The original placers of the 1965 plaque, Stanley Stefancic (left) and Tom Sugimoto. Courtesy of Harvard Divinity School and the Harvard University Archives Dale Russakoff’s portrait from the 1974 Harvard/Radcliffe yearbook. Kris Snibbe/Harvard Staff Photographer Not long before Quentin Compson, Class of 1913, jumped to his death from the Great Bridge on June 2, 1910, the Harvard Corporation chose crimson over magenta as the University’s official color. The trolleys were strictly local and the Red Sox were still playing at the Huntington Avenue Grounds. Had Quentin lived to graduate, he would have seen the Great Bridge become the Anderson Memorial Bridge, the Red Sox win the World Series in their inaugural season at Fenway Park, and the opening of the Red Line, named for the University’s recently designated color.Weighed down by Southern sin, the stress of saving his family’s reputation, and two flatirons tied to his feet, Quentin sank to the bottom of the Charles River. Left with a suicide note was his grandfather’s pocket watch, the glass shattered and bloody and the clock hands ripped out, an eerie expression of his resistance to the flow of time.Many would say save your tears — Quentin was just a character imagined by William Faulkner, no more real than Holden Caulfield or Billy Pilgrim. Some readers and scholars, however, have taken a different view. Scholar Kevin Starr, M.A. ’65, Ph.D. ’69, Allston Burr Senior Tutor in Eliot House from 1970 to 1973, counted himself among them. In an interview shortly before his death, in January, he explained why.The Great Bridge in 1907, five years before being converted into the Anderson Memorial Bridge. The brand-new Weld Boathouse is prominent in the bottom left; Harvard Stadium is visible in the distance. Credit: Wikimedia Commons“Quentin Compson was as real as Falkner made him in ‘Absalom, Absalom!’ and ‘The Sound and the Fury,’” Starr said in an email, referencing the author’s given surname. “Quentin Compson was made even more real in the imagination of generations of Harvard students thrilling to these novels in English 7, which became English 70, which became English 700, and is probably English 7,000 today. Quentin Compson was certainly real to Stanley Stefancic, his wife, Jean, and their friend Tom Sugimoto in the mid-1960s when they affixed the famous plaque to Anderson Memorial Bridge.”Starr’s story is no fiction. Through word of mouth, the plaque became a sort of Easter egg for Harvard lit students. Rumored to be set at the exact spot where Quentin jumped, it read: “Quentin Compson III/ June 2, 1910/ Drowned in the fading of honeysuckle.” This author remained anonymous, until one of Starr’s former students turned sleuth.Southerner Dale Russakoff ’75 understood better than most the depth of Quentin’s homesickness in the hurried, frigid North. A decade after graduating from Harvard, she embarked on a quest to find out more about the plaque, detailing her discoveries in a Washington Post article titled “Faulkner and the Bridge to the South.”The most rewarding — and astonishing — of Russakoff’s encounters was with the Rev. Stanley Stefancic, B.D. ’64, a good friend of her parents back home in Birmingham, Ala. As noted by Starr, it was Stefancic, with his wife, Jean, and their fellow Faulknerphile, Tom Sugimoto, S.M. ’62, who decades before had engraved and epoxied the plaque to the bridge’s eastward parapet in a little alcove, inconspicuously in line with a brick and behind some ivy. In Russakoff’s account, Stefancic had a limited audience in mind — lit majors seeking insight on Quentin’s despair and students who felt out of place, as the eldest Compson did, at the most prestigious of universities. Almost immediately, the plaque made an impact on students. Joe Blatt ’70, Ed.M. ’77, a senior lecturer and faculty director of the Technology, Innovation, and Education Program at the Ed School, was a history and literature concentrator as an undergraduate. In his senior year, he stayed on campus during Christmas break to finish a seminar paper on imagery in Faulkner’s novels.“It was a rainy night and I was struggling with my paper,” Blatt remembers. “I decided to get out to clear my head, and ended up taking a pretty long walk around Cambridge. When I crossed the Anderson Bridge it was very late, and I noticed something reflecting in the moonlight.“Finding the plaque was like kismet or serendipity, coming upon a poetic inscription almost exactly like what I was writing about. I’ve never had an experience like that before or since; probably why it’s stuck with me for so long.”Thirteen years later, construction crews knocked the plaque off during a renovation. Blatt, then a TV producer who walked the bridge every day on his way to work, immediately noticed the disappearance. On June 2, 1983 — the 73rd anniversary of Quentin’s death — he persuaded colleagues to do a piece on the lost plaque. Before summer’s end, a replacement appeared.The new plaque, whose provenance is still a mystery, appeared with a small — and deeply contested — modification to the text. “Fading” had been replaced with “odour,” a stark reinterpretation of Quentin’s motives. Originalists saw Quentin as grasping at the memory of honeysuckle — symbolic of his idealized South — in a place far from home. But the new interpretation raised a different possibility, that the tormenting scent and its attached memories were inescapable even 1,200 miles from Mississippi.“The plaque gives real life to a fictional character,” said Joe Blatt, “what better way to honor a great writer and validate the study of literature?” Kris Snibbe/Harvard Staff Photographer“I was delighted to see it restored. The plaque gives real life to a fictional character — what better way to honor a great writer and validate the study of literature?” said Blatt. “And I did notice the change in the text, but I was mostly disappointed that the plaque was less elegant than the first one, which looked like it was made of gold or polished bronze. The new one looked cheap, like tin; it was too big for the brick where it was mounted; even the engraving was of poor quality and in an ugly font. Perhaps I’m romanticizing my recollection, but the original was a beautiful work of art. I can still see it vividly. I could even describe it to an identikit artist.”Competing interpretations aside, interest in the plaque was revived when Extension School lecturer Thomas A. Underwood, A.M. ’85, Ph.D. ’90, made it the centerpiece of a photography contest in his expository writing class “Southern Writers Reconsidered.” (The winning student got cookies from the rest of the class.) The photos were tacked to a wall in Underwood’s office until he left to teach at Boston University, where he remains today.