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From the Fellows

Welcome to the 1991-92 year at the Marian Miner Cook Athenaeum. We are the student fellows: Scott Palmer, Elizabeth Pontefract, and Tyson Roberts. The three of us are extremely excited about the upcoming year. The speaker variety ranges from Christopher Columbus to Queen Ida's Cajun band and covers areas from the Soviet Union to Southern California. It is an amazing prospect that we get to meet these people and gain insight into their lives. We hope that all students will take advantage of this opportunity. Our focus this year is to facilitate student interaction with the speakers and the faculty members who frequent the Athenaeum.

From the outset, we want to stress that the Athenaeum is primarily for students. Our policy is to focus on students' needs first. However, we need your help. As some of you are already aware, there is a reception prior to all dinners. This is a fantastic opportunity for students to mingle with the speaker, faculty, administrators, and other students. If you are having any problems getting a chance to talk with the speaker during this time, please come up to any of us and we will be more than happy to introduce you.

Another opportunity to meet the speaker on a more informal basis is to sit at the head table. The conversations over dinner often provide an opportunity to discuss the speaker's life, rather than the more formal topic of the speech itself. You'd be amazed at some of the anecdotes our guests have stored up. Sometimes, speakers like to hear about life at CMC, so you can swap college stories with them. After the speeches we like to have about twenty to thirty minutes of questions and answers. In the past, many students seemed to be a bit tentative about raising questions. We hope to see that change this year. If you have time before or during dinner, try to think of questions in advance. If you had the opportunity to chat with the speaker at the reception or over dinner, after the speech you could ask him or her to elaborate on something you discussed.

In addition to the array of captivating speakers, the Athenaeum offers the traditional Madrigal Feast in December and the new Halloween Night of the Macabre. For less formal gatherings, afternoon teas are always a popular way to break up the afternoon. Also, every Wednesday at noon there is an Open Forum lunch where students and faculty gather to talk about class, life, or current issues. The food is good and the conversation is great, so think about dropping by.

All in all, we want you to feel as at home at the Athenaeum as we have come to be over the last few years. If you have any suggestions or concerns, or if you would like to sit at the head table or even introduce a speaker, call us or drop a note in our box in the Athenaeum office. We look forward to meeting you during the year.