Thursday, October 28, 2004

America The Impoverished? Author David Shipler On The Plight Of The Working Poor, November 11

Chestertown, MD, October 28, 2004 — Washington College's Goldstein Program in Public Affairs welcomes Pulitzer Prize-winning author and former New York Times correspondent David Shipler to campus Thursday, November 11, to discuss “Poverty in America: The Working Poor.” The talk will be held at 7:30 p.m. in the College's Hynson Lounge. The event is free and the public is invited to attend.

In a nation awash in media that convey images of material and personal success, poverty in America has become almost invisible to the public eye. “Poverty is an unsatisfying term, for poverty is not a category that can be delineated by the government's dollar limits on annual income,” writes Shipler in his book, The Working Poor: Invisible in America (Alfred A. Knopf, 2004). “In real life, it is an unmarked area along a continuum, a broader region of hardship than the society usually recognizes.”

While poverty might be difficult to define, Shipler's study reveals that millions of Americans work hard in low-paying jobs simply to survive, living on the edge where what are minor obstacles for most—a car breakdown, illness, or family problem—often lead to irreversible downward financial spirals. “Most of the people I write about in this book do not have the luxury of rage,” he writes. “They are caught in exhausting struggles. Their wages do not lift them far enough from poverty to improve their lives, and their lives, in turn, hold them back. The term by which they are usually described, ‘working poor,' should be an oxymoron. Nobody who works hard should be poor in America.” In the end, Schipler is not only content to dissect the diverse personal and social problems that lead to and perpetuate poverty, he makes pointed, informed recommendations for change and for public and private sector cooperation to loosen poverty's grip on the lives of millions.

Shipler worked for the New York Times from 1966 to 1988, reporting from New York, Saigon, Moscow, and Jerusalem before serving as chief diplomatic correspondent in Washington, DC. He has also written for The New Yorker, Washington Post, and Los Angeles Times. He is the author of three other books—Russia: Broken Idols, Solemn Dreams, Arab and Jew: Wounded Spirits in a Promised Land—winner of a 1987 Pulitzer Prize—and A Country of Strangers: Blacks and Whites in America. Shipler has been a guest scholar at the Brookings Institution and a senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, and has taught at Princeton University, American University, and Dartmouth College. He lives in Chevy Chase, MD.

The talk is sponsored by Washington College's Goldstein Program in Public Affairs, established in honor of the late Louis L. Goldstein, a 1935 alumnus and Maryland's longest serving elected official. The Goldstein Program sponsors lectures, symposia, visiting fellows, travel and other projects that bring students and faculty together with leaders in public policy and the media.

Friday, October 22, 2004

Inauguration Address By Baird Tipson, October 22

Address by Baird Tipson

There are many people who had a hand in my standing before you today, and I do not want to forget their kindness. The entire Board of Visitors and Governors bears responsibility for my selection, but I would like to single out Tuck Maddux, who chaired the search committee, and Jay Griswold, the Board Chair, for particular thanks. Jay and Tuck were my primary contact with Washington College during the search process, and my respect for them made me very much want to come here. Nor do I want to neglect the other members of the search committee, Board members, faculty members, members of the staff, and students, who contributed a great deal of their time and who represented this College honestly and effectively.

It is a particular pleasure for me to see so many members of my family here, even including the parents of my son-in-law, and while I cannot single out them all, I would especially like to acknowledge my father, Lynn Baird Tipson, whose name I bear and who represents his alma mater this afternoon.

As a singer myself, I am delighted that the Gospel Choir and the College Vocal Consort could perform, especially since the Director of the Vocal Consort, Professor Clarke, himself once served honorably as Acting President of this College.

Although he could not remain for this ceremony, I am honored that Professor David Holmes of the College of William and Mary, with whom I taught early in my career at the University of Virginia, and who has been to me a model of the teacher/scholar, came to Chestertown to offer two inaugural lectures. And I am deeply grateful that Pastor Karl Mattson, the model of a man of commitment, who has ministered to inner city congregations in various American cities, helped liberal arts college students face issues of social justice in Nicaragua, in Geneva, and the most desperate sections of our own cities, and who formed and continues to inspire the Center for Public Service at Gettysburg College, could offer the invocation and benediction.

