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Earlhamite: The Magazine of Earlham College

bearing tidings of prosperity and vicissitudes of Earlham to its friends and supporters ...





Becoming an Earlhamite No, they don’t wear capes or wield lassoes of truth, but they are pretty super.




Inauguration, Celebration Earlham formally installs its 18th president, Alan C. Price ’88.


Astronomical Achievements The software engineering breakthroughs of Margaret Hamilton ’58 have led to top honors from the White House, NASA, the Computer History Museum — and now LEGO.




Taking The Heart to Europe Courtney Adams ’98 and Christina Limbird ’98 have found a familiar way to help girls become leaders.



Lessons Learned in Peru


From Lima to the Andes, Cyrus Buckman ’18 and fellow students make the most of their May Term dedicated to public health. Earlhamite: The Magazine of Earlham College

Earlhamite THE MAGAZINE OF EARLHAM COLLEGE Editor Dan Oetting Class Notes Editor Ellen Blevens Art Director Susanna Tanner Contributing Editors Denise Purcell and Brian Zimmerman Associate Vice President for Marketing and Communications Jonathan Graham Interim Academic Dean Nelson Bingham President Alan C. Price ’88

DEPARTMENTS 03 President’s Note 04 New & Notable 25 Earlham School of Religion 31 Sports Focus 37 Faculty Activities 41 Homecoming Photo Collage 43 Look Back 44 Class Notes and Obituaries 64 Earlham Scene 65 Last Laugh Read the latest alumni profiles, submit class notes, check out upcoming events and more at

BE SOCIAL Earlhamite magazine is the oldest college alumni magazine in continuous publication in the United States. Today it is published twice yearly and continues to follow the statement of purpose that has guided it since its 1873 founding: “a regular messenger going out and bearing tidings of prosperity and vicissitudes of Earlham to its friends and supporters, and bringing all associated here into communication with one another.” Opinions expressed in the magazine are those of the signed contributors and do not necessarily represent the official position of Earlham College. Writers wishing to submit manuscripts to the magazine are encouraged to submit a query letter by email to the editor first, as space is limited and issues of the magazine are planned months in advance and according to selected themes. Address correspondence to Earlham College reaffirms its commitment, in all of its activities and processes, to treat all people equally, without concern for age, gender, sexual orientation, race, nationality or ethnic origin.

ABOUT THE COVER Illustrator Mark King is an accomplished graphic designer and illustrator whose work has furthered the goals of businesses and the community for over 25 years. He learned art and design from his artist parents, from teachers at Burris School in Muncie, Indiana, and on the job in Atlanta, Georgia.



ROSES, THORNS AND WISHES As I have sought to understand where Earlham is in 2017 and develop a plan for its future, I have enjoyed listening to students, faculty, staff, alumni, parents and the good people of Richmond. I also listen to what the data is trying to tell me, including accreditation reports, national rankings, financial reports, department reviews and prior strategic plans. Listening to such a broad array of perspectives is both enlightening and challenging. It is an incredible honor to learn about the College I love through so many stories. People tend to share three kinds: roses, thorns and wishes. These are moments of great joy, pride and inspiration when the education, community and friendships were wonderful — moments of disappointment and heartache when the Earlham experience fell short of its ideals — and suggestions for improving Earlham’s operations, outreach and impact. The narratives often conflict and diverge, but common themes inevitably emerge. One theme is


that Earlham must remain distinctively Earlham. We must remain true to our mission, culture, community, and principles and practices. Although our lead messages might be simplicity, peace and social justice, we must also remember to say that we are a Quaker College. A second theme is that Earlham could stand to grow a little bit. Earlham has grown gradually over the past 100 years and the world would appreciate a few more Earlhamites out there. A third theme is that Earlham needs Richmond and Richmond needs Earlham. Our futures are intertwined and neither can succeed without the other. How can we make Earlham a welcoming beacon for Richmond, Wayne County and the entire region? What new opportunities can we offer our students and faculty to connect their academic work with the opportunities and needs that exist in our own neighborhood? I’m not certain yet what the answer is, but I believe solving the Earlham + Richmond equation will help us fulfill our mission and achieve our goals. I intend to keep listening.

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NEW Notable Price adds 3 to cabinet President Alan Price ’88 has announced new leadership for the areas of student life, enrollment and finance. Hagi Bradley was named vice president for student life and dean of students during the summer. Bradley previously worked at the University of the South (Sewanee) where he served as associate dean of students since 2012. In his 25year career in student life, he has held positions at Indiana UniversityPurdue University Fort Wayne, Louisiana State University and Millsaps College. Priscilla Alicea also joined Earlham over the summer as vice president for enrollment. She will oversee all admissions and recruitment functions for the College. Bilingual in English and Spanish, Alicea is an experienced professional whose 20-year background in higher education includes multicultural and international recruitment. Alicea previously worked at Bryant University in Rhode Island where she worked in enrollment management since 2002, most recently as director of admission. Stacy Davidson was announced as vice president of finance in December. She previously worked at Colorado College in several roles, most recently as an associate vice president of finance and controller. Her career background includes direct experience with many of the same areas she will oversee at Earlham, including facilities, operations, policy development, budget planning and investments.

Got EC pride? New class responds with resounding ‘Yes!’ The Earlham Class of 2021 is bursting with school pride according to a national survey given to nearly 300 new Earlhamites. Eighty-two percent of the students polled reported having “very much” or “quite a bit” of school pride, according to responses made before they ever took a class or moved into their dorms. The average student score was a 4.3 on a five-point scale. Alumni’s affinity for Earlham also was featured by Forbes as part of its “2017 Grateful Grads Index,” published in August. The highly selective list ranks the 200 colleges and universities in the U.S. that produce happy and successful alumni. Included institutions are ranked by two primary factors: median private donations and gifts per student over 10 years, and second, the “alumni participation rate,” or the percentage of graduates who give back to their alma mater, regardless of dollar amount.

Washington Center names Earlham ‘New Affiliate of the Year’ Earlham has been named New Affiliate of the Year by the Washington Center for Internships and Academic Seminars. The College was recognized during the Center’s Fall 2017 Awards Luncheon at the National Press Club. Earlhamites have enrolled in the Center’s programs for the last two years and benefit from academic coursework and internships across the nation’s capital at local and federal government offices and cultural centers, among other locations.



NEW Notable Price honors alumnus’ commitment to housing equality in Richmond Andy Cecere, a former Earlham student who went on to become a celebrated civic leader in Richmond, was awarded the Presidential Medal of Merit from Alan Price ’88. The honor was presented to Cecere as part of Price’s inauguration festivities. Cecere, counted an honorary member of Earlham’s Class of 1945, interrupted his undergraduate education in 1943 to serve in the military. Back in Richmond, Cecere worked as an attorney and was credited with fighting against racial inequity in housing and employment practices for the citizens of the city. He was also a key player in the city’s efforts to secure federal funding to rebuild the downtown following a catastrophic explosion in 1968.

Alumna recognized among Time’s Persons of the Year Sara Gelser ’94 has been recognized as one of Time magazine’s persons of the year for 2017. The magazine recognized Gelser as one of “the silence breakers,” a group of women and men who have been outspoken about sexual assault, based on their personal experiences. Other silence breakers include singersongwriter Taylor Swift, activist Tarana Burke and actor Ashley Judd. Gelser, a state senator from Corvallis, Oregon, filed a formal complaint last year against one of her fellow senators for unwanted touching and sexual harassment. Her action resulted in the legislator’s removal from several committee assignments. “Time magazine did an extraordinary job,” Gelser posted in a tweet. “What an honor to be included, and I hope that women and men in every profession know this is their time to be heard. No more silence. There is no shame in telling your story.” Sara Gelser '94

Gelser’s daughter, Ellie ’20, was recently interviewed on campus by WHIO, a Dayton, Ohio, television station, regarding her mother’s work. “It’s not something you want to look on Facebook and see, ‘Oh, my mother is experiencing this,’” Ellie said. “I think what my mom did was incredibly brave and amazing — but I think it’s also really important to acknowledge there are so many other people who have experienced this and they don’t have the power to come forward.”

Andy Cecere and Alan Price ’88


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NEW Notable Earlhamites contribute to website to grow Hoosier workforce Joe Henry ’05 and Anastasia Mihailov ’15 were members of a three-county economic development team that launched a new employment website for east central Indiana. connects job seekers with hundreds of listings for part- and full-time work and internships. Henry, a psychology major at Earlham, was a manager at the Economic Development Corp. of Wayne County, when the website was launched. Mihailov, a politics major at Earlham, was a grant administrator and community development professional for the Randolph Economic Development Corp. Both recently have accepted new positions with different organizations, with Mahailov joining Earlham’s Center for Career and Community Engagement.

Earlhamite’s vision for advanced propulsion system in futuristic aircraft catches NASA’s attention Giorgi Mtchedlishvili ’18 and other students from Columbia University’s Space Initiative recently placed first in the NASA Aeronautics Challenge for its design of a futuristic aircraft called Gryphon. The 12-member team spent nine months designing a next-generation commercial transport plane that met or exceeded the contest’s goals of reduction in noise, emissions and fuel consumption in the Low Noise Subsonic Challenge. Mtchedlishvili, who completed a pre-engineering major and minors in physics and mathematics at Earlham before enrolling at Columbia, was on the propulsion team in the competition and worked to optimize the plane’s combustion chamber.



