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T H E
P O R T L A N D
M A G A Z I N E
W I N T E R
RISE! THE CAMPAIGN FOR THE UNIVERSITY OF PORTLAND / A VISIONARY ISSUE
U N I V E R S I T Y O F
THE RISE OF FOOTBALL ON THE BLUFF That’s the courtly inventor and photographer John Beckman ’42 in the middle here, elevating classmates Jim Hoagland and (we think) Tom Sullivan, and egged on by the late great storyteller Bernie Harrington off-camera. From a very fine football team in the first half of the twentieth century we morphed smoothly into two of the best soccer teams in America, both ranked in the top twenty again this year; for more on The Beautiful Game, see page 24, and portlandpilots.com.
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I have been typing furiously on behalf of the University of Portland for twenty years, which is a hilarious and terrifying sentence for all sorts of reasons, but after some four thousand days on The Bluff, I find myself more absorbed than ever before. How could that be? Is this not when I should grow weary and cynical about the corporation, and shriek at the shocking price tag for the product, and note testily that you cannot even define the product, except with such ephemeral gossamer murk as epiphany or awakening or shiver of the heart? And yet, try as I might, I cannot achieve a healthy skepticism. For one thing I keep meeting the kids here, the endless river of lanky gracious generous verbs who sizzle your heart every time you talk to them; if theirs are the (enormous) hands which will soon run the world, what a lovely world it will be, I keep thinking. And then there are so many cheerful nuts among the staff and faculty and alumni and donors who insist that this place matters in mysterious ways, that there is no place like it in the world, that some odd combination of passion and poetry and vigor and vision opens miraculous doors in our students, doors through which their extraordinary gifts come pouring out and the ocean of complicated grace pours in, doors that perhaps never would have been opened without their years here. And also without fail every time I slough toward despond a story comes and thrums on my heart until I am bruised with joy. I see a child’s face when the best soccer player in America shakes her hand and asks her about her world. I see the face of a man who survived seven hells in the war as he tells me he huddled in a sandy hole thinking of his professors here, they’d have been after me to use my foxhole time to practice my Latin, he says, grinning. I see the face of my late friend Becky Houck, who when I asked her how in heaven’s name she could possibly stay in her office until midnight talking to frightened freshmen every night, said, with real surprise, why, they’re all my children, of course, wouldn’t you do that for your children? And I read the letter I received one day years ago from a woman never to be named. There had been an essay in this magazine, she wrote, that broke her and opened her, and she was writing to tell me about it, because I should know that a door in her heart had opened, and it would never be closed again, not ever, and this magazine and this university threw it open, and she had cried and cried, and then sat down to write this letter with a pen she found in the kitchen drawer. God had given her a son, she wrote, and her boy was blind and deaf and crippled, and he never even sat up, let alone walked, and soon he died, and her heart was so torn and shredded that she locked up his memory and hid it away, for years and years, but then this magazine came and thrummed on her heart, and she began to cry, and remembered a moment when she was bathing him, and a bar of sunlight hit his face, and he turned into the light as he felt the light caress him, and he smiled and laughed at the kiss of the light, and she had not thought of that moment in years and years, and now she would never forget it ever again. This university did that. This university does that a thousand times a day in ways we’ll never know. When I have dark days, when I have days I think the University of Portland is a muddled corporation no different than a thousand other colleges, when I have days I shriek at the cost, and snarl with fury at all the kids who should be here and can’t afford it, I think of that letter. We did that. We open the most stunning doors, through which the most stunning light gets in and out. No one can count the number and nature of the doors we open. Isn’t that great? n Brian Doyle is the editor of this magazine and the author most recently of the novel Mink River. For the full panoply of campaign glories, see rise.up.edu.
PHOTO: JOSEPH DOYLE
BRUISED WITH JOY
F E A T U R E S 4 / Why the Campaign? Why is the University setting off on a roaring campaign now, of all moments? Because we are a hope factory! Because we are absolutely set on healing the bruised and blessed world! Because it is our time! Because it is your time! •
16 / The Splendid Torch, by Martin Flanagan In time of immense trouble, amazing people emerge. Like you.
18 / A Touch of Class, by Louis Masson After forty years of teaching literature on The Bluff, a beloved professor writes his final paper. •
24 / One Love, photographs by Levon Biss Every autumn the University is transformed into a wild sweet roaring community by the most popular sport in the world, the one that has elevated us in extraordinary ways. A superb photographer catches the joy and grace of soccer around the planet. •
32 / The Call to Forgiveness at the End of the Day, by Kathleen Dean Moore A letter to a granddaughter in the year 2025. •
34 / A Vision of Eternity, by John Daniel A library isn’t about books and data. It’s about epiphany and awakening and discovery and curiosity and astonishment and dreaming and memory and maybe wisdom. page 24
38 / A Shiver of Ecstasy, by Nathan Haskell ’10 “The best thing that ever happened to me was getting crushed by a car far from home...” •
47 / New Lands, paintings by Anita Lehmann What will the University’s River Campus look like in the year 2050? •
50 / A Chapel Is Where You Can Hear Something Beating Below Your Heart, by Pico Iyer “I came to the chapel at the University as the light was falling...” •
58 / One of Them, by Heather King Perhaps truth is like Mother Teresa, so harsh and blunt and brilliant that it scalds our eyes and hearts… •
62 / A Note on the Business of Creativity, by Christine Fundak Rohan What if you had an idea and then made it real? Isn’t that the whole point of businesses and universities and countries? Isn’t that what creativity is for? •
68 / Bobby and Megan, photo by Jerry Hart A wonderful gentleman and a glorious girl and the scholarship that binds them. •
70 / My Name is Y Hoang, photograph by Jerry Hart “I came to America with empty hands and a bag of broken dreams... I would not be at the University without the help of so many people...” •
72 / Campus Moments, drawings and notes by Michael McClafferty ’94 •
76 / Sacrifice: A Note, by Brian Doyle Erik Spoelstra ’92, coach of the NBA’s Miami Heat, on trust and generosity. •
82 / His Hands, photographs by Jeanine Hill The tools that taught the brilliant engineer Donald Shiley ’51 his trade.
Portland is published quarterly by the University of Portland. Copyright ©2010 by the University of Portland. All rights reserved. Editorial offices are located in Waldschmidt Hall, 5000 N. Willamette Boulevard, Portland, Oregon 97203-5798. Telephone (503) 943-7202, fax (503) 943-7178, e-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org, Web site: http://www.up.edu/portland. Third-class postage paid at Portland, OR 97203. Canada Post International Publications Mail Product — Sales Agreement No. 40037899. Canadian Mail Distribution Information — Express Messenger International: PO Box 25058, London, Ontario, Canada N6C 6A8. Printed in the USA. Opinions expressed in Portland are those of the individual authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the University administration. Postmaster: Send address changes to Portland, The University of Portland Magazine, 5000 N. Willamette Boulevard, Portland, OR 97203-5798.
I would like to speak bluntly to you who are reading this most unusual campaign issue of our magazine. I want to say things that we have never said publicly before at the University. So, then: I believe that after one hundred and ten years we are being called to rise to our greatest challenge. I believe that we can rise into the highest rank of American Catholic colleges and universities. I believe that in the next three years, if we embrace the vision and the challenge that rise before us now, we can enrich the University and the lives of our students in ways that we dared not even imagine in the past. Our vision is clear; our mission is unambiguous; our work lies before us. Itâ€™s a hard time to be asking for money. Unemployment is high. Many of us are struggling. We have bent more money than ever to student financial aid and we will bend ever more. Yet the University is stable, we have booming enrollment, our retention has improved radically, and every year we are increasingly attractive to students who are committed and serious of purpose, students from around the world. All this means that we have a degree of influence that we have never before had in our history. We can shape our own destiny. But what kind of university do we want to be? There are some 230 Catholic colleges and universities in the United States. A recent study identified 21 of those schools as the leaders among that group, and the University of Portland was among those 21. But we are one of the smallest of those leaders, certainly not rich enough to do whatever we want. So we must be creative â€“ maybe more creative than anyone else. How can we meld the joys of community and residential life into deeper academic excellence? How can we use our Catholic character and deep interest in the virtues of faith to deepen moral virtue in our students of every faith? How can we awaken our students to their crucial role in engaging the worldâ€™s greatest problems? How can we teach so very much more than facts? How can we be ever more audacious and bold about teaching, in the final analysis, love and reverence? This is our time. We can make a university unlike any other in the world, a new kind of university, small in size and huge in creativity, small in wealth and incalculably rich in energy and innovation and prayer. This is our time. Guided by the Spirit, buoyed by one another, let us seize it. Father Bill Beauchamp, C.S.C. President
Why the Campaign? Because the University of Portland is a hope factory. Because here we foment hope, and the world is starving for hope. Because here we train a thousand cheerful agents of hope every year and send them flying off The Bluff into the world to heal and elevate and lift hearts and minds and spirits, which is sweet work. Because we need thousands more people in our hope factory. Teammates like...you.
JOE ALLEGRETTI U N I V E R S I T Y R E G E N T, B E N E FA C T O R
G I V I N G @ U P. E D U
D A N I E R E MY â€™ 1 1 BUSINESS MAJOR, TUTO R
There is no other university in the world like ours. We are devoted to relentless curiosity here â€“ to savoring the miracle of every moment, to pushing our students to dig deep to find the astounding gifts that God gives each of us. We teach inventiveness, creativity, justice, reverence, humility, selflessness, the idea that service is the most eloquent and powerful of prayers.
STEVE NGUYEN ’05 BUSI N ESSWEEK MAGAZI N E’S ASIAN ENTREPRENEUR OF THE YEAR, 2007
We will welcome students by ability, not wealth. An education at the University of Portland can utterly change the lives of young men and women – awaken them, jolt them, electrify them, thrill them, give them a dawning sense of their own creativity, of how their dreams might be made real…
G I V I N G @ U P. E D U
SUMMER TERICH WIDMER â€™01 ENTREPRENEUR, UNIVERSITY REGENT
...but for many students cost is a wall too tall to scale. The Campaign seeks to crush this wall by creating hundreds of new endowed and annual scholarships.
FAT H E R J I M L I E S , C . S . C . P S YC H O L O G Y P R O F E S S O R , G A R AV E N TA C AT H O L I C C E N TE R D I R E C TO R
We will pursue spiritual depth & creative leadership. We will honor and celebrate our Catholic character and the deep genius of our faith. We will greatly expand our spiritual offerings for students of every faith and creed. We will create new programs for ethical and moral leadership.
FAT H E R PAT H A N N O N , C . S . C . AUTHOR, TH EOLOGY PROFESSOR
FAT H E R G A R Y C H A M B E R L A N D , C . S . C . C A M P U S M I N I STRY D I R E C TO R , I N V O C AT I O N I S T E X T R A O R D I N A I R E
We insist that faith is not static, not a box to be checked on a form, but a driving principle of life, the throb of meaning in school work, home, and citizenship; and the Campaign will augment, in remarkable ways, the ways in which we educate our students in vibrant, vigorous lives of leadership and spiritual zest. G I V I N G @ U P. E D U
KAREN EIFLER P R O F E S S O R O F E D U C AT I O N , OREGON PROFESSOR OF THE YEAR, 2006
SHANE MOSER ’11 ENGINEERING MAJOR, W O R L D T R AV E L E R , T E R R I F I C C H E F A N D TA L K E R
We will pursue intellectual knowledge and wisdom. The Campaign will provide faculty with every conceivable tool for superb instruction and scholarly inquiry – research funds, technology assistance, endowed chairs and professorships, professional linkages worldwide, superb modern facilities, imaginative classroom and laboratory space, funds to create new programs by which faculty and students can, as the late legendary inventor Donald Shiley ’51 said, “find, and hone, and wield your gifts.” G I V I N G @ U P. E D U
BAHRAM ADRANGI PROFESSOR OF ECONOMICS, U N I V E R S I T Y O U T S TA N D I N G SCHOLAR, 2003 U N I V E R S I T Y O U T S TA N D I N G TEACHER, 1989
We will do our very best to utterly change the lives of young men and women here â€“ to awaken them, electrify them, thrill them, give them a dawning sense of their own creativity, of how their dreams might be made real. We will create an extraordinary new library in and on the one we have. We will build a new recreation center that is about the wild prayer of bodies at work and play. We will pour our creative energies into faculty and student support in dozens of ways. 11
We will build a safe & stimulating campus community. Shaped space on The Bluff, the walls and halls in which the Universityâ€™s work and life endlessly unfolds, is crucial for a creative and thorough education of mind, heart, and soul. Residence halls and theaters, social space and soccer stands, space for prayer and contemplation, a gleaming new recreational center imagined as not merely for athletic endeavor but for every aspect of the joy and grace of physical challenge and accomplishment...
JOHN LEE â€™64 U N I V E R S I T Y R E G E N T, H E A LT H C A R E E X E C U T I V E
G I V I N G @ U P. E D U
K AY T O R A N â€™ 6 4 P R E S I D E N T A N D C E O, VOLU NTEERS OF AMER ICA (OREGON)
...the Campaign will create new space for students, faculty, alumni, and friends, and restore to life space that has grown weary in service over many years. The University is a village of laughter and learning, zest and rest, and the Campaign will reinvigorate the halls we call home.
FEDELE BAUCCIO â€™64 U N I V E R S I T Y R E G E N T, B E N E FA C T O R , CEO AND FOUNDER BON APPETIT
Our time has come. The University of Portland is here to bring light and joy, healing and hope, ideas and imagination, to as many of Godâ€™s children as we can reach. We have been given great gifts, here on The Bluff, and no one can count the people who love this place and its dreams; and the time has come to gather that love, and the ocean of creative energy that is the University, and bring it to bear against the ills of the world.
G I V I N G @ U P. E D U
Your time has come. We need you. We can, with your help, change the bruised and blessed world.
