Amherst Magazine

College Row


Kennedy remembered

On October 26, 1963, less than a month before he was assassinated, President John F. Kennedy visited Amherst College for the ground breaking of the Robert Frost Library. The college marked the 40th anniversary of that visit with an Orientation panel (reprised on Inauguration Weekend), in which a group of people who attended the ground breaking recalled the event and filled in details that the historical record had overlooked.

Audio recordings, television-news videotapes and slides (some recently discovered) captured Kennedy’s speech at the Convocation in the Cage, as well as the remarks he made later that day at the outdoor ground breaking. A photo of three Marine helicopters landing on Memorial Field prompted one of the panelists, Douglas C. Wilson ’62, to remember that while two helicopters transported the president’s entourage and the press corps, the third was used to carry “three large covered objects”: the presidential seal, the presidential flag and Kennedy’s favorite chair.

Wilson, who was a graduate student at Tufts University’s Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at the time, described the visit in letters to his parents. On Oct. 27, 1963, he wrote:

The president’s Convocation speech was a mild and rather brief one: He talked about the arts, about poets and about Frost in particular. Nothing, really, that Archibald MacLeish didn’t say much better in preliminary remarks. It was more interesting just to see the president: The redness of his hair and the bigness of his face surprised me. This second feature, not entirely a becoming one, is what sets him apart, looking like a big bronze relief map. After the indoor ceremonies, the crowds massed around a platform outside, where the library ground breaking occurred. It was fun, and sometimes rather amusing, to see all the paraphernalia that accompanies a presidential appearance: the swarm of state and town policemen, the Secret Servicemen and the three Marine helicopters.

Wilson’s second letter was written four weeks later, on Nov. 23, the day after Kennedy’s assassination:

I had just gone down the street for a haircut in the afternoon, when students stopped in the barbershop with a rumor.-It is not so hard to say ‘President Johnson’ as it is to hear suddenly that anomalous phrase, ‘the late President Kennedy.’ Now it seems so much longer than a month ago that Kennedy was at Amherst with his massive—and to me at the time, alas, amusing—police protection.

Peter Czap, now the Henry Winkley Professor of History, recalled that he had just returned from a research trip to the Soviet Union when Kennedy came to Amherst. Czap said he was “luxuriating” in the freedom to move and speak as he wished and was struck by the contrast between Kennedy’s endorsement of the arts and Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev’s recent condemnation of them. Rose Olver, now the L. Stanton Williams ’41 Professor of Psychology and Women’s and Gender Studies, noted that at the time of Kennedy’s visit, she was the only female professor at Amherst and the only woman on the stage at the Convocation. Ruth Plimpton, the wife of then-President Calvin Plimpton ’39, who was also on the panel, provided a personal observation about Kennedy’s fabled charisma. “As he was speaking,” she said, “I got the feeling that he was looking right at me, that we were having a little thing going on. A couple of days later I was meeting with some of the other [faculty] wives and told them what I had felt. And one by one they all said that they also thought he had been looking at them and that they had been having an affair with him.”

College Archivist Daria D’Arienzo recalled a remark by poet Archibald MacLeish, who spoke before Kennedy. “The people of this countryside,” MacLeish said, “may forget in ordinary human course what anyone says on this occasion, but they will remember for many, many years that a young and gallant president of the United States, with the weight of history heavy upon his shoulders, somehow found time to come to our small corner of the world to talk of books and men and learning.”

The panel discussion was put together by the Director of the Writing Center and Associate Dean of Students, Susan Snively, who originated the idea, and the Head of Archives and Special Collections, Daria D'Arienzo. The Archives also put together an exhibition about the event, which included an event program, a copy of The Amherst Student covering the visit, photographs, a blueprint of the seating plan for the Cage and one of the shovels used in the ceremonial ground breaking.



Residential Master Plan update

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A lounge in renovated Williston Hall features chestnut flooring reclaimed from the original structure. 

Over the summer, the college completed the first major element of the Residential Master Plan: the conversion of Williston Hall to a dormitory. The Residential Master Plan (RMP) is a wide-ranging renovation and construction project that by 2007 will provide Amherst students with enhanced and updated residential space.

To adapt Williston to its new use, the college had to completely replace the historic building’s internal structure. Director of Facilities Planning and Management Jim Brassord says that only the original chestnut beams were salvaged; a local mill (run by Tom Harris ’72) cut the beams into planks that were used as flooring in the renovated building. The new interior design is very much in keeping with the building’s original style, but modern in its materials, systems and amenities. Williston now houses 34 students in double rooms and two students in single rooms, and it features comfortable floor lounges and study areas. Although the Williston conversion is part of the plan to house all first-year students on the Main Quadrangle, this year Williston is housing sophomores, to accommodate students displaced by construction on other elements of the RMP.

