Saturday, September 30, 2006

Acclaimed Novelist Larry Woiwode Reads from His Works, Oct. 10

Chestertown, MD, September 29, 2006 — Washington College's Sophie Kerr Committee presents critically acclaimed novelist Larry Woiwode reading from his works, October 10, at 4:30 p.m. in the Sophie Kerr Room of the Miller Library. The event is free and open to the public.

Born in North Dakota, Woiwode commenced his writing life under the tutelage of New Yorker editor William Maxwell. He is the author of several novels, including Beyond the Bedroom Wall,Poppa John, Born Brothers, Indian Affairs, andSilent Passengers, as well as a memoir titledWhat I Think I Did and a collection of poetry,Even Tide. His first novel, What I'm Going to Do, I Think, won both the William Faulkner Foundation Award and a Notable Book Award from the American Library Association. Beyond the Bedroom Wall (1975) sold more than 2,000,000 copies.

Woiwode's "masterful hand and generous vision transform our most evanescent and commonplace experiences into something akin to gold...they are stories that sharpen our way of seeing from one of America's finest prose stylists," notes novelist Charles Johnson.

In addition to receiving two awards from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, Woiwode has been awarded a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship as well as the John Dos Passos Prize, and has been nominated for the National Book Award. His essays and short stories have appeared in numerous publications such as The New Yorker, Esquire, The Atlantic Monthly, and The Paris Review.

The reading is sponsored by the Sophie Kerr Committee, which works to carry on the legacy of the late Sophie Kerr, a writer from Denton, Md., whose generosity has enriched Washington College's literary culture. When she died in 1965, Kerr left the bulk of her estate to the college, specifying that one half of the income from her bequest be awarded every year to the senior showing the most "ability and promise for future fulfillment in the field of literary endeavor" and the other half be used to bring visiting writers to campus, to fund scholarships, and to help defray the costs of student publications.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

In Memoriam: Former College President Charles H. Trout

Chestertown, MD, September 27, 2006 — Charles H. "Chuck" Trout, President of Harcum College and former president of Washington College, died on September 27, 2006, of complications from blood cancer. He was 70.

Dr. Trout served as President of Washington College from 1990-1995 and continued to be an active member of the Chestertown community after he assumed the presidency of Harcum College in Bryn Mawr, PA, in 2002.

Officials at Harcum College credit Dr. Trout with revitalizing the two-year college, nearly doubling enrollments and building robust programs in nursing, radiologic technology, sports management and criminal justice, as well as increasing fundraising by seventy-five percent and enhancing facilities with new labs, classrooms, and a dental clinic. He also resurrected Harcum's intercollegiate athletic program.

"Higher education in general and Harcum College in particular has lost a champion," said Dennis S. Marlo, Chair of the Harcum Board of Trustees.

At Washington College, Dr. Trout is remembered for his early recognition that historic Chestertown and the surrounding Chesapeake Bay watershed posed tremendous opportunities for students as "a learning laboratory." The Chesapeake regional studies program he initiated during his tenure was a forerunner of the College's environmental studies major and the Center for the Environment and Society. He also envisioned a center for the study of American history, an idea brought to fruition a decade later with the C.V. Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience.

Dr. Trout's legacy at Washington College includes a more diversified student body, a sabbatical program for junior faculty, and programs in behavioral neuroscience and gender studies. A sports enthusiast, he was responsible for a number of initiatives that enhanced the intercollegiate athletic experience for undergraduates, especially women. Under his leadership, the College joined the Centennial Conference as a charter member.

His years at Washington College were also marked by a number of important physical changes to the campus—construction of the Benjamin A. Johnson Lifetime Fitness Center, renovation of Hodson Hall, and significant landscaping, including the removal of interior parking.