One last expression of thanks: to my friends from Central Michigan, from Gettysburg, and from Wittenberg – which bestowed on me this red Luther cap – who traveled to be with me today. And now to my address —

Washington College likes to boast that it was the first college chartered in the new United States of America. That is true, but like many things people later brag about, it was largely unintentional. Our founder, the Reverend William Smith, was a loser, or at least one could say that he was on the losing side of a political struggle. His most famous opponent was Benjamin Franklin, who had originally brought him to Philadelphia from New York to head what later became the University of Pennsylvania. But he fell out with Franklin, who afterwards called him “a common scribbler of libels and false abusive papers.” He had other enemies, too. When he told the largely pacifist Pennsylvania Assembly that they were derelict in not sending militia to defend frontier settlers from Indian attacks, they arranged to have him thrown in jail, where he remained for some months. So we might boast that we are the first college founded by a man who did time, since he went to prison only after he founded the University of Pennsylvania.

But Washington College would never have come to exist if Smith had not lost yet again. This time it was Revolutionary War politics, and as a clergyman in the Church of England, Smith was labeled as a Tory, a supporter of the king. It's unlikely that he was. But Smith had taken vows, as had all Anglican priests, to support the King as Supreme Governor of the Church of England. So the charge had plausibility; it stuck; and he had to get out of town. He left Philadelphia and came to Chestertown, which in the late eighteenth century was not some charming little place that time forgot but a major Chesapeake Bay port. Its parish church had had a priest who really was a Tory and who had hightailed it back to England. The parish needed a replacement, and they were happy to get William Smith. Right away he was on the road, determined to get back at those meatheads in Pennsylvania by founding a college in Maryland that would rival the one they had forced him out of. Two years later he succeeded – he wasn't really a loser – and Washington College is the result. Two years after that he founded St. John's College in Annapolis. His vision, which the Maryland Assembly never quite bought into, was to combine the two into a “University of Maryland.” In the meantime, the United States won its independence; Smith's enemies softened, and he went back to Philadelphia. I should add that the church he served, Emmanuel Church, continues to flourish right here in the center of Chestertown, and that Emmanuel will hold a special service Sunday morning using William Smith's 18th c. revisions to the Book of Common Prayer.

What kind of college did William Smith found, or better put, what kind of graduates did he want to let loose onto the Eastern Shore and the new nation? It should be the purpose of higher education, he thought, to build “better men and better citizens,” “better” meaning “virtuous.” And then Smith began to think like a marketer. If he were a college president today, he might create a logo, just right for his new college. But Smith's vision stretched way beyond logos. He wanted to associate his fledgling college with the one man who — in the period just after the Revolution —epitomized the virtuous citizen. That man was George Washington. If he could name his little college “Washington College,” he wouldn't need a logo. He wouldn't need a mission statement. He would have a brand. Everyone would know precisely what his college was about: producing graduates like George Washington. And remarkably, because like many losers he refused to give up until he became a winner, he got Washington to agree. Not only that, but like a good college president he got Washington to make a contribution. And he got him to serve on the Board of Visitors and Governors. The rest, as they say, is history.

As brilliant a marketing stroke as this seems to us today – and a whole lot of colleges have stolen Smith's idea and named themselves “Washington” over the years – it was a gutsy – Jay Griswold would say a “feisty” — stroke. Almost everyone revered George Washington, but a lot of people also knew that he had never gone to college. In fact he'd never gone past elementary school. It would be like finding out that the author of All I Really Need to Know, I Learned in Kindergarten was giving the commencement address at your college graduation. [Which, by the way, Robert Fulgum did at Wittenberg, and he was terrific. That's another story.] But if you didn't need to go to college to become a virtuous citizen, why have a college? This thought actually bothered me as I was writing this address, and I didn't feel a lot better when I realized that my favorite Maryland author, Anne Tyler, loves to build her novels around non-college-going characters. Her readers learn what virtue is about from Rebecca Davitch in Back When We Were Grownups, Muriel Pritchett (the Geena Davis character) in Accidental Tourist, Ezra Tull in Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant, Barnaby Gaitlin in a Patchwork Planet, and of course Ian Bedloe in Saint Maybe. All of whom either never went to college or else dropped out. That's another story, too. We do know that late in George Washington's life some of his critics, including Thomas Jefferson — who incidentally often liked to let people know that he was more well read than they were — referred condescendingly to Washington's lack of formal education.

