Holmes for the homeless

(photo by David Tejada)

Bob Holmes ’68 believes in a “hand up, not a handout” approach to aiding the homeless in Colorado Springs, Colo. As executive director of Homeward Pikes Peak, Holmes coordinates all of the region’s homeless services. Although he thinks it’s wrong to unquestioningly give away resources without any other assistance or counseling, Holmes will often reach into his own pocket so that a client can buy a pair of black shoes for a new job at Burger King or lend someone $35 for a commercial driver’s license. He doesn’t consider these “handouts” because he’s helping them toward self-sufficiency. And, many times, they pay him back.
    Holmes isn’t just executive director of the organization; he basically is Homeward Pikes Peak — until recently, he was the only (and is the original) employee. The retired school superintendent got the nonprofit organization off the ground in 2003 when the city needed someone to bring homeless services up to HUD standards. “I didn’t have any experience working with the homeless, but I had experience running organizations,” Holmes explained.
    Last November, he was honored with the Shrine of the Sun Award from the El Pomar Foundation for his “profound and lasting impact on the nonprofit community.” In addition, Homeward Pikes Peak was the 2010 winner in the self-sufficiency category. Holmes put the $27,500 prize right back into the organization.
    His get-it-done work ethic has increased the area’s HUD grants from $600,000 to $1.8 million. A grant from the El Pomar Foundation enabled him to establish an outreach program where Homeward Pikes Peak contacted every one of the city’s 600-plus homeless campers and got 435 of them back into self-sufficiency.
    Holmes’s current project is working with small families, many of whom were living in cars. He rented an entire motel for the families, and he coordinates their continuum of care — case management, mental health and substance abuse outreach, and follow-up. He’s at the motel every day to check on clients and offer support to the program manager.
    “What I’ve found over the years is that the most frequently used item on my job description is ‘other duties as assigned,’” he said. For example, in 2005, he coordinated relief efforts when more than 2,000 Hurricane Katrina evacuees came into town.
    His acts of kindness toward individual clients also fall under this “other duties” category. He helped a woman buy dentures because, despite her talents, no one would hire her because she didn’t have teeth. He bought a man a bus ticket to get to a job as a driver in Wyoming. “Many times, a relatively small amount of money can change somebody’s life,” he said. “If I can lend somebody a hundred bucks and it helps them get a job, what a wonderful thing to do.” A number of times, Holmes has found an envelope on his desk containing the $100 that he lent someone. “That shows the integrity of the people I work with,” he said.
    Holmes also spends time sitting down with clients, having a cup of coffee with them, and just listening. He has formed some “nice relationships” this way, referring to some clients as friends. Some of those friends have met sad endings, which is a difficult aspect of his work. Even in those times, he has shown his support. When one client with whom he was friends for six years passed away, Holmes arranged his funeral. “I get more than I give,” he emphasized. “My life has been so enriched.”

