Issuu on Google+

The

College St. John’s College • Annapolis • Santa Fe

Jane Austen a n d t h e L i v e s o f Wo m e n

F a l l

2 0 0 6


On Jane Austen

J

ane Austen’s novels offer a glimpse into a world that seems tremendously appealing to those of us vexed with modern society. No one seems to have time to talk today, unless it’s into a cell phone, and that’s only when the iPod or Blackberry aren’t in use. Long, aimless walks through the countryside and afternoons spent sitting in a sunny parlor, catching up on the village gossip, can’t compete with high-definition television and HBO. In Jane Austen’s world, there was always time for writing letters, playing music, lingering over a lavish midday meal, and reading (assuming one’s family could afford to maintain a library). Of course, there was a serious downside to this gentle lifestyle: young, unmarried women without fortune or connections could find themselves—as Jane Austen did— entirely dependent on the generosity of family. Like Marianne and Elinor in Sense and Sensibility, she knew what it was like to leave a beloved home to make way for a male relative. She was whisked away to Bath, just as Anne Elliot in Persuasion, and like Anne, she learned to make the family budget stretch. As the Bennet girls did, she knew well what it meant to have dim prospects for a good marriage. But unlike her poorer heroines, Jane Austen had a marketable skill. She began writing fiction as a teenager and stopped only when her final illness forced her to put down her pen. A shrewd observer of human nature, she wrote both from a burning desire to tell stories and from economic necessity. She never made a fortune from the novels published in her lifetime—Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility together brought in only £250—but she was pleased and proud to have made her own money. Most of what we know about Austen comes from her letters, though only 160 survive from the thousands she wrote. Her sister, Cassandra, censored everything that spoke to illness, unhappiness, and misfortune. The seventh of eight children, Jane was born in 1775 to the Rev. George Austen and Cassandra Leigh. George had a modest living as rector of the church at Steventon, and Jane’s early childhood was happy and stimulating. With only a few years of formal schooling, she read books in her father’s library—everything from Samuel Johnson to gothic novels and burlesque plays. Austen’s life was not without trial: a cousin’s husband went to the guillotine, a sister-in-law died young, an aunt was tried on shoplifting charges. Her life was also not without romance and suitors; she greatly enjoyed flirting and dancing at balls. She was even engaged for one night, but apparently thought better of it in the morning. She became a doting aunt to her many nieces and nephews, and spent the latter part of her life living quietly in a cottage at Chawton, the estate of her brother, Edward Austen Knight. She died in 1817, attended to by her beloved sister, and was buried in Winchester Cathedral. Readers respond to Jane Austen because her characters are so richly drawn, her plots so satisfying, and her language so elegant, witty, and precise. We get a glimpse into a long-ago society but we know people like Mrs. Bennet and Lady Catherine de Bourgh; we can laugh at Austen’s silly and misguided characters because we see our own flaws reflected in them. In this issue of The College, our contributors consider Austen’s women, from spinster Anne to orphan Fanny, examining what these enduring characters say about human nature, society, and the life of women.

—RH

The College (usps 018-750) is published quarterly by St. John’s College, Annapolis, MD, and Santa Fe, NM

Known office of publication: Communications Office St. John’s College Box 2800 Annapolis, MD 21404-2800 Periodicals postage paid at Annapolis, MD postmaster: Send address changes to The College Magazine, Communications Office, St. John’s College, Box 2800, Annapolis, MD 21404-2800. Rosemary Harty, editor Patricia Dempsey, managing editor Emily DeBusk, assistant editor Jennifer Behrens, art director Annapolis 410-626-2539 Santa Fe 505-984-6104 Contributors Eva Brann (HA57) Roberta Gable (A78) Barbara Goyette (A73) Ruth Johnston (A85) Tilar Mazzeo (SF93) Rhonda Ortiz (A05) Namara Smith (SF07)

Magazine design by Claude Skelton Design


Fa l l 2 0 0 6 Vo l u m e 3 2 , I s s u e 3

The

College The Magazine for Alumni of St. John’s College

Annapolis

Santa Fe

{Contents}

8 Philosophy and War

d e p a r t m e n t s

page

2

from the bell towers

Febbies: The End of an Era Annapolis Cannon Set Straight A Living Shoreline The Kindness of a Stranger Santa Fe’s Extreme Makeover A Home for the GI in Santa Fe News, Announcements, Honors

Commencement speakers Judith Seeger and David Levine (A67) talked of ties that bind Johnnies.

28

letters Bibliofile

12 For the Students

37

Sustaining the college’s need-based financial aid program is a top priority of the college’s $125 million capital campaign.

36 Kevin Ross (AGI97) leads

Santa Fe Tutor James Carey (class of 1967) shares great books and great ideas with future Air Force officers.

10 A Celebration of Community

• • • •

page

page 10

From the Bible to baseball: a compendium of alumni books.

alumni notes

page

P RO F I L E S

32 Marcus Eubanks (A88) thrives in emergency medicine.

18 The Lives of Women

Lynn University.

39 Richard Field (SFGI98) gets high school students hooked on classics. page 12

41 Game show success for

page

Celeste DiNucci (A87)

43 The women of Jane Austen’s world speak to human qualities we can all relate to, particularly the need to find love and happiness.

Remembering Brother Robert Smith

46 48

29 Homecoming page

Were members of the Santa Fe Class of 1976 the last of the rebels?

Obituaries

page 18

on the cover Jane Austen Illustration by David Johnson

alumni association news st. john’s forever


2

{From the Bell Towers}

A Farewell to Febbies Special Bonds, Lasting Memories hardships that Febbies encounter, particularly in the abbreviated summer session; and the camaraderie and conflicts that develop when a small group of students spend a lot of time together, in the same dormitory, at the same Dining Hall table, and in the same classes. In September, the Febbies who stayed at St. John’s melted into the sophomore class, getting to know more students and likely seeing less of each other. But they will be distinguished as Febbies until the day they receive their diplomas, and then at Homecoming gatherings in Annapolis for years to come.

Elizabeth Burlington, a student aide in the St. John’s College communications office, interviewed each member of the Class of 2009 Febbies, slated to be the last class enrolled in January on the Annapolis campus. The college first began enrolling freshmen in the middle of the academic year in the 1960s. The January Freshman program will continue in Santa Fe. Several weeks into their “Febbie Summer,” the final 17 students to enroll in January in Annapolis as freshmen were busy writing freshman essays. But in the heat of a June afternoon, the entire Febbie class— the campus virtually their own, since summer Graduate Institute students had not yet arrived—congregated around one small table on the Quad. “After seminar I feel good,” said Michael Cooney, who, at 21, is a bit older than his fellow Febbies. “I feel like the Yin and the Yang.” Sitting next to him, Patrick Jones, who skipped his last two years of high school and attended the University of Maryland for a semester to ease into college, laughed at his friend’s remark. “That’s absolutely right, Mr. Cooney.” Febbies from years gone by cherish the closeness that Febbie summer promotes. What appears to be a period of isolation to outsiders translates into an unusual bonding experience to those who participate in it. Among other things, the students talked about experiences spent at other colleges;

“I really like great books, but Columbia University’s great books program was really disappointing. All the teachers were grad students. That wasn’t my type of environment, so I just packed it up and came here.” Wynn Hedlesky

On difficulties of the Febbie year: “Finding time to sleep.” Kelvin Chung “Having to do 16 weeks’ worth of work in 10.” Mallory Gill “Not getting time off to write our freshman essays.” Timothy Brisnehan

On seminars: “After seminar, usually people are mad or they are very happy. Usually the ones that are happy are the ones that everyone else is mad at.” Sara Luell “After seminar I feel like we have exercised our intellects in the class, and that we are still feeling the burn.” Patrick Jones “We are actually more energetic after seminar, even compared to the seminars in the first semester. We seem to be a lot more interested in the things we’re reading, and of course, there’s a lot that we don’t get to say during seminar that needs expounding afterward. With the tutors coming to our Febbie Snack afterward, there are a lot of fruitful discussions.” Kelvin Chung

alex lorman

Annapolis’ Febbies cut loose in Spector Hall after seminar last summer. The practice of enrolling January freshmen has ended in Annapolis, but will continue in Santa Fe.

On choosing St. John’s:

“Once I knew what the Program was all about I didn’t want to go any where else.” Rian Thune “I wanted to read every book on the reading list, and I knew that they were too difficult to understand on my own. Before this, I graduated from community college in Georgia.” Jesse Shearer

{ T h e C o l l e g e • St. John’s College • Fall 2006 }

“I have difficulty doing my Greek and sleeping.” Sara Luell “Socially, I feel like we were isolated from the other freshmen.” Jody Whelan

On being a Febbie: “I feel like being a Febbie has made me a different student than I would have been if I would have come here in the fall. I feel special.” Sara Luell “We absolutely do share a bond with each other, more than the regular August freshman.” Kelvin Chung “I was glad I was a Febbie. I like the peace and quiet here in the summer time.” Steffanie Peterson x


{From the Bell Towers}

3

victoria smith

Henry Robert, class of 1941, nodded with satisfaction as two welders from the McShane Bell Foundry set to the task of righting a wrong. For 40-odd years, the cannon mounted between Pinkney and McDowell halls has been a source of irritation to Mr. Robert, who spent a year in the old program before becoming one of the few St. John’s students to start again in the new. This cannon “of the type used in the defense of Baltimore in the War of 1812,” according to a plaque attached to the barrel, was presented to St. John’s College by the local chapter of the D.A.R. and the National Star-Spangled Banner Centennial Commission on September 14, 1914. The plaque celebrated the college as alma mater to Francis Scott Key and suggested that it may

have been fired in the war that was the subject of his celebrated anthem, “The StarSpangled Banner.” When Mr. Robert was a student, the cannon sat as it should: level, pointing straight ahead to College Avenue. Over time, St. John’s students wiggled the cannon in its mounting, and it eventually rusted into a position about 45 degrees from horizontal— historically inaccurate, and, to Mr. Robert’s eye, ridiculously impractical. “If a shot were fired in that direction, it would fall helplessly before ever reaching its target,” Mr. Robert remarked. Last year, Mr. Robert gave a donation to the college to remount the cannon and to spruce it up. In September, a much improved, shinier cannon was returned to the college by conservators of the

alfred eisenstaedt

The Cannon: Battle-Ready at Last

Maryland Archaeological Conservation Laboratory at Jefferson Patterson Park and Museum. The cannon’s original exterior was lost long ago, to time and the salt water of Baltimore Harbor, where it was submerged for untold years before a dredging project uncovered it. The inner surface is heavily pitted and had rusted over the years. Conservator Donna Smith air-abraded the surface, applied a corrosive inhibitor, painted it with black Rustoleum paint, and covered it with a liberal coat of Bowling Alley Butcher’s Wax. McShane workers re-aligned the brackets and re-tapped the bolt holes in the journals in order for the new trunnion collars to fit securely into the mount, then they spot-welded it in place. This should keep future Johnnies from developing “the devilish notion” to try to

Henry Robert, class of 1941, was on hand in September to see the cannon remounted. Mr. Robert underwrote the cost for the restoration and remounting of the cannon. { T h e C o l l e g e • St. John’s College • Fall 2006 }

The cannon, as it was in Henry Robert’s days as a Johnnie. This famous St. John’s photo, by Alfred Eisenstaedt, was taken for LIFE magazine in the 1940s.

wiggle the cannon, says Mr. Robert. As for the cannon’s role in the War of 1812, that’s doubtful, says Howard Wellman, lead conservator for the Maryland Historical Trust. It’s too small to have been used on a battleship or in a fort, and was more likely mounted on a merchant ship for defense against pirates. It could even have been mounted on a British ship. Mr. Robert has fond memories of the cannon, even though he recalls taking part in the hazing ritual that employed the artifact. “Shooting from the cannon” required “rats” (freshmen) to run from the cannon to College Avenue through a gauntlet of beltwielding upperclassmen who would try to strike the men as they ran by. “I ran fast,” Mr. Robert recalls with a smile. “It wasn’t so bad.” x


4

{From the Bell Towers}

alex lorman

This fall, St. John’s students returned to a dramatically transformed shoreline along College Creek, one intended to nurture a healthier and more diverse variety of plant and animal life. Along the shoreline, which was once a bulkheaded seawall, there is now a sloping, ecologically restored wetland protected from erosion with bio-logs and native species of marsh grass. The 885-foot shoreline restoration, completed this summer, is one of the largest projects of its kind along the Chesapeake Bay. It also showcases St. John’s role as environmental citizen, educator, and partner with regional environmental organizations. A volunteer corps including students and local residents (many of them Chesapeake Bay Foundation members) provided several work days to help restore the area to a more natural state, thanks to support from several foundations. The Chesapeake Bay Foundation is

alex lorman

A Living Shoreline

Last summer, thanks to student and community volunteers, the hardened bulkhead along College Creek was removed and the shoreline was restored to a natural marsh.

pleased that the college is “leading by example,” says Ron Schnabel, one of the CBF staff members who have donated time and expertise to the project. The College Creek shoreline is an ideal site for ecological restoration because of minimal boat traffic, currents, wind, and wave action, according to Don Jackson, St. John’s director of operations. The creek has long been a resource for Johnnies in

Tutor Nick Maistrellis donned waders to help plant natural grasses along the shoreline.

freshman lab. “We’ve known since the late 1960s how valuable the marsh is,” says Jackson, who worked in environmental conservation before joining the college. “However, support and funding for the project were bolstered by development of new techniques for successfully restoring them.” The bulkhead was installed on College Creek about 50 years ago to keep harmful sediment from reaching the Chesapeake Bay. “Up until the late 1960s, the ecological value of marshes and wetlands were not well understood, and they were often thought of as insect breeding grounds,” explains Jackson. “As a result, bulkheading was often installed along the shoreline and back-filled with earth to create more useable land.” In the past 10 years there has been an environmental movement to curb erosion and look for ways to stabilize the shoreline without using bulkhead and rip-rap.

{ T h e C o l l e g e • St. John’s College • Fall 2006 }

Seven years ago the shoreline restoration was begun as a pilot project to restore 125 feet between the Hodson Boathouse and King George Street. The project involved grading the shoreline to a natural slope and planting native species, such as spartina, bayberry, and bulrush on a prepared planting terrace constructed on sand and dirt fill imported to the site. Planning and design for the second phase of the project began two years ago, thanks to a $200,000 challenge grant from the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations. This past spring the college received the funding to match it, and in June began restoring the remaining 760 feet of structural bulkhead. Contributors and partners include the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, the Chesapeake Bay Trust, the Maryland Department of the Environment, FishAmerica Foundation, and the Vernal W. and Florence H. Bates Foundation. x


{From the Bell Towers}

The Kindness of a Stranger

offer. Cooper, after an injuryshortened career in the Army and a disappointing experience at American University in Washington, D.C., had found St. John’s again, many years after a high school teacher recommended the college. She visited the Santa Fe campus. “After sitting in on a seminar on Aristotle, I was sold,” she says. Cooper arranged a time to pick up the books; just as welcome as the gift was the chance to visit with a Johnnie and talk about the Program. “Christine told me junior year was the hardest, and said to take advantage to learn things

Lauren Cooper, a freshman from the Denver area, had fewer Program books to buy this year, thanks to Christine Robinson (A90) of San Francisco. Robinson is quick to point out that her act of generosity was inspired by a Johnnie who came before her. In Robinson’s case, the inspiration was Mike Van Beuren (A75), a former housemate in Annapolis who gave all his books to the St. John’s library when Robinson was a student. Since she graduated from the college, Robinson has embraced many careers: tourism, advertising sales, and working for a labor union trust fund. She finished her MBA, immersed herself in the study of foreign languages, lived in Paris for a year, and became a student of the tango. She was expecting to spend a few years traveling in South America, but her mother’s failing health meant a detour to Denver to clean out her mother’s home in preparation for a move to an assisted living facility. “I thought I could ship all these books back to California and put them in a storage unit, but that didn’t really make sense,” she says. “I wanted to get them back in circulation.” Robinson contacted the college, and Roberta Gable (A78), associate director of admissions, alerted Denverarea freshmen to Robinson’s

Lauren Cooper (A10)

chelsea stiegman

Above, Christine Robinson of San Francisco decided a new Johnnie should have her Program books; right, Annapolis freshman Lauren Cooper makes room on her dorm room bookshelf.

“After sitting in on a seminar on Aristotle, I was sold.”

outside the curriculum.” Robinson’s fondness for the Program just made Cooper more eager for the start of the semester. Her new books— almost two-thirds of the Program works— were in very good shape. She took away two Iliads, one in English and one in Greek, and some books that seem brand new. She enjoys the notes written in some of the margins. “Her giving the books was representative of a generation of ideas and thoughts. I was so pleased that an alum cared enough to do this,” Cooper says. Robinson couldn’t part with Fear and Trembling, Euclid’s Elements, or her volumes of French poetry. But she knows most of the other books she’d

{ T h e C o l l e g e • St. John’s College • Fall 2006 }

5

like to revisit are online. And she likes the idea of her books making another trip to Annapolis. “They’re going to be there, in seminar,” she says. “It gives me a connection to the college now.” x


6

{From the Bell Towers}

“I Just Kept Coming Back” Gratitude Prompts a $5 Million Gift for a Santa Fe GI Center An alumnus of the Graduate Institute in Santa Fe has made a $5 million gift to fund construction of a center for the college’s two graduate programs on the campus. Dr. Norman Levan (SFGI74) of Bakersfield, Calif., made his gift in gratitude for the intellectual enrichment he gained through the graduate program. “The Graduate Institute changed my life,” Dr. Levan said when the gift was announced July 28 as part of the opening celebration for “With a Clear and Single Purpose”: The Campaign for St. John’s College. “It was an amazing experience for me, and I’m grateful that this program exists.” The Norman and Betty Levan Hall will be home to the college’s two graduate programs: the Master of Arts in Liberal Arts and the Master of Arts in Eastern Classics. The building will house classrooms, faculty offices, and common space for graduate students, and will be situated between Weigle Hall and the Fine Arts Building. The building will also be dedicated to the memory of Dr. Levan’s late wife, Betty, who enjoyed visiting Santa Fe each summer while Dr. Levan was a student. Building a home for the GI, established in 1967 in Santa Fe, is among the top priorities of the campaign for the college’s western campus, says Santa Fe President Michael Peters. Design for the building is underway and the college hopes to break

Extreme Makeover

For several months last summer, members of the Santa Fe campus community were detouring around work crews and barricades while the Campus Core Renovation project was under way. The inconvenience proved well worth it when the project was completed in mid-September. More than 105,000 bricks were laid from Peterson Student Center to Santa Fe Hall, replacing the concrete pavement. The koi pond was given a new waterfall and additional lighting. New teak benches, tables, and trash cans have been installed throughout the area, along with an additional 14 light fixtures and two ramps installed to provide additional accessibility for the disabled. The improvements were part of the $2 million Santa Fe Initiative.

Santa Fe President Michael Peters and Dr. Norman Levan (SFGI74).

ground for the project in the next few months, he says. “We are exceptionally pleased that an alumnus had such a good experience in the Graduate Institute that he wants to help the college build a permanent home for the institute,” he says. Dr. Levan is professor emeritus and former chief of dermatology at his alma mater, the University of Southern California School of Medicine (class of 1939). He has enjoyed a long and distinguished career in medicine. He established the Hansen’s Disease Clinic at the Los Angeles County/USC Medical Center in 1962 at the request of state and federal health officials. At age 90, he still spends one day a week seeing patients in his dermatology practice. He came to the GI in the middle of his thriving medical career at the suggestion of a colleague who had found the experience intellectually invigorating. In Santa Fe, Dr. Levan found a learning community united by a common love of books and ideas, one that welcomed students of all ages. In those days, he said, most of the GI students were classroom teachers who were passionate about improving education. His favorite reading included Thucydides’ History of the Peloponnesian War and de Tocqueville’s Democracy in America. “I thought I would come for just one summer,” he says. “Then I just kept coming back. It was a turning point in my life: being able to read the original texts, being part of a community, experiencing a faculty so different from ours at USC.” Santa Fe GI Director Krishnan Venkatesh said students, faculty, and alumni have been touched by Dr. Levan’s gift. “This is a magnificent expression of generosity,” Mr. Venkatesh says. “This building will give the Graduate Institute a respected central place on campus, a permanent home.” x

{ T h e C o l l e g e • St. John’s College • Fall 2006 }


7

{From the Bell Towers}

News and Announcements Annapolis tutor EVA BRANN has been selected to receive the Wilbur Lucius Cross Medal of the Yale Graduate School Alumni Association. Miss Brann was scheduled to be feted at an October 12 gala dinner and awards ceremony in New Haven. The Wilbur Lucius Cross Medal is an honor presented each year by the Graduate School Alumni Association to a small number of outstanding alumni. The medal recognizes distinguished achievements in scholarship, teaching, academic administration, and public service.

