Commencement honors
Conferred at Commencement on May 18, 2003 were 114 graduate degrees and 303 undergraduate degrees, including 13 Katharine McBride Scholars, students beyond traditional college age. Graduate degrees included 15 doctorates, 26 masters of arts, 64 masters of social work, and nine masters of law and social policy.

The Gertrude Slaughter Fellowship was awarded to Lydia Lee Ann Wilson '03, who graduated summa cum laude with a major in anthropology. She will be doing research at the University of Nairobi next year.

The European Traveling Fellowship was awarded to Trecia Amora Pottinger '03, who graduated summa cum laude with a double major in The Growth and Structure of Cities and German. She will pursue a Ph.D. in American Studies at the University of Minnesota. Along with Amy Peltz '02 (see p. 51), Pottinger received one of 94 Andrew W. Mellon Fellowships in Humanistic Studies awarded nationwide this year to first-year doctoral students. The award is "designed to help exceptionally promising students prepare for ca reers of teaching and scholarship in humanistic disciplines."

The Doris Sill Carland Prize for excellence in teaching assistance was awarded to Robert Ekey in the department of physics and Elizabeth Shea in the department of biology.

The Lindback Award for Distin-guished Teaching was presented to Assistant Professor of History Michael Powell.

The Rosalyn R. Schwartz Teaching Award was presented to Mark Lord, associate professor in the arts, director of the arts and director of theater, and to Karl Kirchway, associate professor in the arts and director of creative writing.

The Mary Patterson McPherson Award for Excellence among faculty was presented to Professor of Chemistry Michelle Francl.

Graduating to the status of professor emeritus were Mary E. Garrett Alumnae Professor of English and Comparative Literature Carol Bernstein; Professor of Classical and Near Eastern Archaeology Richard Ellis; and Professor of French Catherine Lafarge.

Also honored were staff who are retiring this year: Erika R. Behrend, associate dean of the undergraduate college and lecturer in psychology; Margaretta Conley, office services assistant in the copy center; Shirley Noble, administrative assistant in the treasurer's office; and consultant to the registrar's office, Julie Painter '59.

Live on the edge of chaos!
Convocation speaker David Oxtoby, a research chemist who was nurtured on Bryn Mawr's campus for 16 years as a faculty child, urged graduates to act as agents of change in the world, drawing an analogy with the formation of new states of matter such as ice crystals and snowflakes.

Trustee of the College and Dean of the Division of Physical Sciences at the University of Chicago, Oxtoby became the ninth president of Pomona College in Claremont, CA in July. Son of the late John Oxtoby, professor emeritus of mathematics, he recalled baseball games on Denbigh Green, the beeches above the hockey field (which he and his sisters called "the climbing tree" and "the upside-down tree,") and Bryn Mawr students: "impossibly grown-up and sophisticated young women."

Oxtoby paid tribute to four Bryn Mawr women who have had a profound effect on his life: "The first is of course my mother, Jean Oxtoby, Bryn Mawr '42, who came to this College as a full scholarship student from center-city Philadelphia and whose passion for learning and compassion for other people shaped my life. The second is Hanna Holborn Gray '50, distinguished historian who as President of the University of Chicago first brought me into leadership positions in my own institution. Some 14 years ago, as Chair of the Bryn Mawr Board of Trustees, she invited me to join that wonderful group. The third and fourth are two Presidents of Bryn Mawr College: Mary Patterson McPherson and Nancy Vickers. Very different from one another, but each with tremendous vision and powerful qualities of leadership, they have served as role models for me. When Pomona first approached me about their presidency, I responded positively in part because I had seen what a difference gifted individuals such as Pat and Nancy had made i n this college."

Oxtoby urged seniors to mentor other women and increase their participation in all areas of society. "But don't forget that women can provide powerful role models for men as well," he added.

The liberal arts education that graduates have received at Bryn Mawr prepares them to deal with uncertainty and ambiguity, which we particularly resist in times of possible risk and danger, Oxtoby said.

"It is not a narrow vocational training for a particular job, in which you learn a set of skills that enable you to fill a narrow niche in the corporate hierarchy," he said. "In a time when job descriptions change each year and what you are doing after five years bears little resemblance to the position with which you started, such training is of limited value. A true education, on the other hand, develops your abilities to analyze and synthesize, to think critically and creatively, and thus to take a new and unfamiliar task and approach it from a fresh perspective."

Oxtoby also likened agents of social change to a problem at the heart of his own research in chemistry.