To get back to my story, Washington's lack of a college education didn't seem to bother William Smith. Smith was convinced that the very qualities that George Washington had come by naturally, the rest of us could achieve through hard work. Smith had already laid out a model college curriculum that is a significant document in American intellectual history. What was that curriculum? He wanted to expose Washington College students to literature that would model virtuous action, to poetry that would nurture virtuous feelings in their hearts and noble thoughts in their minds, to mathematics and natural science and ethics and history. In other words, he designed his own version of a small, residential liberal arts college. And for nearly two and a quarter centuries, despite repeated challenges, Washington College has remained remarkably true to Smith's vision.

We talk about the liberal arts here the way Muslims talk about the Qur'an, and yet recent research tells us that the average parent of a prospective college student, let alone the average citizen, has absolutely no idea what the liberal arts are. I dare say that very few even of those of us on this podium could name all of the classical liberal arts. So indulge me while I tell you a little about them and why we've been passionately committed to them for over two hundred years. Why, in other words, they remain the best way of preparing young people to lead productive, fulfilling lives.

There are seven classical liberal arts, divided into two groups. The quadrivium – astronomy, music, arithmetic, and geometry – and the trivium – grammar, logic, and rhetoric. Laid out this way, they don't sound very exciting, do they. But they are. Think of the quadrivium as the disciplines, the things you major in, all the areas of human knowledge with their own vocabularies, sets of facts, and methods of analysis. Music, for example, has a different vocabulary than astronomy; you need to learn about rhythm, tempo, dynamics, harmonic consonances and dissonances, and you analyze these in a different manner than you do the movement of the planets. Of course liberal arts colleges today don't limit themselves to the traditional disciplines; we've added biology and psychology and economics and all the other areas of study you'll find in the Washington College Catalog. When most people think of the content of a college curriculum, they're probably thinking of the courses offered by the various academic departments, the contemporary version of the quadrivium.

But the actual heart of a liberal arts college, what distinguishes it most clearly from a large research university, is the trivium. Think of the trivium as the habits of mind, the intellectual tools that enable a student to thrive in any discipline. Washington College, and liberal arts colleges like it, never forget the trivium when they're offering courses in the quadrivium. Remember that the trivium is grammar, logic, and rhetoric. Think of grammar as the art of combining words into elegant, meaningful sentences and paragraphs. Think of logic as the art of constructing a tight argument, based on careful analysis of hard evidence. Think of rhetoric as the art of persuasion, figuring out who needs to hear that argument and presenting it to her as compellingly as possible. We are committed to infusing grammar, logic, and rhetoric into everything we teach.

Doesn't everybody do this? Actually you'd be amazed, and a little depressed, over how often achievement in higher education is measured by how much “content” a course covers, and how students just add up courses until they reach the magic number required for graduation. This happens more often at large institutions than at small ones, but the clear trend over the past decades has been toward what I'll call an “internet” culture, in which students access a vast array of possibilities, choose one from here and one from there, and end up with an education that they believe meets their needs. Those institutions that are serious about grammar, logic, and rhetoric across the curriculum are definitely in the minority, and that minority is getting smaller. How can you know when you've found a “liberal arts” culture rather than an “internet” culture? You'll find a faculty concerned less with how much content a student has memorized and more with how that student thinks, writes, and argues. You'll find a faculty that spends time, a lot of time, with individual students. In my experience, the best test of whether the trivium is infused throughout the curriculum is how students are evaluated. If you require students to write serious papers and give exams that include significant essays, you can judge the quality of their thinking, writing, and arguing. If you give multiple choice tests and feed the test papers into a computer, students will quickly learn that you don't care about how they think, write, and argue.

Don't misunderstand me. The members of our faculty are extraordinarily well-credentialed in their fields of study, and they make their own contributions to those fields. But they have also made a choice to be at an institution which values not just learning but also the quality of learning. It isn't enough to have the correct answer; that answer has to be arrived at through the proper kind of analysis; it has to be expressed concisely and elegantly; and it has to be presented persuasively to people who can put it into action. So when I commend the Washington College faculty for their commitment to infusing the trivium into the quadrivium, I'm giving them the highest possible praise.