Appointments JON ENRIQUEZ has been named Registrar in Annapolis.

Mr. Enriquez holds a Ph.D. in History and an A.B. in American Studies from Georgetown University, and an M.A. in American Civilization from the University of Pennsylvania. Most recently, he has served as Registrar and Associate Dean of Academic Affairs and Director of Institutional Research at Hanover College in Indiana.

Still Changing Lives St. John’s College is included as one of only 40 distinct colleges in the United States that “excel at developing potential, values, initiative and risk-taking in a wide range of students,” according to a new edition of a college guidebook. St. John's “is a school that inspires self

confidence, that makes its students believe they can do anything,” writes author Loren Pope in a new version of Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College. Pope refers to St. John’s as one of the “four most intellectual (and indispensable) colleges in the country.”

Scholarship Winner ERICA NAONE (A05) was one of only 77 students chosen nationwide to receive a scholarship from the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Graduate Program. The scholarship supports students who “have a strong appreciation for the arts, financial need, strong academic skills, leadership, and a desire to contribute to society.”

Erica Naone (A05), Jack Kent Cooke scholarship winner

Combining her love for math and science and her talent for writing, Naone is currently enrolled in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s graduate program in science writing. x

{Letters} Greatness in a Twilight World There is a small error of fact in your obituary for tutor Thomas McDonald [Winter 2006], the correcting of which will allow me to add my own minor tribute to that great tutor. The obituary stated that Mr. McDonald had a sabbatical year in Germany, 1976-77. However, that was the first year I knew him at St. John’s in Santa Fe. He arrived in the fall of 1976 with his wife and his painful ailment, medication for which made it impossible for him to teach in the mornings. Our section of junior French was scheduled to meet twice a week at 2:30 p.m., with the third meeting scheduled for Wednesday at 9 a.m. He told us at our first class that he couldn’t meet so early on Wednesday, and asked if we could find an alternate time agreeable to everyone. When this proved

impossible, we got our first glimpse of his characteristic humor: “How about 2 a.m.? I’m not doing anything then!” It was a romp of a French class. A wrong answer would be met by a swift hand reaching under the table to push a buzzer, sending an imaginary electrical current to the erring student. From time to time he would rise, slowly, painfully, to put something on the blackboard. We wondered if he would make it. Passing him on the Placita, we might ask that question seldom meant seriously: “How are you?” His answer once was, “50-50,” as he bent down, turning his hand from side to side, “comme ci, comme ça.” He was smiling. It was in that French class that we memorized poems. Two of them, to be precise. “Mr. Austin,” he began class one day, “tell us about your youth.” Ma jeunesse ne fut qu’un ténébreux orage, I butchered on, vowels, consonants falling dead

all around me. While he was serious about the work of language, he also had a light hand with the serious things. I remember the joy of listening to him read to us Borges’ story about the Minotaur. My recollection is that Mr. McDonald did not participate in academic processions, on account of—I was told—his never having completed an academic degree. I asked him about that once, and he said something about obtaining a degree being an impediment to his education. Again, a smile. Some nine members of the class of 1978 were present at our tenth reunion. There we were, at a picnic table, wondering what it was that we had in common. The answer came: we were all in that junior French tutorial with Mr. McDonald. As we began sharing his jokes and mannerisms, we recalled how he bore his burdens lightly and showed us the joy of touching

{ T h e C o l l e g e • St. John’s College • Fall 2006 }

greatness even in a twilight world. —Victor Austin, SF78

Correction: In the article, “Out of Africa: Journalist Lydia Polgreen (A97)” (Spring 2006 issue), Lydia Polgreen’s mother is incorrectly listed as Pamela. Rahel Polgreen is Lydia’s mother; Pamela Polgreen is the second wife of Lydia’s father, John Polgreen (SF71).

The College welcomes letters on issues of interest to readers. Letters may be edited for clarity and/or length. Those under 500 words have a better chance of being printed in their entirety. Please address letters to: The College magazine, St. John’s College, Box 2800, Annapolis, MD 21404. Letters can also be sent via e-mail to: rosemary.harty@ sjca.edu.


8

{The Tutors}

Philosophy, Justice, and War Tutor James Carey Among the Cadets things like that. So even in the core philosophy course there’s been a lot of liberty. The other class I taught was a semester-long course on Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason, a seminar that I co-led with a colleague in the department. We had eight cadets and we worked our way through the book, reading about 90 to 95 percent of the whole work. I also taught a class called Great Philosophers— we devoted that class to What authors are you Xenophon and Plato. teaching here right now? We just read some dialogues, and that went Well, right now the quite well. And then finally semester’s just begun, so I taught a class on applied maybe I’ll tell you a little bit logic. We spent some time about what I did last on symbolic logic because semester. All of us in the I’m interested in that, but philosophy department we also read a Platonic teach a class called dialogue, the Euthydemus, rather slowly, and we read Philosophy 310. It’s really a a good chunk of Aristotle’s philosophical ethics course. Organon. It’s a nicely designed course, This semester I’m and it meets for 41 sessions teaching the core course in 42 days. One of the again. I’ve also got a 42 days is devoted to a seminar that I’m again formal lecture. We are co-leading. It’s a large one, required to do four sessions about 20 students, and it’s on issues of military on Nietzsche and Dostoprofessionalism—such things evsky. We’ll read a work of as obedience and civilianNietzsche’s, but the better military relations. And then Air Force Academy cadets are not that different from Johnnies, part of our meetings will six of those 41 meetings are Santa Fe tutor James Carey (class of 1967) has discovered as a visiting be on The Brothers devoted to just-war theory, professor at the academy. Karamazov, which is what the conditions for going to we’ve just launched war, what just grounds there ourselves into. might be for engaging in hostilities to begin with, and then how to conduct oneself What are those classes like? Is there a feeling among the cadets according to a certain standard of justice once hostilities have that they need to get something more pragmatic out of each begun. That’s 10 of the classes. For the remaining classes we meeting? Is there an application they’re looking for when they have a number of required meetings on Plato’s Republic, Arisread these authors? totle’s Nicomachean Ethics, Hobbes’ Leviathan, Kant’s Foundation for the Metaphysics of Morals, and Mill’s Utilitarianism. What that means—since this is a core class—is that St. John’s is In the Philosophy 310 class we talk a lot about just war. There is, not the only college in the country you can’t graduate from then, at least a component of the class that has an immediate without having read some of Plato’s Republic. Who would have bearing on their work as officers. So it does have practical consequences. What the cadets take from the class varies from guessed that the Air Force Academy was another one! For the remaining classes the instructor has a lot of discretion. individual to individual. Some people really love reading and discussing great books; other people prefer a Powerpoint We’ve read Thomas Aquinas and Machiavelli in my classes, Eddie Kovsky (SF03) spent two years as a staff writer for the base newspaper at the United States Air Force Academy. The summer he began, Santa Fe tutor James Carey (class of 1967) joined the faculty as the Distinguished Visiting Professor of Philosophy. In January 2006, Kovsky met with him to discuss his experience teaching at the academy and the role the classics play in preparing cadets to become officers.

{ T h e C o l l e g e • St. John’s College • Fall 2006 }


{Tutors}

presentation. I will say that the most conspicuous difference between the cadets and the St. John’s students is not ability or even ultimately interest, at least if I think about the ones I’ve had in the seminars, but it’s reading habits [outside of class] . . . St. John’s students tend to be people who love books, really love them, whereas a lot of cadets are not particularly in love with books. Still, I would say that the cadets that I’ve had in my elective courses have been, in terms of their interests, very similar to St. John’s students. I’ve had cadets in my core class who would have done quite well at St. John’s, but I’ve also had cadets in my core class who would not have been very happy at St. John’s. Some of them seem disconcerted by questions that can’t be answered by crunching numbers. Since you just have them for that short period of time, what philosophy do you think is important to get across to them? What, from your background, are you trying to bring to them?

9

the educational process we can’t gauge everything that we do here by asking, “Does that have an application in a combat situation?” In a sense it probably does, because human beings are in combat situations. But if you’re reading a Platonic dialogue on the nature of knowledge or a Shakespeare comedy, it’s not immediately clear that that’s going have a concrete application in Iraq. But it will make you a broader person. If we’re going to have a military academy then both the educational and the training sides of the enterprise have to be distinguished and they both have to be supported. At least some of education—and this is the classical view of a liberal education— is for its own sake, but it has consequences too: a broader human being is a better human being, maybe a better pilot too, but almost certainly a better human being. Now, it looks as though a lot of what’s on the horizon for the military is peace keeping and nation building. That by itself suggests that the development of breadth of mind in military officers has to be a prime concern. And that’s something that a liberal education can help with. The [USAFA] dean wants the academy to become more learning focused, and that seems to me a very important step in the right direction. I think it’s vital that those of us who teach here think deeply about what learning is. That will help us distinguish between training and education, because a person can be well trained without really learning anything. That’s true of a dog too. Learning requires a kind of initiative and engagement on the part of the learner that does not lend itself to metric assessment but is the very center of the learning experience.

Well, it depends on the class. Regarding Philosophy 310, the core class, I’d put it like this: I think a lot of discussions of just war, of just grounds for going to war and just ways of conducting yourself in war, presuppose a certain clarity about what justice itself is. But what justice is is not a clear notion. Reading the Republic, the Nicomachean Ethics, and similar classical texts helps provide us with a foundation, with reflection about what justice is, before we go into the particular theme of just war itself. I regard an encounter with the classics as indispensable for getting clarity about a number of concepts that get bandied around rather loosely today. What do we mean by a moral You had said that you wanted to try to law? And what is justice? What do we mean change the relationship between St. John’s by fundamental rights and basic human James Carey (A67) and the military, because there’s not a equality? The great philosophers thought lot of overlap there. Is there anything seriously about such questions, and reading that you’re trying to do here that you their books forces us to think seriously want to bring back to Santa Fe, or the about them as well. Annapolis campus for that matter? How do you try to remedy that, to teach without compromising the sense of duty to their long-term mission, which comes first for I would like to see cadets have an opportunity to participate at the cadets? least in the Summer Classics in Santa Fe. I’ve been very faithfully impressed with the cadets and I really like them. They’re intelligent, they’re capable of wonder, they can get In a sense, the interesting question is “Why do we have military excited over important things. Moreover, the cadets know that academies?” There are other models. One is officer candidate they may have to make sacrifices, that they’re in the military. school, and there are a lot of good officers that come out of OCS What does it mean for a young person, a high school junior, male and ROTC too. And then there’s the British model, as I underor female, to decide to go for a career in the military? That’s also stand it. People get a college degree in whatever they’re doing, a kind of eccentric decision. I would say that the young people classics, chemistry, what have you, and then those who want a who choose to go to St. John’s and the young people who choose military career go to Sandhurst for an exclusively military to go to the military academies have this much in common: graduate education. they’re not marching to the same drummer most young people The Air Force Academy, like the Naval Academy and the march to. x Military Academy, tries to provide both an undergraduate education and a military experience. So one might wonder, “What do you expect to get out of that?” And that’s a very interesting and complicated question. I’ll revert to my earlier formulation that education is first of all about educating human beings. If we’re going to be involved in

“. . .a broader human being is a better human being, maybe a better pilot too. . .”

{ T h e C o l l e g e • St. John’s College • Fall 2006 }


10

{Commencement}

CELEBRATING COMMUNITY Commencement 2006 udith Seeger, completing her term as assistant dean of the Annapolis campus, and outgoing Santa Fe Dean David Levine (A67), were chosen by the seniors on their campuses to deliver the commencement addresses in May. Seeger and Levine each celebrated the St. John’s College community, both as a tangible collection of rituals and rules that allow a group of individuals to live together and as an abstract circle of the authors who help shape the college’s model of liberal education. At the commencement ceremony in Annapolis on May 15, 100 Annapolis seniors and 34 Graduate Institute students received their degrees. Seeger opened her speech by describing her experiences among indigenous groups in Brazil. To conduct research for her doctoral dissertation, Seeger spent months at a coastal fishing village recording ballads and stories passed orally for generations, experiences that shaped her ideas about community: “In the jungle I learned how to live in peace and companionship with people whose way of life was very different from mine.” In her speech she shared “the four cardinal rules by which we aspire to live together at this

joe picard

J

college: responsibility, civility, honesty, and citizenship.” Seeger concluded by celebrating the graduates’ passage to a new community. “Soon you will make that momentous walk across the platform and with that walk this community in the form it has existed for you during the past few years will disband and you will pass into another community—that of graduates. . .So we should celebrate our last precious moments in this particular community with a song.” She sang a traditional ballad, “The Water is Wide,”

chosen to emphasize how one can help another overcome difficulty to reach a goal. On May 21, 83 undergraduates and 33 master’s degree candidates received their diplomas in Santa Fe. Levine considered the question: Who is the class of 2006? “One can’t ever answer that question fully,” Levine said. “We might, however, make a beginning and say something about who you are, or rather who you have become over the past years of growth at the college under the transformative magic of the Program. We say

{ T h e C o l l e g e • St. John’s College • Fall 2006 }

Above: among the 33 GI graduates in Santa Fe last May were (l. to r.) Jacquelyn Poplawski, Samantha Johnson, and Laura Leigh Birdwell. Opposite (clockwise, from top right): David Levine, shown with wife, Jacqueline, told graduates their work is far from over; Santa Fe President Michael Peters in the recessional; Annapolis graduates Cameron Healy (l.) and Aaron Brager look to the future; Judith Seeger serenaded Annapolis graduates.


{Commencement}

The commencement speeches are available on the college’s Web site, www.stjohnscollege.edu.

joe picard

thought that threatened to undermine this very potential. He saw an isolating individualism at work where ‘the bonds that unite generations are relaxed or broken, and that put society at risk of losing its centering customs . . .’ ” Graduates leave the college with two gifts, but their work is far from over, he concluded: “You have seen greatness. You have known community. However, a gift is only as beneficial as our capacity to use it well. Your education is thus not over. And so, in the spirit of commencement, that is beginnings, we ask you today to pledge yourselves anew to the unfinished work that these authors so nobly began.” x

joe picard

alex lorman

alex lorman

years of growth, because this college is a place where one grows.” He elegantly traced some of the ways several authors in the Program shape students’ experiences at the college. “Throughout our tradition, from Plato through Nietzsche, it was generally recognized that education—the manner in which one learns and not just the content of what one learns—in shaping your mind, also shapes your person, your character, indeed your community.” Among the authors he cited, Levine described Alexis de Tocqueville’s observations on community and the individual: “In America he found people with a wondrous capacity for community and working together and yet an intellectual inheritance of Cartesian egocentricism and abstraction of

{ T h e C o l l e g e • St. John’s College • Fall 2006 }

11


12

{Capital Campaign}

“WITH A CLEAR AND SINGLE PURPOSE” The Campaign for St. John’s College Plans for Student Needs

by Rosemary Harty

onsider what financial aid means to students, their desire for the Program, and their hopes to do vital and satisfying work after earning their degree. Andrew Hsui (A02), pursuing a Ph.D. in comparative literature at Princeton University, says St. John’s would have been out of his reach without “a very generous financial aid package.” Drawn to the college by the books, the Program, and the community, Hsui was determined to attend St. John’s, even though his parents were anxious about the cost.

C

Now finished with his graduate coursework and ready to tackle his dissertation (perhaps Dante, perhaps Spencer), Hsui is more grateful than ever to have attended the college. “At St. John’s you gain this sort of intellectual courage to tackle different texts no matter whether it’s Sophocles’ Antigone or Hegel’s Phenomenology,” he says. “The fundamental questions we pursue in graduate school are the same problems that occur in freshman seminar.” As is the case with more than half of the students who attend St. John’s, Hsui received a St. John’s grant for each of the four years he attended. Thanks to a federal work-study award, he earned money working on campus. He entered graduate school with manageable debt. “Could I have attended St. John’s without financial aid? Absolutely not,” Hsui said. Building the college’s $100 million endowment to meet the financial aid needs of future Johnnies is one of the top priorities of “With a Clear and Single Purpose”: The Campaign for St. John’s College. Of the $125 million campaign goal, $46.5 million has been earmarked for building the endowment, with $33 million designated to ensure a robust financial aid program. In addition, the college seeks to raise $29 million in Annual Fund contributions through 2012 to help support more immediate financial aid needs.

{ T h e C o l l e g e • St. John’s College • Fall 2006 }


13

{Capital Campaign}

A few central facts help to frame a discussion on the college’s approach to financial aid: • The college remains committed to a needbased financial aid policy that ensures that qualified students can attend the college regardless of their family’s economic resources. • During the 2005-06 academic year, 63 percent of students on the Santa Fe campus received aid directly from the college; in Annapolis, 53 percent of students were aid recipients. College-wide, St. John’s provided $9.4 million in institutional aid funded by tuition revenue, Annual Fund gifts, grants, and draw from endowment. • Meeting the gap between what families can afford and the cost of tuition will become increasingly more expensive for the college. • The college’s endowment is not sufficient to meet the anticipated need for financial aid in the coming decade. The college’s capital campaign seeks to address priorities that will sustain the Program and strengthen the college. Funding these priorities will require $125 million. FINANCIAL AID: $33 million for need-based aid. FACULTY AND ACADEMIC SUPPORT: $34 million to increase faculty salaries to the median of peer institutions; provide faculty development opportunities; develop program-related student instructional material

The college’s strategic plan, which shaped the goals of the campaign, takes into account that the college will be spending more to meet the demand for financial aid in the next few years. “The American economy is not giving back to the poor and those in middle-income families, where the need is growing the fastest,” says Christopher B. Nelson (SF70), president of the Annapolis campus. “So far, we’ve been able to keep pace with our institutional aid. But the situation is not going to improve.” If the college enrolled only those students who could afford to attend, “we’d be a college of 200 students,” he says. The first question that parents, alumni, and supporters of the college want answered in a serious discussion of financial aid, Nelson acknowledges, is why the college is getting more expensive. He points out that the college’s annual tuition increases of about continued on p. 15

(manuals and workbooks); and ensure small class sizes and 1:8 tutor-to-student ratio. STUDENT SERVICES: $3.5 million to improve services to students, fund internship opportunities, and provide grants so that elementary and secondary teachers can attend the Graduate Institute. ST. JOHN’S IMPROVEMENT FUND: $5 million for library collections and laboratory equipment; improving Information Technology infrastructure;

{ T h e C o l l e g e • St. John’s College • Fall 2006 }

staff professional development and compensation. BUILDING PROJECTS ON THE TWO CAMPUSES: $49.5 million for building projects, including a Santa Fe dormitory, a Graduate Institute center in Santa Fe funded, and the addition to and renovation of Evans Science Laboratory. The renovation of Mellon Hall and the addition of two new dormitories in Annapolis are completed and fully funded.


