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Founding the Washington Study Group
Editor’s note: COLGATE DOES NOT have the earliest records of discussions about the Washington Study Group in its archives. So the story in our summer issue (“Living in History”) failed to mention an important figure in the founding of the program: Rodney L. Mott, professor of political science and director of the social sciences division in the 1930s when the program was conceived.
PATRICIA MOTT ROSS wrote with this excerpt from her father’s handwritten autobiography: “When I came to Colgate, I had several ambitions… One of the major goals I had was to try, as an experiment, the plan which I had discussed with the graduate students at Chicago, i.e. to take the students to see at firsthand the phenomenon they were studying about in the books. I hoped that Colgate might be a place where this could be tried…
A plan I had was to make political science more relevant to the students. I felt if I could give them some direct touch with politics and administration, this would help make the subject more practical… To this end, I developed the plan for the ‘Washington Study Group.’ The idea was to take 10 of our best students, who had background courses in political science, to Washington for a semester to study government under one of our own professors. They were to observe Congress, the administration, and the courts, and so far as practical were to serve as junior apprentices in administrative offices… The project turned out even better than I could have anticipated. Other groups of students had gone to Washington, but usually for only a few days, more as tourists than as serious students... The Colgate group was the pioneer in engaging in full-time study of politics.”
Lands and grounds
I ENJOYED LEARNING about lands and grounds manager Mike Jasper ’91, MAT’96 (“Get to know,” pg. 11, summer 2010 Scene). In 2008, I spent several days on campus for my 50th Reunion and was very proud of how it looked and was being maintained. I also was pleased to visit the DU house and find it was continuing to be a very positive part of campus living.
I majored in botany at Colgate and, although I did not pursue it in my vocation, I did utilize it over the years, being very much involved with the managing of the care of the trees at Oak Hill Country Club (Rochester, N.Y.). I noticed in the same issue (“Go figure”) an interesting list of facts regarding campus trees, many of which I still remember.
As well, it has been a while since I’ve been over to play Seven Oaks, but I wanted to thank you for Marian Blain’s putting tips (pg. 23). After 66 years of golf, it is good to know it is never too late to learn. After reading the article, I had the best round of putting in years on our fast Oak Hill greens. Putting with my shoulders helped me get rid of the dreaded “yips” that seem to come on with age. The third picture of Blain, with the exaggerated left elbow, is what first caught my attention.
Elmer Humes ’58
GREAT ISSUE (summer 2010). Really thought the photography was great. I especially liked the brilliant illustrations by Norm Bendell for Matt Muskin’s “101 Things to do Before You Graduate.” Thanks for a superior job.
Brent Maddock ’72
Santa Monica, Calif.
Memories of jazz at WRCU
IT WAS A TREAT to see “My Boogie Stop Shuffle” and “A Jazz Legacy” (summer 2010 Scene). Like Michael Coyle, I am one of the “afflicted” — my passion for jazz took hold during my years at Colgate. At that time, Professor Blackmore would see who was playing jazz from the playlists, and I remember the thrill I got the first time he invited me to his home. When asked how many records he had, he would decline to answer. He did allow that his house had been reinforced on two sides.
The very first song I played on my WRCU show was “Doin’ the Meatball” by The Section, featuring guest Michael Brecker. Another time, I was engineering the news. One of the announcers, reading a farm report about pork belly futures, started to giggle and got caught in a kind of laugh feedback loop. I finally had to cut her mic and cue the next report.
In my own announcing faux pas, we had a cart to be played behind community happenings, only I didn’t know the cart was just background. The station manager called after about 10 minutes wanting to know what was going on — egg on my face, that’s what.
Tom Rolin ’78
Remembering John Hubbard
I WAS DEEPLY SADDENED to read of the passing of John Hubbard (summer 2010). We became friends on a Wilderness Adventure trip in 1989. Of course, I knew who he was before that, always lurking on campus with his humongous camera and vest. In those days, a faculty member joined the leadership team of all WA trips, and my co-leader Margot Hodgson and I were blessed to have John with us for a canoeing trip in the Adirondacks. In my 15-plus-year career as a wilderness guide and educator, I have spent hundreds of weeks on expedition all over the world. This trip remains one of my all-time favorites.
