Work & Play

Colgate helps expand Chenango Nursery School
On September 23, a new wing of the Chenango Nursery School opened in a ceremony that included toddlers, parents, village representatives, and Colgate University administrators, led by President Jeffrey Herbst.

Photo by Erica Hasenjager

    To meet the growing need for high-quality child care in the village of Hamilton, including for families of Colgate employees, the university entered a mutually beneficial partnership with Chenango Nursery School, agreeing to invest in upgrades and expanding the facility.
    At the end of the ceremony, it was announced that the new wing of the building was dedicated to Denise Dinski, director of the school, which has gone from a room in St. Thomas Church to its larger location on West Kendrick Avenue.

Colgate Reads sparks community discussion
From Lawrence Hall to Hamilton Central School to a high school in New Jersey, the distinctive black-and-white cover of George Saunders’s Tenth of December seemed to be everywhere this summer — the visual cue to the inaugural Colgate Reads program.
    Colgate Reads is simple: read a story, discuss the story. Approximately 2,150 people joined in to read the title story of Saunders’s new collection, breaking the goal of 2,013 participants.
    A visit to the program’s online forum, where participants could discuss the story and pose questions, proves that its purpose was achieved. Students, professors, alumni, staff members, townspeople, and friends all chimed in with insights, from the symbolism of colors, to the age dynamics between characters, to the influence of Saunders’s Buddhist beliefs.
    In a particularly lively thread about the characters in the story (posed by Professor Jennifer Brice), Raveen Bharvani ’85 commented on Saunders’s portrayal of truly human characters. “A lesser writer,” he wrote, “would have wrapped things up for both of the characters in much simpler ways, but life is not simple.”
    Discussion of Tenth of December also showed up in surprising venues. A full-fledged debate formed on the Class of 2017 Facebook page, where the newest members of the Colgate community offered their opinions and struggles with Saunders’s thought-provoking stories (their pre–first-year summer reading assignment). Discussing topics like how Saunders’s satire compares with Twain’s, the students brought thinking fit for the classroom to popular social media.
    The initiative even stretched as far as Demarest, N.J., when Bridget Ryan ’05, a teacher at The Academy of the Holy Angels, asked 15 students in her AP English literature class to participate in Colgate Reads, which served as a springboard for class discussion. “The forum was an excellent opportunity for me to introduce my students to the kind of thoughtful discussion that I want them to have throughout the year,” Ryan said. “It was a great way to begin a year in which we focus on reading and discussing literature from multiple perspectives. In terms of my own participation,” she added, “the forum helped me think about the story in [new] ways.”
    The founders of the program, professors Jane Pinchin and Jennifer Brice, were particularly excited about the response from all over the community. “We met our goal, but, as exciting, we met it with a range of readers,” Pinchin said. “We had hoped for this expansiveness.”
    Brice and Pinchin continue the legacy of the late Professor Fred Busch by co-teaching the Living Writers course that he founded, a class that studies contemporary fiction and brings the authors to campus. A few years ago, they expanded the program with Living Writers Online for parents, alumni, and friends, before starting Colgate Reads in 2013. “We are excited by the writers we bring,” Brice said. “By their quality. By the linking of the visit of writers and the reading of their work. A wonderful venture.”
— Kellyann Hayes ’16

Relationship building at its best
Homecoming weekend keynote speaker Keith Ferrazzi presented a simple message: establish deeper relationships.
    The New York Times bestselling author and CEO of Ferrazzi Greenlight — a consulting firm designed to help people collaborate more effectively — focused on the idea of generosity when building more meaningful relationships with others.  
    “The first thing [you need to do] is to get into your own head and decide before you walk into that room that you’re going to like them,” Ferrazzi said.
    He spoke about how finding common ground and connecting through shared values, respect, and trust can build a strong foundation for any new relationship.
    “Sociologically, is it easier to build relationships today?” Ferrazzi asked. After the crowd mulled it over, many responded “yes.” To which Ferrazzi countered, “It is more difficult.” He explained that society today uses technology in a transactional way, wherein individuals do not go into depth with their relationships; rather, they spread them out more superficially.
    He also encouraged students, faculty, and staff alike to build deeper relationships, especially with those who are going to help them reach their end goal, whether professionally or personally. “Your future will be relationally defined,” said Ferrazzi.“Build relationships with people who are going to enable you to be successful.”
    The Center for Career Services and the Dean of the College office are organizing small groups to read Ferrazzi’s book Who’s Got Your Back and discuss how to apply his relationship strategy to life and career exploration.
— Natalie Sportelli ’15

Broad Street residence goes solar
Things are really heating up at the Creative Arts House (100 Broad Street): 12 solar panels will provide the majority of the student residence’s energy. Currently, the other 16 residences on Broad Street are solely heated with fuel oil No. 2 — an expensive and relatively dirty source of energy that produces carbon emissions.

