The Economist, NASCAR Illustrated, and Mayor Anthony Foxx ’93 at the White House

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[Correction: The student-led Dinner at Davidson fundraiser for The Davidson Trust is not "later this month" as I erred in noting below. It's February 19. I was writing in print-edit mode, see, only this is blog-edit mode content, and since it's the end of January, which is almost February, see.... etc. Thanks to College Communications Fact Checker Extraordinaire Anna Prushinski! And we'll have more soon on Dinner at Davidson!]

Where else in the world than Davidson College do you think jocks read The Economist alongside classics professors who subscribe to NASCAR Illustrated? Yes, Davidson is a veritable 21st-century cauldron of the latter-day liberal arts, a modern mashup of intellectual ideas and artistic expressions old and new evolving alongside one another in a complicated world. It is a fun place to try to keep up, even if sometimes it just wears me out. (Most fun does, done right, right?)

I spotted The Economist in the locker room after my habitual lunchtime spin on the bike to nowhere in the fitness center. The NASCAR Illustrated came to me when I bumped in to W.H. Grey Professor of Classics and Professor of History Peter Krentz, on his way back to his office from the union P.O. “I’ve already read this one,” he intoned, as he handed me his subscription copy of NI. So not only does he subscribe, he reads it before it even gets here. Wow. He’s even smarter than I thought. Krentz, author of 2010’s, The Battle of Marathon, teaches a first-year writing course on NASCAR. I wish he’d taught it my freshman year. Maybe it would help with the keyboard whiplash we get around here writing about all the campus calendar activity this time of year, not to mention alumni alerts about our alert alumni. Selling seashells. Anyway. Herewith, a few recent news bites:

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• Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx ’93 was on Newshour with Jim Lehrer last week to discuss his meeting with President Obama and the economic outlook for the country from a mayor’s prospective, at the U.S. Conference of Mayors meeting in Washington.

• John Swanson ’77 was on campus recently and reports that he has a son who will be appearing on this Friday’s broadcast of Wheel of Fortune.

• In preparation for their Dinner at Davidson event later this month to raise money for The Davidson Trust, students have started a Facebook page.

• “Davidson College” is a “most loved school.” I can’t tell you any more, but you could Google it if you wanted to.

• The Davidson College Chorale transported a full Lilly Family Gallery to Prague, Salzburg and Vienna earlier this week, as they shared excerpts from their winter break tour with faculty, staff and students gathered at Common Hour. Conductor Ray Sprague gave just the right touch of cultural context past and present, then let the students sing for themselves. At a certain point, a tear glistened upon my curmudgeonly cheek. Yeah, they’re that good. Check out the tour program; the highlighted parts are what we were fortunate to hear this week on campus.

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