Alumni College

Alumni College features panel discussions and lectures by faculty members and alumni on cutting edge scholarship, Carleton initiatives, and other timely issues.

Reunion 2017 marks the conclusion of a year-long celebration of the College’s 150th anniversary. The sesquicentennial itself was celebrated on campus October 14-16, 2016 (the College’s founding date is October 12, 1866). Events honoring people, places, traditions and significant events in Carleton’s history were held around the country throughout the sesquicentennial year.

During Reunion weekend, Alumni College lectures will delve into Carleton’s history and explore Carleton’s future as a leader in the liberal arts. Below are presentations currently planned, subject to change. Selected sessions from previous reunions were videotaped and are archived here.

Reunion 2017 Alumni College Presentations

Alumni College: Religious and Spiritual Life at Carleton, presented by Carleton Chaplain Carolyn Fure-Slocum '82 P12 and Bruce Colwell.

Carleton Chaplain Carolyn Fure-Slocum '82 P12 and Bruce Colwellwill present a brief history of religious life at Carleton. From the founding of the College by the Congregationalists, the building of Skinner Memorial Chapel in 1916, the hiring of Carleton's first Chaplain, the end of mandatory Chapel, and the founding of the Druids, to what the Chaplain's office does today and observations about the state of religious and interfaith life on campus, this presentation will try to capture 150 years of spiritual life at Carleton. Fure-Slocum will be joined by a panel of alumni offering reflections on how Carleton shaped their own spiritual lives. Panelists include John Sonnenday '67, Barbara Block '77, Schuyler Vogel '07, and Meg Crenshaw '17.

Alumni College: The Future of US-Cuba Relations, presented by Al Montero, Frank B. Kellogg Professor of Political Science, Director of Advising and Faculty Diversity Recruitment, Director of Political Economy.

If Cuba's future was not already very uncertain, the advent of the Trump Presidency has raised a number of additional questions about how Raul Castro's efforts to reform the island's economy and politics will be sustained. The prospect of an uncooperative Washington and a failing Venezuela suddenly leave Cuba with fewer options. Prof. Montero will address these and many other aspects of Cuban politics, the economy, and the future of the island's relations with the United States.

Alumni College: Civil Discourse on a Diverse Campus: An experiential Living-Learning Community, presented by Vice President for Student Life Carolyn Livingston and Associate Dean of Students Joe Baggot.

Join Vice President for Student Life Carolyn Livingston and Associate Dean of Students Joe Baggot for Civil Discourse on a Diverse Campus: An experiential Living-Learning Community. Carleton recently received a grant from the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations to create a living learning community and connected academic course. This past year was the first year of this project and 14 members of the class of 2020 were selected to live together in Myers Hall and also enroll in a course that met weekly in the Myers classroom. A central question of the course was, "What makes discourse good?" Come hear reflections about the initiative and plans for the next academic year.

Alumni College: The Making of a Sesquicentennial Exhibition, presented by Gary Vikan '67.

Gary Vikan '67, Benedict Distinguished Visiting Professor of Art History (former director of the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore), and Carleton History Professor William North will reflect on the process of mounting the special Sesquicentennial Exhibition on display in the Perlman Museum of the Weitz Center for Creativity. Students involved in researching and curating the exhibition will speak about their roles and their experiences encountering Carleton in this way.

Alumni College: Burma/US Foreign Policy Symposium honoring Burt Levin, presented by Michael Armacost '58, former Ambassador to Japan and the Philippines, Col. John Haseman, U.S. Army-Retired, who served in Burma with Ambassador Levin, Professor Penelope Prime, clinical professor of international business at the Institute of International Business at Georgia State University and director of the Master of International Business program, and Associate Professor Of Political Science Tun Myint.

Carleton College and the Department of Political Science lost a dear friend and colleague when Ambassador Burt Levin, passed in October at age 86. Burt taught part-time in the Political Science Department at Carleton as the SIT Investment Visiting Professor of Asian Policy from 1994 until the fall of 2013.  Often co-teaching with legendary Professor Roy Grow, students flocked to their classes to hear accounts of Burt's long career in the U.S. State Department at embassies and consulates in Taipei, Jakarta, Hong Kong, Bangkok, and finally as the Ambassador to Burma from 1987-1990.  

Please join us as we honor Burt's memory and contribution to our community with a discussion of of contemporary issues in Burmese politics and US-Burma relations. Leading the conversation will be former Ambassador to Japan and to the Philippines Michael Armacost '58, Col. John Haseman, U.S. Army-Retired, who served in Burma with Ambassador Levin, Professor Penelope Prime, clinical professor of international business at the Institute of International Business at Georgia State University and director of the Master of International Business program, and Associate Professor Of Political Science Tun Myint, a specialist on the politics of Burma.

Alumni College: Presidents Panel, presented by President Steven Poskanzer and former Presidents Robert Edwards, Steve Lewis, and Rob Oden

As we conclude our Sesquicentennial activities, President Poskanzer and former presidents Robert Edwards, Steve Lewis and Rob Oden come together to reflect on Carleton's past and share their hopes for the future of higher education and for our College.

Alumni College: The Nason Years, presented by Bardwell Smith, the John W. Nason Professor of Religion and Asian Studies, Emeritus

John Nason, the fifth president who led Carleton College through the turbulent 60s, as told by Bardwell Smith, the John W. Nason Professor of Religion and Asian Studies, Emeritus.

Alumni College: Revisiting the Carleton Miscellany, presented by Michael Kowalewski, the Lloyd McBride Professor of English and Environmental Studies

The Carleton Miscellany was a nationally acclaimed literary quarterly published at Carleton from 1960-1980. Gordon Lish, former fiction editor of Esquire, once called the Miscellany “one of the best literary magazines in the country.” It was founded by the poet and Carleton English professor Reed Whittemore and was modeled on a previous “little magazine” published at Carleton between 1949 and 1953 entitled Furioso. Later editors of the Miscellany included Erling Larsen, Wayne Carver and Keith Harrison.

The magazine featured the work of at least a dozen Pulitzer Prize winning authors as well as that of Carleton faculty such as Owen Jenkins, John Lucas, David Porter, Don Schier, Harriet Sheridan, George Soule and Gary Iseminger. In its heyday in the sixties and early seventies, the Miscellany was known for high-quality literary work and its mischievous sense of humor. Features such as Wayne Booth’s “Department of American,” a waggish send up of bureaucratic euphemism and double-speak, kept the impish twinkle in the magazine’s eye. The Miscellany was thoroughly grounded in a free-ranging “liberal arts” approach to the world.  The irony and playfulness of the magazine were perhaps best personified by its trademark image of a chimney sweep with a feather-duster, which has subsequently become the unofficial mascot of the Carleton English department.

Michael Kowalewski, the Lloyd McBride Professor of English and Environmental Studies, is assembling an anthology of “the best” of the Carleton Miscellany, and will reflect on the history and significance of the magazine and its important role in the history of the arts at Carleton.