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Life Through the Lens of Donald E. Camp East Asian Studies Thrives at Ursinus Animal House: A Day With Veterinarian Rob Teti 1995
In This Issue
The Philip and Muriel Berman Foundation Sculpture Terrace On permanent view are a selection of bronze sculptures by George R. Anthonisen, who with his wife, Ellen, has bequeathed his entire ouvre of work in support of the College’s academic program and for the benefit of scholars and a diverse audience of museum visitors. Additional sculpture by Lynn Chadwick (British, 1914-2003) also graces the terrace. Pictured are Dialogue (2003-2004) in the foreground, and Meditation (1994-1995) by Anthonisen, and Pyramid Forms (1965) and Black Beast (1960) Lynn Chadwick.
Features East Asian Studies 8 East Asian Studies alumni are making a living in business, education and the arts. But this collective of independent thinkers say their passion remains the wide ranging history, cultures and languages of East Asia. We take a look at the adventurous lives of EAS alumni and talk to some of the professors who’ve helped them map their course.
16 In Focus: Donald Camp A celebrated fine art photographer, Professor Donald Camp’s work is exhibited around the world. As The Philip and Muriel Berman Museum of Art Upper Gallery prepares for a solo exhibition of his work this January 2011, we talk with Camp about the tapestry of his art and his life.
20 The Last Resort Building a sanctuary for unwanted farm animals is a lifelong passion for veterinarian Rob Teti. Teaching teens how to care for the creatures is part of his mission.
24 Mary Ellen DeWane retired this year after 31 years of devoted service.
Campus News 7 Ursinus Trustee Alan Novak 1971 displays his unique collection of baseball art in an upcoming Berman Museum exhibition.
31 Benjamin Franklin Fisher IV 1962 is mad for Edgar Allan Poe. His most recent book, Poe in His Own Time, was released this April by University of Iowa Press.
On The Cover
Ueno Makoto (Japanese, 1909-1980), Matsumoto Castle, 1973, Woodblock Print, Edition 19/50, 21 7/8" x 15", Gift of Dr. Leo and Mary Corazza Dr. Leo J. Corazza UC’45 made a gift of over 200 modern Japanese woodblock impressions in 2005 concurrent with a major exhibition at the Philip and Muriel Berman Museum of Art at Ursinus College which was curated by Matthew Mizenko, Associate Professor of Modern Languages, and Dr. Frank L. Chance, Associate Director of the Center for East Asian Studies, University of Pennsylvania. This donation, a collection built by Dr. Corazza during his military service in Japan and Korea, provides important breadth and depth to the museum’s permanent collection holdings in this genre and can be viewed by appointment in the new Patricia R. Cosgrave Works on Paper Study Room in the Henry W. ’48 and June Pfieffer Wing, which opened Sept. 1, 2010.
To Our Readers... Dear Readers, With President Strassburger’s February retirement announcement, the spring Ursinus Magazine provided a comprehensive look at his incredible presidency. Since then, the Ursinus community has offered some wonderful tributes.
Ursinus Magazine Volume CVIV, No. 1, Fall 2010
Third class postage paid at Collegeville, Pa. Ursinus Magazine is published seasonally three times a year. Copyright 2010 by Ursinus College. Editorial correspondence and submissions: Ursinus Magazine, P.O. Box 1000, Collegeville, PA 19426-1000. (610) 409-3300 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
First, our talented students created a program of performances, and spoke warmly about President Strassburger’s lasting impression on them.
Director of Communications Wendy Greenberg email@example.com
President Strassburger was given an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree during commencement in May. The occasion was marked by almost all seniors donning red bow ties, long before the Supreme Court lawyers did the same for the retiring Justice John Paul Stevens.
Editor Kathryn Campbell firstname.lastname@example.org
This spring the faculty and staff celebrated John’s career and commitment during an evening at The Berman Museum of Art. One of the highlights was a personal tribute from Professor of Politics Steven Hood. In June, the Strassburgers were made honorary alumni in a presentation by Trustee Scott Rhoades 1975. During the weekend, a slide show offered sentiments from alumni everywhere. The tributes culminated June 26 with a gala evening at The Kaleidoscope from the Board of Trustees. Professor of Music John French and student Jeffrey Centafont 2011 performed a commissioned piece, This Broad Land, based on John’s essays on Lincoln, by composer Kile Smith. A portrait painted by Professor of Art Emeritus Ted Xaras was unveiled, portraying the President as he was so often seen, connecting with students. The Board of Trustees announced a scholarship fund established in the President’s honor by philanthropists H.F. (Gerry) and Marguerite Lenfest. Also announced was an endowed Professorial Chair in honor of President Strassburger’s commitment to liberal education; and creation of The Board Challenge, a chance to honor John (see page 41). Meanwhile, the College is pleased to welcome Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees, business and civic leader John E. F. (Jef) Corson, as interim president. His service began July 1. In addition to updating you on so many heartfelt accolades, we bring you an issue filled with stories that reflect much of what President Strassburger had in mind when he arrived at Ursinus in 1995. East Asian Studies was the first new major approved during his presidency, and signaled an expansion of the curriculum to encompass a global and more expansive outlook on liberal arts. The College will embark on a new study abroad program in Beijing in 2011. In addition to exploring East Asian Studies, Editor Kathryn Campbell interviews photography professor Donald Camp, whose personal story is as moving as his art. Erika Compton Butler 1994 visits an unusual animal sanctuary run by veterinarian Robert Teti 1995, and Class Notes editor Ellen Cosgrove Labrecque 1995 allows us to take pride in our alumni, including newly retired Mary Ellen DeWane 1961. Enjoy these stories and photos, all of which show the breadth of Ursinus. This issue, and past issues, can be found online as PDF downloads at the Ursinus web site alumni page www.ursinus.edu/alumni.
Class Notes Editor Ellen Cosgrove Labrecque 1995 email@example.com Publications Coordinator Blanche Allen 1990 firstname.lastname@example.org Contributing Photographers Joan Fairman Kanes, Jeffrey Morgan, Steven Falk, Liora Kuttler 2010, George Widman, Lisa Godfrey, Alfie Goodrich, Erika Compton Butler 1994, Hinda Schuman, Adena Stevens Design Jeffrey D. Morgan Photography & Design www.jeffreydmorgan.com Chair, Board of Trustees Spencer Foreman M.D. 1957 President Emeritus John Strassburger Interim President John E.F. (Jef) Corson Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean Judith Levy Senior Vice President for Advancement Jill A. Leauber Marsteller 1978 Vice President for Enrollment and Marketing Richard DiFeliciantonio Vice President for Finance and Administration Winfield Guilmette Vice President for Student Affairs Deborah Nolan Vice President for Development Jim Baer 1966 The mission of Ursinus College is to enable students to become independent, responsible, and thoughtful individuals through a program of liberal education. That education prepares them to live creatively and usefully, and to provide leadership for their society in an interdependent world.
Wendy Greenberg Director of Communications August 2010 Ursinus Magazine is printed on recycled paper. PAGE 2 URSINUS MAGAZINE
URSINUS CAMPUS NEWS
Ursinus Praised in Princeton Review, Fiske and other college guides The Princeton Review has cited Ursinus as one of the 50 “Best Value” private colleges, and, in partnership with the U.S. Green Building Council, has for the first time included Ursinus College in The Princeton Review’s Guide to 286 Green Colleges. The Best Value list, which features 100 schools – 50 public and 50 private colleges and universities – was featured on the websites of The Princeton Review and USA TODAY, which partnered to present the lists. Ursinus is one of three schools on the list located in Pennsylvania, with Swarthmore and Bryn Mawr colleges. In its profile of Ursinus on USA Today’s website, The Princeton Review editors commend the school for its student experiences. “Ursinus College has roots of reform that have translated into a college experience that makes serious changes in a student’s life,” according to the write-up. “Ursinus participated in the national Project DEEP (Documenting Effective Educational Practices), and has received high laurels for its transformational experience. The First Year Experience includes excellent first-year advising by faculty, first-year clustering in guaranteed housing, a laptop, and the Common Intellectual Experience where first-year students read, write, and learn in small seminar-style classes.” The Princeton Review also notes Ursinus’s commitment to environmental responsibility by including it in its Guide to 286 Green Colleges. The “green guide” cites colleges and universities which have demonstrated an “above average commitment to sustainability in terms of campus infrastructure, activities and initiatives.” The guide is online and can be downloaded at www.princetonreview. com/greenguide and www.usgbc.org/campus.
strides in campus practices like recycling and waste diversion, and eco-friendly food purchasing. More advanced sustainability projects like a composting system and converting used cooking oil to biodiesel fuel are currently in the works. Several sustainability-related campus endeavors began as student projects and are sustained by student volunteers, like an organic garden and a constructed wetland ecosystem.” The Princeton Review has also included Ursinus as one of 218 colleges chosen for the “Best in the Northeast” section of its website feature, 2011 Best Colleges: Region by Region, and as a printed book on sale at bookstores. The Best 373 Colleges: 2011 Edition, published in August, notes that Ursinus is a “transformative experience.” And: “If you embrace liberal arts education, this is the institution to be at.” The Fiske 2011 guide also praises Ursinus, noting its selectivity. It states, “At Ursinus, you can truly make a name for yourself.” The Fiske guide notes that “Professors draw praise for their skills in the classroom;” and “Ursinus is on the rise.” U.S. News Best Colleges, for the third year in a row, has Ursinus on a short list of “Up and Coming Colleges.” Ursinus, ranked 71 in the National Liberal Arts category, up from 77 last year, is also listed for the first time in the category of school selected for “A Strong Commitment to Teaching.” The Yale Daily News Guide, which is popular with prospective students, says that the College is “known for the close relationships between faculty and students,” developed from the first days of The Common Intellectual Experience, the required freshman course. “This liberal studies seminar epitomizes the value that the staff at Ursinus puts on the development of conversational skills and well-roundedness of its students.” It cites “activities galore” and mentions everything from The Grizzly to the scuba club. Finally, it calls Ursinus “a place where tradition and history matter.”