Join us. Change what is into what can be.
EMM A ISA AKSON â€™11 C O M M U N I C AT I O N S M A J O R , P R E - L AW
The Splendid Torch In times of immense trouble, amazing people emerge. Like you.
am a journalist who believes that, as a planet and as a species, we are entering a new historical period. We six and a half billion people on earth — vastly more people than at any time in human history — face both an economic crisis and an environmental crisis. Frankly, when considering the range and complexity of the potential problems facing us, it is possible to become despondent — but despondency is another of the luxuries we can no longer afford. But is the situation facing us now worse than it was, say, in 1943, when the world was threatened by a dictator who built factories to exterminate those sections of humanity he deemed unworthy? Is it worse than, say, 1782, when all the world considered slavery normal, and the world power at the time was the biggest international trafficker in slaves? The wealth of Britain’s great ports and colonies and the prestige of its navy were insidiously tied to the slave trade. Slavery’s champions included one of the great military heroes of the day, Lord Nelson, and a son of the monarch George III. Nor was it merely the case that slave owners and traffickers were the most powerful political lobby in the empire — they actually owned blocks of seats in the British parliament! In 1782, the captain of a Liverpool ship called the Zong threw 132 sick slaves overboard and then entered an insurance claim on the basis that they qualified as perished cargo. The Chief Justice, Lord Mansfield, said there was no issue of murder — it was “just as if horses were killed.” However, the case disturbed a prominent Anglican clergyman who was subsequently elected to a professorship at Cambridge where he was required to set the essay topic for the university’s Latin prize. The subject he set was this: “Is it lawful to make others slaves against their will?” The prize was won by a young man named Thomas Clarkson. Having won it, however, he found himself haunted by what he had written, and eventually, in the course of riding to
London to begin a career in the church, he was so overwhelmed that he dismounted in Hertfordshire and “sat down disconsolate.” There he resolved “it were time some person should see these calamities to their end,” and so began the movement that would, ul-timately, lead to the end of slavery in the West. To me, this is one of the greatest stories in history. At the time he made his vow, sitting alongside the road in Hertfordshire, Thomas Clarkson knew no one in the world who thought as he did. But he stood up, and started to work, and a vile practice died.
Life is no brief candle...it is a splendid torch which I have got a hold of for the moment, and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on... In 1943, in the jungles of Thailand, the monsoon has come. A ragged group of Australian prisoners of war suffering from cholera, malaria, malnutrition, beriberi, and tropical ulcers are being used as slave labor — that is, they are being worked to death — by their captors. Every day, the leader of the Australians, Lieutenant Colonel Edward Dunlop, known as Weary to his men, plays a game of cat-andmouse with the Japanese to protect the men under his command. He is beaten physically, but Weary, a surgeon and former national rugby player, is never beaten in spirit. He never goes to bed before the last of his men is back in camp from their labors. The only money coming into the camp is the officers’ pay; Weary taxes his officers and buys pills and precious food items for the men. On one occasion,
he is beaten and tortured for eight hours. When he is finally released, he staggers back to the ragged tent in the sea of mud that was the camp hospital and resumed operating so that his captors would know he would not be beaten by force. Weary Dunlop’s achievement was to preserve civilized standards in barbaric circumstances. I have a special interest in Weary’s story: my father served and suffered with him. My father left for the war as a young Tasmanian teacher and came home having seen his share of death and suffering. He was ill for fifteen years after the war. I have at various times described my father as a bush Buddhist. I grew up with a father who placed no value on money beyond the practical and who saw social status, and people who aspired to it, as comic. He is now a very old man of 94. Such Christian education as he received has, in his mind, come down to the following handful of sentences: I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me. It appears to me that, in recent decades, we have lived in a virtual reality that is now shattering around us. People around the world face a great struggle. But life has always been a struggle, and, just as happened in other ages, amazing people will emerge who will do amazing things, as Thomas Clarkson and Weary Dunlop did. Weary was one of the most amazing people I ever knew, and I will conclude this essay with his favorite quote, from the Irish writer George Bernard Shaw: “Life is no brief candle to me. It is a sort of splendid torch which I have got a hold of for the moment, and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations...” n Martin Flanagan, long a writer for The Age newspaper in Melbourne, Australia, is the author of many books, notably The Line, about his dad’s enslavement in Burma; see onedayhill.com.
PHOTO: JASON EDWARDS / GETTY IMAGES
By Martin Flanagan
After forty years of teaching literature on The Bluff, a professor ponders the University’s essential act. By Louis Masson
ate in the afternoon of April 29, I will walk away from my last class after nearly fifty years of college teaching. If I am true to form, I will let my students out a bit early, wish them luck, tell them to stay out of trouble, and ask them to keep in touch. It will be, after all, a Friday afternoon, and it might be a sunny day; with luck the cherry trees will still be in bloom along the walk back to my office. If the day is as pleasant as I imagine, I might pass an outdoor class or two, perhaps on the steps of Franz Hall or on the grass of the quad – a familiar sight on warm days, as I suspect is the case on most campuses. Young philosophy teachers seem especially prone to teaching in the open air, their students gathered round in a semi-circle, taking in Aristotle or Kant or, one hopes, the swallows that have just recently returned from their southern sojourn, flitting over the grass, oblivious to the students and the finer points of logic. If I were to walk around to the other side of the hall, I would encounter a circle of larger than life statues: Christ the Teacher, sitting and leaning toward a group of listeners, as a toddler plays at His feet. His right hand is slightly raised in the classic gesture of a teacher emphasizing his lesson: remember this...
In so many ways, a class has an elegant and elemental simplicity: a teacher and a student, or a teacher and several students. So it was long before Powerpoint and Internet hookups and interactive classrooms, long before libraries, books, or blackboards. So much has and is passed on with the human voice to eager listeners in dialogue and narration, in questions and answers. But the simplicity belies a complexity of connections, and the simple circle grows concentrically like circles radiating from a pebble tossed into a placid pond. I see a class as a cell in a living organism, or a tile in a mosaic, or a stone in a wall. It is also a performance, a ritual, and a shared task that has unique psychological and spiritual dimensions. Perhaps a strict definition of a class would be a single session, usually ranging from fifty minutes to three hours, in a classroom, on a given day, where a teacher presents material and discussion ensues. In the patios of most campuses the word class may also refer to a course as a whole, or to the students in a particular course, as in “my upper-level classes are fine, but my freshman class will be the death of me” – a remark I have uttered more than once. In my mind, class is a marvelously flexible word inviting
PHOTO: JIM RICHARDSON / CORBIS
ATouch of Class
different but related interpretations. In wooing students, universities send out kits with all manner of inducement, but perhaps the most important lure is the class catalogue. If a class is a cell or a tile or a stone, the catalogue is a diagram or map or blueprint – a set of directions, in a sense. Here are our classes; take a specific number of them in a certain order and you earn a degree, you begin to be a nurse or a teacher or an engineer, or, best of all, you become liberally educated. Such is the power of a class. LITERATURE IS A BODY OF KNOWLEDGE TO BE LEARNED, wrote Professor William Craig Forrest in huge letters on the blackboard, and then he led us in a short prayer. So began my own first college literature class (“From Beowulf to Virginia Woolf”) from the teacher who most influenced my own choice of vocation. I dutifully copied his words into my notebook. There would be many notebooks from Dr. Forrest’s classes, and I have saved notes from many of them – perhaps the best testament to how much I valued my experience with him. Before opinion came fact for Dr. Forrest, and before he opened up to our opinions we had better know who wrote what when where and why. His was a rather classical and old-fashioned approach, no airy and unfounded opinions allowed; on the other hand, he loved a challenging question, which might lead to lively discussion or one of his inspired tangential lectures (and these are so often the richest vein for the student mining the true gold in a class). What he taught me, I have tried to teach my students. Literature is a body of knowledge to be learned: this is where my classes begin, in the best poems, stories, plays, and essays human beings have written, in the flow of our language from the past to today – the stories and songs that have been waiting for us for hundreds or even thousands of years. I flatter myself that my students have also been waiting for me, in a sense; for me, that is, to introduce them to the writers who changed the way we look at the world. I remember my overwhelming sense of discovery and excitement when I first read writers like Wordsworth or Updike who changed me; seeing a student make a similar discovery, discovering Chekhov, for example, is something like the joy of reliving your children’s discoveries through your grandchildren, but in the classroom it happens over and over, year after year. It is the thrill that keeps you in the game and 20
discourages early retirement. Like my old teacher Dr. Forrest, I have annually shared a body of knowledge, and I know now, as he certainly did, that knowledge invites an imaginative, emotional, and spiritual response. As was the custom then, we began Dr. Forrest’s classes with a short prayer, I suppose because of the Catholic tradition of that college, but also because that quiet moment honored what we were about to do and acknowledged its spiritual rather than religious orientation. Math, business, all classes at that college began with an invocation. It is not something often done these days in college, even at this Catholic university, but in my literature of peace and justice class, I have allowed myself to revive the practice using excerpts from poems or this favorite quote from the writer Maxine Hong Kinston: “In a time of destruction, create something. A poem. A parade. A community. A vow. One peaceful moment.” (I would add to her list “a class.”) And in my other classes, even though I do not use an invocation, I like to pause and let a stillness fill the room before we begin
My classes have been about the endless flow of our language, about the stories and songs that have been waiting for us for hundreds and thousands of years... our communal exercise of the mind – a silent prayer, perhaps, for there is so often a spiritual aspect in the focused pursuit of knowledge. If work can be a kind of prayer, so can teaching and learning. I say this, of course, quite mindful of the multitude of unholy things that often transpire in the back rows of classes. During my apprenticeship at graduate school – my years as a baby teacher, so to speak – my mentor, in his most mordant mood, would lament that the best moment of teaching was when he finished composing the syllabus. The classes and the course on paper were perfect: “After that,” he would
sigh, “it's all downhill.” His own classes belied this cynical appraisal, but a class truly becomes a class for most of us when we draw up our syllabi. It is a map of a journey, each class a stop on the way. It is also like a sculptor’s armature, a frame to build on and model as the course progresses and grows. Drawing up the course and its classes involves balancing and integrating what the students need, and what the major, school, and university need, with what I have learned from my own student days, with my personal adventures in reading and writing, with what is still in print, and with my own vision and hopes for what might unfold class by class. When I have finished a syllabus, especially if I’m in a rather optimistic mood, its pages remind me of an outline of a play, one with many scenes that is acted out over a semester. On the other hand, as a realist, I can see it as something of a military campaign, knowing from experience that classes like campaigns never go quite as planned. A wise teacher must expect to adapt and revise. Classes have a way of taking on a life of their own. As they must: for a class is, above all else, a group of people, mostly young people at that. Bring them together in a classroom and they fuse in unpredictable ways, acquiring a shared personality. Very soon in our careers, we teachers remember not only our experiences with particular students but also with particular classes; teaching is, finally, all about people, especially for those of us working our trade in the classroom rather than more impersonal lecture hall. A class is a kind of performance, and as any actor will admit, it is often the audience that triggers how well the performers do. So much chemistry is at play, and chance throws and mixes the various elements together: where the students come from, their life experiences, the room we meet in, the time of day, the weather, the ages of the students, the opening or closing of the semester – the list of potential catalysts is overwhelming. The art of teaching is brewing these elements with care. Or teaching is like conducting an orchestra (or, to be precise, in a given semester, three different orchestras). This is both great fun and a great challenge, because while a teacher may both love and know his subject, knowing and loving your students, and your classes, takes a bit more time and humility. There are, for example, precocious classes, the ones with a nucleus of eager students who
There is the class, and there is the preparation for the class. Some teachers create notes or lectures that they hone and refine over time into somewhat set pieces that they play beautifully, again and again; unfortunately this never worked for me, perhaps because I served my teaching apprenticeship during the 1960s, and learned to prefer happenings rather than wellscripted performances. This is not to say that I do not prepare, but the preparation is more likely me reading and rereading the material I'll be teaching, and trying to be open to something I haven’t seen before. Literature lends itself to this wonderfully, since a poem, say, is not unlike a river, different every time you step into it; so very often I have read and reread to find out what I do not know, and this becomes the springboard for the class. One true thing I have learned: teaching a class poorly is more painful to the teacher than it is to the student enduring the poorly taught class. Another: over the years, as students inevitably see things I do not, or raise questions that never occurred to me, or are baffled by things I hadn’t expected, or offer their often-brilliant and imaginative insights, I collect their ideas and brilliances, and slowly the students of years past help teach the students before me. When I first saw caddisfly larvae in a Northwest stream, I found them the perfect living analogy for my classes, for my life as a teacher, for my students. The larvae encase themselves in a structure of minute pebbles and twigs, a structure that grows as they grow; they build with what the stream gives them, until one day they leave the water and take wing. Sometimes I wonder if the most memorable and thrilling classes for both teacher and student are the ones that are serendipitous, the ones that surprise, the ones that I never imagined
when I labored over the syllabus. Often they comes as gifts from students. I admitted to a class once, while we were discussion a novel about the first peoples of America, that my knowledge of those cultures was not especially deep. After class, to my surprise, one of the back-row denizens came to office. A soft-eyed and reserved young man who had so far not uttered a word, he asked if he could speak to the class about his tribal life. He was Navaho, away from his lands for the first time in his life, and he was shy. But for an hour, that next class, he spoke softly of living on and with the land and its spirits in a way that
drew us spellbound into his world, a world where time was not bitten away in merciless seconds, and human life followed the generous succession of the seasons in a way now lost to the rest of us. It was almost cruel when he had to end his narrative because we had run out of the prescribed minutes of class time. Sometimes a wonderful class is the gift of a fellow teacher. In my introduction to literature class, I often ask my students to wander among the poems in our textbook that we haven’t read together, and to pick one that moved them or struck their fancy. One student happened upon the lyrics of the old spiritual “John Henry.” Not only had no one in the class read the lyrics before, no one had ever heard them sung. I promised to bring in a recording (this was back in the days of records and tapes) to begin the next class, but, of course, couldn’t find a copy. In desperation I sought out a colleague in the music department who told me not to worry, just tell him when and where my next class was meeting. And as we began that next class meeting, he arrived with guitar
and with the director of our choir, a professor large of heart and voice who boomed out a splendid rendition of “John Henry.” Sometimes you can ask, and receive more than you imagined. And there are classes that exceed expectation because of what is happening in the world beyond the campus. I remember teaching a class in peace and justice, one year after the murders of September 11, and discovering that one of the young women in the class, a gifted student and athlete, had lost her mother in the plane that crashed into the Pentagon. We never directly talked about that terrifying rent in the peace that preceded it, but the very presence of the young woman and her loss deepened our reflections and brought the impact of violence and injustice to the otherwise sheltered and peaceful seminar. The closed door of the classroom no longer granted the same kind of immunity or sanctuary from the sorrows and conflicts of a world with wars and conflicts. The romantic in me would love my last class to be extraordinary, a movie scene like something out of the film The Dead Poets’ Society. But I had my movie scene a few years ago, in a last class one spring, when the chemistry was perfect. One of the seniors in that class asked if we could forgo the usual format and would I answer truthfully any question they might have about literature, teaching, and writing. They wrote the script and drew me out in ways I had never imagined. As I left (to honest applause, not a soundtrack), I half wished that it had been my career-ending class. But my last class probably won’t be like that; we are not actors in a movie, and I do not, in a last class or several, change the lives of all my students like a Mr. Keating or a Mr. Chips. For most students, I contribute a single tile to the mosaic that is their education and life; for a few, I add several tiles; and that is the way it ought to be. It is enough, finally, to have been touched by what my students have brought to my classes, and to have realized the joy of loving those whom I teach with the same depth as loving what I teach. n Louis Masson has been a professor of literature (and much else) on The Bluff since 1970. Among the many honors he earned here is the Tyson Professorship, an award funded by gifts in the last campaign; to celebrate superb teachers like Lou with all sorts of scholarships and faculty funds, see rise.up.edu, or call Monica Long at 503.943.7971.
