Ruth Simmons, Ph.D. ’73, president of Prairie View A&M University, president emerita of both Brown University and Smith College, and one of the nation’s foremost leaders in higher education, will be the principal speaker at Harvard’s celebration of the Class of 2021 on Thursday, May 27.“I am delighted to announce that Ruth Simmons will deliver our principal address,” said Harvard President Larry Bacow in a message to the Harvard community today in which he announced the virtual celebration, calling her “among America’s foremost advocates for higher education.”“Having led a women’s college, an Ivy League research university, and a historically Black university, she has a unique perspective on how very different types of institutions contribute to the fabric of our nation” said Bacow. “She has also defended with great passion the possibility of improving our society by learning from our differences. I very much look forward to hearing her remarks later this year.”A native of Grapeland, Texas, and the 12th child of sharecroppers, Simmons began her career in academia with a scholarship to Dillard University, where she graduated summa cum laude in 1967. She then continued on to Harvard, where she earned her Ph.D. in Romance languages and literatures in 1973.After several years teaching as a professor of French at the University of New Orleans, Simmons entered university administration, and went on to serve in various academic leadership and faculty roles at California State University, the University of Southern California, Princeton University, and Spelman College.In July 1995 she was chosen to be the ninth president of Smith College. During her groundbreaking tenure there, she focused on expanding access and breaking down academic barriers, perhaps most notably by establishing the first engineering program at a women’s college in the U.S.Her six-year tenure at Smith ended in 2001, when she was appointed the 18th president of Brown University, and the first African American to lead an Ivy League institution. She was beloved by the Brown community, and her time there was marked by an expansion of need-blind undergraduate financial aid, faculty expansion, enhanced curricula, and new facilities.Simmons also helped Brown begin to grapple with its historical connection to slavery and the slave trade, establishing the Brown University Steering Committee on Slavery and Justice. In her charge to the group, she asked that they “organize academic events and activities that might help the nation and the Brown community think deeply, seriously, and rigorously about the questions raised,” acknowledging also that the University’s history has given it “a special obligation and a special opportunity to provide thoughtful inquiry.” Today, the committee’s report continues to serve as a blueprint for other institutions reckoning with their own histories of injustice.Simmons left Brown in 2012 for what she thought was her retirement from leading institutions of higher education. That changed in 2018, when she accepted the presidency of Prairie View A&M University in her native Texas. In taking the reins of the historically Black college, Simmons saw another opportunity to continue opening doors for a new generation, just as Dillard had done for her in 1963.“How could I turn away from doing for other young people what was done for me?” she said during her inaugural address at Prairie View A&M.Simmons’ work toward equal educational opportunity also continues outside of the halls of Prairie View. In 2018, she testified on Harvard’s behalf in a lawsuit challenging Harvard College’s right to consider race as one among many factors in the admissions process.“The beauty of higher education in this country is that it’s very differentiated. We have women’s colleges. We have male colleges, very few, but we have some. We have African American institutions. We have religious institutions. And then we have great research universities like Harvard,” she said in an interview with the Gazette about the lawsuit. “Preserving the flexibility of institutions to create these classes, with very different students coming together, learning from each other, intensifying the environment for learning, both in and outside the classroom, preparing for leadership, is critical.”Over half a century of distinguished service in higher education, Simmons has received many honors, including a Fulbright Fellowship, the President’s Award from the United Negro College Fund, a Fulbright Lifetime Achievement Medal, the Eleanor Roosevelt Val-Kill Medal, the Foreign Policy Association Medal, and the Ellis Island Medal of Honor. In 1997, she received the Centennial Medal from the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and in 2002, was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Harvard University. In 2013, she was named Chevalier in the French National Order of the Legion of Honor, the highest decoration bestowed by the French government.Bacow also announced today that the Harvard community once more would gather virtually in May to award degrees, due to public health and safety concerns related to the ongoing COVID pandemic.“The delay of our Commencement Exercises for two years running is deeply disappointing, but public health and safety must continue to take precedence,” wrote Bacow. “Though circumstances may well improve by spring, it takes months of planning to prepare for our usual festivities, which draw to campus and to Cambridge thousands of people from around the world. Right now, the risk posed by that possibility is too great, but please know that one day we will welcome the Class of 2020 and the Class of 2021 back to campus for an unforgettable — and unforgettably joyous — Commencement.”Past Commencement speakers have included Washington Post executive editor Martin “Marty” Baron, the late Civil Rights icon and U.S. Rep. John Lewis, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, entrepreneur and talk show host Oprah Winfrey, and Kofi Annan, the former Secretary-General of the United Nations. Simmons will be the sixth president of another university to deliver the address.
