Tidbits & Briefs

Science Inaction

Window dressings: Can you spot the random flamingo?

There’s a lab window on the south side of Olin Science Center that proves that scientists have fully developed senses of humor. For years, odd printed messages have shown up randomly, all taped face-out so passers-by can have a read. Call it the co-curricular part of students’ science training at Willamette.

Sample bits of wisdom:

  • “If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the precipitate.”
  • “It was recently discovered that research is the leading cause of cancer in rats.”
  • “Biology in action: square peg, round hole, hammer, survival of the fittest.”
  • “Ohnosecond: that miniscule fraction of time in which you realize that you’ve just made a big mistake.”

Kaye’s Rose

RosesRose Garden

A decade or two ago, Kaye Lee and her husband, William ’56, gifted two roses to Willamette. They were planted along with several dozen others in the garden that serves as the north-side campus entryway. The first was planted in honor of the couple’s son, William Jr., who had died as a teen on the trip out to live in Oklahoma; the second celebrated William’s grandfather, an Oxford graduate who had planted the college seed in his grandson’s young mind.

But there was a third rose Kaye never knew about.

She found it for the first time while visiting campus in 2010. Much to her delight, William had planted it in her name and then never mentioned it before he passed away in 2003. Kaye found her surprise in full bloom in the corner of a vibrant bed:

‘Perfume Beauty’
Hybrid Tea
For the love and support of my wife,
L. Kaye Lee
William N. Lee ‘56

“I’d been to the garden before,” Kaye said afterward, “but had never looked in that spot. I was so excited when I saw it I was just squealing.”

Showdown: Buzz Bar vs. Barz Bar

Don’t let the visual likeness fool you: The Barz Bar (above) and the Buzz Bar (below) are very different delectables.

Everybody seems to know these cookie bars. They’re sugar-high-inducing Willamette traditions that vie for our buck-fifty. Students crave them; alumni remember them and request them at events. Some days in the Bistro they’re gone before noon.

Wanting an excuse to go and buy a couple (for research) The Scene’s editors visited the Bistro and asked a few Willamette community members about their beloved bars. Opinions run strong.

“Buzz Bars are my all-time favorite,” says Director of Admission Teresa Hudkins ‘69, “and they have been a feature of our Preview Day Bistro reception for years. They’re wonderful.” Sue Rauch ‘75, former associate vice president for admission and financial aid, remembered the genesis of the Buzz Bar name. “I was in line behind ‘Buzz’ Yocom ‘49, who was there buying one of them, and the student worker made some laughing comment about how Buzz was their best customer for that particular confection. Someone, I don’t remember who, said, ‘You should call them Buzz Bars.’ And that’s how they got their name.”

Karen Wood, associate chaplain for vocational exploration, respects Yocom and his legacy but goes for the Barz Bar instead. She reports bouts of “Barz Bar Deficiency Disorder (BBDD)” and a system of preserving Barz Bars over the summer while the Bistro is closed. Laura Payne ’06 offered a similar assessment: “The trick with the Barz Bar is to hand-pick which one you want, since each has a different ratio of cookie to chocolate. You can’t get that same customized order with the Buzz Bars.”

“Team Buzz Bar,” continues Madeline Yoste ’12, “will tell you that what makes their cookie bar the best is that initial crunch of a cold top chocolate layer, followed by a slight ooze of peanut butter that dissolves quickly and leaves a mouthful of sweetness. Team Barz Bar resents the fickle, instant gratification of the Buzz Bar and prefers the hearty, thick swirls of baked oats and fudgy chocolate.”

And no, we can’t have the recipes.

Chemical equations, power chords — it’s all smiles to Holman.

Since 1990, half of the men and women chosen as Oregon Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education have been Willamette faculty.

To alumni, these are some of the biggest names of recent years, and they cover all sorts of disciplines: Richard Ellis (politics), Jerry Gray (economics), Suresht Bald (politics), Bill Duvall (history), Daniel Montague (physics), Art Payton (chemistry), Roger Hull (art history), Mary Ann Youngren (psychology), Frances Chapple (chemistry).

This year’s winner is Karen McFarlane Holman ‘90 of chemistry, an alumna-turned-faculty-member known for her research and her punk-rock tendencies (she’s a guitarist in her off-hours) as well as her primary skills of engaging small groups of students and explaining chemistry in an accessible way.

“Professor Holman’s curiosity and enthusiasm are hard to resist,” says Natalie Muren ’06, a chemistry graduate who is now seeking her PhD at the California Institute of Technology. “Her students engage in her lectures because they want to discover for themselves just what new concept has made her so excited.”

To hear a little from Holman, see “Blurring an Old Line,” p. 22.