NEW Notable Chemistry professor named president-elect for NAAHP Mike Deibel, professor of chemistry and co-director of Earlham’s Center for Global Health, has been named president-elect of the National Association of Advisors for the Health Profession, an organization of more than 1,850 health professions advisers at colleges and universities throughout the United States and abroad.

is nationally recognized as a leader for preparing students to earn advanced degrees. In fact, the College is in the top 2 percent in the nation in the life sciences for the percentage of students who earn research doctorates, according to the most recent report from the Higher Education Data Sharing consortium.

A seven-year member of the NAAHP’s board of directors and its current treasurer, Deibel will begin his two-year term in August 2018. As part of that appointment, Deibel will serve two years as president and also an additional two years as past-president, culminating in 2022.

In his leadership role with Earlham’s Center for Global Health, Deibel successfully co-authored a $100,000 national grant proposal to further develop the College’s medical humanities integrated pathway. Through a major initiative called the EPIC Advantage, this Center fully funds internships, externships, off-campus study and international research experiences for all interested students.

“I’m honored to serve in this new leadership role for the NAAHP,” Deibel says. “We have thousands of prehealth advisor members, and this strong network of professionals brings many benefits to Earlham and our students seeking careers in the sometimes complicated, challenging and competitive world of health professions.” Deibel teaches courses in chemistry and serves as the lead advisor for students who are planning to attend medical school and other health sciences graduate programs. His mentorship is among the reasons Earlham


Earlhamite: The Magazine of Earlham College

“Not only is this a huge and well-deserved honor for Mike, it also has so much value for Earlham,” says Nelson Bingham, acting academic dean. “It shines a spotlight on his professional service in that organization, but it also highlights the important place that health sciences play in the liberal arts experience at Earlham. We continue to be proud of Mike’s accomplishments and everything he is doing to support students’ career aspirations.”


NEW Notable Playground for a Purpose

College guides take note of Earlham value

A team of Earlham students has delivered on its plan to bring a first-of-its-kind playground to the Richmond area.

Earlham continues to be recognized by the nation’s most popular college guides as a top liberal arts college for value, international admissions and classroom experience.

“Playground With a Purpose,” a play space built for children with special needs, is now open at Clear Creek Park in Richmond thanks to the collective efforts of five 2017 graduates: Caleb Smith, Peniel Ibe, Truman McGee, Rachel Logan-Wood and Regan Lowring.

The Fiske Guide to Colleges recently recognized Earlham as one of just 38 “Best Buys” across the nation while U.S. News and World Report ranked the College fourth for having the highest percentage of international students on campus.

In about a year’s time, beginning September 2016, the team completed the necessary research, design work and fundraising necessary to complete the project in partnership with the city’s Department of Parks and Recreation. The team raised more than $200,000. The playground features movable sensory panels and dome-like structures for children seeking a break from play.

In Princeton Review’s Best 382 Colleges, Earlham ranked 18th for “Best Classroom Experience” and 20th for “Professors Get High Marks.” Forbes, whose rankings focus on return on investment, or what students are getting out of college, included the College in the top 20 percent of all colleges and universities. Earlham also earned an “A” for financial strength as part of the rankings.

New program allows students to earn 2 degrees and become teachers in 4 years Earlham students can now earn a Bachelor of Arts degree and a Master’s of Art in Teaching in four years. Eight academic departments have developed four-year plans for students wishing to pursue this program, beginning with the 2018-19 academic year. They include biology, chemistry, French and Francophone studies, English, geology, mathematics, physics and astronomy, and Spanish and Hispanic studies. Students must complete their major and all general education requirements by the end of their third year on campus in addition to maintaining a 3.0 grade-point average and passing a state teacher’s examination in their area of study. In the fourth year, students will be billed at a lower tuition rate for the M.A.T. program and will be eligible to live off campus.



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n a g n i Becom

No, they don’t wear capes or wield lassoes of truth, but they are pretty SUPER. Every August, just south off of National Road, past the Kicking Post, at the intersection of Main and Central Drives, members of the New Student Orientation staff cheer and wave signs for the first-year students.

was to “turn out well-instructed, serious and useful men

It’s a hero’s welcome. Or even a superhero’s, if superheroes were driven to college by parents in minivans packed with clothes and advice for all seasons.

and a scientific laboratory.”

and women.” Correct principles and habits were valued as much as “mental powers.” At the time, only Quakers attended. Tom Jones, president of Earlham from 1946-1958, advocated what he called “The Earlham Idea,” that Earlham would be “a cross between a Quaker meeting

President Alan Price ’88 spoke at his inauguration this fall of what it means to be an Earlhamite: having the ability to listen profoundly, to see pathways to peace, to find “creative solutions where others see only obstacles,

They are on their way to becoming Earlhamites. But, what is that nowadays? Earlham has had 170 years to sort out some answers.

and a sense of humanity that can radiate from you like

In 1863, the guiding body for Earlham at the time, the

Earlhamites they become, there do seem to be some

Indiana Yearly Meeting, stated that the aim of the school

common threads, including some bright new ones.

light.” While no one could count all the ways that students become Earlhamites, or all the different kinds of



Origin stories

That’s a good thing.” Washington-Lacey herself experienced her share of collisions when she came to Earlham in the fall of 1974.

Bonita Washington-Lacey ’78 has been a familiar face at the College for more than 34 years, working in admissions, student life and, for the past 16 years, in academic affairs. In her role as senior associate vice president for academic affairs, she officially introduces students to academic life at New Student Orientation each year and helps them find their way academically through classes and mentoring. Not coincidentally, she’s also the

“I grew up in Detroit and inherited values from my family,” she says. Some of her views were challenged. They needed to be defended or let go. “I had to rethink some things.” And while those collisions are important, she says, they are not the goal. What she found for herself and looks for from every student is the switch from a passive approach to education to an active one.

recipient of the most hugs as students cross the stage

“When they are excited to learn, they look forward to

for their diplomas at graduation. She’s been with them

going to classes, to new ideas,” she says. “You know

the whole way.

that they are on the right path when you can see that. They have found the ‘teacher within’ and don’t depend

“I get to watch them come in, sometimes with

on something or someone else to motivate them. They

uncertainties, and see them grow,” she says. “I get

find their own voice intellectually.”

to talk with them, discuss difficulties, celebrate their successes with them. It’s one of the most rewarding parts of my role here, seeing how they change.” Students undoubtedly go through a transformation at Earlham, she says, but the idea is not to make them into a cookie-cutter ideal. “We get to help students become their best selves,” she says. “We don’t seek students who are the same and wouldn’t expect them to be the same when they leave. One of the reasons students choose Earlham, and we choose them is because of who they are — the individual experiences they have had, the learning they’ve acquired, their excitement and energy, their curiosity, their creativity. “You bring all that together and combine it with the diversity in the classroom, and you are going to have new ideas develop. There will be intellectual collisions.


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“EPIC is serving as a platform to imagine new

New Ways to become an Earlhamite?

interdisciplinary connections. It is helping us move forward in animating the liberal arts into career preparation. And it pushes us forward pedagogically as

“In a lot of ways, EPIC adds a new superpower for

it relates to where learning happens. Learning happens

students,” says Jay Roberts, Earlham’s associate vice

significantly in the classroom, but it also happens in

president for academic affairs. EPIC is a strategic

other places — outside of the classroom on campus, in

initiative rolled out in 2016 creating several new

the community and around the world.”

interdisciplinary centers, reorganized advising and launching EPIC Advantage, an offer to fund a research, project or internship experience for every student. EPIC was a major step for the College, but not without precedent. Earlham has always had a bold, experimental strand in its DNA. Roberts points out that there was also a time when Earlham was well ahead of the curve on interdisciplinary


According to Roberts, Earlham has always offered ways to view the world from a variety of lenses. EPIC adds even more of these, more new ways for students

What does a hero’s journey entail? It often entails risk, adventure, testing of limits, adversity, new perspectives and profound realizations. That’s powerful, and it is creating a new kind of Earlhamite. It’s about discovering your superpower, and it’s a clarion call to work with others to use those powers for good.

programs and international education, for example.

Jay Roberts, associate vice president for academic affairs

“A number of major initiatives were launched in a blossoming period of experimentation and innovation at Earlham during the 70s and in the years after,” says Roberts. “An incredible legacy has been built since then. I think we’re in the middle of a new period of experimentation and innovation.

to think about the world’s significant challenges, who they are as changemakers, and how they can make a difference in the world. The EPIC Advantage, for example, is already funding research and internship experiences that wouldn’t have otherwise been possible. “It is available for everyone. It’s an access and inclusion issue for us and very few schools — maybe two or three in the country — provide these kinds of high impact experiences to every student regardless of financial need.”

“Our CoLab centers likewise provide real opportunities to test out ideas through research, community based projects, and studying the significant challenges of the 21st century. The centers for social justice, global health, entrepreneurship and innovation — they cut across all disciplines and they give students from any major a chance to plug into new perspectives and new ways of thinking about the defining challenges


of this generation. Similarly, an off-campus study

When Price meets with groups of alumni, he often asks

experience through the Center for Global Education is

them what Earlham has meant to them: “What about

an unparalleled way for a student to understand the

Earlham changed your life?” Not surprisingly, two of the

world globally and test out theories in very different

three top answers — faculty, friends and “mountain-top”

communities of practice.”

experiences — have to do with people.

