Monthly Archive for: ‘February, 2014’

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Alumni Mailbag: England in the 30s, Victory Ships Across the Sea


Dean Rusk’s senior yearbook entry. Click to read full post.

• A Good Year for Archives—The Around the D blog over at the College Archives is having a banner year for donations, College Archivist Jan Blodget reports. Recently, the late Dean Rusk ’31—Davidson Rhodes Scholar, U.S. Secretary of State for JFK and LBJ, and namesake for the college’s Dean Rusk International Studies Program—spoke through donated letters of his youth to a Davidson professor on topics ranging from ethics and Guy Fawkes Day to more sinister German political rumblings of the day. Read “Dear Dr. Vowles.”

The “Great Bear” that brought Benno Straumann to America in 1962.

The Times Are Ever A-Changin’Benno Straumann responded to our previous post, “Then and Now: Remembering Davidson as a Study Abroad Destination,” about the 1962-63 Richardson Scholars 50th reunion held last fall in a converted fisherman’s hut on the Island of Oeland in the Baltic Sea: “[F]ond memories and (for me at least) a challenging academic environment (I came straight from a farm in England where I had been practicing  English and boarded the former Victory Ship USS Costa Rica, converted to an emigrant/charter ship by the Dutch named SS Groote Beerin Southampton)…. scrapped shortly after our sailing to New York. In came the Jet Age…. I simply loved the ship and its passengers, Americans returning from abroad and Europeans going to the US, with nine days of unforgettable sailing. Cheers, Benno.”

Robert Flowers ’10

• Friends in High PlacesRobert Flowers ’10, with whom I road-tripped with a small group to Hilton Head for an ethics conference when he was a student, has been named the first full-time chaplain of Andrew College in Cuthbert, Ga. A recent graduate of Duke Divinity School, Robert served as a ministerial intern in Guatemala and El Salvador, and worked most recently as a Chaplain Intern at the Alliance Medical Ministry in Raleigh, N.C. Congratulations, Robert, on your journey thus far!

Then and Now: Remembering Davidson As a Study Abroad Destination


Neither time nor distance could keep the affinity of Davidson’s Richardson Scholars Class of 1963–64 at bay when the idea of a 50th reunion sprang to their minds. Richardson Scholars were international students who came to campus for one year of study, in the early days of Davidson’s international focus. Today that focus finds a strong home in the Dean Rusk International Studies Program.

Last fall’s Richardson Scholars reunion was a co-production, wrote erstwhile Richardson Scholar Benno Straumann. “Everybody did a little, beginning in Kyoto and Paris and spreading through the web, creative, a bit chaotic, very productive, but without any definite ‘leadership.’”

The momentous event was held at Richardson classmate Jonas Lonnroth’s converted fisherman’s hut on the Island of Oeland in the Baltic Sea.

“All attended except Simon Henson and Karl-Heinz Hauer, who died in a traffic accident in 2006, as well as Joon Yoo from Korea, whom we could not locate,” Straumann wrote.

l-r: Gunnar, Alan, Koichi, Serge, Romir, Benoit, Jonas, Paul (sitting), Benno. Click to enlarge.

• Gunnar Skagestad (Norway), after military training with Russian studies, entered the diplomatic service, currently as ambassador of the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

• Alan Arthurs (England) studied chemistry, worked for Imperial Chemical Industries, then worked on fair employment practices.

• Koichi Komatsu (Japan) studied chemistry, taught and did research at Kyoto University.

• Serge Ricard (France) studied history, specialized in the post Civil War period and published widely, particularly on Theodore Roosevelt

• Romir Chatterjee (India, now U.S.) studied economics, had an energy consultancy firm, and then returned to teaching in academia.

• Benoit Nzengu (Congo, now France), the first black student at Davidson, studied medicine, became a surgeon in Reims, France, and now regularly substitutes in surgeries in central France.

• Jonas Lonnroth (Sweden) trained and worked as a medical doctor, worked in Stockholm, then turned real estate developer in Stockholm, now lives in Belgium (near Waterloo!), and has a splendid holiday location on the Island of Oeland in the Baltic Sea, to which he invited us all as a gracious host.

• Paul van den Berg (Netherlands) trained as an architect, became a theater set designer and also taught the subject.

• Benno Straumann (Switzerland) studied English and history, taught English, history and political science, and did political work for the Swiss Social Democratic Party.