I know this is supposed to be a presidential inauguration, but I don't want you to forget that the faculty will always be the heart of this College. We administrators are here to give them the best possible support, remind them of their vocation as scholars and teachers, and then get out of their way.

What's my role, then? What should the president do? Well, first of all he needs to recognize, and build upon, the strengths of his predecessors. I'm not going to recognize all twenty-five of them, but I do want to single out President McLain for his commitment to science, President Cater for his tireless efforts to bring Washington College to the attention of donors and political leaders, President Trout for his sustained commitment, at some personal cost, to making this campus more diverse, and especially President Toll for his remarkable academic vision and his ability to heal financial wounds. I want to continue all these efforts. Presidents Trout and Toll are here on the podium, and I ask you to join me in showing your appreciation for their service.

Let me share some of my own goals. I want greater national visibility for this College, and I only wish I had William Smith's marketing instinct. I want to increase our endowment, especially the funds available for scholarships and faculty chairs. I want to preside over another successful capital campaign that adds more new facilities to this campus. I want to be sure we don't separate the liberal arts from the world of work. For all his commitment to the liberal arts, William Smith included agriculture and navigation in his model curriculum because he knew most of his graduates would make their livings on farms or on the water. I want to spend as much time as possible with our students, and that includes teaching a course, if I can persuade someone on the faculty to teach with me. I want to find even better ways to take advantage of our being a residential community in the unique setting that is Chestertown.

Our C. V. Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience has persuaded the U. S. State Department that Chestertown offers an unparalleled laboratory for the study of American democracy in action, and for the past two summers the State Department has provided funding for us to bring South Asian students here to enjoy it. We can find other ways to celebrate Chestertown. We can build on the work of the Center for the Environment and Society to celebrate the natural resources of this area, the farms and the Chester River. And we can more successfully integrate the work of the two centers into the curriculum so that they nurture and are nurtured by it. We can recapture a theme from President Cater – Washington College as the College That Writes – and build good writing explicitly into everything we do. Nothing combines grammar, logic, and rhetoric more powerfully than effective writing.

Most important, I commit myself to sustain the liberal arts tradition that began with William Smith and has persisted, often against great odds, through the twenty-four presidents who succeeded him.

A final word. Bryan Matthews, our Director of Athletics who is serving with distinction this year as Acting Vice President for Student Affairs, recently returned from a conference on the new generation of college students. “They're not like us,” he was told. “They don't read, even e-mail; they text message in a strange dialect of English. If they're not glued to the computer screen, their ear is stuck to a cell phone. They're visual, not verbal.” And we didn't even talk about body jewelry! The message of the conference was, “You're not going to change them, so you'd better adapt yourself to them.”

Well, I just disagree. Our challenge is not to become like our students; it's to give them the tools to become like us. I know that sounds arrogant. But if we can't stand behind our teaching and learning, if we lack the confidence to claim that we have something precious to offer to young people, we ought not to be here. We need to make every effort to understand our students and to recognize their strengths. Their visual literacy, their ability to make sense of rapidly changing images, their expertise in information technology are assets we should cherish. But if the dark side of the picture is difficulty focusing for a sustained period of time, an immature writing style, awkwardness in adult conversation, we can't just walk away. We need to help these marvelous young people feel at home in the world of elementary particles, biodiversity, The Wealth of Nations, and Igor Stravinsky.

We know that Washington College students are bright, energetic, multi-talented, and able. Their test scores are strong; their extra-curricular activities are impressive. They don't need to be coddled.

I've been a college president for nine years. My most satisfying experiences, bar none, have been at alumni events. Someone comes up to me after I've finished talking, and after introducing themselves, they ask about a faculty member, or a staff member, or a coach. The conversation goes something like this: “How is Professor So-and-so? It was she that helped me to see that I had abilities I never dreamed I had, who helped me to set my sights higher than I would ever have set them on my own, who comforted me when I was down and kicked me in the pants when I settled for second-best. I would not be doing what I am today, I would not be the person I am today, without her inspiration.”

