May 5, 2011 Volume XCV Issue 23
TRANSYLVANIA UNIVERSITY • TRANSYRAMBLER.WORDPRESS.COM • LEXINGTON, KENTUCKY
Transy officially installs 25th president
PHOTOS BY HB ELAM
Above, Dean William Pollard looks on as newly inaugurated President Owen Williams is presented to the crowd on April 29. Below, the Transylvania Choir sings the alma mater “Hail, Transylvania.”
Staff Report It’s official. After several months on the job, Dr. R. Owen Williams was inaugurated as Transylvania University’s 25th president April 29. The week of the inauguration began under tornado warnings and ended under a bright, sunny sky. The three-day event culminated on the lawn of Old Morrison when Williams was presented with the ceremonial mace and medallion. The ceremony followed the theme of Williams’ inaugural speech, “Question Everything, Accomplish Anything.” “That is what we do at Transylvania: We question everything,” Williams said. During his speech, Williams’ sister, Valerie Winn, translated it into sign language. Williams chose to remind the audience of the austere history of Transy and its progress throughout the years and then outlined his plans to move it forward and increase its success. “I look forward to our continued
resilience, reflection and resolve, to the journey that lies ahead, to being part of the pioneering family of Transylvania, to the many questions that we will ask and to the accomplishment of our dreams,” said Williams. Attending the ceremony were Governor Steve Beshear and Lexington Mayor Jim Gray along with Chairman of the Board of Trustees William T. Young Jr., several other members of the board and multiple alumni. During the ceremony Beshear named Williams a Kentucky Colonel, the highest honor issued by the Commonwealth of Kentucky. “(Williams) has made it very clear that his mind is focused in a laser-like fashion on not only what Transylvania has been, but on what it can be in the future,” said Beshear. Young, Professor of Philosophy Jack Furlong, Tammie Williams, senior Jessica Beard and Judge Karen Caldwell ’77 all agreed in their greetings that Williams was up to the task of taking the reins of Transylvania.
Ceremonial mace makes debut at TU inauguration Holly Brown Staff
One of America’s favorite presidents, Theodore Roosevelt, once gave advice to “(s)peak softly and carry a big stick; you will go far.” It can now be said that these words of wisdom, originating from an African proverb, have not fallen on deaf ears at Transylvania University. While a university in the 21st century doesn’t need a stance on the Monroe Doctrine, our adherence to the “big stick” policy has gone as
ON THE INSIDE Page 3
•Incidents in Davis Hall including goldfish on Saturday night still unresolved.
far as introducing the Transylvania mace to our university collection. For those of you who missed the inauguration or whose sensory organs froze in the unseasonably cool weather that accompanied it, a ceremonial mace is an ornately decorated staff of metal or wood that an official carries in civic ceremonies; it serves as a symbol of authority. “There are traditional symbols in the academy that it makes sense to have on our campus,” said President Owen Williams. The Transylvania mace made its debut appearance on campus when
Page 4 •Chief Richard Cook is retiring as Director of Public Safety and reflects on his time at Transy.
it was presented to President Owen Williams as he officially stepped into the role of our university’s newest president. He carried it with him in the procession that followed as a symbol of power, representing his new position of authority both on our campus and in the larger Lexington community. The inauguration committee made the decision to create a Transylvania mace. “The committee researched other colleges’ inaugurations and it See MACE, Page 2
Page 5 •The Crimson Affair, which was combined with the president’s Inauguration Ball, ended with the Senior Toast and the crowning of the Crimson Court.
“Owen Williams is the right person to lead Transylvania into the next century and into the rankings of the top liberal arts colleges,” said Young. According to the inauguration’s website, the inaugural events were made possible by donations from 25 different sources. In addition, an anonymous donor pledged a matching gift of up to $1 million for any donations of $10,000 or more. “We are working on the final numbers, but we have surpassed the goal,” said Kirk Purdom, newly appointed vice president for advancement. This means that with the matching donation, and subsequent gifts, the Inauguration Challenge raised over $2 million. Williams received congratulatory letters from hundreds of colleges and universities from around the country in celebration of his appointment. Letters were received from Dartmouth College, Princeton University, Columbia Theological Seminary, the University of Notre Dame and the United States Naval Academy, among others.
Three-day event marks historical first for Transy James Huddleston Staff
The inauguration of Dr. R. Owen Williams as the 25th president of Transylvania University marked the first time in Transy’s history that such an event took place. Dr. Charles Shearer (1983-2010) did not receive a formal inaugural ceremony, nor did his two predecessors, Dr. David
Page 6 •Transy’s favorite columnist is finally revealed in this week’s Kydd U. Naught.
Brown (1982-1983) and Dr. William Kelly (19761981). In Transy’s long history, the notion of a threeday event to celebrate a new president is a new one, according to the department of public relations. Shearer, Williams’ predecessor and the university’s longest-serving president, was inaugurated See FIRST, Page 2
Page 7 •Follow along on a guide to the history of inauguration ceremonies.
Check out the Rambler online at transyrambler.wordpress.com.