Roberts compares it to the mythological hero’s journey, à

“We don’t have a monopoly on good friendships, of

la author Joseph Campbell.

course, but we are careful to make sure the precursors

“What does a hero’s journey entail? It often entails risk, adventure, testing of limits, adversity, new perspectives and profound realizations. That’s powerful, and it is creating a new kind of Earlhamite,” says Roberts. “It’s about discovering your superpower, and it’s a clarion call to work with others to use those powers for good.

are there,” says Price. “Part of our Quaker legacy are the Principles and Practices that our entire campus community aspires to, a shared set of standards to guide us,” he says. “These are important guides — respect for persons, integrity, simplicity, community and a commitment to peace and social justice — and they put us on the very best footing. When we fail each other or

“It’s not ignoring the past though. It is building on it. You

ourselves, and we do, we always have a clear sense of a

know the classic Quaker biblical line about not hiding

standard to aim for.”

your light under a bushel? We’re about letting our light shine. Becoming an Earlhamite is about discovering that light and then working with others, collaborating to focus that light. To shine on.”

It may be that the best way to judge a community is how it handles problems rather than successes. In the winter of 2016, faculty members agreed to suspend classes for a day and meet for a time of


Truth, Justice, and Principles and Practices

“dialogue and discernment” regarding recent student protests. Eric Nicholson ’17, currently a Quaker Fellow Intern, recalls the role that Earlham’s values played. “There was

President Price relates a story from alumni of two groups

a disagreement about how Earlham was living out its

of Earlham students traveling together on a bus to D.C.

Principles and Practices. These are important issues for

to protest. They were on opposite sides of the issue.

us, especially when the sense is that the College is not

“They made it a point to have a great time together on

living up to them.”

the trip even though they shared opposing views,” says

Instead of letting problems fester, the faculty voted

Price. “Where else can you see a vision of community

to pause for a day, gather and listen. An all-campus

where difference does not prevent friendship? In fact, it

meeting was held. Agreement in all matters may not

is a catalyst for deeper understanding.”

have been the outcome, but respect was the order of the day.


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“Principles and Practices create a space,” says

Shrestha took part in a five-day interdisciplinary pre-

Nicholson, “where you know what to expect as far as

orientation experience for incoming students. Among the

how you will be treated and you know what others

many topics encountered, an introduction to Richmond, American culture, burritos, and Earlham’s Quaker roots and values.

expect from you. It creates a community that can stand together when tested.“ More than 40 of Nicholson’s relatives have attended Earlham, stretching back to his great-great-grandfather, Samuel Edgar Nicholson, member of the class of 1885. Eric also grew up Quaker. “Because of Earlham’s Principles and Practices,” says Nicholson, “this felt more like communities that I grew up in. And I think that was very valuable to me. But I also

“What I quickly learned is that acceptance is deep in the culture of this place. Earlham is a place where we are open and value different cultures and people. We try to make sure everyone feels safe and respected.” The campuswide effort on community takes work, according to Price, and Earlham is willing to put in the effort.

know people who grew up outside of Quakerism that

“We bring such an intentional and broad diversity and

felt that way. The values gained through understanding

aim to build one community in that diversity,” says Price

and practicing them are important here and something

“It’s not like at some schools. We don’t bring in diversity

people carry out wherever they go.”

so you can stay in your clique and then not fully engage.

Currently about six percent of Earlham students are Quaker. When Nicholson’s great-great-grandfather attended, that number was closer to 70 percent.

We are intentional about mixing things up. We do this in all dimensions: socio-economic, faith, ethnicity, nationality, identity and passions. All these things come together and by living with and learning with people

As much has changed from those times, diversity has

who are very different from yourself, you not only better

surely gained. The campus has become not only national

understand yourself, but you also begin to build the skill

in its character and composition, but international, with

of living with and working with differences.”

more than 20 percent of students coming from countries

“The result is whether those differences are in a foreign

other than the U.S.

culture or in a corporate environment, our graduates

Maniz Shrestha ‘19 from Kathmandu, Nepal, is the first

can navigate them more easily. Our focus on peace and

from his family to attend Earlham. “Coming to Earlham,

social justice helps us listen in the face of difference. For

I was a stranger in a new land, so it was important to

many people, that’s where they stop listening, and that’s

learn what kind of place this is,” says Shrestha.

where Earlhamites begin.”



CELEBRATION Earlham formally installs its 18th president, Alan C. Price ’88.



Alan Price ’88 holds two Earlhams in his heart: One that is unique to his time and one that lives on through future generations. “The part that is unique to your time doesn’t just happen. You have to make it,” Price told students, faculty, alumni and distinguished guests during his inaugural address in September.

“One day you will realize that this is your college. When that happens, you will truly realize the benefit of your Earlham education,” he said. “And you will join hands and do all you can to give back to this college — not just because it is a worthy and beautiful institution, But because in this place the world has assembled in passionate pursuit of the most noble ideas — that an educational community can free the mind, open our hearts, give us the skills and tools, and awaken us to hear and follow our calling.” Price’s inauguration brought about 1,000 people to campus, including delegates from 88 other institutions. Events during the week of inauguration were designed to bring Earlham’s community together. At midweek, Price spoke at a convocation about the College’s role in addressing issues related to social justice. In addition to the inauguration ceremony itself, events included a recognition of community partners in the Richmond and Wayne County area, a special College Meeting for Worship, fireworks, and a concert by the a cappella group Naturally 7. In his inauguration day address, Price spoke of an Earlham that is timeless and enduring, is ready to grow, prepared to offer transformational experiences to every student before graduation, and poised to pursue new avenues where students can have fun as they live and learn. Price would like Earlham’s enrollment to grow over several years. Such growth would help Earlham be more competitive with its peer colleges and strengthen academic departments, study abroad programs, internship sites, student organizations and athletics teams. “My vision is that Earlham will remain Earlham — only a bit larger so that more Earlham students and faculty

will allow Earlham to make a bigger difference in the world,” Price said. Price believes that Earlham should continue to innovate, building on recent advances to make it more distinct in the higher education marketplace and to make Earlhamites more successful in their careers. Earlham is one of the few institutions in the country to offer a funded internship, research experience or project to every student before graduation. The program, called the EPIC Advantage, is supported by an initial $7.5 million leadership gift from Alan ’74 and Peg Scantland ’74. “It creates a stronger bridge between the rigorous academic experience and a marketable work experience,” Price said. “We have long known that our Quaker, liberal arts education leads to remarkable careers. Now, with the addition of internships and applied research, our graduates can more easily, more successfully, and with more impact make the transition into the worlds of work and graduate schools.” But before graduation, Price believes Earlhamites must take the time to unwind and not take themselves too seriously. “One important element of an Earlham education, for your own health, well-being and complete development, is time for fun,” he said, referencing the once popular annual celebration of May Day at the College. “My vision for Earlham’s future, and my challenge to you, is to discern and develop a new tradition of fun on a grand scale.”

Astronomical Achievements

The software engineering breakthroughs of Margaret Hamilton ’58 have led to top honors from the White House, NASA, the Computer History Museum — and now LEGO.

HER LEGO LIKENESS stands four centimeters tall. Behind gold glasses, her ink black eyes have a permanent glint. She smiles with accomplishment. Her point of pride? A stack of books standing nearly as tall as she is. And those plastic books? As the introductory text for this “Women of NASA” LEGO set


explains, nationally renowned software engineer Margaret Heafield Hamilton ’58 changed NASA history with the stack of software source code she and her team wrote for the Apollo 11 mission to the moon. Most readers will recognize the 1969 images of astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, the first earthlings to walk on the moon. This LEGO set memorializes a

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contemporaneous photo, one that represents an extraordinary triumph in its own right: Hamilton holding up a towering pile of printed and bound software code. The real-life books stacked more than five feet high, and every line of code had to work correctly in order to navigate the Apollo mission to the moon and back home. All this while the field of software engineering was still in its nascence.


With Hamilton’s leadership, the mission succeeded — and her astronomical achievement is receiving renewed attention. Science writer Maia Weinstock designed the LEGO set and hopes it will teach people about Hamilton’s “incredible story.” “So much of our knowledge about NASA’s accomplishments during the Space Race features male heroes, and I hope Margaret’s inclusion in my set helps turn her into a female hero of that era,” Weinstock says. “Margaret worked on more than just the landing, and more than just Apollo, but without her contributions, the Apollo 11 mission likely wouldn’t have gone as smoothly as it did.” Hamilton is featured alongside astronauts Mae Jemison and Sally Ride as well as astronomer Grace Roman. The set drew such enthusiasm that it sold out within days of its release. As of press time, LEGO was working to produce more copies for store shelves.

Make room on the mantle

NASA honored Hamilton in 2003 with an Exceptional Space Act Award. Earlham caught up with her in 2009, recognizing her as a Distinguished Alumni. This year she also joined the likes of Linus Torvalds, Grace Hopper and Steve Wozniak in the Hall of Fellows of the Computer History Museum. It was in November of 2016 that she brought home perhaps her highest honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom. President Barack Obama awarded the medal to Hamilton along with 21 other Americans, including Ellen DeGeneres, Michael Jordan and Bill and Melinda Gates. “Margaret Heafield Hamilton,” the announcer read on the day of the White House ceremony. “A pioneer in technology, Margaret Hamilton defined new forms of software engineering and helped launch an industry that would forever change human history. Her software architecture led to giant leaps for humankind, writing the code that helped America set foot on the moon. She broke barriers in founding her own software businesses, revolutionizing an industry and inspiring countless women to participate in STEM fields. Her love of exploration and innovation are the source code of the human spirit and her genius has inspired generations to reach for the stars.”