When you hear something like that, it doesn't just make your day; it makes your month! My job is to keep those experiences coming, so that the 27th, and the 28th, and the 29th, and many more presidents to come can hear the same comments.

It is a tremendous honor to stand here before you this afternoon, beside William Smith Hall and in the shadow of George Washington. There is no denying the challenges that this College, and all small liberal arts colleges, face in the coming decades. Washington College is prepared for those challenges. The quality of our faculty and staff, the support of our alumni and friends, the talent and enthusiasm of our students, and our unsurpassed academic tradition give us the strength we need to prevail and to flourish. I pledge to you that I will do everything in my power to build on the successes of my predecessors and to lead this College to even greater academic heights. I thank you for your confidence.

Friday, October 15, 2004

Author Joel Achenbach Explores George Washington's Grand Idea For Westward Expansion, November 4

Chestertown, MD, October 15, 2004 — Washington College's Center for Environment and Society and C.V. Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience, in cooperation with The Nature Conservancy, present “The Grand Idea: George Washington's Potomac and the Race for the West,” a lecture by Joel Achenbach, Washington Post writer and columnist for National Geographic, Thursday, November 4, at 7:30 p.m. in the College's Hynson Lounge. The event is free and the public is invited to attend.

Recently released by Simon & Schuster, Achenbach's book, The Grand Idea: George Washington's Potomac and the Race to the West, examines an often ignored episode of Washington's post-Revolution career: his plan to make the Potomac River the major commercial thoroughfare of the new nation. As he describes Washington's 1784 trek to the West and his obsession with the Potomac project, Achenbach captures all the fears, uncertainties, class conflicts, and political passions of America in the late 18th Century. Washington hoped that a water route from the Potomac to the Ohio would cement the disparate regions and cultures of the fledgling United States. Rather than a historical footnote, the Potomac scheme, Achenbach asserts, was a major part of Washington's life, in some ways more revealing of his personality than his more famous public roles.

At the end of the War for Independence, Washington seemed to want nothing more than to become “a private citizen on the banks of the Potomac, & under the shadow of my own Vine & my own Fig-tree,” and yet a year later, in 1784, the 52-year-old former commander of the Continental Army set out on a 680-mile journey into what was popularly known as “the howling wilderness.” To be sure, Washington had a strong personal stake in the development of the Potomac, and over the course of many years had assembled an enormous backwoods empire that he had personally surveyed in 1770. But now, 14 years later, Washington also had a compelling vision of the new nation, and the Potomac was integral to it, Achenbach believes. The mountains that separated the long-settled East from the forests of the Ohio were not merely an impediment to trade, but, in Washington's view, they threatened national unity itself. In order to become a genuine nation that could fulfill its potential for greatness, America had to be knit together economically, politically, legally, and culturally, and Washington believed that the Potomac had been given by Providence as a natural passage to the continental interior, akin to the mythical Northwest Passage between Europe and the Orient. In an era of grand ideas, this was his grand idea.

Achenbach is a staff writer for The Washington Post, commentator for National Public Radio, and writes the monthly column “Who Knew?” for National Geographic. The author of five previous books, including Captured by Aliens, It Looks Like a President, Only Smaller (a humorous look at the 2000 presidential campaign), and Why Things Are, he lives in Washington, DC.

Alumni Invited To Join CNN's Peter Bergen For A Conversation About The War On Terror, Nov. 5 In Washington, DC

Chestertown, MD, October 15, 2004 — Washington College's Department of Political Science and International Studies Program are sponsoring the first in an annual series of talks to encourage professional and financial support of the College's international studies and political science majors. The inaugural event, a conversation with journalist and CNN terrorism analyst Peter Bergen, will be held Friday, November 5, at 6 p.m. at the Hay-Adams Hotel, 16th and H Streets NW, Washington, DC.

“We have incredible programs in political science and international studies and the outcomes to prove it,” said Tahir Shad, associate professor of political science and director of the College's International Studies Program. “Many of our graduates are working in the DC-area for government agencies such as the Department of State and DEA and as Presidential Management Interns. This event serves to reunite our faculty and our alumni, to give our most recent graduates and current seniors a chance to learn about the opportunities available to them, and to spread the news as to why our programs are worthy of their support.”

