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Applications for admission to the class of 2002 passed the 2,140 mark this year, the second-highest number of applications in the past decade. Sixty-one percent of the applicants (1,315 women) were accepted for September admission. An additional eighty-four women were accepted for spring 1999 admission. Admitted students included 22 percent ALANA (African American, Latina American, Asian American, and Native American) students and 9 percent international students. One hundred eighty-four applicants have alumnae relatives, double the number last year. The academic profile of the admitted class is strong, with 60 percent of the ranked students rating in the top tenth of their high school class. ACT composite scores this year averaged 28 points, while the mean composite SAT score climbed six points to 1271.

Donal O'Shea Following a nationwide search, Elizabeth T. Kennan Professor of Mathematics Donal O'Shea (left) was selected as the new dean of the faculty. O'Shea is a scholar of international stature whose specialties are geometry and mathematical physics. The dean of the faculty is the chief academic officer and is responsible for academic planning and budgeting and oversight of faculty appointments, academic departments and programs, and academic support services. He follows Peter Berek, who served for eight years as dean of the faculty and provost.

Junior Leah Kane was chosen to receive a prestigious Truman Scholarship. The politics major plans a career in urban policy, perhaps examining community development strategies and evaluating their effectiveness in revitalizing economically depressed and racially and socially stratified urban communities.

USA Today's 1998 All-USA College Academic Teams featured two MHC women this year. ThaoMee Xiong '98 was one of twenty nationwide named to their first team, and FP Cheryl Gittens was named-for the second straight year-to their third team.

The year's main commencement speaker was Johnnetta B. Cole, former president of Spelman College and a prominent voice in American education for more than a decade. She received an honorary doctorate from MHC, as did Mary E. Clutter, assistant director, biological sciences, of the National Science Foundation; Anita L. DeFrantz, vice president of the International Olympic Committee; internationally acclaimed opera singer Nancy Gustafson '78; and Lilian M. Cramer Randall '50, retired research curator of manuscripts at the Walters Art Gallery in Baltimore.

Trustees Harriet L. Weissman '58 and Eleanor Graham Claus '55 will serve as national cochairs for the upcoming comprehensive fundraising campaign. Their responsibilities include cultivating and soliciting gifts from major donors, recruiting and motivating a cadre of volunteers, and hosting campaign events. They join the campaign's honorary cochairs Wendy Wasserstein '71 and Norman and Dottie Rooke McCulloch '50.

Paula ColeIn May the College dedicated the Daniel L. Jones Career Development Center, one of the finest such centers in the nation. CDC renovations began in 1996 and included centralizing career planning activities by adding a 3,850-square-foot building addition, tripling the library space, adding workshop and presentation areas, creating an employer lounge, and updating interviewing facilities.

Campus visitors during spring semester included Oscar-winning actress Vanessa Redgrave(below); two new Grammy Award winners, Paula Cole(left) and Shawn Colvin; former MTV The Real World actor and author Kevin Powell; Senegalese film pioneer Safi Faye, the first black African woman to direct a feature film; Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Shulamit Ran; and Lynette Labinger '71, chief counsel in a major sports equity lawsuit testing enforcement of Title IX.

Improvements to student life facilities that will enhance student independence and leadership are in the works. Among the recently approved changes are a campus card that will let students eat in any dining hall or at Blanchard Campus Center; renovations to Blanchard that will enhance food service and add a pub/coffeehouse space, outdoor dining area, and more space for student organizations; conversion of Porter Hall's upper floors into student rooms with kitcheonettes; increasing dining choices within the current system of in-residence-hall dining; and adding single rooms and suites as maintenance projects are undertaken in residence halls.

Venessa Regrave Addresses students According to a recent survey, at least nine of ten Mount Holyoke respondents were "satisfied" or "very satisfied" with their academic experience, registrar's office services, athletic facilities and programs, accessibility of faculty, career counseling and placement services, library resources and services, and campus security. The aspect fewest MHC respondents were satisfied with was social life, though 69 percent were satisfied with their social life here.

The most recent issue of Humanitas, the journal of the National Humanities Institute, contains a major work by and extensive commentary on the work of Peter Viereck, professor emeritus of history and Pulitzer Prize winner in poetry. As an editorial postscript to Viereck's poem puts it, "In publishing Gate Talk for Brodsky, Humanitas opens its pages to what the author expects will be his last major poem. A meditation on life and death and the ultimate things, the poem integrates themes of the author's writing in the last six decades." The multipart poem is accompanied by a lengthy interpretative article placing this poem in the context of Viereck's earlier work.

Alumna Florence Schorske Wald '38, founder of the hospice movement, has been chosen for induction to the National Women's Hall of Fame this summer. The honor is granted for making "lasting contributions to society and to the progress and freedom of women." Several past hall of fame inductees also have direct MHC connections, including Virginia Apgar '29, Emily Dickinson 1849, Ella Tambussi Grasso '40, Mary Lyon, Frances Perkins '02, and Lucy Stone 1839.

The tuition, room, and board charges for the 1998-99 academic year were set by trustees at $30,020. Of that amount, $23,200 is for tuition; $6,820 covers room and board. Tuition fees cover just over half the actual cost of educating an MHC student, and financial aid reduces the price that most actually pay for their education here.

Four professors joined the ranks of tenured faculty this spring: Susan R. Barry, biological sciences; Vanessa James, theatre arts; Helen Leung, chemistry; and Thomas L. Millette, geology.

Looking at a digitized World Wide Web version of graceful nineteenth-century handwriting can make a viewer feel caught in a time warp, but it surely beats a cross-country trip for those in a hurry to resurrect a piece of the past. A Five College project, funded by the Mellon Foundation, is mounting selected archival materials on the Web for the convenience of scholars everywhere. Web research also preserves the original documents. For a sample, check the project's Web site http://clio.fivecolleges.edu/.

Twenty students got an insider's perspective on the world of finance in January as part of the Career Development Center's "Wall Street Days" program. Students toured three of New York's powerhouse investment banks, where highly placed MHC alumnae showed current students around and discussed aspects of careers in finance. The group also visited the Federal Reserve Bank-including its gold vault-and were led by Bankers Trust's head trader on a private tour of the New York Stock Exchange.

Current students, each involved in some way with the Student Government Association, spell out SGA [below] to honor the group's one hundredth year in existence. (Student government organizations have existed since 1898 under various names; the first was known as the Students' League.)

Conservatory Major renovations to the conservatory section of the century-old Talcott greenhouse complex (right) have restored its Victorian splendor. Often described as a "jewel," in recent years the conservatory had been plagued with rotted and rusted supports and leaks around the glass. Now the skeleton has been repaired and repainted; and the conservatory boasts all-new glass and updated electrical, plumbing, and heating elements.

Conservatory The spring inclusiveness program was even more, well, diverse, than usual. Events included Jude Narita's one-woman performance celebrating the variety of Asian women's lives, a workshop and performance of African rhythms and world music, a contemporary Cuban play, a concert of Japanese classical gagaku music, a religious service and workshop led by a transgendered minister, and two panel discussions.

Photos: 1) Thomas Jacob; 2) Jim Gipe; 3) Jim Gipe; 4) Fred LeBlanc; 5) Jim Gipe