Margaret Hamilton ’58 with a stack of Apollo navigation source code in 1969. (Photo: MIT Museum)

Margaret Hamilton smiled, then contained her emotion, then smiled again as the President placed the award around her neck. Her great-grandson, age 9, was there with family to witness it. For Hamilton, the experience of that moment is still hard to put into words. Even the phone call when she found out about the award “felt like being in the Twilight Zone,” she recalls, especially when she heard that President Obama himself had suggested her nomination.

One of the greatest joys of the award turned out to be the way it prompted others to reach out, whether childhood friends, clients of her current enterprise, or one of the 400 programmers whose work she supervised during the Apollo missions.

Bunny, as she was known in her pre-MIT days, also picked up a philosophy minor while at Earlham and was voted its homecoming queen in 1957. She thought she might become a math professor like Long, but found her way to computer science after a move to Boston.

“I am reminded by so many of how they are still involved one way or another in using the results of the work we have been involved in and evolved for many years,” Hamilton says.

In Boston, she took a job assisting Edward N. Lorenz, a professor at MIT’s Meteorology Department. It didn’t pay a great deal, but it did give her access to an LGP-30, one of the leading edge computers of its time.

The results of that work are now at the heart of lifesaving technologies — literally. In order to demonstrate the scope of Hamilton’s impact here on Earth, Professor of Computer Science Charlie Peck ’84 tells students to think of a pacemaker. That little machine that helps to keep hearts pumping has to be ultra-reliable. Or, consider the software behind automated cars and trams. Their accuracy is a matter of life and death. In order to build software systems with such accuracy, software engineers depend on principles of ultra-reliability that were first outlined by Hamilton herself.

As for programming, there were no textbooks to learn from, no classes to take, but computers did come with manuals — the LGP-30 manual ran 64 pages from cover to cover. And for Hamilton there was Lorenz, an insatiably curious, kindred spirit. No small intellect, he would later go on to fame as a pioneer of chaos theory, coining the term “butterfly effect.”

Her path to computer science

“Lorenz encouraged me to design and build what would today be called a mini-operating system for my applications,” says Hamilton, who credits her experiences in software engineering at MIT with shaping her approach to the developing field.

Hamilton found her way to Earlham through family. Eight family members had gone to Earlham before her, including her mother and both of her grandparents. She tried to make her own way by going to the University of Michigan, but transferred after a semester.

“Lorenz gave me all the freedom I needed in order to experiment with new ways to do things. He loved working with his computer. Known as a genius by his colleagues, his love for software experimentation was contagious.”

“I grew up in tiny little Midwestern towns throughout my childhood,” says Hamilton, “so the University of Michigan seemed so huge and unfriendly. I’m sure I also had aunts and uncles telling me that I should go to Earlham because they had.”

One of Hamilton’s next roles was with the SemiAutomatic Ground Environment, the first U.S. air defense system. The SAGE computer took up rooms of warehouse-like space, and programmers entered their code onto coding sheets, which others transferred to paper punch cards or tape.

Her grandfather, Eliezer Partington, class of 1904, was a Quaker minister. Her mother, Esther Partington Heafield, was a 1934 graduate who went on to become a high school teacher. Dad was a poet who taught philosophy and English. Hamilton was intent on studying math, and at Earlham in the 1950s that meant studying under Florence Long, a longtime professor of mathematics at the College. “Math students were like an extended family for her,” Hamilton says. “She would invite us all to her home and make cucumber sandwiches for us.”


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Whenever the computer encountered an error with the code, the system notified everyone in the building through flashing lights and foghorns. Everyone including programmers and computer operators would come running to see whose program was at fault. It had happened to her. “I was determined not to let something like that happen again,” Hamilton says. Just 22 years old and eager to learn, she recognized that there were certain steps she could take to keep each kind of error from happening in the future.

President Barack Obama presents Hamilton with a Presidential Medal of Freedom, the Nation’s highest civilian honor, in November 2016. (Photo: Lawrence Jackson for the White House)

Hamilton remembers receiving a pre-dawn phone call from one of the computer operators who said something had gone terribly wrong with her program. Without hesitation, she drove out to Lincoln Labs at 4 a.m. to address it.

and the astronauts — and heard when, suddenly, the on-board flight computer became overworked. The software’s priority displays alerted the astronauts and Mission Control to a hardware error, a switch put into the wrong position. Just as programmed, the software immediately began to compensate for the problem.

“It became a way of being and doing,” she adds. When this habit was repeated over years, and hardened under the pressure of Apollo missions, it led to some of Hamilton’s early conceptual contributions: asynchronous software, priority scheduling, end-to-end testing, and man-in-the-loop decision capability such as priority displays. For Hamilton, the sense of discovery was dual. Not only was she helping humans to visit places that would have been unimaginable, but she was also doing it using computer systems that were also at their advent. As Hamilton told interviewers at MIT, “the software experience itself — designing it, developing it, evolving it, watching it perform and learning from it for future systems — was at least as exciting as the events surrounding the mission.”

Her giant leap

Like so many people around the world, Hamilton watched with awe as the Apollo 11 mission neared the lunar surface for what would be an unprecedented human landing. From the MIT laboratory, Hamilton listened to conversations between Mission Control

With only a few minutes to decide between aborting the mission and continuing, NASA decision-makers had enough confidence in Hamilton’s software to continue with the landing. Hamilton remembers her relief at the lunar touchdown. “Oh my God, the software worked just the way it was supposed to!” she exclaimed. It was only after the fact that she thought, “Oh, we landed on the moon!” Almost 50 years later, those events are retold in two new children’s books, Margaret and the Moon and STEM Trailblazers: Space Engineer and Scientist Margaret Hamilton, and reenacted with the LEGO sets. Characteristically modest, Hamilton says that the benefit of the toys and books is that “at least my greatgrandchildren will know a little bit about me.” Yes, they will.


Taking The Heart Courtney Adams ’98 and Christina Limbird ’98 have found a familiar way to help girls become leaders.

Courtney Adams ’98 and Christina Limbird ’98

Back in the fall of 1994, Courtney Adams ’98 and Christina Limbird ’98 met on the first day of classes. They were in Olvey-Andis Living and Learning Hall, where they spent their first humanities class sitting cross-legged in a circle with Professor Emeritus of History Chuck Yates. They both went on to be German majors and lived in service-learning houses, Woodman and Wilbur. Both went to Europe directly after graduation: Limbird as Professor of German Margaret Hampton’s assistant, and Adams on a Fulbright to Austria. They have been in Europe ever since. Limbird’s career led her to create an international educational support agency based in Germany, and Adams is an independent consultant in France focusing on processes, standards and project management for international companies. In their spare time, however, they are preparing the next generation of European and world leaders, and they are going about it Earlham style.


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“Our Earlham experience has been a defining factor in our work with young people on so many different levels,” Limbird says. Adams and Limbird are two of the three co-founders of Girls Gearing Up, a one-week Leadership Academy summer camp in Berlin that brings together girls aged 13-17 from across the world to practice leadership skills and grow in their confidence. The effort is funded primarily by private donors and the cost of camp varies from 25-750 euros for participants. It’s a diverse group. Some of GGU’s participants go to international schools or are the children of ambassadors. Others have recently arrived in Berlin to seek refuge, or come from underserved communities. “Very quickly they find that what unites them is so much greater than what separates them,” Limbird says. “Within a matter of days, hours even, these girls step way out of their comfort zones to create an incredibly supportive community where they are able to challenge themselves

to Europe

to learn and try new things, and maybe even fail.” During the week at camp, girls begin to identify their own unique strengths and begin to believe in their power as individuals and within a community. “Our goal at each camp is to build an Earlhamlike community based on complete mutual respect regardless of anyone’s background or life experience,” Adams says. “The experience of living and learning in such an idealistic, egalitarian community at Earlham has driven us to try to recreate that in all of our programs.” Although replicating the Earlham community is not something they discuss explicitly with the girls, they certainly feel it. “We do all our work in circles,” Limbird says. “We’re all on first-name basis, which is not the norm in Germany at all.”


At the end of the day, the girls sit in a circle, arms crossed, holding hands. A squeeze is passed from hand to hand, first circling one way, then the other and so on as the smiling commences and stumbling blocks to friendship fall. Sound familiar? “We ‘pass the squeeze’ just like we did around The Heart at Earlham. Our commitment to the idea of the inner light and the equal value of each person’s voice is a core component in how we build beautiful peaceful communities with our kids from the most diverse backgrounds you can imagine.” After the camp experience, year-round events in Berlin support girls as they work to apply what they’ve learned, and GGU’s WhatsApp group and social media channels allow the girls to remain in contact offering advice and support.