May 5, 2011
MACE was discovered that most of them have a mace as part of the ceremony,” said Martha Baker, director of publications. “Transylvania did not have a mace — although it had been discussed before — and this seemed an appropriate time to have one made. “I think every institution has its own tradition in terms of the components of an academic procession,” said Dr. Dave Shannon, professor of mathematics and university marshal. Local artist Steve Brandenburg, a juried artist in the Kentucky Guild of Artists and Craftsmen, crafted Transylvania’s mace. A committee formed to review suggested mace designs selected Brandenburg’s proposal. “The committee went with Steve due to the use of local woods and that most everything would be done by hand,” said Events Coordinator Kelly Lavy. The mace is 54 inches tall and is made from woods native to Kentucky. Its apex is made of maple and sits above a Transylvania seal carved from cherry. The pole is made of alternating pieces of maple, cherry, tiger cherry and tiger maple and is inlaid with five brass bands. Historically, maces were used as weapons that came in handy when you needed to give your opponent a blunt-force trauma to the head. Rarely used this way in modern society, maces are still commonly utilized in formal ceremonies occurring in the British House of Commons or the U.S. Congress, as well as at universities. The tradition that gave maces this new purpose began in the mid-13th century. Initially attendants of the king carried maces as weapons to protect the ruler against would-be attackers. Gradually, the mace became more decorative and less functional, until it evolved into the purely ceremonial mace seen today. Now that the ceremonies have passed, the Transylvania mace will be housed in the president’s office. “It is a piece of art that will hopefully remain part of Transylvania proceedings for years to come,” said Williams. “It is common for a marshal or senior faculty member to lead an academic procession and that person carry the mace,” said Shannon. “We’ll use it in commencement. … Whenever there is a formal proceeding on campus, we’ll use it,” said Williams.
From Page 1
Above, President Williams carries his mace, which symbolizes his new position of authority. Right, local artist Steve Brandenburg designed the mace, which bears Transylvania’s seal.
Williams also mentioned the possibility of an increase in the formality of campus events, such as some convocations, which would call for an increased use of university symbols such as the mace.
ON THE INAUGURATION OF TRANSYLVANIA’S TWENTY-FIFTH PRESIDENT
during the class of 1983’s commencement. “My circumstances were very different in 1983,” said Shearer. “There had been some turnover in the president’s office, and in part, because of that, we did not have the traditional inauguration.” Going back even further, Brown received no formal inauguration whatsoever due to his brief, one-year term, and Kelly’s inauguration took place in the form of a symposium on higher education, attended by more faculty than students or the general public, in April 1977, according to “Transylvania: Tutor to the West,” by John Wright. In contrast to the inaugurations of the past, which ranged from modest to nonexistent, Williams’ inauguration was celebrated over a period of three days. Vice President and Dean of the College Wil-
By Richard Taylor, Kenan Visiting Writer, Former Poet Laureate of Kentucky What lies beyond does not duplicate the past--the acts, the words, the regimental flags and willow work that sketch at best a semblance of our former selves. Instead, here, we reclaim what we can, the gist of who we were, landmarks on the map of our shared journey, the rivers into which our own rivulets and branches feed. Here the waters gather as a single stream whose current holds the sum of our accumulated past-a richness whose legacy is our future, a stream where lives are not so much
Dr. Richard Taylor, above, read his original poem at the end of the inaugural ceremony to honor President Williams.
steered as readied to venture and extend. So we enter into sunlight to estimate the past and shape what lies ahead, not as we color it in myth or ficiton, not to worship, but simply to know it as it was so much as we can know it, and in knowing offer clues to who we were, we are, we will be.
From Page 1 liam Pollard explained that the timing and length of the inauguration were carefully planned. “In the case of President Williams’ inauguration, we thought it would be good to have it coincide with Alumni Weekend and with the receptions honoring graduating seniors,” Pollard said. “A more general advantage of waiting for spring includes allowing time for a new president and a college or university to get to know each other, so that the ceremony and surrounding events are a celebration of the institution, as well as an official welcoming of the president.” “I thought the inauguration ceremony went very well on a beautiful day in front of Old Morrison,” said Shearer. “It was a pleasure to be there, and I wish President Williams and Transylvania much success in the future.”
