Vicco von Voss ’91 gave a special presentation to Choptank Chapter alumni and friends at the Academy Art Museum in Easton, MD on Friday, June 27. He spoke of inspiration, artistry, and utility in his exhibit Wood:Transformed.
Summer in Chestertown means the sun rises around 5:30 a.m., glistening on the Chester River and shining on its avian residents. The golden hour on campus starts around 8:30 p.m. The setting sun illuminates the residence halls and the Casey Academic Center in a resplendent glow. Those of us who are here in the summer—staff, faculty and summer interns—get to enjoy these views all season. As we celebrate the official start of summer, we wanted to share these images with you.
As part of a professional development course, local teachers learned how to build aquabotz and wire the controllers. Aquabotz are an excellent tool that can be used in the classroom, teaching students about buoyancy, water density, electricity, and underwater robotics.
Alumni, friends and family gathered in the McLain Atrium to celebrate the retirement of Dr. James Siemen, Professor of Psychology for over 30 years. Guests enjoyed Lays potato chips and glass bottles of Coke; two of Dr. Siemen’s favorite things.
Alumni gathered on the deck of the Rose O’Neill Literary House to sample wines made by local Crow Farm Vineyard with Doug Carter ’12. In the solarium, Laura Pritchett Oliver ’75 reads from her personal work, The Story Within, and discusses writing in a personal context.
Whose line IS it anyway? Dramalumni went head-to-head in a battle of wits, comedy and improvisation playing classic acting games featured on the popular show Whose Line Is It Anyway? The crowd enjoyed the side-splitting action packed comedy, as actors jumped, danced, cried and sang. The competition was fierce, and in the end judges Dale Daigle, Tim Maloney and Jason Rubin declared everyone a winner!
The Sons of the American Revolution presented Washington College with a certificate in recognition of our respectful and appropriate display of the American flag on campus. President Reiss accepted the citation presented by Walter Coryell, Bob Cleaver ’58 and Jack Stenger ’49.
The 2014 George Washington Book Prize was awarded on May 20 during a black-tie gala at Mount Vernon. Sponsored by Washington College with Mount Vernon and the Gilder Lerhman Institute of American History, the $50,000 prize honors the year’s best book on America’s founding era. This year’s winner was Andrew Jackson O’Shaughnessy author of The Men Who Lost America: British Leadership, the American Revolution, and the Fate of the Empire.
Washington College students explored African American history on a recent road trip to Talbot County, Maryland. A tour of “The Hill” neighborhood led by Dr. Dale Green professor at Morgan State University, a visit on the Court House lawn with members of the Frederick Douglass Honor Society, and a meeting with Robert Forloney, curator of the exhibit “Navigating Freedom” at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, provided insights into the complexities of researching, interpreting, and remembering the past.
The Student Government Association and Buildings and Grounds got together for the biannual events students love. Casey Time is an opportunity for Washington College to give back to the campus in honor of patrons Eugene B. and Betty Brown Casey ’47. Students gathered at George’s Grove on the sunny Friday before finals to plant some trees and shrubs!
Hillfest is a Middle Hall festival celebrating the history and culture of Middle. This newly created annual event is put together entirely by the hall’s residents who come up with events that reflect on Middle or reflect on their own personal interests in the arts. This year’s events included Shopping Cart Jousting, Reiss Face Spray-painting, Middle Ball, Cage the Nicholas Cage, a dramatic reading of Hello Kitty, and the burning of the Middle Effigy in memory of Middle’s past.
Students, faculty, staff, and neighbors gathered at Garnett Elementary School to welcome Will Allen of Growing Power, Inc., author and national leader in the urban farming movement, to Chestertown. Gorgeous skies, great local food, and a generous spirit of goodwill made the afternoon a fitting culmination to the “Recipes for Change: Our Food, Our Future Series.”
Alumni, parents and students gathered to celebrate Senior Day and a great win over Gettysburg (all wins are great wins). Brian Corrigan ’83, Myrt Gaines ’78 and John Warrington ’85 hosted the annual Fish Fry to send the seniors off in style.
April 16 - 18, 2014 at 8pm April 19 at 1:30pm Decker Theatre, Gibson Center for the Arts
Students FREE, General Admission $5
Arcadia takes us back and forth between the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, ranging over the nature of truth and time, the difference between the Classical and the Romantic temperament, and the disruptive influence of sex on our orbits in life. Focusing on the mysteries—romantic, scientific, literary—that engage the minds and hearts of characters whose passions and lives intersect across scientific planes and centuries, it is “Stoppard’s richest, most ravishing comedy to date, a play of wit, intellect, language, brio and … emotion. Exhilarating.” (Vincent Canby, The New York Times).