“Through each activity we focus on equipping the girls with the tools they need to succeed — public speaking, project management or building a website,” Adams says. The idea for GGU came about after Adams and Limbird attended the Women’s International Networking Conference in Rome in 2011. They wanted girls to experience the power of an international women’s network and gain exposure to female role models while they were still young. They teamed with third co-founder Chineme Ugbor and launched the first GGU camp. “Through our work and in our individual professional lives we recognized that the messages girls receive about who they are and what they can be are too narrow, and that there is a serious lack of diverse role models for girls to look up to as they are forging their paths in life,” Adams says. “Every day at the Academy we meet power mentors, successful female athletes, artists, scientists, engineers, entrepreneurs, activists, etc. We adventure


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Christina and Courtney (photo, right) have lived in Europe since they graduated and have found a way to work together since 2002. Some of their favorite Earlham memories include discussing German literature over Kuchen at Professor Emerita of German Barbara Jurasek’s house and having long talks on Professor of German Margaret Hampton’s porch.

through Germany’s startups like WATTx or biggest employers like Deutsche Bahn.” The two reference a 2017 Microsoft study of 11,500 girls and women in Europe that found girls don’t pursue STEM careers due to a lack of female roles models. They also cite a 2013 study by The Glass Hammer and Accenture that found a strong correlation between women with role models and women with leadership goals. “It’s 2017 — we’re still looking at women holding around 15 percent of board seats and fewer than 20 percent of tech leadership positions globally,” Adams says. “As of 2016, less than 23 percent of all national parliamentarians worldwide were women. At the same time, you have new studies coming out showing that girls as young as six years old think that boys are naturally smarter than they are. “And this is detrimental to all of us, girls and boys, women and men. We know that diversity and inclusion


We ‘pass the squeeze’ just like we did around The Heart at Earlham. Our commitment to the idea of the inner light and the equal value of each person’s voice is a core component in how we build beautiful peaceful communities with our kids from the most diverse backgrounds you can imagine.

benefit everyone in a society, driving innovation, creativity and problem-solving.”

Earlham, and, perhaps more importantly, the nerve to take on problems without easy answers.

Although there are several leadership programs for girls in the United States, this field is essentially untouched in Europe.

“Earlham taught us that we can tackle anything, that we can figure things out, and that we have the same light to give or shine as anyone else,” Adams says. They launched GGU with more passion than experience. “We launched GGU with virtually no experience and no real capital but with a belief that we could and the conviction that everyone we work with has a unique and important light to shine as well. That almost certainly came from Earlham.”

“There is no other girls leadership program of this kind in Central Europe,” Limbird says. “Girls Gearing Up is filling an important gap in youth engagement and civil society in Europe.” Adams and Limbird say they have put to good use the critical thinking and research skills they developed at




The Makings of an ESR Graduate A classmate from elementary school reached out to me through social media recently. In the course of reconnecting for the first time in 40 years, she asked, “So are you a man of the cloth now?” That is not a term one hears frequently among Quaker ministers. I confessed that I would not describe myself in that manner, but that I am a recorded Quaker minister. A frequent next question in such a conversation is “How did that happen?” — a question very much in the vein of how does one become an Earlhamite, or in this case, an ESRite. Such formation is a process. It happens slowly, over time. Attending seminary or preparing for ministry is not a standard expectation for most people’s educational pursuit. From conversations with students and alums, the process typically begins with a growing awareness of movement or a calling in one’s life. It may first appear as a growing restlessness with current employment. It could emerge as a new curiosity to explore and cultivate spiritual practices. It is often wrapped in desires to minister to hurting individuals, unleash compassion into the world, or find meaning by participating in a divine purpose, to name a few. However it surfaces, these experiences usually make the convincing case that one is being drawn toward something new for which theological education would be valuable. In many ways, the formation of an ESRite is analogous to Jesus’ saying in Matthew 16:24 about denying one’s self, taking up one’s cross and following him. If one answers “yes” to that calling, it often requires a redirecting of one’s life. Our graduates include a medical doctor who enrolled in the M. Div. program to better integrate spirituality into health care, a teacher whose life was interrupted by a disability and


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now ministers to others whose lives are so interrupted, and a peace advocate who is combining biking and a coffee shop in a ministry devoted to the empowerment of women. Along the way, previously held aspirations are released in favor of a new pursuit. Closely held assumptions are examined. Values that form the framework upon which lives have been built come under scrutiny. Some survive; others are revised; yet others are discarded. Lives of service emerge, usually at the expense of fame or wealth. Even so, a sense of grounded joy is normative because this path leads to an integrated life where being and doing gives rise to faith and practice. This integration generally requires the embrace of values that are countercultural. The teachings of Jesus challenge many prevalent social assumptions and mores. Suspicion is replaced by love. Violence is overcome by peace and justice. Relationships are valued more than the accumulation of material things. Other persons are cared for because we know we cannot truly be ourselves without them. These priorities shape worldview and commitments as they settle into an ESRite’s fabric of being. Such integration produces congruence, or what might be called integrity of purpose in which life’s work aligns with these most deeply held values, and a radiant calmness embraces daily events with radical hospitality along with a firm commitment to be agents of change. In this way, our graduates are living testimonies to ESR’s deepest convictions!

Earlham made a difference in your life, make a difference in his. Support the future of Earlham with a gift in your will or by making the College a beneficiary of your retirement account. For more information about including Earlham in your estate plan, contact Kimberly Kelly Tanner ’90, associate vice president for institutional advancement at 765-983-1631.





For more information, contact, 765-983-1313 or Nominations due by March 1.


Submit your nominations for the Outstanding Alumni Awards, Distinguished Service Award and Athletics Hall of Fame inductees.

Homecoming and Reunion Weekend

September 21-23


L e s A n R o N s s ED Le


From Lima to the Andes, Cyrus Buckman ’18 and fellow students make the most of their May Term dedicated to public health.

From the back seat of the taxi, Cyrus Buckman ’18 braced himself as his hired car raced through the streets of the Lima, Peru, a stomach-dropping introduction to the city’s notorious tráfico loco. Considering the adventure before him, however, Buckman’s ride to the capital also served as fitting notice: Buckle up.

pursuing degrees in biology and psychology with career interests ranging from public health to neuroscience and everything in between.

STEP ONE: Be adaptable. Be ready for anything.

“There was a plan for what we were going to do,” Buckman says, “but we were told that changes would come up, and we must be willing to adapt to whatever change arises.”

As one of 10 Earlhamites participating in Earlham’s inaugural Global Health May Term, Buckman had been warned for months to have an open mind, to take the experiences as they come. Joining him on the trip were fellow biochemistry majors and other students

The three-week experience through Lima, Huancayo, Carabayllo and Huancaya, was organized in partnership with two multinational health care organizations — the Foundation for International Medical Relief of Children and Partners in Health.


Earlhamite: The Magazine of Earlham College Members of the May Term trip to Peru pose for a photo while in the district of Huancaya. Cyrus Buckman ’18, front row, right.

“Public health has emerged as a major field of interest for our students,” says Peter Blair, associate professor of biology and the co-director of the Center for Global Health. Blair co-led the excursion with Jose-Ignacio Pareja, Earlham’s director of the Science Technology Commons. A native of Peru, Pareja also served as a link to the culture and language of the country as the Earlham delegation moved from the capital and visited rural and urban communities across the Andes Mountains. “This May Term is a wonderful combination of the experiential education we value at Earlham and the clinical training and medical exposure our students will need after they graduate,” Blair says. The Center for Global Health plans to keep offering this excursion as one of the College’s funded EPIC Advantage experiences, with future trips planned for Nicaragua and Costa Rica. STEP TWO: Hold on to your training. Within 24 hours of arriving in Peru, the students received a crash course on how to contribute to a public health campaign, including skills-based training from FIMRC. At the end of the training blitz, the students were put to the test, taking vital signs, checking blood pressure and taking glucose readings — even giving dental fluoride treatments. Within the next four days, the students helped provide critical health care to 400 people in communities hard hit by flooding and landslides. The health care campaigns also resulted in doctor referrals and the distribution of free toiletry items. Buckman says that even with the relatively little training, he could make an impact.

“Even for me to listen to someone’s blood pressure and record it down can help detect if there are risks that are needing some attention,” Buckman says. For the students, Peru was also a proving ground for working in a health profession someday, either as nurses, public health officials or even doctors. “It was truly an amazing and transformative experience for our students,” Pareja says. “We hope their time in Peru reminds them of the importance of service, responsibility and caring for those in need of help, regardless of their decision to work or not in healthrelated fields.” STEP 3: Embrace it all, respectfully. During their travels, Buckman and his peers were unified by the unpredictability of their mission, the language barrier and thirst for new experiences. Beyond their contributions on public health campaigns, the journey continued at hospitals where the 10 observed operating room nurses and physicians and even learned the art of suturing on pig feet. Armed with just a few phrases in Spanish, the team of Earlhamites visited orphanages and performed skits in front of children and teen mothers intended to promote best practices in health and self-care. Learning about the Peruvian culture often proved as valuable to the team’s successes as the medical training they received. Buckman’s journal is peppered with reminders of advice he was given. Accept all gifts. Don’t let children touch your phones. Don’t speak too loudly. Group members were encouraged to engage in local customs when invited.


Food was a common gift and, as advised, everything was accepted. Not being accustomed to the food, however, sometimes made it tricky to know which things to eat. “As much as you might second guess whether it was safe or not to eat, we were thankful to be a part of their culture and recognized that they had been doing this all of their lives and it worked for them. We learned to keep in mind the privileges we had in our lives and appreciate how things are done for the way they are,” says Buckman. And for Buckman, he has a new appreciation for the lessons he has learned in navigating new cultures on the way to pursuing a career in medicine. That includes being elected as copresident of Earham Student Government prior to many of the medical-related activities he’s participated in. “I realize the interrelatedness of some of the activities I’ve participated in,” Buckman says. As a doctor, he’d be working as part of a team. “Knowing how to engage with a team is something I’ve developed with student government. By coming up with decisions and working with the school administration, I realize that engagements that I have participated in are not isolated events, but they all culminate into the experiences I’ve had as a human being. Such experiences will help me in whatever field I find myself in.” Led by faculty members Peter Blair and Jose-Ignacio Pareja, the group of 10 students learned about everything from the culture of Peru to suturing techniques during their three weeks in the “Land of the Incas.”


