The Campus Chronicle
Vol. XVII, Issue 38
for the Amherst campus of the University of Massachusetts
July 12, 2002

 Page One Grain & Chaff Obituaries Letters to the Chronicle Archives Feedback Weekly Bulletin

 Page One Grain & Chaff Obituaries Letters to the Chronicle Archives Feedback Weekly Bulletin




Grain & Chaff

William M. Bulger

William M. Bulger

Hibernian honors

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."

Conference call

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

Rosemary Riley

Leading role

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 deals.

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."

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