“I wanted them to think about Faulkner’s Quentin, who was, after all, a Harvard student alienated by his surroundings,” Underwood said. “It seems odd to care so much about a plaque honoring a man who never lived but who committed suicide; but the Quentin plaque, like the Smoot bridge at MIT, was part of the cultural landscape of Harvard University. Surrounded by shields that say ‘Veritas,’ the plaque spoke to the arts at Harvard and said ‘Imagination.’”Along the Charles River, Maria Cecilia Holt visits the Anderson Bridge in the northeast alcove facing the Weld Boathouse where the plaque was placed. Kris Snibbe/Harvard Staff PhotographerIn 2012, as another Anderson Bridge renovation began, Maria Cecilia Holt, M.Div. ’05, Th.D. ’14, was nearing the end of her second degree at Harvard Divinity School. Holt’s earlier enrollment at Harvard had been inspired by her initial encounter with Quentin, when she read “Absalom, Absalom!” as an undergraduate at Sarah Lawrence. The plaque was a big reason she came back.“I said, ‘I have to find this plaque, I’ve been looking for it for 14 years.”In the summer of 2014, the bridge’s parapets were demolished. Soon after, Rod Connelly, an engineer on the project, noticed an object glinting in the dirt just off the bridge near the riverbank. He brought it back to his office, where it remained in a desk drawer for two years.In 2016, Holt was invited to a conference in Brazil to present a thesis, which focused in part on Quentin’s final exit and the plaque that commemorated it. When she returned to Cambridge in the summer, she found out the parapets had been demolished and replaced, and she called the Transportation Department to ask if any precautions had been taken to save the plaque. The answer came in the mail: a photograph of Connelly’s find.The photo Rod Connelly sent to Holt, comparing the recovered plaque with its most recognizable likeness on the internet. Photo by Rod ConnellyA year later, construction of the Anderson Bridge is winding down, with only the smallest details remaining. One such detail: What about the plaque? It will be reinstalled, said DOT spokesman Patrick Marvin, thanks in part to Holt’s help identifying its rich history — a living history, as Starr noted, equal to the devotion of generations of students.“As the late, great Walter Jackson Bate emphasized so many times in his luminous and engaging lectures,” Starr said, “life and literature need each other, and the power that passes from literature to life and life to literature is necessary for each to achieve form, meaning, and a measure of transcendence.”John Michael Baglione is a writer and author residing in Boston. His work can be found at johnmichaeltxt.com.
February 27, 2021
We are poised to take digital transformation to the next level, and I’m honored to be Dell’s new Chief Digital Officer to further hone and strengthen our engagement with business partners, cultivate a strong engineering and operational discipline and culture, and lead with simplicity and accountability. The role combines the traditional roles and responsibilities of a CIO along with the emerging role of change agent for digital transformation. It reminds me and my whole organization that we are a key enabler for digital transformation and much more than “keeping the lights on.”The Path to DigitalFor companies that didn’t grow up completely digital, redefining and automating processes to improve operations often aren’t enough. We must also create compelling and efficient experiences for our customers and team members. This often requires us to transform our traditional processes into digital processes, where there are no delays due to manual intervention, batch processes or legacy infrastructure.The destination is clear, but the path to get there isn’t easy. Over the past couple of years, our Dell Digital team, which is the evolution of our IT organization, has been on a path to modernize our own processes and technology, while investing in our team with new skills and ways of working to address this challenge.We call the combination the Dell Digital Way, and the goal is to both digitally transform our IT processes and to enable our business partners to do the same. We’re working in balanced teams, with developers side by side with our business partners, and leveraging our DevOps and private cloud technology and practices. A modern way of working is what Dell Technologies’ products and solutions enable for our customers and what we want to experience in our own work here at Dell.The Next Phase of Our Digital JourneyWe are headed in the right direction with our IT transformation, and the next phase of this journey will be moving forward with our product-oriented approach that will drive more direct accountability for how our solutions are designed and operate. We’re moving Design and DevOps to the forefront of IT, like a software organization. With a better understanding of our customers’ and partners’ needs, we can more quickly adapt and introduce new capabilities to improve the overall experience. All of this relies on our continued work to modernize our applications and infrastructure by migrating to our private/hybrid cloud.A unique aspect of our new operating model is that it features four critical cross-functional journeys aligned to the experiences that people have with us. These are the Customer journey, Team Member journey, Product Group Enablement journey, and Product journey, which is the experience for our own organization to design, develop and deploy solutions. Members of my leadership team will assume responsibility for these journeys to drive focus, accountability and progress across the functional operations.As we drive our strategy from the perspective of the customer experience and operational excellence, I’m confident we have the right people, processes and technology to level up our digital transformation and improve the way we work.