Twelve solar panels were recently attached to this framework on the side of 100 Broad Street (Creative Arts House).
(Photo by Duy Trinh ’14)

    The solar panels, on the other hand, will reduce Colgate’s carbon footprint by capturing the sun’s energy to generate hot water for daily activities such as taking showers and washing dishes.
    With state rebates and fuel cost savings of nearly $2,600 a year, the project is expected to have a 10-year return on investment, according to John Pumilio, director of sustainability.
    “The cost of fuel oil is rising and unpredictable, so if it jumps to $3.50 a gallon, all of a sudden the project has a much quicker payback,” Pumilio said. “Renewable energy projects make us more resilient. There’s not as much risk as to whether the sun is going to come up tomorrow.”
    Although Hamilton is not the sunniest of places, Pat Leamy, project manager in the Facilities Department, explained that direct sunlight is not completely necessary to heat the water year-round. “Ten years ago, not having as much sun used to be a major issue. The technology has improved quite a bit,” said Leamy. “The collectors are more efficient now. Most of the technology came from NASA.”
    For the cold and overcast January mornings when students are showering, the building might rely on fossil fuel for most of the heating. However, when taking into account the heat intensity in the warmer months, Pumilio estimated that about half of the house’s fuel oil consumption can be eliminated.
    Solar thermal energy is one of 27 projects in Colgate’s 2011 Sustainability and Climate Action Plan, which also includes energy-saving initiatives in buildings, minimizing landfill waste, and encouraging the use of locally grown food in dining facilities. After implementing several energy-saving projects and investing in carbon offsets, Pumilio estimates that the university has already reduced its overall carbon footprint to about 5,000 tons, a considerable reduction from the campus’s baseline of 17,000 in 2009.
    According to Pumilio, Colgate has one of the lowest campus carbon footprints in the country and is in a very good position to achieve carbon neutrality by 2019.
— Laura D’Angelo ’14

Chinese students experience the liberal arts at Colgate
Personal tour of the New York Stock Exchange? Check. Daily treks up the hill three times a day from 110 Broad Street? Check. Lectures by some of Colgate’s most accomplished professors? Check. This summer, 29 students visiting from China’s Xiamen University enjoyed a sampling of the Colgate experience.
    The three-week exchange program, the brainchild of President Jeffrey Herbst and economics professor Cheryl Long, was started in an effort to foster a closer relationship between Colgate and Xiamen and introduce Chinese students to a liberal arts education. “The liberal arts approach to higher education isn’t well known in China because all universities in China have a more research-oriented approach,” Long said.

President Jeffrey Herbst welcomed visiting students from Xiamen University by giving them his business card during a luncheon at Merrill House. (Photo by Erica Hasenjager)

    Intended to be different from other exchange programs that only focus on English language instruction and sightseeing, the Colgate  program combined classroom-based discussions in English with a series of lectures that helped the Chinese students better understand American society. Topics ranged from economics and the financial system to history, sociology, and foreign relations between the United States and China.
    Having attended and taught at both Chinese and American universities, Long encouraged the Xiamen students to engage in more dialogue with the professors. The in-class discussions between teachers and students and the small class size took many of them by surprise.
    Lee Liu, a 20-year-old studying economics at Xiamen, was excited about having the opportunity to communicate more with his teachers. “In China, each class is like a lecture and the students obey what the books teach, and then you remember it and do your homework. But in America, students and teachers communicate about their topic and people can have different opinions. It’s a good way to develop creative thinking.”
    Outside of class, the students took trips to Niagara Falls, Cooperstown, New York City, and Washington, D.C. Because many were economics majors, they were given personal tours by Duncan Niederauer ’81, CEO and director of NYSE Euronext, and Rob Jones ’72, senior advisor at Morgan Stanley. In Washington, the students were welcomed by Alan Frumin ’68, P’07, U.S. Senate parliamentarian emeritus.
    Coming from Xiamen — which has roughly 38,000 students and is located in a major city in southeast China — the village of Hamilton was a bit of a culture shock, but the students said they took a liking to the close-knit community.
    The summer exchange program was the first step in the memorandum signed by Herbst and Xiamen President Zhu Chongshi to pursue faculty visits, joint workshops, conferences, and more exchange programs, including Colgate students visiting Xiamen.
— Laura D’Angelo ’14

Village Green

The village green was a sea of blankets and lawn chairs one hot July night as people settled down to watch a performance by Symphoria. The ensemble — a new orchestra created after the Syracuse Symphony folded — performed music from popular shows such as Les Misérables, Wicked, and Phantom of the Opera for a delighted crowd.