As work on Williston was being completed, the somewhat less radical renovation of North and South dormitories began. That project includes a complete redesign of the interiors—to make the most of natural light and to update the systems—and a historically sensitive restoration of the exteriors, including new copper roofs. North and South each will house 61 students, mostly in one-room doubles. Brassord says that some surplus chestnut wood from Williston will also be used in North and South as flooring and trim elements. The work on these dorms will be completed by August 2004.

One of the summer’s biggest projects was the replacement of the college’s underground utility systems, which entailed digging up almost all campus roads and walkways. Among the new elements are a fire-water loop that will allow sprinkler systems to be installed in all the buildings around the Main Quadrangle, new computer lines that will meet technological needs for the foreseeable future, many new steam and chilled-water lines, and some new storm and sanitary sewers. The utilities now run under the campus roadways rather than through building basements, so subsequent construction projects will no longer shut down entire utility systems.

Construction on the two new dormitories (yet to be named) being built on the site of the old Milliken Dormitory began in April. The shells of the four-story buildings are up and utilities are roughed in, and workers are now installing the roof trusses and the stone facades. The dorms, designed by noted Boston architect William Rawn, will house 114 students when the buildings open in August 2004.

In June, construction will begin on the new geology building, which also will house the natural history museum when it moves from its current location in the Charles Pratt building. The new building, designed by Payette Associates of Boston, will be sited just east of Fayerweather Hall. Current plans include a dramatic two-story space to house the museum’s collection of large skeletons (for pictures, go to www.amherst.edu/news/geology/). The master plan calls for the geology building to be completed in spring 2006.

The final projects of the RMP are the replacement of James and Stearns dormitories, due to begin in May; the renovations of Morris Pratt and Morrow dormitories; and the conversion of Charles Pratt into a first-year dormitory. Brassord says that the key to success on all of the construction projects is rigorous planning, which requires keeping the campus operational during construction and juggling available dormitory space. As each existing dormitory building begins renovation, the prior project has to be finished to accommodate students displaced by the new work. The sequencing of the master plan, Brassord says, is set up with minimal slack in the schedule to compensate for bad weather or material-delivery problems. In these circumstances, a delay of even a day is significant. “We count the hours on these projects,” Brassord says.



Faculty awards and activities

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Deborah B. Gewertz, the G. Henry Whitcomb 1874 Professor of Anthropology, working with her students. 

Hadley P. Arkes, the Edward N. Ney Professor of American Institutions (Political Science), was interviewed in a June issue of Newsweek, in a sidebar to the magazine’s cover story on fetal rights. Arkes recently authored Natural Rights and the Right to Choose, which argues that the “right to choose an abortion has been the device that has shifted the political class from the doctrines of natural right.”

Gregory S. Call, professor of mathematics and former dean of new students, became interim dean of the faculty in July 2003. He succeeds Lisa Raskin, dean since 1995, who stepped down to resume teaching. Call has served the college on the Committee of Six and a number of other committees.

Frederic L. Cheyette, professor of history, received a fourth award for his book Ermengard of Narbonne and the World of the Troubadours. The book received three earlier awards (see the fall 2002 issue of Amherst) and now has won the Ralph Waldo Emerson Award from the Phi Beta Kappa Society, the nation’s oldest academic honor society. The book chronicles the life of the medieval warrior princess Ermengard, whose tumultuous life in the south of France was the subject of love poetry written by the troubadours, suggesting a connection between the folk literature and aristocratic politics of the time.

Associate Professor of Russian Catherine A. Ciepiela ’83 gave the college’s annual Max and Etta Lazerowitz Lecture on “A Sublime Malady (On the Poetry of Marina Tsvetaeva and Boris Pasternak)” in April. Ciepiela is writing a book about the creative exchange between the two poets, arguing that their relationship reveals much about the poetics and politics of 20th-century Russian romanticism.

Assistant Professor of Political Science Javier Corrales has published a new book, Presidents Without Parties: The Politics of Economic Reform in Argentina and Venezuela in the 1990s. Corrales argues that the crisis of political parties in modern democracies is affecting not only the ways citizens are represented, but also the way states govern the economy, showing that effective economic management and change require cooperation between presidents and ruling parties.

