Geology professor Rich April recounts the first time he saw his lab. It was 1976.
“Jim McLelland took me downstairs in Lathrop Hall to a room with ‘Geochemistry’ on the door. He said, ‘This will be your lab.’ He opened the door, and there was only one piece of equipment in there: a pizza oven.”
By James Leach, Rebecca Costello, and Aleta Mayne
The cornerstone on Lathrop Hall, home to the geology department when April arrived 36 years ago, reads “1905.” The cornerstone on the new Robert H.N. Ho ’56 Science Center, where today April and his colleagues from environmental studies, geography, geology, physics and astronomy, and biology keep their offices and labs (complete with millions of dollars worth of modern, sophisticated scientific instrumentation — and that pizza oven), says “2007.” The century between the dedication of Lathrop — a model science building when it opened — and of the Ho Science Center — a prototype for teaching and creating knowledge in the sciences today — is just one continuum among the many that make up the history and future of Colgate.
There has always been, and will always be, the need for another new building, or facility, or piece of equipment. Colgate people always provide, and always will, so long as their university delivers — as it always has — on its promise to send out into the world successive generations of bright, creative, critical, global thinkers and doers.
Buildings and facilities are where the magic happens; people and ideas embody the spirit of the place. As librarian, Joanne Schneider said of the new Case Library and Geyer Center for Information Technology, “It’s a space for people — working alone, together, interacting. It’s like an incubator,” bringing to mind what President Emeritus Everett Needham Case said more than a quarter-century ago, at the rededication of the library he had built anew in the 1950s: “It’s what’s inside that counts.”
Through Passion for the Climb: The Campaign for Colgate, Colgate set out to fund its plan to ampli-fy the mission of preparing every student for a life of success and leadership through the liberal arts.
At a time when the nation’s economy was reeling, Colgate people made their university a priority. Colgate believers gave $480 million to Passion for the Climb — the sixth comprehensive campaign for funds in the university’s 193-year history — which closed its books June 30. Their support underwrites programs, centers, and institutes where professors and students vigorously pursue new knowledge, confronting both timeless tenets and urgent questions of the day. And their support helps students come to know the responsibilities of citizenship, building a foundation of skills for a life of meaning, purpose, and success.
That support sustains a campus that can be life changing, both for its physical presence and for the profoundly personal experiences that happen here. And that support makes it possible for the most qualified students, regardless of their personal means, to afford a Colgate education.
The support garnered through Passion for the Climb, said longtime leader among the faculty Bruce Selleck ’71, “enabled us to raise our expectations.” Here, we share highlights of the impact of this grand statement of support made by Colgate’s people.
“Financial aid is the critical priority for Colgate in the years ahead. By expanding access, we open our classrooms to diversity of thought and background — and we ensure that the university is able to admit the world’s brightest undergraduates regardless of their financial means.” — President Jeffrey Herbst
Endowed scholarships spotlight:
Thirteen Sisters Scholarship
“The coolest thing I’ve learned at Colgate is number theory,” said Karen Kelley ’13. How appropriate, then, that Kelley — a math major from Minneapolis — would be the first recipient of a scholarship with Colgate’s lucky number in the name.
The Thirteen Sisters Scholarship was created by 12 alumnae from the Class of ’83. In celebration of their 25th Reunion and in honor of their enduring friendship, the women pooled their resources to create an annual endowed scholarship to be awarded to a young woman who would become their “Thirteenth Sister.”
“While Number Theory was one of the hardest classes I’ve taken, it was where I discovered mathematics, math’s more beautiful and elegant older cousin,” said Kelley. “There is a certain artistry to writing a proof. It isn’t just a series of computations, but a precisely thought-out, logical journey through a problem. Everything from the organization of steps and word choice to the clever methods used and succinctness displayed in the proof can allow a reader to observe the mathematician’s abilities. Number Theory also introduced math as an opportunity to be adventurous in an academic environment.”
In 2010, a group of young alumni joined forces to support the next generation of students through the creation of the Millennial Scholars Program. The idea: gifts — of any size — from alumni in the Class of 2000 and later years could be designated for financial aid and then pooled together. Every $10,000 raised results in the naming of a Millennial Scholar.
Because these gifts are designated through the annual fund (as opposed to an endowed scholarship fund, for which interest must accrue and be withdrawn over time), they are immediately put to work. In the last year alone, Colgate’s millennial generation had pooled $23,000 — as well as pledges that will support two Millennial Scholarships each year through 2016–2017. The first two recipients will be named later this year.