14

{Capital Campaign}

GI Educator’s Grant: Bringing the Program to the Classroom teachers can benefit our polarized nation by teaching kids how to Annika McKinney is pursuing a Ph.D. in education at the talk to one another about important issues.” University of Maryland. Her dissertation research explores how Also, because they’re devoted to education, GI teachers make reading original texts and discussing them—similar to the Junior excellent students. “They know how to take responsibility for a Great Books program she encountered as a teacher—could be class as well as their own learning,” Venkatesh says. Many become applied to arts education. good recruiters of prospective students. “I thought I might interview some tutors and research the However, it was evident early on that the GI was losing teachers St. John’s approach a bit,” she says. “I wrote away for some because they often did not have the resources for tuition. information, and the Graduate Institute sent me a DVD and a “Teachers are usually the poorest of our students and always need catalogue. Then I decided that I had to do the program for financial assistance to be able to do this. For them, doing either of myself.” our MA programs is a serious commitment, and this is even more McKinney persuaded her doctoral advisers at the University of Maryland to approve independent credit for her work at St. John’s. true of those teachers who have to relocate families and homes to “I’m loving it,” McKinney says. “I know about Aristotle and Plato, come to distant Santa Fe,” he says. Classroom teachers aren’t the only educators benefiting from but I’ve never been able to read these texts, not in this way.” the grant program: Jennifer Kinkaid, a student in the Santa Fe In a summer course she presented to graduate students and Graduate Institute, is a college counselor at Loomis Chaffee aspiring teachers at the university, McKinney demonstrated a School in Windsor, Conn., who has been devoting her summers to St. John’s approach to reading A Raisin in the Sun with secondary the GI. In addition to the ideas she gains from the books, she has students. Her professor was so impressed with the quality of the also honed a valuable skill. discussion, he asked her to share the lesson plan with a language “I think listening has been one of the most important skills arts class in the fall. “I told my advisers that what takes place at I’ve developed through the GI seminars. Not only are we learning St. John’s is something all teachers should experience. to clarify our own ideas, but we learn to listen carefully, ask The Program can benefit every teacher, no matter what subject questions, and help others clarify their thoughts,” she says. he or she teaches,” McKinney says. Christopher Kaufmann, a public school teacher in Loudon Teachers like McKinney—innovators in the classroom who have County, Va., left his full-time position and signed on as a a strong desire to enrich their own intellectual lives—represent substitute in order to enroll full-time in the Graduate Institute the principle behind the National Educator’s Grants, offered by and complete the program in two years. The the Graduate Institute in Annapolis and grant relieved a bit of the economic hardship Santa Fe. The college offers a grant of oneinvolved in quitting his job. third tuition to teachers and administrators “I can see how much this will help in the interested in pursuing a Master of Arts in classroom,” he says. “I can better formulate Liberal Arts. Providing funding for the good questions for discussion. I can better educators’ grants by establishing an encourage students to develop their own endowment is one of the goals of the campaign. opinions on something they read and feel Teachers were among the first students in comfortable sharing their ideas with others.” the GI when it was established in Santa Fe in Vashti Pearson (AGI06) completed two 1967 (Annapolis followed a decade later), and segments over summer breaks from her job the college still believes that teachers can Annika McKinney in Birmingham, Ala. “I came benefit greatly from a to St. John’s frustrated and program that nurtures exhausted from the classcritical thinking, careful room. I hadn’t read a book reading, and discussion outside my prep for class the skills—on top of all the matewhole year. Coming here was rial covered in the classroom. like summer camp—I went “By educating teachers, we back refreshed and excited,” are trying to affect national she says. x education by supporting the notion of educating the whole human being, instead Annika McKinney (l.), a of just teaching for tests,” current GI student also says Krishnan Venkatesh, working on a doctorate in director of the GI in Santa education, and Vashti Fe. “Moreover, in learning Pearson (AGI06), brought from us how to make real new ideas and approaches conversations about big from their graduate studies back to the classroom. questions happen, our victoria smith

“The Program can benefit every teacher, no matter what subject he or she teaches.”

{ T h e C o l l e g e • St. John’s College • Fall 2006 }


{Capital Campaign}

15

For the Students “With a Clear and Single Purpose”: The Campaign for St. John's College seeks to raise $36.5 million for priorities relating to students and student life on both campuses:

And without institutional grants, lowincome students could not consider a 5.5 to 6 percent have been in line with those college such as St. John’s. The federal • $33 million in endowment and Annual of other private, independent colleges in maximum Pell Grant award is $4,050; Fund for need-based financial aid, to the U.S. some students also qualify for a Suppleensure access for all students If tuition rises at rates higher than mental Educational Opportunity Grant admitted to the college. annual inflation, it is largely because a (SEOG), but the college matches 25 college such as St. John’s can’t take advan• $3.5 million in endowment and Annual percent of the SEOG awards. “The buying tage of the standard business cost-cutting Fund to improve services to students, power of a federal grant is much less,” measures, such as automation. “Education fund internship opportunities, and Rodriguez says. is expensive because it requires the sharing provide grants for teachers to attend After 21 years at the college, Rodriguez of the life of one well-educated human the Graduate Institute. is still impressed by the sacrifices made by being with another, a devotion of time that parents who want to see their children cannot be compromised without being attend St. John’s. “They do what they have cheapened,” he says. to because they recognize that this is the school for their child, that Nelson also emphasizes that no student pays the true cost of a this is where he or she will flourish,” he says. St. John’s education. This year, tuition is $34,306; without Paula Abernethy, financial aid director in Annapolis, has the college’s subsidy, it would be $44,555. “Alumni who attended observed that the college’s need-based financial aid is viewed as fair the college during my era may not view it this way, but the educaand equitable by most families, but the college does tion at St. John’s College is a veritable bargain,” he says. “It costs occasionally lose a student to another college because St. John’s substantially more to educate our students than what we’re makes awards based strictly on need, not merit. “Sometimes charging in tuition.” parents will come in with a package from another college, and say, And unless they have college-age children, alumni may not be ‘can you match it?’ All we can do is offer the best package, and then aware of how the changes in federal financial aid programs are students and their families have to make a decision,” she says. affecting lower- and middle-income families who want to send a More than half of St. John’s students receive grant aid, and son or daughter to St. John’s. Programs such as Pell Grants and barring a change in financial circumstances, each student can Supplementary Educational Opportunity Grants, made available to count on that assistance to remain consistent through their four the neediest students, would not come close to meeting the cost of years at St. John’s, Abernethy explains. “We have a strong tuition at any private liberal arts college. Funding for federal grant institutional commitment to aid,” she says. “If you look at that ratio programs has not increased in the past four years, and most student in other schools, we’re actually quite high. We really do care about loan programs now have higher interest rates. the students and we want to give them the best aid package we can.” At St. John’s, financial aid is guided by policies and principles The St. John’s grants are paid for by tuition, draw from endowrevisited often by the collegewide Management Committee and ment, and gifts to the college’s Annual Fund; federal grant aid administered on an individualized basis on each campus. Policy is is only a small part of the overall budget. Of the $19.2 million reviewed annually by financial aid committees composed of the packaged in undergraduate financial aid awards last year, less than president, dean, treasurer, assistant dean, financial aid director, $900,000 in grant aid came from federal programs. In addition, and admissions director. The committees meet before each fall the college gets $287,000 in federal aid for work-study, allowing recruitment season to assess the previous year’s results, anticipate a limited number of students to earn $2,800 a year from ondifficulties in the upcoming year, and adjust policy in light of the campus jobs. budget. Federally subsidized loans, PLUS loans for parents, and increasThe financial aid directors carry out policy and approach each ingly, private loans help students meet tuition and expenses, but prospective application with the goal of putting the best package interest rates are on the rise for these programs, and small private together to meet an individual family’s needs. In Santa Fe, about loans are now turning up in some financial aid packages. “We don’t 65 to 70 percent of students demonstrate some form of need, says have enough of the favorable loan money to cover our needs so we Michael Rodriguez, director of financial aid for the campus. “It’s a have begun to include a private loan in the aid package,” says Aberlarge portion of our population, but the financial aid program nethy. provides the opportunity for us to attract and matriculate students When he first joined the college in 1985, Rodriguez said from a wide economic spectrum. Without that diversity, we’d be a student loans usually topped out at $10,000 over four years. The very different college,” he says. average debt for the Santa Fe class of 2005 is $21,700— continued

{ T h e C o l l e g e • St. John’s College • Fall 2006 }


16

{Capital Campaign}

“We really do care about the students and we want to give them the best aid package we can.” Paula Abernethy, Annapolis financial aid director

far less than the cost of one year’s tuition, but a burden he’d like to see fewer students saddled with. “It’s worrisome, particularly when so many of our students go on to graduate programs,” he says. At least once a year, Rodriguez has revisited a financial aid award to help a struggling student. “When there are extenuating circumstances, we go back to the financial aid committee to see what can be done,” he says. “But we’re always up front with the students that we’re hampered by limited dollars.” Another concern, along with loan debt, is the knowledge that some students are working at several jobs to help pay their expenses. Abernethy knows that a few students are working a campus job and nights or weekends at retail or restaurant jobs; some work 20 hours a week. “The Program isn’t meant for that, and these students are struggling,” she says. “Sometimes they come in, and we try to help them in some way.” Thanks to the Caritas Society, a group of Annapolis-area residents who raise money to help students with unexpected

financial needs, Abernethy has a rainy-day fund to offer students at critical moments: she can give students up to $3,000 a year to help in emergencies. Each year, several students receive Caritas book grants of $400; several endowment funds also generate money to help students purchase books. At the financial aid conferences she attends, Abernethy hears the prevailing concern that middle-income families are those who struggle the most in this new financial aid climate. This year, she worked extensively with several families to make sure their dream of sending a child to St. John’s could happen. “It’s really nice when you go to Convocation, and you see those kids up on the stage,” she says. This May, Rodriguez will have the pleasure of seeing one of his award recipients graduate after an unusually long pursuit of a bachelor’s degree. Nick Cabbiness, in his 40s and an independent student, never found a program that suited him—until he heard of St. John’s. “I tried college a few other times, and I would

{ T h e C o l l e g e • St. John’s College • Fall 2006 }


17

{Capital Campaign}

end up triple-majoring, because I always had a desire to know many different things,” he says. While he has worked in several campus jobs his first three years, served as a resident assistant, and contributed what he could from savings, Cabbiness was most grateful for the grant aid he received from the college. After graduation, he plans to

pursue a teaching career. From time to time over the years, he’s struggled greatly with the demands of the Program, but he didn’t have to worry about paying tuition. “I’m so thankful to the college in many ways, but I’m most grateful to have the freedom to pursue work that I want to do, and not just for monetary reasons,” he says. x

Internships Offer Johnnies Experience and Insight influenced his approach in the classroom. “Inquiry is important in every situation,” he says. When Coker-Dukowitz applied for his internship, he wasn’t certain that education was the field he wanted to pursue. His internship solidified his ambition, honed his talents, and presented him with a specific direction. Catherine Pisha (A06) had a similar experience during her internship at the Women’s Rape Crisis Center in Burlington, Vt., made possible by a grant from The Hodson Trust Internship Program. She entered the summer with vague ideas about what she wanted to do, but not how to do it. “For a long time I have known that I enjoy work involving close interpersonal contact and emotional healing through conversation, but I have not had a clear idea as to how that might translate into a job,” she wrote in her post-internship report. By the end of the summer, she says, her career goals were “strengthened and honed. . .Being an intern at the Womens’ Rape Crisis Center allowed me to see that there is a wider range of jobs that might meet these needs and interests of mine than I had previously thought.” Not only did her experience at the WRCC give her confidence about pursuing this field, it also prepared her for similar employment. She now works for the Winooski Family Center, a nonprofit which provides various services to low-income families. For Pisha, the internship was more than a financial grant. It provided the clarity she needed to pursue a meaningful path after graduation. x

teri nolan

Somewhere in the midst of junior and senior years, students turn their thoughts to life outside of St. John’s. The transition can be daunting, especially to those students who don’t have a clear grasp on a career path. To assist students as they consider various careers, Annapolis has the Hodson Internship and Santa Fe the Ariel Internship. Funded on a temporary basis, the Ariel program awarded its first internship in 2005. To date $75,600 has been distributed, including six awards for fine arts internships funded by the Thaw Charitable Trust. Last year 38 applications were submitted and 15 stipends (ranging from $1,800 to $3,600) were granted. This summer the campus expects to fund 18 internships, awarded competitively to students who present a clear plan for where they want to work and what they hope to discover through the experience. A campaign goal is to establish an endowment that will provide permanent funding for the Ariel Internships. The Hodson Internship Program was established in 2000, with a generous endowment from The Hodson Trust. Each year, the program funds up to 25 internships with stipends of up to $3600 each. Zacc Coker-Dukowitz (SF05) received an Ariel Internship the summer after his senior year. His experience at an educational organization served as a catalyst for his first professional job, as assistant director of Breakthrough Santa Fe at Santa Fe Prep. Coker-Dukowitz’s Ariel stipend allowed him to work as an intern at the Breakthrough Collaborative, based in San Francisco, and dedicated to helping underprivileged kids gain a better chance at higher education. Coker-Dukowitz taught English classes to seventh- and eighth-graders, and his St. John’s experience

{ T h e C o l l e g e • St. John’s College • Fall 2006 }

An Ariel Internship set Zacc Coker-Dukowitz (SF05) on the path to a job with Breakthrough Santa Fe, an educational organization.


18

{Jane Austen}

JANE’S

HEROINES Elizabeth’s Comeuppance

ometimes they are hampered by pride or foolishness. In other novels, their lack of social status or fortune creates the drama. But the heroines of Jane Austen’s novels are always memorable: for their foibles, their dignity, their intelligence, their quick wit, and their sheer persistence. In these short essays, St. John’s alumni, students, and tutors celebrate the women of Jane Austen’s world.

S

By Roberta Gable (A78)

Tiresome Elizabeth Bennet. How nice for her that she gets the happily-ever-after treatment. To recap the familiar plot of Pride and Prejudice: Mr. Bennet (he used to be disgusted, now he’s just amused) and Mrs. Bennet (more fatuous than which shall not be conceived, if you’re not counting the Collins branch of the family) have five daughters: Jane (the saint), Elizabeth (the smarty-pants), Mary (the book-reading twerp), Lydia (the trollop-in-training) and Kitty (the trollop-in-training’s trollop-in-waiting). Jane and Elizabeth, the two eldest, usurped all virtues available to the five girls, with the exceptions, perhaps, of seriousness (Mary) and malleability (Kitty). Virtuous or no, they all must marry, and in fact there are five offers tendered during the

Opposite: Witty Elizabeth Bennett brightens the pages of PRIDE Knightly in the 2006 film.)

AND PREJUDICE. (Keira

{ T h e C o l l e g e • St. John’s College • Fall 2006 }


{ T h e C o l l e g e • St. John’s College • Fall 2006 }


20

{Austen}

Love triumphs. Money soothes all concern for the morrow.

course of the action, but again, not doled out evenly: Lydia gets one, of the shotgun variety; Jane gets one, from the oh-sodesirable Mr. Bingley; and Elizabeth gets three, one from her ridiculous cousin Mr. Collins, and two from the detestable Mr. Darcy, the second of which she accepts, and we’re made to feel glad for her, because it turns out that Mr. Darcy is not so detestable after all. And most of the time we forget to dislike Elizabeth, too. She’s witty, she’s a fun read, and her behavior is regulated by genuine feeling, not conventional manners. Hurrah for our side, we think—the snooty rich women (Miss Bingley, Mrs. Hurst, and the tyrannical Lady Catherine de Bourgh) get what’s coming to them, at least in some small degree, and our Elizabeth, heroine, not of the working class, but of the genteel aspirers, is rewarded with the hand of a good-looking rich guy. (So is Jane, for that matter, but she’s insufficiently dimensional for us really to care about her.) The main obstacles to the Elizabeth/Darcy match—his horror of marrying beneath himself, her profound disgust for him—are gradually surmounted, and happiness abounds. Love triumphs. Money soothes all concern for the morrow. She who prides herself, however, on her independent mind, her ability to discern character, and her subtlety (especially in comparison with Ma and Pa) must first dine on crow. For the first 200 pages or so she judges, she gossips, she caricatures, she deplores, she assumes, she exults in her superiority, and she trusts Wickham, the one true rascal in the story. Then she must repent having been an ass. She who always has something to say is made to shut up and listen: two letters, the first from Darcy, defending himself, and the second from her aunt, revealing Darcy’s virtually superhuman goodness, effect the necessary comeuppance. “Oh! how heartily did she grieve over every ungracious sensation she had ever encouraged, every saucy speech she had ever directed towards him.” While her self-flagellation is only verbal, words are what drive reality in this comedy of character. Everyone is who people say he is, until they start saying something different, and then he’s that; what happens hasn’t much happened until it is discussed. Finally Elizabeth finds she must re-create not only others but herself in words, no mean feat for a woman rightly accused of sometimes saying things precisely because she doesn’t mean them. Lest we too become twerpy in our book-reading, and moralize like dear sister Mary, let’s be easy on Miss Elizabeth,

with her lovely feet of clay. She herself gets over it, and lets the happy ending befall her. Roberta Gable is associate director of Admissions in Annapolis.

Fanny Reconsidered by Rhonda Ortiz (A05) To my teenage self on first reading Mansfield Park: My dear Miss F——, Thank you for your last. Yes, I do remember receiving the St. John’s College pamphlet: small, brown, with all those obscure authors listed ceremoniously on the cover. I’m not surprised that you noticed Jane Austen’s name. Pride and Prejudice was the first work of literature that captivated you both as an amusing story and intellectual food for thought. This singular delight in Austen was one of the primary reasons you decided to attend St. John’s College. But right now you say you’re bewildered by Mansfield Park. How, you ask, could Austen, who created the brilliant, charming Elizabeth Bennet, also pen this repressed, uninspiring, prudish Fanny Price, and call her a heroine? Where is her wit? Why is she so timid, so nervous? Why has Austen left the brilliant repartee, the intrigue, even all the action, to the other characters? And what’s all the moral fuss about? I know that you are bound and determined to like everything Austen has written, and, don’t worry, you will. Mansfield Park and Fanny Price will surprise you yet. It will probably take you multiple readings and, perhaps, a large essay to realize that Fanny Price is more than likable. The problem now is your disposition. In life and novels you prefer confident, agreeable, humorous, open characters. But like many 16-year-olds, you are willing but unpracticed in slowing down to notice—really notice—other people. It is easy to appreciate Elizabeth Bennet’s brilliance, but patience and sympathy are required to see through Fanny’s awkwardness to her subtle beauty. At nine, Fanny is sent by her struggling Portsmouth family to live with her wealthy uncle and aunt. Shy, awkward, overlooked, and homesick, Fanny is miserable at Mansfield Park until her cousin, Edmund, notices her unhappiness and befriends her. Edmund discovers Fanny “to be clever, to have a quick apprehension as well as good sense, and a fondness for

{ T h e C o l l e g e • St. John’s College • Fall 2006 }


{Austen}

reading.” He attempts to bring Fanny “forward” but is thwarted by the behavior of the rest of the family, who, unwittingly or not, in their turn treat her as a sponger, a personal servant, a child to tease, a dimwit, or simply someone to ignore. Not the kindest family. Furthermore, Fanny is hopelessly eclipsed by her cousins, quintessential small-town beauties, and, later in the narrative, by the cosmopolitan Mary Crawford. Given her life at Mansfield Park, it is easy to understand Fanny’s awkwardness. Her sensitive nature feels suffering acutely, and, habituated to lowliness, she becomes easily flustered by attention or praise. Edmund, sensitive to Fanny’s situation, sees past her awkwardness to her good qualities. You should try to do the same. It will give you a way into her character. As to Fanny’s being so morally fussy, well, this is purposeful. Fanny’s character is meant to push some buttons. The story of Mansfield Park is driven primarily by the tension caused between traditional, Christian morality and skeptical,

21

Patience and sympathy reveal the true heroism of MANSFIELD PARK’s Fanny Price. (Frances O’Connor as Fanny in the 1999 film.)

modern, metropolitan mores. Consequently, the story gives rise to the same tension already in the soul of most modern Western readers, including you. Mary Crawford, the story’s antagonist, stands for the pragmatic and cynical modern woman who regards society, marriage, tradition, and the church with an unbelieving eye. Fanny, on the other hand, can see the moral good at stake in both small events (like the gift of a necklace) and large ones (like marriage proposals). Mary is immediately attractive and Fanny is not, yet it is Fanny who Austen wants us to admire. Remember that Edmund observes in Fanny an intuitive, intelligent mind, and a great amount of ‘sense.’ With Edmund’s encouragement, Fanny grows to be not only sensitive and moral but also poetic and philosophic. “If any one faculty of our nature may be called more wonderful than the continued on p. 23