According to the guide, Ursinus College “has made important FALL 2010 PAGE 3
blend of several photographs. Xaras first drew the entire painting, in a “cartoon,” the same process usedby Renaissance painters, to work out scale. “Like Chinese cooking,” he says, “it’s all in the prep work.” “The process was like nothing I had ever experienced before,” says Cichowski. “Ted Xaras was quite a character to get to know and his artistic genius was made evident through our casual conversation and construction of the painting. He truly captured the life which John Strassburger breathed into this campus.” “The scale celebrates the man and his achievements and honors the students and their achievements,” Xaras says. “It is the identical scale as all the other portraits on campus. It was an honor to carry out John’s concept and vision.” The remarkable details include a readable program for the student play, The Diary of Anne Frank, although the date of the play on the program was moved from February to April, to allow for green trees out the window.
Right: Ted Xaras at work on the presidential portrait. Below: The finished piece hangs in Corson Hall.
Yet, Xaras says, “We are not competing with a photograph. There is a heightened sense of reality in a painting.”
Welcome Ursinus Interim President John E.F. (Jef) Corson The Hon. Joseph H. Melrose Jr. on a trip to Darfur in July.
Journey to Darfur
Professor Joseph Melrose 1966 visited with residents of the Zam Zam Camp in Northern Darfur, Sudan. Melrose, former Ambassador to Sierra Leone, says the Internally Displaced Persons camp was home to about 100,000 people when he was there in July. “The girls were just outside their school room which was a thatched hut and rather dark inside,” says Melrose, professor of International Relations and the College’s Ambassador-inResidence. “There were no tables, chairs, books, paper or chalk board.” Melrose was in Sudan and Khartoum for one week this summer. Some of the children in the camp may be orphaned, he says. “But some are living with one or two parents or other relatives who have also been displaced.” Melrose was part of a delegation from the 5th Standing Committee of the UN General Assembly, which is responsible for administrative and financial matters. “Our purpose was to look at United Nations Peacekeeping Operations and particularly the hybrid African Union and United Nations force in Darfur known as UNAMID,” says Melrose. His delegation consisted of representatives of seven Member States.
Creating a Work of Art; Ted Xaras Explains the Process Behind the Painting
The stunning 58 x 74-inch painting unveiled at the time of President PAGE 4 URSINUS MAGAZINE
John Strassburger’s retirement reflects the vision of a president who loves to mingle with students, combined with the skill of artist Ted Xaras, who brings those visions to life on canvas. The concept for the painting, the first official presidential portrait to include students, was in development for several years. Xaras, who is Professor of Art Emeritus at Ursinus, met with thenPresident Strassburger in the fall of 2007. At that time, Strassburger was considering the inevitable portrait upon his retirement and said he wanted to be portrayed talking with students, as was his passion. The next step was to think about the location and the students, who are represented by Mark Smedberg and Abbie Cichowski, 2010, and LaToya Brown 2009. The Kaleidoscope, which represents the arts initiative so successfully carried out during the Strassburger years, serves as the location. The students considered the time spent posing an honor. “The fact that President Strassburger wanted to include students in his portrait speaks to his continued dedication to student achievement at Ursinus and his astounding ability to connect with members of this campus,” says Cichowski, now an Advancement intern at Ursinus. “To be immortalized next to a man who devoted so much to this school is, and will be, one of the greatest honors of my life.” Xaras began his planning early in 2009. By Agust 2009, the students took part in a photo shoot, and later all four subjects became a
Business and civic leader John E.F. (Jef) Corson of Plymouth Meeting, Pa. became the Interim President of Ursinus College July 1. Corson serves as Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Montgomery Hospital Medical Center in Norristown and is Vice Chair of the Ursinus College Board of Trustees. “I have been a longtime fan and supporter of Ursinus,” says Corson. “I am also the proud parent of an Ursinus graduate. I hope to ably bridge the gap between President Emeritus Strassburger and the next President of Ursinus College.” Corson is President of the Corson Foundation and the Corson Investment Co., a group of family partnerships and a consulting firm. He also serves as a Principal and Board member of Abbott & Cobb, Inc., a vegetable Interim President John E.F. (Jef) Corson seed company headquartered in Trevose, Pa. He previously held positions as Vice President of C.E.S. Associates, an independent specialty oil wholesaler and Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of G & W.H. Corson Inc. until the company was sold to IU International, and he became Vice President of Operations.
“I am thrilled that Mr. Corson has agreed to accept this vital position,” says Spencer Foreman M.D. of White Plains, N.Y., Chair of the Ursinus Board of Trustees. “He is uniquely qualified by his experience with business and non-profit organizations and his long history of active engagement with virtually every aspect of the operation of the College. We are fortunate, too, that he already is so well known by the campus community and enjoys the friendship and respect of faculty, staff and students.” His service will continue until the next President of Ursinus College is inaugurated. A Presidential Search Committee chaired by Ursinus Trustee Robert Barchi, President of Jefferson Medical College, will recommend a candidate for President. President Strassburger now serves as President Emeritus, continuing his role as a national leader and advocate for liberal education. In addition to serving as Chair of the Board of Trustees of Montgomery Hospital, Corson serves on the Boards of the Montgomery Foundation and The Montgomery County Lands Trust. He formerly served as a Trustee at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and a member of the Boards of Progress Bank. Corson is a graduate of Williams College and has served Ursinus as a Trustee since 1983. FALL 2010 PAGE 5
Two exhibitions mark the anniversary and new wing opening:
The Philip and Muriel Berman Museum of Art
Celebrating a milestone 20th year, The Philip and Muriel Berman Museum of Art is putting its collection on view with the addition of the Henry W. and June Pfeiffer Wing. The glass façade and its new rooftop sculpture terrace, both a distinctive presence viewed from the outside, foster new interaction between art and the community. Two exhibitions and a series of events, including a symposium on museums and their role in the community, mark the wing’s opening, and the Museum’s 20-year anniversary. The 4,200 square-foot addition caps a $4 million expansion and renovation project designed by the Philadelphia architectural firm Towers & Miller. The addition provides storage and lecture space, a works on paper study area and new galleries including the Philip and Muriel Berman Foundation Sculpture Terrace. The wing is named for longtime Trustee and art museum supporter Henry ‘Hank’ Pfeiffer, Class of 1948, and his late wife, June. “The new Pfeiffer Wing, an imaginative, welcoming space that is open, transparent, dynamic and light, echoes the philosophical foundation of the museum’s mission to capture and engage a diverse audience,” says Museum Director Lisa Hanover. “The magnificent wing, inside and out, truly makes the Museum a national model for academic art museums. Our goal was that the collection would be visible beyond the walls of the museum,” adds Hanover. The climate-controlled light-regulating display cases are modeled after the Smithsonian Institute’s American Art Museum Luce Open Storage Center. The historic stone building was originally constructed in 1921 as the Alumni Memorial Library and was later used as a student
union. The Museum was dedicated in 1989 when the late Philip and Muriel Berman, cultural leaders and philanthropists, found a home for their extraordinary collections of contemporary sculpture, American paintings, works on paper and folk art, joining an existing collection of 18th and 19th Century American and European paintings. Twenty years later, the Museum houses more than 4,000 notable works of art and attracts more than 35,000 visitors annually. The anniversary is being celebrated with exhibitions, and with events. • Alumni attending Homecoming will be able to tour the wing Oct. 23. from 11 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. • The community is invited to an open house Oct. 24, 1 to 4 p.m. • Artist lectures by Karl J. Kuerner (exhibiting artist in the Main Gallery) and George Anthonisen (sculptor whose work is installed on the rooftop gallery), will take place on Oct. 27, 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. • 20th Anniversary Celebration Symposium: Drawn By Art: Expanding the Reach of the Berman Museum of Art: Oct. 30, Olin Auditorium, 1 to 4 p.m., Reception, 4 to 6 p.m. Students/ Faculty free, $25 registration fee for general audience. The symposium will address how the new physical space supports academic, educational and programmatic goals; and how the role of the museum has changed in communities. Speakers will include Amy Meyers, director of the Yale University Center for British Art, and distinguished academic museum leaders and educators.
ALL MY PLACES: LANDSCAPES, PORTRAITS & WHIMSY – THE ART OF KARL J. KUERNER Main Gallery, through Dec. 15. / Artist Reception: Sunday Sept. 26, 4 to 6 p.m.
