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DeBrief - May 11, 2022

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DePauw’s source for staff and faculty news and announcements.

The Office

Betsy Demmings in her office

Betsy Demmings, executive assistant to the president


What's in your office?


1. Pictures, pictures, pictures.  Since I’ve been in this position for 22 years, I have had the opportunity to meet dozens of remarkable people, both on campus and off. When appropriate, I had a photo taken which has led to quite a collection. Each photo brings back unique memories which I treasure. Probably my most treasured is of the 2013 Women’s Basketball National Championship Team signed by the players.


2. Prior to coming to DePauw, I served as the Chief Juvenile Probation Officer for Putnam County. My badge, a picture of my swearing in and a painting of the courthouse came with me in 2000 and have remained prominently displayed in my office. Also included on that shelf is a small gavel I was presented on Law Day in 2000 by the Putnam County Bar Association for my work with families. It reminds me of a different time in my life.


3. An old used window, salvaged and transformed into a beautiful rendering of East College painted by my sister, Sue Brucks Schurch ’77. You will see other DePauw pieces she created located in offices around campus.


4. I believe many years ago this space served as the President’s office (which is why it has a restroom) and some of the book shelf items have been here since those days. There are yearbooks dating back to 1981, University Directories (called Bulletins for several years and some as old as the 1928-29 academic year -- I can tell you my mother’s room number in Rector Hall in 1947), Methodist Hymnals and volumes of University History. Need a trip down memory lane…you are welcome to stop by!


5. More pictures. These are of my family. One of my favorites is a photograph of my parents at the 1950 Delta Upsilon Rose Dance (my mother being the queen of the Rose Dance that year). They both graduated in 1950 and started the DePauw tradition for many in my family…including me.  And, of course, there are many pictures of my family – husband, children and tons of my four granddaughters.


Human Resources


Summer Fridays Reminder

University offices will officially close at noon each Friday beginning May 27 through July 29, 2022. Learn more. If you have additional questions, please contact your supervisor or the Office of Human Resources at ext. 4181.


TIAA Virtual Financial Consultations – May 12 and 31

TIAA representative Mike Dooley is available to assist you with your financial planning. These one-on-one virtual sessions are free and confidential. Spouses are welcome to attend with you. Click here to schedule your counseling session or call 800-732-8353.


Faculty and Staff News Roundup

Leonard Foy and Jon Batiste
Leonard Foy, professor of trumpet, performed April 24 with the Gateways Music Festival Orchestra, the first all-Black orchestra to perform at Carnegie Hall. He is one of two original members of the orchestra. The sold-out performance was preceded by performances and master classes presented by ensembles from the orchestra, including Foy, who conducted a master class for The Young Musicians Institute at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute. (Photo: Foy with Grammy Award winner Jon Batiste, who wrote and performed “I Can” with the orchestra.

Bethany Fiechter, coordinator of archives and special collections, was interviewed for the story “Percy Julian’s family home faces an uncertain future,” which ran in Chemical & Engineering News May 4.


Philips Akinwole, assistant professor of biology, is noted in a story about the research project that resulted in a cover story in a March issue of Science, a leading publication about scientific discovery.


Sujung Kim, associate professor of religious studies, published an article May 11, “A Star God Is Born: Chintaku Reifujin Talismans in Japanese Religions,” in a special issue of Aspects of Medieval Japanese Religion.


Lili Wright, professor emerita of English, received a first place award for Personality Profile (magazines and non-daily newspapers) from the Indiana Society of Professional Journalists for her profile of Zoe LaVerne titled “Tok of the Town.” The profile appeared in the March issue of Indianapolis Monthly Magazine.

DePauw Students Marie Gurnon, Michell-Lee Graham, and DeCaria Monroe

Four DePauw University students have won scholarships from the U.S. State Department’s Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program, enabling them to study abroad. Read more. (Photo: Marie Gurnon ’23; Michell-Lee Graham ’24; and DeCaria Monroe ’23. Not pictured: Solomon Alhakeem ’23.)

There Go Those Tigers
Students on a field trip in the Lilly Library in Bloomington

David Alvarez, associate professor of English, and his senior literature majors went on a field trip to the Lilly Library and Turkuaz Cafe in Bloomington recently. (Photo: Students showing some literary cheer while gathered around a First Folio of William Shakespeare.)


Ushers needed during commencement

The Commencement Planning Committee is looking for employees to usher during commencement May 22. If interested, contact Pam Woodall for details.


Retirement Celebration: Save the date!

Bob Leonard, vice president for finance and administration

June 14, 2:30-4 p.m., Hoover Hall, Wallace-Stewart Commons.

Contact Erin Confer-Staggers with questions.

Students sitting outside in Bowman Park

Campus Events

DePauw Under the Stars
May 21, 8-10 p.m., Stewart Plaza and East College Lawn.

Join graduates and their families and guests for an evening of music and conversation. All are welcome to attend.


Commencement Ceremony

May 22, 10 a.m., East College Lawn.
Tickets are not required for the outdoor ceremony. If there is inclement weather, tickets will be issued to graduates.


For a complete listing of events, visit Campus Labs.

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