{ T h e C o l l e g e • St. John’s College • Fall 2006 }


22

{Austen}

Anne’s Second Chance by Eva Brann (HA57) Anne Elliot would seem to be the heroine of Persuasion, Jane Austen’s last complete novel. Persuasion is my favorite of the six— that is to say in between the others, since whichever I’m actually reading is my favorite at the time. I love Persuasion best, but I’m not so sure I love its heroine most. There’s a sure-fire test for such preferences: Imagine by whom you’d like to be asked to tea. That would be, for me, Elizabeth Bennet of Pride and Prejudice or Emma Woodhouse of Emma, the former because of the delightfully sparkling way she crosses wickedness with propriety, the latter, because this young person, in her delicious self-confidence, gets everything so cleverly wrong. Anne of Persuasion, on the other hand, has had her spirits damped by disappointment and her demeanor shaped by too often having “scolded back her senses.” She is kind, competent, and useful—universal usefulness being the spinster’s default position— and her nature has been more molded by self-control than by selfexpression. I think she could not help depressing even a sympathetic guest from a later century by her air of grief bravely and silently borne—at least when we first meet her. “When we first meet her:” The year is the summer of 1814; just about the time Jane Austen must have been writing Persuasion. We are told on the first page that Anne was born on August 9, 1787. So she is 27 when the story begins, the oldest by at least seven years of all the heroines and the only one who lives in real time, alongside Jane Austen. Moreover she has a past fitted into real history. In the summer of 1806, just 200 years before my writing this little piece, a young naval officer, Frederick Wentworth, had come into the neighborhood as a result of his promotion after “the action off San Domingo.” Anne had been “an extremely pretty girl,” with gentleness, modesty, taste, and feeling. “She had hardly anybody to love,” for she is afflicted with a pretty awful father and two very unlovable sisters, and her mother had died in 1800 (or 1801). So she falls “rapidly and deeply in love.” No other heroine does that; they take their time, and it isn’t clear that they “fall in love” at all. I think I can prove, and will one day, that Elizabeth, who surely loves Darcy, is not at all in love with him, though he, the proud and inhibited owner of a fine estate, is the most attractive of that gallery, mostly of young clergymen stiff with propriety and rectitude while waffling as lovers, with whom Jane Austen’s girls elect to make their happiness. “A short period of exquisite happiness follows,” but then Anne sends him away, persuaded by the opposition of the well-intentioned but essentially obtuse Lady Russell who had taken a mother’s place in Anne’s esteem. “Lady Russell had little taste for wit,” while Captain Wentworth was brilliant, headstrong, and—“had no fortune.” Lady Russell’s persuasion “was more than gentle Anne could combat,” for it dwelt on duty. Now he is back in Somersetshire, rich with prize money and rising in his profession. We are sure he’ll be an admiral, as two of Jane Austen’s brothers were to be. This Frederick Wentworth is the only active fighting man, the only suitor in the six novels, who is both

spirited and reliably a gentleman; usually the brilliant ones, like Henry Crawford of Mansfield Park, are sadly corruptible. What makes Anne attractive is partly that she can love and be loved by such a man. But there has been a hiatus of eight years, of pique, anger, and successful action for him, of confused, patient, lonely grief for her. Her inconsiderate sister repeats to her that Captain Wentworth, who has himself lost none of his attractiveness, had observed her to be “so altered he should not have known her again.” So begins her second ordeal, in which Wentworth is kept from approaching her, at first by the misconstruals of disappointed pride and eventually by jealousy, as Anne is courted by the heir to the family estate. So too, Anne’s shrinking spirit prevents her from bringing about any mutual clarification until the very end. Of course, were she bolder, she wouldn’t be Anne Elliot, and Persuasion wouldn’t be a fulllength novel, the slow unraveling of the adversities that have kept them apart. But finally all the grief is dissolved and perfect felicity ensues: “It was but a card-party, it was but a mixture of those who had never met before, and those who met too often.” The two having that afternoon declared themselves to each other but not yet to the world, Anne moves through that evening of bliss: “some moments of communication continually occurring, and always the hope of more, and always the knowledge of his being there.” It is, as far as my reading goes, the most perfectly captured moment of the inward bliss of yet unpublished love in literature. There is a coda to this tale which throws light on what Jane Austen meant by it. Her nephew, James Edward Austen-Leigh, reports in A Memoir of Jane Austen that perhaps because of ill-health (she was to die on July 18, 1817, exactly a year from the night he tells of) “she retired to rest in very low spirits.” She thought the chapter of resolution tame and flat. “But such depression was little within her nature,” and the next day, revived in spirits, she canceled the offending chapter and wrote two new ones. If you read both the canceled and the substituted climactic chapters you might at first find them equally lovable in different ways, but then it dawns on you. The new chapter recounts a confidential conversation between Anne and one of Wentworth’s fellow officers which is accidentally overheard by him, and this conversation reveals the deep theme of the novel: women’s and men’s constancy in love, differently constituted, but equally strong in both. For Wentworth, Anne’s gentle insistence on women’s faithfulness is the signal he needs to declare himself. Everyone agrees that Persuasion is somehow deeper and darker than the earlier five. “Darker” doesn’t seem quite right to me— “more feeling-fraught” is better. But this feeling isn’t Anne’s or Frederick’s feeling only; it is—again “somehow”—Jane Austen’s. Not that Persuasion is autobiographical; there is no evidence at all that she nourished an undying love for anyone, and gentleness hardly describes the loving malice of her temper. Nonetheless, she is, somehow, ever-present in Persuasion, her spirit is more palpable in this than in any other of the perfect six, and on second thought, it’s her presence for which I love that book; she’s its heroine. Eva Brann will begin her 50th year at St. John’s next fall.

{ T h e C o l l e g e • St. John’s College • Fall 2006 }


{Austen}

continued from p. 21

With Edmund’s encouragement, Fanny grows to be not only sensitive and moral but also poetic and philosophic.

rest, I do think it is memory,” she exclaims, inspired during a daily walk. “There seems something more speakingly incomprehensible in the powers, the failures, the inequalities of memory, than in any of our intelligences. . . .We are to be sure a miracle every way.” Fanny, among many things, thinks about thinking. She is attentive to the wonders both in nature and in herself. The point is, be sensitive to Fanny. I don’t think Austen intends for us to immediately like her. If she did she wouldn’t have penned as delectable an antagonist as Mary Crawford. Mansfield Park is called her most philosophic novel; perhaps Austen wants to engage us in a philosophic challenge—to learn to see Fanny, and then see what Fanny sees. See what happens if you reconsider Fanny. I remain yours, etc. etc. R.O. Rhonda (Franklin) Ortiz wrote her senior essay on Mansfield Park; she teaches elementary school in Washington, D.C.

Emma, Enlightened by Namara Smith (SF07) The real evils indeed of Emma’s situation were the power of having rather too much her own way and a disposition to think a little too well of herself; these were the disadvantages which threatened alloy to her many enjoyments. —Emma Emma Woodhouse’s “disposition to think a little too well of herself” does not manifest itself in the obvious way, through pride in her beauty. Emma’s delighted initiation of her fickle “projects,” both her artistic endeavors and her matchmaking, reveals that her vanity is satisfied by gazing, not at her physical reflection, but at a world that reflects her wishes. Because her actions are unchecked by her father and her governess, she has almost no outside judgment to make her doubt her own perfection; the only criticism she receives is from Mr. Knightley, “one of the few people who could see faults in Emma Woodhouse, and the only one who ever told her of them.” Mr. Knightley’s moderate rebukes alone are not enough to make Emma see the dangers of her position. Emma’s vanity in her mental image of herself, not her physical image, shows her partially correct self-

23

awareness. Emma is not stubbornly or perversely defying her reason and experience—she is, in fact, uncommonly clever. This half-truth, without the balance of sufficient candor from others is, in part, why she remains unaware of the danger she faces. Perhaps the most disturbing character to Emma is the new bride of Mr. Elton, a woman who is vain, meddlesome, socially manipulative and ridiculous. From the first mention of Augusta Hawkins, some connection between Emma and the future Mrs. Elton is implied. Mr. Elton proposes to Emma, is refused, runs off to Bath, and almost immediately proposes to Miss Hawkins. To Mr. Elton, at least, Emma and Mrs. Elton both possess the qualities that he seeks in a wife: money and social class. Mr. Elton’s airy assumption of their relative equality is Emma’s first worrisome indication that the world does not necessarily share her own rose-colored vision of herself. As a result, Emma feels she must, on some level, criticize his new bride and distinguish herself from her in order to correct his lack of judgment. As readers, we realize that her character and dialogue has been deliberately constructed to echo Emma’s earlier manners. Mrs. Elton’s unblushing assertion that “blessed with so many resources within [herself], the world was not necessary. . .” parodies Emma’s statement: “If I know myself, Harriet, mine is an active, busy mind with a great many independent resources.” Emma’s reaction to Mrs. Elton is the catalyst that forces Emma from her passive self-satisfaction into actively defining her position in the world. When the new Mrs. Elton makes her first appearance in Highbury, Emma almost instantly recognizes in Mrs. Elton the same “evils” that are ascribed to her at the beginning of the novel: “[a] quarter of an hour quite convinced her that Mrs. Elton was a vain woman, extremely well satisfied with herself, and thinking much of her own importance. . .she meant to shine and be very superior . . .Miss Hawkins, it might be fairly supposed, from her easy conceit, had been the best of her own set.” Emma can see the source of Mrs. Elton’s shortcomings although she is blind to the dangers of her own vanity, and she perceives that Mrs. Elton’s “easy conceit” comes from her limited experience of the world. Mrs. Elton uses her social status as the foundation for her extravagant claims to aesthetic taste. The most noticeable

{ T h e C o l l e g e • St. John’s College • Fall 2006 }


24

{Austen}

Emma is not stubbornly or perversely defying her reason and experience—she is, in fact, uncommonly clever.

example of her role as a self-appointed aesthetic judge is her treatment of Jane Fairfax. When Mrs. Elton thrusts herself into the role of Jane Fairfax’s custodian, she presents herself as the only person with the sensibility to recognize and cultivate Jane’s talents in the aesthetic wasteland of Highbury. Speaking to Emma of her resolution to “bring Jane forward,” Mrs. Elton quotes a poetic couplet: “Full many a flower is born to blush unseen, and waste its fragrance on the desert air.” In terms of Jane Fairfax, this attitude is patently false. From Jane’s first appearance, everyone acknowledges her artistic accomplishment and skill. Mrs. Elton uses her association with Jane to enhance her own appearance of aesthetic superiority. These incidents seem insignificant, but they foreshadow Mrs. Elton’s most contemptible action towards Jane—her constant pressure to trap her into the inferior position of a governess. Mrs. Elton’s actions toward Jane show no real appreciation or respect of her artistic excellence. She uses Jane to further her own social status, while attempting to limit Jane from having real social power. Mrs. Elton’s treatment of Jane Fairfax highlights the hypocrisy of Emma’s mentoring of Harriet Smith. Emma does not cultivate Harriet as a social lever, however, but more as a kind of game or project, an example of Emma’s playful disposition leading her astray. Although Emma’s intentions are different from Mrs. Elton’s, the effect is the same. They both harm and improperly influence Harriet and Jane. Emma’s social neglect of Jane is just as damning as her careless influence over Harriet. Jane is left with no arena to develop her talents, no peers, no one to really appreciate her socially. In part, this neglect leaves her vulnerable to Frank’s illicit offer of a secret engagement. Mrs. Elton’s actions lead Emma to realize and regret how she has mistreated Harriet and neglected Jane. Emma’s first interactions with Mrs. Elton represent an important turning point in her character. For the first time, her social position and its related aesthetic values are not enough to distinguish her from someone she feels is her inferior. Emma’s new awareness of the deficiency of social forms is revealed in a disturbing incident right after her first interview with Mrs. Elton—Emma’s only argument with her father. Superficially, this disagreement is about whether Mr. Woodhouse needs to visit Mrs. Elton and pay his respects. However, Emma’s frustration with her father’s inability to see

beyond Mrs. Elton’s social status as a bride reveals her new dissatisfaction with purely social definitions. Correspondingly, she realizes that the near-universal approval and even praise of her that contributed to her vanity is not a complete reflection of her character. She begins to feel the need to move beyond her home and establish an independent position in the world. Mrs. Elton pushes Emma out of passive immersion in her immediate society by reflecting Emma back to herself in an unsettling manner. Emma must now choose between ironic detachment from the world or fully aware, moral participation in society. Miss Smith wrote about Emma for her junior essay in Santa Fe.

Sensible Elinor by Barbara Goyette (A73) What is so striking about Elinor Dashwood, the heroine of Sense and Sensibility, is the way she bears heartsickness. She falls in love with and believes she is loved by an amiable, educated, handsome young man of some prospects, only to discover that he is engaged to another. Upon the death of her father, she and her mother and sisters must leave the small estate of Norland, where they have lived happily for many years. Her beloved sister Marianne falls for the perfidious but charming Willoughby, who not only leaves Marianne without a word of explanation but turns out to have an unsavory past. When Marianne becomes extremely ill, Elinor must nurse her back to health in mind as well as body. Not only does Elinor suffer these misfortunes silently, but she also endures the remonstrances of her mother and sister when they tell her she appears to be unfeeling about everyday trials. The depth of her disappointments and struggles is never revealed. Elinor shows herself to be strong, emotionally sound, capable of excellent judgment, and able to appear to recover her spirits quickly even in the midst of devastating events. She is neither dashing nor exciting, and is pretty in an unremarkable way, except to those who see her true character. Extremely sensitive to the inner lives of those around her, she at times appears to hide from her own goodness.

{ T h e C o l l e g e • John’s College • Fall 2006 }


{Austen}

Her infatuation with Edward Ferrars can seem baffling—is she imagining his charms? Is she expecting less for herself in love because she thinks this is all she deserves? Her highly developed sense of irony almost leads her down dangerous paths a number of times, as she treats her mother, sister, and acquaintances with less than genuine attention because, we may infer, they lack the seriousness of her own concerns. She knows she is superior— morally and in both sense and sensibility—and yet she lives out her life in the background. The work of the novel is to fill in the picture of Elinor’s true character—to herself and to us as readers—her nature as a human being living with a particular set of people in a particular place, at a particular time. Although it might seem that who she is and who she becomes could be the result of the constraints of her

25

The Dashwood sisters are drawn as opposing personalities. (Emma Thompson as Elinor, Kate Winslet as Marianne in Ang Lee’s 1995 film.)

situation (which is drawn in great detail), Austen shows us instead that Elinor determines her own character—outside of, although influenced by, the situations that we are used to thinking of as those that make women like Elinor who they are: birth, rank or status, social connections, education, role in society, income. Early in the novel we are presented with a scene that lays out the various connections between the characters. Mrs. Dashwood, Elinor, Marianne and their younger sister Margaret are newly arrived at Barton Cottage, having been displaced from their home following the unexpected death of Mr. Dashwood. Sir John

{ T h e C o l l e g e • John’s College • Fall 2006 }


26

{Austen}

While Elinor is reserved and sensible, Marianne believes the heart must always show the way.

Middleton, a cousin of Mrs. Dashwood, has offered them the cottage for a very reasonable rent. The women are reconciled to their reduced circumstances, although it is clear that only Elinor understands the kinds of changes they will have to make in their way of life. The charms of the new countryside, as well as the possibility of new acquaintances, have made them fairly cheerful. The Dashwoods have been invited to Barton Park, the home of Sir John and Lady Middleton. Also in attendance are Mrs. Jennings, mother to Lady Middleton, and Colonel Brandon, a neighbor and friend of Sir John. In the scene when all these characters convene for the first time, Austen shows clearly that character is independent of both nature and nurture. There is a kind of merry chaos in which each person contradicts our expectations of what they will be like based on their situation. Sir John Middleton, a member of the traditional gentry, should be stuffy and proud. Instead, he is warm, kindly, generous, and outgoing. His wife Lady Middleton, through her marriage a social equal of her husband, is reserved, cold, and possesses a “common mind.” Her mother, Mrs. Jennings, is decidedly bourgeois, wealthy enough, effusive, more than slightly vulgar. Where does Sir John’s generous nature come from, and why is his wife so affectedly elegant? Neither their situation nor their background accounts for the differences in their characters. Colonel Brandon, situated similarly to Sir John, offers a further contrast—he is moody, intelligent, and concise, more like a member of the clergy than a military man with property. Elinor and Marianne are drawn as opposing personalities as well. While Elinor is reserved and sensible, Marianne believes the heart must always show the way. Both are in a precarious state socially and financially and we might think the accepted route to their happiness and security would lie in good marriages for both. And yet through Elinor, Austen suggests that character development determines happiness. Elinor forms herself rather than allowing her circumstances to make her.

Barbara Goyette is vice president of Advancement in Annapolis.

Artless Catherine by Tilar J. Mazzeo (SF93)

As Jane Austen warns her readers at the beginning of Northanger Abbey, Catherine Moreland is an unlikely heroine, and, when it comes to tributes to Austen’s women, Catherine can be a bit of a hard sell. She lacks the wit and charm of Elizabeth Bennet. She can’t boast the self-possession of Elinor Dashwood. Even the meddlesome Emma Woodhouse has the advantage of being genuinely clever. Perhaps most fundamentally, Catherine falls in love with a man who is primarily attracted to her intellectual limitations and to her good-natured eagerness to be guided by the superior knowledge of others without developing any of her own. Henry Tilney is an enthusiastic lecturer of young women, and Austen reminds her readers that nothing is more flattering to the vanity than the wide-eyed wonder of one’s interlocutor, writing that “Where people wish to attach, they should always be ignorant.” Ironically, however, the nature of Catherine’s ignorance is what makes her such an interesting and ultimately likeable character— not, I hope, because she flatters my vanity as a reader, but because it seems to me that the exploration of her ignorance over the course of the novel is part and parcel of Austen’s larger themes about artlessness and the art of the novel in Northanger Abbey. Of course, Northanger Abbey is a novel about the status of the genre, part satire on the excesses of the gothic variety so popular in the early 19th century and part defense of the novel as a “work in which the greatest powers of the human mind are displayed.” The satire on the gothic is what most readers remember about Northanger Abbey, and Catherine’s introduction to the genre, coinciding with her introduction into fashionable society, is a comic misadventure in which she learns to over-interpret the incidents of domestic life, imagining melodrama where it does not exist. In fact, it seems that an education in the aesthetics of the gothic novel is simultaneously a process of learning to read for figurative and double meanings. Catherine’s interpretive zeal, however, ends unhappily when she comes to a mistaken conclusion. Embarrassed and conscious of her own error, she ends by rejecting the genre and recognizing the unfortunate “influence of that sort of reading.”

{ T h e C o l l e g e • St. John’s College • Fall 2006 }


{Austen}

If Catherine’s newfound understanding of gothic novels and the dangers of interpretation were simply part of her education as an increasingly sophisticated reader, then we might say that she was a slow study but on her way. Instead, she returns to what appears to be her natural state of ignorance, a state in which she demonstrates an inability to recognize irony or to negotiate the ways in which language creates duplicity. Perhaps the most telling moment occurs late in the novel, when it is precisely Catherine’s inability to understand this duplicity that most endears her to Eleanor and Henry Tilney. Faced with the prospect of his brother’s marriage to the deceitful Isabella Thorpe, Henry sarcastically advises Eleanor, “Prepare for. . .such a sister-in-law as you must delight in!—Open, candid, artless, guileless. . .forming no pretensions, and knowing no disguise.” Eleanor immediately grasps the irony, assuring Henry that such a sister-in-law as that she would welcome—for the characterization describes Catherine precisely. Only Catherine fails to understand the wit or to recognize herself as the half-subject of the exchange. Catherine’s interpretive simplicity and literal-mindedness, if those phrases work to describe her ignorance and intellectual limitations more precisely, lend some of the humor to this passage, of course. But what I find most curious is the description of Catherine, here and throughout the novel, as artless. From the earliest moments of the novel, readers are assured of her limited accomplishments: “she could not write sonnets. . .there seemed no chance of her

Wit and Wisdom from Jane Austen On Good Company Anne smiled and said, “My idea of good company, Mr Elliot, is the company of clever, well-informed people, who have a great deal of conversation; that is what I call good company.” “You are mistaken,” said he gently, “that is not good company; that is the best.”—Persuasion On Candor Seldom, very seldom, does complete truth belong to any human disclosure; seldom can it happen that something is not a little disguised, or a little mistaken.—Emma On One’s Self “We have all a better guide in ourselves, if we would attend to it, than any other person can be.”—Fanny Price, Mansfield Park

27

throwing a whole party into raptures by a prelude on the pianoforte. . . .she had no notion of drawing”. Her interest in fashion is remarkably lackluster, and her tastes in reading are limited to the gothic novel, with which she shortly becomes disenchanted. At the same time, she remains singularly innocent of irony. Catherine is, in other words, artless in at least two respects—she is both ignorant of aesthetics and inexperienced at manipulating representation. She is incapable of either engaging in or understanding duplicity. Yet, understanding duplicity is essential both to irony and to the sort of fiction that Northanger Abbey—this novel about novels— celebrates. Early in Northanger, in fact, “effusions of wit” are identified as a central to the genre. What we have here is a witless and artless heroine, and the choice is perhaps one of Austen’s most striking experiments in and, ultimately, satires on realism. After all, Catherine is precisely the sort of girl most likely to appeal to a slightly vain and entirely ordinary country clergyman. In the context of a romance, she might just pass as a heroine, for, if she is unlikely, she is not unlikable. But, while not understanding duplicity might be an admirable thing in a 19th-century heroine, the art of the novel and the art of the reader demand something more.