In April, Lawrence Douglas, associate professor of law, jurisprudence and social thought, discussed his book The Memory of Judgment: Making Law and History in the Trials of the Holocaust on the program “Hard Work” with Mike Feder on WBAI (Pacifica Radio, New York). He and his book had previously been featured in the “Arts and Ideas” section of The New York Times.

Catherine A. Epstein, assistant professor of history, received a $40,000 advanced-research grant from the German Marshall Fund, an American institution that stimulates the exchange of ideas and promotes cooperation between the United States and Europe. She will use the grant to explore nationalism in Poznan/Posen, an area that shifted back and forth three times between Germany and Poland between 1880 and 1950. Each change in sovereignty involved harsher nationalist policies that culminated in ethnic cleansing of both Germans and Poles. Epstein has also authored The Last Revolutionaries: German Communists and Their Century, which tells the story of German communism through a collective biography of eight of its most enduring and influential figures.

Jonathan R. Friedman, assistant professor of physics, received a major grant and two awards for his work in low- temperature physics and the field of nanomagnets. Last summer he was awarded the Agilent Technologies Europhysics Prize for Outstanding Achievement in Condensed Matter Physics. Considered one of the most prestigious physics prizes presented in Europe, it is given in recognition of recent work leading to advances in the fields of electronic, electrical and materials engineering. Friedman also won a National Science Foundation grant worth $450,000. In January he received a Cottrell College Science Award of $36,604 to support his “Investigation of resonant magnetization tunneling in molecular magnets via transverse-field AC susceptibility.” Friedman studies quantum tunneling, in which the strength and direction of the magnetic field of a nanomagnet—a magnet so small that it consists of only tens or hundreds of atoms—change in ways that are contrary to the laws of classical physics but in agreement with the laws of quantum theory. Using the NSF and Cottrell grants, he will study how the tunneling process is affected by various forces, including microwave radiation and magnetic fields.

Deborah B. Gewertz, the G. Henry Whitcomb 1874 Professor of Anthropology, gave the Lewis Henry Morgan Lectures in October at the University of Rochester with her collaborator, Frederick Errington of Trinity College. The yearly lectures are among the most prestigious in the discipline. Gewertz and Errington spoke about their latest research on the social history of a Papua New Guinea sugar plantation; their lectures will be published as a book titled As Natural as Life, as Complex as Culture: What a Papua New Guinea Sugar Plantation Can Teach Us about Human History.

Richard Goldsby, professor of biology and the John Woodruff Simpson Lecturer, published a study on human antibodies in the September 2002 edition of Nature Biotechnology. In 1998, he founded the company Hematech with two University of Massachusetts professors and an attorney to pioneer the development and production of antibodies for therapeutic uses. They have produced four cloned calves that make human antibodies. This research is the first step in developing a system for producing human polyclonal antibodies that could be used to prevent or treat antibiotic-resistant infections, auto­immune diseases, cancer and diseases resulting from bioterrorism.

Frederick T. Griffiths, Class of 1880 Professor of Greek (Classics), has accepted a two-year term as associate dean of faculty. He has served the college in many capacities over the years, including as a member of the Committee of Six and a number of other committees.

Allen Guttmann, the Emily C. Jordan Professor of English and American Studies, was cited for “distinguished achievement” by the International Society for the History of Physical Education and Sport in January. An essay on “Ideal Types and Historical Variations” was included in the Danish collection The Essence of Sport, and another essay, “Los ‘Juegos Olimpicos Nazis’ Y El Boicot Americano,” appeared in a Spanish collection titled Sport Y Autoritarismos. Guttmann’s history of women’s sports has just been published in a Chinese translation. The Encyclopedia of Asia, to which Guttmann contributed the entries on Chinese, Japanese, Korean and Islamic sports, has been named Best Reference Book for 2002 by the Reference Services Association.

Assistant Professor of Geology James Whitey Hagadorn has received a $68,566 National Science Foundation grant to study the cellular structure and development of fossil embryos and algae. The fossils Hagadorn is studying are approximately 590 million years old and include the oldest unambiguous examples of animals in the fossil record. Together with generous funding support from the Dean’s Office, Hagadorn also received a second National Science Foundation grant, for $136,763, to purchase and maintain a microfocus X-ray-computed tomography system (microCT). This instrument will be the first of its kind in a U.S. geology department and will be used for nondestructive imaging of the three-dimensional internal structure of geological and biological samples, such as fossils entombed in rock. Hagadorn has also been awarded a George Frederic Matthew Fellowship from the New Brunswick Museum, which will support field research on 510-million- year-old jellyfish fossils that are exposed near St. John, New Brunswick.

