Side Notes

Search for Assistant Alumni Director Remains Open
The Alumni Association is seeking applications for the position of assistant director of alumni events and electronic communications, a full-time, 12-month administrative and professional staff position reporting to the executive director of the Alumni Association. Experience with volunteers and event planning, plus the ability to work well in a team setting, are desirable. Visit for details.

Oberlin Football at Macalester
Cheer on the football team with other Oberlinians as the Yeomen take on Macalester College on Saturday, September 10, in St. Paul, Minn. Meet for a pre-game tailgate party at 11 a.m. Kick-off is at 1. For details and online registration, see

Conflict Resolution Symposium
Alumni who work in the areas of social justice and conflict resolution will meet on campus November 4–5 for a symposium sponsored by the Oberlin College Dialogue Center. “Local Realities, Global Responsi-bilities: Conflict Resolution at Oberlin and in the World” will offer classes and panel discussions for students and alumni interested in pursuing a career in the field.
Contact Yeworkwha “YB” Belachew at (440) 775-6728 or

Meet the Parents Web Site
Parents of Oberlin students, your job just got a little easier! A parents web site is up and running at Find out when dorms open in the fall and when exams are over in the spring. Get dates and schedules for Parents Weekend and Commencement, and see in one place basic information about housing, dining, bill paying, and how to send cookies at exam time. If only your parents had had this when you were at college!

An Ultimate Gift for Soldiers

While winter winds, snow, and a general foul mood whipped about the Oberlin playing fields last winter, a hardy band of Ultimate Frisbee players opted to take five.

Five discs emblazoned with the Flying Horsecows logo were mailed to Iraq in March, sparking an unlikely bond between Oberlin students and U.S. military personnel overseas.

The plan began simply, when senior Gabriel Alvarado talked to his teammates about his mother, a diplomat stationed in the Green Zone section of Baghdad, the heavily guarded area that houses U.S. forces and diplomats. Soldiers there, he said, play Ultimate as a way of coping with high-stress conditions.

“As Ultimate players, we were moved to know that the game had become such an important outlet for the folks there,” says Alvarado, who hopes for a career in the Foreign Service. “The fact that we could support something healthy for these people who faced daily dangers, even within the confines of the Green Zone, was important to me.”

But for senior Wilson Skinner, a longtime Horsecow, the act involved a weighty decision: would donating the discs be construed as supporting the war?

As a winter-term intern at the Center on Conscience & War in Washington, DC, Skinner says he spoke often with soldiers who wanted to escape the stress of the military: “That’s why I had such a hard time wrapping my head around the idea.”

Skinner later read more about overseas military life, particularly after the January battle in Fallujah in which soldiers described grisly hand-to-hand combat. “It was hard to imagine going through that, and I could see how it was such a stressful place,” he resolved. His bottom line: “Whether I was for or against the war, the soldiers’ necks were on the line, and I really sympathized with that.”

So on a blustery day in March, Skinner, Alvarado, and the other Horsecows boxed up and mailed the five discs overseas. Life went on at Oberlin—until the e-mails began arriving. Some came from players on British teams, others from Army engineers or Foreign Service officers.

“We would really like to express our gratitude for the Frisbees that you sent,” read a note signed Your Ultimate Frisbee Baghdad Correspondents. “As I am sure you are aware, Ultimate Frisbee offers each of us much exercise and enjoyment. It helps us pass the weeks as it gives us something to look forward to.”

And another from Jessica Gans, a political officer with the U.S. Embassy: “It’s good for the Baghdad crew to hear from real Ultimate players since all the people who play out here are brand new to the sport and are catching the disease quickly.”

“It was such a small donation, and it was appreciated so much,” reflects Skinner. “It was just five discs.”

Art Museum Acquires Works from Jim Dine

Artist Jim Dine, a leader in the Pop Art movement, has given four major drawings to the Allen Memorial Art Museum in honor of the recent show of his work, Jim Dine, some drawings, which were on view at the AMAM from April through July.

The four mixed media works—Large Drawing of a Small Statue (1978); Nancy, Venice (1986-87), left; Study for Europe (1987), right; and Untersberg No. 6 (1993)—are among 85 drawings in the show, the majority of them from private collections. Together, they illustrate Dine’s draftsmanship over more than four decades, which the Washington Post recently celebrated as “brilliant” and “reminiscent of Rembrandt and Picasso.”

Organized by Stephanie Wiles, the John G.W. Cowles Director of the AMAM, the exhibition marked the 40th anniversary of Dine’s 1965 artist-in-residency at Oberlin, when legendary Professor of Art History Ellen Johnson invited the young Ohio-born artist to present his first solo museum show at the AMAM.

During Dine’s recent visit to Oberlin, his first since 1965, he spoke with students in the Museum’s Ellen Johnson Gallery.

Alumni can view the exhibit at the Neuberger Museum of Art at Purchase College, State University of New York (September 18–January 6), and at the Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art at Northwestern University in Chicago (April 7–June 18, 2006).

Photo by Fuchs/Kasparek Photography

Heisman Club Hall of Fame: Five more names were added to Oberlin’s Athletic Hall of Fame in May, including the late George A. Vradenburg ’10, a varsity football, basketball, and baseball player. Vradenburg later served on the Board of Trustees and contributed to the building of the George M. Jones Field House. Other inductees included Russell Spicer ’47, a three-time letter winner in baseball and football and a career-long teacher and coach; Kavita Varma ’91, a four-time letter winner in tennis and 10-year journalist; Richard A. Miller ’52, a five-time letter winner in soccer and lacrosse and longtime professor of economics at Wesleyan University; and swimmer Mike Heithaus ’91, an assistant professor of marine biology at Florida International University who still holds seven Oberlin records for his efforts in the pool. The alumni were honored May 27 at the Heisman Club’s annual Hall of Fame dinner.


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