Tilar Mazzeo is assistant professor of English at Colby College.

On Men and Books “Men have had every advantage of us in telling their own story. Education has been theirs in so much higher a degree; the pen has been in their hands. I will not allow books to prove any thing.”—Anne Elliot, Persuasion On Women and Marriage Without thinking highly either of men or of matrimony, marriage had always been her object; it was the only honourable provision for well-educated young women of small fortune, and however uncertain of giving happiness, must be their pleasantest preservative from want.—Pride and Prejudice On Youth “. . .there is something so amiable in the prejudices of a young mind, that one is sorry to see them give way to the reception of more general opinions.”—Colonel Brandon, Sense and Sensibility

{ T h e C o l l e g e • St. John’s College • Fall 2006 }


28

The past few months have brought a wide variety of alumni books to The College mailbox, on topics from religion to baseball.

The Grail Code: Quest for the Real Presence by Mike Aquilina and Christopher Bailey (A87) Loyola Press

The authors trace Holy Grail stories and legends throughout time with the aim of showing how these accounts have radically skewed the Eucharistic meaning of the Grail. “Powerful forces tend to pull the story of the Grail toward heresy,” Aquilina and Bailey write in this study that includes consideration of the King Arthur legends, Marie de France’s stories of love and magic written in the Middle Ages, and even Hollywood’s take on Christian symbolism and the Grail in films such as Indiana Jones. They dismiss many Grail stories, particularly modern ones such as Dan Brown’s Da Vinci Code, as written by members “of the wacky fringe.” In the authors’ opinions, the search for the Grail becomes a quest for adventure and entertainment in these stories instead of an experience fueled by the purpose of changing the seeker’s life in a deep, spiritual sense.

The Truth is Out There: Christian Faith and the Classics of TV Science Fiction by Thomas Bertonneau and Kim Paffenroth (A88) Brazos Press Star Trek fans out there will enjoy seeing how some of their favorite episodes of the 1960s science fiction classic relate to Plato, the Bible, and St. Augustine. Professors Thomas Bertonneau and Kim Paffenroth look to science fiction as a lens that shows how religion and science can be integrated. They cite Plato’s dialogue Timaeus as possibly the “first science fiction story” that discusses the idea that the world was created by a god who is rational and moral.

{Bibliofile}

The authors then analyze science fiction television shows such as Star Trek, Dr. Who, The Prisoner, and The Twilight Zone. Star Trek, the authors propose, can be considered a showcase for Christian virtues such as humility and moderation. The trio of Kirk, Spock, and the crotchety McCoy function as a whole being, drawing analogies to Plato’s views of the triumvirate soul. “Star Trek’s consistent vision seems to be about morality,” they write. The authors also show how The Twilight Zone illustrates the impact of original sin. The more recent series, The X Files, is cast in a darker religious light—that of the apocalypse.

Cooking with the Bible: Biblical Food, Feasts, and Lore Anthony F. Chiffolo (AGI94) and Rayner W. Hesse, Jr. Greenwood Press Food, history, and religion simmer together in this cookbook by Chiffolo, an editorial director and Hesse, a minister. The authors spent more than three years researching and testing recipes for what they describe as an interfaith cookbook that is as much a study of etymology as it is a collection of recipes. Each recipe is based on a food found in the Bible, but presented in its modern day “translation.” For instance, the apple in the Garden of Eden is probably more like an apricot since the Middle Eastern climate wasn’t conducive to growing apples. Each chapter begins with the menu for a biblical feast. More intellectual than the average cookbook, Cooking with the Bible offers short essays describing the theological, historical, and cultural significance of particular feasts. “The King James Bible says that St. John the Baptist survived on locusts and honey,” Chiffolo recently told The Journal News of New York. “Current scholars say that this is a mistranslation—‘locust’ really refers to karib, which grows on trees in the Middle East. In the Middle East, karib is referred to as St. John’s Bread.” Among the meals Johnnies might recog{ T h e C o l l e g e • St. John’s College • Fall 2006 }

nize from sophomore seminar: The Wedding Feast at Cana from the Gospel of John, the meal that Abraham feeds the three angel visitors in Genesis, and the meal that Jacob feeds Esau to steal the birthright.

Management by Baseball: The Official Rules for Winning Management in Any Field Jeff Angus (SF73) HarperCollins Publishers What can the manager of a struggling business learn from Yankees manager Joe Torres? When does a player in a slump (an underachieving employee) need extra coaching, and when should he be sent back to the minors or cut from the team? Jeff Angus describes the complexity of the organization in baseball, using America’s favorite past-time as an analogy for managers in other fields. “It’s a pragmatic, how-to book that aims to teach management practice through examples from the most open, accountable, and documented competitive system in the U.S.: baseball,” says Angus. “Baseball managers are ideal role models for mangers in other professions who are required to handle many different tasks under high-pressure situations,” writes Angus. He quotes the famous Ty Cobb, “A fellow bossing a big league ballclub is busier than a one-armed paperhanger with hives.” Angus, who is a management consultant and baseball writer with a passion for the game, shows how baseball can help managers “explode out of the batter’s box” and learn how “the New York Mets confront the diseconomies of scale.” Angus pitches advice on how to establish a reputation in the style of Dick Williams (former manager of the Oakland A’s) and describes the management style of several other top managers of the game. x


{Homecoming}

HOMECOMING 2006 Santa Fe Alumni Remember Nixon, the Draft, and a Growing Campus

I

t was an interesting but unsettled time in America when members of the St. John’s College Class of 1976 arrived in Santa Fe. Most college campuses were still in an uproar over the Vietnam War. The draft would be in effect for another year. The Paris Peace Accords had just been signed. And in each freshman mailbox was a letter from President Richard Nixon, congratulating the students for matriculating as members of the Class of 1976, America’s bicentennial year. “We thought it was kind of sappy,” recalls Rick Lightburn. “It was the 1970s, a kind of a turbulent time, and I think we thought of ourselves as kind of renegades,” says Chuck Gunter of the class of 1976. “Watergate happened, the Vietnam War ended during our years here, and Nixon resigned.” Clouds and the threat of rain in mostly sunny Santa Fe couldn’t dampen the high spirits of the 15 members of the class of 1976 who returned to campus the last weekend of July. About 100 other alumni, many with children in tow, came back to share memories and news with classmates. At the Friday night coffee shop party, the D.J.

It was a turbulent time in America when the Class of 1976 first arrived on the Santa Fe campus. The threat of storms moved the picnic inside, but didn’t dampen spirits at Homecoming 2006.

{ T h e C o l l e g e • St. John’s College • Fall 2006 }

29


30

played the Rolling Stones’ “Brown Sugar,” Aretha Franklin’s “Respect,” and several Doors songs as a tribute to the 1970s. In 1972, Richard Weigle was president; William Darkey was dean. And tutor Bob Neidorf allowed his hair to grow longer in a personal protest against the state of the country, recalled Gunter. “Santa Fe was a really different city,” added Gunter, who lives in Albuquerque now. “It was much smaller, and it had become this really interesting hippie arts community.” The campus was still new, with buildings going up around them. There was no Meem Library, no Student Activities Center. The main administration building became Weigle Hall and the tower and bell were added. Lightburn recalled that members of his class were impressed by an attempt the year before by upperclassmen to bug the faculty enabling meeting. “We put fake TV cameras in for our enabling, but the faculty found them,” he says. Paula Fulks, Judy Kistler-Robinson, and Miriam Marcus Smith were trying to drum up interest in reviving a favorite pastime during their years at the college: a game of “Murder,” played on Friday and Saturday nights in Evans Science Laboratory. “We’d scatter out through the whole building,” Fulks recalls. “When you ran across a ‘victim,’ you’d have to figure out who killed them and get back to the safe room before the murderer got you. I almost won a couple of times.” During the weekend, alumni were part of a gala opening celebration Friday night for The Campaign for St. John’s College. They were pleased to see the developments on campus, even if it meant skirting

{Homecoming}

barriers and taking detours while a project to replace the concrete pavement with bricks was underway. “It’s really nice to see all the improvements,” Gunter said. During the All-Alumni Meeting, President Mike Peters gave an update on news at the college. Alumni stood and clapped to acknowledge a gift by Dr. Norman Levan (SFGI74), given for construction of a new Graduate Institute Center. And Katharine (Kay) Harper became an honorary member

{ T h e C o l l e g e • St. John’s College • Fall 2006 }

Santa Fe associate director of alumni activities Michael Bales (SF06) gets hints on chair balancing from Rick Lightburn (SF76). “It’s really tough on the Coffee Shop floor,” Lightburn says.

of the Class of 2006, by virtue of her dedication to the college’s Community Seminar program. Ms. Harper has spent more than 25 years attending seminars at the college (more on page 46). x


31

{Homecoming}

Clockwise from top left: Alumni visit in the coffee shop after the Saturday picnic; Rebekka Shugars (SF) and friends; Bill Malloy (SF77) admires future Johnnie Clare West, with parents Alison Bentley West (SF91) and Ben West. Gina Ironside and Charles Harrison (SF81) catch up on news; Johnnie kids strike a pose on the Meem Library Placita: Alice Acciani, Ben Goldstein, Teodore Davison, John Stukenberg, Caleb Gartner-Colon, and Nicholas Miller. photos by teri thomson randall

{ T h e C o l l e g e • St. John’s College • Fall 2006 }


32

{Alumni Profile}

Broad Thinking in the ER Marcus Eubanks (A88) Solves a Medical Mystery

by Ruth Johnston (A85)

patients with acute mental n average day for illness, both children and adults, Marcus Eubanks as well as dealing with all levels (A88), always of injury and disease. Some intersects with patients come in too readily, unusual days for while others wait too long. other people. “There’s always the guy who In the emergency department at waits till the football game is over Beaver Medical Center, in before coming in. His heart Beaver, Penn., Eubanks sees attack started with the pre-game everything from mosquito bites show, but he had to watch the to acute infections to accident game.” He sees women in labor, trauma. But October 28, 2003, premature babies, and people in was an unusual day even for this the last stages of death from experienced ER doctor. long-term metastatic cancer. A man with very severe flu One thing he loves about symptoms had elevated liver emergency medicine is the need enzymes, and Eubanks realized to think broadly, to avoid that he was dealing with the sixth formulaic thinking. “Medicine in Hepatitis A victim in one week. general requires you to integrate He had treated several in the past a lot of different things. You need days, and a colleague had treated to be okay with people in another. One Hepatitis A case general, you need to understand would not be news, but even two the hard empirical science of or three were odd. Six seemed what’s going on, but you need to beyond coincidence, and this Emergency Room physician Marcus Eubanks identified a deadly be able to think broadly so that hunch was confirmed when the hepatitis outbreak in suburban Pittsburgh. when something out of the wife of one of the patients, a ordinary crops up, you can think nurse, said that they had all eaten “how does this work?” together at the same restaurant. and he has served on several public-health That’s one similarity he sees between his Could it be food poisoning? That might panels to discuss his experience. field and St. John’s. “By going through the mean that the source of the poisoning was Eubanks likes “high-acuity medicine,” St. John’s Program, you see how several still out there, or that more patients were and always knew he wanted to be on the different fields or disciplines of study can be unaware of the danger, and thought they just front lines, where fast action mattered. High brought to bear on a question. But, of had the flu. Eubanks didn’t want to set off a acuity medicine means facing “a dynamic course, a lot of ER medicine is simple, public panic, but this was too urgent to condition where aggressive and intensive empirical stuff. You have a sore throat: how ignore or allow to idle longer. intervention on the part of the clinical team am I going to treat you? What Pascal has to A quick call to public health officials set in is called for, and without which the patient say about it isn’t going to be as important.” motion a sweeping investigation into what will continue to deteriorate and probably Not taking himself too seriously is an turned out to be one of the largest hepatitis either die or suffer some kind of catastrophic important part of Eubanks’ personal outbreaks in recent times. Federal insult from which they can’t recover.” philosophy, as well as medical practice. anti-terrorism officials had to evaluate the As a student at St. John’s, he began taking On a recent day, a woman came in with pain possibility that it might be bioterrorism, summer courses to prepare for medical in her side. She thought she had appenwhile the medical team had to find other school, first at Johns Hopkins, then at Bryn dicitis, but it looked like diverticulitis to possible victims for pre-emptive treatment. Mawr College. When he first began studies him. “I thought, ‘okay, let’s see who’s Three Beaver County patients died, while at Temple University Medical School, he right,’ ” he jokes. “Guess what? I was hundreds were infected and required thought he might like to go into trauma wrong.” In acute medicine, that’s always a treatment. The victims had all eaten at a surgery. Instead, he chose emergency possibility to keep in mind. local Chi-Chi’s, and the search for the exact medicine because it combined the urgency As a medical student, Eubanks used contaminant eventually led investigators to of trauma surgery with the need to be creative writing to deal with his adjustment four Mexican farms to examine their prepared for a wide variety of problems. to a world where personal tragedy and an methods of washing green onions. In an average week in his emergency ordinary work day could routinely intersect. The outbreak put Eubanks in the spotlight, department, Eubanks evaluates several

A

{ T h e C o l l e g e • St. John’s College • Fall 2006 }


33

{Alumni Notes}

1940

1944

OSCAR LORD’S eldest son, Gen. Lance Welty Lord, retired from active duty as commander of the Air Force Space Command on March 31, 2006.

Happy news from JOHN DAVIS HILL: “I have been married to Dorothy Murdock for 60 years. Recently Dorothy was recognized at the Annual Meeting of the Nebraska Congregational United Church of Christ for 65 years in the ministry. She received her degree from the University of Chicago Divinity School and the Chicago Theological Seminary, where she was ordained in June 1941.”

1943 MILTON PERLMAN writes, “I am delighted that Ms. Patricia Locke is doing a study of Proust and that Swann’s Way is again being studied in language tutorials the senior year.”

1951

College for helping us to discover, and recognize, the worth of liberal education. Although most of us would probably hesitate to call ourselves liberal artists, my guess is that most of us attempted to be something like liberal artisans—in our further education, personal lives, and professional pursuits, tacitly taking the measure of things by standards we learned from our tutors and one another. In a culture in which, all too often, education is conflated with training, philosophy is

confused with ideology, and religion is confounded with idolatry, liberal artisanship is surely, indeed, sorely, needed. I am grateful for the libris libraque.”

1952 WALTER SCHATZBERG has retired from his position as Professor of German at Clark

continued on p. 34

Enchanted by China A. NADOL (class of 1957) writes that he and Polly just returned from a three-week tour of China and Japan. “It was great to experience the ancient Great Wall, Forbidden City, temples, tombs, palaces, and the modern China with all its free enterprises, business, and construction boom,” he writes. He was also impressed that all high school students and above speak English. x

J

ACK

A love letter of sorts from ERNIE HANKAMER: “To my fellow classmates: On the eve of the 55th return of our graduation in 1951, I think we are all aware of being indebted to St. John’s

After the death of a patient in a particularly gruesome accident, he wrote an e-mail to his parents that detailed both the event and his viewpoint as one of the doctors who had to remain business-like and detached. His father encouraged him to publish it, so, on a lark, he submitted it to Jason Snell, editor of InterText, one of the first professionally edited online fiction venues. Snell published Eubanks’ e-mail, now titled “Mr. McKenna is Dying,” and wanted to see more. InterText eventually published five short stories, giving Marcus his fifteen minutes of fame in cyberspace, as well as motivation to create his own site for unpublished writing, www.riotcentral.com. But continuing to use his sharp, witty voice to explore the world of medicine might now clash with his career. As a student, he didn’t feel he had much at stake, but as a responsible doctor in a small community, Eubanks would need to take careful, perhaps even extravagantly careful, steps to remain anonymous. “The really tragic, funny patients aren’t likely to read the stories,” but he would have to try to protect their privacy, as well as his. Although he grew up in the rural outskirts of Pittsburgh, Eubanks prefers to live in the city neighborhood of Oakland. He and his

wife, Rochelle, a critical care nurse, bought a “bombed-out frat house” that required extensive reconstruction. It’s close to friends and activities, and it’s not far from Seton Hill University, where daughter Laurin, 19, attends. Thierry, a baby girl born in July, joins Robert, 10, in the family that remains at home. Eubanks’ 40-mile commute takes him right past the well-known teaching hospitals, but he’s not seriously tempted. Beaver Medical Center is a typical small-town hospital, but its emergency department sees fifty thousands patients a year, and Eubanks loves the work environment. He sees some patients frequently enough to get to know them, and finds he has to use all his people skills to view them simultaneously as individuals and as medical cases. A patient with a mysterious problem might need to hear a doctor admit that in spite of all the tests he can run, “I just don’t know what’s wrong with you.” A worried mother who brings a child with an ordinary cold probably just needs reassurance. Eubanks gladly tells her what a great job she’s doing, and to keep up the good work. He sees a lot of children, like a little boy who ran into a pole at the playground and came in with a large cut above his eye. { T h e C o l l e g e • St. John’s College • Fall 2006 }

Emergency room abuses, such as patients showing up just to get prescription Tylenol that is covered by insurance, rather than buying it over the counter, can leave many doctors with a cynical attitude. “Sure, we get cynical, even sarcastic at times,” says Eubanks. “But in the emergency room, each individual presentation, taken by itself, is actually very interesting. Take the little kid with the eyebrow laceration: I was looking at the exposed bone, nerve, bridging vessels that I had to preserve. I needed some deep sutures to take tension off the wound. . . .I can make it sound very complicated but it’s actually not. I love what I do. Most of the time, it’s a lot of fun.” The new focus on privacy laws hasn’t changed much in the emergency room, and Eubanks comments that recent attention to virulent strains of bacteria isn’t news in his field, either. But there’s another trend he likes. “Increasingly, in emergency medicine, there’s a push toward making people leave happy.” Eubanks’ cheerful personality validates this approach, though some doctors worry that it means catering to patients too much. “Across a large population, leaving happy means quality of care. It probably means better medical practices, too.” x


34

{Alumni Notes}

continued University (Worcester, Mass.) after 40 years of service. He earned his Ph.D. from the Johns Hopkins University in 1966. At Clark he chaired the Department of Foreign Languages for 10 years and was director of Clark’s Program in Luxembourg for 12 years. He is the author of several books and articles in the field of German Studies including the relations of literature and science in the German Enlightenment, the Jewish response to German culture, and films in the Weimar Republic.

1953 FRANK ATWELL and TOM HEINEMAN are regulars at Miami’s seminars (Kierkegaard was the latest book; next year, Einstein), and they invite other Class of 1953 veterans in South Florida to join them.

1955 HAROLD BAUER’S Songs of War and Death for tenor, mezzo, and orchestra were performed by the Norfolk University Symphony Orchestra in March. Harold directs the opera program at Norfolk. He conducted a concert

during Northwestern University’s Harmonic Convergence festival. And he’s painting like crazy. “Nothing like a calm retirement,” he writes. “Our class had its 50th reunion in September,” writes CAROLYN BANKS LEEUWENBURGH. “It was the nicest reunion I’ve been to in 50 years. Those who lent their talents were really at their best. The food and camaraderie were memorable for the next 50 years. Thanks!”