The evening will begin with a light cocktail buffet at 6 p.m. to be followed by an open conversation and discussion with CNN analyst Peter Bergen, author of Holy War, Inc.: Inside the Secret World of Osama bin Laden and the first and only journalist to ever conduct a face-to-face television interview with Osama bin Laden. Mr. Bergen is considered one of the world's foremost civilian authorities on al-Qaeda and has written for a variety of publications includingThe New York Times, Los Angeles Times, The New Republic, Vanity Fair, Foreign Affairs,The Washington Post, The Washington Times, and The Washington Monthly. He is presently a fellow at the New America Foundation in Washington, DC, and serves as an adjunct professor at the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University.

This topical and exciting evening is free and open to Washington College alumni and supporters, but space is limited. Please call Patsy Will in the Office of Development, Alumni and Parent Relations at 800-422-1782, ext. 7813, to reserve a place.

Monday, October 11, 2004

Lives Of Three Legendary Latin American Women Theme Of October 18th Musical Theatre Performance

Chestertown, MD, October 11, 2004 — Washington College's Department of Foreign Languages, Literatures and Cultures presents a performance of Tres Vidas (Three Lives), a chamber music theatre work conceived and performed in English and Spanish and depicting the lives of three legendary and diverse Latin American women: Mexican artist Frida Kahlo, Salvadoran peace activist Rufina Amaya, and Argentine poet Alfonsina Storni. The free performance is open to the public and will be held Monday, October 18, at 7:30 p.m. in the College's Tawes Theatre.

Chamber music theatre, melding such performance genres as dramatic narrative, song and dance, has become an important focus of the Core Ensemble repertoire as it seeks to broaden the definition of chamber music and engage more audiences through this musical form. Tres Vidas has become one of its most popular pieces. Joined by actress Georgina Corbo portraying the lives of Kahlo, Amaya, and Storni through song and performance, the Core Ensemble's accompanying music ranges from popular and folk songs from the Mexican, Salvadoran and Argentinean cultures, to transcriptions of works by Astor Piazzolla, to new music written especially for the Core Ensemble by composers Osvaldo Golijov, Orlando Garcia, Pablo Ortiz and Michael DeMurga.

Tres Vidas was written by Marjorie Agosin, one of the leading voices of Latin American feminism in the United States. Agosin is the author of twenty books of poetry, fiction, and literary criticism, and she has won several distinguished prizes including the Letras de Oro Prize for Poetry, the Latino Literature Prize, and the Morgan Institute Prize for Achievement in Human Rights. Scholastics Magazine chose Agosin as the 1998 Latino Mentor of the Year. She is currently a Professor of Spanish at Wellesley College and was recently named a Fellow of the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies at Harvard University.

For more information on upcoming concerts and events at Washington College, visit

Layin' It Down Live: Hip-Hop Pioneers, The Roots, Play Washington College, November 6

Chestertown, MD, October 11, 2004 — Philadelphia's live hip-hop pioneers, The Roots, will perform Saturday, November 6, at 8 p.m. in Washington College's Lifetime Fitness Center. Doors open at 7 p.m.Tickets for students, faculty and staff, on sale through Friday, October 22, only, are $15 per person with a five ticket maximum, and may be purchased in the Student Affairs Office on the second floor of the Casey Academic Center between the hours of 12 noon and 4:30 p.m.

An underground sensation for the past decade, The Roots have recently broken through to worldwide acclaim for their live, instrumental rap, both in concert and in the studio, and critics consider The Roots' live shows among the best in the business. The Roots' focus on live hip-hop began in the late 1980s when rapper Black Thought (Tariq Trotter) and drummer ?uestlove (Ahmir Khalib Thompson) became friends at the Philadelphia High School for Creative Performing Arts. Since the duo had little money for the DJ essentials, they recreated hip-hop tracks instrumentally with ?uestlove's drum kit backing Black Thought's rhymes. Joined by bassist Hub (Leon Hubbard) and rapper Malik B., The Roots soon became a high-demand underground act in Philadelphia and New York. In 1993, they released their first CD to sell at shows.