May 5, 2011
Lecture Students allege assault series during ‘goldfish party’ designed for law Jake Hawkins Staff
Laura Miller Staff
A new lecture series will soon become an annual occurrence at Transylvania University, joining the ranks of the William R. Kenan and the Creative Intelligence lecture series. The Harlan Lecture Series is the brainchild of President Owen Williams. Harlan, an 1852 graduate of Transylvania’s law program, was one of the historical figures Williams concentrated on in his dissertation. The series, sponsored by McBrayer, McGinnis, Leslie and Kirkland PLLC, is named for the reputable U.S. Supreme Court justice who served from 1877 to 1911 and will center on legal history and constitutional law issues, two of Williams’ fields of interest. “John Marshall Harlan is one of my heroes,” Williams said. Williams noted that the admiration he had for Harlan before coming to Transylvania has continued to grow since becoming president of this institution, which is so connected to Harlan in history. Once the concept for the series was established, Williams’ next step was securing funding. Throughout this year, Mark Blankenship, vice president for alumni and development, arranged lunches for Williams with members of the board of trustees. McBrayer, McGinnis, Leslie and Kirkland PLLC’s sponsorship of the developing lecture series resulted from one such lunch meeting between Williams and trustee James Frazier. According to Williams, after hearing of the plans for the lectures, Frazier, a Transylvania alumnus and the managing member of the firm, said Transylvania would need to go no farther to find a sponsor for the series. “(The firm was) very quick to come on board as a sponsor and at a very generous level,” said Williams. Frazier’s firm was the first Williams approached about a sponsorship. “We were really lucky to find somebody willing to underwrite (the series) that quickly,” said Blankenship. “Usually what it takes is a period of time after talking to multiple donors.” Blankenship followed up with the firm after the initial discussion between Williams and Frazier and secured a commitment to fund the first year of lectures. “Many law firms would be very excited to have their names associated with this series,” said Williams. “McBrayer, McGinnis, Leslie and Kirkland PLLC is honored to partner with Transylvania University for the inaugural John Marshall Harlan Lecture Series,” said Frazier. “We believe that the Lexington community and surrounding areas will benefit immensely from the lecture series presented by some of the country’s brightest constitutional law historians, authors and scholars.” Frazier described the firm’s donation as “a small token of appreciation for the influence Transylvania continues to have on the Lexington community and its students.” Largely because of the lecture series’s connection to Harlan, Williams believes many scholars are and will continue to be interested in participating in the series. “People will want to be part of this series,” said Williams. Williams himself made the arrangements for next year’s two lecturers: legal historian William Wiecek and constitutional scholar Akhil Reed Amar. Wiecek, a visiting professor at the University of Kentucky College of Law from Syracuse University, will give the first Harlan Lecture on Sept. 28. Among his other accomplishments, Wiecek has published many articles and books about a number of U.S. Supreme Court justices, including Harlan. Amar will present next winter term. A Yale University and Yale Law School professor of constitutional law, Williams described him as a “wonderful, electric speaker.” He most recently published “America’s Constitution: A Biography” in 2005. Excitement is already building on campus for the lectures, especially because of the historical ties. “This is one more way to get scholarly discussions flowing on campus,” said Deana Ison, executive assistant to the president. At the same time, she added, the series will serve to increase “institutional pride” as it “highlights our history and brings it into the future” through combining the honoring of one of Transylvania’s most notable alumni with the advancing of our newly inaugurated president’s particular interests. The John Marshall Harlan Lecture Series will be a “great opportunity for us to showcase the legacy of Transylvania,” said Williams. The lectures will be free and open to the public.
A reported event on the hall of Transylvania University’s Kappa Alpha Order last weekend has resulted in a campus investigation into allegations by three female students who claim they were assaulted while trying to stop fraternity members from drinking live goldfish at their traditional, so-called, “goldfish party.” Additionally, one of the three has left campus, saying she feared for her safety. The students, sophomore Trista Taboada, who is now at her home in Atlanta, senior Sara Escobedo and first-year Sandi Tyrie, claim they went to the Kappa Alpha hall to try to stop what they said is an annual tradition among the fraternity’s members and their friends. With money in hand, they said they hoped to buy at least some of the reported 600 goldfish and find them homes. “An altercation took place between the three of them and some other guys of the (Kappa Alpha) fraternity, and the details of that are still being worked out,” said Mike Vetter, vice president for student affairs and dean of students. “I would say that, in terms of what the women have told me, certainly there was some disorderly conduct.” No charges have been filed in the case but both the dean of students and
the Department of Public Safety are investigating the issue, according to Director of Public Safety Richard Cook. Junior Anderson Salinas, Kappa Alpha chapter president, declined to comment. The three students say that the event escalated when Kappa Alpha members surrounded them, shouted profanities and called them derogatory names. Escobedo claims that a member of the fraternity then “roughly” grabbed her hand. In return, she splashed water in the face of her alleged attacker, who then poured beer and crushed the can over her head. Additionally, Escobedo asserts that a fraternity member grabbed Taboada, restrained her, spat in her face and called her obscenities. After this, Tyrie alleges that fraternity members threw punches at the girl, but she was unsure if the punches hit anyone. “We ran and we were being followed. … One of the girls pulled the fire alarm to try and get a crowd out,” Tyrie said. After running across Back Circle, the students went to DPS to report the incident. However, it did not appear on the campus crime log. “DPS seemed incredulous and were more upset at us for pulling the fire alarm,” Escobedo said. “I’m not sorry for pulling it. We needed to escape and felt unsafe.”
Cook said that he couldn’t elaborate on details of the incident, and requests to review the written report were denied. “(The incident is) being sorted out in our student conduct system and we’re exploring then the possible violation of the fraternity hosting this event,” said Vetter. “Neither the men nor the women wanted to file any charges.” “The fraternity president (Salinas) came to see me,” said Vetter. “He’s concerned that (Escobedo, Tyrie and Taboada) were uninvited and came in and were making a scene at their event as well and posted some statements that were not true on Facebook.” “If we feel like the punishment isn’t just enough for the guys that were involved with this, then we might actually end up taking it further,” said Escobedo. Senior Devin Zimmer was working at a local PetSmart when she identified a member of Transy’s Kappa Alpha chapter purchasing the fish. Zimmer claims that she asked the student if the fish were for the event. “He told me no. … My manager said, ‘Go ahead and sell them to them,’ ” said Zimmer. “Had he told me they were for the event, I would not have sold them the goldfish.” According to Zimmer, PetSmart policy allows any associate to refuse a sell if he or she believes the animals would be neglected.