1956 GEORGE E. SAUER has been elected treasurer of the Republican Central Committee of Montgomery County, Maryland.

1959 JOHN E. MCDEVITT III is a great-grandfather. “My grandson’s wife gave birth to Richard in April. And I continue to fill in at the junior college; taught meteorology when the full-time instructor was ill for six weeks and then astronomy when an adjunct quit with no notice.” MICHAEL K. and BLAKELY L. MECHAU (class of 1958) are looking forward to visits from

Pretty Much Retired

I

am pretty much retired and doing some traveling,” writes JOHN POUNDSTONE, class of 1962. “My oldest daughter is in Beijing, China, working for the World Health Organization as an AIDS epidemiologist. We hope to visit her this fall. My youngest daughter lives in New York City and is an artist/designer, having graduated from the Parsons School of Design. I am remodeling the house I grew up in here in Lexington, Ky., and hope to move in some time this fall. Meanwhile, we’ve got a trip to Lisbon, Athens, and Santorini to participate in a paleopathology conference.” x

SAM and EMILY KUTLER (class of 1954 and 1955), EVA BRANN (HA89), MIKE (class of 1961) and RENE GOLD, HERMINA LITTLETON, widow of the late MICHAEL LITTLETON (A95), and DAN (A93) and LIZ LITTLETON this summer—“all connected by strong ties to St. John’s.”

1962 DAVID W. BENFIELD is enjoying teaching philosophy at Mountain State University in New Jersey. “To 1962 classmates: I say the 45th reunion in 2007 is a big one! Let’s all try to make it!”

1967 LOVEJOY DURYEA was selected as the honoree for the International Interior Design Association National Leadership Breakfast in New York in April. In May, she served on a panel for NIDA, and she led the New York St. John’s seminar on Rembrandt’s self-portrait with KATARINA WONG (A88). She was also elected as the Gold Medalist for Design from the National Arts Club in 2003. HELEN HOBART has a “new direction, which amplifies the essential habit of curiosity and listening deeply begun at SJC. I’m now an interfaith/Buddhist chaplain resident at a large hospital and acute psychiatric center in Sacramento—every day is a blessing.”

1968 TOM KEENS (SF), a professor of Pediatrics, Physiology, and Biophysics at the Keck School of

{ T h e C o l l e g e • St. John’s College • Fall 2006 }

Medicine at the University of Southern California, has been elected chair of the Pediatric Pulmonology Subboard of the American Board of Pediatrics, 2007-08.

GEORGE W. PARTLOW (A) is back in Alaska for the summer after wintering in Yuma, Ariz. “I took part in a seminar on Plato’s Apology sponsored by the new Phoenix alumni chapter in early April. Enjoyed seeing MARIAN (CUNNINGHAM) COHEN (A69) again, and meeting tutor Louis Kurs’ daughter Jean. Our oldest daughter Erika, currently a student at Western Oregon University, will be moving back to Alaska with our five grandkids in August. Daughter Hilary has just returned after seven months in South America (including the obligatory trek to Machu Picchu). Michael is a senior at the University of Oregon in Eugene. I am busy doing Tai Chi, reading Don Quixote, and being a householder . . . and glad to be home with my Steinway again!”

1969 MARIELLE HAMMETT KRONBERG (A) writes: “Our son MAX KRONBERG (‘our’ being mine and Ken’s and Ken being KENNETH KRONBERG, SF68) graduated from St. John’s in Annapolis on May 14, 2006— loving the college as much as Ken and I did and do. We had a wonderful time at Commencement, seeing SAM and EMILY KUTLER, ELLIOTT ZUCKERMAN (HA95), and EVA BRANN—whom Max had the great good fortune to have as his freshman seminar leader. Best of all was seeing Max in cap and gown and bachelor’s hood!”


35

{Alumni Notes}

a new job in the same field with El Paso Corp. He and his family still live near Houston.

Taking a Break

W

ENDY MCDONALD FLORENCE (SF89) is now

living in Tucson, Ariz., with her husband, two daughters—Kennedy who is 3 years old and Addison who is 5 months old—and a dog, Marley. “I’ve taken a hiatus from my practice of internal medicine to enjoy the girls in these early years,” she says. “I will return to medicine someday but I appreciate each day now for what they bring through giggles, discovery, and occasional tears. I’d love to hear from other alumni in the area. x

BETH KUPER (SF) has just opened an online digital d ownload music store at: www.burnlounge.com/ goodmojomusic and invites Johnnies to take a look for their favorite tunes. Hazel & the Delta Ramblers, the New Orleans band that includes Larry and HAZEL SCHLUETER (A) and grandsons Grey and Kaden performed at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. It marked Hazel’s 30th time performing at the festival, and Grey’s seventh. Hazel writes: “We stayed in our home in New Orleans during Katrina. At the height of the storm our phone rang constantly. Among all the offers of help was a call from St. John’s College, offering a place to stay. Thank you. Everyone I tell this story to is amazed at our college. Thank you. We are home repairing, repainting, and playing bluegrass around our city and state with Hazel and the Delta Ramblers.”

eight books since I graduated from St. John’s, so many, and so few, years ago. This summer I had the opportunity to put in quality research time as a visiting scholar at the Hagley Museum in Wilmington, Del., deepening a long-term project on industrial and managerial development in the first half of America’s 20th century. Wherever I go, everything I learned at St. John’s—the environment, the gifted tutors, and fellow students I acquired it from—follows me and nourishes me. Sounds idealistic, I guess, but it’s meant as altogether realistic. As Milton wrote: “But let my due feet never fail, /To walk the studious Cloysters pale, /And love the high embowed Roof, /With antick Pillars massy proof.”

STEVE HANFT (SF) writes that his son will be headed to Pomona College in the fall. “Couldn’t interest him in St. John’s,” he writes. “My wife, Ruth, gardens, arranges flowers, paints, volunteers for community service. I’m sitting on the sofa, reading.”

1970 JOHN DEAN (A) sends news and poetry: “Life goes well. Following my years at the University of Strasbourg, I’m now at the University of Versailles—tenured professor in Cultural History. I’ve written

1973 WILLIAM M. BLOUNT (SF) took retirement from ExxonMobil after 21 years of service as a petroleum geologist and started

Another alum in the Callahan family: LAURIE FRANKLIN CALLAHAN (SF) writes that her daughter, ERIN CALLAHAN (A06), graduated from St. John’s in Annapolis in May and began law school at The George Washington University in the fall. “I know her Johnnie background will serve her well!” she writes. Chicago film critic JAN LISA HUTTNER (A) recently earned her second consecutive Silver Feather Award from the Illinois Woman’s Press Association, for writing the most award-winning articles in IWPA’s annual Mate E. Palmer Communications Contest. Seven of Huttner’s nine awards were for articles dealing with Jewish themes, and her two first-prize winners were both about Israel: “Israeli Films: Coming Soon to a Theatre Near You!” analyzed which Israeli films get picked up by American distributors; and “ ‘Israel Rocks!’ Celebrates Diversity” reviewed a documentary thatwhich explores ethnic and political conflicts in the context of Israel’s music scene. Although the second intifada crushed the fragile hopes nourished by Oslo, Israeli filmmakers were energized,” says Huttner. “They’ve been catapulted to a whole new level of artistic accomplishment.”

1974 MARY GEOGHEGAN JOLLES (SF) is completing her ninth year as principal of Colebrook Elementary School (K-8). Recently she visited her older son Phil (29) in Carbondale, Colo. He and his wife have an eight-month-old, my grandson Owen David Wolf Jolles. “Last fall my husband and I decided to

{ T h e C o l l e g e • St. John’s College • Fall 2006 }

become foster parents to a 15year-old boy, Todd, who was in desperate need of a home,” she writes. “Our other two children, Diana (26) and Karl (24) are busy—Diana is in a doctoral program in biology at Ohio State University, and Karl is a roofer in southern New Hampshire.”

ERIC (SF) and LISA (GINSBERG) ROSENBLUM (A80) have professional and family news: In November 2005 Lisa started a job as library director for the City of Hayward, Calif. Eric and Lisa’s daughter, Anna, will graduate in June from Harvard College with a degree in Classical Archaeology, while son Sam will enter the University of California-Santa Barbara as a freshman in the fall. PAUL SZABO (A) has been recognized as one of the top intellectual property lawyers in the country in the 2006 Chambers USA Guide, a legal resource used by general counsel and other purchasers of legal services. A partner in the Cleveland firm of Calfee, Halter & Griswold, Paul counsels publicly and privatelyheld clients regarding issues such as patents and copyrights .

1976 CHRISTIAN BURKS (SF) has been in Toronto for four-and-a-half years. His wife, Janet Moody, is now working at Creative Niche, recruiting creative/design staff. One of their daughters starts a new job teaching sixth graders in San Diego in August, while the other starts law school at the University of Washington in Seattle. “After 20 years of teaching college composition, literature, and related liberal arts classes, I

continued on p. 37


36

{Alumni Profile}

Following in Familiar Footsteps Kevin Ross (AGI97), President of Lynn University

by Patricia Dempsey

K

evin Ross (AGI97), who grew up on campus at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Fla., thrived on the lively conversations of his parents, academic leaders, and intellectuals, as well as “more college food than anyone I know.” On July 1, he became the fifth president of Lynn University, and at age 40, one of the youngest college presidents in the country. Ross follows the footsteps of his father Donald Ross, the former president of Lynn. Over his 35-year tenure, the elder Ross piloted the gradual transformation of Lynn University into a four-year liberal arts institution with an accredited master’s and doctoral programs. In 1971 as president of Wilmington College in Delaware, the elder Ross visited Marymount College and convinced Wilmington trustees to aid the struggling junior college; this institution evolved into the College of Boca Raton and finally Lynn University. Kevin Ross (AGI97) hopes to lead Lynn University Before taking the helm at Lynn, to great things. Ross says he wanted to get his “feet wet in education without any help from my family.” After earning his make-it-happen type of leader,” says Ross. bachelor’s degree in English at Colgate “I’m more pragmatic.” Ross uses this University, Ross embarked on a career in approach to build on his father’s accomeducation administration. He gained experience in admissions and development plishments as president. He seeks to foster the strong sense of community at Lynn, as at the Hill School in Pottstown, Penn. He much an asset to the university as its returned to Lynn in 1999 as dean of Lynn’s programs in music, aeronautics, and communications school and later became international studies. “Lynn has this family chief operating officer. Along the way, he enrolled at St. John’s, at the suggestion of a feel, and it is something that was very Hill School colleague who had attended the purposeful from the outset,” says Ross. “This is something that my father strongly GI and knew of Ross’ interest in the liberal valued, and I do too. We want to be one of arts. Later, Ross earned a doctoral degree the most innovative, international, and in education from Peabody College of individualized small universities in Vanderbilt University. America.” Though they are both passionate about Ross is a consensus builder. While Lynn University, Ross and his father share developing the university’s strategic plan, different leadership styles. “He is he sent a draft and a red pen to staff, absolutely a visionary, damn-thefaculty, and students, asking for feedback. torpedoes, kick-the-doors open, let’s { T h e C o l l e g e • St. John’s College • Fall 2006 }

“As the president I throw ideas out there, and we have a conversation. In fact, the educational approach of St. John’s has informed much of what I do. Consensus doesn’t mean that we’re all going to agree, but I would prefer to have an argument in the right sense, to see if an idea will stand the test of time. It should be able to be beat up a little bit, and critically picked apart.” Ross says his studies in the GI represent “the most profound educational experience of my life.” He’s even considering how Lynn University’s distance learning programs—seemingly incompatible with a discussion-based approach— could benefit from the St. John’s model. “What led me to my interest in instructional technology were the fundamentals that came from St. John’s—the liberal arts curriculum and the idea of continuing a conversation. In the past, it always struck me that you’d walk into a classroom, flick the lights on, say, ‘Okay, its time to learn,’ then you’d turn the lights off and say, ‘Okay, go read on your own and come back later.’ It made me think about the conversations we had here at St. John’s. I didn’t want seminar to end at 10 p.m. when I was at the Graduate Institute.” Ross hopes to reach the goals of his strategic plan in 10 years, instead of the planned 15. One of his priorities is to travel the country to garner support of alumni to increase the university’s endowment. “None of our challenges are insurmountable,” he says. “Sometimes a large endowment can be an excuse for poor management because you can rest on your laurels. There is a scrappiness about Lynn and this real nimbleness, which is one of our great strengths.” Amidst all the pressures of his new position Ross says he hopes to make time for St. John’s. “If I have a sabbatical the first thing I’ll do is go to Santa Fe and do the master’s in Eastern Classics. I’d go in a heartbeat.” x


37

{Alumni Notes}

am working as a psychotherapist in Phoenix,” writes IDELL KESSELMAN (SFGI) “Here, I can keep an eye on my parents—and my 27-year-old daughter. Active in my synagogue, I look forward to nurturing my own continuing love of giving.”

start-up company making clip art. So far, the sites include faithclipart.com, christmastimeclipart.com, babytidings.com, and weddingclipart.com. She writes, “In my spare time I’m singing with the Siskiyou Singers, a community chorus of 100+ people. Lots of fun!”

1977

1979

EDWARD F. GRANDI (A) is completing a second year as executive director of the American Sleep Apnea Association. He’s active again with the D.C. Alumni Association chapter after a long hiatus and “generally loves life!” MICHAEL LEVINE ST. JAMES (A) enjoys Santa Fe’s Summer Classics. “Last summer, I took the Don Quixote seminar, led by tutors ERIC SALEM (A77, my sophomore roommate) and CAREY STICKNEY (A75, my Paca-Carroll dorm-mate), and had a fantastic time,” he says. “This summer I return for Aristotle’s Ethics, led by the same tutors. I can’t recommend Summer Classics enough!” “Life in Boise has settled into a routine,” writes MARLENE F. STRONG (A). “I just completed my second year of working at a nonprofit mental health center, where I do therapy with children and adults. I am enjoying four distinct seasons, and I love my 100-year-old house and big garden. I do miss the ocean! Looking forward to seeing my classmates next year for our 30th.”

SUSAN HERDER (SF) is living very happily in San Francisco, where she has a thriving practice as a bodyworker. “For fun, I’m into athletics, swimming in the bay often with my friends at the South End Rowing Club, running, biking, and doing triathlons. A big event in my life presently is buying my first home, and it’s in Santa Fe! I’m not moving though, will just spend more time there, and I’m looking forward to seeing everyone as our paths cross.” After several years of consulting for reproductive rights organizations, MARJORIE HUTTER (A) has what she describes as her “dream job” as Director of Development for the Women’s Fund of Western Massachusetts: “My “nonJohnnie” husband and I have been together for 20 years and are enjoying raising our two daughters—Simone “Mo,” 13 years old, and Gracie, 10 years old. I send my best wishes to all of my classmates.”

1980

1982

JOSHUA KATES (A) last fall published Essential History: Jacques Derrida and the Development of Deconstruction. He has left his position at Santa Fe, and he and his wife are currently associate professors of English at Indiana University (Bloomington) and have a six-month-old son, Zeke.

KELLY GENOVA (SF) was married June 27 to James Rowley. Her former husband, STEPHEN LEACH (SF), was expected to attend with his fiancée, Sally Buxt. Writes Kelly: “I still practice law; Stephen is an associate professor in the philosophy department at the University of Texas-Pan American, where his mother graduated many years ago. James is a lawyer as well, in Albuquerque, concentrating on personal injury matters and the representation of workers’ compensation claims. I defend such claims. It should make for an interesting marriage.”

GERI GLOVER (SF) has joined the Education Department at the College of Santa Fe.

1981 ANNE O’MALLEY CULOTTA (A) encourages friends and classmates to try their best to make the 25th reunion of her class. “I promise you won’t want to miss the fun and the flashbacks,” she writes. “Sometimes the sequel is even better than the original! Let’s get the party started.” THOMAS J. SLAKEY, JR. (SF) is working as a technical writing consultant at companies all over Silicon Valley. He’s married to the lovely Susan Slakey, and his two stepsons are turning 18 and 21 this year. He welcomes contact at tslakey@comcast.net

Puppies and Girls RYAN (SF86) reports that his family and business are both growing: “We have added a boxer puppy to our three girls and boxer-mix dog. There is plenty of happiness and chaos to go around. My architecture firm in Albuquerque has grown to 11 people and we are taking on some large projects in four states. I look forward to seeing everyone this summer.” x

M

ICHAEL

1978 RACHEL BARRETT (SF) has moved to Ashland, Ore., where she works for an Internet

{ T h e C o l l e g e • St. John’s College • Fall 2006 }

LESLIE SMITH ROSEN (A) writes that her eldest daughter, Marielle, is engaged to be married, with the wedding to take place in May 2007, after Marielle completes her master’s degree at Johns Hopkins. “My younger daughter is finishing her first year at the University of Chicago (SJC a little too intense) and my youngest, Sam, is in high school,” she writes. “Time flies and tuitions soar. Best wishes to all, and looking forward to our 25th!”

1983 “I just launched a series of three satellites to study the Earth’s magnetosphere and got a little closer to the eidos of engineering,” writes PETER ROSSONI (SF). “Send me your news! Peter.rossoni@gsfc.nasa.gov. I would love to hear from any classmates.”

TED ZENZINGER (A) is a professor of philosophy at Regis University in Denver, Co. He and


38

{Alumni Notes}

his wife just celebrated the first birthday of their second daughter, Olivia. Ted writes, “She and her sister, Sophia (2), keep us busy!”

1984 JOHN (SF) and Elizabeth BUSH’s oldest son, Salem, who was born in Santa Fe, graduated from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Va., this past spring. FATHER ROBERT NICOLETTI, M.J., (SF) is a missionary in Ukraine: “Does anyone want to help a Ukrainian orphanage? I’ll send you more info. Many thanks.”

1985 ANNA LOUISE DAVIS (A) was sorry to have missed her 20th reunion last fall, but she looks forward to catching up with everyone in a few short years at the 25th. In the meantime she is headed back to school for a Master of Public Health from the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health. LIZA HYATT (SF) is “happily divorced” and a mother to Maggie, who turned nine in August. “I am self-employed doing a variety of things: I am a mosaic artist and work with communities (such as local schools, Indiana University’s cancer hospital, a women’s shelter) to create mosaic murals for their buildings; I am an art therapist in private practice; I am a storyteller and perform at libraries, schools, and festivals; and I am adjunct faculty for two graduate programs at St. Mary of the Woods College. And, after 40 some years of believing I can’t sing, I joined a choir and

am loving it. I would love to hear from other Johnnies! E-mail me at liza@lizahyatt.com.”

Art in Ensenada LASKOWSKI (SFGI97) is Mexico bound: “My partner, a painter, and I are invited to Ensenada, Mexico, for a 10day artist residency. The participants will come from around the globe and will create their art at the site, which will then be exhibited at the local museum. Also, Andrei and I had a well-received exhibition at Gallery Route One, Point Reyes, Calif. Look at our work at www.galleryrouteone.org.” x

I

NYA

JOHN SCHILLO (SF) and his partner, David Maltin, recently purchased several apartment buildings in Albuquerque and a home in east Sandias, where they will be relocating toward the end of this year. John looks forward to seeing old friends who still live in New Mexico or will be visiting there, as well as making new acquaintances at alumni events. He can be reached on his home e-mail: jwschillo@comcast.net or at his work e-mail: john.schillo@ ge.com.

1986 SUSAN READ (SFGI) writes that her son, Harry, will be in fifth grade this fall. “I am still teaching high school, still skiing, still talking.”

context of severe mental illness, and is based in my first 11 years’ work as an acute care psychiatric chaplain.”

GEORGE ALBERT ERHARD (SF) has moved from Northern California to Irving, Texas, where he is now a Network Fault Management Engineer for AT&T. Also, George would like to announce his marriage to Claire Alyce Johnson, who has shared his life for the past 10 years. REGINA LANDOR (A) writes that she and her husband, Bill Woodward, welcomed their second son, Gabriel, in December. Their first son, Ethan, is now 2.

1987 CHARLOTTE GLOVER (SF) joined with some friends in Ketchikan, Alaska, to start a chapter of “First Book,” which helps lowincome children build home libraries. “The national organization has been awesome to work with,” she writes. “See you next summer in Santa Fe!”