Karl J. Kuerner was born in Chadds Ford, Pa., where, from the age of seven he watched Andrew Wyeth paint some of his greatest works at his grandparent’s farm. His artistic talent was recognized and nurtured at a young age by Carolyn Wyeth, sister of Andrew Wyeth and a renowned artist in her own right. Kuerner today approaches his compositions with a mental mien that has been nurtured from birth, that informs his feel for landscapes, portraits, and especially whimsy, a kind of personal surrealism. His compositions celebrate the rich tradition of the Brandywine Region and are identified with a superb approach to the landscape, architectural icons and a palette that reflects the light and flavor of this environment. The Kuerner Farm and its inhabitants are captured in every season and are poignant analogies for the ebb and flow of life’s events. His work has been exhibited overseas in Nigeria, Belgium, and Togo in connection with the Art in Embassies program, and in the state capitol in Harrisburg in 2006. His first book, All in a Day’s Work-from Heritage to Artist, was published in 2008.
TAKE ME OUT TO THE BALL GAME: LEGACIES OF BASEBALL FROM THE ALAN NOVAK COLLECTION
PAGE 6 URSINUS MAGAZINE
from the 1941 All Star Game, signed by the respective teams from the National and American Leagues, a bat attributed to Lou Gehrig, an 1869 Red Stockings etching, commissioned paintings, original photographs and more. The National Baseball Hall of Fame & Museum, based in Cooperstown, N.Y. has lent objects from its permanent collection. This is a rare opportunity to view an extensive private collection that has been meticulously assembled. Novak, a 1971 graduate of Ursinus College, is a West Chester, Pa. attorney. Upcoming:
SPACES, PLACES AND IDENTITY: ROBERT FRANK “PORTRAITS” Main Gallery, Jan. 18 – April 17, 2011
Upper Gallery through Dec. 15. / Reception: Friday Oct. 1, 6 to 8 p.m.
Alan Novak’s collection of original works of art and material culture related to the game of baseball is focused and based on the historic and important figures of the game. He began his collection primarily with memorabilia related to the Pittsburgh Pirates and the New York Yankees. He has expanded his interests to the Philadelphia Athletics and to the context of major accomplishments by singular athletes such as Satchel Page, Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio, Thurman Munson, Mickey Mantle, Babe Ruth, Honus Wagner, and many others.
Karl J. Kuerner, “Putting Out the Cows”, 1992, acrylic on panel, 19" x 52", collection of R.A. McLellan
Alan Novack 1971. Some of his substantial baseball memorabilia collection will be exhibited at The Berman Museum in December.
This exhibition includes original paintings by Dick Perez, Tom Moser, Stephen Holland, Gerry Dvorak and Arthur Miller, known for his brilliant portraits of the great players in baseball history. Complementing the paintings will be a diverse and significant collection of unique baseball memorabilia including 19th century Harper’s and Leslie’s woodcuts, T-3’s (Tobacco Cards) and silks, a 1927 Yankees team signed ball, Joe DiMaggio’s 1937 Player of the Year Award, Thurman Munson trophies, a split bat
This significant exhibition of the works of photographer Robert Frank will be co-curated by the Berman Museum’s Associate Director for Education, Susan Shifrin, with F. Michael Angelo, the University Archivist at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia.
DUST SHAPED HEARTS: PHOTOGRAPHS BY DONALD E. CAMP Upper Gallery, Jan. 18 – April 17, 2011 See Don Camp’s story on p.16
The Philip and Muriel Berman Museum of Art at Ursinus, known for its diverse collection and innovative educational programming, is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesday through Friday; and noon to 4:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The Museum is closed Mondays and college holidays. The Museum is accessible to the physically disabled and admission is free. The museum is accredited by the American Association of Museums. Exhibitions and programs are funded in part by a grant from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts and annual support from Epps Advertising. FALL 2010 PAGE 7
an Nichols 2008 never guessed returning a pair of plaid shorts might lead to a new life and career in Japan. But that’s precisely what happened when, clutching plastic bag in hand, he walked up to the register at a King of Prussia clothing store. “The girl who rang me out asked if I was interested in a management position at a local Hollister store,” says Nichols, who had no retail experience and was not interested in the job. All he needed was a college degree, she insisted. That he had. An East Asian Studies major, Nichols is also fluent in Japanese. And when he researched the Hollister clothing company, he discovered they had plans to open a flagship store in Tokyo in 2009. “I knew that it was a long ways away at the time,” he says, “but figured that I could gain some experience if I got the position. I told the district manager if she could get me to Japan to be in that store that I would take the job.” Two weeks later he was hired at Abercrombie and Fitch, a brand owned by Hollister. “I poured my heart into the job,” he says. Eventually, he was recognized as a potential candidate for the Tokyo store and in July 2009 was approved for the new position.
East Asia By Kathryn Campbell
The East Asian Studies Department is flourishing, a magnet to the eager student ready to plunge into a complex and demanding discipline. Almost all of them admit to wanderlust. Whether it’s the study of contemporary adaptations of traditional Japanese folk music, teaching, managing equities, graduate school, or working in Tokyo’s flagship Abercrombie & Fitch store, Ursinus alumni of this small and vibrant department are soaring, and more significantly, carving out their place in the world. Dan Nichols in Tokyo PAGE 8 URSINUS MAGAZINE
“It was a dream come true,” says Nichols, now an assistant manager for Abercrombie’s store in Tokyo. He heads a team of four additional assistants and a staff of 170 part-time employees. Nichols was 14 when he started studying Japanese and still uncertain about what drew him to the culture. “I’m sure that my participation in karate had something to do with it,” says Nichols, who strengthened his language skills by studying and watching Japanese cartoons. By the time he was a high school senior, he had traveled to Japan three times for international karate tournaments. When he visited campus in 2003, the EAS major included Japanese language study and options for study abroad. Nichols sat in on the Japan 101 class with Dr. Matthew Mizenko. “Even though the course was an introductory level,” he says, “I was still able to see the quality of instruction that the EAS major had to offer.” After class, he spoke with Dr. Mizenko and decided that the oneyear study abroad program “was too good of an opportunity to pass up, and if I could get accepted there I would be able to greatly improve my language skills and absorb the Japanese culture.” The language offerings are key. This year the New York Times reported that while secondary and primary schools around the country were cutting their programs in most foreign languages, there has been a spike in demand for Chinese language, which the College offers. Ursinus is one of the few institutions in Pennsylvania to offer secondary teaching certification in Japanese and demand for Japanese language courses continues to rise.
In addition to the intensive language training, Nichols says Dr. Hugh Clark’s writing and history courses “challenged the students to think way outside of the box, and really dig into the subject matter and wrestle with the material. His were by far the most difficult courses that I took in my undergrad career, but looking back they expanded my knowledge of East Asia, especially China. They made me a better academic writer and strengthened my critical analysis skills. I am very thankful for his persistence in making his students produce their best work every time.” Professor Clark, who joined the faculty in 1982, says the EAS program capitalizes on the combined strengths of faculty in a variety of departments. Its core strengths, he says, are in History, Politics, and Modern Languages. “The program took shape in the 1990s as the economies of East Asia began to affect everyone’s standard of living, and is intended to prepare students for the 21st century when the strengths of those economies and cultures will only continue to grow,” says Clark, who is a middle-period (800 to 1400 A.D.) Chinese socio-economic historian and a member of the Association of Asian Studies. “It’s critical that colleges such as Ursinus offer students the opportunity to learn about this vital part of our world, and that is the goal of EAS.” Students focus on a geographic area of interest through a variety of academic perspectives, he says. “It allows them to gain an expertise in dealing with some of the vibrant cultures of East Asia, notably Japan and China, and to prepare themselves to offer a highly desirable set of linguistic and professional skills in a competitive world.” Clark is preparing to lead the College’s first semester long program in Asia with its Beijing, China Program in the Fall of 2011. Ursinus started an exchange relationship with Akita International University (AIU) in the northern city of Akita, Japan in 2007. Experience abroad is essential, says Professor Melissa Hardin, Assistant Dean for International Studies and Visiting Assistant Professor of Spanish. “Among college students who study abroad China is the fastest-growing destination,” says Hardin. “Having a faculty-led program in China matches a lot of our academic programs here,” she says. “It seemed like the next logical step.” Although adapting to a change in culture is demanding, Hardin says the average Ursinus student “can handle the cultural differences and distinct cultural patterns they will encounter.” There are differences between students who study abroad now, and those who were doing so when Hardin began her study abroad work in 1997. Because of technological advances, she says, they are never altogether “gone” from home and conveniences such as Skype and email tether them to the familiar. “Students now are used to instant gratification and they don’t appreciate the luxury of time. We want them to take time to observe, FALL 2010 PAGE 9
Sara Biondi wearing an iro-uchikake, one of a few different kimono styles that the bride would wear at the wedding reception.