In Hynson Lounge Hillel held a Passover Seder, which is the ceremonial dinner commemorating the liberation of the Jewish people from slavery in ancient Egypt, as well as their freedom under the leadership of Moses.
Put together in part by Alpha Chi Omega and For All Seasons Inc., Walk a Mile In Her Shoes is an annual event during which men don the high heeled apparel typically worn by women to take a stand against sexual assault, rape, and gender violence. Learn more about the event here.
Throughout the course of the night (and morning), Relay hosts a number of fun events to get people excited and pepped up. Some of these include a burrito eating contest, messy twister, minute to win it, musical chairs, and a rave, to name a few.
Relay for Life encourages college organizations to get involved with raising money for the American Cancer Society. Most clubs and Greek Life organizations come up with tables and events to raise money. Participating groups include Best Buddies, WIGS, Habitat For Humanity, Animal Impact, WAC Swimming Team, the Sewing Club, and many, many more. Games are played all night to keep people energized.
The Washington College MMA Club presented its first annual Charity fight night, featuring Jiu Jitsu and boxing matches between the members of the club, with all proceeds benefiting the Kent County Food Pantry.
Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) held its first annual martial arts Charity Fight Night competition. The event included boxing, wrestling, and other fighting styles. Pizza was provided by Procolino’s, and all proceeds went to the Kent County Food Pantry.
Meg Kearney was the final speaker in the Spring Series: Writing for (and about) Young Adults.
Kearney is the author of two poetry collections for adults, An Unkindness of Ravens and Home By Now, winner of the 2010 PEN New England LL Winship Award, as well as two novels in verse for teens: The Secret of Me and its sequel, The Girl in the Mirror.
Her poetry has been featured on Garrison Keillor’s “A Writer’s Almanac,” and has been published in myriad literary magazines and anthologies. She lives in New Hampshire and directs the Solstice MFA Program at Pine Manor College in Massachusetts. For more information: www.megkearney.com.
Nicolás Campisi (’14) and Shawn Stein (Associate Professor of Spanish and Portuguese) presented findings from their collaborative research project on Latin American soccer fiction at the annual meeting of the Northeast Modern Language Association in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania on April 6, 2014. The title of their paper was: “Trauma, fútbol y memoria colectiva en Soñé que la nieve ardía de Antonio Skármeta y La luz oscura de Nicolás Vidal.”
The RA’s put on our annual Spring Fling event! Even though the weather wasn’t the best, we still managed to have a fun time at the JFC! Students enjoyed inflatables, mechanical bull ride, free Rita’s, tye dye, kiss the pig, pie in the face, and so much more!
The Kappa Alpha Fraternity put on their annual Spaghetti Dinner benefiting their charity, Muscular Dystrophy Association. Students came to Trinity Church to have a delicious dinner cooked by the brothers.
Spring Fling brings in the new season with carnival games, inflatable rides, popcorn, free Ritas, and tables for clubs to advertise themselves to the campus. One of the most popular tables is the “Kiss A Pig” table, in which students vote for one of five professors to kiss a pig in front of the campus. Votes are counted by money donations made towards Habitat for Humanity.
The Oxford seminar, usually revolving around a theme in religion and politics, takes place over ten days at Oxford University in England, at the end of June while Oxford undergraduates are still in session. The program includes the opportunity to be taught by and work one-on-one with Oxford faculty. Students have obtained ample funding from a variety of sources, ask the program director, Prof. Joseph Prud’homme, for details. As of Summer 2013 30% of philosophy majors have participated in Oxford over a 2-3 year period.
The Service Council in cooperation with The Office of Student Development, Washington College Dining Services, River Arts, Evergrain Bakery and the sisters of Alpha Chi Omega hosted the 4th Annual Empty Bowls dinner to benefit the Kent County Food Pantry. To assist with the fundraising, there was a silent auction. This year’s event took place at the Garfield Center for the Arts at the Prince Theatre.
The bowls used at the event were made by students and community members. They serve as a unique keepsake to take home as a reminder that there are “empty bowls” everywhere.
Best Buddies and the Kent Center held the Second Annual Great Goose Chase 5k Run/Walk/Wheel last Saturday to support Kent Center members with intellectual or developmental disabilities. There event featured music, food, and even an appearance by Gus the Goose.
