All Posts Tagged Tag: ‘Davidson College alumni’

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Road Trip 2010: Prelude


Note to self: Clean errant leaf buildup out of 43-year-old heater core box every 10 or 15 years. Today, as I was leaving AAA (axle seal), a rainstorm blew in across I-77, and when I turned on the defrost fan, the car filled with leaf-fire smoke. Turns out, in 1967 the state of the art for fan switches on a Mercury Comet Caliente convertible (pictured in new blog banner, courtesy of campus news and photo guy Bill Giduz ’74, design goddess Winnie Newton, and webmeistress Paige Herman) looks like this:

Heats up like a toaster oven, it does.

The good guys at AAA helped me put out the fire. I may or may not get around to pulling the heater-core housing before Thursday’s departure with Dodger on Road Trip 2010: Massachussetts Berkshires, then Hartford, on to the Pine Tree State to pick up native Mainer Alumni Director Peter Wagner ’92, back through Portland (alumni chapter event Aug. 2!) New Hampshire, Vermont, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia, visiting alumni all along the way.

This year’s road trip, projected at a little over two weeks, is shorter than my six-week jaunt cross-country, Road Trip 2009. Trip prep this go-round has not involved as extensive automotive maintenance as before, though the expense of front wheel bearings, right tie rod, rear axle bearing and seal and rear drum brake shoes and cylinders quickly nixed the idea of putting Cape Cod in July on the old MasterCard. I’ll just have to jet in to P’town some other time.

Stay tuned for tales from the road!

Breaking News: HAITI


On my first viewing of NBC Nightly News video linked below, I did not notice that my erstwhile First Little hallmate was wearing a Davidson ballcap.

NBC Nightly News featured Greg Murphy, M.D. '85 on Feb. 8, 2010

I’m glad that an alert source, Wendy Roberts in President Tom Ross’s office, tipped me to this, not just for the screenshot here, but for the impetus to view the clip several times looking for it. As I did, the enormity of the suffering of our brothers and sisters in Haiti—as well as of the compassionate response of Greg and many like him—hit me again. And again. Words fail me, here, Greg, but our Davidson hats are off to you, and all who are holding out a hand to help.

(Campus note: Word in the Chambers hallway is that President Ross is off to the College Bookstore to pick you out another Davidson hat, too, just so you’ll always have a backup!)

Alumni Mailbag: A Clickable Top 10 Mashup


Sometimes it’s hard to know what to write about Davidson alumni. More precisely, it’s hard to know what not to write. Our folders bulge with story ideas from myriad and sundry sources, only a fraction of which stories anyone could hope to dig into—to write or, for that matter, to read. Thank goodness for class notes and Alenda Links. Even Facebook, if we must.

These things being said, two approaches seem in order for alumni coverage in this blog: Dig deep occasionally, and also occasionally offer up a representative and clickable sampler briefing of alumni doings large and small, professional and personal, big-picture and day-to-day.

In today’s experiment, we’ll skim the 10 most recent alumni-related e-mails off the top of the ol’ inbox, without regard to content. All are G-rated—okay, maybe PG-13 in a case or two. Some came directly to me, some were passed along through various campus channels, or channels of the World Wide Web. Here goes:

• Jim Johnson ’54 and George Crone ’54 strike the same pose, 55 years apart:

• Mary Laura Moretz Philpott ’96 dialed in to the Alumni Office with thanks for help setting up an evening of Wildcat alumnus/Golden State Warriors basketball on March 5 in Atlanta with her son Cameron, 7, future Class of ’25, who chose game tickets to see Steph Curry play over a traditional birthday party.

• Jessica Cooley ’05, assistant curator of the art gallery at Belk Visual Art Center, was interviewed along with Associate Professor of English Ann Fox about the recent “Re/Formations” and “Staring“ exhibits on campus, for a podcast in the Art/See issue of Bitch magazine, a nationally-recognized feminist magazine that critiques media culture.

• Tim Johnston ’83, who just launched the Web site Short Story America, rang up to let fellow writerly types on campus know about a recent interview in Lowcountry Weekly.

• President Emeritus John Kuykendall ’59 forwarded a “Dear John” letter of a different sort from Princeton, which noted that Melinda Baldwin ’04 is one of four Porter Ogden Jacobus Fellows, in the history of science, at Princeton this year. The letter, on “The Graduate School” stationery, also encouraged a donation—which encouragement Dr. Kuykendall annotated thus: “Don’t give ’em any money. Davidson Trust needs all we can spare!”

• Ann Clark [’80], Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools’ chief academic officer, has been chosen for a 10-month executive training program designed to prepare her to be an urban superintendent,” reported an article in the Charlotte Observer forwarded by several sources.

• James Barrat ’83 has a new adventure documentary, Extreme Cave Diving, which will air this Tues., Feb. 9 at 8 p.m. on PBS, and after that on the PBS Web site. There’s also an essay, James reports: “See the preview and an essay by me—click the pic of the smiling fool.”