Assistant Professor of Physics David S. Hall ’91 received a three-year, $356,000 National Science Foundation grant to study Bose-Einstein condensation in a dilute rubidium vapor. Bose-Einstein condensation is a state of matter produced at temperatures up to a billion times colder than the most remote corners of space—a few billionths of a degree above absolute zero. At this temperature the atomic motion is so slow that the atoms in the sample behave collectively as a single super-atom. Such a super-atom, first predicted in 1925 but realized experimentally in dilute gases only in 1995, exhibits essentially quantum-mechanical behavior and affords a rare opportunity to study these phenomena in a macroscopic object. The award will be applied to studies of double Bose-Einstein condensates with tunable interactions and includes money for powerful laser and radio-frequency systems for manipulating the condensates.

Rick A. López ’93, assistant professor of history, has been awarded the 2002 Best Dissertation Prize from the New England Council of Latin American Studies. Written at Yale University, his dissertation traces how the integration of indigenous people transformed Mexican national culture after the revolution of 1910-1920. López also won the 2002 James Alexander Robertson Best Article Prize, given by the American Historical Association’s Council of Latin American Studies, for his article “The India Bonita Contest of 1921 and the Ethnicization of Mexican National Culture.” The article, which appeared in the May 2002 Hispanic American Historical Review, challenges deeply embedded assumptions about the historical place of indigenous peoples in national society.

Dale E. Peterson, the Eliza J. Clark Folger Professor of English and Russian, received the 2002 Best Book in Literary and Cultural Studies Award from the American Association of Teachers of Slavic and East European Languages for his book Up from Bondage: The Literatures of Russian and African American Soul. The association’s citation noted, “Peterson’s study represents intellectual history at its finest, offering readers a new perspective on canonical figures in Russian and American literary history and encouraging us to think in broader interdisciplinary terms about our cultural fields of interest.”

Henry Clay Folger Professor of English William H. Pritchard ’53 has authored a new book titled Shelf Life. In the book he considers the work of mainly 20th-century English and American writers and aims to refocus the course of literary study on aesthetic considerations, as opposed to the recent push toward historical and political emphasis in the academy. Pritchard has taught at Amherst College for more than 40 years, and is the author of numerous books, among them biographical and critical studies of Randall Jarrell and Robert Frost.

Professor of Psychology (Neuroscience) Lisa A. Raskin, who served as dean of the faculty from 1995 until July 2003, has been appointed to the newly established John William Ward Profes­sorship. Raskin will travel and study in Europe for a year, preparing to teach a new course in the history of psychiatry. Her earlier research focused on the bio­logical correlates of childhood disorders. Among Raskin’s priorities as dean were improving the technology used in the classroom and enhancing support for student research. She also helped Amherst earn grants for improving teaching and pedagogy and found new ways to keep retired faculty active in Amherst’s intellectual life. Raskin began teaching at Amherst in 1979.

Robert H. Romer ’52, professor of physics, emeritus, was elected vice-chair of the Forum on the History of Physics, the history division of the American Physical Society. The forum, with some 3,200 members, serves as the professional society for historians of physics. Earlier this year, Romer placed physics problems on placards in Five College buses in a plan to take physics to the streets, making national and international news. The answers to the problems were posted on his Website.

Martha A. Sandweiss’s book Print the Legend: Photography and the American West was awarded the Ray Allen Billington Prize by the Organization of American Historians. In this lavishly illustrated book, Sandweiss, professor of American studies and history, shows how Americans first came to understand western photographs and, consequently, to envision their nation. The Billington Prize is given biennially to the best book on American frontier history. Sandweiss was featured on C-Span 2’s “Book TV,” reading from her work.

Austin D. Sarat, William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Jurisprudence and Political Science, was interviewed for a front page New York Times story about the death penalty. Sarat is the author of When the State Kills: Capital Punishment and the American Condition.

Martha Saxton, professor of history and women’s and gender studies, has written a new book, Being Good: Women’s Moral Values in Early America,which examines the history of the moral values prescribed for women in early America and concludes that the fetish of female chastity has been “one of the most en­during hindrances to women’s equality.” Saxton is also the author of Louisa May Alcott: A Modern Biography and Jayne Mansfield and the Fifties.