— Aleta Mayne

A market for the environment

Michael Jenkins ’78 wants companies to pay for air. He also thinks they should pay for water. As co-founder, president, and CEO of the nonprofit organization Forest Trends, Jenkins hopes to save the environment by building economic markets for “ecosystem services” — environmental resources like water and carbon that have always been treated as free or freely expendable, and thus wind up being overexploited.
    The theory behind his approach is that those who exploit these environmental goods and services are not paying for them — they are “externalizing” the costs of doing business. These costs do not disappear, though; society is starting to pay collectively for them in the form of global warming and natural resource degradation. Jenkins believes that “if we could truly internalize these externalities of environment, and have them be a part of the way we do our business,” normal market mechanisms would automatically enforce sustainable resource use. Basically, companies would limit their own impact, because environmental exploitation would cost them money.
    The Forest Trends concept recently received a major vote of confidence when the organization received the 2010 Skoll Award. Founded by Ebay entrepreneur and philanthropist Jeffrey Skoll, the Skoll Foundation grants several awards yearly, each including a core organizational investment, to the world’s top “social entrepreneurs” — organizations deemed successful not due to financial gains, but because of the benefits they bring to society.
    Jenkins has spent 11 years working to make markets for ecosystem services into realities. The challenge is getting companies to participate in these markets and internalize costs. The obvious question of why companies would pay for natural resources that have always been free is something Jenkins has been hashing out with governments, NGOs, and some of the world’s largest businesses. “A lot of partners and unusual leadership are coming from the corporate world,” Jenkins explained, adding that he believes this is because companies are recognizing that markets for ecosystems services make long-term business sense. “Coca-Cola, in the last couple of years, has taken a really progressive approach to water resource management,” he offered as an example. “Water is their business, and they’re seeing this scarcity coming. So they’re anxious to stay in business, and therefore, stay ahead of this curve.”
    With Forest Trends, Jenkins is bridging the gaps in communication and understanding between the diverse fields of the environment, business, finance, government, and law, all of which must cooperate to make ecosystem services markets a reality. Jenkins holds a master’s in Forest Science from Yale and spent 10 years working in tropical forestry in Paraguay, Haiti, and Brazil, “But the reality is that I haven’t done tropical forestry in 20 years,” he said. “What I do today, nobody trained me for. I have to be able to talk to businesses about risk and to financial institutions about return on investment in ways that communicate ecology and all of those issues in a way they can understand.”
    He sees the Skoll Award as evidence that he and Forest Trends are on the right track. “What they look for is proof of concept. In their minds, we are moving from a cool idea to something that’s starting to get some traction and become a reality.”
    With encouraging signs on so many fronts, Jenkins is hopeful about the future of markets for ecosystem services. “It feels like we’ve got a much more powerful team with us to get us to that end game. It’s now just a matter of whether we have the time to get there.”

— Jason Kammerdiener ’10

Q&A with Michele Klein-Solomon ’83
Permanent observer to the UN for the International Organization of Migration

Michele Klein-Solomon ’83 with UN Secretary General  Ban Ki-Moon (photo courtesy of the United Nations)

Please explain your role. I am the representative for the International Organization of Migration to the United Nations. I’m the interlocutor with the secretary general but also with all the constituent parts of the UN system. On a typical day, I might speak in the General Assembly — today I spoke on international migration and development for the least-developed countries, and tomorrow will speak on humanitarian response in situations of natural and man-made disasters, like in Haiti and Pakistan. I run seminars for governments, partner international organizations, and civil society groups on various migration issues. I also meet with key representatives of governments focusing on migration issues, senior UN officials, or civil society representatives. And I speak at academic and policy forums.

What has fueled your interest in migration issues? A principal reason has to do with my commitment to seeing the humanity in “the other,” stemming from Jewish biblical values. To welcome the stranger — as we were once strangers — is one of the most powerful teachings of Judaism for me, and it has directly influenced my career and outlook on life. (I was the president of the Jewish Student Union and reached out to the Palestinian community at Colgate.)

How did you get to this point in your career?
I had worked at the State Department Legal Adviser’s Office, and for five of my years there, I was the principal refugee and migration lawyer for the U.S. government. Ultimately, it’s about human rights, but it’s also about the makeup of society and how governments and societies handle these issues. Over time, I became interested in legal migration — labor migration — and recognized that the overwhelming majority of people who move today are not fleeing persecution. It’s really more about globalization and searching for opportunities.

How has your work been affected by the current administration?
With the Obama administration has come more of an openness to engagement with the international community. In the General Assembly [in September], when the heads of state were all here, President Obama gave a major speech about global development and U.S. policy and responsibilities. He set a tone for cooperation that was quite impressive. I was proud to be an American, sitting in that room listening to him.

How did your Colgate experience contribute to your path? I was an international relations and poli sci major, and participated in the Washington Study Group led by Professor Charlie Naef. After I graduated, I moved to Washington, D.C., and worked at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, which was one of the places that Charlie Naef had taken us.
    The professor who influenced me the most was Bob Kraynak, who taught political theory. I didn’t always agree with him, but he was so intellectually rigorous and it was so stimulating to think about the different ways in which societies could be structured. He pushed us to think about what choices have been made — by great thinkers, and in different cultural and time period contexts. I suspect that’s why I went to law school and engaged in global governance-related issues for my career.

Of all the world leaders you’ve met, what was a particularly memorable encounter?
The first senior person I met was Al Gore when he was vice president. I was the legal adviser for the U.S. delegation at a global meeting in Cairo and he flew in as the head of it. I was really nervous because he had flown all night and had broken his leg the day before, so people said he was in a foul mood. This was the conference on women’s health-related issues and to what extent reproductive issues should be negotiated at a global level; I was the lawyer representing the U.S. legal position and he wasn’t convinced about it. I was called in immediately after he got off the plane, and he grilled me. I was pretty nervous about that, but I persuaded him.