Major-label status came with their second CD, Do You Want More?!!!??!, released in January 1995 and breaking stride with usual hip-hop protocol by forsaking the use of sampling. Peaking just outside the Top 100, the CD was ignored by most fans of hip-hop, but took off in alternative circles. In 1996, The Roots' second major-label CD, Illadelph Halflife, made it to 21 on the album charts. Undeniable commercial success finally arrived in 1999 with the release Things Fall Apart. Now, in 2004, The Roots have their own label, Okayplayer, and their seventh CD to date, Tipping Point, just released this summer.

Visit The Roots online at

For more information on upcoming concerts and events at Washington College, visit The concert is sponsored by Washington College's Student Events Committee.

Inauguration Of Baird Tipson As 26th President Of Washington College Set For October 22

Chestertown, MD, October 11, 2004 — Washington College's Board of Visitors and Governors announces the Inauguration of Baird Tipson as the 26th President of the College, to be held Friday, October 22, at 3 p.m. on the College Green. Delegates from more than 90 colleges and universities across the country will be on hand for the installation ceremonies. The public is invited to attend the Inauguration and a fireworks display on Kibler Field at 6:30 p.m. that will conclude the day's celebrations.

“Baird takes the reigns at an extraordinary time in our institution's history,” said Jay Griswold, Chairman of the College's Board of Visitors and Governors. “We've made great strides during the past decade—financially and academically—and we have every trust in Baird's resourcefulness and vision to bring a keener focus on the our strengths as a historic college of liberal arts and sciences and to enhance our position in today's competitive higher education market.”

Tipson, the former president of Wittenberg University in Springfield, Ohio, succeeds John S. Toll, who stepped down as president of the 222-year-old college last summer. During his eight years as president of Wittenberg, Tipson is credited with ushering in new academic programs and endowed chairs, integrating information technology into the college classroom, doubling the institution's endowment, enhancing campus facilities, and building strong community relations. Prior to assuming the presidency of Wittenberg in 1995, Tipson served as Provost (1987-1995) and Acting President (1988) of Gettsyburg College and Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Central Michigan University for nine years. Throughout his career in college administration, Tipson has remained active in teaching and academic research as a professor of religion focusing on Puritanism, Pietism and Early English Protestantism.

Tipson earned his Ph.D. in religious studies at Yale University and as an undergraduate majored in religion and history at Princeton University, graduating summa cum laude as a member of Phi Beta Kappa.

Tipson and his wife, Sarah, have two grown children.

“I am honored to be entrusted with the leadership of Washington College and look forward to working with the Board, faculty, staff, students, and alumni,” Tipson said. “Here there is a historical legacy of which to be proud, a unique location on the Chesapeake Bay unmatched by any other college, and a long and distinctive liberal arts tradition on which to build. I am both awed and energized by the responsibilities and the opportunities that Washington College is giving me through this position.”

Wednesday, October 6, 2004

Inaugural Celebration Series Features Art Exhibition, Lectures

Chestertown, MD, October 6, 2004 — In anticipation of the Inauguration of Baird Tipson as 26th President of Washington College, the College will host an Inaugural Celebration Series of events to commemorate the values and history of the nation's 10th oldest college. The public is invited to attend.

On Wednesday, October 20, the Washington College Department of Art opens the exhibition “Experienced Eyes: Recent Work by Department of Art Faculty and Alumni.” Featuring a variety of work and artistic media, the exhibition will be open daily to the public, 12 noon to 4 p.m., through November 9.

Also on October 20, the C. V. Starr Center for the American Experience will present “The Religion of the Founding Fathers,” a lecture by David Holmes, Ph.D., Professor of Religious Studies at The College of William and Mary, at 7:30 p.m. in the Hynson Lounge. Dr. Holmes has authored four books, including a history of the Episcopal Church and the recently published study, The Religion of the Founding Fathers. His talk will take a deeper look at the personal religious beliefs and public religious trends that influenced the Founding Fathers and the birth of our nation.

On Thursday, October 21, Dr. Holmes will connect the historic values of liberal education to the College's contemporary mission in the lecture “Five Truths about Washington College,” at 7:30 p.m. in the Hynson Lounge. Most American colleges exhibit certain abiding themes that define them or serve as models to emulate, observes Dr. Holmes. From the history of Washington College, he has identified five central themes that define the College and its historic mission to Maryland and to the nation. The talk will include a candid assessment of the state of contemporary undergraduate education.