"Nucleation is the first appearance of a new state of matter surrounded by the original state," he said. "Consider the formation of ice crystals or snowflakes from liquid water cooled down below its freezing point. If you start with a very pure sample of water, it can sit essentially indefinitely below the freezing point and nothing will happen. Add a nucleation agent, which might be an impurity or something as simple as a dust particle, and quickly ice will begin to appear. The perturbation of the pure wa ter structure has set off the change in state.

"... As we step into the 21st century, we face an environment that is ripe for change. In the absence of a nucleating agent we could wait forever for something to happen, just as the water can sit forever even though it possesses, according to thermodynamics, a tendency to become ice. ... In your own lives, you will encounter situations in which you can choose to sit back and let things continue as they have been. Alternatively, you can step up and introduce a new angle, a roughness, if you will, that perm its a new state to emerge. One of the lessons we learn from nucleation theory is that a small perturbation can have a lasting effect on a large system. The same is true of people who act as change agents in the world.

"The crystal grows best in conditions that are neither too stable or unstable. Stability is certainly a good thing, but too much stability stifles growth because it reduces the drive for change. In physics, this is the boring linear world in which we observe that everything relaxes back toward equilibrium. Nonlinearity is needed for the emergence of interesting new structures far from equilibrium. If a system is pushed too far, however, into fully developed chaos, then order disappears and growth is no lon ger possible. My advice to you, then, is to live your lives right on the edge of chaos, where the opportunities for growth and change are the greatest."

Faculty notebook
An article by Professor of Chemistry Michelle Francl has made the list of the 125 articles published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society that have been most frequently cited by other authors elsewhere. "Michelle's article is listed 108th out of the 135,149 articles published by the Journal, the most prestigious in chemistry, in its 125 years," said Provost Ralph Kuncl.

On May 16, 2003, Assistant Professor of Greek, Latin and Classical Studies Catherine Conybeare, Assistant Professor of History, Ignacio Gallup-Diaz, and Assistant Professor of Archaeology Peter Magee were named Roslyn R. Schwartz Lecturers. These lectureships assist young faculty members with their research and aid the College in recognizing and supporting outstanding faculty members. Gallup-Diaz is researching the creation of autonomous African communities in 16th-century Panama following a period of pr otracted rebellion and warfare. Magee will be conducting research in the United Arab Emirates on aspects of the archaeology of southeastern Arabia in the first millennium B.C.E.; specifically looking at ceramic composition and the archaeozoology of the site of Muweilah. Conybeare is continuing work on her book, The Irrational Augustine.

The John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation has awarded a 2003 Guggenheim Fellowship to Steven Z. Levine, Leslie Clark Professor in the Humanities and Professor of History of Art. The Guggenheim Fellowships, awarded annually to "men and women who have already demonstrated exceptional capacity for productive scholarship or exceptional creative ability in the arts," are grants intended to give fellows "blocks of time" to pursue creative or scholarly work freely.

Levine plans to devote his fellowship year, during which he will be on sabbatical, to writing a book, Face Painting: Self-Representation in France from Montaigne and Poussin to Duchamp and Derrida.

Face Painting will bring historical and pyschoanalytic perspectives to bear on both visual and literary self-portraits from the 16th century to the present. The project focuses on "the role of the mirror-reflection of the cosmetically painted face of the woman in the elaboration of a gender-implicated tradition of French self-portraiture." Levine said he would devote the year primarily to writing: "The fellowship may fund a study trip to see some very important self-portraits in collections in Par is and Florence, but most of the research is done; I just need to sit down and write."

Threepenny Opera
BiCo students performed Bertolt Brecht's Threepenny Opera April 4-6 and 10-12 in Goodhart Hall. The plot is a lampoon of an opera story, featuring the romance of Mack the Knife, a criminal, and Polly Peachum, the daughter of the King of Beggars, and Polly's parents' efforts to keep them apart. The police become involved, along with a motley assortment of crooks and prostitutes.

In the original version, a bunch of beggars get together to put on a play. In the BiCo version, a bunch of young, upper-middle class Americans got together for a party and improvised being a group of beggars putting on a play. The set was the great room of a suburban house undergoing renovation. Contemporary pop band The Snow Fairies provided the music. Band-members include Melissa Sweet Kramer '00, a library assistant in Canaday, and Rose Bochansky '99.

Director of Theater and the Arts Program, Mark Lord directed. Technical Director of Theater Hiroshi Iwasaki designed the show with lighting by Matt Sharp, Hfd '02.

Aaron Lemonick, 80
Trustee of the College Aaron Lemonick, 80, a physicist, gifted teacher and longtime Princeton University administrator, died on June 19. A memorial service at Princeton University will take place on Saturday, October 18. For additional information, please see the
Princeton University website.

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