Tell us about your family.
My husband is the principal legal officer at the World Health Organization. He’s still in Geneva with our three kids [twin 14-year-olds and a 17-year-old daughter] and I’m commuting. I live here in New York, but I go back at least once a month.

— Aleta Mayne

Kid at heart

Remember when happiness could be seen in a View-Master, hours were spent trying to unscramble a Rubik’s Cube, and your face lit up in the glow of your Lite-Brite? By tapping into those childhood memories, Mario Marsicano ’88 has built his home furnishing business, Jellio.
    What started as a creative way to display his personal collection of toys from the ’70s has grown into a line of décor that includes GummiLights (lamps resembling Gummi Bears), an ice cream sandwich bench, a xylophone music table, and pillows with Batman sound effects (“ka-blam!”; “pow!”; “wham!”). The former ad exec used to showcase his Rock ’Em Sock ’Em Robots in a large glass cube that served as an end table and made bookends from other toys in his apartment. “People always gravitated toward them, and enough people told me that I should do something with it that I decided to start a website,” Marsicano said. He started the business in 2005 with a co-worker from his advertising days and later brought on a fabricator and mold maker.
    “We started Jellio for adults with a sense of humor, and we say that all you need is just one or two Jellio items to show off your fun side,” he explained. Of course, some people like to show their fun side more than others. One client ordered four cupcake chairs for a dining room to match an entire house dedicated to cupcakes. “We’ve had some interesting customers,” Marsicano said.
    The business has expanded from a clientele of nostalgic Gen Xers to include families buying for their children who have spotted the pieces on the Nickelodeon show iCarly. Jellio pieces have also been featured in a number of commercial magazines, and requests for custom work have exploded. In addition to hipsters like Google, MTV, and Sony, commissions for special works have come from a children’s hospital, Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum, and even the U.S. Army. For the Children’s Specialized Hospital in New Brunswick, N.J., Jellio created the ViewWall — a wall of Viewmaster reels with slots for children to display their artwork. An Army base in Michigan commissioned an American flag made up of 50,000 red, white, and blue plastic Army men.
    Reveling in his childhood reminiscences, Marsicano has no shortage of ideas. One of his sources is the Sears Wish Book. “I have a very cool memory of sitting with my parents and going through all the toy pages. I have a Wish Book from every year from the 1970s, so I look at those a lot, and ideas spark.”
    The kid at heart knows he’s not alone in his love of retro items. “There are a lot of people catching on to this craze,” Marsicano said. “A marketer coined the term for this individual — for me: rejuvenile.” Citing examples like the resurgence of adult kickball and dodgeball leagues to remakes of shows like Transformers and Get Smart, he added, “People are longing for their childhood. When I was thinking about starting this business, I was definitely aware of this phenomenon and it was the right time to try to do this.”
    Even toy companies are jumping on board and have contacted Jellio with licensing deals in exchange for a creation inspired by their product. Rubik’s Cube tables are current offerings; the Jellio team is working on an Etch A Sketch messenger bag, and they’ve been contacted by Hasbro and the makers of Slinky for future products.
    So how does all of this relate back to Marsicano’s Colgate days? “Jellio was my nickname at Colgate,” he admitted. His Phi Gamma Delta brother Tom Peterson ’87 would invent nicknames for him that rhymed with Mario, and “Jellio” stuck. “It’s absurd and our products are absurd.”

Aleta Mayne

An instrumental curator

(photo by Holly Metz)

