In the keynote speech of the Harriet L. and Paul M. Weissman Center for Leadership’s fall series on American democracy, historian Joseph Ellis offered some timely insight into American political leadership. Ellis, Ford Foundation Professor of History at the College, discussed the evolution of presidential campaigns and highlighted issues he predicts will emerge as domestic policy concerns in the near future. The October event coincided with the publication of his new book, Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation.
In December Oxygen Sports, a division of a new cable enterprise, aired A Touch of Class, a two-hour special on women’s intercollegiate athletics. “A Day in the Life,” the segment on Mount Holyoke, includes footage of crew, equestrian, and golf practices, and a field hockey match. The College is working toward putting a video clip on the Web.
Professor of biochemistry Lilian Hsu has been named the first occupant of the newly established Elizabeth Page Greenawalt Chair in Physical Sciences. Hsu conducts research in transcription, the process by which the information encoded in DNA is copied into RNA. The chair was established through the estate of Elizabeth Page Greenawalt ’36 and was given in support of The Campaign for Mount Holyoke College.
Garrison Keillor, author and Prairie Home Companion host, gave a solo performance at Mount Holyoke in December. Keillor entertained a packed house with stories from his collections about Lake Wobegon and renditions of his favorite songs.
Mount Holyoke English professor Corinne Demas’s book The Disappearing Island made Yankee magazine’s top forty list of classic New England children’s books, which was published in its December 2000 issue. Demas’s book was in the company of such classics as Blueberries for Sal and Make Way for Ducklings.
In January, Elaine L. Chao ’75, former head of the Peace Corps and the United Way and deputy transportation secretary under the first President Bush, was confirmed as labor secretary. Chao is the first Asian American woman to hold a cabinet post. She is the second MHC alumna to serve as secretary of labor; the first was Frances Perkins, class of 1902.
Works by Nancy Campbell, associate professor of art, and Allison Uttley ’01 were on view in December in an exhibition at Nagoya University of the Arts in Japan. The collaborative show included the drawings of faculty and students from four Japanese universities, the Five Colleges, the University of Michigan School of Art and Design, and the Art Institute of Chicago.
In an opinion piece titled “Sidetracked by SATs,” which appeared in the January 3 issue of the Washington Post, Mount Holyoke President Joanne Creighton decried the “misleading ways in which both students and institutions are reduced to numbers by the SAT and annual college rankings.”
In January, Representative Nita Melnikoff Lowey ’59 of New York was tapped to head the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. Lowey is the first woman to head the committee and is now among the highest-ranking women in the House Democratic leadership.