PHOTO: EDWARD ROSENBERGER / GETTY IMAGES
keep the ball in the air; and there are difficult classes, the ones that resist every ploy and trick to draw them out, the classes that stare at you and exhaust and make you question your vocation; and there are blessed classes where the students seem comfortable not only with their teacher but engaged with each other, classes that almost seem to teach themselves, classes where you feel like you are playing rather than working. This may be a fine teaching barometer, for serious play is serious work, but it is joyful in its engagement and concentration.
The University's School of Education emits some hundred new young teachers every year, and the Rise Campaign is totally absorbed in jazzing fine teaching and learning - among its prime targets are the Pacific Alliance for Catholic Education program, which sends master's students to teach in Catholic schools all over the West; a long-desired Center for International Languages and Cultures, which would gather all our wild international projects and efforts together under one aegis; and as many new endowed faculty chairs, professorships, and visiting scholar slots as donors can invent. A Master Teacher slot, maybe, so we can rent genius teachers for a year or two. Or a Swap Great Teachers program, where we trade terrific professors with, say, Australian universities. Or a Clive Charles Endowed Chair in Wit, for which we hire someone who gets it that humor is a glorious teaching tool. Or...well, call Monica Long at 503.943.7971, email@example.com, with your ideas.
LOVE Photographs by Levon Biss
occer is more than a game on The Bluff. Beyond the two national titles, and flocks of All-Americans and World Cup and Olympic players, and the greatest annual attendance for any college soccer program, male or female, in American history, it has become a communal glue, a weekly occasion for cheerful purple town meetings, a seething verb, a sea of laughter, a roar of amazement. Beyond the victories is the stunning creativity of the players, the sinuous flow and grace of the game, the joy and zest of invention, the surge of energy flowing from the crowd onto the pitch. The beauties of the game on The Bluff have become an integral part of life and education here, and we celebrate the ancient sport, the world’s game, played in every country on earth, with a parade of extraordinary photographs in the pages that follow. The One Love Project took the renowned London photographer Levon Biss to 26 countries, trying to, as he said, “document the game of football in its entirety, from children playing in the mountains to professionals at the pinnacle of the game...along the way I saw men cry like babies and disabled children play with courage beyond their years...to this day the game surprises, inspires, and humbles me...” Umbro International, along with Apple Computers and RPM London, paid for the project, and for the publication of the photographs and notes as a book, by Lannoo Publishers of Belgium. Our particular thanks to Levon Biss for his permission to reproduce some of his lovely work (for more of it see levonbiss.com), and to Umbro’s Wanda Roswadowska ’02, who walked into our offices one day with her usual smile and said you have got to see these photographs. Pilot soccer fans will remember Wanda with affection as one of the stars of the University’s first national championship team; we regard her with some awe, remembering that she was once the world’s junior taekwondo champion. Thanks, Wanda. – Editor 24
“When I play, the world wakes up around me.” B O B M A R L E Y, J A M A I C A ( A T E R R I F I C S O C C E R P L AY E R )
“First is love, second is football. Maybe photo finish.” G I A M P I E R O M A S I E R I , I TA LY
“Football is the opera of the people.” S TA F F O R D H E G I N B OT H A M , E N G L A N D
“Soccer is the biggest thing that happened in creation.” ALAN BROWN, ENGLAND
â€œFootball is the universal game of all children.â€? L I L I A N TH U R A M , G UA DA LU P E
“We have a simple style. Pass. Move. Share the ball. We’re all ballplayers. In a sense we don’t have positions. Everyone’s on offense. Everyone’s on defense. It’s our ball. We want the ball. We pass it to get it back. You don’t get it back if you stand still. So...” GARRETT SMITH C O A C H , P I L OT W O M E N ’ S S O C C E R
O heavens there are a thousand ways the Campaign wants to lure gifts toward sports and athletics and the health and zest of students. You can make gifts toward endowed scholarships for student-athletes. (Did you know there’s a Shortstop Scholarship? We kid you not.) Or weight rooms and locker rooms. Or the huge dream of the recreation and wellness center that will replace Howard Hall (after 9000 years). Or the new varsity women’s crew team, which begins next year. Or the boathouse for crew that we dream about on the new River Campus someday. Or you can create a graduate school fund for the student-athlete who earns the highest grades (last year baseball player C.J. Cullen, with a 3.98 in engineering, wow). Or a fund to buy new kilts for the nutty Villa Maria Drum Squad boys who sprint around the field when the Pilots score a goal. Or...well, call Colin McGinty with your gift idea: 503.943.8005, firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Soccer was invented by a man but perfected by a woman.” J U L I E F O U D Y, U N I T E D S TAT E S O F A M E R I C A
Can I claim to love a child if I don’t use all my heart to preserve her world? by Kathleen Dean Moore
ay 25, 2025. All those years, the Swainson’s thrushes were the first to call in the mornings. Their songs spiraled like mist from the swale to the pink sky. That’s when I would take a cup of tea and walk into the meadow. Swallows sat on the highest perches, whispering as they waited for light to stream onto the pond. Then they sailed through the midges, scattering motes of wing-light. Chipping sparrows buzzed like sewing machines as soon as the sun lit the Douglas-firs. If I kissed the knuckle of my thumb, they came closer and trilled again. For years there were flocks of goldfinches. After my husband and I poisoned the bull-thistles on the far side of the pond, the goldfinches perched in the willows. When they landed there, dew shook from the branches into the pond, throwing light into new leaves where chickadees chirped. The garbage truck backed down the lane, beeping its backup call, making the frogs sing, even in the day. Oh, there was music in the mornings, all those years. In the overture to the day, each bird added its call until the morning was an ecstasy of music that faded only when the diesel pumps kicked on to pull water from the stream to the neighbor’s bingcherry trees. Evenings were glorious too. Just as the sun set, little brown bats began to fly. If a bat swooped close, I heard its tiny sonar chirps, just at the highest reach of my hearing. Each downward flitter of its wings squeezed its lungs and pumped out another chirp, the way a pump-organ exhales Bach. Frogs sang and sang, but not like bats or birds. Like violins, violin strings just touched by the bow, the bow touching and withdrawing. They sang all evening, thousands of violins, and into the night. They sang while crows flew into the oaks and settled their wings, while garter snakes, their stomachs extended with frogs, crawled finally under the fallen bark of the oaks and stretched their lengths against cold ground. I don’t know how many frogs there were in the pond then. Thousands.
Tens of thousands. Clumps of eggs like eyeballs in aspic. Neighborhood children poked them with sticks to watch their jelly shake. When the eggs hatched, there were tadpoles. I have seen the shallow edge of the pond black with wiggling tadpoles. There were that many, each with a song growing inside it and tiny black legs poking out behind. Just at dusk, a hooded merganser would sweep over the water, or a pair of geese, silencing the frogs. Then it was the violins again, and geese muttering. In the years when the frog choruses began to fade, scientists said it was a fungus, or maybe bullfrogs were eating the tadpoles. No one knew what to do about the fungus, but people tried to stop the bullfrogs. Standing on the dike, my neighbor shot frogs with a pellet gun, embedding silver bbs in their heads, a dozen holes, until she said how many holes can I make in a frog’s face before it dies? Give me something more powerful. So she took a shotgun and filled the bullfrogs with buckshot until, legs snapped, faces caved in, they slowly sank away. Ravens belled from the top of the oak. When the bats stopped coming, they said that was a fungus too. When the goldfinches came in pairs, not flocks, we told each other the flocks must be feeding in a neighbor’s field. No one could guess where the thrushes had gone. Two springs later, there were drifts of tiny white skins scattered in the shallows like dust-rags in the dusk. I scooped one up with a stick. It was a frog skin, a perfect empty sack, white, intact, but with no frog inside — cleaned, I supposed, by snails or winter — and not just one. Empty frogs scattered on the muddy bottom of the pond. They were as empty as the perfect emptiness of a bell, the perfectly shaped absence ringing the angelus, the evening song, the call for forgiveness at the end of the day. As it happened, that was the spring when our granddaughter was born. I brought her to the pond so she could feel the comfort I had known there for so many years. Killdeer waddled in the mud by the shore, but not so many as before. By then, the pond had sunk into its warm, weedy places, leaving an expanse of cracked earth. Ahead of the coming heat, butterflies fed in the mud between the cracks, unrolling their tongues to touch salty soil. I held my granddaughter in my
arms and sang to her then, an old lullaby that made her soften like wax in a flame, molding her little body to my bones. Hush a bye, don’t you cry. Go to sleep you little baby. Birds and the butterflies, fly through the land. I held her close, weighing the chances of the birds and the butterflies. She fell asleep in my arms, unafraid. I will tell you, I was so afraid. Poets warned us, writing of the heart-breaking beauty that will remain when there is no heart to break for it. But what if it is worse than that? What if it’s the heart-broken children who remain in a world without beauty? How will they find solace in a world without wild music? How will they thrive without green hills edged with oaks? How will they forgive us for letting frog-song slip away? When my granddaughter looks back at me, I will be on my knees, begging her to say I did all I could. I didn’t do all I could have done. It isn’t enough to love a child and wish her well. It isn’t enough to open my heart to a bird-graced morning. Can I claim to love a morning, if I don’t protect what creates its beauty? Can I claim to love a child, if I don’t use all the power of my beating heart to preserve a world that nourishes children’s joy? Loving is not a kind of la-de-da. Loving is a sacred trust. To love is to affirm the absolute worth of what you love and to pledge your life to its thriving — to protect it fiercely and faithfully, for all time. Ring the angelus for the thrushes and the swallows. Ring the bells for frogs floating in bent reeds. Ring the bells for all of us who did not save the songs. Holy Mary mother of god, ring the bells for every sacred emptiness. Let them echo in the silence at the end of the day. Forgiveness is too much to ask. I would pray for only this: that our granddaughter would hear again the little lick of music, that grace note toward the end of a meadowlark’s song. Meadowlarks. There were meadowlarks. They sang like angels in the morning. n Kathleen Dean Moore is the author of many books, among them the Northwest classics Holdfast and Riverwalking. This essay is from an astounding new book called Moral Ground: Ethical Action for a Planet in Peril, from Trinity University Press. Our thanks to Kathleen and to Michael Nelson for the chance to paw through it, thrilled and moved.
PAINTING: MELCHIOR DE HONDECOETER, 1886 / ART RESOURCE
The Call to Forgiveness at the End of the Day
Gifts for biology, botany, zoology, environmental studies, spiritual search, civic responsibility, and sparking young Oregon writers to grow up and sing like Kathleen Dean Moore: Monica Long, email@example.com, 503.943.7971.