The annual Locavore Lit Fest returned to Chestertown March 27-30 with talks by nationally known writers and regional experts, this year with a focus on youth, nutrition and agriculture. Topics will include “Farm to School” programs and teaching children how to garden.
The Atlantic String Quartet came to our campus on Wednesday, March 26th, and played three beautiful classical compositions. The Atlantic String Quartet is composed of Rebecca Nichols (violin), Greg Mulligan (violin), Karin Brown (viola), and Bo Li (cello).
Ball in the House is an A cappella group composed of Nate Adams, James Jones, Dave Guisti, Jon Ryan, and Nels Urtel. The singers put on an impressive performance of vocal talents, and the concert was opened by Washington College’s very own Wacapella.
The Office of Multicultural Affairs, the Office of Academic Skills, and Counseling Services sponsored “In Their Words,” a unique play about the experiences of individuals with disabilities. The play was written by Dawn Volkart, Student Development Specialist for Disability Support and Intervention Services at Harford Community College. “In Their Words” was performed by a group from Harford.
Here is some background on the “In Their Words” project:
“Individuals with disabilities were asked to anonymously share their experiences, challenges, triumphs, funny stories, and things they wished others would know. Submissions were collected from students, employees, alumni, and even community members and were then turned into monologues. Additional monologues were written based on the writer’s experience working with individuals with disabilities as both a therapist and a disability support specialist. Original monologues are fiction, but are based on common experiences, themes, and emotions expressed by individuals with disabilities over the years. They do not represent any particular individual; any likeness is coincidental. This play will allow individuals with disabilities to have a unique voice and will raise awareness about diversity, prejudgment, discrimination, respect, civility, and disabilities” (http://www.harford.edu/student-services/disability-support-services/in-their-words.aspx).
Students in Dr. Bill Schinder’s GRW course “Food, People, and the Planet” prepared healthy school lunches in preparation for Amy Kalafa’s talk at the intersection of the Recipes for Change lecture series and the Locavore Lit Fest.
Writers’ Union hosted an informal reading on the Lit House porch to welcome spring and take advantage of the beautiful (if temporary) warm weather. Writers’ Union members and the club’s advisor, Prof. James Allen Hall read (or recited) from the likes of Rilke, Louise Gluck, Wordsworth, Elizabeth Bishop, Chaucer, and more.
El Salvador’s Ambassador to the United States Rubén Zamora visited Washington College on Tuesday, March 18. Zamora gave a lecture entitled, “Twenty-two Years of the Salvadoran Peace Accords and Future Prospects for El Salvador’s Democracy.”
The talk was sponsored by the Goldstein Program in Public Affairs.
Senior class leaders hosted a party to celebrate 80 days until graduation and kick off for the class gift fundraising program. The senior class will be donating their class gift to the Washington Fund and they are striving for 100% participation. To celebrate, Jay Young ’81 bought the first drink for the seniors who came out to the Goose Nest.
Professors Melissa Deckman and Joseph Prud’homme will be giving a lecture at the Rose O’Neill Literary House called “Curriculum and the Culture Wars: Debating the Bible’s Place in Public Schools.” This event is part of the Spring series: “Writing for (and about) Young Adults.”
Known for her seamless story-telling, sharp topical material and hilarious punchlines Tracey Ashley is a comedienne on the rise. Tracey performs on college campus and comedy clubs across the country. Tracey was a semi-finalist on NBC’s Last Comic Standing 5 and has appeared as a co-host on TV Land’s Prime Movies.
The Student Events Board invited Tracey Ashley to perform at Washington College. She and her opening act, Maggie Farris, had students rolling on the floor.
On Friday, February 28, the Cromwell Center was opened. At the ribbon cutting in Goldstein, Washington College faculty and staff joined Barbara and George Cromwell and friends to celebrate the occasion.
It’s Mardi Gras season down in New Orleans and we’re havin’ a party–Louisiana-style!
The event is sponsored by the French Club, Pi Delta Phi, Department of Modern Languages, and C.V. Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience.
Featuring Cajun & Zydeco music, dancing and Louisiana cuisine, the event kicked off with a two-step lesson and continued with live music by the Howlin’ Mudbugs. The Howlin’ Mudbugs are an acoustic folk and roots-rock group with New Orleans Cajun, Zydeco and Blues influences. The group includes Kraig Greff on accordion and vocals and Chris Huntington on guitar and vocals. Each road-seasoned member hosts an impressive and diverse musical and performance resume. Greff has toured with Barry White, Della Reese, Joe Williams and Diana Ross, and is a 2008 Emmy award recipient. Huntington is a Grammy nominated artist who has recorded and toured with the Temptations and Leroy Thomas.
