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COMMENCEMENT
Between Two Worlds,
Under the Open Sky

The first image called up by poet Seamus Heaney in his Commencement address to the Class of 2000 concerned the word unroofed. Given the unseasonably chilly, Irish sort of rain falling onto Franklin Field, it resonated. Continued...

STUDENT LIFE
Metamorphosing
into Freshmen with Kafka

Over the summer, each member of the incoming freshman class will receive—and, ideally, read—a copy of The Metamorphosis, Franz Kafka’s disquieting novella about a man who awakes to find himself transformed into a giant insect. Continued...

AROUND CAMPUS
Revamping Locust Walk
After more than two months of debate and deliberation, the Locust Walk Advisory Committee —whose 12 members were drawn from the ranks of faculty, students and administrators—released a set of recommendations in April for a key section of real estate along the Walk. Continued...


DEPARTURES

Lang Steps Down as Dean of Nursing
After eight years at the helm of the School of Nursing, Dr. Norma M. Lang is stepping down as the Margaret Bond Simon Dean of Nursing. Continued...

EXPERIMENTAL MEDICINE
External-Committee Recommendations
Prompt Changes at IHGT
The Institute for Human Gene Therapy (IHGT) at Penn will no longer conduct human clinical trials, limiting its scope to molecular, cellular and animal-model experimentation.Continued...
Illustration by Bob Daly

RESEARCH
New Fuel Cell Offers Flameless Energy—Without Hydrogen
In his mind’s eye, Dr. Raymond J. Gorte, the Carl V.S. Patterson Professor of Chemical Engineering and chair of the department, sees a fuel cell in your basement. He can see one in your car, too, though that image is a little farther off. Continued...

Illustration by Tifenn Python

LECTURE
On The Biology,
and Bouquet, of Women

In Nigeria, the word for vagina translates to mean dirt. But don’t expect Natalie Angier, Pulitzer Prize-winning science writer for The New York Times, to settle for such a crude depiction of the female anatomy. Continued...

STUDENT ACHIEVEMENTS
They Wrote the Book
Dr. Alvin Z. Rubinstein Gr’54 admits that he learned more about President Clinton’s foreign policy than he had expected to during the course of co-editing The Clinton Foreign Policy Reader last year. That may be, but whatever the political-science professor absorbed during that project was nothing compared to what his two co-editors—Albina Shayevich and Boris Zlotnikov—learned during that same period of time. Continued...

COMPETITION
Vision + Plan + Competition = $uccess
Ever heard of eTechtransfer.com? No? Well, if you’re in the life-sciences industry, chances are you will. Continued...


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Copyright 2000 The Pennsylvania Gazette Last modified 6/29/00

APPOINTMENTS
Photo by Addison Geary

Passing the Baton, Gleefully

 Midway through the Glee Club Alumni Club’s emotional farewell performance for outgoing director Bruce Montgomery [“Monty in Full,” May/June] in April, the man being feted made a surprise announcement. Rather than wait until after his
retirement on June 1 to reveal the identity of his successor, Montgomery told his audience (and the past and present members of the Glee Club on stage) that the University had already approved his chosen candidate: C. Erik Nordgren (seen above, conducting). Judging from the applause and cheers that filled the Zellerbach Theatre of the Annenberg Center, it was a
felicitous choice.

  Nordgren, a graduate student in chemistry, has been a member of the Glee Club for the past eight years and a student conductor for the past six. He will serve as director on a part-time basis, and will not inherit Montgomery’s other mantle, that of associate director of musical activities.
  “I think it’s just sinking in, even now, the magnitude of the job and all the details that are bound to be involved with it and how much of a challenge lies ahead,” said the 31-year-old Nordgren, who will have his hands full with a doctoral dissertation this summer. “I certainly know the Glee Club’s traditions and how the group works on a day-to-day basis, but there’s a lot to be said for making the transition from being one of the singers to wielding the baton, as it were.”
  “I felt all along that this appointment should be someone who would have a feeling of continuity with what has been so successful in past decades,” said Montgomery. “Erik may or may not wish to continue for the decades that I have, but I felt that, at least for the transitional period, he would be absolutely ideal.”
 
Nordgren acknowledged that it was doubtful “whether anyone could really fill those shoes” being vacated by Montgomery, who led the Glee Club with legendary flair for 44 years. Nor is he intending to make any radical changes any time soon: “I’m not one to fix things that aren’t broken.”