A Version Of Eternity The point of libraries isn’t books, exactly — it’s possibility, epiphany, freedom, imagination, surprise, story, prayer, eternity... by John Daniel
wilderness of books,” Henry Thoreau remarked in his Journal, of a day in Cambridge Library, and libraries were something like that for me as a kid. My senses quickened when I walked through the doorway and smelled the good smell of books, clean as split maple wood or autumn leaves fresh on the ground. With the smell came quiet, a quiet of small sounds not so different from the stillness of the woods — pages turning, a squeaky shoe, murmured voices, a cough or sneeze — and, from the circulation desk, the thump of books on counter, the precise percussion of date stamp, the occasional rattle of coins as someone paid a fine. And in the stacks, of course, the books themselves ranked side by side in their various statures, thin and fat, tall and short, fresh and faded, some with jackets covered in clear plastic, some in plain cloth on boards, some in uniform library binding, their visible spines a cacophony of colors and typefaces. Ranges and ranges of books, a landscape of the great unknown. Sometimes I would stand in the aisles pulling them at random, whichever caught my eye. I would leaf through each for a while, and occasionally I found one to take home. More often I would return the book to its niche on the shelf and forget it, but not before burying my nose in its open spine to breathe its smell. I loved the bright inky freshness of a new book’s pages, and the spicy pizzazz that came off the glossy pages of an art book or atlas, but I loved just as well or better the subtler, richer, slightly musty or even sour bouquet of an old book’s pages, and the textured feel of the paper, the rough fore-edges of the pages, and the embossed lettering that some of them bore on their front covers. Years later, in Oregon, I would meet a kindred spirit. “Some people judge writing by how it looks or sounds,” said the poet William 34
Stafford, not entirely kidding. “I judge it by how it smells. I want that total experience of language.” A wilderness, then — but an ordered wilderness. When I wanted a particular book, I would go first to the library’s knowledgeable mind, the card catalogue in its lacquered, blonde oak case, which had a good paperand-wood smell all its own. The drawer I needed — they were ordered by precise fractions of the alphabet — might be at my ankles or at my shoulders. I’d pull it out and place it — quietly, please! — on the adjoining counter and flip through the cards, the stiff newer ones standing out with a crisp top edge, the many older ones softened, frayed, slightly torn perhaps, from the touch of innumerable human fingers pursuing innumerable human quests. I was twelve or thirteen when it came to me one day that the cards my fingers were touching had been touched by others before I was born, by living people and people now dead, and that someday my fingers would be blotched and gnarled like my grandfather’s, and after I died a kid like me would be flipping through the cards that I had touched and ever so slightly softened with my own fingers. And the books too, of course — many of the authors were dead, but their books still stood with books by the living, and people took them from the shelves and read them, and the books by the living would also outlive their authors, and the library still would be here, people searching the shelves, reading at tables, whispering, laughing quietly, stifling coughs, walking out and in with books in their arms or their bags or packs. I had known about death for some years then, and it scared me. The library didn’t teach me death. It taught me a version of eternity. (And perhaps, it occurs to me now, a desire to be an author.)
Now it’s computer keyboards that fingers touch, and the library discloses its mind on electronic screens that fifty years ago I would have found magical. I find them magical now, if a bit too sleek and sterile, and not very interesting to the nose, but I grudgingly acknowledge the improved efficiency. Libraries are changing in many ways. Patrons for years have come to use the computers, or to use their own with free wireless, and now they come to download free music, acquire smart-phone applications, and, increasingly, to try out electronic reading devices. I resist my skepticism of such technologies, because anything that pulls people into a library is all to the good — as long as paperand-print books continue to be housed there, for the sake of oldsters like me and such youngsters who might be susceptible to their archaically sensual charms. It pleases me to still find, in the vicinity of the screens and keyboards, cups of short pencils for taking down Dewey decimal numbers on sliced squares of paper (bearing, as ever, fragments of former library business printed on their undersides). I set out, list in hand, with the same eagerness I felt when I was ten, finding my way through the wilds like a hound dog on a hot scent. I usually emerge with the book I went in for, and often with one or two others, titles nearby on the shelves that catch my eye and sometimes prove more valuable than my intended quarry. Hunters should never be cocksure about what they are hunting. The wilderness knows more than the hunter. Like any forest or prairie or desert or sea, a library is a breeding ground of possibilities. I was raised in a home of unpredictable angers, and I can see now that I appreciated the library’s safety. No one was going to yell or pound a fist on the table or slam a door. And no one could force me to talk, either, no
did. It reminded me of the firehouse where my parents voted on Election Day and sometimes took me along, where Democrats and Republicans and Socialists and all others — men and women who might argue angrily elsewhere — walked in and walked out making small talk, smiling, a lively stir in the air. The library and the polls, where men and women freely pursued their private purposes in a public place, respecting the freedom of others, showed me the nature of democracy better than any civics book ever would. So what draws our varied multitudes to the wilderness of books? We come for information, of course. Names, dates, facts, figures. This use harks back to the origins of writing itself, in Mesopotamia six thousand years ago, where files of clay tablets in grain warehouses recorded inven-
or William Burroughs, seeking, and finding, the good parts. (They were always women, weren’t they, who staffed those libraries of decades past — older ones, mostly, who ranged from severe to sweet, but were always helpful. The library was theirs, they knew everything about it and ran it with assurance — and made, I now know, mere pin money. Of course they were women. No man would have worked for those wages, or could have supported a fam-ily on them.) My solitude was secure in the library, but I was never alone there. As I went about my errands, others of all ages and looks were going about theirs — towheads, dark-heads, grayheads, tanned, pale, red-cheeked, sallow, in dresses, in slacks, in jeans, on crutches, smiling, frowning, intent, in sneakers, in loafers, in heels, in ties, in jewelry, in glasses, in daydreams, in giggles, in tears. Even then I knew it was important that everyone could go to the library and that a great many
tory, transactions, and other data. But other tablets from that time were inscribed with very different information — hymns, stories of the gods, epic narratives such as Gilgamesh. For the first time in Western history, humans were writing down the lore they had long stored in the libraries of their hearts and heads and passed down the generations through the spoken voice. As tablets became papyrus scrolls, parchment codices, and eventually books, libraries evolved apace. Mostly private collections in Greek and Roman times, mostly monastic through the Middle Ages, after Gutenberg and the beginnings of general literacy they began to proliferate into the many thousands of city, state, regional, university, thematic, and archival libraries that we know today. Most of us come for stories. A culture defines itself through the stories it receives and re-tells and passes on, and those stories are of many kinds — fiction, memoir, essays, poetry, jour-
nals, letters, criticism, history, biography, journalism. Even science is essentially narrative, a growing body of stories about physical being, revised over time under the discipline of the scientific method. Our stories in their various ways carry what we know and cannot afford to forget. They tell — or better, they ask — who we were and who we are, they ask where we are and who our neighbors are, they ask how we belong to our lives and our world and our universe, they ask where in eternity we have come from and where we might go. No single story is the truth. The stories together, the libraries in all their wild spaces, are alive with truth in our best mortal approximation. The Clark Memorial Library at the University of Portland, the New York Public Library, the Fern Ridge Library that serves my rural region of western Oregon — any library is a place where a young man or woman can join the long trail of human thoughts and imaginings and cautions and prayers and possibly come away surprised with a story, a story not available at home, among friends, or in the rush and glitz of popular culture, a story that might turn this young man or woman ever so slightly toward a true calling. Rebels need what libraries have in order to know what it is they reject, and to take heart from rebels before them. Conservatives need what libraries have in order to know what has made them, and what in that tradition is most worth conserving. It matters nothing if the stories come alive on electronic screens or in the pages of old and fragrant books. It matters everything that the stories are there, and that the young man or woman is there, because that is how we go on. n John Daniel, twice the University’s Schoenfeldt Series Visiting Writer, is the author of many books, among them the superb Looking After and Rogue River Journal. He has written in these pages of Oregonness, prayer, rivers, and independence, among other glories. To make a Campaign gift to the University’s renovated rebuilt reimagined Library above (we need fifty new laptop computers, a stunning new media lab, a dozen “silent spaces” for students, a room for author readings, and gifts for our riveting art and literature collections, among much else), call Kathy Johnston 503.943.8004, firstname.lastname@example.org. n
PHOTO: STEWART CHARLES COHEN / GETTY IMAGES
one could intrude on the privacy of my business there, my curiosity, my doing whatever I had come for, even if I didn’t entirely know what that was. In the library I found and fell in love with a dog, Big Red. I climbed Chilkoot Pass and grubbed for Klondike gold with Jack London. I felt the passion of the Christ story in The Robe by Lloyd C. Douglas, rafted down the river with Huck and Jim (in school we got only Tom Sawyer), was caught up in the drama of American history as written by Bernard DeVoto, traveled and suffered with the Joad family and felt the sweep of war and romance in A Farewell to Arms. And of course the time did come when I was sure from the look the librarian gave me (such a formal term, librarian), as she checked out my haul of innocent books, that she knew I’d been in the aisles paging through D. H. Lawrence
A Shiver of Ecstasy The best thing that ever happened to me was getting crushed by a car in Salzburg.
spent the first six weeks of my sophomore year strolling blissfully through the cobbled streets of Salzburg, Austria, as a student in the University’s year-long study abroad program. Everything was perfect as autumn blew saffron, rust, and maroon through stone archways and dusted the Alps with fresh majesty. Things cannot get better than this, I thought. But they did — and the best part of my year abroad was not the regal beauty or thrilling novelty of Europe. Much to my surprise, the best part of the Salzburg Program — in fact, the best thing ever to happen to me — was that I was crushed by a car. It was a cold October night. As I crossed the street, a van came speeding toward me, and its side-view mirror crashed into my skull. The impact sheared the mirror off the van. My shoes were sent flying off my feet as I was knocked to the ground. Both my legs were crushed. My blood pooled on the white crosswalk. I vaguely heard an ambulance screaming. What followed were the most bewildering, terrifying weeks of my life as I lay comatose and then heavily sedated in an intensive care unit. I had no idea what was happening to me — why I was left alone through the long dark nights, my throat full of tubes. I wanted to scream in terror and confusion but I was unable to utter a sound. I could not understand why my legs were lifeless and wrapped in gauze from which protruded a dozen metal rods, or why I had hallucinations of birds and frogs flickering terrifyingly in and out of the air before me. My mind eventually grabbed hold of reality and I was moved to a rehab center near Vienna, but with my grasp of reality came a full understanding of my pathetic situation. I lay in bed, day after day, alone, thinking unceasingly about how great it would be to get back to the life I used to live, doing the things I liked to do, with the 38
people I enjoyed. Oh, surely that would be the day! The end of all this misery, a reprieve from all this pain! Yet, looking back, I was surprised to find that it was not all those months in the hospital and the rehab center that were the hardest. The hardest part, it turned out, was getting what I had longed for most: my return to the luxury of distractions. You see, life in those white corridors was miserably and frustratingly dull and lonely, but it was extremely simple. Life in the “real world” was full of complications I’d forgotten all about. At first, getting back to Portland and to campus was wonderful: every bird’s egg I found and bike trail I rode gave me a shiver of ecstasy. But I soon had to admit that I reveled in such small pleasures more as anesthesia than anything else; they were desperate attempts to distract myself from the overwhelming experience of being alive in the midst of such a cornucopia of delights, without a clue as to what to do with the gift of being alive. On top of this, I found I could no longer enjoy the company of friends like I used to. While they were making plans for the weekend, I was groping for meaning in a world smothered by pain, bearing a burden of sorrows few could see. I soon found myself in a place more dark and more lonely than any I had known before, darker than any nights in the hospital. I walked the streets of my neighborhood at night, weary and bewildered; how had I become so trapped in the hermitage of my mind? I thought I was leaving that hermitage behind when I left the hospital bed, but instead I felt forced to retreat to it, even to long for it, when I found that the world outside was not as I remembered. A life in which my only companions were quiet Austrian nurses seemed infinitely better than a life where my only companions appeared to be nothing more than indifferent shadows.
And how, you will ask, was all this the best thing ever to happen to me? It truly felt quite the opposite, for a while. Yet my descent into such deep loneliness, confusion, and despair really drove me to search for meaning, and I began to search as if my life depended on it, for it literally did. But as I stared long and hard into the darkness, wiping away the tears to try and see clearly, an image began to emerge: the image of a beautiful world, sustained by a force — a Presence — so mighty and so pure I could only call it divine. Even when this image grew for me from a faint glimmer to a brilliant light, however, the troubles and the confusion did not end — nor will they ever. But I began to see the incredible intricacy of a leaf made yet more resplendent by an outline of early morning frost. I began to feel the graceful fluid geometry of my bones carrying my soul from one wonder to the next, as my lungs drew in the cosmic winds and the remnants of stars. I began to feel the full impact of these daily happenings as so wonderful, so filled with wonder, that they were miraculous. I began to know, to be absolutely sure, utterly convinced, that beauty endures despite pain and confusion and despair or whatever distracts us from the excellence of all that is by making us wish for what “could” or “should” be. As long as this incomparable lesson stays with me, I will share with Ralph Waldo Emerson the blessed conviction that “nothing can befall me — no disgrace, no calamity” which the Presence cannot repair. n Nathan Haskell graduated in May with a degree in literature, which he already uses like a roaring sword, as you see. To help our students achieve stunning awakenings like this in our study-abroad programs in Australia, Africa, Asia, Europe, and Latin America, call Monica Long at 503.943.7971, email@example.com.
PHOTO: BRIAN LAWRENCE / GETTY IMAGES
by Nathan Haskell ’10
The urbane, brilliant, cheerful physics professor and polymath Brother Godfrey Vassallo, C.S.C., at left, who arrived on The Bluff in 1929 and was a cheerful whirlwind until his death in 1974, as photographed by his awed student John Beckman â€™42 -- who later started a scholarship to honor his mentor and favorite professor. Now there is a sweet and creative way to make a gift to the University, eh? Perpetuates memory and legacy, directly helps a student or seven, eases the financial moaning of the studentsâ€™ dads and moms, leads to lovely photographs and notes like this in the University magazine...call Diane Dickey, 503.943.8130, firstname.lastname@example.org.
The New Lands
What will the University look like in the year 2050? We’ll be bigger, for one thing – by then the riverfront campus below the bluff to the north will have been completed, if donors have been gloriously generous, and the eightyish acres of Lower Campus should feature an environmental science laboratory specializing in salmon recovery, a new baseball field, a boathouse for the rowing teams, student playing fields, trails for the cross-country teams, and plenty of room for wildlife (by which we do not mean Villa Maria residents). We recently asked the noted Seattle architect and artist Anita Lehman to draw the dream, as it were – to paint what the River Campus might look like in 2050, which she did with grace. Anita, we note with a smile, is already a mighty generous donor; her two sons are students on The Bluff.
