Grain & Chaff
President William M. Bulger was among six people
who received honorary degrees from National University of Ireland
in Galway on June 28.
In presenting the honorary doctor of laws degree,
NUI-Galway President Dr. Iognáid G. Ó Muircheartaigh
said, "With his South Boston background, and his commitment
to education, Billy Bulger became a street-smart classical scholar,
a man who can straddle two vastly different worlds -- local politics
on the one hand, and the highest level of government and social
activity on the other."
Scott F. Conti, network operations
manager at the Office of Information Technologies, participated
in the System Administration and Network Security (SANS) conference
held June 30 to July 1 in Boston.
Conti spoke on "Network Forensics" and
led a panel discussion on "Best Practices in Computer Forensics."
SANS is a leading training organization in network
and computer security issues.
Rosemary Riley, bookkeeper II with Auxiliary Services,
was re-elected to the National Education Association's board of
directors July 3 during the organization's representative assembly
in Dallas. She received 72.34 percent of the vote at the meeting,
which was attended by 10,000 NEA delegates.
Riley is the only NEA director representing education support
professionals from the higher education sector.
A 23-year campus employee, Riley served two terms
as president of the University Staff Association, an affiliate
of the Massachusetts Teachers Association and the NEA.
Following the vote, Riley said, "I am looking
forward to returning to the NEA Board to continue my work on behalf
of all students and public education. We are faced with enormous
challenges, politically and fiscally. I am humbled and honored
to be able to continue lobbying our policymakers in Washington
on behalf of all students and the educational community across
this country, working toward ensuring affordable quality public
education for all."
Riley's national campaign manager, librarian Jacqueline
Gentl, said, "Receiving the support of national and state
leadership across the nation was an outstanding experience, while
also being an honor to our University community."
Tales from the crypt
We've heard of academic plots, but an article in
the Wall Street Journal (July 10) about colleges marketing burial
spaces to alumni has given the term a whole new meaning.
According to the paper, a number of cash-strapped
schools, including the University of Richmond, University of Virginia
and Bucknell University, are pitching eternal rest to their graduates
and apparently more than a few are, er, dying to get in on the
At UVA, alumni pooled $140,000 to build a columbarium,
a vault for cremated remains. Niches in the vault, which hold
up to four urns, sell for $1,800 and 130 of the 180 spaces have
already been bought up.
The University of Richmond recently opened a million-dollar
columbarium adjacent to its campus chapel. Two-urn niches there
sell for $3,000 apiece. So far, only 20 spaces have been sold.
Bucknell, which does not have its own cemetery,
has affiliated with a nearby burial ground that offers open houses
during alumni weekends at the Lewisburg, Pa., university.
And just to round out the marketing possibilities,
the Journal reports that about 50 schools, including UVA and Alabama,
license their emblems to a company that sells caskets and urns
emblazoned with the colleges' insignia. The schools share between
7.5 percent and 10 percent of the sales.
But eternal affiliation apparently isn't for everyone.
As Andy Theidemann of alumni affairs and development at Harvard,
said, "This doesn't seem like anything Harvard would want
to be involved in."