to analyze…to let stuff happen. We want to push them in a healthy way. You learn from challenge, from confronting differences and in essence the shock of being in another culture and being a little freaked out.” Amy Kiyota 2009, who is half Japanese, made twelve trips to Japan before she arrived at Ursinus. Still, she didn’t speak Japanese and wasn’t committed to becoming an EAS major. In fact, she didn’t decide until her first class with Clark. “He really took the time to teach me how to write,” says Kiyota, who was a Summer Fellow. Her research was on Therapeutic Discourse in Postwar Japanese Culture: The Pacific War as Tragedy. “When I went to college, I thought I was a good writer. But after taking his class, I knew I had a lot to learn.” The close-knit quality of the program was appealing, she says. Professors Mizenko and Clark nudge their students when they need to, she says, and encourage them to go abroad for a full year. “I wanted to concentrate on language and culture, so this was the perfect opportunity for me.” Most EAS majors are self-motivated, passionate and willing to take risks, says Kiyota, who graduated summa cum laude and just finished a one year Philly Fellowship at the Philadelphia Education Fund. Clark agrees. “The EAS program does seem to attract a profile of students who are really bright and sometimes eccentric,” he says. “They’re more intellectual, motivated, interested in the quirky side of pop culture and they tend to bond with each other.” Though Kiyota did not take the expected path of academia in EAS, she says she still applies her “knowledge of cultural discourse and Orientalism to my daily work at an educational nonprofit organization. “I work in communications and have a deep understanding of the power of representation and try to be very cognizant of this as I write web content, grants, and various publications. I always knew that I wanted to help people and my EAS major provided me with the tools of language to do so.” Her fellowship year has ended, but Kiyota continues to use these skills in a new program, ArtsRising, focusing on improving youth arts education in Philadelphia and the region as a Program Assistant. The Berman Museum’s collection of East Asian art is an important part of the department. Although Mizenko’s graduate work at Princeton University was in literature, his interests have been expanding to include film and the visual arts. In the last five years, he has co-curated with Dr. Frank Chance of the University of Pennsylvania, two exhibitions of Japanese prints drawn from gifts to the Berman Museum by the Berman family and Dr. Leo Corazza 1945 and his wife, Mary.
inspiring resource for faculty and students,” says Mizenko. “I developed a new course on Japanese visual culture to coincide with the recent exhibition of ukiyo-e prints, and the first assignment was to research and analyze a work from the show. Reproductions are fine, but they are no substitute for the excitement and intimacy of working with the actual print.”
“When it came time to start looking for colleges,” says Dan Nichols, “I knew I wanted an institution that had a strong study abroad program and good connections with prestigious universities in Japan. I looked at several universities and colleges, but it was Ursinus’ EAS program that attracted me the most.”
“The museum’s collection of Japanese prints is an invaluable and PAGE 10 URSINUS MAGAZINE
FALL 2010 PAGE 11
“One of the Ursinus EAS program’s most valuable qualities is the role professors take in their students’ lives.”
Student Journalism in Singapore By Daniel Reimold 2003
- Michael Levchuk 2007
In 2005, Mizenko co-curated “Modern Impressions: Japanese Prints from the Berman and Corazza Collections, 1950-1980” with Chance. The exhibition was funded in part by a grant from the Freeman Foundation and helped support EAS in various ways at Ursinus. The show was later exhibited at the Susquehanna Art Museum in Harrisburg, says Mizenko. For Mike Levchuk 2007 the allure of Japan began in high school when he began studying Kendo, a Japanese martial art. “My teachers used Japanese vocabulary to teach us the techniques,” says Levchuk, who graduated with a double major in Business and Economics and East Asian Studies. “From that point on, I became interested in both the language and the culture.” Joshua Solomon and Professor Matthew Mizenko in Bomberger Hall
Today Levchuk works in Midtown Manhattan as an account manager at the American division of KDDI, America, Inc., a Japanese telecommunications/IT company. “I wanted to go into the private sector and be able to utilize my Japanese language ability and knowledge of Japanese culture,” says Levchuk, who remembers getting a lot of double-takes while living as a student in Japan. “I am six foot three and white,” he says. “ I stuck out like a sore thumb.” Living in Japan was sometimes confusing, he says, but he always felt safe. “If you lose your wallet on the train, you get it back with all your money in it. Levchuk works in a company that’s roughly 90 percent Japanese. “It is truly a bilingual environment where I have been able to use what I studied at Ursinus,” he says. As an account manager, he
In Singapore, getting off the subway or bus is a blood sport. Singaporeans hate waiting, for anything. The moment the doors of a public transit vehicle open, especially during rush hours, incoming passengers zoom on, leaving exiters to plot a zigzag, teeth-grinding, grrrr-whack-wallop of an escape. Natives call this compulsion to be first and never left behind kiasu.
And make no mistake: Amid this adolescence, there are growing pains. Censorship occurs. A sense of fear about challenging the government and pushing certain OB (out-of-bounds) markers still lingers. A solid infrastructure surrounding student press operations is still being built. And a public skepticism of the press at times makes it tough to even get sources to talk.
It is a sentiment embodied in the city-state’s larger image. Only 45 years after gaining absolute sovereignty, the country once dismissed as “a little red dot” has become a First-World economic, scientific, and technological power envied worldwide.
Student journalists take these challenges in stride– and increasingly struggle for the right to tell their stories and publish their views. For example, in September 2008, a university student newspaper planned to run a story about an opposition politician who is loathed by the People’s Action Party (PAP), the ruling government of Singapore.
And yet it remains unsatisfied. One joke among locals: The national bird is the crane. Not the long-necked wingedthingie, but actual cranes – construction cranes, heaving, weaving, and towering over landscapes to and fro. The cranes are the most common sight filling the Singaporean skyline. They are symbols of a country forever seeking to improve upon itself and transform. The country’s leadership is also being forced to reexamine and transform certain parts of what was explained to me recently as “an old model of media control in an uncontrollable new media world.” Student journalism is at the heart of this transformation, and of my research work in the country. Globally, student journalists have long been described as the beating hearts of higher education, pulsing at the center of nearly every first-rate university. Student media has been an essential component of campus life worldwide since the early 1900s, maturing into respected news sources en masse in the 1960s. Campus media is currently enjoying an unprecedented editorial and technological renaissance. It exists as more professional, interactive, eager, and able to compete for eyeballs and ‘Googling’ fingertips than ever before. An excitement regarding this renaissance currently reverberates on the streets of Singapore as loud as anywhere else in the world. Over the past decade, efforts undertaken by the Singaporean government, universities, and major media company have led to a meteoric rise in interest and infrastructure surrounding campus media specifically. Overall, Singapore’s student press scene is more extensive and hard-charging than at any other point in the country’s history. Thousands of student journalists and bloggers question the government, critique cultural norms, and debate issues of the day, adding a youthful voice to a dialogue that had been generally absent of such a perspective. If you count the founding of the country’s first campus newspaper in 1994 as a symbolic starting point, Singapore boasts a modern student press that is only 16 years old, still in the awkward, adolescent, figuring-things-out phase. It is attempting to find its identity, determine how it wants to impact the country, and figure out how to deal with the opportunities and constraints that are helping and holding it back along the way. PAGE 12 URSINUS MAGAZINE
University administrators, who have the option of reviewing and rejecting all newspaper content prior to its publication, waffled at the last minute. Multiple sources confirmed to me, they did not want to upset the government by appearing to publicize someone so well-known for his anti-PAP rhetoric and antics. The problem: The paper had literally already been laid out and was about to be sent to the printing press. But instead, the newspaper’s teacher-adviser was forced to leave his campus bungalow on a Sunday afternoon, travel to the newsroom, erase the article, and put an advertisement in its place. As a student reporter recalled, “It was like witnessing a murder, only the victim had a byline not a pulse.” The incident created a big stir in Singapore not due to the censorship, but because the journalism students fought back against it. One student decided to write about it for a popular online news outlet, essentially breaking the story to the public. Soon after, a group of current and former students hung critical banners around the university where the newspaper is published. Students then staged a very rare public protest attended by more than 50 people and media from around the region, something I saw firsthand as the only ang moh (Caucasian) in attendance. A few of the students decided to take their frustration even one step further. They started The Enquirer, an ambitious, independent online news outlet. The site’s founders aspired to provide a more realistic window into Singaporean students’ world, using the Internet as a platform for truly free expression that is not possible within school-sanctioned publications. As one of the site’s student editors told me, “This is about real issues, answering to students and students only, and showing those in power that you can censor us but you cannot shut us up.”
Daniel Reimold, Ph.D., Class of 2003, is an assistant professor of journalism at the University of Tampa. He recently completed a visiting assistant professorship at Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University, home to the country’s premier journalism program. His new book “Sex and the University; Celebrity, Controversy, and a Student Journalism Revolution” from Rutgers University Press explores the work of student sex columnists and magazine editors.
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handles corporate sales and project management and works with localized Japanese companies who need someone with a native level of English.
covering the Pan-Asia region for the past ten years. As a junior, Otto studied in London and completed an internship at CNN International.
me interested was how different Japanese was as a language,” says Biondi. “And that to speak it you had to wrap your mind around the culture it came from.”
Mizenko’s guidance, Levchuk says, gave him the opportunities to begin his career. “He helped to lay out a path for me to meet the requirements of the College’s curriculum while advising me on what study abroad programs in Japan would best fit my needs,” he says. “That allowed me to spend almost one year studying at ICU (International Christian University) in Tokyo.”
“After graduating I took a risk and moved to Tokyo, taking a job conducting market research on the financial services and auto industries at JD Power & Associates,” she says. Living in Tokyo in the mid-90s, Otto witnessed the Asian Crisis first hand. “I watched Asian currencies and markets tumble in a matter of a few days,” she says. “This got me very interested in the financial markets and led me to graduate school and, ultimately, to begin a career in international equities research in 2000.”
Biondi felt her professors were a valuable resource and spent many hours in their offices during her Ursinus years. She wanted to study abroad, and was offered a place at International Christian University for one academic year. “ICU is slightly west of Tokyo, in a city called Mitaka, and it is fairly well-known in Japan as a bilingual school,” says Biondi, who returned to Japan to teach after graduation.