STEP 4: Trust the journey. Not every lesson is part of a plan. Among his many experiences in Peru, Buckman also can count becoming a patient of sorts. “In Huancaya we were 3,000 meters above sea level,” Buckman remembers. “It didn’t affect me at first, but I did too much and had a terrible headache for the whole night and the next day or so.” For two days during one of the most interesting experiences of his life, Buckman could do little but rest and eat soup as he was able. Call it a lesson in vulnerability. It contrasts sharply with the well-planned approach he is making to become a doctor. A biochemistry major from Ghana, Buckman has been on track for a career as a physician for a while now. Besides the trip to Peru, he has completed job shadowing and other career learning experiences at physician offices, hospitals and health clinics nearby campus. Shortly after returning from Peru, he also interned at the University of Louisville Medical Center, conducting cardiovascular

disease research. Before applying to graduate school, he plans to take a gap year while continuing to work in a medical setting. And while the trip to Peru was a part of his carefully considered journey, what it showed him was unexpected. Specifically, it reminded him of the importance of the patient-doctor relationship, and how it can change depending on where the doctor is serving. Peru showed him what kind of doctor he wanted to be. “In my native country and in Peru, a lot of people are semi-literate or illiterate and would take the word of a doctor as a final say,” Buckman says. “In the U.S., there is some dialogue going back and forth. The word of the doctor doesn’t necessarily become the final word, again because there’s a huge source of information around us just by accessing the internet.” “I want to be the kind of doctor who builds long-term relationships with my patients,” he says. “Not just treating them, but being mindful of what is going on in their life.”

Earlhamites explore the naturally formed sandstone pillars of Torre Torre, near the city of Huancayo.




shadows For as long as Noah Scherf ’21 can remember, the world has been a blur. He runs anyway. Noah Scherf ’21 runs in the shadows. He always has, and he always will. Which is why, no matter the time next to his name on a results sheet, there will forever be more to his story. Scherf is a first-year cross country athlete for Earlham College. He is also legally blind, and has been since birth — a 1-in-10,000-chance victim of coloboma, which is a defect of both retinas. He can see someone close to him, but not in very much detail. He can read, but the words can’t be far away, and large type helps a lot. That’s him coming up the steps in the Wellness Center, in his special glasses, and the cane he uses to navigate the campus he is just learning about. Cross country. Think about that for a moment. There are turns and twists, and tree limbs, and roots and changes in elevation and holes in the ground, and he can hardly see any of them. There is some risk in every step. And still, he runs — pretty well, too, finishing 20th overall at the HCAC championships,


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fourth among the Earlham runners — so you wonder what competing, in this or anything else, must mean to him. “I’m tempted to say,” he began, “that it means almost everything to me.” “It levels the playing field to a certain degree. The playing field is a lot more level than other areas of life, obviously. Cross country is the most risky for sure, but also probably the most fun because of the risk. Overall, it’s just been a way for me to kind of be even with the other guys.” We should mention his earliest sports, for the kid off a farm outside Michigan City, Indiana. There were soccer and football. Soccer? Football? With seriously impaired vision? Yep. “It was interesting,” he said. “I love football a lot. I’ve been watching it since I was little (with a vast Colts jersey collection). Nobody else in my family does, so I don’t know why I started.”

“In terms of mental strength you have to be able to just take a beating. I think from a really young age my mom and dad never treated me different."

There were swimming and track — more manageable, because with lined lanes he could follow. There was even karate. “That was a lot of fun because you can work around it. If you know where somebody’s arm is, you know essentially where the rest of their body is.”

But that line never kept him from running. He won a gold medal in the 1,500-meter and bronze in the 800-meter in this summer’s junior World Para Junior Championships in Switzerland — the biggest thrills of his life so far.

Bottom line: From the beginning, he would do what his heart told him to do, not his vision. Or as Earlham Co-Head Cross Country Coach Rob Hewitt said, “He’s a headstrong kid who doesn’t want to be told, `You can’t do something.’ He doesn’t want to be coddled. He doesn’t want to be treated differently.”

And he was running well enough in high school for a recruiting phone call from Hewitt in the summer of 2016. Somewhere early in the conversation, Scherf got right to the point. “I need to tell you,” he said, “that I’m blind.”

It has been that way since Scherf can remember, in a world he has only known as mostly blurs. “In terms of mental strength you have to be able to just take a beating. I think from a really young age my mom and dad never treated me different. They let me play soccer and football. They were pretty open minded.” “It’s definitely an interesting dichotomy to think about. There are things obviously Noah Scherf ’21 you’re not allowed to do. Driving for example. And so it’s interesting to go up to that edge of what you can do, and you want to push it, but at the same time you have to understand there is a line here you probably shouldn’t cross.”

Noah Scherf ’21

Now there’s a comment a coach doesn’t hear often from a recruit. The more Hewitt heard, the more he was intrigued. Earlham was interested, he told Scherf. Very. Flash forward to Scherf’s first visit, when he was invited to take a run with the team. Hewitt, fearful of his guest having a mishap, went along. “I’m making sure he’s safe. But he’s fine, he does 70 minutes with those guys, he’s happy as heck,” Hewitt said. But there was an injury. A rolled ankle, Coach Hewitt’s. So the match was made, and here they are. To hear of Scherf’s role as part of a promising freshman class in a blossoming program, one question naturally comes to mind. How can he do that, over a landscape largely hidden from him? “It’s because your best athletes are your best compensators. He’s able to build compensation systems for himself to survive,” Hewitt said.


“He brings out a level in people that is pretty awesome. He’s the type of guy you’re going to look at and say, ‘Well I can’t really say I don’t have it today, because he is bringing everything he has, every day.”

That means Scherf making solid foot contact with each step. It means always trying to run with someone else, be it a teammate or an opponent. “I’m going to be reading mainly hips and shoulders, because that drives the body and that tells me a lot of things; elevation and turns and things like that,” he said. “It’s just adapting. I would never get myself in a no man’s land.”

And there is something else, said Hewitt. “I guess the easiest way to describe it is he has no fear. And if he did, he doesn’t tell anybody about it.” No fear, then. But what about moments of anger? They’d be understandable, with the mountain Scherf always has to be climbing. He considered that a moment.


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He considers most answers, negotiating questions with the same care he does a cross country course.

I don’t know if I’ve ever been there, because it’s not a productive line of thought. I’d rather spend my time doing something else, because it doesn’t change anything. Being mad about it doesn’t help it.” Still, not a week, not a day, not an hour can be easy for Noah Scherf. That would include life as a college student. The coaches, he mentioned, knew what they were getting into. But a blind student is very, very rare for the Earlham community-at-large to figure out how to accommodate. “They don’t really understand what to do,

The stopwatch does not know who can see, and who can’t. and that’s fair,” he said. “It just takes a little time to work into it.” The heavy reading that goes with classes is often a strain, and there is the simple task of getting around campus. “At the beginning was tough. If I had my way, it’d all just be a straight line. But I’m starting to figure stuff out. I still have certain ways I go places. I don’t like short cuts yet. That still throws me off.” But he walks where he has to, and reads what he must. And he runs, because it is the one place in the world that is fairest to him. The stopwatch does not know who can see, and who can’t.

training runs. He’s creating different interactions with people. Everything is just stimulation overload for him. But he’s a good kid and I think Earlham has good people, so I think it’s a good match. “He brings out a level in people that is pretty awesome. He’s the type of guy you’re going to look at and say, ‘Well I can’t really say I don’t have it today, because he is bringing everything he has, every day. Every time he runs, he’s on. Every time he’s in class, he’s on 100 percent, both mentally and physically. There’s no rest for him. That creates people who want to fight with him, and want to help him and want to be there with him.”

All the while, his coach watches in wonder. “The one thing I would worry about him is stepping forward to tell us if he needs help. Because I think that’s going to be the hardest thing for him to navigate,” Hewitt said. “He’s mapping a whole new campus, he’s mapping all new cross country courses. He’s mapping all new

In a way, it is complicated for Noah Scherf. In another way, so simple. “It really just comes down to treating him in a way that makes him feel like he’s a part of this and he’s one of the boys,” Hewitt said. “That’s what he wants. To be one of the boys.”

Cross country. Think about that for a moment. There are turns and twists,and tree limbs, and roots and changes in elevation and holes in the ground, and he can hardly see any of them. There is some risk in every step.

And still, he runs.


