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Try to Remember When Life Was Slow and Oh, So Mellow

May 20, 2023

What do you remember about spring semester in 1973? Do you recall any important events or memorable milestones? Caroline Webber, K’73, has collated headlines from the campus weekly newspaper, The Spectator, which might spark some recollections. It’s clear that our young college was taking root and facing growing pains. The publication’s masthead had evolved as well:

January 22, 1973

Colleges Receive Grants to Further Ed Objectives

Kirkland receives Kresge Foundation grant and Mellon Grant for Kirner and Johnson buildings and faculty development.

February 2

Advisory Commission to Study Kirkland Sciences

Initiated at the behest of Samuel Fisher Babbitt, the commission will also examine ways of fulfilling Kirkland’s coordinate obligations to HC.

Yale-Based Course on Sexuality Offered to Confront Ignorance

Kirkland to Expand Enrollment to 650

Middle States Association Grants Kirkland College Full Accreditation

Kirkland is accredited by the Commission on Higher Education of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools.

February 9

Hamilton Adopts New Policy; Hires Women and Minorities

According to the article, “Hamilton College has had few women faculty members since it was founded. However, two women have been appointed to the faculty recently, one temporarily and the other permanently. … This upsurge in the percentage of women professors on the Hill was caused by a few factors. Possibly the most obvious reason is the new and existing guidelines for women and minority hiring that the federal government has established. These guidelines prohibit discrimination against any people on the grounds of race, creed, color, sex, or national origin. The ‘Affirmative Action Program’ is the name for the program that has tried to encourage the hiring of minority groups and women. … A less obvious reason for hiring these women, but actually the most important reason was the fact that they were the best that could be found, either male or female.”

Lettuce Boycott.

This week marks the beginning of a campaign to organize a lettuce boycott on the Kirkland-Hamilton campus. The campaign corresponds to a nationwide endeavor on the part of the United Farm Workers, to put a halt to the consumption of all non-union lettuce.

Kirkland Trustees Will Review Mature Plans for Co-op Dorms

February 16

Is Winter Study Working? Deans Review Responses

Kirkland Faculty Rejects Course Evaluation Questions

The Kirkland faculty rejected a SCACA subcommittee course evaluation questionnaire at their meeting last Tuesday. Students concerned about this rejection re seeking to devise a method of evaluation that would provide valuable information for both faculty and students.

‘Don Juan in Hell’ on Stage; Sam Babbitt in title Role

Kirkland Honored as Member of Union of Experimenting Colleges

KC has recently been accepted for membership to UECU, “a national consortium fostering research and experimentation in higher education.”

February 23

Babbitt Discusses Budget, Staff Changes in Annual Talk

Betty Bouch, Dean of Residence, to leave at end of the year. “We will break even again this year” was the outlook projected by President Babbitt concerning finances…. However, Kirkland will suffer a projected deficit of $750,000 for next year, and the Board of Trustees will only approve one of $500,000. They are hoping to raise a half million dollars, and to cut the remainder from the budget as it now stands.

Outbreak of German Measles on H-K campuses (25+ cases)

Animal Registration.

If you have already registered a dog last semester, you will be billed automatically for this semester. If you have moved…please notify the Humane Society. The following dogs have been restricted because they were seen three times last week in McEwen and/or Commons: 1) Morgan, 2) Olive, 3) Chochie, 4) Fritz, 5) Tracy, 6) Maggie, 7) Hector, 8) Chob. If you see any of these dogs in a dining hall, please send a slip noting the dog, the date and time and building to the Humane Society.

McEwen, pre-KJ, had a wooden connector and staircase

Crisis Center Closes, Changing Needs Cited

“…According to its founder and co-ordinator, Debbie Spears K’73, ’Upstairs’ closed because its staff felt that it was no longer an effective vehicle for dealing with student problems.”

March 2

SIMS (Student international Meditation Society) Plans Kirkland Course In Transcendental Meditation

Choirs Trek To NYC Monday To Perform Mass at Town Hall

– Paul Kuent Chamber Orchestra of Paris and Hamilton-Kirkland Choir

USSR Winter Study: Unique Cultural Exchange Includes 21 students from HC and KC

March 9

Trustees Favor Co-op Life; Can Not Sponsor Finances Trustees agreed in theory but main obstacles are financial ones.

Kirkland Steering Committee Discusses Commencement. Seating plan provides for a total of 800 people; luncheon to be held before commencement. “The concept of allowing any senior to make a speech when she receives her diploma remains.” No designs have yet been submitted. Students will be free to decorate their diploma as they wish. Kirkland will also provide conventional diplomas. Dr. Margaret Meade had been considered as keynote speaker but she will be in New Guinea at that time. Committee attempting to contact Ms. Eleanor Holmes Norton, Commissioner of Human Rights of NYC [now U.S. Rep for D.C.].

April 6

PIRG [Public Interest Research Group] Formed on College Hill PIRG I modeled after Ralph Nader’s Washington, DC organization. Organized by states, the non-profit, non-artisan independent groups are working for constructive social change benefitting the citizens of each state. PIRGs are designed to transcend the lack of continuity and lack of expertise which beset many student movements. PIRGs employ a full-time staff of professionals from various disciplines who work on environment and consumer protection, health and safety, racial and sexual employment practices and similar issues.”

April 13

Attrition Analyzed. HC attrition rate 20-25%, stays the same over 10 years; Friedensohn not displeased with 25% Kirkland attrition; helps assess progress. One out of 4 members of Kirkland Charter class did not graduate.