Most alumni agree that the small size of the East Asian Studies department supports close relationships with professors. “Throughout my time at Ursinus, and even afterward, I received advice from both Dr. Mizenko and Dr. Clark on many things, both academic and personal,” says Levchuk. “One of the Ursinus EAS programs most valuable qualities is the role professors take in their students’ lives.” Also based in Manhattan is Melissa Otto 1993. She works for TIAA-CREF managing a market-neutral portfolio of equities. “My specialty is Japanese equities, leading me to travel to the Far East regularly,” says Otto, who recently returned from Singapore and China. She has been managing equities and
Josshā-kun, dosa? By Joshua Solomon 2008
I find myself in the strange circumstance of sitting in a bar (strange enough for me in and of itself) next to a young woman dressed in a fashionable kimono. She’s engaged to a man from Tokyo, but that’s a long way away from this little enclave of warmth in the winter city of Hirosaki, tucked away in Japan’s rural north. The dialect here is thick, like cockney, and incomprehensible to the Tokyoites that come to take pictures and drink the local sake. The region is called Tsugaru: the food is Tsugaru, the music is Tsugaru, and the locals are Tsugaru. They call me Josshā. They say it’s so cold in Tsugaru that the locals don’t open their mouths when they talk because they fear letting any heat out. Most rumors are based somewhere in fact. She repeats the question: dosa? Dosa is a contraction of the common phrase “doko e ikimasu ka?” and can mean “where are you going” or “where are you from.” Dosa? I think. After graduating Ursinus I left on a yearlong hybrid adventure/research project called the Fulbright Fellowship—to Tsugaru, in the farthest reaches of northern Honshu. My research topic is Tsugaru-jamisen – a kind of Japanese three-stringed banjo – and the community of people who play it. The music is known for being improvisatory, loud, fast, and rhythmical, but it is also filled with pathos and imagery PAGE 14 URSINUS MAGAZINE
Sara Biondi 2006 attended a small high school where Spanish and French were the only foreign languages offered. She took both courses, but longed for more choices. “Of course, I liked animé too; I think most people into Japanese at that time did,” says Biondi, referring to animated Japanese films and comic books. In 2003, The Chicago Tribune ran an article on the increase of animé clubs in high schools as the pop art form swept across college campuses and high schools. Mizenko was quoted in the story calling anime “a worldwide phenomenon.” But the dynamic Japanese pop art was just a part of the attraction. For Biondi, the language itself enthralled her. “What kept
of Tsugaru and nature. This research began during my junior year abroad and grew into a graduation thesis on the Yoshida Kyōdai, a pair of brothers currently internationalizing the musical sensibility. That gave me a head start, a year of reading books and articles, listening to recordings and scouring web page advertisements. This is known in the field as ‘discourse analysis.’ When I arrived in Tsugaru the books and CDs were replaced by live houses and concerts, music lessons, stories told by old hands and the rebellion of young players. The social landscape itself became my text, and I learned a new way of learning from the everyday, seeing how cultural practice and popular memory line up, and how they often don’t. This is also known as ‘discursive analysis.’ I spent a good deal of time in bars over the course of the year, places called min’yō sakaba that feature volkslieder performance and are adorned with local products and bric-a-brac. These pastiches of Tsugaru attract both tourists and members of the music community. The young probing woman to my left, after all, also plays shamisen and taiko. We had originally met at a year-ending party at the same establishment months earlier and are mutual friends with the bar master. Dosa? During the second half of my grant I took lessons from a renowned teacher and by the end of my tenure in Japan I was playing nightly shows in his bar. During the Neputa festival I performed mornings in the train station, odd nights at the local festival, and even odder intervals at small and large summer festivals spread through the Tsugaru region. I even competed in the Hirosaki National Tsugaru-jamisen Competition in May after busking the Sakura Festival the day before! Having a flexible schedule and a teacher with connections meant I was “going” to a wide variety of places and learning a good deal through the physical experience itself.
“I had to adjust to a new city and a new area, although living down in Kansai, the region of Japan that includes Osaka, Kyoto and Kobe in particular, is quite different from living near Tokyo.” Though she treasures her life abroad, Biondi says, there are the occasional frustrating moments. “The way people do things in Japan can be really different from what you expect and sometimes everyone gets the urge to “correct” their methods.”
Most nights, Biondi doesn’t return home until 10 p.m. But she and her new fiancé, fellow EAS graduate Timothy Smith 2007, do have the good fortune to travel widely for his research in Japanese religious history. Together they are exploring a culture that continues to mesmerize – and in some ways – define them.
The East Asian Studies department recently received a generous donation of books and maps from Dr. Lynn White, Professor of Politics in the Woodrow Wilson School East Asian Studies Program at Princeton University. White describes the collection as “mostly about Chinese politics and history, but some are about political sociology and comparative politics.” Charles Jamison, director of the Myrin Library, is overseeing the collection.
Biondi’s teaches at a conversation school where the workday starts in the afternoon. She teaches all ages, but her youngest students are one-and-a-half years old, and are taught through song and dance. “Classes are conducted entirely in English. What takes getting used to is that a lot of classrooms are partially windows. That way parents can observe.”
Dosa? I went to Tsugaru. Soide, dosa no? Now I find myself in the University of Chicago’s East Asian Literatures and Civilizations program and will be working on my Ph.D. over the course of the next decade. I have presented my research from Tsugaru in workshops in UCLA and Chicago and have played in multiple local concerts. This year, after a short summer in China, I will be returning to Tsugaru for a month of research and musical training. In two years I will be back in Japan, this time in Yokohama, for intensive language training. In five years I will return to Tsugaru again for doctoral research. Soide…and then? In the end, I cannot say where I am headed or what I will be doing, or even with certainty, where I’ve come from and how I’ve gotten here. But what I can say is that keeping this thought—dosa no?—in mind reminds me of the transience of things, and how that transience can be re-configured into momentum. My plans may grow and change again, but I know that I will always be going forward.
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Canvas Says I Need A conversation with Professor Donald Camp By Kathryn Campbell
onald Camp grew up in a small steel town called Farrell, in western Pennsylvania on the Ohio border. His was one of many African American families in a place christened “The Magic City” because it just about appeared overnight when the first steel mill was built there at the turn of the 20th century. He was the youngest of seven children. His father, Ira, was the town barber. His mother, Martha, was the choir director of the church. She died when Camp was 12. He was by her bedside.
“Growing up in that small town was death to me,” says Camp. “It was a place filled with bars and people going to work in the steel mill. It was kind of a complex thing. If you had any ambitions that meant going beyond that town, they would do what they could to destroy you.”
By that time, Camp was already captivated with art and photography. He had his first box camera when he was eight and “took pictures with no film.” He tended to daydream. In one of his favorite adventures, he would carry on long conversations with Vincent van Gogh about sunflowers and rain. “There was an unfinished quality about Van Gogh’s work. I liked the rawness and the texture, the way he built paint up and changed the structure of the canvas,” says Camp. “I was a strange kid.”
Today Camp is a celebrated fine art photographer whose work is exhibited around the world as well as in his hometown at The Philadelphia Museum of Art. He has been honored with many prestigious awards including a John Simon Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship, a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, Pew Fellowship in the Arts and American Academy in Rome fellowship. In January 2011, The Philip and Muriel Berman Museum of Art Upper Gallery will feature a solo exhibition of his work.
He also was the only African American student in his elementary school. With his mother gone, he was heartbroken, adrift. One day in the seventh grade, Camp remembers his teacher calling him over to the large classroom windows. She pointed to a small, black dog outside the school and said “You see that little dog, Don? Always remember you’ll never be more than that dog.” Telling this story, Camp sits sideways in a small office swivel chair. When he pauses to think about what he’ll say, he leans his head on his hand. He looks much younger than 70. With a leather coat and knit longshoreman hat, he is decidedly and unselfconsciously modish. His office, where he is artist in residence and assistant professor of art in the photography department, is in the basement of Pfahler Hall. Aside from a few large prints leaning against floor cabinets, it is plain and bare.
Camp’s portrait compositions are like maps, says Lisa Tremper Hanover, Director of the Berman Museum. “They are layered and as you visually peel back the layers, the soul of the person is revealed,” she says. “The subjects are contemplative, evocative and their faces are captured near the surface of the work, often cropped, filling the frame. There is a lot of visual texture.”
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With the help of one of his brothers who lived in Camden, Camp left Farrell at 17 and came east to finish high school. He enlisted in the Air Force which included a tour in Vietnam. Though his job during the war was packing parachutes, he had also taught himself to take photographs. He lived in France where he met and married his wife, Marie. They returned to the States where they raised their two daughters.