Rambler appoints new staff Josh Travis Staff
As another school year approaches its end at Transylvania University, The Rambler has already solidified preparations for next year’s campus newspaper with the appointment of its new staff. Leading the team as editor-in-chief will be Erin Brock, a rising senior and double major in English and writing, rhetoric, and communication, who has served as The Rambler’s layout and design editor since the second semester of her first year. Current news editor, Jake Hawkins, a rising junior, will be The Rambler’s managing editor. Joining Brock and Hawkins on The Rambler’s executive board will be rising senior Katelynn Ralston, photo editor, and rising sophomore Sally Jagielski, layout and design editor. In addition to the executive board, new page editors include rising sophomore James Huddleston as news editor, rising senior Erica Clark as campus life editor, rising sophomore Victoria Sullivan as Etcetera editor and rising junior Lyman Stone as opinion editor. Reprising their positions as sports editor, Arts & Entertainment editor and chief copy editor are seniors Abby Ferguson, Holly Brown and John Johnson, respectively. The editor-in-chief was selected by a panel consisting of Rambler adviser Terri McLean, WRC professor Martha Gehringer and senior Erica Mundell, outgoing editor-in-chief. The same panel, in addition to alumna Grace Chambers ’10, former editor-in-chief, chose the managing editor, according to McLean. Brock and Hawkins then chose the remaining staff. “I sit in on the interviews, but I do not make the decisions,” McLean said. While she played no part in voting
on the applicants, McLean was pleased to discover who was chosen for each position. “I am very excited about the staff,” McLean said. “We bring a great combination of experience and enthusiasm.” Mclean is particularly delighted with Brock as the new editor-in-chief. “She is undoubtedly one of the most prepared people to step in this position since I’ve been here,” McLean said. “She was the obvious choice for it.” Only three years ago, The Rambler was not a fully functioning paper and had no consistent publication. Since then, it has grown into a publication that puts out a weekly issue with completely original student work. According to Brock, watching this process encouraged Brock to pursue this leading position. “I’ve watched The Rambler come back into existence as a result of the hard work of the people on staff in years past, and I wanted to see that continue,” said Brock. Furthermore, her interest stemmed from realizing how valuable a student newspaper can be to a university. “In my time at the Rambler I’ve worked with some really great people and I’ve had the experience of being involved in a campus organization that has a tangible product that serves the campus community,” Brock said. While Brock has high expectations for next year’s paper, she realizes that the position she will be assuming has a tradition of high esteem. “I want to focus on creating a strong staff to replace the seniors that are graduating,” Brock said. Other goals for The Rambler next year include increasing readership; getting more advertisement, which will increase the paper’s revenue; attracting more students to write on staff; and boosting the involvement of next year’s first-year students. This may even mean
planning informative presentations for the orientation groups next year, Brock said. “I want to see The Rambler become a more legitimate source of news and become more of a campus staple,” said Brock. Huddleston, the incoming news editor, is thankful for his experience during the past year and looks forward to serving on staff in a new position. “I felt like my involvement made me more integrated with the students and professors on campus and … got me more in touch with what’s taking place on campus,” Huddleston said. “I’m looking forward to guiding new writers like myself. … I hope that we get a renewed interest in [The Rambler]. I feel like it’s an untapped resource in a way.” As for Jagielski, the new layout and design editor, she realizes that she has a hard act to follow. “Because Erin (Brock) held the position for 2 1/2 years, I have realized that her shoes will be hard to fill; however, I look forward to the challenge,” Jagielski said. Clark, the new campus life editor, provides an encouraging perspective as the new Rambler staff seeks more campus involvement in the paper. “I didn’t realize that being a writer could open up opportunities that are exciting and that could allow me to meet new people and learn about interesting things that are happening on campus,” Clark said. “I’m excited to see how being a page editor will expand those opportunities. I’m also hoping that more people will read the paper because we really do have great writers and pertinent information to read about.” Over the summer, the editors will participate in a training session led by the executive board and McLean. Plans are being made to bring in professional journalists from the area to lead the staff in exercises.
From left, sophomore Jake Hawkins, new managing editor; junior Erin Brock, new editor-in-chief; and first-year Sally Jagielski, new design editor anticipate their new positions on staff. Not pictured Katelynn Ralston.
May 5, 2011
DPS Chief Cook reflects on tenure Erica Mundell Staff
He was a teacher, a member of a narcotics force and the head of public safety at a university. Now, he’ll be retired. After almost 11 years at Transylvania University, Richard Cook will be retiring from his position as chief of the Department of Public Safety. To be exact, Cook’s resignation will take effect three days short of a full 11 years that he has worked at Transy. Cook recently submitted his resignation, and his last day in his position will be May 31, 2011. “After this, I’ve got some motorcycle trips planned. After that, I don’t know what,” Cook said. Cook has been working every single day since he graduated from Eastern Kentucky University in 1972 with his degree in education. “I worked almost as soon as I got out of college, so it’s about time to take a break,” said Cook. Before he came to Transy, Cook worked in the education system. “I taught health, physical education and science,” said Cook. He was also in the Army for three years and then worked in the narcotics division of the Lexington Police Department for 25 years. Then, it was on to Transy. Since his arrival here, Cook feels that he has helped the department make significant progress in many areas. “When I came here, there was tremendous turnover in the guys working here,” said Cook. “I feel like in my time here, I’ve kept guys on staff for seven or eight years. They’re in more permanent positions.” Cook also feels that he’s raised the respectability and improved the image of the DPS.