Photo by Gabriela Bezerra ’13

    Beforehand, the Earlville Opera House hosted an instrument petting zoo where Symphoria musicians showcased their string, wind, and percussion instruments. Children and parents alike gained a better understanding of the instruments before the performance by being able to touch and even play some of them.
    On August 3, things got physical out on the green as young girls and boys donning heavy gloves practiced their punches. As a part of the fifth annual Hamilton International Film Festival, filmmaker Jill Morley staged a boxing clinic for youngsters on the day of the screening of her film Fight Like a Girl. Morley taught some of the basics of the sport and told anecdotes of her boxing career, before posing for photos with the kids and her recently won tournament belt.
    “It’s great to get the little girls out there,” Morley told Radio Free Hamilton. “It gets them out of their shells, and gives them a way to express themselves in a way women aren’t normally allowed.”
    On August 9, hundreds of skateboarders, bicyclists, inline boarders, and street lugers careened down nearby Munnsville’s winding East Hill Road during Gravity Fest. Last held in the area in 2008, the event returned bigger than ever, with thousands coming to watch. Hurtling down the freshly paved road lined with haystacks and eager spectators, racers came from as far away as Europe to compete in the adrenaline-pumping event.
— Kellyann Hayes ’16

Celebrating Sukkot with a sukkah
To celebrate the eight-day Jewish holiday of Sukkot, one of three harvest festivals celebrated in Judaism, a sukkah took center stage on the Quad in September.
    Located directly in front of the chapel, the sukkah was impossible to miss. Constructed by the Blue Diamond Society (Colgate’s Jewish male philanthropic organization), the hut with brown tarp walls and a straw ceiling stood out among the elegant stone buildings lining the Quad.

Students celebrate Sukkot, the Jewish harvest festival, in a sukkah on the Quad. (Photo by Andrew Daddio)

    “The sukkah is supposed to be a very temporary structure,” explained Rabbi Dena Bodian. “Sukkot commemorates that forty-year journey when the Israelites were nomadic and traveled across the desert.”
    Stepping into the rustic hut, the inside was actually quite homey. Colorful paper chains adorned the tarp walls, tables were set up with autumnal centerpieces, and squash gourds hung from the ceiling. Members of the Colgate Jewish Union (CJU) decorated and planned meal-centered events to take place in the sukkah.
    “In theory, really observant Jews have sukkahs in their yards,” CJU member Dana Laxer ’15 explained. “When I was a kid, [we] would decorate the [temple] sukkah on the closest Sunday to Sukkot. I made those paper chains probably 140 times as a child.
    “It’s a very different kind of holiday,” she added. “It’s [being outside] and it’s community bonding, which are different from just sitting in services. It’s a nice way to mix it up.”
— Hannah O’Malley ’17

Views from the hill

Which member of the faculty or staff would you like to have dinner with and why?

“President Herbst. I’m sure there are a lot of things that go on behind the scenes about what he does at Colgate that I’m not exactly familiar with, and it would be interesting to learn what his ideas and plans are for Colgate’s future.”
— Josh Riefler ’14, economics and geology major from Buffalo, N.Y.

“It’d be great to go out to dinner with Patti and Kathy, who work at the library café, because they’re people you see every day and they know your name and your coffee order, and I want to know their life stories.”
— Kate Maffei ’14, Spanish and educational studies major from Fairfield, Conn.

“Phil and the executive chef at Frank Dining Hall. Phil makes my omelets with love, and when I say love I mean tomato, onions, and bacon. He never forgets my order! And the executive chef is always open to suggestions. The way the dining hall has transformed this year, I can say that they are doing a great job!”
— Aiden Davis ’16, women’s studies major from Monroe, N.C.

Go Figure
Eatery enhancements

3 upgraded stations in the Mindful healthy choice program at Frank Dining Hall

13 different countries represented at Magellan’s station every week

600+ meals per day served from The Wild Mushroom vegan and vegetarian station

13 hours a day serving omelets at the Flying Star Diner station

0 added salt in all entrées served under the Mindful program

600 calories or less in each entrée

15 chefs prepare and cook meals daily

3,200 served daily

25+ entrée options offered per mealtime

1984 year that Frank began operating

Limitless combinations with 149 flavors in the new soda machine

— Aminat Olayinka Agaba ’14