"Many of Chuck Trout's initiatives have been responsible for some of our greatest successes," current Washington College President Baird Tipson said. "He laid the groundwork for our centers in American history and the environment, and his decision to join the Centennial Conference placed Washington College within a solid group of athletic and academic peers. He cared deeply about diversity issues and was willing to take risks to attract a more diverse student body."

After leaving Washington College, Dr. Trout and his wife Katherine spent a year in Kenya through the Teachers for Africa program. In their time there, Mrs. Trout built the first freestanding primary school library in the Western Highlands and Dr. Trout oversaw the largest school fundraiser in the history of West Kenya, raising enough to bring running water and electricity into the boarding school, build a new academic wing with two large classrooms and a library, construct a new cookhouse, and erect the school's first permanent dormitory.

Educated at Amherst College (B.A.) and Columbia University (M.A. and Ph.D.), Dr. Trout began his teaching career at The Hill School in Pottstown, PA, and The Phillips Exeter Academy in Exeter, NH. He joined the faculty of Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts, in 1969, where he became chairman of the history department. While at Mount Holyoke, he was named a National Endowment for the Humanities Senior Fellow and a Charles Warren Fellow at Harvard University. He moved to Colgate University in New York, in 1981, where he served as provost for a decade before assuming the presidency of Washington College.

A social historian, Dr. Trout was the author of Boston, The Great Depression, and the New Deal, as well as dozens of articles, papers and reviews. He was at work on a book about his experiences in Africa at the time of his death.

Dr. Trout was chairman of the board of World Education in Boston and served on the board of Sultana Projects in Chestertown. A gardener, gourmet cook, and avid golfer, Trout will be remembered for his infectious enthusiasm and buoyant spirit. "He was full-steam ahead with everything he did," his wife Katherine said.

In addition to his wife, Katherine Taylor Trout, Dr. Trout is survived by two sons, Nicolas H. Trout of Virginia Beach, VA, and Benjamin C. Trout of South Portland, ME, and a daughter, Katherine D. Griffiths of Cambridge, MA, as well as five grandchildren.

A candlelight vigil in Dr. Trout's honor was held in front of the president's house on the Harcum campus on September 29. A public memorial service will be held on Saturday, October 21, at 10 a.m. at the Bryn Mawr Presbyterian Church, 625 Montgomery Avenue, Bryn Mawr, PA 19010 ( There will be a reception immediately following the service at the President's House on the Harcum College campus, located directly across the street from the church.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Harnessing the Power of Wind to Turn the Tide of Global Warming, Talk October 3

Chestertown, MD, September 25, 2006 — Can wind powered generators help to reduce our dependency on fossil fuels and mitigate the effects of global climate change? On Tuesday, October 3, Washington College's McLain Program in Environmental Studies hosts environmental planner and college alumna, Angela Crenshaw, speaking on "The Case for Wind Power: A Possible Source of Mitigation for Climate Change." The talk will be held at 7:30 p.m. in the Litrenta Lecture Hall, John S. Toll Science Center.

Crenshaw will examine the potential role wind energy technologies can have on lessening the impacts of climate change. The majority of the global population relies completely on fossil fuels for energy and transportation. Since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, there has been a sharp rise in the use of fossil fuels, which release large amounts of greenhouse gases into the troposphere causing global warming or climate change to occur. Alternative and renewable sources of energy such as wind power, Crenshaw believes, can help reverse this trend and reduce the harmful effects of fossil fuels on humans and the environment.

A 2004 alumna of Washington College, Crenshaw graduated magna cum laude with a double major in environmental studies and economics, receiving the Environmental Studies Award and the college's highest honor, the George Washington Medal. While a student, she was a member of the Omicron Delta Kappa leadership honor society and the Douglass Cater Society of Junior Fellows, as well as the Black Student Union, Cleopatra's Daughters, Student Government Association, Student Environmental Alliance, and the Washington College Diversity Planning Task Force.