During his tenure at Transy, Cook has been through some interesting experiences. “Though it isn’t necessarily a positive memory, I do remember all the preparation that we had to go through after the Virginia (Polytechnic Institute and State University) shooting,” said Cook. “I was on vacation when it happened, so when I got back I had to jump right in.” It hasn’t all been somber for Cook. A particularly comedic incident involved a raccoon trying to get into Forrer Hall two years ago. “There was a rogue raccoon loose in Back Circle,” Cook said. “He looked like he had been hit by a car or injured in some way, and was just scared.” Cook and other officers pursued the raccoon around the building, finally catching him by throwing a blanket over him. “He was not happy,” said Cook. While he has few regrets about his time at Transy, Cook is disappointed that he didn’t get to know more students. Cook said that he made many friends at Transylvania, counting people from the faculty and staff among those friends. “I just wish that I knew more students better,” Cook said. “He’s a boss that makes me feel like I can come into work, and (because) I know that I have really good leadership, and knowing at the same time that I have a personal relationship (with him), I can say, ‘Hey Chief, I’ve got some personal things going on — can I take half a day?’ and he’ll be completely understanding,” said Shamara Burton, DPS administrative assistant and Transy alumna. The search for Cook’s replacement for will start soon; however, the process is still under wraps. “I’m nervous about getting another person in here,” said Burton. “I don’t think they’ll be as good.”
Chief Richard Cook is retiring from the Department of Public Safety after 11 years of service.
TU alum Nakwa Mundell more than gets green card just editor-in-chief training.” Because of this detail, Nakwa was denied a green card and faced potential deportation. Staff At this point, members of After years of uncertainty, the Transylvania community Transylvania alumnus Lino Na- stepped in to try and help Nakwa ’09 has finally received his kwa. Well over 100 students, green card, or documents ensur- faculty and staff wrote letters to ing permanent residency in the the office of Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and other public ofUnited States. At age 12, Nakwa and his ficials in efforts to direct attenolder brother were kidnapped tion to the case. “Everybody at Transy said by the Sudanese People’s Libthey’d help me,” Nakwa said. eration Army (SPLA), but they escaped after a month. They “Professors, students and even fended for themselves for two President (Charles) Shearer years and then stayed in a refu- wrote letters.” Though Nakwa appealed the gee camp in Kenya for 8 years. In 2002, Nakwa and his four decision, the case rested in the younger siblings immigrated to hands of the U.S. Department of Louisville, Ky., after receiving Homeland Security’s Citizenrefugee status. There, he worked ship and Immigration Services. full time at UPS and took class- His case was granted a special es at Jefferson Community and extension and all Nakwa could Technical College in an effort to do was check back periodically to determine the status of his support himself and his family. While attending Transylva- case. Throughout his predicament, nia University, Nakwa ran into some residency problems. He the Transylvania community reapplied for his green card in mained supportive of Nakwa’s 2008, but he was denied. While efforts and hopes to stay and his records state that he was kid- make a life in the United States. “It means a lot; I wish I could napped and held against his will by the SPLA, they also state come back and shake hands that he received “military-type with everyone who helped me,” Nakwa said. Since his graduation with a degree in business administration in 2009, Nakwa has worked in order to save up money for graduate school and looks forward to applying to graduate programs. He also is excited to apply for citizenship, which he intends to do as soon as possible. Nakwa cites his presence at Transy as one of the main reasons he has been able to stay in the United States. “If I had been anywhere else, I would never have felt such COURTESY OF PUBLICATIONS support,” Nakwa said. “No one Lino Nakwa ’09 recently re- would have paid any attention cieved his green card after years to my situation.” of controversy and waiting.
Gary Deaton Contributing Writer
It’s 10:30 p.m. Wednesday. Our hero is represented by a flash of red on the page, zipping from person in need to person in need, zooming around her domain; she is soothing stressed staff, putting problems in perspective, easing editorial angst, extinguishing figurative fires. Since our hero has no superpowers, she maximizes the powers she does have: advanced intellect, powerful knowledge, sharp wit, empowering empathy and an electric smile. Our hero is Erica Mundell, editor-inchief of The Rambler. Unlike many of the superheroes to which we have become accustomed, Mundell is also heroic in her alter-ego form, everyday Erica. Her leadership of The Rambler is a significant but far from all-encompassing aspect of who she is and what she has accomplished. Mundell’s involvement with the paper began during her sophomore year. She began as a writer but became campus life editor by second semester. She continued in this position through her junior year and then moved to editor-inchief this year. The paper has continued to improve over the time of Mundell’s involvement. “We won quite a few awards this year from the Kentucky Intercollegiate Press Association,” Mundell said. While The Rambler requires significant portions of Mundell’s time and attention, it is not her only co-
curricular activity. She has been an active member of the speech and debate team and has won awards for both debate and interpretation events. She is also a sweetheart for the Delta Sigma Phi fraternity. Mundell told me a great story about how certain members “tricked” her into their cerHB ELAM emony, but since Senior Erica Mundell will pursue her the editor-in-chief master’s degree in rhetoric at Carneis limiting my gie-Mellon in the fall. words, you’ll have to ask her to tell prowess has also been you. noted by Carnegie-Mellon Mundell has also been University, where she will stellar in the classroom. begin pursuit of a master’s This fall, for example, she in rhetoric this August, completed a project for the after graduating with her writing, rhetoric and com- WRC major and political munication Senior Semi- science minor this month. nar critiquing the iconic Mundell is also a hero at status of Batwoman from home, where her primary the “Detective Comics” role is oldest sibling. She comic book series, a genre has three younger brothers. of which she is both a ma“Ryan is 19 and attends jor fan and a skilled analyst. (Northern Kentucky UniMundell argued convinc- versity),” Mundell said. ingly that Batwoman did “Zach is 17 and Dale is 15.” not deserve to be an exemThe two youngest brothplar for the lesbian, gay, ers attend Meade County bisexual, transgender and High School, Mundell’s questioning community. alma mater. While MunShe further established cri- dell is consistently humble teria that ought to be met by when talking about herself, any future characters desir- I can clearly hear the pride ing this exalted status. in her voice when discussMundell’s project gar- ing her family. nered accolades from the Mundell’s dedication Southern States Communi- goes beyond boasting of cation Association. SSCA their accomplishments, chose Mundell, along with however. Super sister, stelclassmates Kristen Geil and lar student, Sig sweetheart, Meg Prescott, for partici- superb speaker — and pation in the association’s that’s just her alter ego. Undergraduate Honors This is the life of a hero: Conference in March. Erica Mundell, editor-inMundell’s academic chief.