Photos by Liora Kutler 2010 FALL 2010 PAGE 17
Camp worked as a photographer for the Philadelphia Bulletin. But soon the repetition of newspaper work and photojournalism grew exhausting. “What I loved was killing me,” says Camp. So he made a change. At 42, Camp enrolled in Temple University where he earned both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in fine arts. “Don is more about making the art than getting noticed for it,” says Stephen Perloff, founder and editor of The Photo Review and editor of The Photograph Collector. His work explores the nuances of emotion that cross boundaries of race and gender, says Perloff, who has taught photography and the history of photography at numerous Philadelphia-area colleges and universities and has been the recipient of two grants from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts for arts criticism. Martin H. McNamara of Gallery 339 in Philadelphia knew of Camp’s work prior to opening his gallery. “He earned a lot of attention for his portrait work in the 1990s, so I had read a bit
about the work at that time,” says McNamara. “I had seen the large prints that are in the Convention Center. We were preparing to open the gallery. I did a lot of research about Philadelphia photography, and Don’s name naturally came up. I was impressed with the work as well as with the ideas behind it. Don describes his work as an effort to create a visual equivalent to the Blues.” The public view of the African American male was – and is – almost brutish, says Camp. “It’s this image that we can take almost anything. But just like the rest of humanity, we’re fragile,” says Camp. He hopes his work continues to ignite emotional reactions. “There are things I keep discovering and I felt I could make the paper tell a story,” he says about his images. Camp’s portraits in his exhibition titled Dust Shaped Hearts addresses the universal human struggle against intolerance and stereotype, says Amie Potsic, Director, Career Development Program at The Center for Emerging Visual Artists. “His work
melds the subject matter of the human face with a lyrical and organic printing process yielding a body of work that investigates history, humanity, and beauty.” Liora Kutler 2010 first met Camp in a special topics Pinhole Photography class. “His patience, mentoring, and seriousness about artwork led me to create my own genre of pinhole photography,” says Kutler. “He has had a positive influence on my art in that he does not accept timid work, nor does he accept half-baked ideas. He will push students to completely develop and pursue their ideas artistically, intellectually, and emotionally. As a result, my artwork and perspective as an artist have expanded immensely in that I not only find my work compelling to look at, but it also has these equally important emotional and intellectual components.” The lesson Kutler took most to heart was to make art for herself. “In a society where one’s acceptance by other people is paramount, to be able to step back and recognize that the most
important voice in one’s work is one’s own is important in maintaining the integrity of the work,” Kutler says. “While I take critiques very seriously, I realize now that the work I make is for me. Don is an amazing professor because he cares about learning, and he loves watching his students develop as artists and as individuals. He expects the best from even the 100 level students who might only be taking the course to fulfill a requirement.” Camp says he loves painting as much as photography. He uses a milk paint called casein that has earth-based pigments to manipulate his prints on canvas. “A good artist allows a conversation to take place while they’re creating,” he says. “When I’m taking a photograph or working on a print, there’s a spiritual connection for me. That’s when things happen artistically that are beyond my control and it’s beautiful. The canvas says ‘I need,’ and there comes a point when you have to let go in both worlds. My good work still astounds me.”
Professor Camp in his office with portrait from Dust Shaped Hearts exhibition
“His work melds the subject matter of the human face with a lyrical and organic printing process yielding a body of work that investigates history, humanity, and beauty.” PAGE 18 URSINUS MAGAZINE
- Amie Potsic, Director, Career Development Program at The Center for Emerging Visual Artists
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Last Resort A Sanctuary for Unwanted Farm Animals is a Lifelong Passion for Veterinarian Rob Teti 1995 By Erika Compton Butler 1994
VONDALE, Pa. – A young pot-bellied pig trails behind a group of boys carrying buckets of peanuts. She’s taken a liking to them, the peanuts, not the boys, though she does like them, too. The teenage boys, who are all volunteers, scramble to get her out of the barn where the nuts are stored. She’s quick and hungry, so it’s tricky. But eventually they do it, and Bette the pig goes back to wandering around and searching for food elsewhere. Bette, named in honor of starlet Bette Davis, was rescued from a meat-farming operation. She’s one of about 250 animals living here at Chenoa Manor Animal Sanctuary & Youth Assistance Facility in Avondale, Pa. The 25-acre sanctuary was founded by Rob Teti 1995 as a refuge for abused farm and exotic animals. Because of his commitment to animals, Teti was known by many by the nickname “Furman” while an Ursinus student. He bought the sprawling property in 2000 while he was completing veterinary school at Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine in St. Kitt’s, West Indies. Teti poured his heart, and his finances, into transforming the overgrown land into a pastoral home. “I bought it because I wanted to create a place for animals to live and teenagers to care for them,” he says. On this particular day, eight boys from The School at Church Farm were volunteering to help care for the horses, goats, pigs, llamas, cows and other animals that make their home on Teti’s farm. His partnership with the school is one of many Teti has developed over the last few years. Teti, a veterinarian at VCA Glasgow Animal Hospital in Newark, Del., wanted to create a peaceful sanctuary for farm animals. But he also hopes the teenagers find a niche here. He feels they often are overlooked in society, like the animals. “Many people are sympathetic to puppies and kittens, but not cows and chickens,” Teti says. “That parallels with teenagers. People usually want to work with the smaller kids, not the teens, and that’s such an important age for them.” Teti hopes the students feel empowered through their farm work. Caring for the animals, he says, will allow them to reconnect with nature. “As we get older and grow up, that natural inherent affinity for animals doesn’t grow out of us, but it gets discouraged unintentionally,” he says. “It’s important that the animals feel comfortable, unafraid and are able to roam freely,” he says. “This is a retirement home for animals. I want them to live as stress free as possible for the rest of their lives. They’ve already been through enough.” Chenoa Manor is a barn and several paddocks and just about at capacity with 250 animals. They arrive here from a variety of places including cruelty cases, SPCAs, and other sanctuaries. Many are animals that were being raised on farms for food. For them, Chenoa Manor, is their last resort. Some, like a group of
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from CFS. He started working at Chenoa Manor when he was in seventh grade. “It’s a fun environment,” says Rice, who hopes to become a vet. “I like to learn new things about animals. I learn a new thing every time I come here.” This summer CBS Evening News ran a segment featuring Teti’s work at Chenoa Manor and Rice’s transformative role there. The boys feed the animals, haul food, clean out pastures and stalls and give vaccinations. They work eight hours a day in any kind of weather. Their only break is for lunch. Teti has no rules at the sanctuary, other than be respectful and “don’t eat the animals,” he jokes. He likes to keep the groups he works with small, to get to work with them one on one and get to know them well. Teti knows each boy by name, as well as his background and his thoughts for the future.
Joshua Rice graduated from the Church Farm School. His role at Chenoa Manor was part of a CBS Evening News feature story that aired in August on Teti’s work to help youth, as well as, animals.
ducks, are in poor condition when they arrive. The ducks were being raised for foie gras and were being force-fed, so they had to learn how to eat. “It’s hard to teach them to do that, so we put them in with other fowl to let them learn,” says Teti, a vegan. He knows each animal by their name and their background. He greets them with a loving, friendly smile and a gentle hand. Bette, the pig, wanders around the farm accompanying Teti on his chores. Bette’s not big enough to live with the large pigs and so, “she acts as the official porcine dignitary of Chenoa Manor,” Teti says. The personalities of the animals Teti takes in are much like those of the boys who come to volunteer. “They’re very reserved, shy, not always willing to trust right away; their experiences have been nothing but poor with people,” Teti says. “As they relate to the boys over time, the animals become so outgoing, social and friendly.” Teti’s partnership with the School at Church Farm began about the time he opened Chenoa Manor. A fellow Ursinus alum, Heather Leach 1995 was working at CFS before she joined the Peace Corps. Leach helped Teti with his first fund-raiser and brought the school’s guidance counselor, Lisa Ochwat, who is also the community service coordinator. When Leach left the school, Ochwat wanted to continue the relationship with Chenoa Manor. “Rob has done a fantastic job at helping the boys develop leadership skills,” says Ochwat. “They’re connecting with the animals, and therefore are better with people.” Students at CFS are required to do five hours of community service a year, Ochwalt says, so one trip to the sanctuary fulfills that requirement. But some of the students love it so much, they go back week after week after week. Josh Rice, 18, graduated in May PAGE 22 URSINUS MAGAZINE
Ursinus alumna, Gail Gawlowski 1996, helped create a competition for the boys modeled after the television show Top Chef, which she produces. Top Shepherd had the boys competing on the knowledge of life at Chenoa Manor. Gawlowski was one of Teti’s special guests during the competition. Tracey Bregman of the soap opera The Young and the Restless, is also a Chenoa Manor board member.
States, whose headquarters is outside Washington, D.C. Sanctuaries such as Chenoa Manor provide a home for animals that are often abused or injured. “They give people a chance to meet farm animals and help them realize they’re not just meat producing machines,” Shapiro says. “They’re individuals with personality, they have likes and dislikes, and they’re very capable of feeling pain and suffering.” At these sanctuaries, the animals are “treated with compassion and respect instead of violence and domination,” says Shapiro. At Chenoa Manor, Teti works tirelessly to improve the lives of animals and of the youth who help care for them.
Erika Compton Butler graduated from Ursinus in 1994 with a degree in economics and business administration. She has been working for The Aegis, a community newspaper in Harford County, Md., for more than 15 years, most recently as the news editor. She and her husband, Chris, and their son, Henry, live in Harford County.