1989 “I am nearing the end of my Doctor of Ministry in Pastoral Counseling and Marriage and Family Therapy at the Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary,” writes DAVID DILLARD (A). My research has been focused around finding hope in a

1990 TATIANA N. MASTERS (SF) finished the second year of her doctoral program with her usual aplomb. She is finishing the page proofs for her first paper in Psychology of Women Quarterly. She is still three years from completing her studies just like last year. Her partner Jason Spainhower is proud of her accomplishments. They live in Seattle and have listed numbers and unusual names.

{ T h e C o l l e g e • St. John’s College • Fall 2006 }

1991 DIANNE JANETTE COWAN (A) writes, “2005 was a busy year for me, with three big events. In August, I finally left my miserable job for a better one in educational publishing. In November, I got elected the Alumni Association president of the Boston chapter, and two days later the Red-Haired Boy of my dreams asked me to marry him. Sadly, I won’t be able to make it to the Class of ’91 reunion, since it is, inconveniently, the weekend before my wedding. But I’m consoled by the fact that all Johnnie weddings are minireunions. And with any luck, I’ll be around for the Class of ’92 bash in ’07. Please drop a line to diannecowan@alumni.stjohnscollege.edu. BEN FOLEY (SF) is living in Oakland, Calif., teaching 7thgrade humanities and doing a lot of hiking in the Sierra. TEDDI ANN GALLIGAN and DAVID ALAN DIGGS (both A), announce with great joy the birth of their second daughter, Josephine Lucia Diggs-Galligan on July 20, 2005, in Washington, D.C. Writes Teddi, “Big sister Sophia Emmanuelle is enjoying her new status immensely.”

continued on p. 40


39

{Alumni Notes}

Hooked on Classics Richard Field (SFGI98) Nurtures Book Lovers by Rosemary Harty

S

tudying in the St. John’s Graduate Institute “lit a fire in my mind,” says Richard Field (SFGI98), a senior humanities teacher at Albuquerque Academy, a private college preparatory school. Now he’s trying to do the same thing for his students through his weekend Classics Club, a group he started to give students another place to discuss books and ideas. Field enrolled in the GI in Santa Fe after completing a doctoral program in history and philosophy. He had heard of the undergraduate program, admired it, and started to read Program books on his own. Then he heard about the graduate program in Liberal Arts. “From my very first class with Mr. LeCuyer and Ms. Honeywell, I absolutely loved it,” he says. “St. John’s opened a new way of thinking for me, and I can’t go back. I became this insatiable reader of the classics and I haven’t stopped since.” Even after finishing the GI program, he went back to campus to take the History segment. Field began his teaching career in the school’s physical education department, but he soon talked his way into the humanities program, where he’s been happy ever since, teaching seminar classes

The Nietzsche Rap Gonna teach ya Nietzsche caus’ I can’t reach ya’ man must first go under so he doesn’t blunderTry to teach you overman because man is a rope, a dope, between a man and hopeover an abyss. Ubermensch, ubermensch God is dead Antichrist, Will to Power have you readZARATHUSTRA...!

based on St. John’s. “I love the material so much that kids have written to me to tell me my excitement and enthusiasm spread to them,” he says. “The people who inspired me were two Johnnies who were working here. They were the catalyst.” Inspired by the movie Dead Poet’s Society, in which a teacher cultivates a love for literature in his students, Field decided to start an extracurricular club for students who want to read ancient and modern classics that regular classes would never have time for. Over the years, the club has read works including The Sorrows of Young Werther, The Communist Manifesto, Beowulf, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, the Symposium, and Pride and Prejudice. The group meets once a month, usually in a local coffee shop, and recently, Albuquerque Academy alumni have begun to attend. “It’s very rewarding,” he says. “I start with an opening question, though given the nature and age of the kids, one question is usually not enough to keep them going.” Club members had an assignment over the summer. Read Democracy in America and come back ready to discuss it. Meetings are usually an hour, but the group went almost 90 minutes and decided to schedule an extra meeting to finish their

{ T h e C o l l e g e • St. John’s College • Fall 2006 }

Albuquerque teacher Richard Field knows how to get the attention of his high school students.

discussion on the book. “They saw quite a few parallels with what’s going on today and what de Tocqueville talked about,” Field says. “But they think his views about the ‘middling state of American education’ are no longer true.” Next up: The Picture of Dorian Gray. Every year Field works in some Russian literature. “I read The Brothers Karamazov in a tutorial with Victoria Mora, and now I’m a Dostoevsky nut,” he confesses. He rewards club members every semester with a party, during which everyone plays games like Trivial Pursuit’s Book Lover’s edition. He also brings a playful attitude to his regular humanities classes; once a year, when seniors are scheduled to read Thus Spoke Zarathustra, Field dresses up “gansta” style (complete with St. John’s cap pulled low over his face) to perform his “Nietzsche Rap.” “I originally wrote it in 1996,” he explains. “It’s a way to relate some of Nietzsche’s ideas to students in a modern, fun, and hip way.” x


40

{Alumni Notes}

Officially a Doctor ELIZABETH FORREST, A00, received the degree of Doctor of Medicine during graduation ceremonies at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine on May 22, 2006. She was also the recipient of two faculty awards: the Florence L. Marcus, M.D. Prize in Family Medicine and the F. Lorraine Bruni Prize in Geriatric Medicine. On graduating from St. John’s, she received a Howard Hughes Foundation summer research internship at the University of Virginia Medical School. Following the internship she attended James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Va., for two semesters of postbaccalaureate studies to satisfy the science prerequisites for medical school. While in Harrisonburg, she was also an emergency medical technician with the Harrisonburg Volunteer Rescue Squad. Paige began a three-year residency in family medicine on June 23 at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center-St. Margaret Hospital, in Pittsburgh. x

P

AIGE

1992 Rebecca Paige Brandreth was born April 26, 2006, announces CYNTHIA BRANDRETH (AGI).

J. ELIZABETH (HUEBERT) SCHOEMAKER (SF) and Jeremy Schoemaker welcomed their first daughter, Juliet J. Schoemaker on June 23, 2006. Juliet weighed 7 lbs. Her mother continues to practice anesthesiology in Lincoln, Neb.

1993 “I’ve been going through the devastating effects of late-stage Lyme disease since February 2004 and am interested in getting in touch with people going through similar

experiences from this underrecognized ailment,” writes BARBARA ARNOLD (SF). “I’d appreciate hearing from any Johnnies out there who have friends, family, or who are themselves dealing with the illness: Arnold@ferae.naturae.com.”

SALLIE (SFGI) and GEORGE BINGHAM (SF66) celebrated their second wedding anniversary this past July. George has enjoyed rejoining the college’s Board of Visitors and Governors. CHRISTOPHER GRAM (A) welcomed the birth of his second daughter, Celeste Penelope Gram, on March 25, 2006. VALERIE DUFF-STRAUTMANN (SF) has poems appearing in Zoland Poetry (Steerforth Press), an annual anthology of contemporary poetry from around the globe.

THOMAS E. SCHNEIDER (AGI) has a new book out: Lincoln’s Defense of Politics: The Public Man and His Opponents in the Crisis Over Slavery (University of Missouri Press, 2006), based on his dissertation in political science from Boston College.

CHERYL S. HENEVELD (AGI) is still taking part in vigils at 5 p.m. every Saturday against the war in Iraq, as well as writing and working for the end of wars.

1997 1994 NATHAN HUMPHREY (A) is curate at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, K St., in Washington, D.C. “My former junior lab tutor, ANN MARTIN, is a parishioner, and my former Febbie Lab tutor, ROBERT DRUECKER, lives behind the church. Several Johnnies and parents of Johnnies are members or regular visitors.”

1996 ANGELA BILLICK (SF) was promoted to vice president and joined BNP-Paribas, a French bank. She is based in a New York office. She’s been accepted to the Executive MBA program at NYU’s Stern School of Business and is “looking forward to flexing the gray matter once again!” Drop a line at angela_billick@hotmail.com “As of this Easter, I have celebrated my first year as a Roman Catholic,” writes ERIN N. (HEARN) FURBY (A). “I have enjoyed the supportive and intellectually vibrant Catholic community here in Anchorage, Alaska (many of whom are close cousins, being St. Thomas Aquinas College alumni).”

MARYBETH GUERRIERI (A) graduated in June from the Barbara Brennan School of Healing, from which she received a Professional Skills diploma in Brennan Healing Science.

{ T h e C o l l e g e • St. John’s College • Fall 2006 }

KATHLEEN EAMON (SF) writes to report that she has just accepted a teaching position at Evergreen State College, where she was hired in philosophy. “But, as anyone who knows the place knows, I’m slated to teach more broadly than that. LYNARRA (Featherly, SF94) and I have spent the last six years in Nashville, where I am now winding up work on my dissertation at Vanderbilt University. Neither of us made it big on the country scene, but Lynarra has become a widely-sought (if reluctant) interior designer, hounded by friends and real estate agents alike. She has also acquired mad-carpenter skills, after having renovated two historic homes from top to bottom.” DAMON KOVELSKY (A) is back in Brooklyn, with a new job in journalism, a wife, and a cat. “Bloomberg, LLP hired me in their newsroom, Meg married me a couple of years ago, and Max makes three. If there are any Johnnies within the city limits, please shout out an e-mail dkovelsky@yahoo.com.” JESSICA CAMPBELL MCALLEN (SF) shares baby news: “Isaac Orion McAllen was born on April 11, 2006! Lowry and I are so excited to have a little boy around the house. He was 8 pounds, 20 inches. A little blessing!” “Currently, I am teaching English in China with my wife, Emily Kaplan Murbarger, the daughter of BART KAPLAN (A65) and cousin of MEGAN DROLET (A08),” writes JOSHUA


41

{Alumni Notes}

“Great Books for $1,000, Alex…” A Johnnie Wins Big on Jeopardy! by Rosemary Harty

S

endure great embarrassment on that ome contestants of Jeopone, since her dissertation research is ardy! are so nervous on the on Shakespeare and performance set of the popular game theory. “I still get grief from my show that they freeze up, colleagues,” she says. hand clutching the buzzer Several times in her six appearances, in a death grip, face set in a DiNucci didn’t know the Final Jeopardy grimace of anxiety. Jeopardy! watchers who tuned in last July and caught answer and other contestants did. But Celeste DiNucci (A87) on her five-day she had built up a big enough lead and winning streak saw a contestant who wagered wisely to prevail over her laughed vigorously and often, joked competitors—until the last day, when with Alex Trebeck, and clearly enjoyed the category was American women the whole experience, right until the authors. The answer quoted Henry James describing the mystery author as Final Jeopardy question that ended a “the novelist of children. . . the Thackglorious run. eray, the Trollope of the nursery and “I approached the whole thing as, the schoolroom.” DiNucci came up ‘this is just a game,’ ” says DiNucci, a Her Jeopardy winnings allowed Celeste DiNucci to with Beatrix Potter; the answer was doctoral student at the University of take a leave of absence to finish her dissertation. Louisa May Alcott. “I feel like I really Pennsylvania and a grant writer for a should have won that one.” Half the nonprofit organization. “I wasn’t people gave her the TV treatment, and she battle, of course, is being quick. “The real nervous at all.” was wired for sound. test is in the buzzer. There were plenty of DiNucci tried out in June 2005 in “After the game show scandals, they’re questions I knew the answer to and I just Philadelphia, where she lives. She did well really careful about sequestering contestwasn’t fast enough.” on the written test, then took part in a mock ants, so you don’t see Alex much. I had a DiNucci ultimately left Los Angeles game that was videotaped. After the months great time meeting the other contestants.” exhausted, but with $85,000 in winnings. went by, she figured her chances at game She was later to defeat all but one of them. The money has allowed her to take a leave show stardom were slim. “Then in April, At times, DiNucci was surprised by how from her job to finish her dissertation, and they called me at work and suggested some much she knew. Where did she learn, for she’s planning to splurge on a trip to Italy. taping days,” she says. Since taping example, that what is also called heavy water She has no regrets about her performance— conflicted with her job at the American is deuterium? There were also a few uncomexcept maybe one. Philosophical Association, she asked if she fortable moments. A $200 question on “I didn’t get around to talking about St. could pick other dates. “They said these are Shakespeare asked for the play in which John’s” in the meet-the-contestant part of the last two taping days of the season, and Mercutio and Balthasar are characters. the show, she says. But should she be called you come now or you don’t come at all.” “I rang in immediately, but then I thought, back for the Tournament of Champions, she DiNucci went. After just a few hours of ‘hey, there’s no Balthasar in Romeo and promises a nod to the college that helped sleep in her hotel room, she waited, blearyJuliet’ so I said something else. But he has a contribute to all that valuable knowledge. x eyed, in the lobby for the Jeopardy! shuttle little part in the last act.” DiNucci had to to transport her to the set. The make-up MURBARGER (A). “We started in Jinzhou (for six months) in the northeast of China and will soon move to Qingdao. We have a great blog: www.peer-see.com. Follow our adventures and great fun.” This news comes to The College via Bart and Betty Kaplan.

1998 JULIANA (MARTONFFY) LAUMAKIS (A) and her husband, John, are very happy to report the birth of their daughter, Amanda Adeo, this past January. MARJORIE ROUECHE (A) is a freelance science writer and editor in Berkeley, Calif. “I am also doing what I can to help the next groundswell of feminism. If

anyone is interested in helping, e-mail me, or visit me at www. insubordinatewomen.com.”

1999 STEVE and KRISTIN DUMONT (both SF) are proud to announce the birth of their daughter, Quinn Alessandra—born healthy and screaming February 14, 2006. She has brought wonders and joy to their lives every day since.

{ T h e C o l l e g e • St. John’s College • Fall 2006 }

ANNAMARIA CARDINALLIPADILLA (SFGI), who completed her Ph.D. in Theology from the University of Notre Dame in 2004, was recently named a laureate for the 2006 Mother Teresa Awards for her work as an American classical musician. For updates on her career since St. John’s, visit www.annamaria.ws and www.elduoduende.com, or www.sonicbids.com/AnnaMaria2 and www.sonicbids.com/ ElDuoDuende.


42

{Alumni Notes}

2000

Catch Up With Friends

This fall BUCK COOPER (A) starts a Ph.D. program in education at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. “Can’t seem to shake the allure of the Tarheel State,” he says.

ALAN (A) and Heidi RUBENSTEIN celebrated their two-year wedding anniversary in June 2006 and are very happy in their “treehouse” in Takoma Park, outside of D.C. “The same month, I had my first poetry reading, which went well, and began my new job,” writes Alan. “I am now working for the staff of the President’s Council on Bioethics as a researcher and writer. This is a serious challenge—one that I am enjoying very much.” CHRISTOPHER VAUGHAN (A) is living in Annapolis and working for Realistic Builders. “Nice to see the college on a regular basis,” he writes. “It is really a beautiful place to watch the seasons change. Having lived in four states in the last 10 years, Annapolis really stands out as the best walking city. My free time is spent walking puppies or riding horses. Hope all my classmates are doing well and find time to reflect on where their life is going. Looking forward to reunion 2010!”

After a year as an account executive for a Dallas advertising agency, LARIN MCPEAK (EC) is now teaching Business English and American Culture at the ISL Sprachschule in Koblenz, Germany. She uses her weekends and free time traveling throughout Europe, playing soccer with a local team, and reading some of the Eastern studies books she managed to haul to Germany. You can e-mail her at Dangerousfireball@ yahoo.com

It’s not the same as the Coffee Shop, but the online alumni community may be the next best thing—a place to catch up with friends, start a conversation, find a new lead on a job, and keep track of what’s happening on the Santa Fe and Annapolis campuses. Share your news, share your pictures, sign up for a St. John’s e-mail address. More than 4,000 alumni have joined to date. Get back in the conversation!

2001 “Just wanted to announce to all and sundry that I have taken a teaching position in Burma (middle school math) for the next two years!” writes MATTHEW LIPPART (SF). “Come visit! I’ll buy you a beer or five! My new e-mail is: mlippart@mail2world.com. Please e-mail or I’ll be lonely.”

KATHERINE J. PETERS (SF) is living in Charlottesville, Va., working as a criminal defense attorney for a private law firm. Her fiancé, Bill Finn, a New York City native and artist, is

Another Book Lover MCGINTY JAMES (SF05) and her husband, Mike, welcomed a small but august presence on June 2, 2006. August Michael James arrived early but healthy, weighing 5 lbs and measuring 17 inches. “He has already fallen in love with his first book,” his mother says. x

E

2003

employed by SNL Financial. “We are currently in the throes of planning our November 4, 2006, wedding.” We love Charlottesville and would relish the chance to show visitors around, so feel free to look us up if you’re planning a visit,” Katherine writes.

SUZANNAH SIMMONS (SF) will be in Washington, D.C., this summer, living near DuPont Circle. “If there are any Johnnies who would like to get together, please e-mail me (guneh@ hotmail.com). I am greatly looking forward to the Santa Fe Class of 2001 five-year reunion in July.” In June 2006, JOSH VAN DONGE (SF) received his Master of Architecture from the University of Washington and is currently living and working in Seattle.

RIN

{ T h e C o l l e g e • St. John’s College • Fall 2006 }

2004 MICHAEL LOOFT (AGI) will be studying at Harvard Divinity School this fall to become a Unitarian minister—“just like Emerson.”

What’s Up? The College wants to hear from you. Call us, write us, e-mail us. Let your classmates know what you’re doing. The next issue will be published in Feburary; deadline for the alumni notes section is December 7. In Annapolis: The College Magazine St. John’s College, P.O. Box 2800 Annapolis, MD 21404; rosemary.harty@sjca.edu In Santa Fe: The College Magazine St. John’s College 1160 Camino Cruz Blanca Santa Fe, NM 87505-4599; alumni@sjcsf.edu


43

{Tribute}

Brother Robert Smith, F.S.C. (HA90), a much loved and respected member of the St. John’s College community for nearly half a century, died September 12, 2006, in Napa, California, at the age of 92. He first joined the faculty of St. John’s College as a visiting tutor in 1966 and became a permanent member of the faculty in 1972, seeking and gaining special permission from his order, the De La Salle Christian Brothers, to leave Saint Mary’s College to teach at St. John’s. Brother Robert bonded in a special way with the college; he served as a mentor to tutors and students alike, and inspired all with his deep faith, distinguished intellect, generosity, and friendship. Robert Smith was born in Roundup, Mont., and was raised in Oakland, Calif. He attended a Christian Brothers high school in Berkeley, where he discovered his vocation. As a novice, he picked grapes and helped move the Christian Brothers Winery to Mont La Salle in 1932. After earning his bachelor’s degree at Saint Mary’s College in 1935, Brother Robert taught at the Christian Brothers’ high school in Sacramento. He earned his Ph.D. degree from the University of Laval in Quebec, Canada, and wrote his dissertation on the liberal arts from the point of view of St. Thomas Aquinas. He returned to Saint Mary’s as a professor in 1941, and, being familiar with the St. John’s Program, soon instituted a seminar based on the St. John’s reading list. Those efforts blossomed into a project that is an important part of the California liberal arts college today. In 1956, Brother Robert founded Saint Mary’s Integrated Liberal Arts Program, described as a “college within a college,” and shaped in part by the program at St. John’s. Students in the Saint Mary’s program explore the great works of the liberal arts tradition through seminar discussions, tutorials, and scientific laboratories. In the course of helping to develop the program, Brother Robert made several visits to St. John’s to study the academic

gary pierpoint

Brother Robert Smith, F.S.C. Tutor

A much loved member of the St. John’s community, Brother Robert Smith will be remembered for his intellect, generosity, and friendship.

program here. He came to know the faculty very well, particularly Dean Jacob Klein, whom he had first met in the forties. In 1966-67, he spent a year as a visiting tutor at St. John’s. He then returned to Saint Mary’s to continue his work as { T h e C o l l e g e • St. John’s College • Fall 2006 }

Director of the Integrated Liberal Arts program. In 1972, he joined the St. John’s faculty and taught full time from 1972 until his retirement in 1985. At St. John’s, other faculty members recognized his skills as a seminar leader. Former Dean Curtis Wilson described him as


{Tribute}

44

“enormously generous and careers of his countless in his willingness to let friends among the students entertain and alumni.” examine the widest When he was made an variety of points of honorary member of the view.” Brother Robert Class of 1990, the citation remained an active noted “his exemplary member of the devotion to the liberal arts, community—teaching, over a long career as a lecturing, taking part in teacher”; “his life of study groups and faculty service in faith”; and Brother Donald Mansir, Chair of the Bishop John S. Cummins Institute meetings—through the especially “the friendship and teacher in the Saint Mary’s Integral Program end of the past that he has bestowed upon academic year. Early numerous colleagues and this summer, poor students.” concerned to preserve and propagate health required him to move from his “Brother Robert was one of the most Klein’s understanding of a liberal arts Historic District home in Annapolis to education, in which the intellect holds the influential of the Brothers in the the community of retired Christian central place,” says Michael Dink, dean of curriculum at Saint Mary’s College,” Brothers at Mont La Salle in Napa, Calisaid Brother Donald Mansir, Chair of the the Annapolis campus. “Nonetheless fornia He kept in close touch with scores (I can hear his protest at this adversative!) Bishop John S. Cummins Institute and of his former students, who considered teacher in the Saint Mary’s Integral Brother Robert was an affectionate and him a valuable friend as well as a tutor. Program. “A true son of Saint La Salle, thoughtful connoisseur of all things In addition to his intellectual pursuits, a friend to hundreds of students, and an human: the earthy humor of Rabelais, the Brother Robert enjoyed gourmet inspiration to many of the greatest minds elegant French of Madame de Sévigné’s French cooking and wines, music, and of the last century, Brother Robert will be gossip, fine wine and gourmet cooking, conversation with his wide circle of terribly missed.” x the meticulously thought through ascetifriends. “A friend of Jacob Klein’s since cism of the desert fathers, world politics, the 1940s, Brother Robert was deeply French and English poetry, and the lives

“A true son of Saint La Salle, a friend to hundreds of students, and an inspiration to many of the greatest minds of the last century, Brother Robert will be terribly missed.”

