25, 2002, Special Edition
Passing the Torch
Olympic torch in hand, Tessa Spillane '95 set off on a .2-mile
run along Albany Avenue in Hartford on December 26, one link in
a chain of 11,500 torchbearers who will carry the Olympic flame
13,500 miles to its eventual destination in Salt Lake City. Spillane,
the former coach of the College's novice crew team, was selected
for the honor after the team wrote letters of recommendation for
herwithout her knowledge. "It was an overwhelmingly
huge present," says Spillane, who left the College in September
to become head crew coach at Lewis and Clark College in Oregon.
And what was it like to carry the torch? "It wasn't heavy,
but it was top-heavy," Spillane says. "I was so nervous.
My biggest fear was either to drop it or to fall." She did
neither, of course, and now has the memory of a lifetime.
Christopher Pyle, professor of politics, delivered the annual
Forefathers' Day Address to the Pilgrim Society of Plymouth, Massachusetts,
last month. In "Inventing America: The Perennial Search for
a Useable Past," Pyle made a case for a version of American
history "marked by the gradual expansion of equal liberty
under law." In that "storybook history," he said,
the Pilgrims, and their Mayflower Compact, had "helped Europe
reinvent itself, in America, along more democratic lines."
He concluded, "So the question all Americans should really
ask is not whether we have Pilgrims up our family tree, but whether
we ought to keep them in our national storybook. My answer is
a resounding yes." In delivering the address, Pyle followed
in the footsteps of such noted orators as John Quincy Adams, Edward
Everett, Daniel Webster, Wendell Phillips, Mark Hopkins, and Lyman
Praise for Pratt
The Boston architectural firm Miller Dyer Spears has been awarded
the William B. Smith Memorial Award for its renovation of Pratt
Hall music building. The award, presented by the Massachusetts
Architectural Access Board, recognizes architecture that integrates
historic preservation with effective accessibility design. Mount
Holyoke's $6.3-million project, funded largely by The Campaign
for Mount Holyoke College, involved comprehensive renovation and
addition to its 1909 music building. In addition to focusing on
accessibility in the building, the project also concentrated on
reconfiguring the interior and creating up-to-date teaching spaces
while preserving historic character. A glazed two-story addition
next to the auditorium provides an accessible connection between
the original building and 1967 wing. It adds a large mediated
classroom and studio offices, and presents a vibrant contemporary
image on campus.
off the Press The Alumnae Quarterly magazine, which was reconceived
and redesigned in the summer and fall of 2000, has been awarded
a 2001 CASE District 1 publication award in the magazine category.
The award, which was presented January 14 at a ceremony in Boston,
recognizes overall design, content, writing, use of photography
and graphics, and achieving objectives with the resources and
budget available. The Alumnae Association of Mount Holyoke College
publishes the magazine. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., CASE
(Council for Advancement and Support of Education) is the professional
organization for advancement professionals at all levels who work
in alumni relations, communications, and development.
Triumphs Swimmer Elizabeth Youngblood '05 broke the College
fifty-meter freestyle record in a December 4 meet with Trinity
College when she swam the event in 28.5 seconds. At the same competition,
MHC's 200-meter freestyle relay team of Jennifer Holberg '03,
Claire Treat '05, Kiera McGough '05, and Gwen McCoy '03 also had
a record-breaking performance. Diver Elena Giordano '03 met the
NCAA qualifying standard and broke both College and pool records
for three-meter and one-meter diving in MHC's December 1 meet
versus Westfield State and December 4 meet versus Trinity. Her
strong performances helped the swimming and diving team to a great
start this season with a 42 record. On December 1, Maggie
Mills '03 broke her own College record in the triple jump by seven
inches at the Husky Winter Carnival at Northeastern University.
