The Collegiate Way: Residential Colleges & the Renewal of University Life  ‹›


Cornelia Strong College

The University of North Carolina at Greensboro

Friday, 12 March 1999 | Per aspera ad astra | Newsletter No. 144


The Cornelian Prize!

The first Cornelian Prize was presented this past week at Tea, and the winner was Laura Maschal, a senior English major from Charlotte. Laura won with a short story titled “The Snowstorm.” The value of the Prize this year was $200, and Strong College extends hearty congratulations to Laura and thanks to all the many contestants who submitted entries. Laura’s winning story is now available on the Cornelian Prize website along with information about next year’s competition—pay it a visit today, and start composing that prize-winning essay for next year!

New Strong College Staff for Next Year!

Please congratulate three students who will be new CAs in Strong College next year: C.J. Heidel, Michelle Marcelais, and Tammy Thorarinson. All of them have been members of the College for several years, and are well-known to us all. We are delighted that they will be joining the staff next year! They will be taking the place of graduating staff members Adam Cox, Shelly McLain, and Kelly Woodfin who have served for a combined total of seven years! Strong College also extends its appreciation to all the members of the College who applied for CA positions this year—the very high quality of all the applicants is a testament to the strength of our community!

Elections Coming in a Month

Elections for College Council President and several other important College offices will be taking place in about a month. Watch for information posted around the College in the next few days if you are interested in being a candidate.

Peabody Park Natural History Tour

Dr. O’Hara will be leading another public natural history tour of Peabody Park on Thursday, March 18th, leaving from the front of the Alumni House at 4:00 p.m. This is the season when the spring wildflowers are in bloom, so you will want to mark your calendars today and come along to see some of the treasures of the campus!

Everlasting Fame for a Quarter

Everlasting fame and a Strong dollar have gone to Tammy Thorarinson for donating the very first commemorative state quarter to the Strong College coin collection: the Delaware coin featuring Caesar Rodney and minted at the Philadelphia mint. It is now on display in its new album in the College Office for all to see. There will be nine more coming out this year (four more states from two mints each, and the Denver mint issue of the Delaware quarter), so eternal fame and Strong dollars await nine more people this year alone. Check your pocket change carefully and maybe you will be one of them!

Ad Astra

Many thanks to Chris Beaver who has just donated a large collection of computer books and science fiction to the Strong College Library. Thank you, Chris!

Strong College received a postcard from Kelvin Wong, one of the students from Singapore who stayed with us last semester when he was at UNCG. Stop by the Office to take a look!

Dr. O’Hara’s Book-of-the-Week this week is one of the volumes of the ancient Roman writer Pliny’s Natural History, in the Loeb Classical Library edition with parallel English and Latin text, in honor of the Peabody Park natural history walk this coming week. All our College classicists should stop by the Office to browse it today! (Dr. O’Hara will award a prize of $1Strong to the first person who can tell him how Pliny, a.k.a. Gaius Plinius Secundus, died.)

And speaking of postcards, Rebekah Moore has donated a new lemur postcard to us, and it is also on display in the College Office. Thank you, Rebekah!


The Poem-of-the-Week is posted on the bulletin board outside the College Office and is usually reprinted here. In recognition of the spring birds we can hear singing in Peabody Park each morning now from our open windows, this week’s poem is Kenneth Rexroth’s “Mockingbirds”:

In mid-March in the heart of
The night, in the center of
The sterile city, in the
Midst of miles of asphalt and
Stone, alone and frustrated,
Wakeful on my narrow bed,
My brain spinning with worry,
There came to me, slipping through
The interstices of the
Blowing darkness, the living,
Almost imperceptible,
Faint, persistent, recurrent
Song of a single tree toad—
A voice sweeter than most birds.
Seven years ago we lay
Naked and moist, making love
Under the Easter full moon,
The thick fragrant light shaking
With the songs of mockingbirds.


14 March (Sunday), 1:00 p.m., Junior Common Room — Trip to Guilford Courthouse!

15 March (Monday), 8:00 p.m., Star Chamber — Bible Study Group. (Jon Buford)

16 March (Tuesday), 4:30 p.m., Junior Common Room — College Tea! It’s the social event of the week.

16 March (Tuesday), 9:00 p.m., Committee Room — College Council Meeting. (Heather Lloyd)

16 March (Tuesday), 9:45 p.m., Committee Room — Movie Night! (Dan Treharne)

17 March (Wednesday), 9:00 p.m., Star Chamber — Star Trek: Voyager! (Michelle Marcelais & Bob O’Hara)

18 March (Thursday), 4:00 p.m., Alumni House — Peabody Park natural history tour! (Bob O’Hara)

18 March (Thursday), 9:00 p.m.–12:00 midnight, Committee Room — Blue Lemur Coffee Bar!

19 March (Friday), 12:00 noon, Strong College section in the Caf — Fellows’ & Students’ Lunch.

OFFICIAL DISCLAIMERS: Nothing here is official. Please don’t sue us. We wish to caution you that these statements are only predictions and that actual events or results may differ materially. I am a happy seaweed. May be harmful if swallowed. No caffeine. For external use only. Do not eat. Refrigerate after opening. This does not represent the official policy of Maxwell’s Demon, Plato’s Cave, Kekule’s Dream, Pascal’s Wager, Schroedinger’s Cat, Zeno’s Paradox, Avogadro’s Number, Occam’s Razor, or Art History Boy™. Use only in a well-ventilated area. If rash develops, discontinue use. My life is like Jerry Springer. Choking hazard. Tamper evident. Eye irritant. May contain historical inaccuracies. Crayons not included. Do not inhale. Not intended for high wind areas. If swallowed or lodged in ear or nose, promptly see doctor. Hold handrail. Read cautions on back. 100% undetermined man-made fibers. Not explosive like ether. May contain nut traces. Rules subject to change. Contains beta carotene for color. Point away from people while opening. Lots of things don’t make sense to me, so I ask Kate. Not a significant source of calories. Easy to clean vinyl lining. Will not craze most plastics. Easily slips beneath outerwear. Contains no squid. Shown actual size. Do not shake. When dry, brush lightly. The most common things in the Universe are hydrogen and stupidity. Second star to the right, and straight on till morning. If we succeed there will be many songs sung in our honor. The better our fantasies are, the better our realities can become. Think continually of those who were truly great. A decent boldness ever meets with friends. Risk—risk is our business; that’s what this starship is all about; that’s why we’re aboard her. Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty. The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do. The beatings will continue until morale improves. Per aspera ad astra!

© Robert J. O’Hara 2000–2021