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April 12, 2013
The Word on WC

Our Man in Washington

“To an extent that is rare today in America, Mitchell Reiss is a creature of both politics and academe. On the political side, he is a former State Department official, played a central role in U.S. diplomatic efforts in Northern Ireland and on the Korean peninsula, and has advised the White House and several federal agencies. In academe, he was a vice provost for international affairs and a professor of law and government at the College of William & Mary before coming here to lead Washington College.… He is described by faculty leaders as a president who maintains good relations with the college’s employees and students, encourages political debate on the campus, and says and does little here that betrays his partisan leaning.”

—Peter Schmidt, “Romney Aides Include Veterans of Campus Fights with Liberals,” Chronicle of Higher Education, October 22, 2012

 

There And Back Again
The Hobbit turns 75 this week, an occasion that will cause many to fondly reflect on their childhood memories of the adventures of Bilbo Baggins. The Hobbit remains widely respected as a children’s book, but too often it is overlooked by adults. It tends to remain locked into the category of “juvenile literature,” and even serious fans of J.R.R. Tolkien sometimes neglect it when they grow up and move on to The Lord of the Rings and the Silmarillion. But Tolkien’s first published novel is a much more sophisticated book than it often gets credit for, and it richly rewards adult rereading.”

—Professor of English Corey Olsen, “The Grown-Up Pleasures of ‘The Hobbit,’ The Wall Street Journal, September 21, 2012 

 

Midterm Gamble 

“In a piece for The New York Times’ Disunion blog, history professor Richard Striner notes that the Emancipation Proclamation came less than two months before critical midterm elections, which Lincoln’s Republicans stood a good chance of losing. The truth is that Lincoln’s proclamation was an exercise in risk, Professor Striner wrote, a huge gamble by a leader who sought to be and who became America’s great liberator.” 

—Neal Conan, introducing an interview with history professor Richard Striner, on the NPR show Talk of the Nation, September 24, 2012

 

Irreligious Argument

“The actual Constitution does not say anything about religious liberty except to state in Article 6 that no religious “test” will be required of officeholders. Nor does the document once use the word “God,” an omission that some 18th-century Americans decried. (“A Papist, a Mohomotan, a Deist, yea an Atheist” might someday even become president, one critic warned.)

“The First Amendment, adopted four years later in 1791, does protect ‘the free exercise’ of religion – but only after barring government from ‘establishing’ religion. Viewed strictly in terms of sequence, the First Amendment’s ‘first freedom’ might be seen as freedom from rather than freedom of religion.

“Of course, the line between these has never been entirely clear.”

—Scholar in Residence Peter Manseau, “Is Religious Freedom Really   Primary?” The New York Times, October 26, 2012

 

Library Envy

“I’m suffering from a severe case of library envy. Your Dr. Ruth waxed poetic about the new heating/cooling system…the light-filled study carrels and her special treasure, the College Archives. And then she showed me the pièce de résistance—the café where students will be able to feed not only their minds and souls, but their bodies.”

— Carla Diane Hayden, CEO of Enoch Pratt Free Library, on the $9 million renovation of Miller Library

 

 

 

Last modified on Apr. 17th, 2013 at 9:57am by Otto Borden.