Standout Earlham College had several standout individual performances during the 2017 fall sports season. Junior middle hitter Ashleigh Burton of the Quakers volleyball team garnered First Team All-Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference honors for the second consecutive season and remains the only individual in program history to earn First Team AllHCAC recognition. The Indianapolis, Indiana, native tallied 3.45 kills per set and was part of Earlham’s 3-headed offensive attack. She also led the team in blocks with 36. Sophomore setter Lauren Jackson broke the singleseason record for assists with 1,087 and assists per set with 10.06. Junior libero Megan Hedinger broke her own single-season records for digs in a year (560) and digs per set (5.23). As a team, Earlham won its first HCAC matches in program history during 2017 as well as finishing with the best record (15-13) since the 2000 campaign. Women’s tennis players Yunjoo Shin ’19 and Alexandra Canaday ’21 received All-HCAC honorable mention after leading Earlham to its first HCAC Tournament appearance in program history in 2017. Shin, a neuroscience major, led the Quakers with a 12-2 singles record. Field hockey players Megan Hut ’18 and Maite Turlings ’19 were both named to the All-North Coast Athletic Conference First Team, combined for 18 of Earlham’s 27 goals this season. Hut is a double major in psychology and Spanish & Hispanic studies. Turling is a double major in psychology and global management. Sari Stissi ’21 and Chloe Lamenzo ’21 of the women’s soccer team earned First Team AllHCAC honors having led the Quakers to a 2-spot improvement in the HCAC standings in 2017. Left: Ashleigh Burton ’19


Quakers Lamenzo, who also was named the HCAC Freshman of the Year, led the team offensively with 12 goals and five assists for 29 points. Senior Gabriel Penk of the men’s cross country team was named All-Great Lakes Region for a 29th place finish in the NCAA Division III Great Lakes Regional hosted by Ohio Wesleyan University. Penk, a history major, also earned All-HCAC recognition with a fourth-place finish at the HCAC Championships hosted by Manchester University. Nate Papachristos ’21 was named HCAC Freshman of the Year for men’s cross country as the highest-placing firstyear student. Rachel Wilkins ’19 and Ellie Haland ’21 of the women’s cross country team earned All-HCAC honors with their eighth and 12th place finishes, respectively. Quarterback Wesley Hundley ’18, wide receiver Marcaus Cooper ’18, and offensive linemen Jacob Breen ’18 and Roderick Matthews ’18 earned Second Team All-HCAC honors. Hundley, a chemistry major, accounted for 2,480 of Earlham’s 2,903 offensive yards this season. Cooper, an economics major, hauled in 62 receptions for 578 yards and nine touchdowns this season. Both Breen, a public policy major, and Matthews, a global management major, started all 40 games during their Earlham career. Punter Jordan Christian ’20 and linebacker Kobe Walker ’20 received honorable mention All-HCAC. Right: Chloe Lamenzo ’21 Inset photo: Gabriel Penk


Faculty Activities Neal Baker, library director, and Laura Leavitt, Writing Center director, co-presented “Writing Center + Library = Digital Writing Interdisciplinary Faculty Development” at Bucknell University Digital Scholarship Conference at Bucknell University in October. Leavitt recently gave a workshop on “Creating a Glossary for the Writing Center” at the National Conference for Peer Tutoring in Writing in Hempstead, New York. Patrick Stephen Barber, assistant professor of chemistry, is the coauthor for two recent patents, “Process for electrospinning chitin fibers from chitinous biomass solution” and “Coagulation of biopolymers from ionic liquid solutions using CO2.” Barber is also co-author of an article about double salt ionic liquids in the October 11 issue of Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics. For the 14th consecutive year, Associate Professor of Art Walt Bistline had work in the annual Whitewater Valley Juried Exhibition at Indiana University, along with two of his students. He also gave a two-day workshop on Landscape Photography for the Richmond Art Museum, with the assistance of several students. Peter Blair, professor of biology, gave an invited talk, “Malaria in the Post-Genomics Era: A


Sporozoite’s Journey,” at the Medical Molecular Biology Research Unit in National Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology in Pathum Thani, Thailand, in July.

IR instrumentation for collaborative multi- disciplinary undergraduate research.” In addition, Veronica Bradley ’18 gave a poster presentation at the same conference.

Technical Services Librarian Mary Bogue presented on a panel titled “Unlocking the Mysteries of Technical Services” at the Indiana Library Federation annual conference in November in Indianapolis.

Safia Diarra, ELL instructor and international student adviser, presented at INTESOL in Indianapolis in November. The presentation was about incorporating ‘reading roles’ when assigning readings as a method to encourage meaningful discussion in the classroom.

In November, Associate Library Director Amy Bryant, presented at the Library and Information Technology Association Forum in Denver, Colorado, a talk titled “Collaboratively Created Virtual Reality Learning Environments,” describing a series of projects done in cooperation with Associate Professor of Global Management Becky Jestice ’97, Professor of French and Francophone Studies Aletha Stahl and several Earlham students. In October, Corinne and Mike Deibel, professors of chemistry, traveled to the Missouri University Research Reactor to give an invited talk, “Case Studies of the On-Site Use Of Handheld Portable XRF and FT-IR Instrumentation for Collaborative MultiDisciplinary Undergraduate Research.” In August, Corinne traveled to the National ACS meeting in Washington, D.C., to give an invited talk, “Have guns - will travel: Case studies of the on- site use of handheld portable XRF and FT-

Earlhamite: The Magazine of Earlham College

Academic Technologies and Seminaries Librarian Karla Fribley ‘03 recently presented at a national gathering of Moodle developers and administrators. She gave a talk titled «Promoting Moodle with Massages: Running a Spa-Based Faculty Training.”  Jonathan Graham, associate vice president for marketing and communications, published an excerpt from his play Squirrel Boy + Robot Cat (But also Parents) in the journal TYA Today. In August, Rodolfo Guzmán, presented a paper at the XXI BiAnnual Colombianistas Conference at the University of San Diego. During the same event he also was asked to exhibit photographs from the series, “Daily Life and Urban Spaces of Transnational Colombians in Two U.S. Cities.” In November at the Université

Paris 8, Guzman presented a paper titled “The Conceptual Dilution of the Jungle as an Exotic Place.” LeRoy E. “Gene” Hambrick ’73, director of the Center of Entrepreneurship and Innovation and executive in residence, was named “Faculty Collaborator of the Year” in April at Earlham’s EPIC Center for Career and Community Engagement. He presented “Optimizing your for-profit and not-for-profit ideas through the use of the Business Model Canvas” at the summer Earlham School of Religion Leadership Conference. Hambrick also made two presentations at the Academic Impressions “Developing an Innovation Center” conference in September in New Orleans. Tom Hamm, professor of history, curator of the Quaker Collection and director of Special Collections, has joined the board of directors of the Union Literary Institute Preservation Society. The Institute was the first intentionally integrated school opened in Indiana, formed by a group of Quakers and free people of color in 1845. The building still stands in a rural area north of Richmond, and preservationists have been working to preserve it as a historic site and museum. Scott Hess, associate professor of English, delivered two scholarly papers: “Walden as a Landscape of Genius,” at

the Thoreau Society Annual Gathering in July in Concord, Massachusetts, and “Genius and the Anthropocene,” at the Association for the Study of Literature and Environment conference in June at Wayne State University in Detroit. Biology Research Professor John Iverson co-authored “The use of pentosidine as a biomarker for aging turtles” in Conservation Physiology and, with Ashley Hedrick ’15, co-authored “Kinosternon flavescens (Yellow Mud Turtle): Female growth and longevity” in Herpetology Review. Iverson co-authored with Kate Hardy ’13 and Hedrick, “Factors affecting nesting times in the painted turtle Chrysemys picta bellii in Nebraska” in Chelonian Conservation and Biology. He is a member of the Turtle Taxonomy Working Group; co-editor of “Conservation Biology of Freshwater Turtles and Tortoises” in Chelonian Research Monographs; co-author of Scientific and standard English names of amphibians and reptiles of North America north of Mexico, with comments regarding confidence in our understanding, eighth edition; and co-author of “Kinosternon subrubrum (Bonnaterre 1789) — Eastern Mud Turtle Conservation Biology of Freshwater Turtles and Tortoises” in Chelonian Research Monographs. He also co-authored “Is righting response lateralized in two species of freshwater turtles” in Behaviour with G. R. Smith ’90 and Jessica Rettig ’91.

into numerous exhibitions this year. Her work is also on display in the Museum Het Valkhof and Galerie Marzzee and in the Netherlands. In September, she was awarded the Emerging Artist award from the group Ethical Metalsmiths. Kameen’s art was published in Uppercase Magazine, Friend of the Artist Fall 2017 Publication, and Peripheral Vision Arts Salon 2017. Grace Kim, associate professor of theology at Earlham School of Religion, co-edited Planetary Solidarity: Global Women’s Voices on Christian Doctrine and Climate Justice, and wrote and coedited Intercultural Ministry: Hope for a Changing World. Karen Mager, assistant professor of environmental sustainability, presented a poster at The Wildlife Society annual conference in Albuquerque in September, titled “Ghosts of caribou herds past: evaluating historical herd crashes using genetics.” Gregory Mahler, professor of politics, has authored “The Constitutional System and Parliamentary Government of Israel,” that will appear in the Oxford Handbook of Israeli Politics and Society, published by Oxford University Press.