May 5, 2011
A Crimson Affair fit for a president Alicia Reinersman Staff
The festivities surrounding President Owen Williams’ inauguration came to a grand close at the Crimson Affair held at the Hilton Hotel in downtown Lexington on Friday night. This year, the dance accommodated Transylvania students and the enormity of Williams’ inauguration. According to junior Tiffany Buchanan, the Crimson Affair has traditionally been one of the main events of Alumni Weekend. “(But this year) it also served as the Inauguration Ball,” Buchanan said. As the dance was beginning for the multitude of Transy students that attended, Williams was having his celebratory inauguration dinner. This dinner was held in a room adjacent to the one in which the Crimson Affair took place. A large group of Transy faculty and staff and other important figures attended this event and later went to the Crimson Affair. In another room, graduating Transy seniors gathered for their traditional toast. Many tributes were made by select professors to represent their class. This year, Drs. Ellen Cox, Chris Begley, Jerry Seebach, Angela Hurley, along with Professor Don Lane offered the upcoming graduates words of advice, comedy and inspiration. In their toasts, the professors melded stories from their personal lives with texts they had taught in class to create their messages. Cox used Plato’s “Allegory of the Cave” to help explain courage. Next, Begley used anecdotes from his family life to describe motivation. Seebach explained his academic history and experience at Transy to demonstrate that success is always a possibility. Then, Hurley made a wish list, but mainly emphasized the importance of living with compassion. Finally, Lane used comedic life stories to lead up to the importance of thanking those that have helped along the way. After the final glass rose, a mass of students poured into the ballroom where the Crimson Affair was taking place to await the announcement of the Crimson Court. According to Buchanan, who was also an announcer of the runners-up and winners on the court, every student organization on campus received an invitation to nominate one male and one female student from each class. From these nominations, a list of nominees was then compiled. After a week of voting, the top first-year, sophomore and junior candi-
dates were selected. For the senior class, however, the top four male and female candidates were invited to appear on the court. While at the Crimson Affair, students were asked to vote again to determine which seniors would be Miss Transylvania and Mr. Pioneer. The winners of the first-year class were Kimberly Shain and Josiah Knight. The winning sophomores were Charli Fant and Alex Cheser. Daisey Gilpin and Lee Richardson were the winning juniors. Finally, seniors Holly Milburn and Matt Elmore were named Miss Transylvania and Mr. Pioneer. For Milburn, this accolade was a “wonderful honor” that represents her experience at Transy. “I really love this school and all the people within it, (and) I’m very humbled to have that love reflected back. (My friends) have played an enormous role in shaping me into the person I am,” Milburn said. Elmore was also honored, but “really surprised,” he said. For Elmore, winning the Crimson Court signifies the final chapter of his Transy career. “As a tour guide (in the admissions office) for three years, I’ve told families that Transy definitely has something special about it,” Elmore said. “Whatever that special Transy quality is, that’s what I’ll miss the most.” Though the Crimson Affair denoted the ending of an undergraduate career for many students, it was also a celebration. Due to the inauguration events, many faculty and staff joined the students and danced to the live band, the Atlanta Allstars. Williams was among the dancers gathered around the band while it played songs like “Proud Mary,” “Old Time Rock and Roll” and “I Gotta Feeling.” “Not only were (the Atlanta Allstars) superb, but they were able to interact with the audience more and made my overall experience more enjoyable,” said Buchanan. “It was such a fun night, (and) the band was fabulous,” Milburn said. Elmore also enjoyed the Crimson Affair. “It was actually the first one that I’ve attended but I was impressed, (and) a lot of students showed up,” said Elmore. The Crimson Affair displayed the anticipation and excitement of Transy’s upcoming future. “It was really nice to see faculty, students and alumni celebrating such a momentous occasion,” Buchanan said.
Above: Seniors Holly Milburn and Matt Elmore are crowned Miss Transylvania and Mr. Pioneer during the Crimson Affair. Right: Professor Don Lane gives the seniors his words of wisdom during the Senior Toast, the last of five professors to do so that night.
Right: Dr. Chris Begley raises his glass to the class of 2011. after he gives his speech to the room,.
Above: Thomas Baker ’10 crowns senior Matt Elmore with the traditional coonskin hat.
Left: Seniors Becky Goncharoff, left, and Rebecca Pasco, right, sit among their follow senior class at the Inauguration Ball.