In 2006, she received a master's degree in energy and environmental policy from the University of Delaware. She is currently employed as an environmental planner by the Mid-Atlantic Regional Air Management Association (MAMRA), an organization of 10 state and local air pollution control agencies joined in the mission to strengthen the skills and capabilities of member agencies and to work together to prevent and reduce air pollution in the Mid-Atlantic Region, an area that faces some of the most difficult and severe air quality problems in the nation.

Sponsored by the McLain Program in Environmental Studies, the lecture is free and open to the public.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Flutist Harold Jones Opens 2006-2007 Concert Series, September 24

Chestertown, MD, September 15, 2006 — A performance by flutist Harold Jones, accompanied by pianist Colette Valentine, will open the 55th season of the Washington College Concert Series, Sunday, September 24, 2006, at 4 p.m. in the College's Norman James Theatre, William Smith Hall. Single tickets can be purchased at the door, $15.00 for adults and $5.00 for students and youth 18 and under. Season tickets are available for $50.00 per person in advance or at the box office on performance nights.

Jones studied at Julliard School of Music, where he received the "Outstanding Woodwind Player" and continued his studies with the renowned Marcel Moyse. He has been a soloist with numerous orchestras, including the Bach Aria orchestra, New York Sinfonietta, American Symphony Orchestra, Brooklyn Philharmonia, National Orchestral Association, Municipal Concerts Orchestra, and Symphony of the New World. In addition to being on the faculties of the Westchester Conservatory of Music, Manhattan School of Music, and Manhattanville College, Jones founded the Antara Ensemble for Flute, an ensemble of twelve strings and piano dedicated to bringing a wide range of classical music to the culturally diverse neighborhoods of New York.

Jones will be accompanied by pianist Peter Vinograde, an outstanding interpreter of J.S. Bach and contemporary composers who annually tours the U.S., Canada, and Asia. He will celebrate Bach's birthday this season (March 21, 2007) at New York City's Austrian Cultural Forum, performing the Goldberg Variations.

For ticket information and a free 2006-2007 season brochure, call 410-778-7839 or 800-422-1782, ext. 7839, or e-mail Individual tax-deductible patron memberships begin at $75.00. Contributing patron memberships begin at $150.00, supporting at $250.00, and sustaining at $500.00. All membership packages include two tickets, and all donations over the price of the tickets are tax-deductible. Season tickets are available at the box office on performance nights.

Season tickets and memberships can be purchased by check or money order from the Washington College Concert Series, 300 Washington Avenue, Chestertown, MD 21620-1197.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

WC Professor's New Book Examines Women's Paths from Local to National Political Power

Chestertown, MD, September 13, 2006 — Are women underrepresented as political elites in the United States? Why has there never been a woman president? Melissa Deckman, associate professor of political science at Washington College, tackles these questions and more in her new book, Women and Politics: Paths to Power and Political Influence, just released by Pearson/Prentice Hall. Co-authored with Julie Dolan of Macalester College and Michele Swers of Georgetown University, Women and Politics examines the paths that women have taken to gain political power and public office as well as the challenges that they still face.

The text, written for college-level courses, tells the stories behind not only women as participators in public affairs, but also women as political movers-and-shakers and policy makers at all levels of government—local to national.

"My co-authors and I decided to write this textbook out of frustration with the current texts available for our courses on women in American politics," says Deckman. "Unlike most books that cover women's political history or public policy in great detail, we sought to write a book that had more in-depth coverage of women as political elites and provided a balanced account of both liberal and conservative political women."

Women and Politics takes a broad look at women political leaders in Congress, state legislatures, city councils, and school boards, as federal and state judges, and as appointed officials in the executive branch and as governors, she adds.

"Our book devotes several chapters to areas that are typically neglected in textbooks on women and politics. For example, we write extensively about women at the local level of government—the place where women politicians are most likely to be represented. We also strive to answer common questions about women in American politics, such as why are women in our nation, when compared to women in other industrialized democracies, so underrepresented as political elites?"