Among the River Campus residents in 2050: herons, osprey, eagles, mink, otters, hawks, deer, salmon, sturgeon, kingfishers, perhaps a pair of bobcats...
Among the River Campus visitors in 2050: student rowers, runners, baseballists, softball players, tennis players, loungers, fisherfolk, swimmers, biology and engineering students, awed landscape design students, neighbors with infants and dogs...
The River Campus is a glorious dream; but it will stay that way without the generosity and commitment of alumni and friends who help create the future. To make a gift, or to chat about what the lower campus might look like and how you can help make it happen, call Monica Long, 503.943.7971, email@example.com. We might speculate that the best way to invest in the future River Campus is a “planned gift” – property, codicil in your will, estate disbursements – for which you should call the cheerful Sharon Hogan at 503.943.8677, firstname.lastname@example.org, or the urbane Doug Hansen at 503.943.8008, email@example.com.
The legendary Doctor Arnold Rustin, who spent the final years of his life teaching hugely popular medical classes at the University (photographed by himself, the print found in his house by his wife Ruth after his death). We smile at the pose â€” Doctor Rustin was the unbroodingest man there ever was, in real life. Terrific science and medical teaching and research have been a hallmark at the University since the 1930s; the University is delighted by gifts for our many chemistry, physics, biology, botany, and nursing scholarships, and for faculty funds, lab funds, professorships, endowed chairs, and visiting science scholars. Someday, of course, we hope to have an Arnold Rustin Scholarship. Want to help start it? Call Diane Dickey, 503.943.8130, firstname.lastname@example.org.
A CHAPEL IS WHERE YOU CAN HEAR SOMETHING BEATING BELOW YOUR HEART I came to the chapel at the University as the light was falling...
iant figures are talking and strutting and singing on enormous screens above me, and someone is chattering away on the mini-screen in the cab from which I just stepped. Nine people at this street-corner are shouting into thin air, wearing wires around their chins and jabbing at screens in their hands. One teenager in Sacramento, I read recently, sent 300,000 text messages in a month — or ten a minute for every minute of her waking day, assuming she was awake sixteen hours a day. There are more cell-phones than people on the planet now, almost (ten mobiles for every one at the beginning of the century). Even by the end of the last century, the average human being in a country such as ours saw as many images in a day as a Victorian inhaled in a lifetime. And then I walk off crowded Fifth Avenue and into the capacious silence of Saint Patrick’s. Candles are flickering here and there, intensifying my sense of all I cannot see. Figures are on their knees, heads bowed, drawing my attention to what cannot be said. Light is flooding through the great blue windows, and I have entered a realm where no I or realm exists. I register everything around me: the worn stones, the little crosses, the hymn-books, the upturned faces; then I sit down, close my eyes — and step out of time, into everything that stretches beyond it.
When I look back on my life, the parts that matter and sustain me, all I see is a series of chapels. They may be old or young, cracked brown or open space; they may be lectories or afterthoughts, hidden corners of a city or deserted spaces in the forest. They 50
are as variable as people. But like people they have a stillness at the core of them which makes all discussion of high and low, East and West, you and me dissolve. Bells toll and toll and I lose all sense of whether they are chiming within me or without. The first time I was asked to enter a New York office building — for a job interview twenty-eight years ago — I gathered myself, in all senses, in St. Patrick’s, and knew that it would put everything I was about to face (a company, a new life, my twittering ambitions) into place. It was the frame that gave everything else definition. Ever since, I’ve made it my practice to step into that great thronged space whenever I return to the city, to remind myself of what is real, what is lasting, before giving myself to everything that isn’t. A chapel is the biggest immensity we face in our daily lives, unless we live in a desert or in the vicinity of the Grand Canyon. A chapel is the deepest silence we can absorb, unless we stay in a cloister. A chapel is where we allow ourselves to be broken open as if we were children again, trembling at home before our parents. Whenever I fly, I step into an airport chapel. The people there may be sleeping, reading, praying, but all of them are there because they want to be collected. When I go to San Francisco, I stay across from Grace Cathedral, and visit it several times a day, to put solid ground underneath my feet. Returning to the college I attended, I sit on a pew at the back, listening to the high-voiced choir, and think back on that shuffling kid who wandered the downy grounds and what relation he might have to the person
PHOTOS: STEVEN SCARDINA
by Pico Iyer
The tiny chapel at La Petite Providence in Ruillé-sur-Loir, France. It was built in 1806 by Father James Dujarié, who created the Brothers of Saint Joseph in 1820 – the band of brothers who later became the Congregation of Holy Cross.
The log chapel at the University of Notre Dame, a meticulous reconstruction of the tiny chapel that housed Father Edward Sorin and his companions when they were the first Holy Cross men in America.
who now sits here. So much of our time is spent running from ourselves, or hiding from the world; a chapel brings us back to the source, in ourselves and in the larger sense of self — as if there were a difference. Look around you. Occasional figures are exploring their separate silences; the rich and the poor are hard to tell apart, heads bowed. Light is diffused and general; when you hear voices, they are joined in a chorus or reading from a holy book. The space at the heart of the Rothko Chapel is empty, and that emptiness is prayer and surrender. In 1929 the British Broadcasting Corporation decided to start broadcasting “live silence” in memory of the dead instead of just halting transmission for two minutes every day; it was important, it was felt, to hear the rustle of papers, the singing of birds outside, an occasional cough. As a BBC spokesman put it, with rare wisdom, silence is “a solvent which destroys personality and gives us leave to be great and universal.” Permits us, in short, to be who we are and could be if only we had the openness and trust. A chapel is where we hear something and nothing, ourselves and everyone else, a silence that is not the absence of noise but the presence of something much deeper: the depth beneath our thoughts. This spring I came, for the first time, to the Chapel of Christ the Teacher at the University of Portland, to give a talk as the light was falling. Great shafts of sunshine stretched across the courtyard, catching and sharpening the faces of students returning to their rooms. Later in the evening, since this was Holy Week, an enormous cross was carried into the space, in darkness and reverence and silence. Now, however, people were walking in from all directions, leaving themselves at the door, putting away their business cards and gathering in a circle. They said nothing, and looked around them. The light through the windows began to fade. A scatter of seats became a congregation. And whatever was said, or not said, became less important than the silence. Many years ago, when I was too young to know better, I worked in a 25th floor office four blocks from Times Square, in New York City. Teletypes juddered the news furiously into our midst every second — this was the World Affairs department of Time magazine — and messengers breathlessly brought the latest reports from our correspondents to our offices. Editors barked, early computers sputtered,
televisions in our senior editors’ offices gave us the news as it was breaking. We spoke and conferred and checked facts and wrote, often, twenty or twenty-five pages in an evening. I left all that for a monastery on the backstreets of Kyoto. I wanted to learn about silence. I wanted to learn about who I was when I wasn’t thinking about it. The Japanese are masters of not saying anything, both because their attention is always on listening, on saying little, even on speaking generically, and because, when they do talk, they are very eager to say nothing offensive, outrageous or confrontational. They’re like talk-show hosts in a nation where self-display is almost forbidden. You learn more by listening than talking, they know; you create a wider circle not by thinking about yourself, but about the people around you, and how you can find common ground with them. The Japanese idea of a dream date — I’ve been with my Japanese sweetheart for 23 years and I’ve learned the hard way — is to go to a movie and come out saying nothing. Perhaps I wouldn’t need this kind of training in paying attention and keeping quiet were it not for the fact that I used to love babbling, and my colleges and friends in England and the U.S. trained and encouraged me to talk, to thrust myself forward, to assert my little self in all its puny glory. Perhaps we wouldn’t need chapels if our lives were already clear and calm (a saint or a Jesus may never need to go into a church; he’s always carrying one inside himself). Chapels are emergency rooms for the soul. They are the one place we can reliably go to find who we are and what we should be doing with our lives — usually by finding all we aren’t, and what is much greater than us, to which we can only give ourselves up. “I like the silent church,” Emerson wrote, “before the service begins.” I grew up in chapels, at school in England. For all the years of my growing up, we had to go to chapel every morning and to say prayers in a smaller room every evening. Chapel became everything we longed to flee; it was where we made faces at one another, doodled in our hymn-books, sniggered at each other every time we sang about “the bosom of the Lord” or the “breast” of a green hill. All we wanted was open space, mobility, freedom — the California of the soul. But as the years went on, I started to see that no movement made sense unless it had a changelessness beneath it; that all our explorations were only 53
as rich as the still place we brought them back to. I noticed, in my early thirties, that I had accumulated 1.5 million miles with United Airlines alone; I started going to a monastery. It wasn’t in order to become religious or to attend services in the chapel, though I did go there, over and over, as Emerson might have done, when nobody was present. The real chapel was my little cell in the hermitage, looking out on the boundless blue of the Pacific Ocean below, the Steller’s jay that just alighted on the splintered fence in my garden. Chapel was silence and spaciousness and whatever put the human round, my human, all too human thoughts, in some kind of vaster context. My house had burned down eight months before, and kind friends might have been thinking that I was seeking out a home; but in the chapel of my cell, I was seeking only a reminder of the inner home we always carry with us. To be a journalist is to be beholden to the contents of just now, the news, the public need; to be a human — even if you’re a journalist — is to be conscious of the old, what stands outside of time, our prime necessity. I could only write for Time, I thought, if I focused on Eternity. I’ve stayed in those little cells in a Benedictine hermitage above the sea more than fifty times by now, over almost twenty years. I’ve stayed in the cloister with the monks; spent three weeks at a time in silence; stayed in a trailer in the dark, and in a house for the monastery’s laborers, where I’d come upon monks doing press-ups against the rafters on the ground floor and planning their next raid upon the monastery computer. Now the place lives inside me so powerfully that my home in Japan looks and feels like a Benedictine hermitage. I receive no newspapers or magazines there, and I watch no television. I’ve never had a cell-phone, and I’ve ensured that we have almost no Internet connections at all. We own no car or bicycle, and the whole apartment (formerly, population four, my wife and two children and myself) consists of two rooms. I sleep on a couch in the living room at 8:30 every night, and think this is the most luxurious, expansive, liberating adventure I could imagine. A chapel is where you can hear something beating below your heart. We’ve always needed chapels, however confused or contradictory we may be in the way we define our religious affiliations; we’ve always had to have quietness and stillness to undertake 54
our journeys into battle, or just the tumult of the world. How can we act in the world, if we haven’t had the time and chance to find out who we are and what the world and action might be? But now Times Square is with us everywhere. The whole world is clamoring at our door even on a mountaintop (my monastery has wireless Internet, its workers downloaded so much of the world recently that the system crashed, and the monastery has a digital address, www.contemplation.com). Even in my cell in Japan, I can feel more than 6 billion voices, plus the Library of Alexandria, CNN, MSNBC, everything, in that inoffensive little white box with the apple on it. Take a bite, and you fall into the realm of Knowledge, and Ignorance, and Division. The high-tech firm Intel experimented for seven months with enforcing “Quiet Time” for all of its workers for at least four consecutive hours a week (no e-mails were allowed, no phone calls accepted). It tried banning all e-mail checks on Fridays and assuring its workers that they had 24 hours, not 24 minutes, in which to respond to any internal e-mail. If people are always running to catch up, they will never have the time and space to create a world worth catching up with. Some colleges have now instituted a vespers hour, though often without a church; even in the most secular framework, what people require is the quietness to sink beneath the rush of the brain. Journalist friends of mine switch off their modems from Friday evening to Monday morning, every week, and I bow before them silently; I know that when I hop around the Web, watch YouTube videos, surf the TV set, I turn away and feel agitated. I go for a walk, enjoy a real conversation with a friend, turn off the lights and listen to Bach or Leonard Cohen, and I feel palpably richer, deeper, fuller, happier. Happiness is absorption, being entirely yourself and entirely in one place. That is the chapel that we crave. Long after my home had burned down, and I had begun going four times a year to my monastery up the coast, long after I’d constructed a more or less unplugged life in Japan — figuring that a journalist could write about the news best by not following its every convulsion, and writing from the chapel and not the madness of Times Square — I found a Christian retreat-house in my own hometown. Sometimes, when I had an hour free in the day, or was running from errand
Saint André Bessette’s room in Saint Joseph’s Oratory, Montreal. Chapels come in every size and shape; the Congregation of Holy Cross’s first recognized saint, the salty janitor and doorman Brother André, lived in this spare sweet room for more than twenty years.
to errand, I drove up into the silent hills and parked there, and just sat for a few minutes in its garden. Encircled by flowers. In a slice of light next to a statue of the Virgin. Instantly, everything was okay. I had more reassurance than I would ever need. I was thinking of something more than an “I” I could never entirely respect. Later, I opened the heavy doors and walked into the chapel, again when no one was there. It sat next to a sunlit courtyard overlooking the dry hills and far-off blue ocean of what could have been a space in Andalusia. A heavy bell spoke of the church’s private sense of time. A row of blond-wood chairs was gathered in a circle. I knelt and closed my eyes and thought of the candle flickering in one corner of the chapel I loved in the monastery up the coast. When I had to go to Sri Lanka, in the midst of its civil war, I went to the chapel to be still; to gather my resources and protection, as it were. I went there when I was forcibly evacuated from the house that my family had rebuilt after our earlier structure had burned down, and our new home was surrounded by wild flames driven by seventy mile-per-hour winds. In the very same week, my monastery in Big Sur was also encircled by fire. I went there even when I was halfway across the world, because I had reconstituted the chapel in my head, my heart; it was where I went to be held by something profound. Then another wildfire struck up, and a newspaper editor called me in Japan: the retreat-house near my home was gone. Where does one go when one’s chapel is reduced to ash? Perhaps it is the first and main question before us all. There are still chapels everywhere. And I go to them. But like the best of teachers or friends, they always have the gift of making themselves immaterial, invisible — even, perhaps, immortal. I sit in Nara, the capital of Japan thirteen centuries ago, and I see a candle flickering. I feel the light descending from a skylight in the rotunda roof. I hear a fountain in the courtyard. I close my eyes and sit very still, by the side of my bed, and sense the chapel take shape around me. If your silence is deep enough, bells toll all the way through it. n Pico Iyer, the University’s Schoenfeldt Series Distinguished Visiting Writer in 2010, is the author of many books, including most recently The Open Road: The Global Journey of the Fourteenth Dalai Lama.