Babbitt on Kirkland College: Innovation Is Key Factor Kirkland College Conference on Teaching and Learning conclusions by SFB: “…innovation was the difference between institutional life and death for Kirkland College. …Although he admitted that change incurred the risk of failure he warned that if college did not question whether the way they were teaching could be done better, faculties would become ‘maintenance people’ not educators.” More than 200 educators and students from 10 different colleges attended the conference.

April 20

Meat High in Fat; Service Systems Inc. Acts The fat content of meat purchased by Service Systems Inc. from area distributors exceeded contract standards and, in one case, exceeded Federal standards, according to a recent test conducted by Judy Steinlauf ‘73. … Ms. Steinlauf, who is considering consumer law as a possible career, begin the project as a part of the Action studies course directed by Dean Doris Friedensohn.

Service Systems agrees to serve only farm workers union lettuce in McEwen and Commons dining halls. Student Food Committee gathered 800 signatures on a petition, pleased with the service’s cooperative attitude in the endeavor.

April 27

Kirkland as a Women’s College Considered Evaluation Team representing the Commission on Higher Education of the Middle States Association. Report to the Faculty, Administration and Trustees of Kirkland College.

Some points: their impression is that Kirkland’s distinctiveness could be “maintained without significant change” if student body became co-educational. That is to say, if KC is as committed to being a women’s college as it is to an innovative one, it needs to take some important steps: Trustees approve a “Committee on Kirkland as a College for women” (has done this); currently “no effective focal point at Kirkland for students concerned with the status of women in society in general, and at Kirkland in particular. Previous attempts by interested students to carry out appropriate programs have often met with many obstacles: an apathetic student body, the feeling that nothing could be accomplished at an administrative level, a lack of funds, etc.” Informal committees are being formed in these areas: women’s film society, women’s advisory committee on careers, McIntosh collection of women’s books, a feminist radio show, a day care center, a newsletter.

Colleges Confront Computer Problem HC doesn’t own or lease any computer facilities; there are several teletype machines hooked into a central machine at Griffiths Air Force Base (Rome, NY). An ad hoc committee has been formed. Explanations of why computers are important for doing research and data storage. “People will be surprised,” [Jonathan Vaughn] stated, “at how rapidly a new system would become inadequate.” This apparently raise the problem of installing a computer which will not become obsolete in too short a time. …

N.Y. State Dorm Authority Funds K-H Co-op Dorm

Kirkland Third Commencement Ceremony: Babbitt and Coffin Will Address Grads Beer and Lunch Party for graduates and a limited number of guests. Day’s celebrations will close with a Champagne Party. Graduation exercises will be conducted in a tent accommodating 1000 people. William Sloane Coffin, Chaplain of Yale University and an anti-war activist will be the guest speaker. Open mike. Class voted to model their diplomas after the Hamilton graduation certificate. President John J. Chandler, who leaves Hamilton in July to assume the Presidency of Williams College, will receive the Kirkland President’s Medal.

During the week before graduation, the student committee…will sponsor art exhibits, plays and skits as part of the celebration. The committee also plans a Pot Luck Supper for graduates and their parents Monday May 21.

Folk Festival Next Weekend; Best From East Will Be Here

May 3

Vietnam Withdrawal to be Discussed May 8th

May 23

Letter to Editor, by Julie Barsel K’73 “Dis-May on the Hill: It being May, that time of year when surviving members of the graduating class are tallied, many were surprised to find a new name on the roster. Having achieved every other imaginable degree, Mother Nature decided that it was high time she achieve one from college, weather or not it would chalk her highs any higher or her lows any lower, by the men at the Bureau. And so, it also being that last minute time when requirements are retallied, it was found, much to the dis-May of the entire Hill, that Mother Nature was lacking one Winter Study credit. And it being customary to forewarn those in such a situation, the Dean called mother Nature into her office, where upon learning the bleak news, Mom stormed out to see what she could do. And she did. Which is why it snowed last Thursday and Friday … which is why the moral of this story is offered; Give credit WHEN credit is due!”

Babbitt Speaks on Women in Higher Education Transcript of speech, Women and Change in Higher Education, delivered by SFB at Smithsonian institution to National Council of Women. Quote:

“The things we thought would be good education for women in 1968 and ’69 appear to us now to be good education for people in 1973.”
– Samuel Fisher Babbitt

(And beyond!)

4 Comments leave one →
  1. May 20, 2023 2:55 pm

    I loved reading these bits of Kirkland history from 1973. Thanks for posting this, Jo.

  2. Caryn Katz permalink
    May 20, 2023 3:59 pm

    what fun to read these – and why would anyone want to “restrict” Olive – one of my fondest memories is of Olive and her “pack” meandering around outside McEwen

  3. May 20, 2023 7:42 pm

    This was a great collaboration with Caroline and Jo. Some of the photos are more in the ’68-’71 timeframe, but if you have others, we’d love to include them!

  4. Caroline Webber permalink
    May 26, 2023 12:18 pm

    Hi Jo,
    I need to check this site more frequently!! I’m glad you could make use of the material and that others have a place to read and recollect history. When I was a freshman, Jerry Townsend had those in his history core course write a “grandfather” paper where we integrated the life of a grandparent within the context of the time in which they lived. Well, here’s that “grandmother” paper 53 years later! I’m in the process right now of putting together a few headlines from those years for the slideshow I’m working on for K’73, but there’s not enough room for more than headlines. This website demonstrates what a great medium it is for what you are doing. Thank you!

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