Marian Miner Cook Athenaeum

Inside CMC, August/September 2001

Publicly Speaking

Bonnie Snortum tells us how she tackles her job as Athenaeum director
-By Alissa Sandford

Bonnie Snortum's office door above the Marian Miner Cook Athenaeum is cracked open. E-mail has been down for two days because of hacker problems on the server, and Snortum is fielding phone calls. She is in the process of booking guests for the Ath's fall speaker series but unfortunately, the majority of her contact information is tied up in Outlook Express. Above her desk, a pair of wall calendars for the 2001-2002 school year is filling up. Snortum's phone rings again and she holds up a hand apologetically.

The caller is psychology Professor Harvey Wichman. She describes later how the two of them are trying to coordinate a series that could land a trio of astronauts on campus, including millionaire Dennis Tito and the legendary Buzz Aldrin. In other simmering developments, Snortum is negotiating with the director of Amnesty International's capital punishment division, based in London, and is working to bring to campus Charles Ogletree Jr., the Jesse Climenko Professor of Law at Harvard University's School of Law and director of the Criminal Justice Institute. This effort is part of a collaboration with director of forensics, Professor John Meany, to host a series of debates and discussions on reparations — the debate topic of the year.