The Votive Chapel, Saint Joseph’s Oratory, Montreal
Founded by a headstrong archbishop with the generous help of a stubborn Holy Cross priest, the University has been proudly, creatively, imaginatively Catholic since its first moment, and savors and cherishes that ancient and revolutionary faith in a thousand ways. The Rise Campaign wants to celebrate and deepen and broaden every aspect of spiritual search and awakening on campus; among its targets are the Garaventa Center for American Catholic Life, which brings speakers and scholars from around the world; the Catholic Studies initiative, which gathers all kinds of scholarly and cultural energies together; and the Campus Ministry program, which welcomes students of every and no faith into spiritual journey and epiphany. Of course there are endless ways to bend gifts into the celebration of the seethe and song of Catholicism – you could start a Flannery O’Connor Chair in Terse Brilliance here, or make a gift to our Saint Andre Bessette, C.S.C., Chapel, or establish the Springsteen Scholarship in honor of that most interesting Catholic musician (Saint Rose of Lima Parish, New Jersey), or chip in on the many scholarships named for sweet patient selfless Holy Cross priests and teachers here over the years – Mike O’Brien, Tom Kelly, John Biger, Charlie Hamel, Greg Lombardo, many more... call Bryce Strang, 503.943.7395, email@example.com. 57
recently stumbled upon an exhibit by the photographer Yousaf Karsh. I’d not known of Karsh nor, to my knowledge, of his black-and-white prints from the 1940s and ’50s: beautifully lit, richly textured. Still, I instantly recognized many of the portraits: Ernest Hemingway, in a stout wool turtleneck; Winston Churchill, commanding and sardonic; Picasso, with his piercing eyes and a painting of a nude. They were different faces — elegant faces, handsome faces, intelligent faces — and yet, as I made the rounds of the exhibit, I began to see that in a way, they were the same face. Jacqueline Kennedy, nubile and dewy. Albert Einstein, with his leonine white mane. Even the actress Anna Magnini, defeated by time, oozed sex appeal. These were celebrities whose expressions spoke of vacation homes and domestic help, whose hands toyed with cigarettes, who had made scientific discoveries and waged wars and presided over opulent drawing rooms. Yes, I’m admired, fawned over, and you can well see why! many of their eyes seemed to say; and part of me wished I were one of them. One photo alone stood out. One face so distinguished itself that I stopped short: the face of a small, old, deeply wrinkled, resolutely plain woman, her head swathed to mid-eyebrow in a white muslin scarf. Her gnarled fingers gripped a rosary. She looked exhausted, possibly peeved. Her face was not one any of us, no matter how passionately we admired her work, would have asked for in life. Her face was a scandal: naked, almost ugly, the face of a woman, we know now, who for fifty years had cried out in spiritual hunger and never heard an answer, who for fifty years had lived in darkness. It was the face of a woman who had squandered her youth, her sexuality, her capacity for romance on cleaning the sores of lepers and sponging the foreheads of the dying. It was the face of a woman who understood that our task on earth is not to be effective, but to love; that the goal is not success, but love; who knew the terrible cost of love. It was a face that pointed not to itself, but beyond itself, to the Person who transcends the human body and is incarnated in every cell of the human body. It was the face of a woman who had been praised for caring for the 58
dying, and knew all praise goes to God; and who had also been the target of scorn and contempt, for there are those who find cleaning the sores of the sick and sponging the foreheads of the dying cause not for praise, but for rage. Why don’t you eliminate suffering? such people rail. If you cared, you’d build better hospitals and eradicate suffering! Why do you sit around holding people’s hands when you could use your money to start social programs and distribute condoms and support science, politic candidates, technology? Such people are really railing against a God in whom they profess not to believe. They are railing against reality. And because suffering, ours and theirs and everyone else’s, will never, in this world, be eradicated, the effort to comfort, to sit by without fixing, seems stupid and futile; and the solution instead seems to be to prevent people from being born, or to get rid of the ones who are in the way, in pain: to be sensible, to sanitize, to clean up. One man who believes in such “progress,” in cleaning up, would write a book three years before the death of the woman in the photograph, calling her a fanatic, a fundamentalist, and a fraud: not because she stole money from her hospices, not because she did anything other than exactly what she claimed to do, not because she was anyone other than exactly who she claimed to be, but because she did not promote abortion. Other charges were leveled — that she accepted dirty money, that she supported the dictators Duvaliers — but the main reason, her most egregious offense, according to this man, was that she did not promote abortion: that through her work with the dying, she had come to believe ever more deeply that all life is a sacrament, from its first moments to its last; and that true progress would perhaps lie in becoming mindful of and responsible for our own capabilities of bringing life into the world, and in cherishing life in any tiny way we can, and in learning that to cherish is a crucible. I looked around at the other photos, so seductive, so attractive, and then back at the one of the small old woman in the white muslin scarf. Perhaps truth is not always, at first glance, beauty; perhaps truth lies in a light so harsh it scalds our eyes and hearts;
by Heather King perhaps we need to put our faith in something other than the things the world tantalizes us with and withholds, and every so often gives, and the minute we do get, fills us with terror; for the things of this world do not last, we lose the things of this world, our youth, our people, our homelands, or they are taken from us, and coming to grips with that is another kind of crucifixion. This was a face demanding that we look, finally, upon the least among us, who are a bother and a reproach, and whose suffering haunts us, and whose suffering continues not because we lack social programs, or scientific advances, or literary or theological wit, but because very few have the strength to bear the shame of failure, of ineffectiveness. Very few of us possess the moral rigor and intellectual honesty to admit that we are all complicit in the suffering of the world. Very few of us have the duende — a Spanish term, often applied to bullfighters, meaning, roughly, soul, crossed with class, crossed with sublime, almost insane, bravery — to endure the tension of working to the limit of our emotional, physical, and spiritual strength while never quite knowing whether we are fools to believe that our work is bearing fruit, that our efforts to joyfully participate in the sorrows of the world matter, that one day Christ will come again. This was the face of a woman whose eyes were difficult to read, fathomless, as if behind them burned an unseen light: not a soft glow but a fierce, blistering, scorching conflagration of a light that had been endured for a lifetime— for two thousand years — in silence. It was the face of a woman who had so loved the poor that, at last, she became one of them. I wondered if Mother Teresa had ever read the poet Anne Carson: “My religion makes no sense / and does not help me / therefore I pursue it.” And I thought of a canticle from Isaiah that the Church prays every Lent: “He had no form or comeliness that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not...” n Heather King is a writer in Los Angeles.
PHOTO: YOUSUF KARSH
Perhaps truth lies in a light so harsh it scalds our eyes and hearts...
The Nurse Erika Nest ’02, intensive care unit, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston. Twelve-hour shift three days a week. Worked at Saint Vincent’s in Portland in cardiac intensive care for three years after graduation, then became a traveling nurse in Florida and Massachusetts. ICUs are intense villages – “people have every sort of pain, and I’ve sat with patients as they died. Nursing sure does push you out of your comfort zone. I knew I wanted to be a nurse at sixteen, after my little sister was in a car crash and spent two weeks at Doernbecher. I’d go up to visit her and watch the nurses lift her spirits...I love being challenged. I love working with really brilliant people. I love trying to ease minds and bodies. I feel like I was called to this. I was given a gift of skills and an education on The Bluff and now I get to do work that matters tremendously in people’s lives...” Notes and photograph by Laura Bradford (lauraebradford.com)
R I S E .U P. E D U
hen I was very small, I thought that the people on television were inside it, magically miniaturized to fit. Though I figured out soon enough that no little people lived inside our Sony, it took years before I realized that many people were standing behind it — thousands of people behind the cameras, lights, sets, scripts, studios, towers; behind the cosmetics and hairsprays, costumes and jingles; behind the antennas, wires, circuits, remote controls, batteries; behind the factories and conveyor belts, forklifts and airplanes, trucks and highways, shops and cash registers. It was an epiphany for me, realizing that behind every invention, every business, organization, hospital, school, country even, were people; that every purposeful creation was born in an individual’s heart or mind, and powered into life by courage and labor. That epiphany led to another: that all these objects and entities were jobs, and jobs were lives: that what people did all day or night for work could be translated as cereal and sneakers, penicillin and braces, piano lessons and college fees — not to mention dreams, prayers, families, communities. Without restless inventors and daring entrepreneurs who saw problems as opportunities, who took ethereal ideas and propelled them with their hands out of the confines of their minds, our world would be incredibly less; for all its natural beauty it would be bereft of the one glory that human beings do bring perhaps more than any other creature: creativity. “Civilizations are often defined by the lives and works of their creative geniuses,” writes the scholar D.K. Simonton. “A civilization enjoyed a golden age when it overflowed with first-rate creative minds, experienced a silver age when the creative activity descended to a less notable level, and suffered a dark age when creators became few and far between.” Or let us consult the psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi: “What makes us different — our language, values, artistic expression, scientific understanding, and technology — is the result of individual ingenuity that was recognized, rewarded, and transmitted through learning. Without creativity, it would be difficult...to distinguish humans from apes.” Ask entrepreneurs — the visionaries who organize, manage, and assume the risks of a business or enterprise — how to bring ideas to life, and invariably they use the word effort. They’ll also say faith, luck, talent, money, passion, and skill — but first and last they 62
PHOTO: UNDERWOOD & UNDERWOOD / CORBIS
A Note On the Business of Creativity What if you had an idea and then made it real?
by Christine Fundak Rohan
To be chosen for the E-Scholars, a student has to answer all sorts of questions. Among them: Do you take initiative? Do you want to do something extraordinary with your life? What have you actually done? Early childhood behaviors are often the best pre64
dictors of entrepreneurial success, says Anderson. Take Rigo Brioschi ’04, today a manager at General Mills, who created Brioschi’s Best Pasta Sauces as an E-Scholar. “When I was eight years old,” he says, “I’d go to the nearby lumberyard and pick up scrap bits of cedar, package them up and go door to door selling them. I always thought about how to invent a better mousetrap...” To date, the University has graduated some 180 E-Scholars, a quarter of whom now run their own companies. “Everyone dreams,” says Anderson. “Not everyone works to make their dreams happen. We’re looking for dreamers who want to make their dreams happen. Self-efficacy is a characteristic of entrepreneurs: no matter what happens to you, you’ll make something of it. Entrepreneurs have to have that kind of attitude. You also
All objects and entities entail work, and jobs are lives: what people do for work can be translated as cereal, sneakers, penicillin, braces, pianos, tuition, dreams, families... need to see something before other people see it — there’s an urgency to get your idea into the market because if you don’t, someone else will. Original ideas are very rare.” E-Scholar Lynn Le, a senior studying French and global business, is on the hotel terrace in Tel Aviv. It’s after 5 p.m., the frothy azure sea beckons below, but Le is paying no attention to the scenery. She is engrossed in conversation with a Tel Aviv firm’s CEO, wanting to know how to reconcile sustainability with manufacturing for her company, Turn the Page, a sustainable school supplies company which donates one product for each one sold to a needy school. “So many students lack the fundamental resources to help with their education, and even though programs like One Laptop Per Child exist, many underprivileged areas lack the infrastructure to support them,” she says. “My focus is on basic resources that anyone can access — pens, pencils, notebooks — specifically in Portland and the central coast of Vietnam,
where my family originates and where half the primary school pupils fail to go onto secondary school. At the same time, half of Portland Public School students are eligible for free or reduced-price lunches under Title 1; their families struggle to afford the average $82 for school supplies needed every year.” E-Scholars Stefanie Doolittle (majoring in politics) and Brian Walsh (education), are also looking to find niches that will allow their companies to profit while being of direct benefit to society. Doolittle’s company, Menex, focuses on shipping excess medical supplies in the U.S. to clinics in need abroad, while Walsh has created Cross-Cultural Connections, a nonprofit that brings divided private and public school students together for events. Walsh, curious about how Israeli organizations are bridging IsraeliPalestinian gaps to pave the way for a two-state solution, is quietly confident about starting a business: his grandmother, needing to support four kids, started her own cleaning business 25 years ago and today has ten employees. An American entrepreneur travelling with the University’s party: Amy Dundon-Berchtold. She’s been buying and fixing up multiple family and small commercial investment units in California for years. “My mom was pregnant with me while fixing up three houses, one for our family and two to sell, and all of us cousins, girls as well as boys, got tool kits for our 18th birthdays. It just came instinctively for me to get my real estate license and MBA. Improving housing isn’t something we need to wait for the government to do — you can improve a neighborhood one house, one apartment building, at a time. That’s how you change the face of a community.” An Israeli entrepreneur, Samuel “Schmulik” Weller, welcomes us briskly into his Tel Aviv firm, SundaySky, which he founded in 2006 to provide video services for website publishers. He and a friend from the Israel Defense Forces’ 8200 intelligence unit (considered an “incubator” for Israeli start-ups) quit their day jobs and worked a year without pay to get SundaySky going. Four years later, SundaySky has 40 employees and 15 big accounts. “It’s an emotional rollercoaster,” Weller says. “Though I constantly worry about financing, what drives me isn’t the money. I don’t care about it. I want to create, make a change, do something new. Seeing my employees happy, debating, excited, makes me happy; I feel we’ve
PHOTO: SEAN GALLUP / GETTY IMAGES
say effort, work, sweat. “At one time,” says Robin Anderson, dean of the University’s Pamplin School of Business and holder of the Franz Chair in Entreprenurship, “the hot question in business schools was ‘are entrepreneurs born or made?’ Now we just skip that debate and focus on giving students what they need most: the skills to set up a business.” In his twelve years on The Bluff, Anderson has done a stunning job of making the business school an entrepreneurial magic factory: he started the Center for Entrepreneurship, which was eventually ranked first among its peers in America; he established the Entrepreneur Scholars program, which takes students from any and all majors on campus, sparks them to make their business ideas real, and sends them around the globe to study business; he created the $16K Challenge, which annually pits student entrepreneurial projects against each other for a fat seed-money prize; and today he and five student E-Scholars (and faculty and alumni and donors) are on an Israeli tour bus, blazing from the Mediterranean Sea (at Tel Aviv), to the ancient Israeli hills (in the Golan Heights) to the bone-white desert (Jerusalem) on a week-long journey that concludes the E-Scholars’ intense year of study. “We want E-Scholars to understand how to do business internationally and we pick somewhere where they’re out of their comfort zone, but not in a panic zone,” says Anderson, citing Brazil, Malaysia, Nicaragua, Peru, Russia, and South Africa among previous E-destinations. In Peru, EScholars built methane bladders. In Nicaragua, they helped build a dam and design a coffee de-popper because they noticed that half the harvested organic coffee rotted before it was depopped. Israel is particularly suitable for study, says Anderson cheerfully, because not only is it itself an entrepreneurial venture — it was dreamed into existence in its modern form only in 1948 — but it’s also a world start-up superstar, launching 3,000 new companies a year (in a population of 7.5 million people). It’s also a crossroads among Asia, Africa, and Europe, a place marked by a vast exchange of ideas as many of the world’s cultures, religions, and creativities have passed through this ancient juncture-point.