Deckman is a graduate of St. Mary's College of Maryland and received her Ph.D. in political science from American University in 1999. In addition to broader interests in America's national, state, and local politics, she has specialized in the study of the role of religion and of women in America's political scene. She is the author ofSchool Board Battles: The Christian Right in Local Politics (Georgetown University Press, 2004) and co-author of Women with a Mission: Religion, Gender, and the Politics of Women Clergy(University of Alabama Press, 2004). She has taught at Washington College since 2000.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

WC Drama: Schedule of Fall 2006 Productions

Chestertown, MD, September 12, 2006 — Washington College's Department of Drama presents a rich and exciting lineup of plays for the Fall 2006 season.

All shows are open to the public. For ticket reservations and information, call 410-778-7835 or e-mail


By Don Nigro
A senior thesis directed by Sarah Byrne
Kudner Bridge by the WC athletic fields
October 6 and 7, 5 p.m.
October 8, 2 p.m.


By Mary Zimmerman
Based on the Myths of Ovid
A senior thesis directed by Rachel Loose
Tawes Theatre
October 20 and 21, 8 p.m.


By Howard Korder
A senior thesis directed by Greg Schaefer
Reid Hall Basement
November 2, 3 and 4, 8 p.m.


By Joseph Kesselring
A senior thesis directed by Holly Marsden
Tawes Theatre
November 10 and 11, 8 p.m.


By Wendy MacLeod
A senior thesis directed by Kyle Woerner
Joseph McClain '37 Atrium, John S. Toll Science Center
November 16, 17 and 18, 8 p.m.

100 Voice Choir Gospel Concert Set to Raise Spirits, Honor Alumnus Vincent Hynson '87, October 7

Chestertown, MD, September 12, 2006 — On Saturday, October 7, 2006, the 100 Voice Choir returns to raise spirits and celebrate the life and example of the late Rev. Vincent Hynson, Washington College Class of 1987 alumnus and Kent County community leader. The concert will be held at the Kent County High School Auditorium. Doors open at 4:30 p.m. Tickets are just $5 per person and are available at the door or in advance from the Compleat Bookseller or Twigs and Teacups in downtown Chestertown.

This year's concert—through the efforts of many volunteers and Sylvia and Bill Frazier of S & B Productions—will provide two hours of music, song, and dance to put anyone and everyone "in the spirit." In addition to performances by the 100 Voice Choir and musical accompaniment by the Holy Horns, the concert's line-up includes interpretive dance by the Elliott Sisters; performances by the Second Generation Choir of Federalsburg, Maryland; and live from France—by way of Chestertown—jazz and R&B soloist Corey "Fat Cat" Hackett. The Rev. Sheridan Knight of Mount Olive Church-Butlertown will serve as the evening's Master of Ceremonies.

Proceeds from the concert benefit the Vincent Hynson Scholarship at Washington College. The impetus of Washington College President Baird Tipson, the scholarship honors the late Rev. Vincent Hynson—beloved Kent County teacher, coach, pastor, and community leader—who passed away in 2004. The scholarship is presented to an entering freshman who is a graduate of a secondary school in Kent County, who demonstrates financial need, and whose achievements and aspirations most closely emulate the values of community service exemplified by the life of Rev. Hynson. The scholarship covers 100 percent of the cost of tuition, room and board, books, and fees for the recipient.

"Vincent Hynson was a bridge-builder whose life was dedicated to uplifting our community, " said Dr. Tipson, who lends his voice to the tenor section of the choir. "His was the kind of life young people—and all people—should emulate. My hope is that this scholarship honors his life by helping local students who want to give back the chance to develop their talents and to realize their dreams through a Washington College education."

The first recipient of the scholarship, Joyell Johnson, Kent County High School Class of 2006, joined Washington College's entering Class of 2010 this fall. Applications are being accepted for students intending to enter college the fall 2007.

