Greg Collett ’93
Not Clear What He Does, Brooklyn, N.Y.
When the editors of the Scene asked me to write this column about my career, I hesitated for fear that impressionable young people might follow in my path. But I like publicity, so forget the young people.
When I was at Colgate, I thought I wanted to get into politics, so I majored in political science — which doesn’t guarantee that you’ll get into politics but does guarantee that you have to go to law school.
I actually really liked law school. But I didn’t love practicing law. There was one thing I really respected about it: No other profession inspires so many intelligent, articulate, and dynamic people to work hard and succeed like law does. It’s just that it often inspires them to succeed in some other profession.
Thus inspired, I worked on Wall Street for a while. That was interesting, but I found myself really wanting to try other things, like not making a living.
So I left Wall Street, managed a campaign for Congress, and now I’m doing stand-up comedy. I’m as surprised about that as you are.
Hopefully something will work out with doing comedy. Otherwise I’ll have to go back to Wall Street, or maybe practice law, or get into politics or something.
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My picture of Colgate
(photo by Mark Walden)
I lived in Curtis Hall my first year at Colgate. During the warm, early fall days of my first semester, I would spend my free time between classes and track practice going for walks around campus. One of these walks led me to the Colgate cemetery. I was enchanted with the shaded drive up to the hillside cemetery and the lush green of the trees that hovered over the grave stones. It was in this corner of the campus, nestled away, that I had found my quiet place.
The way the shaded drive curved around and opened up to the hallowed field that held the collective past of our university permitted me to break away from the day-to-day rigor of classes, meetings, and research papers, and gave me a place to meditate. I would drink in the natural beauty that surrounded me with a deep appreciation of the sacredness of this special spot. The beauty of the sun shining through the trees and onto the headstones brought a sense of peace to my being as I adjusted to college life. I had found a spot where I could contemplate my place in the world without being interrupted. I would sometimes sit and be part of the landscape, while other times I would weave my way through the headstones reading inscriptions and getting lost in my thoughts.
As I moved down the hill as my years continued at Colgate, I would make it a point to visit my special place. Almost every time I am on campus, I make a trip to the cemetery and I am still hit with the same wave of emotion and tranquility as I make my way up the drive and am received by Colgate’s past. My love for the university is renewed each time as I relive the memories of my moments in the cemetery.
— Emily Marcellus Freeth ’03
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The spirit of alumni sporting their Colgate gear is seen here, there, and everywhere around the globe. Where was your latest spotting? On a Machu Picchu trek? At a mini-reunion in Pocatello? An election polling site in Houston? We’re collecting photos of Colgate sightings around the world. Send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tom Carpenter ’66 at Hitler’s “Eagle’s Nest” (Kehlsteinhaus) near Berchtesgaden while touring Austria and Germany.
Alan Lyss ’72 (left) and Paul Beardslee ’58, who met on a bicycle trip to Normandy, France, last summer, are pictured here on the steps of a museum in Caen.
The Regent’s Royal Pavilion (iStock)
Peter ’91 and Angela Haswell ’91 Mahnke have lived in London for the past 10 years with their two sons, Owen and Ryan. Peter is web project director for Scholastic in the United Kingdom, and Angela is in operations for Silverstone Capital. Here are some of their recommendations for visitors:
Lace up your Doc Martens… London might be a big city, but the center is fairly compact and loads of sites are within an easy walk of each other. So, walk and discover things that aren’t in any guidebook. Great places to start are: Piccadilly Circus, Trafalgar Square, Leadenhall Market, St. Paul’s Cathedral, and the Southbank Centre.
Beyond the British Museum… By all means, see the big famous museums, but don’t miss the Sir John Soane’s Museum at 13 Lincoln’s Inn Fields. Soane, an 18th-century architect, turned his home into a museum with his own collection of art and antiquities. Also check out the Geffrye Museum at Kingsland Road, set in 18th-century almshouses, with each room decorated in a different period’s style from 1600 to present day.
Go to market… It is well worth visiting some of the markets, where you can get a souvenir or two. Portobello Road offers fun antiques, Spitalfields has artists’ stalls and restaurants, and Camden Lock features eccentric stalls and good ethnic food.
Mind the gap… Take a tube or train to the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew, one of the world’s leading botanic gardens and only 30 minutes away. Take a boat down the Thames to Greenwich and tour the Royal Observatory and the old Royal Naval College. Take a train to Brighton on the coast with the amazing oriental Regent’s Royal Pavilion and famous pier.
Have tips for people who might be maroon’d in your town? Write to us at email@example.com and put Maroon’d in the subject line.