As a student, Christina Linsenmeyer ’93 was an accomplished cellist. But she didn’t want to be a professional musician or even to major in music.
    “I used to have this incredible performance anxiety,” she remembered. “I’d imagine that I’d be holding my cello by the neck, walking out on stage, and it would fall apart in my hands. But I always used to make stuff. I was actually more into art.”
    Today, Linsenmeyer has “tuned” those early interests into a career. Most recently, she played a key role in building the massive collection at the new Musical Instrument Museum (MIM) in Phoenix, Ariz., which opened its doors in April 2010 to rave reviews.
    Her focus began modulating to a new key while still at Colgate, when she discovered a book about British musical instruments on a lobby table in the Dana Arts Center. Soon, the book’s owner, music professor Joscelyn Godwin, was closely advising Linsenmeyer after she chose to write her senior thesis on the history and symbolism of musical instruments.
    One day, while working together, Godwin paused and said, “You need to go to graduate school for this.”
    “He just looked at me and said it,” Linsenmeyer recalled. “And then he said, ‘What have you done to prepare? Have you had any German? You need to take German. You don’t speak French? Every educated person speaks French!’ He gave me the perspective about what I needed to do.”
    She studied violin making in Boston. She submitted her Colgate thesis to the American Musical Instrument Society and was invited to read at a conference (eventually, she joined its board of directors). And she began working toward a PhD in musicology at Washington University in St. Louis.
    Then, hired as one of four curators at the MIM when she was still in graduate school, Linsenmeyer temporarily put her studies on hold while she and the other curators assembled instruments, artifacts, and video footage from around the world. Her responsibilities include curating two of the galleries: European Instruments — meaning all of Europe, every country, every instrument — and Mechanical Instruments, an area that fell somewhat outside her comfort zone but one she welcomed anyway.
    At first blush, Linsenmeyer placed some pretty wacky music-makers in the collection, including a musical walnut used to create folk tunes. But, as she explained, “We are trying to show the tools that musicians actually use, so we have things that other museums would never exhibit. We have instruments made from recycled materials — car parts, tires, oil cans — and repurposed materials.”
    When a visitor approaches an exhibit, a WiFi system sends music to their headphones. A blend of archival and modern-day video footage — everything from historic fieldwork to current commercial videos of popular artists — appears on a high-definition monitor. Sounds and images fade in and out depending on the visitor’s proximity to the glass case.
    Although the high-tech exhibit delivery system was not her baby alone, Linsenmeyer was involved from the outset, even traveling to the Porsche Museum in Stuttgart, Germany, last summer to preview the design. The MIM now holds the world’s largest installation of that technology, which was created by Sennheiser.
    “For a museum about musical instruments, it is super quiet when you come in,” she laughs. “Everyone is listening to the material through the headphones. People don’t realize how loudly they are talking. It will be dead quiet in the gallery, and all of a sudden you’ll hear someone yell, ‘Oh my god, did you see that?’
    Having just celebrated her two-year anniversary at the MIM, Linsenmeyer recalled how a building, all the exhibits, the public programming, and a theater with a full performance series was built during her short tenure. “At the beginning,” she said, “there were hardly any of us. It’s a totally unprecedented project: the scope, the timeframe, everything.
    “We are trying to tell a whole story that hasn’t been told anywhere.”

Michael Hamad ’94

In the know: Starting a home garden

Shane Emmett ’00 (left) and USOF co-founder Ivan Fehrenbach (photo by Jay Paul)

As an archaeologist working on digs in Virginia and California, Shane Emmett ’00 got his first taste of the tribulations (and later, the triumphs) of cultivation when he killed his first basil plant. Since law school, he has worked on civil rights and environmental matters, as well as for former Governor Tim Kaine of Virginia. As co-founder of United States of Food (www.unitedstatesoffood.com), he pioneers products for the grow-your-own-food revolution and offers assistance to gardening neophytes. Here are his tips:

For the great balance of our shared history, we humans provided, through the hunt or the harvest, our own food. We reaped what we sowed. One of the “challenges of modernity” is that we have collectively lost this knowledge. Here are six tips to get you plugged back into your agricultural DNA.

1. Build a box, make it look good, put it in quality sunlight. As Cicero and Jerry Balmuth said, all a person needs is a garden and a library. Gardens don’t have to be a hodgepodge of weeds and unruly tomato plants crammed into an obtrusive rectangular hole in your yard. To look good, and for functional reasons, begin with a raised bed made out of quality untreated lumber. It will last for years and not offend the neighborhood association. We think 4' x 4' (16 sq feet) x 12" deep is a great start — this size can grow more than  $400 of food in its first two years. Put your raised bed where it can receive eight hours of sun per day (morning sun is best).