• Ivon Rohrer ’64, we feel your pain. No, really, we do. In the recent Business Week article, Stanford Tops Harvard as College Donations Fall Most Since ’69, Ivon lamented his reduced contribution to alma mater this year. But Ivon found a phrasing befitting a true Davidson gentleman: The recession, he said, “precluded me from giving as much in 2009 as I will give in the future.”

CPT Eric Rosenbach ’95 is executive director of research at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at the Harvard Kennedy School, reports Charles A. Dana Professor of Political Science Lou Ortmayer. Yes, that’s the shop directed by Graham Allison ’64, Lou confirms.

• Suzie Eckl ’09, Davidson Fellow in the Annual Fund, reports on a classmate: “Whiz kid Marshall Worsham ’09 maintains a blog through the online Glimpse Magazine (connected to National Geographic) and regularly reports on his student experience at Oxford. Older posts also available. Click on Marshall’s face to get the whole listing.”

Don’t you just love clicking on a classmate’s face?

For the next alumni news mashup, we’ll have to construct a new conceit, in fairness, to start getting at some of the stuff in the middle of the inbox, and the bottom, and the stack of hard copy stuff beside my desk…. Meantime, leave your own comments here, and submit your own notes to class secretaries or through Alenda Links. To borrow a classic signoff line from Davidson Journal class secretary Sue McAvoy ’77: “So that’s the news from far and wide. All the best to you.…and I love you, brothers and sisters.”

Reunion Weekend: April 23-25, 2010


Calling all Davidson alumni to mark your calendars! If your class is reuning, you’ve likely already heard from lovely and talented Reunion Coordinator Liz Clegg ’08 and/or the somewhat less lovely but no less talented Alumni Director Peter Wagner ’92. They and the fab class reps who are making it all happen have us covered, not only on the alumni pages (keep an eye out there for registration information) but also with every app the WWW can dream up. Why, my very own reuning Class of 1985 has a Facebook group, where people are posting pictures like this little triptych of grins from 1982:

Yours truly (in blue jeans) and sophomore roomie Alec MacBeth ’85 after an invigorating climb up the trusty red maple outside our 1st Little window. [UPDATE: It's a sugar maple. National Arboretum botanical tag says so. But it turns red in the fall. Or maybe it was yellow. I don't recall. Anyway.]

Funny story: Soon after I came back to work at alma mater in 2001, I decided to climb ye olde maple for ye olde tyme’s sake. So one day after work, I did so, only to realize all too late that I was peeping right into the windows of what was now a girls’ dorm. Oopsy! Sometimes nostalgia is a good thing, other times not so much….

I have been variously ambivalent on the topic of Looking Back since graduation, feeling slightly uncomfy at my fifth reunion, thoroughly enjoying my 20th, and now looking forward with glee to my 25th. It’s all about the present, and the past is just the reference point, right? In any case, as they say, being in the present beats the alternative. So, go ahead, drag a load of your own college memories, hazy or razor-sharp, to the present and see what they mean. The first step is to get in touch with a long-lost classmate or two. Make sure you’re registered at Alenda Links, Davidson’s very own online community, with up-to-date contact information on fellow alumni, class notes, events calendar, and more. You really orta.

On deck: Alumni Mailbag, a sampler of jots, tittles and links. Next Daybook.

Welcome to “Daybook,” All Davidson Gentlepersons


Welcome to Daybook Davidson, a new blog where I’ll file reports on the college and its people, both on campus and off. Dog Dodger and I will be looking for fly-on-the-wall (and squirrel-in-the-tree) observations about the everyday news of the place as it unfolds, on brick sidewalks and marbly steps, Chambers offices and classrooms, Nisbet Fitness Center and Union Cafe, Internet and mailbag, Duke Family Performance Hall in coat and tie and cross-country trails in sweatpants. Name your spot in the comments section, and we’ll go there for you!

I likely will not go Down the Hill much. Been there, done that, got the T-shirt.

My beloved, old-school Wildcat T-shirt is more frayed around the edges than when it was young and fresh. So, too, am I.

Here’s the nutshell on me: I graduated under the oaks of Chambers Lawn with a French degree on a gorgeous spring morning in 1985, then soon enough got on as a reporter at the Winston-Salem Journal, quit that job in 1989 to travel cross-country in an old Mercury ragtop, the precursor to my summer 2009 Road Trip in the same car, this time under the aegis of alma mater. In the 90s, I worked at an ad agency, did a stint in a French commune outside Paris, got another newspaper gig in Charlotte, then poof, here I was at Davidson as a staff writer in 2001, now happily squatting in my modest lakeside condo near campus with Dodger the dog and livin’ the life—”Squirrel!”

Blog categories and publication schedule are evolving, but count on a couple of posts a week coming to you live from my desk in beautiful downtown Davidson, USA,  in the Julia Johnston House on Main Street, site of a swell student party one night in 1985 (I think) and now the office home to the fine folks of College Communications who bring you the Big Picture. I hope you’ll enjoy Daybook Davidson’s little verbal and visual snapshots along the way, so crank up the ol’ RSS feed and come along, won’t you?

On deck: Chambers Dome? You won’t believe your eyes. Next Daybook.