-J.P.Thanks for reading the April 30 edition of the Inside the Dodgers newsletter. To receive the newsletter in your inbox, sign up here. Elbowing in again – A.J. Pollock is headed to the disabled list with another right elbow injury.Welcome to the ‘pen – Ross Stripling took the blame for the Dodgers’ latest loss.Pay it forward – Sandy Koufax, the pitcher and the teacher, is a living blueprint for the Dodgers organization.Restricted maneuver – Andrew Toles reported to extended spring training without fanfare or explanation.Open wound – Rich Hill wrote about the death of his infant son for The Players’ Tribune.Oh darn – The Dodgers won’t see Fernando Tatis Jr. when they play the San Diego Padres this weekend.Make baseball fun again, again – Chicago White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson compared himself to Jackie Robinson in this Sports Illustrated profile. Editor’s note: The story below is the Monday, April 30 edition of the Inside the Dodgers newsletter. To receive the newsletter in your inbox, sign up here.It’s hard to find a story about the state of baseball in 2019 that doesn’t mention the record home run rate. Homers have reached uncharted territory, eclipsing even the peak of the steroid era. Players are doing this despite omnipresent drug-testers in the clubhouse, with physiques that aren’t ripped from the pages of bodybuilding calendars. Tommy La Stella, a slight-framed middle infielder with 10 career home runs prior to this year, recently overtook Mike Trout for the Angels’ team lead in home runs. Tommy La Stella.This newsletter isn’t concerned with answering what’s going on, but rather what’s going on with Justin Turner?Turner hasn’t hit a home run in 2019. He slugged .530 in 2017, his last full healthy season. He slugged .619 in the second half of last season, around the time he was fully recovered from a fractured wrist in spring training. His slugging percentage through Monday was .300, easily his lowest this decade. No player has batted as many times this season without a home run as Turner, and the players closest to him on that list aren’t exactly sluggers: Rafael Devers, Jeimer Candelario, Brandon Crawford, Jackie Bradley Jr. Turner is two years removed from a 27-homer season. There was little kindness and the kicks were many. It isn’t just his home runs that have disappeared, either.Turner has exactly three extra-base hits, all doubles, along with 24 singles. That’s the kind of profile you might expect from a dead-ball era hitter – until you take a closer look. Because he’s still drawing walks to go along with his singles, Turner has a stout .370 on-base percentage. To find the last man to qualify for a batting title with at least a .370 on-base percentage and at most a .300 slugging percentage, you need to go back to Ron Hunt, a journeyman second baseman (and briefly a Dodger in 1967) who was good at avoiding strikeouts, drawing walks, getting hit by pitches and … not much else. The Cleveland Indians employed a catcher named Steve O’Neill who did this twice in the 1920’s. They’re the only two men to accomplish the feat in the 20th century. What Turner is doing was hard to do in the dead-ball era, and he’s doing it in the liveliest-ball era since, well, maybe ever. For a very different reason, that makes Turner’s start to the season about as impressive as Cody Bellinger’s, which I wrote about in detail yesterday.So, what is going on with Justin Turner?From an outcome standpoint, it’s pretty simple: he’s hitting the ball on the ground again. Turner’s average launch angle, which had risen every year in the Statcast era, has plummeted from 18.3 degrees to 12.8. His ground-ball rate is on pace to be higher than any year since 2014, Turner’s first season in Los Angeles. The grounders are resulting from a variety of pitches, and most are in the strike zone. There’s a more sophisticated analysis to be done there, but the bottom line is the same. We’re seeing a troubling trend for Turner. His profile has basically reverted to its pre-Doug Latta days.To be clear, Turner is far from useless. A .370 OBP is well above average. Unfortunately it’s about the only thing Turner is doing well at the plate right now. His strikeout rate is up. His ballooning ground-ball rate has led to six double plays – four shy of his total from all of 2018. And his slugging percentage has gone the way of Ron Hunt, apparently without any kind of injury. That might be the least-expected development by any Dodger player in 2019. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error
Facebook42Tweet0Pin0 Submitted by Hartley JewelersRuss Gilsdorf and Linda McIntyre worked with Hartley Jewelers to create a custom engagement ring based on an antique original from Russ’s family.When Russ Gilsdorf proposed to Linda McIntyre, he presented her with a cigar band.“That’s all he had on him,” explains Linda, who had inadvertently caught Russ off guard by bringing up marriage while the couple relaxed one evening outside their home. Linda had no idea Russ had been planning to propose to her the following weekend on a trip to Neah Bay.“Then he said, ‘Wait!’” recalls Linda, “and he brought out a ring that he’d been keeping, which he’d found in his late father’s belongings.”The Olympia couple believes the ring belonged to Russ’ grandmother. It was not in good shape. The delicate, filigreed piece had no stones and a broken shank. But it was clear it had been worn and well-loved.Russ suggested they take the ring to Hartley Jewelers to see if it could be fixed.