• Eric Heinz (Argentina, now U.S.) Studied mathematics in the U.S., stayed and taught maths, and did not make it into the reunion picture due to his participation in the Washington triathlon as a 70-plus contender.

Congratulations to these pioneering Richardson Scholars and all internationals who have since enriched the campus life of Davidson—notably today’s Alvarez Scholars—on the eve of celebrating the 50th anniversary of Davidson’s own study abroad program in the coming year!

It’s a Great Day to Be a Wildcat in Deodorant Advertising Land—or Not?


“Get me rewrite!”

Updated 2/19:

Check out this bonus content of behind-the-scenes footage of Steph working with John Legend.

Also, a note: we’ve reported the funny typo through the iSpot web site that posted it to the Degree account page there. No response yet. Maybe it’s a bot that doesn’t care. Now that’s depressing…. Wonder what James Barrat ’83 thinks?

Original post:

Wildcats Go Pit to Pit in Advertising Manproducts—This just in: Former Wildcat hoopster and current Golden State Warrrior Steph Curry bares it, kinda, in this TV ad for Degree deodorant, a direct competitor to the Old Spice brand whose  “Believe in Your Smellf” campaign is the brainchild of Britton Taylor ’98. So far, Britton’s one up on the proofreaders at Degree, whose video page at the time of this posting contained the following “d*#n-you-autocorrect” line:

Stephen Curry is always pushing himself to go faster and harder, just like Degree is driven to make the best antidepressant around.

John W. Kuykendall ’59 on the Honor Code: “An Experiment in Trust Continues”


President Emeritus John W. Kuykendall ’59 often glances down at the red spirit bracelet that he, like many Davidsonians, wears on his wrist in support of The Davidson Trust.

“‘Davidson trusted me.’ That’s not a bad way to start and end my day!” Kuykendall told a nearly standing-room-only 900 Room at Common Hour on Thursday. The Davidson Trust is the college’s commitment to meet 100 percent of demonstrated financial need of accepted students through a combination of grants and campus employment, without relying on loans, in support of the college’s longstanding commitment to need-blind admission.

Kuykendall stood before us to talk about other aspects of trust as well, he said, commending the broad, essential definition of the word that includes honor and civility and personal commitment. Specifically, he was there to talk about Davidson’s Honor Code, in an Honor Council Speaker Series talk that was part of the “Ten Days of Trust” events leading up to the annual, student-led Dinner at Davidson fundraiser tonight. His talk, “An Experiment in Trust Continues,” was an update of a 2009 iteration, “An Experiment in Trust.”

“If you quote from your own work without attribution, is it plagiarism?” he wondered aloud, to knowing, appreciative laughter.

Davidson’s Honor Code is not unique in letter, but is certainly so in spirit and in particularity, said Kuykendall, who was president of the student body when the Honor Council came into being. He recalled some of the conversations of that time, when the student body leaders who applied and also protected the Honor Code saw a need to separate the legislative and judicial functions of their work. There was also no insignificant discussion then of the proper roles of forgiveness and grace and redemption and reconciliation, he said, all aspects of the Reformed Tradition on which Davidson itself was founded. From those discussions, the Honor Council in more or less its current form was born.

Kuykendall is an orator of the foremost ranks, whose expressive cadences translate well into his own written word but perhaps less so to others’. So I encourage you to make time, take time or otherwise shake out some time to stop, look and listen (above) to his most recent thoughts on this quintessentially Davidson topic.

“We may be swimming against the tide,” he said, the sad note in his voice undergirded by quiet defiance as he related some latest statistics on cheating in high school. “At Davidson, your word is your bond, and your work must be your own. Welcome to ‘the bubble,’ so they say. Weal or woe—and let’s hope it’s weal—you are in the middle of it…. But I don’t like ‘the Davidson bubble.’ Davidson is not a bubble. It is a crucible.”

Kuykendall further encouraged listeners to read President Carol Quillen’s recent article on The Huffington Post, “Trust’s Legacy: Davidson’s Honor Code.”

I will add to that a link to alma mater’s bedrock Statement of Purpose. I still have the paper copy that came with my letter of employment in 2001. It is good to read it regularly, just as it’s good to read and hear the current thoughts of both Kuykendall and Quillen on trust, on honor, on what Davidson means in the world today.

I say thank you to them both, in the same spirit that every person in the 900 Room yesterday stood when Kuykendall was finished. It was an ovation for a speech well-delivered, yes, but it was more than that. It was a matter of honor, alive, here, now, unique in spirit and in particularity.