PHOTOS BY HB ELAM
Kydd U. Naught Advice that doesn’t suck Imagine sitting in Jazzman’s and hearing on multiple occasions, “Who does this Kydd U. Naught guy think he is?” and snickering, because this whole time Kydd U. Naught has been none other than your friendly neighborhood opinion editor. I have caused deep-seeded anger, laughter, controversy and surely boredom on a couple of occasions. Whether or not you understood my satire, sarcasm and pop-culture piggybacking, this has been an incredibly funfilled journey, and I wouldn’t take back a single column. For my final column I will answer the following question for those of you who want to know how I have created Kydd U. Naught for the past two years. And this time, I’ll be serious.
You have to be willing to hear your work run into the ground, especially if you choose to keep yourself anonymous. You have to accept making people mad; some people will just not understand or appreciate your satire no matter what. Laugh it off, and make fun of them in the next column. Know your politics and pop culture! Crazy messed-up stuff and crazy awesome stuff happens in these two realms every day, and you’re anonymous, so you get to say anything you want about it. Recognize, though, that commentary on either of these has the potential to make some of your readers belly-laugh and others rage. Better advice would be to know your campus culture. Transylvania has an incredibly unique community, and, well, unique things happen here all the time. Take the opportunity to crack inside jokes with your campus. More people will know what you’re talking about than you think. Lastly, when people think they’re being snarky and submit a question expecting it to be too perverted to be answered, answer it. Take risks, and you might just get your best and most memorable column ever. Thank you, Transylvania, for putting up with my quips for the past two years. It has been a good show, and I hope someone else will step up with his or her own idea for a humor column next year.
E V E R E
Q: I want to be a successful humor and advice columnist. What do I need to know? A: Dear future Kydd U. Naught, The first rule of writing a humor column is to not take yourself too seriously. In fact, you will be the subject of most of your own jokes. All those cracks at English majors? I was making fun of myself. A particular column about vegetarians? That was me, too. You have to laugh at yourself first before you can even attempt to make others laugh. This also gives you a reason to laugh at the people who criticize your humor as offensive, because you were taking jabs at yourself, too.
May 5, 2011
Thank-you from President Williams To the Transylvania community, I want each of you to know how very much I appreciate the incredible amount of work that went into making my presidential inauguration such a splendid success. From the opening Bluegrass Barbecue on Wednesday to the final strains of music at Friday night’s Inauguration Ball, events went off in a smooth and professional manner, and I have you to thank for that. Your hard work made it possible for all present to enjoy themselves and come away with a renewed appreciation for this amazing institution. Many people offered me their unsolicited comments on how impressed they were with the events they attended. I’d like to share with you the comments of one who wrote to us afterward. Karen Steele, an alumna of the University of West Georgia, took part in the inaugural procession by representing her alma mater. She wrote: “Thank you very much for the
opportunity to participate in the inauguration today. Transylvania was such a welcoming host. The program was so well organized. At lunch I had a very engaging conversation with a student who embodied the ideal student — eager and anxious to learn. This experience far exceeded my expectations. I am certain that Transylvania will continue to prosper and provide a valuable asset to Lexington and the commonwealth.” Multiply the impression we made on Ms. Steele many times over and you have a sense of how much all of these events polished the reputation of Transylvania among our visitors. Each of you can take some measure of credit for creating those positive impressions. I am so grateful for your dedication to this event, and for all you do for Transylvania. My best, Dr. R. Owen Williams, president
Well-wishes from Kloppenberg To the Transylvania community, First, let me say how sorry I am that I cannot be with you to celebrate the inauguration of Owen Williams. There won’t be many people at the festivities who have known Owen as long as I have. We became friends in 1967, when we were still in high school in Denver, where we were both active in the service organization known as Key Club. This is the point at which someone who has known Owen that long should tell an embarrassing story about him, but I cannot. Even then it was apparent that Owen was a young man with a wide range of talents who was headed toward a great career. I admired his intelligence and vision then, and I still do. Owen and I both attended Dartmouth College, after which he embarked on the odyssey that has culminated in this new adventure for him and for your community. If he follows the pattern he has set at every stage of his life, his presidency will be a great success for him and for you. Congratulations, Owen, and congratulations to Transylvania on an inspired choice! All best wishes, Dr. James T. Kloppenberg, chair, department of history, Charles Warren Professor of American History, Harvard University
Final note from a senior
Senior Amanda Holt has provided entertaining answers for Transylvania’s campus questions for the past two years.