Lewis-Sebring Professor in Latin American and Latino Culture Ilan Stavans was a guest on the Sept. 30 edition of NPR’s “Talk of the Nation,” which featured a discussion on Hispanic/Latino identity.

In his new book, Khrushchev: The Man and His Era, William C. Taubman, the Bertrand Snell Professor of Political Science, has written the first comprehensive biography of the Soviet communist leader. Drawing on newly opened archives in Russia and Ukraine, Taubman also traveled to places where Khrushchev lived and worked and interviewed Khrushchev’s family members, friends and colleagues. Taubman’s biography, which combines historical narrative and political and psychological analysis, received glowing praise from The Chicago Tribune, The New York Times Book Review, the Los Angeles Times and the Washington Post, among others. Strobe Talbott voiced an opinion that many reviewers shared, calling the book “a masterpiece of scholarship, investigation and narrative.”

Associate Professor of Biology Ethan J. Temeles and his colleague W. John Kress (Smithsonian Institution) reported evidence of ecological causes of sexual dimorphism in hummingbirds in the cover story in the April 25 issue of Science. Temeles and Kress found that the shape and length of the bill of the male purple-throated Carib hummingbird has evolved differently from the bill of the female, to better fit the respective species of Heliconia flowers on which each sex feeds. At the same time, the flowers have adapted to the bills of the male or female birds that are their means of reproduction, suggesting that the differences in the sexes may result from small changes in their environment.

Ronald Tiersky, Joseph B. Eastman ’04 Professor of Political Science, was a fellow at the Salzburg Seminar in August 2002. The subject was “The Euro: Implications for Europe and for the World.” The second, revised edition of his book François Mitterand: A Very French President was published in the fall. The second edition of his European-politics text, Europe Today, was published in the spring.

Assistant Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience Sarah M. Turgeon has received a two-year, $139,000 National Institutes of Health Academic Research Enhancement Award to investigate the neural mechanisms underlying phen­cyclidine-induced changes in rat behavior. Phencyclidine produces schizophrenia-like symptoms in the rats; her research on these symptoms will allow Turgeon to model how the disease operates in humans.



Recording industry cites Amherst computer users

The much-publicized effort by the recording industry to control online song trading has reached Amherst College. In September, the college received 14 letters from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) or Warner Brothers Entertainment. Each letter claimed that a different user of the college computer network was illegally offering to trade copyrighted song files. This sort of peer-to-peer file trading is an infringement of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), which was passed in 1998 to address computer-based copyright issues. The law provides for fines of up to $150,000 per song, and under that provision the industry has initiated lawsuits against several hundred people (though they have settled out of court for far less).

The letters sent to Amherst were not subpoenas. Rather, they were official notices warning that infractions were occurring and threatening the possibility of legal action. The letters did not name the users involved, giving only their Internet protocol (IP) address. The notices did, however, provide the minute of the day that the file sharing happened, the names of the songs on the computer and the program used—implying an industry omniscience apparently intended to intimidate other file sharers. From the IP addresses in the letters, college officials were able to identify the particular users and notify them of the violations. The users, who had between 141 and 1,584 songs on their computers, said they would do no more file sharing.

Will Bridegam, the college librarian and the college’s compliance officer for the DMCA, explained the college’s procedure in cases like this: “I immediately shut down their Internet network connection and then inform them that they can use the library for access to their [legal] e-mail and network files.” Once the users have been informed of the infringement and advised about removing the illegal files, the users can restore their network connection, and compliance with the law becomes their responsibility. The college has rules about computer use on campus, including a prohibition on using the network to duplicate copyrighted material. The rules are explained to students at Orientation and spelled out in the Student Handbook and on the college's Webpage, "Acceptable Use of the Amherst College Electronic Environment."



From the Folger

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The images—hand drawn and hand colored—astonish with their energy, vividness, range and sheer numbers. Calendar pages illustrating the “Occupations of the Months” open the manuscript miscellany, and a few pages later Adam and Eve flee the Garden of Eden. Elsewhere we find the nine Muses, the nine worthies, the seven planets known to Ptolemy (counting the sun and moon), allegorical representations of the seven virtues and seven deadly sins, seven kinds of fools, the sons of Noah, the kings of Israel, half-bust portraits of the kings and queens of England, the lord mayors of London and so on. Together, these images (more than 600 of them) offer one man’s idea of the history of the world from the Creation to the reign of James I. They constitute a visual encyclopedia of Elizabethan England, a treasure trove for historians of the period and a visual delight for anyone lucky enough to see them.