{Obituaries} GILBERT CRANDALL Gilbert Crandall, a member of the class of 1932, died August 24, 2006, in Annapolis at the age of 91. He was born and reared just a few blocks from the St. John’s campus. After graduating from the college, Mr. Crandall taught English and history at Glen Burnie High School. In 1941, he joined the staff of the American Red Cross, and during World War II served in Puerto Rico, Italy and Norway while attached to the armed forces. For his work, he was awarded the Italian Red Cross Bronze Star for humanitarian services rendered during wartime. After the war, he worked for the State Department as director of the Paraguayan-American Cultural Center in Asuncion, and later in public affairs with the Foreign Service in Bolivia and Argentina. In 1961, he became the first tourism director of the State of Maryland, and later served as head of the public affairs office at for the state Department of Agriculture. After retiring in 1977, he continued writing, publishing articles in

publications including Bon Appetit, Motor Boating and Reader’s Digest. The spring 2006 issue of The College included a charming essay Mr. Crandall wrote about his experiences at St. John’s before the New Program.

property he donated to the city of Annapolis, bears his name. He was also a shrewd investor in real estate in Annapolis and developed a shopping center in Parole that he owned until the time of his death.

CECIL KNIGHTON Cecil Claggett Knighton, class of 1940, a successful entrepreneur in Annapolis, died July 13, 2006. Over the span of his career, Mr. Knighton owned several successful businesses and many different commercial properties in Annapolis. After leaving St. John’s, Mr. Knighton borrowed money from an aunt to buy a small general store in Davidsonville, Md. He sold the store when joined the Army in World War II, serving as a paratrooper in the European theater. He built the Acme Supermarket at the foot of City Dock in 1951. He also opened an auto supply company and a movie house. During the 1950s, he was a successful automobile dealer, known by many as the “car czar.” A parking garage on West Street, built on

ROBERT HAZO

{ T h e C o l l e g e • St. John’s College • Fall 2006 }

Robert G. Hazo, Class of 1953, died Jan. 6, 2006, in Pittsburg, Penn. A dedicated alumnus of St. John’s with a great interest in preserving the college’s Program and history, he rarely missed a fall Homecoming, and he was a passionate recruiter of potential Johnnies. A brilliant political analyst, Mr. Hazo founded the University of Pittsburg’s American Experience program, inspired in part by his experience studying the liberal arts at St. John’s. After graduating from the college, he received a senior fellowship to Princeton, a Fulbright scholarship for study at the Sorbonne, and a Rockefeller fellowship to study at the American University of Beirut.


45

{Obituaries}

Robert Hazo, class of 1953, rarely missed a Homecoming in Annapolis. In 2005, he brought a prospective student.

was passionately devoted to the task of bringing down the many barriers to pain relief faced by millions of other afflicted Americans. He and his wife founded the Pain Relief Network in 2003 to challenge the U.S. government’s legislation on pain medications. ALSO NOTED ERIC GUNNAR BACK (CLASS OF 1964), DECEMBER 5, 2005 ILEANA BASIL (CLASS OF 1973), AUG. 24, 2006 IRENE DORTCH (CLASS OF 1966), AUG. 12, 2006 WILLIAM HABERLAND (CLASS OF 1933), APRIL 22, 2006

Following graduate studies, Mr. Hazo was named associate director of the Institute for Philosophical Research in San Francisco. He then was appointed senior editor for political, legal, social and economic articles at Encyclopedia Britannica. He joined the University of Pittsburgh in 1970. As director of the American Experience Program, he led a program that offered Pittsburgh’s mid- to high-level managers insight into political and economic thought, with the goal of improving the quality of political discourse. In the toast Mr. Hazo gave in honor of his class at Homecoming 2003, Mr. Hazo described his enduring love for the College. “When a group as complex as this comes together for a purpose, the ideal that unites them is perforce a simple one. I know an ideal that is simple and familiar yet mysterious and profound. It is a love affair.” TORIN B. OWENS Torin Bernard Owens, class of 1985, died August 11, 2006, of complications related to pneumonia. Mr. Owens was reared in Fernandina Beach, Fla., and displayed his academic gifts at an early age. By age 14 he was the champion of nine Florida spelling bees. In high school he was awarded numerous honors and scholarships, including the National Achievement Scholarship, National Merit Commended Scholar, and Society of Distinguished American High School Students.

By the time he was 17, Mr. Owens had two life objectives: to be a Florida state senator and to graduate from St. John’s College. On May 28, 1985, he reached the latter goal, having written his senior essay on “The Legitimate Powers of Government.” However, a serious car accident in Annapolis in November 1985 changed Mr. Owens’ life and plans. He sustained a traumatic brain injury and spent many years in rehabilitation. Six years after his accident, he began speaking again. A remembrance prepared by his family emphasized that Mr. Owens’ strong faith persisted even in the face of such a devastating blow: “Torin lived in the complete will of God until his demise. He leaves to his relatives, friends, and acquaintances his unbiased love, his open-mindedness, his perseverance, his love of music and the spoken word, his trust and obedience to God, his parents and authorities, his patience, his willingness to explore un-chartered territories. He accepted his lot in life with unfeigned joy.” SEAN GREENWOOD Sean Edward Greenwood (SF86) died on August 23, 2006, of complications from untreated pain. He was the loving husband of Siobhan Reynolds and father of a 14-year-old son, Ronan. Mr. Greenwood worked as a legal assistant at law firm. He was a victim of chronic and debilitating pain, for which he and his family moved to New York in search of progressive pain care. Mr. Greenwood { T h e C o l l e g e • St. John’s College • Fall 2006 }

EDWARD C. HUDSON (CLASS OF 1937), JULY 1, 2006 EUGENE F. MARTIN (CLASS OF 1951), FEB. 24, 2006 WILLIAM C. OWENS (CLASS OF 1938), JUNE 20, 2006 WILLIAM WARFIELD ROSS (CLASS OF 1947), JULY 4, 2006 EDWARD SENSENEY (CLASS OF 1952), SEPTEMBER 9, 2006


46 46

{ A{ F lu rm om n i t Ah ses o B ce ilalt T i oonw eNresw} s }

From the Alumni Association President Homecoming is always a time of remembering and reflection for me. Back on the campus with friends and colleagues and in conversation inside and outside the classroom, I pause and take stock of my Johnnie experience in the context of my life. I also consider my life in the context of the college—both her community and her program of instruction. This homecoming was particularly moving for two reasons. This was our 30th reunion. Many came for the celebration in Santa Fe, and they brought news of others. We huddled in small groups sharing bits of past and hopes for

An Official Johnnie by Emily DeBusk (A06)

Sixty years ago, Kay Harper earned her first degree, in fine arts, from Goucher College in Baltimore. At that time, Goucher didn’t offer a degree in physics, her original field of interest, and the dean talked her out of her second choice, philosophy. Looking back today on her educational path, Harper believes her time spent in unofficial selfeducation—including 25 years of attending community seminars at St. John’s College in Santa Fe—has been the most fruitful part of her life. This summer, the Alumni Association recognized Harper’s dedication to St. John’s by making her an Honorary Alumna, honoring her as one who possesses all the qualities of a true Johnnie: insatiable curiosity, a love for reading and discussion, and a fierce dedication to lifelong learning. Though she spent one summer at the Graduate Institute, Harper’s experience with St. John’s has been centered on the college’s noncredit offerings, the weekend or evening Community Seminars that draw

future. I remembered why some had been especially dear to me in those long-ago days. I discovered that others might have been, too, if circumstances (or I) had been different. The weekend was planned to give us plenty of time to chat over food and drink, dance to the old tunes, listen to Mariachi, laugh and cry with Singin’ in the Rain, meet families, and soak up Santa Fe sunshine. Thanks to all who came back for the fun! The other reason why this homecoming was significant for me is that it was my last homecoming in Santa Fe as president of the Alumni Association. In late September, I’ll celebrate another “last” homecoming when we meet together in Annapolis, and Jason Walsh (A97) will be elected to take my place. These six years have been wonderful. It has been a pleasure to work with the Alumni Association Board as we helped “more alumni connect more often and more richly” to each other and to the college. Throughout my tenure, an image has inspired me. It came from a lecture delivered by Sally Dunn when she was a tutor in Santa Fe. Her subject was friendship, and her source was Aristotle.

She explored the various kinds of friendship that Aristotle describes in the Ethics. When she got to the final one—friendship for the Good—she turned to reflections on the college and its program of instruction. Friendship for the Good, you will remember, is when a friend serves as your mirror. He or she is similar enough to you that you see both your strengths and weaknesses reflected in the other. Each interaction opens opportunities to learn and to improve yourself as you are reflected in your friend. Ms. Dunn further extended the image by proposing that our relationship to the program books is also a friendship for the Good. In their pages we see ourselves reflected and, consequently, open opportunities for increased growth toward the Good. As I reflect on my 30th reunion and the closing days in my role as president of the Alumni Association, I want to express my thanks. Thank you for this opportunity to serve you, our community of alumni, and the college that continues to bring us together. Thank you for sharing these friendships for the Good.

residents to the campus. After graduating from Goucher, she worked at the Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health in various positions: librarian, editor, sometime fetcher of coffee for professors. While there, she attended lectures and read scientific and medical papers floating around the department. In one paper, she read that the last place in the country to get telephone access was a place called Hidalgo County, New Mexico. She drove her Studebaker across the country and made New Mexico her permanent home. In 1949, she enrolled as an undergraduate

at the University of New Mexico, from which she graduated in 1951 with a major in anthropology and minor in geology. After that, she was able to return to her first love, physics, when she was hired at the Los Alamos National Laboratory. Year after year she returns to the community seminars, “reading everything from the Greeks to the Russians,” because she believes that learning is something that will never be finished. Without hesitation, she says that her favorite seminar, led by Barry Goldfarb, was on Plato’s Republic. She was also deeply impressed by seminars on Tolstoy and Dostoevsky led by Steve Van Luchene. Reflecting on her experience at St. John’s, Mrs. Harper noticed that, “College-age students are at the steepest point of their learning curve. They learn fast and well.” She encourages current students to be confident in their education. And although she laughingly implies that she is beyond the peak of the learning curve, her record of unceasing learning testifies to the contrary, and makes her a confirmed Johnnie, official or not. x

Glenda Eoyang SF76

Kay Harper has attended Santa Fe community seminars for 25 years. { T h e C o l l e g e • St. John’s College • Fall 2006 }


47

{ Aolm u mt nh i A {Fr e s sBo ec ilalt i oTno Nweewrs }s }

Tar Heel Chapter Thrives Akira Kurosawa’s epic film Seven Samurai, Georgioni’s painting The Tempest, and most recently Emmanuel Levinas’ essay “Is Ontology Fundamental?” were among the eclectic works North Carolina chapter members selected for their seminar discussions. “With films, we arrange for a viewing a few days prior to the seminar when we discuss it; paintings can be viewed online,” says Susan Friedman Eversole (SF79), who has been the North Carolina chapter president for the past 11 years. “The person who suggests the work asks the opening question, but we especially welcome visiting tutors to lead our seminars.” Phil LeCuyer, a beloved tutor from Santa Fe, led the group’s June seminar on Levinas’ essay. Eversole, who has lived in Chapel Hill for

the past 22 years, says that in the early days she and a few Johnnies met in a local used bookstore for an informal reading group. Then in 1990, she helped spearhead the process to formally charter the chapter. She helped organize regular monthly seminars and social gatherings, drawing members from nearby towns of Durham, Raleigh, and Greensboro, and as far west as Asheville. “There are a lot of retirees in this area,” says Eversole, “as well as young alums who are starting their careers.” According to Eversole, the younger alums are especially interested in the chapter’s social events—such as a recent dinner at La Residence in Chapel Hill—to network and develop career contacts. In addition to attracting retirees, graduate students and young professionals, the Raleigh-Durham Research Triangle region is also a magnet for computer professionals. Two of Eversole’s colleagues, Lucy Adams (A78) and G. Kay Bishop (A75) are, like Eversole, employed on long-term contracts with the Environmental Protection Agency, either as software developers or working on computer systems with environmental data. “Given all the universities in the area, we also have several graduate students, even some in medical school, who make time for the seminars,” she says.

Alan Brinkley, Barb Smalley, and Rachel Darrow, Chapter Networking Chair. ALBUQUERQUE Robert Morgan, SF76 505-275-9012 rim2u@comcast.net

BOSTON Dianne Cowan, A91 617-666-4381 dianecowan@rcn.com

MINN./ST. PAUL Carol Freeman, AGI94 612-822-3216 Freem013@umn.edu

ANNAPOLIS Beth Martin Gammon, A94 410-951-7359 emartin@crs.org

CHICAGO Rick Lightburn, SF76 847-922-3862 rlightburn@gmail.com

NEW YORK CITY Daniel Van Doren, A81 914-949-6811 president@ sjcalums.com

AUSTIN Joe Reynolds, SF69 jpreynolds@ austinrr.com BALTIMORE Deborah Cohen, A77 410-472-9158 deborahcohen@ comcast.net

DALLAS/FORT WORTH Paula Fulks, SF76 817-654-2986 puffjd@swbell.net DENVER/BOULDER Lee Katherine Goldstein, SGI90 720-746-1496 LGoldstein@ Lindquist.com

NORTHERN CALIF. Reynaldo Miranda, A99 415-333-4452 reynaldo.miranda@ gmail.com

47

ST. JOHN’S COLLEGE ALUMNI ASSOCIATION All alumni have automatic membership in the St. John’s College Alumni Association. The Alumni Association is an independent organization, with a Board of Directors elected by and from the alumni body. The board meets four times a year, twice on each campus, to plan programs and coordinate the affairs of the association. This newsletter within The College magazine is sponsored by the Alumni Association and communicates association news and events of interest. President – Glenda Eoyang, SF76 Vice President – Jason Walsh, A85 Secretary – Barbara Lauer, SF76 Treasurer – Bill Fant, A79 Getting-the-Word-Out Action Team Chair – Linda Stabler-Talty, SFGI76 Mailing address – Alumni Association, St. John’s College, P.O Box 2800, Annapolis, MD 21404, or 1160 Camino Cruz Blanca, Santa Fe, NM 87505-4599.

About eight to ten Johnnies attend each seminar, previously held in an office in the Research Triangle Park, and lately at Eversole’s home in Chapel Hill. In the future, the seminars will meet at the University of North Carolina’s Chapel of the Cross. Eversole, who is retiring as president, passes the helm of the North Carolina chapter to Richard Ross (A82) and Elizabeth Pyle Ross (A92), but she plans to stay active in the chapter. “All of us want to be tutors in our souls, to retire as tutors, to keep our minds working.” x

PITTSBURGH Joanne Murray, A70 724-325-4151 Joanne.Murray@ alcoa.com

SANTA FE Richard Cowles, SFGI95 505-986-1814 rcowles2@comcast.net

TRIANGLE CIRCLE, NORTH CAROLINA Susan Eversole, SF79 919-968-4856 sfevers@yahoo.com

PORTLAND Jennifer Rychlik, SF93 jlr43@coho.net

SEATTLE James Doherty, AFGI76 206-542-3441 jdoherty@mrsc.org

WASHINGTON, DC Deborah Papier, A72 202-387-4520 dpapier@verizon.net

SOUTH FLORIDA Jon Sackson, A69 305-682-4634 jonathan.sackson@ ubs.com

WESTERN NEW ENGLAND Peter Weiss, SF84 413-367-2174 peter_weis@ nmhschool.org

SAN DIEGO Stephanie Rico, A86 805-684-6793 srico@sandi.net

SALT LAKE CITY Erin Hanlon, AF03 801-364-1097 SOUTHERN CALIF. PHILADELPHIA Helen Zartarian, AGI86 erin_hanlon@juno.com Elizabeth Eastman, SFGI84 215-482-5697 562-426-1934 helenstevezartarian@ e.eastman@verizon.net mac.com

{ T h e C o l l e g e • St. John’s College • Fall 2006 }


48

marion warren

{St. John’s Forever}

An Eye for Beauty

F

ormer St. John’s College president Richard Weigle was skilled in public relations, and one of the smartest things he did for the college was to hire Annapolis photographer Marion E. Warren. Warren took yearbook photos in 1949, and the following year, began shooting promotional shots of the campus. Weigle

also arranged for Warren to photograph the emerging Santa Fe campus. Born in 1920 in Billings, Mont., Warren had a lifelong dream of becoming a photographer. After freelancing and briefly working for the Associated Press, he was drafted into the Navy and became a special photographer to the Secretary of the Navy. After the war, he moved to Annapolis and opened a studio. His photos captured city

{ T h e C o l l e g e • St. John’s College • Fall 2006 }

life, watermen on the Chesapeake Bay, and Maryland’s rural communities. He died September 8, 2006. Warren photographed St. John’s people and events up to 1987 when he retired from commercial photography. The Greenfield Library’s photo archive includes more than 400 of Warren’s prints—distinct and remarkable photographs capturing life at the college. x


{Alumni Events Calendar}

The Campaign on the Road Tuesday, December 12, 2006 Alumni, parents, and friends of the college in the greater Houston area are invited to join Presidents Christopher Nelson and Michael Peters at The Coronado Club in celebration of “With a Clear and Single Purpose”: The Campaign for St. John’s College. Wine, beer, and light fare will be served. The reception will begin at 6 p.m., with a program beginning at 7 p.m. Contact Penelope Bielagus in the college’s advancement office at 505-984-6113 or pbielagus@sjcsf.edu. The college is planning several additional events across the country in the coming year that are designed to keep alumni informed about how the college is planning for its future; to invite dialogue between the college and its alumni, parents, and supporters; and to build momentum for the campaign. Details on events will be posted on the college Web site: www.stjohnscollege.edu.

April 21, 2007 Croquet Match with the Naval Academy. Rain date: April 22

Homecoming scenes from Santa Fe: Above, visiting in Schep’s Garden; Annapolis tutor Sam Kutler (class of 1954), Liz Jenny (SF80) and Lee Goldstein (SFGI90), at Saturday’s picnic; Allan Hoffman (class of 1949) and Steve Thomas (SF74). Photos by teri thomson randall

back cover photo by teri nolan

{ T h e C o l l e g e • St. John’s College • Fall 2006 }


P ERIODICALS P OSTAGE PAID

P UBLISHED BY THE COMMUNICATIONS OFFICE P.O. BOX 2800 A NNAPOLIS , MARYLAND 21404

ADDRESS SERVICE REQUESTED


MAG_fall06