In addition, she placed fourth in the high jump, the top finish
for Division III athletes. Indoor track and field athlete Langhan
Dee '04 also broke a Mount Holyoke record December 8, when she
finished the 200-meter dash with a time of 26.12 seconds at the
Tufts Holiday Classic. Further, Dee qualified provisionally for
nationals in the 400-meter dash by finishing in 58.85 seconds,
a first-place finish at the meet.
Her Field On December 13, the National Field Hockey Coaches
Association (NFHCA) announced that MHC's field hockey coach Andrea
Whitcomb was selected as the Dita/NFHCA Division III New England
East Region Coach of the Year for her efforts in leading the College's
field hockey team to several milestones this season. Last semester,
Mount Holyoke captured the 2001 NEWMAC regular season and conference
tournament titles and earned the College's first-ever bid to the
NCAA Tournament. Whitcomb was also voted 2001 NEWMAC Coach of
the Year for her efforts this season.
Touch of Class Open Class, a CD of music for the intermediate
and advanced ballet lesson directed and produced by Charles Flachs,
associate professor of dance, has just been released. The CD was
recorded in Pratt Hall.
Book Case The
Disappearing Island, by English professor Corinne Demas, has been
selected as a finalist for the Massachusetts Book Award, the Massachusetts
Center for the Book's new prize for authors who live in Massachusetts
or write about the state. The Massachusetts organization is affiliated
with the Library of Congress Center for the Book.
Seurat: Drawings and Paintings, a collection of writings by Robert
Herbert, professor emeritus of humanities, has been published
by Yale University Press. In his review of Herbert's book in the
New York Review of Books (October 4, 2001), John Russell wrote,
"Almost anyone who thinks about, let alone writes about,
the drawings and paintings of Seurat, is subject from time to
time to a hallucination. Somewhere in the next roomor so
it seemsthere can be heard the tap, tap, tap of Robert L.
Herbert getting down to bedrock about Seurat."
The Flight of the Romanovs: A Family Saga, by John Perry and Constantine
Pleshakov, visiting assistant professor of Russian and Eurasian
studies, was named an alternate selection of the Book-of-the-Month
New Takes on the
Classic In his new book, Classical Social Theory: A Contemporary
Approach (Blackwell Publishers, 2001), Kenneth Tucker, associate
professor of sociology, explores, in a highly accessible style,
the contemporary relevance of classical sociological theory, examining
the work of Marx, Weber, and Durkheim, among a host of others.
While Tucker summarizes each theorist's major ideas, he is most
concerned with contemporary issues: what should be retained and
what should be discarded from each theorist in order to discern
today's world in light of a growing awareness of cultural identities
and social differences.
Singing a New Song
An article titled "Women in Troubadour Song: Of the Comtessa
and the Vilana," by Margaret Switten, Class of 1926 Professor
of Medieval and Eighteenth-Century French Language and Literature
at MHC, and Fredric Cheyette, a professor of history at Amherst,
was selected as the October article of the month for the Medieval
Feminist Index Web site. The article, which appeared in Women
& Music: A Journal of Gender and Culture, volume 2, 1998 (pp.
2645), examines two Occitan songs, "A chantar m'er,"
by the Comtessa de Dia (late twelfth century), and "L'autrier
jost'una sebissa," by Marcabru (mid-twelfth century) with
a view to addressing the question of what "feminine"
voices we hear when we listen to a trobairitz (woman troubadour)
song, or a song by a male troubadour with a prominent female speaker.
Recent criticism has tended to limit women's activity, arguing
that troubadour song belongs to a society where women are subordinate
and without any political role of their own. The article demonstrates
why this historical assumption is false and, by analyzing the
songs in the light of historical evidence, reintegrates them into
a social setting where the language of power relations and the
language of love are fused into a discourse used on equal footing
by both women and men. This grants to women their own voices and
allows them to make music. The Medieval Feminist Index selects
an article or essay at the beginning of each month that is outstanding
in its line of argument, wealth of significances, and writing
style. Visit the site at www.haverford.edu/library/reference/mschaus/mfi/month.html.