Despite the threat of raging snowstorms, Baltimore alumni were determined to brave the elements to celebrate friendship and WC’s founding patron, George Washington. On February 12, a smaller but mighty crowd gathered at Blue Hill Tavern to Toast the annual “Huzzah!”
Alumni in Annapolis gathered on February 20th on the (enclosed) rooftop of Metropolitan Kitchen & Lounge to reminisce and toast George Washington. Alumni Board chair Valarie Sheppard ‘86 and Recent Alumni and Student Involvement Committee chair Arian Ravanbakhsh ‘89 led the speech and “Huzzah’s.”
On Tuesday, February 18 an enthusiastic crowd of alumni gathered at Pub & Kitchen to connect with friends and raise a glass to George Washington. There was a three way tie for the class with the most attendees, so in true Philly form, guests competed in a WC-themed round of “Quizzo.” The champions in the class of 2008 earned themselves an extra drink to celebrate.
Phi Beta Kappa (PBK), America’s oldest and most elite honor society, recognizes the freeing power of a liberal education. Members have impeccable academic records. They have delved broadly and deeply into their studies. They are of strong moral character. They have earned the highest mark of intellectual discipline and achievement.
This Spring 2014, thirty-five new members were inducted into the society at a dinner hosted in Hynson Lounge.
Students, faculty, and alumni gathered in the Johnson Lifetime Fitness Center for another successful Birthday Ball. President and Mrs. Reiss got into the Harry Potter spirit with convincing Professor Snape and Professor Trelawney costumes.
Birthday Ball took place in the Johnson Lifetime Fitness Center, and is the biggest bash of the entire year. Decorations are incomparable to any other event on campus. This year’s attractions included Diagon Alley, Hagrid’s Hut, and the Quidditch Stadium.
The sisters of Alpha Omicron Pi and brothers of Kappa Sigma hosted a tailgate party for the home opener of lacrosse, which coincided with Birthday Ball Saturday.
The proceeds from the “Greeks Love Shoremen” t-shirts benefited the sorority’s charity, Arthritis and Juvenile Arthritis Foundation, and donations at the tailgate went toward the fraternity’s charity for testicular cancer research.
As campus geared up for a Harry Potter-themed Birthday Ball, Relay for Life held a Quidditch Tournament. Students and members of the community participated in the famous wizarding game a week prior to the Birthday Ball festivities.
Student from Dr. Shad’s class joined him at his house for a talk and discussion on the Arab-Israeli Conflict. Benjamin Orbach is the founder and director of America’s Unofficial Ambassadors, an initiative that is increasing the number of Americans who volunteer in human development throughout the Muslim World.
The 2014 George Washington Book Prize finalists tackle fresh and engaging topics about the nation’s founding era. In The Men Who Lost America: British Leadership, the American Revolution, and the Fate of the Empire (Yale), Andrew Jackson O’Shaughnessy explores the British perspective on the American Revolution. Jeffrey L. Pasley examines the lively politics surrounding the first contested presidential election in The First Presidential Contest: 1796 and the Founding of American Democracy (Kansas). Rounding out the slate of honorees, Alan Taylor offers new insights into race and slavery in the early Chesapeake in The Internal Enemy: Slavery and War in Virginia, 1772-1832 (W.W. Norton & Co.).
February 7th of 2014, the Kohl Gallery in the Gibson Center for the Arts opened its doors to the artNOW: Philadelphia exhibit. Seven artist living and working in Philadelphia are showcased in the gallery as follows: Marc Blumthal, Amze Emmons, Julianna Foster, Leslie Friedman, Rubens Ghenov, Ryan Wilson Kelly, and Tim Portlock. Their styles and mediums vary and include prop-based performance, light boxes, printed aluminum, and books.
artNOW:Philadelphia runs through March 7th of 2014. For more information on hours, visit the Kohl Gallery web site.
On Tuesday, February 4, at 4 p.m., Washington College welcomed children’s and young-adult author Jacqueline Woodson to the Rose O’Neill Literary House for “An Afternoon of Fiction.” Jacqueline Woodson is the author of more than 25 books for children, middle-grade readers and young adults. Her books have earned countless awards, including three Newberry Honors, a Caldecott Honor, a Coretta Scott King Award, and recognition as a finalist for the National Book Award. A resident of Brooklyn, N.Y., Woodson, she has said she will stop writing, “when I stop breathing.”