“These lectures offer us a wider perspective on the origins and mission of a college whose legacy began with George Washington, the founder of our republic, and William Smith, the architect of American higher education,” Tipson said. “No doubt, Washington College has a long and inspiring tradition on which to build its future.”

Monday, October 4, 2004

Journalist Seymour Hersh Discusses American Foreign Policy In The Coming Election, October 13

Chestertown, MD, October 4, 2004 — Washington College's Goldstein Program in Public Affairs and C.V. Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience present Seymour Hersh, renowned investigative journalist and correspondent for The New Yorker, discussing “American Foreign Policy in the Coming Presidential Election,” Wednesday, October 13, at 7:30 p.m. in the College's Hynson Lounge. The event is free and open to the public.

Known for breaking the story of the Abu Ghraib prison abuse scandal earlier this year, Hersh first gained recognition for his investigative journalism in 1969 for exposing the My Lai massacre and its cover-up during the Vietnam War, for which he received the Pulitzer Prize. Hersh began his career as a police reporter for the City News Bureau in 1959 and later became a correspondent for United Press International. In 1963 he joined the Associated Press, and in 1972 was hired as a reporter for The New York Times' Washington Bureau.

The author of eight books, including the critically acclaimed The Price of Power: Kissinger in the Nixon White House and the recently released Chain of Command : The Road from 9/11 to Abu Ghraib (Harper Collins, 2004), Hersh currently reports for The New Yorker on military and security matters, doggedly pursuing the stories of the Iraq War—and of the steps and policies that led to the war—glossed over in press conferences and missed by America's mainstream media.

The talk is sponsored by Washington College's Goldstein Program in Public Affairs, established in honor of the late Louis L. Goldstein, 1935 alumnus and Maryland's longest serving elected official, in conjunction with the C. V. Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience. Drawing on the special historical strengths of Washington College, the C. V. Starr Center explores the early republic, the rise of democracy, and the manifold ways in which the founding era continues to shape American culture.

Friday, October 1, 2004

Lecture Explores "Paris, Hollywood, And France's Memories Of World War II"

Chestertown, MD, October 1, 2004 — The Goldstein Program of Public Affairs, Campus Events and Visitors, and the Department of Foreign Languages, Literatures and Cultures present “Paris, Hollywood, and France's Memories of World War II," a lecture by Philip Watts, Professor of French and Chair of the Department of French and Italian at the University of Pittsburgh. The lecture will be held on Thursday, Nov. 4 at 4:30 pm in the CAC Forum. The event is free and open to the public.

Sixty years have passed since D-Day and the liberation of Europe, but France's role during World War II remains as contentious as ever. As the nation was divided in two, split between an occupied and a non-occupied zone, the French population found itself caught in a struggle between Charles De Gaulle and the Resistance and Philippe Petain's government of collaboration. Since 1945, films about the war in France have grappled with these divisions and ambivalences, from the epic "Is Paris Burning?" whose all-star cast celebrated the struggle of the Resistance to the documentary "The Sorrow and the Pity" which revealed how ordinary Frenchmen collaborated with the Nazis.

Dr. Watts will present some of the more significant films about World War II in France, beginning with the immediate postwar years, examining differences between how French filmmakers and Hollywood directors represented the war, and ending with a look at how more recent films, such as Jean-Paul Rappeneau's "Bon Voyage," reveal a continuing equivocation about this moment in history.

A preeminent scholar in French studies, Dr. Watts received the prestigious Aldo and Jeanne Scaglione Prize for French and Francophone Literary Studies in 2000 for his book Allegories of the Purge: How Literature Responded to the Postwar Trials of Writers and Intellectuals in France (Stanford University Press, 1998) and has published articles and reviews in "French Forum" "South Atlantic Quarterly" and "Esprit."

In conjunction with Dr. Watts' visit, there will be a free public screening of the film “Bon Voyage” by Jean-Paul Rappeneau (Cyrano de Bergerac, Le Hussard sur le toit) on Wednesday, Nov. 3 at 7 p.m. in the CAC Forum. The French Club will provide snacks. Contact Katherine Maynard at for more information.