2. Soil = Food + nutrients. Plants are just like humans (or perhaps humans are just like plants) — we both need the proper nutrients to thrive. You know the FDA Daily Values listed on food nutrition labels? Your tomatoes, herbs, and peppers all need certain nutrients, too. The best way to feed plants is with rich, organic compost. If you can’t find it in your hometown, recreate the United States of Food perfect soil recipe. Aside from feeding the plants these nutrients, you will have few to no weeds to pull since you make the soil (more reaping, less sowing). We also like to add organic granular fertilizer to the soil about once a month.

3. Heirloom seeds. Buy seeds that have been bred in your neighborhood for hundreds of years. These are the plants best suited to the twists and fates of your local environment; they are the survivors (this is particularly true of tomatoes). Buy established young plants — organic if possible — from a local greenhouse. Simply transplant the youngsters into your perfect soil in your raised bed, give them a little granular organic fertilizer, and then the only thing they need is…

4. Water. Late night at the Jug? Imagine how your plants feel when you forget to water them. Consistent water delivery is the third leg of the happy, productive plant stool. Let a basic drip irrigation hose set to a timer do the work for you.

5. Critters and varmints. Fortify your food garden with a layer of wire mesh on the bottom and drape deer netting over the top to prevent the varmints (a shotgun helps, too). Inspect your garden for chomps as often as possible. When you find the critters, take no prisoners.

6. Eat your food. For a recipe for fresh pasta with homegrown tomato sauce, visit the “cooking and eating” section of our website.

What do you know?
If you’re an expert in your field or avocation and would like to share your sage advice, e-mail scene@colgate.edu or write to the Colgate Scene, 13 Oak Drive, Hamilton, NY 13346.

Five questions for Amy Dudley ’06
In December 2010, Dudley was named deputy press secretary for Vice President Joe Biden.

(Official White House photo by David Lienemann)

How did you land your new position?
My former boss, Delaware Senator Ted Kaufman, was very kind to throw my hat into the ring for the position. It was an honor to even be considered. I was beyond thrilled when the vice president’s chief of staff called, asking me to come in for an interview.

Describe your work day.
For starters, my walk to the office takes me in front of the north lawn of the White House, through the gates, and past “pebble beach” — the bank of network news cameras — where I often run into another former boss, Chuck Todd (once my editor at the Hotline, now NBC News political director). From there, I walk past the West Wing and into my office in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building.
    After poring over the news of the day — likely with my third cup of coffee in hand — I head to morning meetings.
    From there, a typical day — although there’s really no such thing at the White House — will likely include fielding press inquiries, helping to prepare the vice president for media interviews, and staffing the vice president at a public event or planning for an upcoming one.

Tell us about your previous work experience.
As Senator Ted Kaufman’s press secretary, I served as his primary spokesperson and was responsible for crafting the media strategy that helped establish him as a leading voice on issues ranging from financial reform to the war in Afghanistan — not to mention his role in two Supreme Court confirmation hearings and his passionate defense of the federal workforce.
    Life in a Senate press shop involved regular communication with congressional reporters; drafting press releases, statements, and op-eds; organizing press conferences; and actively pitching story ideas to secure coverage of my boss in print and broadcast media.
    Prior to the Senate, I worked in the public affairs office of the National Democratic Institute (NDI) for International Affairs, a nongovernmental organization that works in more than 70 countries to support and strengthen democratic institutions. Aside from my usual duties fielding press requests and monitoring foreign policy–related legislative action in Congress, I coordinated media and congressional outreach for NDI’s International Leaders Forum at the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver. During convention week, I handled media requests and press availabilities for more than 500 foreign leaders participating in NDI’s program.

Have you had any Colgate mentors?
As a sophomore, I had an incredible opportunity to shadow Howard Fineman ’70 (then Newsweek senior Washington correspondent, now senior editor for the Huffington Post) for a few days in New Hampshire during the run-up to the 2004 presidential primaries. Those three days inspired me to pursue my first internship in Washington that summer, for National Journal’s daily briefing on politics, the Hotline. I may not have stayed in journalism, but I did make sure I had Howard’s blessing before going to the other side of media/politics. Hopefully, I made it up to him by serving as a researcher for his book, The Thirteen American Arguments — which was a tremendous honor and a lot of fun. Howard’s advice and perspective on politics, my career path, and life in general have been invaluable.