I am describing one of the great treasures of the Folger: a 1608 commonplace book created by Thomas Trevelyon. Eight years later, Trevelyon produced a companion volume—even larger than the first—now held at the late Sir Paul Getty’s private library outside London. But apart from these two astonishing books, we know almost nothing about Trevelyon himself.

The obsessiveness of Trevelyon’s labor on these beautiful books reminds me of outsider art, a term that usually denotes an untrained artist working—often in isolation or poverty—with unusual, humble or found materials to produce an object whose beauty defies conventional tastes and expectations. Much outsider art reflects an obsessive quality, and many of the most powerfully expressive outsider artists are visionaries, with intensely private views of the world. When outsider art delights, it takes the viewer by surprise with its naïveté. Trevelyon’s work is often delightful in that crude way, since he was a lively colorist but had no great skill at rendering the human figure. His preface tells us that he was self-taught, but he was no visionary: his images express the commonplace interests, thoughts and beliefs of his day.

He writes, “Here may you see, what as the world might be: the rich, the poore, the Earle, cesar, duke and kyng death spareth not.” Many of his images are copied from printed sources—woodcuts, broadsides and engravings—some of them now lost but for his copying. So many of his images are taken from patterns for lace and embroidery that scholars have speculated he may have earned his living in the textile trade.

When the 1608 volume came to the Folger in the late 1940s as a gift from the great philanthropist and book collector Lessing Rosenwald, it was too fragile to be handled. Extensive damage had occurred to many leaves, and the copper in his green ink had eaten into the paper. But restoration of the book had to await the perfecting of certain key paper-conservation technologies and funds to hire a conservator. In the late 1980s, conditions were right. Folger Head Conservator Frank Mowery had found a way to fabricate extremely thin Japanese mulberry-bark paper, which he coated with special chemicals. This product, called gossamer tissue—now a standard restoration tool—strengthens paper without loss or distortion of the surface. Special funds were raised to hire a conservator, who devoted two years to the restoration of this single volume. The book was disbound, and each leaf was remounted separately so that images of the Trevelyon manuscript can be viewed singly. In addition, the Folger raised funds for digital reproduction of each image, so that these wonderful illustrations of Elizabethan life can be reproduced for scholars.

From the middle of January to the middle of May, the Trevelyon manuscript will be the subject of a new Folger exhibition, in which significant portions of this remarkable document will be on view for the first time. Its visual beauty, documentary value and abundant imagery will be evident to every Folger visitor—a magnificent example of what the art of book conservation can accomplish.

—Gail Kern Paster


Verbatim

A compilation of recent remarks made at Amherst.

“To live up to the ideal of inclusiveness in a globalizing world is a stretch for our imaginations, a challenge to our prejudices and our passions, and a constraint on the temptation to see others as barbarians (even those who say they see us as barbarians). Indeed, it is all the harder to remain true to our enlightenment ideals knowing that others may not remain true to them, and knowing that our remaining true is no guarantee of protection, or even of morality. But it is our best—our only—hope.”

President Anthony W. Marx
Opening Convocation
Johnson Chapel, September 1, 2003

“The Bush administration has been drawing on a set of assumptions that go back to the aftermath of the [British] attack on Washington in 1814. Preemption, unilateralism and hegemony: these three will be deeply rooted in our national consciousness.”

John Lewis Gaddis, the Robert A. Lovett Professor of Military and Naval History at Yale University
In the Hugh Hawkins Lecture on “September 11 as History”
Cole Assembly Room, September 18, 2003

“I can remember my first Rosh Hashanah. I was sitting in the synagogue, and I asked my mother, ‘Why are so many Jewish people deaf?’ She said, ‘What do you mean?’ And I said, ‘Look, they all have these little things dangling from their ears.’ It was the year the Dodgers and the Yankees were in the playoffs.”

James Kugel, the Starr Professor of Hebrew Literature at Harvard University
In a talk titled “Now I Know: Some Thoughts on Divine Omniscience in the Bible”
Chapin Hall, September 22, 2003

“‘Home’ was a very important word to poet Emily Dickinson. In the concordance to her collected letters, the word occupies 4 1/2 pages of double-columned type. Halfway through, a strange thing happens: ‘Home’ begins to be capitalized. And it is largely capitalized through the rest of her work, so important and freighted with meaning is the word.”

Dickinson biographer Polly Longsworth
At a ribbon-tying ceremony celebrating the merging of the Dickinson Homestead and The Evergreens into The Emily Dickinson Museum
September 20, 2003