ’17 posed on Miller steps—60 years apart.

In his file was a photo of my father in his Navy uniform sitting with two Colby classmates, one of whom was also wearing a Navy uniform. The file also contained a note written by my dad informing Colby of his change of address from one Navy base to another—it also mentioned that he was looking forward to receiving the next issue of the “Alumnus” (Colby Magazine today).

My family had never seen these items before so it felt to all of us as if my dad had somehow guided Laura to make these two wonderful, posthumous discoveries. But then Laura took it one step further.

Prior to the Spring 2019 publication of Colby Magazine, unbeknownst to us, Laura discovered that the other student dressed in Navy blues in the photo, Calvin Dolan ’47, had also recently passed away.

In what she called “a fitting tribute to a friendship begun at Colby,” she noted their two obituaries were published in the same issue of Colby Magazine, and she also published a small, additional, online piece about them. The online article linked Carl and my dad together at Colby in ways that my family had known nothing about before. Both the magazine and the link to the online story arrived just after Father’s Day. In a wonderfully poignant way, it felt like I’d just received a letter from dad—my first Father’s Day without him.

Among my father’s proudest moments was when his oldest grandson, James F. Manning, graduated from Colby in 2017, thus continuing his Colby legacy. Dad’s ever-present pride in Colby was well placed. He would have been so humbled by the caring way in which his alma mater recognized him in the end. That recognition also meant so much to my family and me. We are profoundly grateful to Laura and the editorial staff at Colby Magazine. Lux Mentis Scientia.



Baiting Professor Benbow

Those footsteps you hear late at night while you are editing the next Colby Magazine might be the ghost of our beloved former English Professor R. Mark Benbow, whom you mentioned in the Spring Colby Magazine, and in which edition you allowed a major editorial “Oops!” to get past your “eagle-sighted eye” (Love’s Labour’s Lost). Professor Benbow would not have called it an “Oops,” but he would have called it to your attention in his signature bold red-ink marginal comments: To wit: In your brief mention of Hannah Springhorn’s Watson Fellowship to explore the relationship between food and running, you note that “there are those of us out here waiting with baited [vs. bated] breath.” (Freudian slip?)

Those of us who remember Professor Benbow’s dry sense of humor (and non-Freudian analyses) can imagine him laughing—okay, maybe smirking—at such “oops” moments before he lowered the boom and made us better students. After all, his favorite quotation was, “I must be cruel only to be kind” (Hamlet). He still might have given you an A. Minus.



A Late Night, Working at Home

What a great issue—but you are killing me. I work at home on Fridays and I shot most of the afternoon reading this new issue of Colby Magazine cover to cover (albeit not in that order). Now I will have to work later to make up for that time. To help me in the future, please arrange for delivery on Monday through Thursday.

Just kidding, of course, about the delivery but the rest is true. Outstanding job this quarter on the content, pictures, editing, and your stories.



On Good and Evil

Regarding “A Better Way,” (Spring 2019 Colby Magazine), I went abroad to hopefully make a difference, but learned hard lessons. There is a regressive gene in humans, which makes evil as prevalent as good. GOOD is illustrated with these two folks [Alane O’Connor ’96 and Associate Professor of Statistics Liam O’Brien].



A Shout-out for Dawn Strout

Say it ain’t so. Dawn Strout is no longer here as a strength and conditioning coach?

Each fall since her arrival she has been here to cheer me on in my meager attempts at keeping fit. Her smile, her approach to fitness and workouts, her concern for the well-being of the whole person made her a valuable asset to the Colby community, whether you were a true athlete or just a wannabe like me.

I, and all female faculty and students, benefited over the years from her transformation of a testosterone-filled weight room to one that was welcoming to us at all times of the day. The importance of that change in atmosphere can’t be overstated.

Please tell me that legacy will endure with her departure.

Editor’s note: In recognition and appreciation of Dawn Strout’s contributions to Colby, an anonymous donor in October endowed the position of Dawn Strout Strength and Conditioning Coach at Colby. Strout is now an assistant professor of exercise science at Saint Joseph College of Maine.





On Carl Lovejoy ’79 (“Stepping In,” Spring 2019)

What a well-deserved accolade for a fine gentleman. We need more compassionate and caring human beings these days. Bravo Carl, keep up the good work!!

This is such important work!!! Thank you, Carl Lovejoy. How do we get some basic tools into the core curriculum of all the schools (public and private) throughout the US?



Lockwood Hotel Announcement

Love the name of the hotel. Well thought out. Thank you.



Lovejoy Award Announcement

This is great. Thank you for honoring these brave human beings who lost their lives.



On Steve Nicholas video, “For Children’s Sake” #ColbyClimate

Thank you for your fantastic work, Steve Nicholas! I hope that Colby College and its students and alums will also learn about the huge effect that animal agriculture has on climate disruption. Livestock and their byproducts account for at least 32,000 million tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) per year, or 51% of all worldwide greenhouse gas emissions (Worldwatch report by Goodland + Anhang, 2009). We have amazing potential for positive impact just by switching to a plant-based diet.



On Will Hochman, “Welcome to Broadway

Congrats!! I saw this in Williamstown and again a few weeks ago in NY, without realizing the Colby connection. Will, and everything about this show, is incredible!!