We meet Canadian Jimmy Levy, cofounder of Al Bawader, the first investment fund focused on Israel’s Arab private sector. After 11 years in Israel’s high-tech industry, Levy went solo, and now his Jewish-Arab, Nazarethbased software company, Galil, employs over 100 engineers, 90 percent of them Arabs. Though 23 percent of Israel’s population is Arab, this group contributes only 8 percent of Israel’s GDP, Levy says, because “the Arab sector is underdeveloped, fewer than 300 of Israel’s 30,000 programmers are Arab, and Arabs face barriers to entry in the job market. I came to Pitango [one of Israel’s leading venture capital firms] to create a pipeline for Arabs about two years ago. In a matter of weeks, we got a $50 million fund: $20 million from government, $30 million from the private sector. This shows the Israeli government’s acknowledgement that the Arab problem needs to be addressed. One million highly educated Russians [who immigrated to Israel in the 1990s] created this economy. We have 1.3 million Arabs — that’s a business opportunity as well as an issue of justice and fairness. Israeli Arabs should share Israel’s success.” In Old Jaffa Port’s Café Kapish, we’re trying to order dinner from waiters who can’t hear us. As we clumsily mimic the signs depicted on guide sheets, the deaf or hearing-impaired waiters and kitchen staff communicate deftly with each other, and with us, delivering plate after plate in the packed restaurant without uttering a word. The café, like the adjoining Nalaga’at Theater (where deaf-blind 66
actors perform) and Black Out Restaurant (where blind waiters serve dishes in total darkness), is part of the Nalag’at Center. Adina Tal and Eran Gur created the non-profit in 2002 to promote interaction among blind, deaf, and deaf-blind people from all backgrounds, and to raise awareness of their needs and rights to contribute to society. Epiphany: entrepreneurship can and does and will change the world as we know it. Heading out of Tel Aviv on the bus, I get to talking to Lara Bennett, who just graduated from the University in May. She proudly pulls her company registration document from her bag. Revolution Farmz, LLC is “ready to go!” she says happily, explaining that her company provides locally grown produce to Portland restaurants. She’s researched the project meticulously,
found a business partner, found willing restaurants and farms, and now all she needs is $15,000 for a truck, trailer, and plastic crates. She’s confident about the money and the company. “Restaurant customers want to see local on the menu. We have 400 organic farms in Oregon, but restaurants don’t have the time to get to them, so only about six percent of current restaurant supplies are local.” Passionate about good food since she was a child, Bennett chose the University of Portland over the Culinary Institute because of its E-Scholar program; as soon as she gets back to Oregon from Israel, she’ll start operations out of Albany, right in the middle of Oregon’s breadbasket. We are in Kibbutz Gonen. Established with the idea that everyone gives according to ability and receives ac-
cording to need, the kibbutz, thanks to Israel’s economic revolution, gradually lost its heavy government subsidies and turned competitive to survive. Since 1953, when kibbutz members drained these 1,000 acres of swampland, they’ve tried growing everything imaginable: apples (disastrous), red grapefruit (most successful), corn, peanuts, garlic, onions, cotton, citrus of all sorts, wheat. They ran a factory — first it made plastics, then wonderfully light sandals made of poplar wood and sold to Dr. Scholl’s, Indonesia, and Hong Kong, until the shoes went out of fashion, as shoes do, and so the shoe factory became a popsicle stick and tongue depressor factory, churning out a million sticks a day, until Chinese competition drove the kibbutz to chop down the poplar trees too. Now, says our guide, Szubik, they’re selling cars (Fords), running a hotel, and raising beef — enterprising, indeed. Epiphany: entrepreneurial ideas keep changing all the time. Stasis is disaster. Yuval Moshe directs MATI, a non-profit organization that helps launch and grow businesses in Israel’s underdeveloped northern region (population 120,000) — hundreds of businesses a year, he says, equating to 1,000 new jobs. “Those who have dreams come to us, about 2,000 people per year, though 30 percent never come back,” says Moshe. “Those who do return get help with business plans, leadership, marketing. We teach them how to do it better, and 70 percent of those we help are successful five years later.” An entrepreneur himself, Moshe started his company — an intermediary for Israeli exporters and Dutch banks — as an economics student in 1980s Holland. He ended up hiring 15 class-mates before expanding his business to South Africa, Cyprus, Russia, Britain, and Germany. In 1991, he sold up in Europe and set up in Israel, exiting the market for good in 2005, by which time he had 140 employees. “You need to be crazy to start a business. There are two types of workers, the ‘farmer’, who is happy to come to the same job everyday, and the ‘hunter’, who likes to go out and do something new. The hunter is the entrepreneur: You want more, you don’t care about the money; you want the excitement. You have to decide between family and business because you have no life, at least not initially. And you need luck — some people never find it — to find what you want to do.” Epiphany: entrepreneurship is hard, and it’s not for everyone.
PHOTO: ANTHONY BOCCACCIO / GETTY IMAGES
created something of value.” An Israeli-inspired entrepreneurial product: a converted Renault Laguna, maximum speed 140 km/hour, which we take turns driving down a road in Ramat Hasharon. It looks and drives like any car, except it doesn’t have gas or gears or energy loss, nor does it make noise or pollute. Instead, it has a battery that regenerates when acceleration stops, and when the battery dies, drivers either recharge it by plugging in at charging stations or, on longer journeys, switch the 250 kilogram lithium ion battery completely, in two minutes flat. This idea, “switching,” differentiates these Better Place electric cars from other alternative energy-powered vehicles. As founder Shai Agassi explains, the car is his answer to a question he heard at the World Economic Forum in 2005: “How do you make the world a better place by 2020?”
The Golan mountainous landscape gives way to arid desert, with the Wall between Israel and Jordan a constant fixture on our left, but the group remains focused on the business at hand. “You came to another country, to Israel,” says Anderson over a microphone, “and you don’t really know it. To do business, you need to know what the reality is, otherwise you won’t be successful. You need to get information from lots of sources, you need to look at various perspectives and listen. This is an international business trip. That means you go to social and cultural events and you get your work done. You plan. In the 21 years I’ve been taking students overseas, I’ve only ever had one student miss a breakfast meeting. This is the first time we’re using a tour bus — it’s an experiment; I like to try new things. We expect each student to have four independent meetings in Israel. You have to come with a purpose, otherwise it’s pointless.” In the courtyard outside the Church of the Annunciation, Israel’s largest church, in Nazareth, senior Stephanie Fuchs is on a cell phone, talking about tennis. She’s working on her E-Scholar business, Tennis Tomorrow, a website that connects tennis enthusiasts in America, and wants to know whether Israel has a similar enterprise (it does, she discovers, with 10,000 members). “I’ve played tennis for 12 years [including a varsity career with the Pilots] and play as much as I can when I travel,” says Fuchs. “But it’s hard to stay in top form if you can’t play. My website connects you to people in a new location who play on your level, meaning you can play hard when you’re travelling. Having talked with Israeli tennis centers reassures me that my company can work in the U.S.” On Israel’s Highway 90, cutting through the Jericho Governorate, in the Palestinian Territories’ West Bank, we see the city of Jericho — the world’s lowest and one of its oldest continuously inhabited cities, farmed for at least 10,000 years. As I imagine Jericho’s walls tumbling down, as the Book of Joshua describes, our tour guide points to a multi-story building, Jericho’s former Oasis Casino. Gambling may be illegal in Israel, but Palestinians allow it, so when they received self-governance over Jericho, some savvy businessmen and an Austrian entrepreneur decided to open the hotel casino, which became the largest private employer in the Pale-
stinian Authority, with 800 Palestinian employees, 285 expats from 29 countries, and a daily turnover close to $1 million. A large chunk of that revenue came from Israelis, who flocked there by the thousands, but various problems ensued, the upshot being that political skirmishes knocked the casino out of business several years ago. Epiphany: entrepreneurship can be dangerous. Saul Singer, Jerusalem Post journalist and co-author of Start-Up Nation: The Story of Israel’s Economic Miracle, wonders if there’s more to the experience of service than we think. Referring to Israel’s compulsory military service, for men and women, Singer believes an experience between school and work is invaluable. “This is a challenge for every country, how to develop frameworks to create a mission-oriented mentality, a service framework,” says the writer, noting that Start-Up Nation is published by
We are creators and builders; we have been creators and builders for perhaps a million years... New York’s Twelve Publishers, itself a new venture. “People think of innovation as the proverbial light bulb going off. That’s the least of it. Yes, you need creativity for innovation, but you need lots of drive, a missionorientation — you get this from sports, service — and then hard work for that mission. That forces you to improvise and be creative. Israelis get this in part from the military. And Israel itself is a start-up. That pioneering ethos makes us more driven, as does our willingness to risk failure. Failure isn’t the end of the road; it’s the beginning. That’s the entrepreneurial spirit — you need to be able to fail. That’s right up there with the light bulb.” Chaya Lewis remembers when her husband exclaimed “I’ve found a way!” to manipulate light so as to be able to see minute particles, like viruses. His revolutionary scientific discovery, borne from a lifelong passion for light, led not only to the couple’s 1997 launch of Nanonics Imaging, Inc., a producer of combined near-field optical microscopes and atomic force microscopes, but also to the launch of a whole new scientific field. “This
company was a dream when we started,” says Aaron Lewis. “It expanded very rapidly into other areas. We initially thought the better resolution of cells would be very good for biology, but that’s a complex system to work in. Instead, we found that people want to send information via light for communication purposes (photonics). Then the bubble burst, and we had to find new areas in which to survive — like nanotechnology. On positive days, I say ‘this company is about to explode!’ Yesterday, I was depressed because we lost a $500,000 sale — but today, we got a new order, so I’m happy again.” Nanonics employs 40 people — physicists, electrical engineers, technicians, administrative staff, many of them Russian immigrants. And outside this glossy modern business complex in Jerusalem, a gardener is planting flowers — a job he wouldn’t have without people like Aaron Lewis, that’s for sure. Leaving Jerusalem, the holiest of cities for Christians and Jews and among the most sacred for Muslims, I note to myself that of these three great monotheistic faiths, Christianity is the only one that started here — a revolutionary venture born on the ancient hill where Jesus suffered and died and rose again, where now stands the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, packed with pilgrims taking His messages to all ends of the earth. As I, like these pilgrims, make my eventual journey home, my plane descends into London; Jerusalem’s serene white landscape fades away from my mind, and the intricate English amalgam of red brick and green space takes its place. The display of creativity incarnate below me — cars, stadiums, houses, palaces, factories, gardens, playgrounds, boats, winding roads — gives me one last entrepreneurial epiphany: we are creators and builders, we have been creators and builders for perhaps a million years... what might we create and build in the years to come, if we dream big, and work hard, and do not cease from the mental fight, as that great English dreamer William Blake said...? n London journalist Christine Fundak Rohan was assistant editor of this magazine, once upon a time. To make a gift to the University’s many student entrepreneurial adventures, the glorious new Trading Room and Finance Center, or the planned International Languages and Culture Center, call Tim Hennessy at 503.943.7395, firstname.lastname@example.org; or see www.rise.up.edu 67
...in the summer of 2010 junior Megan Irinaga was the very first recipient of the Boehmer/O’Meara Scholarship. “As soon as I stepped onto the campus the first time I knew this was for me,” she says, with her million-watt smile. “It felt like home. It felt warm and prayerful and familiar. I wanted to be here. I got a scholarship and two grants my first two years, and I work on campus, for The Beacon, and I work on weekends as a waitress at a restaurant in Portland, and money is always a worry, sure. One day I got a letter from the University telling me I was the first recipient of the Bob Boehmer/ Ed O’Meara Scholarship. I was curious; I wondered why I was chosen, and who those gentlemen were, so to discover they were such kind and funny men, and the dearest of friends, and great journalists in Oregon, and veterans of the War – I feel like I know them, now, and I’d like to live up to the example they set. I have heard Mister Boehmer never lost his temper and had a dry wit and wrote beautifully. I’d like to be like that. And to hear that their friends spent twelve years building this scholarship fund, dollar by dollar, so that I can borrow less money, so that my family can rest a little easier – that’s amazing. I am honored. I’ll do my best to write about ideas with grace and honesty, like Mister Boehmer and Mister O’Meara. I wish I could thank everyone who built the scholarship but there are too many people who loved them for me to do that, isn’t that so? But I wish I could...”