What’s your favorite part about living in D.C.?
It’s really the people who make this place — D.C. attracts a unique combination of intellectually curious, motivated, and passionate people, including many fabulous Colgate alums! As co-presidents of the Colgate Alumni Club of D.C. since 2007, my dear friend Bob Fenity ’06 and I have had the pleasure of connecting with alumni of all generations. Those who continue to be a great source of inspiration in D.C. are Lance Morgan ’72, Gloria Borger ’74, Alan Frumin ’68, Paul Lobo ’89, and Gus Coldebella ’91. Former Washingtonian Jim Smith ’70 was also an inspiration!

Broadening the stage

Jamil Jude ’09 with actress Phylicia Rashad

Jamil Jude ’09 may be backstage, but his voice in theater can still be heard — and it carries a strong message. As a new play producing fellow with Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater in Washington, D.C., and as a blogger, Jude heralds the need for broadened diversity in theater and increased accessibility to those who are often left out of the medium. “What we need is more habichuelas, pork chops, meatloaf, and corn on the cob in theaters and a lot less brie, white wine, and sea bass,” he wrote on his blog, My World is My Stage.
    Marcus Gardley’s every tongue confess, for which Jude recently served as assistant director, was a highlight for Jude, who noted that the play was his “own moment of black history.” Starring Phylicia Rashad and directed by Tony-nominated Kenny Leon, every tongue confess takes place in 1990s Alabama, when a string of church burnings “brought a pre–civil rights struggle back to the present,” Jude said. He added that the opportunity to work on a play like this was rare because “as a young, black, straight man in the theater, there are very few plays that you can see yourself in.”
    Jude struggles with feeling like he fits in with the theater culture, which is one reason why he’s determined to be an advocate for challenging the status quo. The blogosphere is one platform, but he also continues the conversation in his daily work. “I try at every turn to speak to people about what theater can be,” he explained. “Theater is very exclusive, so we need to go out and tell people that they can actually do it.” Accessibility isn’t just something that needs to be improved for those working in theater, but also those in the seats, he said. “It’s not enough to do theater, but it’s important to bring people to the theater.”
    Arena Stage is the perfect training ground for Jude, now in his second year as a fellow. This year, he has been working with the Theater 101 program, in which participants get a firsthand look at the developmental process of a new play, attend rehearsals, and see the final show. Employing his web skills, Jude wrote the Theater 101 blog, In the Room Observations, which provided an inside glimpse into rehearsals.
    As a new play producing fellow, he manages three nationally renowned playwrights. “I’m kind of a playwright’s best friend, in a sense,” explained Jude, whose job entails coordinating developmental workshops, researching script ideas, finding actors, and matching the playwrights with grants.
    Jude said that the people he works with are pushing for diversity and changing the world, using Moisés Kaufman as an example. Kaufman wrote The Laramie Project, a play about the reaction to the murder of Matthew Shepard, who was the victim of a hate crime. “It turned into a worldwide appeal speaking up for homosexual youth,” Jude explained, noting that “something so seemingly trivial like theater can actually have a large impact.”
    Jude himself is an aspiring playwright and, most recently, one of his plays premiered in a Washington, D.C., black theater festival. He’s now working on expanding the one-act play to full length.
    It was Jude’s involvement with Colgate’s Urban Theater — when he acted in a “beautifully written” play by Will Arnold ’06 — that piqued his interest in the stage. “I didn’t know that anyone can write a play, have it produced, and see their ideas on stage,” he recalled. “That was amazing to me, so I just sat down one day, wrote a play, and I haven’t looked back since.”
    At Colgate’s Real World this year, he encouraged seniors by telling them, “You can do theater, and your story is important,” he said. “Because there are people who are writing stories that are outside the mainstream, so you have to find them, advocate for them, and bring them into the conversation.”

— Aleta Mayne and Elizabeth Stein ’12

Road Taken

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.

Share your Road Taken: e-mail scene@colgate.edu or write to the Colgate Scene, 13 Oak Drive, Hamilton, NY 13346.

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

Share your own favorite verbal “picture” of Colgate: scene@colgate.edu or Colgate Scene, 13 Oak Drive, Hamilton, NY 13346

Colgate Seen

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 scene@colgate.edu.

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.

London calling

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 scene@colgate.edu and put Maroon’d in the subject line.