“I knew Hartley Jewelers made their own jewelry,” says Linda. “So we looked at their website and they seemed to be a good fit. Also, they’re hometown, and we like to shop locally.”Russ and Linda took an instant shine to Hartley Jewelers. “It’s a nice feeling when you go in there,” says Linda. “Some jewelry stores, you go in and you feel like they really don’t care if you’re there or not.”The couple worked with jeweler Ashley, who examined the piece and listened to what the couple wanted. The original ring was 18 karat gold, which wouldn’t hold up well to the rigors of daily wear. Ashley suggested they build the ring again, adjusting it slightly to make it ideal for Linda.Working with Ashley, the couple made a few modifications to the design. As Ashley listened and took detailed notes, Linda found herself thinking, ‘Well, we’ll see.’ She’d never had a piece of jewelry custom made and wasn’t confident she’d love the final product.Russ owned the damaged ring on the right, a family heirloom. Hartley crafted Linda’s ring (left) as a replica.Two weeks later, Ashley had the couple come in to see and try on a wax mold of the new ring, created by Rick Hartley, set with a Chatham ruby and trillion-cut diamonds.“We were both just amazed,” says Linda.The detail astounded them, and the small ways the new version improved upon the original. “There’s even a little design down the shank that had been worn down on the original ring that I never even noticed,” says Linda. “Rick also added some beading. It was just beautiful.”Linda raves about the customer service she experienced at Hartley Jewelers. “Ashley knew exactly how to communicate with us and there was just no worrying about it,” says Linda. “She ran with it and kept us up-to-date. We couldn’t be happier.”When the couple received the call that the ring was ready, they rushed to see the finished piece.“I was sitting down and Ashley handed me the ring,” Linda says. “I was looking at it and Russ, who was standing over me, snapped it out of my fingers.” Before Linda could protest that she wasn’t quite done looking at it, Russ said, “Somebody’s going to put this ring on your finger for the first time, and it’s going to be me.”Linda smiles. “He put it on my finger and kissed me and told me he loved me. And it hasn’t been off yet.”Meanwhile, the official proposal had already taken place, as originally planned, during the Labor Day weekend spent hiking at Neah Bay, though it did not go off without a hitch. “We went out on the point and stood there for the longest time, but there were just people everywhere that day,” Linda says, laughing at the memory. “They just kept coming.”The couple trekked back to their cabin, still only unofficially engaged.Russ and Linda’s rings, custom crafted by Hartley Jewelers, are exactly what the couple envsioned as they plan their July 2016 wedding.“We went out on the beach later that afternoon, walking the dogs in the pouring rain, and finally he bent over and whispered in my ear,” Linda says. “And of course I said yes, because he’s just about the most perfect thing I’ve come across.”The couple is currently working with Hartley Jewelers on a wedding ring for Russ, which will mimic Linda’s.“It can’t mirror the art deco-ish style of my ring, but it’s a white gold band with beading on the outside edges and a hammered center with a ruby center stone and two diamonds on either side,” says Linda. “Russ says we are each a diamond and the ruby is our heart, so I wear his heart and he wears mine.”The couple plans to marry on July 9, 2016.
Players at the Whitecaps Kootenay Youth Soccer Camp got to meet a rising star on the Major League Soccer Team when Marco Bustos paid a visit to the Nelson. The 20-year-old central attacking midfielder who was named ‘Caps 2013 Whitecaps FC Most Promising Player, joined Whitecaps FC Residency in September 2011 after last playing for FC Northwest in his hometown of Winnipeg, Manitoba.”Kids were extremely excited,” said Brett Adams, Kootenay Regional Head coach with the Whitecaps.”It’s not every day that they get to meet a player that has played for their country.” More than 100 players attended the Whitecaps camp held at the Lakeside Soccer Pitch. “The main focus is to give all the player a fun experience of soccer,” Adams said when asked about the focus of the camp.”We look to teach them skills in the morning and then in the afternoon we play a World Cup were players are put into teams. “This seems to be a huge hit with the players.”Tim Parker, who now starts with the MLS club on defence, attended the camp in 2015.The Whitecaps move onto Cranbrook Monday for a camp before returning to the West Kootenay for a stop July 25-29 at Twin Rivers Fields in Castlegar.On July 19-22, the Whitecaps host a Prospects Camp in Nelson.For more information go to the Whitecaps Youth Camps link.
ALBANY, Calif. (June 12, 2016)–Following today’s ninth race, jockeys informed Golden Gate Fields management that they refused to ride the 10th and 12th races, citing unsafe turf course conditions. Accordingly, Golden Gate management switched Sunday’s 10th and 12th races to the main track, which necessitated that both races be considered “no contest,” resulting in an “all” payout for Pick Six wagering purposes.Today’s net pool and carryover was paid as a single price pool to tickets with the most winners in accordance with CHRB regulations.“We are truly sorry and we understand that this is a very disappointing outcome for our horseplayers and fans that participated so enthusiastically here on closing day,” said Joe Morris, Senior Vice President, West Coast Operations for The Stronach Group. “We did not agree the turf course was unsafe and we were disappointed the jockeys didn’t communicate with us earlier. However, after the jockeys informed us about their concerns, we had no choice but to make the surface change to our main track.“The safety of our athletes, both human and equine, is always our top priority.”