Ursinus graduate John Dunchick 1995 is also a board member. It takes about $80,000 a year to run Chenoa Manor, and Teti funds about 75 percent of that by working full-time as a vet. Ideally, however, he’d like it to be self-sustaining. He’s now raising money to restore the bank barn (built into a bank) on the property. Built in 1813, it is structurally sound except for one corner. Teti wants to preserve it not only for Chenoa Manor but for its historical value. “It’s a massive barn and few like it can be found anymore,” he says. The barn needs a new roof, as well as floors, walls and windows. The total restoration project is estimated at $200,000. Teti has big plans for the barn once it’s restored. The first floor will be additional animal stalls and more quarantine areas. He needs more stalls for the pigs. On the second floor he wants to create an art gallery, where the kids who work at the farm can hang their work or paint murals on the walls. “I’ve always been a huge supporter of the arts in general,” says Teti, whose parents had a farm in Italy. “This allows the boys to see the animals as more than a pig sitting in mud,” he said. “[In their work] they bring out such detail you know they are really observing the animal.” They have raised $140,000 for the barn restoration. The Philadelphia Inquirer published a story on Chenoa Manor in November 2009. Sanctuaries like Chenoa are not common in the United States. According to the www.farmanimalshelters.org, there are about 27 farm animal sanctuaries in the country. Teti’s farm was not listed on the site. The vast majority of sanctuaries are for wildlife or dogs or cats, says Paul Shapiro, senior director of the factory farming campaign for the Humane Society of the United FALL 2010 PAGE 23
Mary Ellen DeWane Bids a Fond Farewell
By Ellen Cosgrove Labrecque 1995
icknamed the Encyclopedia of Ursinus by friends and co-workers alike, Mary Ellen DeWane retired this winter after 31 years of devoted service. Among her roles, DeWane served as Director of Alumni and since 2001, as Director of Special Gifts. Even in the early months of her retirement, she worked as host for the Alumni Academy Awards presentation and conducted the trolley tours for the June weekend. Her memory for names, dates, and faces will be sorely missed. Her enthusiasm for, and devotion to, the College is her trademark.
DeWane (then Oehrle) arrived in Collegeville as a freshman in 1957 and never left. Graduating in 1961 with a history degree, she taught at Collegeville-Trappe High School for three years, married her husband, Glenn, in 1966, and then dedicated her time to raising her two boys, David and Mark. In 1978, the President of Ursinus, Richard Richter, asked DeWane to be the new Alumni Executive Secretary. She had stayed in touch with the school through the years through volunteer work.
“You can’t be around Mary Ellen without feeling her passion for Ursinus and simply admire her ability to communicate it to
“The job was a part-time one so it was perfect for me as a young mother,” she explained. “I knew something like this didn’t come up often, and it seemed like such an interesting thing to do.” She
alumni,” says Erin Hovey, Ursinus Web Coordinator, who was hired by DeWane in 1999. “She is one of the most genuine people I know.”
was a natural in her new position. She loved speaking with alumni and hearing about all the success stories.
Jim Baer, Vice President for Development, likes to tease DeWane about the Mel Brooks’ movie, Young Frankenstein. As Baer tells it, Dr. Frankenstein, played by Gene Wilder, attempts to save his beloved creature by donating some of his own genius brainpower. “I kid Mary Ellen that is what we need to do,” explains Baer. “We need somebody to sit on a couch and download all the information she has in her head, as well as all the anecdotes she has told over the years.”
“She only connects with alumni out of the most sincere personal interest, friendship and respect,” says Ken Schaefer, Senior Advancement Officer, who has worked at Ursinus since graduating from the College in 1970. “She is a wonderful exemplar of Ursinus and Ursinus people.”
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DeWane became a full-time staff member in 1985 and with that her title changed to Director of Alumni. As a full-timer, she was able to take on coordinating larger events. One of the highlights
came in December 1991 – the 50th Anniversary weekend of Pearl Harbor. She worked with other staff members and volunteers to coordinate an event for the “War Year Classes” - 1942–1949. “We had almost 500 alumni for that weekend,” she says. “There was a Memorial Service held at Bomberger Hall and tours of the campus. I’d say the highlight was a dinner dance that Saturday night with a big band. There were over 450 attendees and there wasn’t a spot on the dance floor.” She switched from Alumni Director to Director of Special Gifts in 2001. Others may have found it difficult to navigate a new position after so many years in the same one. DeWane did it seamlessly.
so thankful that our alumni remember their roots.” When asked why she chose to retire this past year, DeWane jokes it is because she didn’t want to celebrate her 70th birthday at Ursinus. But she wanted to spend more time with her biological family, as opposed to her adopted Ursinus family. Today she is enjoying time with her grandchildren. She also promises to keep her Ursinus connections strong. Alumni and staff of course, would have it no other way. “Mary Ellen is beloved,” Baer said. “That is the best way to describe her. Her wonderful loyalty, and her absolute uncanny ability to get along with so many diverse people – that is something that will be almost impossible to replace.”
“From day one, the advancement of Ursinus has always been a team project,” she explained. “The Alumni and Development offices for as long as I can remember worked together. We are all
“She only connects with alumni out of the most sincere personal interest, friendship and respect...she is a wonderful exemplar of Ursinus and Ursinus people.” - Ken Schaefer, Senior Advancement Officer FALL 2010 PAGE 25
Pa., he returned to Ursinus College in 1947 and retired in 1985 as an Emeritus Professor of Health and Physical Education. His track team won two Middle Atlantic Championships and had four undefeated seasons. In one eight-year period they were 66-6 and won 30 straight meets. He guided the cross country team to a remarkable 103-22 record. Nine of his teams had winning seasons, two were undefeated and two captured Middle Atlantic Conference titles. In his later years, he was regarded as the ‘Dean of the Middle Atlantic States Collegiate Track Coaches.’ In 1981 he was selected as the honorary referee for the College Division of the Penn Relays. He was also inducted into the Chapel of the Four Chaplains. He is survived by his wife, Helen E. (Bosich) Gurzynski, children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Professor Roger P. Staiger in 1969
Raymond V. Gurzynski 1939 Professor Emeritus Raymond V. Gurzynski, age 94, died April 22 in East Norriton, Pa., where he was a resident. In addition to teaching in the Department of Health and Physical Education, he coached football, cross country, and indoor and outdoor track at Ursinus. He received the Lindback Award for excellence in teaching, the Bruins Club Award for support of the Ursinus College athletic program, and was inducted into the Ursinus Hall of Fame for Athletes. Mr. Gurzynski graduated from Catasauqua High School and from Ursinus College in 1939 with a B.S. in Health and Physical Education. In 1944 he received a Master of Education degree from Temple University. After teaching in Norristown,
Roger P. Staiger 1943 Roger Powell Staiger, Professor Emeritus in Chemistry, died April 29, 2010 on Nevis, where he had lived in retirement with his wife of 65 years. The former Chair of the Chemistry Department was 89 years old. Dr. Staiger grew up near Trenton, N.J. After graduating from Ursinus, he was appointed an instructor in chemistry at Ursinus to teach Navy V12 students during World War II. He joined the Navy in August 1944 and was commissioned as an Ensign. He was the CIC Radar Officer and photographer on the Attack Personnel Destroyer Walter S. Gorka APD 114, and was eventually promoted to Lt. (jg) and Executive Officer. He returned to Ursinus as a chemistry instructor, and earned a Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Pennsylvania.
Dr. Staiger served as the Chair of the Chemistry Department from 1964 to 1988. In the early 1960s, he and his colleagues developed an integrated course in Chemistry, Mathematics and Physics, which was known as CMP. He received two National Science Foundation study grants for study at the University of North Carolina in 1957 and the Oak Ridge Institute for Nuclear Studies in 1960. Dr. Staiger was the 1962 recipient of the Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching. At various times during his career he performed consulting and research work for the Maumee Chemical Company, the Althouse Chemical Company, and the Pennsalt Chemical Company. His oil portrait by artist Ted Xaras hangs on the third floor of Pfahler Hall. Dr. Staiger retired from Ursinus in 1988. An active alumnus, he served as Executive Alumni Secretary at Ursinus from 1955 to 1959, and was editor of the alumni magazine during that time. Dr. Staiger and his wife, Margaret, retired to their to their summer home in Newcastle, Nevis, Leeward Islands, West Indies. They operated a 12-hole, par three golf course and welcomed Ursinus alumni to visit. Margaret, who was formerly the Ursinus Senior Assistant Librarian, died on April 25, 2009. Dr. Staiger is survived by a son, Roger Staiger Jr., and a grandson, Roger Staiger III. Burial was May 18 in Bath Village cemetery on the island of Nevis.
Who did UC at Alumni Events?
In May, Harold Smith 1955 and Matt and Terri Wiatrak 2000 co-hosted an exciting night for NYC Alumni at The Princeton Club in the heart of New York City. Great food and conversation highlighted the night’s events. A stellar evening of cocktails and hors d’oeuvres was held for Washington, D.C. alumni and co-hosted by Nancy Opalack 1971 and Jay Richards 2004 at B. Smith’s in Union Station. For more pictures from both events visit us at www.ursinus.edu/alumniphotos. Clockwise from top left: Jef Corson Interim President, Gillian Murray 1989, Hank Pfeiffer 1948 Trustee, Jeff Bruckner P ’13, Jay Richards 2004 and Nancy Opalack 1971 Trustee, Matthew Lebo 2006 and James Sproule 2008, Sarah Beatty 2000, Jessica Hychalk 2003, LaToya Brown 2009, Lisa Christy 2003
Are You A UC Ambassador?