John Hubbard ’72 in his James B. Colgate Hall office, 1993
It seemed we never stopped laughing, especially in the kitchen. We made delicious pizzas, and Margot dazzled us all with her pancake-flipping prowess as the ’cake landed squarely in her face, a moment immortalized as John caught it on film.
As everyone explored what it meant for them to be starting their education at Colgate, John’s wisdom added much to their experience. He brought a perspective on Colgate that no one else had. Besides that, he was simply a good man — deeply caring and available.
When I met his family, it was no
surprise to me to learn he was a dedicated and inspiring father as well. Without realizing it until now, I have held him as a role model as I have begun my own journey as a father.
Alex Borton ’91
I READ WITH GREAT sadness about the death of John Hubbard. I got to know him during the production of the documentary Broken Brotherhood.
Not only did I get a chance to work with him, but I also learned more
about him as a person through watching the tape of an interview for the
documentary that Lou Buttino ’66 did with him in 2001. The footage was
never used in the final product, but John’s words gave insight into him
as a young man and as an important part of Colgate’s history.
In addition, his photographs have left a deeper appreciation of the beauty of Colgate.
One of the things John said was, “What’s drawn me to photography is
portraiture. It’s the opportunity to explore people and delve a little
bit beyond the surface into the lives of people. And the idea of making a
photo with somebody has always appealed to me, and it still does. It’s
that fascination with people, that entrée into something beyond the
superficial. That’s what the camera affords me and is meaningful for me.
I’m known for my photos of Colgate, but really, what’s important to me
are my photos of people. I love Colgate. It’s a joy to photograph, but
it’s really the portraits that mean the most to me.”
Those people will miss him.
Robert Aberlin ’66
|IT WAS WITH PROFOUND sadness that I read of John Hubbard’s passing. Your beautiful tribute brought back so much about this soulful, wonderful man. He had a twinkle in his eye. John was a seeker.|
We must have crossed paths a thousand times during my experience at Colgate, but I remember two in particular. It was a sunny afternoon when I went to Terrence Des Pres’s home to ask him a question. The police were there, and it turned out that he had suddenly passed away. I returned to campus in shock and reeled about the Quad. John was right there, in front of Lawrence. He gave me a big hug. Terrence had been a hero of mine, and that was a dark day. John was there to share it.
Years later, I returned to Colgate with my wife and children to visit the man who literally changed my life with one January-term course and a lifetime of friendship, George Hudson. When we paused to take a picture together on the Quad, John appeared out of nowhere to take the shot. He later sent it to me.
Andrew M. Saidel
CHRIS GONNELLA’S REPORT of trap shooting (“Snapshots,” spring 2010) brings back memories of my undergraduate days when I went rabbit shooting with Professor David “Doc” Trainer. Mrs. Trainer graciously prepared a rabbit dinner for us. On another occasion, my classmate Noel Rubinton served as a beater, and we jumped pheasants from the meadows south of the football field. In my senior year, I had a late-morning geology class with Professor Whitnall. After hunting the wooded area in back of the golf course behind Andrews Hall, I would come on campus with my shotgun and attend Whit’s class.
Joe DeBragga ’43
|Call for nominations: Colgate Board of Trustees|
The Nominating Committee of the Board of Trustees welcomes recommendations from alumni, parents, and friends of the institution for candidates who will bring guidance and wisdom to the university’s governing board.
The board seeks energetic and committed candidates who possess expertise in various important areas including, but not limited to: higher education, finance, the arts, technology, global learning, legal affairs, marketing, or media relations. Those nominated should display the ability to exercise informed, independent judgment and to act in the best interests of Colgate to properly steward the university’s academic, program, and fiscal resources.
Candidates should be willing to fully immerse themselves in the work of the board. They should place Colgate as a priority in terms of time and philanthropy, and be committed to staying abreast of the changing landscape of higher education. The full board meets in Hamilton at least four times a year, and trustees must be committed to actively participating in board meetings and committee meetings that may be scheduled at other times of the year. Trustees are also often asked to attend and/or host other university-related events.
Each year, the board will have opportunities for three to five new trustees for a three-year term that may be followed by two additional three-year terms.
The Nominating Committee welcomes recommendations for future consideration, which may be made through the online form at www.colgate.edu/about/boardoftrustees/buildingtheboard or by mail to: Trustee Nominating Committee, Colgate University, 13 Oak Drive, Hamilton, NY 13346.