Keeping Up With the Greeks

Members of the Panhellenic and Interfraternity Councils: Top row: Jessica Meyers ’12, Marshall Curry ’13, 2nd row: Sarah Sonnenfeld ’12, Josh Rice ’12, 3rd row: Dan Boarman ’13, Laura Braithwaite ’12, 4th row: Jaci Abeloe ’13, Nathan Combs ’13, Judy Lee ’12, Bottom: Mitch Wood ’13, Lyndsy Clark ’12

A collection of recent Greek-life happenings, courtesy of the Office of Student Activities:

  • During the 2010–11 academic year, 82 women joined Willamette’s three sororities and 99 men joined the five fraternities.
  • Currently, 482 students (27 percent of the CLA student body) are members of fraternities and sororities.
  • Following Serenades, a yearly music/dance competition among fraternities and sororities, the Interfraternity and Panhellenic Councils
  • hosted Serenades Share, which showcased all of the chapters’ performances for the wider Willamette community. An entry fee of $1 was charged and proceeds donated to the Marion-Polk Food Share; last year’s Share raised $1,330.

Service and philanthropy highlights from this year:

  • Alpha Chi Omega’s Acapella Night raised more than $2,600 for the Mid-Valley Women’s Crisis Service.
  • Beta Theta Pi collected 2,734 items of clothing during their annual Penny Coat Drive.
  • The Delta Gammas have raised more than $1,100 for Service for Sight and donated more than 900 hours of service.
  • Kappa Sigma’s interest group has raised $350 in philanthropic dollars and served more than 80 hours.
  • Pi Beta Phi women volunteered almost 500 hours during the spring semester and raised more than $600 for philanthropic causes in the fall.
  • Phi Delta Theta’s Lou Gehrig Softball Tournament raised $750 in support of ALS research.
  • Sigma Alpha Epsilon members have donated more than 300 hours of community service as of press time and sponsored the Kalan Morinaka Memorial Basketball Tournament to raise money for the ALS foundation.
  • Sigma Chi’s Willamette Bachelor event raised $3,700 for the Huntsman Cancer Institute.

Kappa Sigma is working toward reestablishing itself as a chapter. The group recently pledged 27 men and is applying for recognition from the university as an interest group, the second of a three-step process for returning to full chapter status. With special help from Paul Boaden ’77 and others, Kappa Sigma has opened a renovated off-campus house to its members.

The Sports Page


Historic Game, Perfect Mismatch?

Let’s sum up the differences between Willamette and Portland State. Willamette is a member of NCAA Division III; Portland State plays in Division I. Willamette offers no athletic scholarships; Portland can offer 63 for football. Willamette enrolls about 2,000 undergraduate students; Portland State has around ten times that many.

So why are these football teams going to play each other this year?

Bearcat Head Coach Mark Speckman says that it’s part scheduling and part challenge. Willamette typically plays a small California college or two so players can get the field time, but this season it didn’t work out that way. So, when Portland State (who had run into a similar scheduling issue) called, the idea sounded curiously reasonable. The Bearcats would benefit from the challenge, and it would cost far less for the team to travel to Portland than it would to find a game in Wisconsin or Texas.

It’s possible that there hasn’t been a single Division III school to play a scholarship Division I team — anywhere in the country — over the last decade.

Still, the biggest mistake would be to think that Willamette’s squad expects to get squashed. “Our program is based on competition,” Speckman says. “We routinely play a tough schedule. We look at this game as a tremendous opportunity to compete.”

The Bearcats will take the Vikings of Portland State by surprise at the renovated JELD-WEN Field (formerly PGE Park) in Portland on Saturday, Oct. 22. Kickoff is at 5:05 p.m.

For tickets and other information, visit the athletics website at willamette.edu/athletics.

Welcome to the Hall of Fame

Hall of Fame

Nine inductions were made to Willamette’s athletic Hall of Fame this spring semester. As usual, these were mostly individual nominees whose prowess and performance made them standouts among the athletes of their era. However, one highly successful team was also inducted, as was an alumnus who has shown uncommon dedication in service to athletics programs over the years.

We send hearty congratulations to the following inductees:

  • Robin (Heard) Buckingham ‘99, MAT’01 (soccer)
  • Beth (Fitzgerald) Rainford ‘99, MAT’00 (cross country, track and field)
  • Bill Hartman ‘63 (football)
  • Nik Lubisich ‘01 (baseball)
  • Jimmy Watts ‘99, MAT’00 (basketball, track and field)
  • Marlene Piper (volleyball coach)
  • Kelly Sullivan ’79 (cross country coach)
  • 1998 women’s soccer team
  • Dick Carney ‘64 (meritorious service)
  • Hall of Fame inductions are made every other year. If you have a nomination in mind

Hall of Fame inductions are made every other year. If you have a nomination in mind for the future, make it at willamette.edu/athletics/hof. The site also provides a great primer on the program and all the work involved.

For the most up-to-date Willamette news and events, remember to check your email inbox each month for WU News, our electronic newsletter. Not receiving it? Just email us: alumni@willamette.edu.