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The College Magazine - Spring 2000 : Right in my own backyard
Right in my own backyard
Year 2000. Up North, we welcomed the new century with fireworks aimed across the lake and champagne bubbles tingling our noses. It was magic. I felt and still feel a sense of hope, of renewal, of redemption in this new century, like the world can begin again, not only with a clean slate but with the advantage of a thousand more years of experience. Surely we can learn from it.

What do I want to happen in the next thousand years? My list probably doesnít differ much from yours: cures for disease; the end of hunger; population size controlled by humans, not plagues or war; a clean, diverse, spectacular environment; kindness and respect for cultures and creatures that arenít us. The list could go on and on.

There is probably little I can do to move any of those agendas forward worldwide, but as a Midwesterner by birth and choice, I have an ingrained belief in the power of taking responsibility. I am responsible for my own backyard, for myself and my family. If I keep them in good shape and everyone else keeps their yards and families tended, the town doesnít have problems. If the towns donít have problems, the states donít. If the states donít the country doesnít. You get the picture.

Maybe that belief has more to do with what my friend calls "control needs," but I tend to focus on the little things I can affect. In that spirit Iíll suggest a few improvements, much further down the list of what really matters, that Iíd like to see in the next hundred years:

  • Gas powered lawn mowers that always start
  • Windshield wipers that work
  • Disposable diapers that are really disposable
  • Understandable airline ticket prices
  • Sheer stockings that donít run
  • Chip-free nail polish
  • Word processing software that doesnít change every six months

    You can add to this list by e-mailing me at greens@indiana.edu with your thoughts. In the meantime, Iíve got some work to do in my office and yard.

    The donors listed below must believe in tending their own backyards for they are all members of the Indiana University family. We value every gift to the College but it is something special when those who give so much to the university in other ways choose to fund endowments too.

    Professor Emeritus and Mrs. Hollis Johnson, Department of Astronomy, funded an endowment, used at the discretion of the chairperson, to support any endeavor that makes the department stronger in research and teaching.

    Professor Emeritus James Ackerman, Department of Religious Studies, and his wife, Alexandra, designed an endowment that will support graduate student scholarships and teaching awards in the Department of Religious Studies and will provide scholarships to honors students.

    Professor Emeritus Frank Edmondson, Department of Astronomy, and his wife, Margaret, began funding the Daniel Kirkwood Professorship years ago. Recently, after Margaretís death, Dr. Edmondson completed the professorship to honor her and his long career in the department.

    Nancy Moss, administrative assistant in the Department of Philosophy, and her husband, Clement, established an endowed graduate fellowship for students who plan to study the history of philosophy, ethics, or value theory.

    Professor Emeritus Judson Mead and his wife Jane funded a professorship in the Department of Geological Sciences in honor of longtime family friend and distinguished IU PhD, Robert Schrock.

    -Susan Green

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    Last Updated: December 15, 2000
    Comments: asalumni@indiana.edu
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