PHOTO: MEGAN IRINAGA BY JERRY HART
adies and gentlemen: the courtly, witty, patient football star and wonderful journalist Bob Boehmer, Class of 1937. A riveting man altogether – played football and boxed for the University of Portland, wrote for The Beacon, had to drop out of school because he could not find $300 for tuition in the Depression...served with distinction in the Army during the war, chasing Erwin Rommel through North Africa...had glorious career as editor of The Oregon Journal with his dear friend and classmate Ed O’Meara... died with his boots on in his garden not far from the University he loved, in 1998, not long after his buddy Ed died. Many people loved and revered those men, and made gifts to the University in their memory, slowly building an endowed scholarship, and...
Want to make a moment like this? Want to shape love and reverence into a million-watt smile like that one? Call Monica Long, 503.943.7971, 69 email@example.com.
My Name is Y Hoang
The Carl and Jean Seegert Endowed Scholarship goes to a University student in the arts every year. It’s crazy easy to build scholarships on The Bluff. They matter more than we can say. They electrify lives. They make new lives possible. Call Monica Long, 503.943.7971, firstname.lastname@example.org.
y name is Y Hoang. I am sophomore biochemistry major. I came to America four years ago speaking no English. I came to America with empty hands and a bag of broken dreams. Both of my grandfathers fought against the Communists during the Vietnam War. When our side lost, my maternal grandfather went to jail for seven years and my paternal grandfather went to jail for thirteen years. Poverty, sickness, and hungers were common visitors to my family when I was young. When we left Vietnam the government took our house, leaving us with complete empty hands. I have seen harshness of life, so I am grateful for every blessing: the clean air, the clean water, the sun shining, the food on the dinner table, the warm smile. I have a dream to be a dentist. My grandparents’ teeth all fell off when they were in their late fifties. So we have never taken non-aching healthy teeth for granted. I am curious and inspired to study dentistry. By becoming a dentist, I hope to cure my family. Also I want to give children pleasant memories, when they visit me as dentist, not painful ones. I want to change the lives of the weak and vulnerable. I want to enhance happiness. I want to do what I love. I would not be who and where I am today without helps from many people. How can I ever forget the American couple who gave us shelter during our first year in America? How can I ever forget the teachers who taught me about the vast knowledge world? How can I ever forget the new friends who warmly welcomed me and showed me that friendships break all barriers? And now the Seegert Scholarship lets me study music! I have received so much; I yearn to give back such kindness. I will help newcomers who need help with English. I will bring my music to churches and senior centers. “One hundred years from know it will not matter what kind of car you drove or the sort of house you lived in, but the world may be different because you were important in the life of a child.” I believe this. Thank you for believing in me. n
PHOTO: JERRY HART
Sacrifice: A Note Ladies and Gentlemen: Erik Spoelstra ’92, Head Coach, Miami Heat, NBA
To help jazz student-athletes on The Bluff, and foment unselfishness, and celebrate generosity of play, and support coaches who are terrific teachers, and etc. in this vein, see www.up.edu, or call Colin McGinty at 503.943.7395, email@example.com.
PHOTOS: COURTESY OF UNIVERSITY ATHLETICS AND MIAMI HEAT
erhaps you have heard of the Heat, who have not one but several of the best basketball players on earth, which puts a touch of pressure on their young coach to win endless games and titles. But the last thing the former Pilot point guard wants to talk about is individual players and victory totals. “No, no, no,” he says cheerfully one day, in a rare free moment. “It’s not about who gets the ball or what plays we run. It’s about sacrifice, accountability, discipline, team. It’s about the values we share as a very tall family. How we play is crucial, not if we win. If we play as I think we can, each man sacrificing, each man trusting the other, good things will come. It’s about harnessing talent, not having the most talent. It’s about sharing the ball, not who gets it last. Unselfishness is everything. Times of reckoning will come, and then we will see if we trust each other, if we are willing to sacrifice. Generosity, discipline, accountability, family – every meeting, every practice, every game, every morning, every night. I am lucky – I learned that unselfishness is the secret to the game early on, when I played at Jesuit High, and then at the University, and then learning from pro coaches like Rick Adelman and Pat Riley. That’s the secret to the resurgence of Pilot basketball too, I think – the program matters now because they play unselfishly, they buy into core values, they understand that the great teams are about trust...” n
Hereâ€™s a dream â€“ in a year or two we start to build an extraordinary new building that includes basketball courts, climbing walls, a bicycle shop, an indoor track for our superb track teams and every other student who likes to float but not necessarily through cold mud and mist, a yoga
studio, all sorts of weight and workout facilities, spacious and clean locker rooms, space for studying exercise physiology and conditioning and therapy, space for dance classes, space for thinking and talking and teaching and learning about
the grace and joy of the body at work and play, about how we are given these extraordinary vessels in which to live and must care for and respect them as the divine gifts they are...“the new recreation and wellness center” is a pedestrian label for what could be such a wonderful and energetic
corner of campus...and the fact that it would rise where the huge central parking lot is now, isn’t that beautifully ironic and funny? Boy, could we use help on this one. Call Colin McGinty at 503.943.8005, firstname.lastname@example.org.
he men on these pages – Ron Scott at left, and No Van No, Paul Luty, Carvel Cook, and Tom Clayton — served their nations during the Vietnam War, with honor, and have lent their considerable talents and gifts to the University for many years. We cannot thank them enough for their courage and grace under duress. Carvel Cook was a sergeant in the Army. Paul Luty was a sergeant in the Air Force. Tom Clayton was an Army private. Ron Scott was a Marine sergeant. No Van No was a sergeant in the Army of the Republic of Vietnam, and had to flee his native land after the war, having lost his eye and his foot in the war. It takes enormous courage to fight in wars, to wear the uniform of the armed forces of your nation, to defend freedom, to insist on it, to bet your life on it. The University bows in gratitude to these men, and to the alumni and students and friends who have for more than a century fought for freedom, insisted on it, bet their lives for it. Wars are also evil and foolish, “failures of the imagination,” as the Oregon poet William Stafford said, and the University is ever seeking creative ways to drive wars out of business, to make them extinct, to make them mere memories. To honor those who serve, and to find ways to make such service unnecessary someday, we welcome assistance with: n The Peace Studies Program, one of the lively threads in the University’s burgeoning Catholic Studies Program. n The Dorothy Day Social Work Program, celebrating the blunt and salty American Catholic visionary who believed that living Christ’s sermon on the mount will defeat violence and war and greed. n The student Schools for Schools group, which helps rebuild schools in war-torn areas (notably Uganda). n The Colonel George Anthony ’51 Scholarship, honoring an alumnus who devoted his career to the Army, to journalism, and to the power of stories. n The Military Order of the Purple Heart Endowed Scholarship, presented annually to a student who wishes to be a teacher and is especially interested in educating disabled children. n The Moreau Center’s Witness for Peace program, sending 20 students to Nicaragua every summer to study nonviolence, faith, peace, justice and sustainable economies in the Americas.
His Hands Tucked in the corner of a garage in California are the very first tools and machinery that the late Donald Shiley ’51 used when he began his career as an engineer, inventor, and dreamer. He would go on eventually to invent a heart valve that saved half a million people (and what a stunning line that is, yes?), and many other things, including a very successful company, and he and his wife Darlene would end up being enormously generous to the University, but we have always wondered about his first tools and machines – the instruments that taught his hands their trade. Such simple implements – a wrench, a mill, a lathe – but so beautifully made themselves, such sensuous sculptures, such graceful pieces of performance art, really. We asked the noted photographer Jeanine Hill to shoot Donald’s tools not as cold metal but as metallic prayers, so to speak; so here, swimming up out of the shadows where they have waited for many years, are some of the objects that shaped Donald Shiley, and helped shape thousands of University of Portland engineers like him. Most sincere thanks to Darlene, Mike, and Becky Shiley for their help. –Editor 82
â€œIt is engineering that translates knowledge into tools...The engineer requires imagination to bring vision to reality...â€? SIR ERIC ASHBY
â€œEngineering is not merely knowing and being knowledgeable; it is not merely analysis; it is not merely the capacity to get elegant solutions; it is practicing the art of organized forcing of technological change...â€? GORDON BROWN
“I love fools' experiments. I am always making them.” CHARLES DARWIN
To celebrate the quiet brilliant Donald Shiley, whose inventiveness and generosity ultimately changed the whole face and pace of engineering on The Bluff; or to spark all sorts of innovation and creativity and dreaming and hard work among our engineering students and faculty; or to make a gift just to sing the glory that is making ideas real in this most amazing world...call Dwain Fullerton, 503.943.8875, email@example.com.
â€œEngineering is a great profession. There is the fascination of watching a figment of the imagination emerge through the aid of science to a plan on paper. Then it moves to realization in stone or metal or energy. Then it brings homes to men or women. Then it elevates the standard of living and adds to the comforts of life. This is the engineer's high privilege.â€? HERBERT HOOVER
Aw, whatâ€™s the proper last note for an issue devoted to rising dreams and vaulting hope and telling despair to scram? This one: Danny Keagbine, son and grandson and nephew of more alumni than we can count, a boy at war with cancer but swimming in love. There are a hundred ways your Campaign gift can help punch cancer out. Call Monica Long, 503.943.7971, firstname.lastname@example.org. Hang in, Danny. Prayers. 88
BRUISED WITH JOY
Brian Doyle is the editor of this magazine and the author most recently of the novel Mink River. For the full panoply of campaign glories, see rise.up.edu.
PHOTO: JOSEPH DOYLE
I have been typing furiously on behalf of the University of Portland for twenty years, which is a hilarious and terrifying sentence for all sorts of reasons, but after some four thousand days on The Bluff, I find myself more absorbed than ever before. How could that be? Is this not when I should grow weary and cynical about the corporation, and shriek at the shocking price tag for the product, and note testily that you cannot even define the product, except with such ephemeral gossamer murk as epiphany or awakening or shiver of the heart? And yet, try as I might, I cannot achieve a healthy skepticism. For one thing I keep meeting the kids here, the endless river of lanky gracious generous verbs who sizzle your heart every time you talk to them; if theirs are the (enormous) hands which will soon run the world, what a lovely world it will be, I keep thinking. And then there are so many cheerful nuts among the staff and faculty and alumni and donors who insist that this place matters in mysterious ways, that there is no place like it in the world, that some odd combination of passion and poetry and vigor and vision opens miraculous doors in our students, doors through which their extraordinary gifts come pouring out and the ocean of complicated grace pours in, doors that perhaps never would have been opened without their years here. And also without fail every time I slough toward despond a story comes and thrums on my heart until I am bruised with joy. I see a child’s face when the best soccer player in America shakes her hand and asks her about her world. I see the face of a man who survived seven hells in the war as he tells me he huddled in a sandy hole thinking of his professors here, they’d have been after me to use my foxhole time to practice my Latin, he says, grinning. I see the face of my late friend Becky Houck, who when I asked her how in heaven’s name she could possibly stay in her office until midnight talking to frightened freshmen every night, said, with real surprise, why, they’re all my children, of course, wouldn’t you do that for your children? And I read the letter I received one day years ago from a woman never to be named. There had been an essay in this magazine, she wrote, that broke her and opened her, and she was writing to tell me about it, because I should know that a door in her heart had opened, and it would never be closed again, not ever, and this magazine and this university threw it open, and she had cried and cried, and then sat down to write this letter with a pen she found in the kitchen drawer. God had given her a son, she wrote, and her boy was blind and deaf and crippled, and he never even sat up, let alone walked, and soon he died, and her heart was so torn and shredded that she locked up his memory and hid it away, for years and years, but then this magazine came and thrummed on her heart, and she began to cry, and remembered a moment when she was bathing him, and a bar of sunlight hit his face, and he turned into the light as he felt the light caress him, and he smiled and laughed at the kiss of the light, and she had not thought of that moment in years and years, and now she would never forget it ever again. This university did that. This university does that a thousand times a day in ways we’ll never know. When I have dark days, when I have days I think the University of Portland is a muddled corporation no different than a thousand other colleges, when I have days I shriek at the cost, and snarl with fury at all the kids who should be here and can’t afford it, I think of that letter. We did that. We open the most stunning doors, through which the most stunning light gets in and out. No one can count the number and nature of the doors we open. Isn’t that great? n
...And we give the last image in this issue to a child, which is only right and proper. This entertaining elf, photographed in the University's child care center, is essentially why the University dives into the Rise Campaign over the next three years. We want to make a better world for her. We want her to be able to enroll here (Class of 2023) and find herself, and be jazzed and thrilled and energized, and sail into the world bringing her God-given sweet wild holy gifts to bear against the darkness. Think you can maybe help us change the world for her?
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T H E
P O R T L A N D
M A G A Z I N E
W I N T E R
RISE! THE CAMPAIGN FOR THE UNIVERSITY OF PORTLAND / A VISIONARY ISSUE
U N I V E R S I T Y O F
THE RISE OF FOOTBALL ON THE BLUFF That’s the courtly inventor and photographer John Beckman ’42 in the middle here, elevating classmates Jim Hoagland and (we think) Tom Sullivan, and egged on by the late great storyteller Bernie Harrington off-camera. From a very fine football team in the first half of the twentieth century we morphed smoothly into two of the best soccer teams in America, both ranked in the top twenty again this year; for more on The Beautiful Game, see page 24, and portlandpilots.com.
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