To be considered for the Vincent Hynson Scholarship, interested students should submit a scholarship essay and complete all admissions and financial aid application requirements no later than February 15, 2007. Essay instructions and admissions and financial aid information are available from the Washington College Office of Admissions by calling 410-778-7700.

The 100 Voice Choir Gospel Concert is sponsored by S & B Productions, Washington College, and the Kent County Arts Council. For more information, contact S & B Productions at 410-778-6006 or the Washington College Office of College Relations at 410-810-7111.

Saturday, September 9, 2006

Poet, Author Raymond Federman Pays Tribute to the Memory of Friend, Samuel Beckett, September 19

Chestertown, MD, September 8, 2006 — Washington College's Sophie Kerr Committee presents its first in a series of four events celebrating the centenary of the birth of novelist and playwright Samuel Beckett. On Tuesday, September 19, Raymond Federman will deliver "The Imaginary Museum of Samuel Beckett," a tribute in a form of a memoir from his book Le Livre de Sam, at 4:30 p.m. in the Sophie Kerr Room, Miller Library. The event is free, and the public is invited to attend.

A French and English bilingual author, Federman is recognized as one on the most distinguished critics of Beckett's work and was a personal friend of the late novelist and playwright. His lecture will emphasize Beckett's visual artistry rather than the pathetic circumstances of his characters, and his reading from Le Livre de Sam will reflect on his friendship with the author.

A native of France, Federman immigrated to the United States in 1947. He received his B.A. from Columbia University and his M.A. and Ph.D. from UCLA. He has taught at the University of California at Santa Barbara, the State University of New York at Buffalo, the University of Montreal, the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, and the University of California at San Diego. In 1990, he was promoted to the rank of SUNY Distinguished Professor and appointed to the Melodia E. Jones Chair of Literature in 1994. The author of four volumes of poems, several books of criticism, and numerous essays and articles, he considers himself primarily a fiction writer. He has published eight novels including To Whom it May Concern (The Fictive Collective Two, 1990), portraying the deportation and extermination of his family during World War II.

The reading is sponsored by the Sophie Kerr Committee, which works to carry on the legacy of the late Sophie Kerr, a writer from Denton, Maryland, whose generosity has done so much to enrich Washington College's literary culture. When she died in 1965, Kerr left the bulk of her estate to the College, specifying that one half of the income from her bequest be awarded every year to the senior showing the most "ability and promise for future fulfillment in the field of literary endeavor" and the other half be used to bring visiting writers to campus, to fund scholarships, and to help defray the costs of student publications.

Friday, September 8, 2006

Just out of the Fringe, Father Joy on Stage at Church Hill Theatre, September 8 and 9

Chestertown, MD, September 7, 2006 — Washington College's Drama Department and the Riverside Players present Father Joy, a senior thesis production returning from a summer run at Scotland's Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Written by Sheri Wilner and directed by Washington College senior Molly Weeks, Father Joy will be performed Friday, September 8, and Saturday, September 9, 8 p.m. at Church Hill Theatre. For ticket information and directions, visit

What do you do if your father is literally crumbling into sand? Abigail Margolis, portrayed by WC alumna Tess Pohlhaus '03, must deal with her disappearing father, dating her professor, and her overenthusiastic mother in a play hailed by the Edinburgh Fringe Festival as "amusing, touching, and thought-provoking." The ensemble cast—including WC students Thom Clancy, Lauren Campbell, and Bobby Bangert—give honest, spirited performances that "deserve to be seen" according to Edinburgh's Three Weeks Weekly.

"Finding a show for the Fringe Festival, the world's largest arts festival was my top priority," notes director Molly Weeks, "When I read Father Joy, I instantly related to the magical realism employed throughout and wanted the challenge of directing such a beautiful, funny, and slightly sad piece. Working on it and taking it to the Fringe has been the best theatrical experience of my life."

This year's Fringe Festival hosted more than 1800 shows. The Father Joy cast performed 15 shows at the Greyfriars Kirk House in Edinburgh.