Visiting Assistant Professor of Art Katie Kameen’s art work was accepted


Faculty Activities Kathy Milar, professor of psychology, co-authored “The difference being a woman made: Untold Lives in personal and intellectual context” in the Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences. She also authored an ebook chapter, “Unknown, untold, unsung: Women in the history of psychology” in Psychological Specialties in Historical Context: Enriching the Classroom Experience for Teachers and Students. “Los falsificadores de Auburn (I),” a short story by Manuel Montes, visiting assistant professor of Spanish, was published in the online Venezuelan literary review Letralia. Cassio Muniz, visiting assistant professor of politics, presented “Ideological and Clientelistic Determinants of Coalition Formation in Brazil” at the Congress of the Latin American Studies Association in Lima, Peru, in April. Through a grant, he traveled to China in May and June to take part in a Faculty Development Program. He also earned a Professional Development Fund Grant that took him to Brazil in July and August. He was a reviewer for Revista Juridica da Presidência (Juridical Review of the Presidency), Brazil, in November and was a group co-leader for the GLCA Students of Color Leadership Conference in November.  In coordination with a faculty colleague and students at St. Cloud State University in Minnesota, six


Earlham students and Seth Powless, assistant professor of global management, engaged in supply chain and operations management research as teams. Son Tran ’19 and his research team placed fourth at a supply chain case competition. The group has submitted multiple abstracts to the Production, Operations, Management Society national conference scheduled for May. The Earlham students involved include Tran, Nam Nguyen ’19, Tianxiang Tan ’20, Vojislav Tatarevic ’18, Karun Rathi ’20, and Calvin Pratama ’18. In addition, the group presented at the Midwest Academy of Management conference in October in Chicago. Karun Rathi ’20 also was a part of this research and presentation. Rachael Reavis, assistant professor of psychology, co-authored “Associations between theory of mind, executive function, and friendship quality in middle childhood” in Merrill Palmer Quarterly and authored “Using a daily diary approach to understand children’s emotional responses to negative peer experiences” in SAGE Research Methods Cases. Reavis and students Jacob Ebbs ’16, Adaobi Onunkwo ’15 and Leslie Sage ’14 also co-authored an article in PLoS ONE. Jay Roberts, associate vice president for academic affairs, published the paper “Replacing Outdoor Education: Diversity, inclusion, and the microadventures of the everyday”

Earlhamite: The Magazine of Earlham College

in The Journal of Outdoor Recreation, Education, and Leadership. In July, at the 15th biennial meeting of the Association for Mathematics of Language at Queen Mary University, London, Jim Rogers, professor emeritus of computer science, computer science research professor, was awarded the Kuroda Prize, an award that recognizes the influence of a specific body of work on research in the mathematical analysis of language. Rogers also presented a paper, “Extracting Forbidden Factors from Regular Stringsets,” co-authored with Dakotah Lambert ’14 at the same meeting. Annie Ronan, visiting assistant professor of art history, published “Capturing Cruelty: Water Killing, Camera Hunting, and Winslow Homer’s Adirondack Deer” in American Art, which is published by the Smithsonian American Art Museum and the University of Chicago Press. Karim Sagna, professor of French and Francophone studies, published a paper, “On dit les noms des morts pour sécher les larmes des vivants” in the November issue of the Proceedings of the Meeting of the Mande Studies Association. The issue was dedicated to the theme of Intersecting Identities: Coexistence, Conflict and Reconciliation in West Africa and its Diasporas. 

Courtney Scerbak, assistant professor of biochemistry, was awarded an Indiana Academy of Sciences Senior Grant to fund collaborative research with Earlham students. She gave a presentation titled “Connecting Border Studies with the One Health Initiative,” at an interdisciplinary research workshop at Franklin University in Switzerland in July. Associate Professor of History and African and African American Studies Betsy Schlabach published a blog post “Sex, Swimming, and Chicago’s Racial Divide,” with Black Perspectives, the blog of the African American Intellectual History Society. She was featured as the Urban History Member of the Week on Metropole and presented a paper, “Influenza and Chicago’s Public Health Ordinances, 1918-1921,” at the annual meeting of the American Studies Association. Lynne Perkins Socey, assistant professor of theatre arts, produced the student IndyFringe Festival company production of Mike & Ronny: A Love Story in Indianapolis in August and created the sound design for an Earlham production at the Wilkinson Theatre in November. She also served as coordinator of ten-minute play directors and also as mentor for the Region III Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival in January.

In November, Professor of French and Francophone Studies Aletha Stahl presented a paper titled “Citizenship on Display: Meta-Performance in Contemporary Haitian Fiction” at the annual conference of the Haitian Studies Association, held in New Orleans this year. On the same panel was Erin Zavitz ‘02. Maggie Thomas, associate professor of psychology, presented at the Society for Personality and Social Psychology conference in San Antonio, Texas, with Jennifer Barrett ’17. The presentation was titled “Attitudes toward Native Americans.”

In October, he presented a paper at the Society for Ethnomusicology Annual Meeting in Denver, Colorado, as part of a panel he organized called  “Re-Sounding Pasts: Music Revival and Heritage Politics in Postcommunist Europe.” Young has also been active giving invited lectures and singing workshops on East European folk musics at Indiana University, Colorado University Boulder, and with the Planina Ensemble, one of North America’s oldest choirs specializing in Eastern European folk musics.

Hong-Hong Tinn, assistant professor of history, served as the discussant of a panel at the Annual Meeting for the Society for the History of Technology in Philadelphia in October. She also chairs a committee for the Society that is charged with promoting the history of technology internationally. Visiting Assistant Professor of Music Michael Young copresented a paper at the Annual Symposium of the Soyuz Research Network for Postsocialist Cultural Studies held in March in Bloomington. In July, he traveled to Limerick, Ireland, to present a paper at the International Council for Traditional Music World Conference.






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Homecoming 2017 1. Field hockey teammates congratulate Olivia Honigman ’18 for a goal against the College of Wooster. Earlham beat the Scots, 3-1. 2. Tyrian Robertson ’17 cheers on the Earthquakers at halftime of the homecoming football game. 3. Earlhamites and friends on The Heart. 4. Roy Messer, coach of men’s soccer at Earlham from 1981-2015 and Hall of Fame member, gives remarks at the dedication of Matlack-Messer Stadium. David Matlack ’81, former Earlham faculty member and son of the stadium namesake Charlie Matlack, also spoke. Charlie began his coaching career at the College in 1954 and guided the men’s program for 25 years. He is also a member of the Athletics Hall of Fame at Earlham. 5. Fans at the freshly dedicated Matlack-Messer Stadium react to a Quaker men’s team shot attempt. The Quakers went on to a 2-1 overtime victory over Franklin College. 6. Conor Hall ‘13 and Ross Price ‘12 get reacquainted on The Heart. 7. Montana Ross ’88 dances with the Earthquakers. 8. Erica DeBruyne ’17, Cyrus Buckman ’18 and Selina Hardt ’18. 9. Associate Professor of Art Judy Wojcik helps an alumna center her clay. 10. President Alan Price ’88 speaks to alumni and friends in Goddard Auditorium. 11. Ashlee Heberger ’13, Mary Crumley-Effinger ’13 and Paige Thomas ‘13 capture a moment. 12. Lavona Bane ’52, former registrar at Earlham, is greeted by Peter Hammar ’71. 13. Charlotte Bellm ’12 and David Schutt ’14. 14. Students try a game of “nine square in the air,” one of the many activities at homecoming’s Party on The Heart. 15. Marcaus Cooper ’18 fights for a Quaker first down against Hanover College.

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Earlhamite: The Magazine of Earlham College




IN FULL SWING: The April 1961 issue of Earlhamite magazine featured May Day on its cover and invited alumni and friends to return to campus. Established in 1875, the last May Day celebration took place in 1993. Big May Day was traditionally celebrated every four years. In his inauguration address, Alan Price ’88 called for students to create a replacement of some kind: “A consensus was reached that the May Day celebration was no longer capable of welcoming and inspiring the diversity of our community. A tradition was ended. That’s OK. What we think of as culturally relevant and fun should evolve over time. My vision for Earlham’s future, and my challenge to you, is to discern and develop a new tradition of fun on a grand scale.” Earlhamite: The Magazine of Earlham College

Earlham Scene EARLHAM IN ICELAND: Nine Earlham students and three faculty members made the annual May Term trip to Iceland this year. The intense field study included work in computer science, geology, biology, archeology and climate change. “Our goal is to look at problems that aren’t typically solved by any one discipline,” says Charlie Peck, professor of computer science and leader of Earlham’s trips to Iceland since 2013. “If you look at the big, interesting problems — climate change and others — no one discipline owns these. These are things that have to be approached by people who come from a variety of disciplines.” Visit for more about this field research project.


Earlhamite: The Magazine of Earlham College

Liza Donnelly ’77, an art major at Earlham, went on to be a cartoonist for The New Yorker. She sold her first cartoon to the magazine in 1979 and has been a regular contributor ever since. An author of 16 books, she is also a public speaker and travels as a cultural envoy for the U.S. State Department and is director of the New York Office of Cartooning for Peace.

Your generosity inspires

“Some people say that changing the world is too lofty of a goal, so I always

think of how I can change someone’s world,” says Eleanor Batista-Malat ’19, a Cincinnati native who spent her summer helping refugees adjust to life in America. “ I think of this both in and out of my service work. How can I be the best friend I can be, and how can I make the most sustainable impact on someone’s life I meet through service?” Enthusiastic and engaged alumni can help students like Eleanor discover their passions and find ways to contribute to the social good. Make a gift to the Earlham Fund and help the next generation of Earlham students find success.

Make your gift online at For questions contact the Office of Institutional Advancement, 765-983-1313 or

Earlham FUND


Building Capacity to Inspire



Earlhamite: The Magazine of Earlham College

801 National Road West Richmond, Indiana 47374


Earlhamite: The Magazine of Earlham College

Earlhamite winter 2018  
Earlhamite winter 2018  

Earlhamite magazine is the oldest college alumni magazine in continuous publication in the United States. Today it is published twice a year...