The talk is co-sponsored by the Black Studies Program, the Department of Education, the Office of Multicultural Affairs, and the Sophie Kerr Committee.
As part of the Sophie Kerr Spearker Series, Jacqueline Woodson came to the Rose O’Neill Literary House to read some of her published works and to talk with students and professors. Learn more about Jacqueline Woodson’s reading here.
The Office of Multicultural Affairs held a mixer last Friday for students to get to know the Office and the resources available there. Students raffle prizes, ate snacks, and got to know student workers and the Assistant Head of Multicultural Affairs, Darnell Parker.
Alumni in the Washington, DC chapter gathered on December 12 at Vinoteca to enjoy a drink with friends and celebrate the season. The food was delicious (we recommend the stuffed mushrooms!) and the company couldn’t be beat.
Annapolis alumni had the entire upstairs of Phillip’s to themselves for their Holiday Party on December 5 - and it was a good thing, too, as a record 78 people stopped by! Despite the competition with Midnight Madness for parking, guests found their way inside to enjoy a drink and delicious appetizers with friends.
Tis the season, hon! A record-breaking 125 alumni packed Cafe Hon in Hampden for a festive holiday celebration. Guests enjoyed a drink and lite fair with friends, and after the party, some traveled down to 34th street to see the famous light display.
Rain, rain, go away! Don’t interfere with our Holiday Party today! Brave, umbrella-toting alumni weathered a chilly downpour to gather at Cooperage Wine & Whiskey on December 6 for appetizers and a drink with fellow WC grads. Cheers to a wonderful holiday season!
Saturday, December 8 was the 2nd Annual Colonial Chestertown Day and Christmas House Tour. Wandering around the historic district was like stepping back in time. Costumed interpreters, carriage rides, and carolers were to be spotted in and around the beautifully decorated 18th century homes. Several Starr Center student associates and members of the Washington College History Society joined in the festive day.
Every year EROS hosts Dragball, a dance where attendees may dress in drag and challenge normative gender roles. The event brings attention to the club as well as the gay, lesbian, transgender, and many other communities that support it. This year’s events included a dance with DJing by Jeremy Quintin, and a professional drag show.
Writers’ Union hosted their annual Food in Fiction event at the Lit House on the last day of classes. Members were asked to bring a food or drink inspired by one of their favorite books. This year’s menu featured “Pear the Wild Things Are” punch, Polyjuice Potion (Harry Potter), and chocolate chip cookies (If You Give a Mouse a Cookie). Members were also encouraged to bring one of their favorite books covered in brown paper labeled with the book’s genre and themes for the Mystery Book Exchange.
Washington College recently opened its new Admissions Visitors Center, an elegant, state-of-the-art space that provides hospitality and information to prospective students and their families. Occupying a two-story octagonal room at the heart of the campus, the new Center offers elements that reflect both the College’s 230-year history and its embrace of technology and innovation.
As this year’s Mitzvah Project, Hillel made no-sew fleece blankets for Project Linus, a group that provides new, handmade, washable blankets to be given as gifts to seriously ill and traumatized children.
Professional comedian Tommy Johnagin (known for performing on the Late Show with David Letterman) came to our campus on the Friday of Comedy Week and filled Decker with riotous laughter. Harry Gensemer, winner of the student stand-up comedy competition, opened for Mr. Johnagin who’s quick wit and observations of Washington College had attendees in stitches.
Federal Worker, Archivist, and Alum of Washington College Arian Ravanbakhsh came by for the Path to Passion Series put together by the Recent Alumni and Student Involvement organization (RASI). Mr. Ravanbakhsh spoke on his involvement in the Federal Archives, his work, and his unconventional career path from editor of the Pegasus and writer for The Elm to Federal Archivist. Follow Arian Ravanbakhsh on his twitter account!
As a part of Comedy Week, the college invited two caricature artists to the campus on Thursday to make drawings of any student looking to have a goofy picture of their self. Learn more about Comedy Week here!
A fan-favorite during Comedy Week is the student competition where current students compete against each other to see who will open for the headlining act later in the week. This year, Harry Gensemer ’16 took the title and opened for Tommy Johnagin.
Casey Time is an SGA-sponsored campus beautification project. It is held once a semester to honor the memory of WC benefactors Eugene B. Casey and his wife, Betty. This semester, students spent a day working in the school garden, building raised planting beds for the spring planting season.