Thursday, September 7, 2006

Poet Michael Collier Shares His Dark Wild Realm, September 12

Chestertown, MD, September 6, 2006 — Washington College's Sophie Kerr Committee presents acclaimed poet Michael Collier reading from his collections, Dark Wild Realm, The Ledge, The Neighbor, The Folded Heart, and The Clasp, Tuesday, September 12, at 4:30 p.m. in the Sophie Kerr Room of the Miller Library. A booksigning will follow. The event is free and open to the public.

Poet Laureate of Maryland from 2001-2004, Collier released Dark Wild Realm (Houghton Mifflin, 2006)—his fifth collection of verse—this summer. He is the author of four additional collections includingThe Ledge, a finalist for a National Book Critics Circle Award. Collier's poetry has been praised for its remarkable lucidity, possessing the rare ability to bring the wonders of the visual world into crisp, dynamic sentences while capturing the extraordinary of the ordinary.

"He has a novelist's gift for engaging the physical and social world we live in," notes Peter Campion, Assistant Professor of English at Washington College. "Yet his poems still deliver an intense, lyrical change."

Born in Phoenix, Arizona, Collier received his M.F.A. from the University of Arizona. He teaches in the Creative Writing Program at the University of Maryland, College Park, and is the director of the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference.

The reading is sponsored by the Sophie Kerr Committee, which works to carry on the legacy of the late Sophie Kerr, a writer from Denton, Maryland, whose generosity has done so much to enrich Washington College's literary culture. When she died in 1965, Kerr left the bulk of her estate to the college, specifying that one half of the income from her bequest be awarded every year to the senior showing the most "ability and promise for future fulfillment in the field of literary endeavor" and the other half be used to bring visiting writers to campus, to fund scholarships, and to help defray the costs of student publications.

Wednesday, September 6, 2006

Monopolizing Monologue: Master Storyteller Mike Daisey Turns Accepted History on Its Head, September 20

Chestertown, MD, September 5, 2006 — Washington College's Rose O'Neill Literary House and Sophie Kerr Committee present master storyteller Mike Daisey performing Monopoly!, an original monologue, directed by Jean-Michele Gregory, Wednesday, September 20, 2006, at 7 p.m., in the College's Norman James Theatre. In the spellbinding tradition of Spalding Gray, Daisey elevates the art of the monologue to distinctive new heights.

The event is free and the public is invited to attend.

A special master class on the art of the monologue with Daisey and Gregory will be held Thursday, September 21, at 4 p.m., at the Rose O'Neill Literary House. To reserve a space, e-mail Joshua Wolf Shenk, Director of the O'Neill Literary House, at

Monopoly! weaves together the secret history of the board game, the electricity war between eccentric inventors Nikola Tesla and Thomas Edison, the Microsoft antitrust scandal, and the descent of Wal-Mart into Daisey's pea-sized hometown—all the while subverting our accepted version of history. Working with no script and no props—except a desk and a glass of water—Daisey achieves a rare blend of biting social criticism, searching history, and raucous fun.

Praised as "one of the finest solo performers of his generation" by The New York Times, Daisey has toured the nation and the world presenting his monologues, including 21 Dog Years, Great Men of Genius, The Ugly American, Monopoly!, Invincible Summer, I Miss the Cold War, Wasting Your Breath, and Stories From the Atlantic Night Café. He has been a guest on The Late Show with David Letterman, and his work has been heard on BBC, NPR, and the National Lampoon Radio Hour. He is the author of 21 Dog Years: A Cubedweller's Tale (Free Press) and is currently working on his second book, Happiness is Overrated.

Since 1998, Jean-Michele Gregory has served as a constant collaborator, dramaturg, and co-conspirator on Daisey's many monologues. Her work has appeared in The New York Sun and Barnard Magazine, and she is currently writing a memoir.