Editor-in-Chief..................................Erica Mundell Managing Editor................................Carlos Melgar Design & Layout Editor.........................Erin Brock Photo Editor...............................................HB Elam News Editor.......................................Jake Hawkins Arts & Entertainment Editor................Holly Brown Sports Editor....................................Abby Ferguson Opinion Editor....................................Amanda Holt Etc. Editor.......................................Jessica Gordon Chief Copy Editor..............................John Johnson Web Editor....................................Erika Lindstrom Adviser..............................................Terri McLean
To Transylvania, On the inauguration of President Owen Williams, I was moved to reflect upon my past four years, specifically my time with The Rambler as both a photographer and the photo editor. On the advent of our last issue I wanted to remember the past four years as a student, as a sometimes-writer and as a photographer and offer advice to those who will continue to be here after my graduation. In a cliché move, I offer a quote — one, no less, from Asinius Pollio, a writer among other things during the rule of Augustus Caesar: “Non est enim facile in eum scribere qui potest proscribere,” which translates, “For it is not easy to write about him who is able to proscribe.” To proscribe, or the act of proscription, if you do not know, is the putting of a person’s name on a list, allowing anyone to kill him, often for an award. Pollio lived during a time when the establishment in Rome could and did kill men for going against the state. We live in interesting times, too. The governance in Old Morrison is experiencing a shift not seen by many, perhaps since the 24th inauguration 27 years ago. I must take care here to clarify my words. The administration does not (I hope) have the right to kill any students. But something might be even worse than that; people in high places, perhaps not even in Old Morrison but other buildings on campus, have the ability to make life difficult for students should they so choose for dissenting against standard practice. Future academic lives could be at jeopardy should the deviation be large enough. Working on The Rambler, I recall one instance where I have seen a student being put down by certain people on campus for expressing what may be seen as an un-
popular opinion. The Rambler itself has in the past experienced problems for decisions we have made that we thought were in the best interest of the students. Indeed, it is difficult to write about those who have some sort of power over you. However, I would like to offer two things. The first is that we, as students, as well as faculty, staff and a community of lifelong learners, are apt to make mistakes. It is from these that we learn. We must seek to understand the world around us, growing into a thoughtful, understanding citizen of the world. It is my belief that we should not be chided for such mistakes, but instead, through educative conversation, develop further appreciation of and insight into the world and its systems. And from this, the second is that The Rambler is a perfect place for such conversations to happen, though it is not and should not be the only place for this to occur. To students, we should not act and speak in fear of retaliation, for without expression of our opinions or ideas we cannot discover how well we have formulated them or learn the ideas and opinions of others. To faculty and staff, I offer the above, as well as adding that, as students, we ask that you remember that we are students and relatively new to the world and its ideas, and as such, we want to test our hypotheses and opinions to gauge their legitimacy. Consider this when you converse and teach and administer us. As a community working together, perhaps we can move forward instead of backward in this new era, creating a better Transy for those that follow. With a graduate’s love, H.B. Elam ’11
May 5, 2011
Long history surrounds presidential inaugurations, adds significance Jessica Gordon Staff
The inauguration of President Owen Williams follows a long line of ceremonies that induct a person into power or authority, and this line is nearly as old as America itself. In American history, the very first presidential inauguration took place on April 30, 1789, when George Washington took office. Only a scant five years later, Transylvania’s first presidential inauguration occurred in 1794 when Harry Toulmin assumed the office. An inauguration generally means a person selected for a position of authority will accept the honor of leadership by standing before the crowd that chose him or her. The person will assume the office, or some kind of power, by taking of an oath in some form. For the president of the United States, the oath would be the presidential oath of office found under Article II, Section 1 in the Constitution. Williams took the symbols of authority for Transylvania’s campus, the Transylvania mace and the president’s medallion, as well as swore to follow in the footsteps of previous presidents to serve Transylvania. Generally, the person gives an inaugural address, wherein the person states his or her intentions in gaining
‘To the students here today, I say think big; be ambitious; dare to change your surroundings; embrace the world’s ailments as your opportunities. … Transylvania will help you find your passion, but to be successful, you must clothe that passion with perseverance.’ -President Williams leadership. Inaugural addresses range in length. George Washington holds the record for the shortest inaugural address at 135 words. William Henry Harrison holds the longest at 8,445 words, according to the Senate’s website about U.S. inaugurations. President Williams landed in the middle with 2,258 words. Yet, the length of an inauguration address is not what the audience will recall. Instead, it’s the words held within that will define the speech. Many an inaugural address has been
remembered for certain quotes that left an impression on its audience. For example, John F. Kennedy’s declaration in 1961, “And so my fellow Americans: Ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country.” And also the well-known Franklin D. Roosevelt quote from 1933, “the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” As posted on the Transylvania website in the transcript of the speech, President Williams said in his inaugu-
ration address, “To the students here today, I say think big; be ambitious; dare to change your surroundings; embrace the world’s ailments as your opportunities. … Transylvania will help you find your passion, but to be successful, you must clothe that passion with perseverance.” The inauguration follows with a reception. For America’s new president, an inaugural luncheon occurs. Transylvania had a celebration lunch outside Haupt Plaza. Generally, the small celebration presents an opportunity for the new leader to walk around in order to receive congratulations and introduce himself to people so they can get to know him better as their leader. This interaction has generally been seen as a sign that the person in power is willing to hear out his audience, just as they were willing to hear his words not so long ago. And of course, later on in the evening, there is the inaugural ball. Essentially, the ball acts as the larger celebration, welcoming the new leader with great fanfare. For over two centuries, the tradition of the inauguration has taken place on both the steps of the White House and Old Morrison. With luck, the tradition will continue and bring forth shining examples of leadership dedicated to service of the people.
May 5, 2011
TU celebrates Williams’ inauguration
PHOTOS HB ELAM
Top, Owen Williams, Transylvania’s 25th president, walks forward to accept his leadership position. Above left, Dr. David W. Blight receives his honorary degree from the new president. Above, Gov. Steve Beshear honors Williams with the title of Kentucky Colonel. Left, Gary Anderson raises voices in song for “Hail, Transylvania.” Below left, four generations of Transylvania presidents stand together. William Kelly, David Brown and Charles Shearer give their approval of Owen Williams as the presidential choice. Below right, senior Jessica Beard praises Williams for his service to Transylvania so far and his plans for the university’s future.