Ursinus is looking for alumni to provide industry and career information as well as encouragement to current Ursinus students and fellow alumni. Alumni Career Ambassadors offer valuable assistance in one or more of the following areas: providing job search advice, speaking in classrooms or participating in career panels, inviting students to their work place for a shadowing or internship experience, or simply communicating via email to provide career advice and insight. Become a valuable resource to current students and fellow alumni. Sign up to be an Alumni Career Ambassador. If you would like to share your experience and knowledge in any of these ways, e-mail Carla Rinde, Director of Career Services at email@example.com PAGE 36 URSINUS MAGAZINE
FALL 2010 PAGE 37
Newest Alumni Class of 2010
Alumni Senior Award Winner, Mark Smedberg was so terrified of being onstage during his first play at Ursinus that his hands shook night after night. “I was bad at acting coming in to Ursinus, and I’m afraid it showed in that first play,” says Smedberg, who enrolled in a voice and speech class with Dr. Beverly Redman and was cast in The Sisters Rosensweig. “The class was a wonderful place to explore the art of acting, and improve myself as an actor,” he says. As a freshman, he wanted to double-major in a science and an art. “I knew I needed be flexible and open to the types of opportunities that would present themselves to me.”
Under bright skies, Ursinus held its 137th Commencement Ceremony this May. Among the 340 new graduates, we chat with a few about their Ursinus experience. Commencement Speaker was Andrew Delbanco, the Julian Clarence Levi Professor Chair in the Humanities and the Director of the American Studies Program at Columbia University. Professor Delbanco is the author of “Melville: His World and Work” (2005),won the Lionel Trilling Award and was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Award in biography. Julie DiPuppo bought a one-way airline ticket for London where she is now studying at the London School of Economics. “It will be quite an adventure, as my undergraduate background is in neuroscience and psychology and I have never officially been abroad,” says the native of Pleasant Valley, N.Y. At Ursinus, she felt “encouraged to make use of my broad interests, be speculative and to take risks in my writing.” DiPuppo says she was applauded for using creativity and for finding inspiration from nontraditional sources. “My ideas were deemed worthy. That kind of encouragement is invaluable. I also learned that I am strong, but that being strong does not mean that you feel ready for things before or as they are happening. Finally, I fully realized that no one ever achieves success by themselves without some form of support and guidance from others.”
For the first two years at Ursinus, she never handed in a paper without first having her professor read it and provide comments. “I feel that this was integral to the improvement that I saw in my writing and thinking,” she says. “My enthusiasm and efforts were recognized, and if I just asked, many people were willing to offer me guidance.”
Eric Faris starts his first job as an audit associate for KPMG in Philadelphia and is counting on the depth of his Ursinus experience. A United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association Scholar All-American, Faris also was named to the USILA South All-Star team. But it was largely through his work as a senior Admission Fellow where he learned to connect with people.
Mark Smedberg Aakash Kaushik Shah is entering the Medical Doctor program at Harvard Medical School. A native of Cliffside Park, N.J., Shah was a Goldwater Scholar, Summer Fellow, Rhodes Scholar finalist, Zacharias Scholar, Bonner Scholar and member of Phi Beta Kappa. On his first visit to campus, he says, “it was clear that Ursinus delivered a unique education, one built around a community of learning.” While working at a rural medical clinic India, he was able to connect to the material he read in his Common Intellectual Experience coursework, and as a biology and neuroscience major, became interested in the applications of medicine and public health, part of the study he hopes to pursue at Harvard. Faculty support across disciplines, Shah says, defined his Ursinus experience. “As one of my mentors is fond of saying, ‘Learning comes from family.’ Of course, in that context, ‘family’ is figurative and represents a community of individuals dedicated to one another’s success,” says Shah.
“I met and interviewed students and their parents,” says Faris, a Business and Economics major. “I learned how to relate to a wide variety of people. As part of the lacrosse team, I learned that the power of a group moving in the same direction is far superior to the power of an individual.” Whether on the field or in the classroom, Faris discovered “that with hard work, great people around you and the right attitude, a lot can be accomplished.” He developed an interest in accounting during his junior year. Professor Cindy Harris, his advisor for his Summer Fellows and Honors projects, was a strong influence. “Having the ability to work so closely with Ursinus faculty, really enhanced my experience,” he says. Faris balanced his commitments to academics, lacrosse and his work with the admissions office, says Professor Harris. “He never missed a beat and I especially enjoyed his great sense of humor.”
Luckily, Smedberg says, both the practical opportunities of acting on stage and the class work focused on the performance side of theater are possible for Ursinus students. “With a larger school, I could not imagine landing a role in a faculty-directed production. But I did, and from there I improved myself as an actor and eventually moved into directing shows myself. Ursinus gives students the chance to jump into something challenging right off the bat. If they’re willing to try.”
“After four years at Ursinus, I can confidently say that the opportunity to do research at Ursinus will be one of the most memorable and rewarding experiences from my undergraduate years,” he says. “Faculty have taken me under their wing, just as other professors have done with countless other students here. Together they have helped me recognize my true potential and the possibilities that lay before me. Thanks to them and the greater Ursinus community, I now leave here tremendously more inspired, more committed, and more capable.”
Shah graduated with distinguished honors research in sociology and honors research in biology and neuroscience. His degrees were in Biology, Neuroscience and Inequality Studies, with minors in Chemistry and Sociology. “Reflecting on my time at Ursinus, I find that some of my fondest memories were made when classroom discussions were extended beyond the walls of Olin and Bomberger Hall,” says Danielle Harris, who will pursue a career in higher education.
Abbie Cichowski is an intern in the College Advancement Office. She also works with the Montgomery Theater where she runs a Young Actor’s Workshop. “I attended a performing arts high school where I majored in Theatre, but thought I would just minor in it at Ursinus,” says Cichowski. “I would say most students don’t know what they want to study,” she says. “But I had the opposite dilemma. I wanted to study everything. I can remember attending every pre-med, pre-law, and major information session offered to incoming freshman.”
Harris received the Alumni Senior Award as well as The George Ditter Prize, awarded each year to the graduating senior whose work in history and political science most promises the perpetuation of democratic self government. “It is hard to decide what I’ll miss the most about college,” says Harris, who was a cheerleader, a member of the Ursinus College Dance Company and Escape Velocity dance troupe. “Without a doubt my Ursinus family and friends and the many lessons we’ve taught each other are at the top of my list.”
In her sophomore year, she declared a double major in Theatre and Media and Communication Studies. “It wasn’t until I had the opportunity to interact and work with engaging and personable faculty in both fields here that I decided to devote myself fully to those majors.”
Abbie Cichowski PAGE 38 URSINUS MAGAZINE
At Ursinus, Cichowski says, she learned “the value of education and the responsibility that comes with it. I have had the privilege to attend and graduate from a private, liberal arts college. The education I received from Ursinus opened my eyes to a good deal of inequality in the world, but it also gave me the confidence and tools to combat these injustices to ensure the quality of life for all humans – regardless of race, creed, sexual orientation, or class.”
Harris, who lives in Ocean, N.J., graduated with a degree in American Studies and Dance and a minor in African American & Africana Studies. She was a Summer Fellow and held the offices of president and secretary for the Ursinus Student Government Association. “My goal is to someday be a part of the reason why colleges like Ursinus are so meaningful to their students.” FALL 2010 PAGE 39
The Ursinus College Board, to honor John Strassburger, collectively committed $3 million. Their joint effort has inspired a challenge to encourage everyone in the Ursinus community to consider making a special pledge in honor of our President Emeritus. Under the theme: “One Pledge, Three Years, Countless Lives,” we are asking alumni, parents and friends to consider making a new or increased gift to the Annual Fund. Individuals who make a three-year commitment that is new or increased (and we encourage you to consider making incremental additions to your gift each year) can include a note to President Emeritus Strassburger to be placed in a book that will be on display in The Kaleidoscope. Those who increase their gifts within the President’s Circle ($1,500 or more) will be recognized on a plaque inside The Kaleidoscope. This Challenge and these recognition opportunities will exist only through June 30, 2011.
Alumni Academy & Reunions Weekend
Let’s be inspired by the Board’s example of philanthropy. As a community we can join together to honor a fifteen-year presidential legacy, while also supporting The Annual Fund.
Wine tasting, the Lobster Bake, Reunion Dinners and the Alumni Art Exhibit were all part of the vibrant celebration this June at Ursinus Alumni Academy & Reunions Weekend. Alumni presenters spoke on topics ranging from medicine, science, history and athletics in the liberal arts environment. President Emeritus Strassburger was honored at a Town Hall Meeting and the Ursinus community feted the outstanding achievements of this year’s Alumni Award Winners shown in the photo below. Visit us online at www.ursinus.edu for more photos. L to R: John N. Forrest, Jr., M.D., 1960, Michael B. Adenaike, M.D., 2000, Thomas P. Loughran, M.D., 1975, Trudy Strassburger, John Strassburger, Danielle M. Harris, 2010, Margaret A. Williams, PhD., 1980, Monyca White, Esq., 2000, Mark G. Smedberg, 2010
Alumni Academy Award Winners PAGE 40 URSINUS MAGAZINE
Office of Alumni Relations and Annual Giving 1.877.GIVE2UC www.ursinus.edu/supportuc FALL 2010 PAGE 41
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Save The Date!
Oct. 23, 2010
• Hall of Fame Induction • Berman Museum Open House • Sporting Events • Homecoming Biergarten • Organization Reunions ...and so much more!