September 17, 2020
The men’s and women’s track teams have a lot to look forward to this upcoming weekend at the Big Ten Indoor Championships.The men are going for their sixth consecutive Big Ten Conference Indoor title in Iowa City, Iowa, whereas the women’s team prepares to host the 2006 Big Ten Conference Indoor Championships in the Camp Randall Memorial Sports Center (the Shell).The men’s team has a lot to live up to, considering they are the predecessors to a team that has won five consecutive Big Ten Conference Indoor Championships.”I think, to a certain extent, there’s a certain amount of confidence; I think the athletes draw upon the history of the program,” UW men’s coach Ed Nuttycombe said. “We’re very excited about the opportunity to go and compete in the championship. It’s something we’ve had some success with in the past, and we’re certainly hoping to continue that.”Nuttycombe is fairly confident in his team’s chances to succeed this weekend in Iowa City.”We’re one of about three or four teams that … has a chance to win, and it’s a matter of who competes best on their day.”A few of the athletes expected to excel on Saturday are Ben Roland and Nate Brown in the heptathlon, Alonzo Moore in the triple jump, Chris Solinsky in the 3,000 meters, and Demi Omole in the 60 meters. Nuttycombe will be looking to these athletes to guide his entire team.”We are one of a group of teams that has a chance to run for the championship and I think that the athletes reflect that,” Nuttycombe said. The women’s team will try to use their home advantage to upset the two favorites, Michigan and Illinois.”We’re excited about hosting the Big Ten Championships this weekend,” said UW women’s coach Jim Stintzi. “The Big Ten meet in track and field is a little different than other sports in that it all comes down to one day, so the Big Ten champion is crowned on that day.”Like Nuttycombe, Stintzi is optimistic that his athletes will find success at the conference meet.”We’re excited, and I think we’re moving in the right direction with our program,” Stintzi said. “The Big Ten has improved dramatically since last year. I looked at the [Big Ten performance] list today, and I think almost every [event] is substantially better than it was last year.”The Badgers will try to increase their standing from last year, when they placed eighth as an overall squad at the 2005 Big Ten Championships.”So while we’re better as a team, so is the rest of the Big Ten,” Stintzi said. “We’re hoping for an improvement on last year’s finish at the Big Ten.”Wisconsin will be led by pole vaulters Blair Luethmers and Jenny Soceka, who are currently ranked in the top five in that event. Distance runners Katrina Rundhaug and Maggie Grabow will also be in contention to place this weekend in the 5,000 meters.Stintzi believes his pole vaulters, which also include breakout freshman Amy Dahlin, are the strong point of the track team and will have the responsibility of earning some important points for the Badgers.”I think this year, to have both Blair and Jenny, as well as Dahlin, kind of pushing each other each week, has helped them to maybe vault more consistently and also jump higher at certain times. So hopefully that will help us in the Big Ten championship [meet].”Both Nuttycombe and Stintzi will be hoping to bring back a Big Ten Indoor Conference Championship and head into the outdoor season on a roll.
September 17, 2020
Published on December 5, 2010 at 12:00 pm Contact Michael: [email protected] | @Michael_Cohen13 Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Quentin Hillsman shied away from that pair of four-letter words, saying he had to be careful. Even though every statistic from his team’s 70-point annihilation of Delaware State pointed toward those two words and even though Hillsman himself said he has yet to see a better defensive effort, the Syracuse women’s basketball coach still wouldn’t agree with that one phrase. ‘‘Best ever’ is a little strong,’ he said with a smile. ‘But it was good. It was very good. ‘I’m just careful with using that word ‘ever.” Whether or not Hillsman anointed his team’s 87-17 dismantling of Delaware State as the best defensive performance in the history of the women’s basketball program is irrelevant, though. The numbers do it for him.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text The 70-point margin of victory Saturday set a new Syracuse (6-0) record. The 17 points allowed are the fewest an Orange team has ever given up. The 1,102 fans in the Carrier Dome saw a record-setting performance in which SU’s relentless defensive pressure held the Hornets (1-5) without a field goal for all but 28 seconds of the second half. SU allowed just three points in the final 20 minutes. It was sheer domination. This marks the second consecutive season in which the Orange defeated Delaware State by at least 50 points. SU trounced the Hornets 72-20 in 2009, with the 20 points allowed setting a program record. One year later, the Hornets were the victims of another record-setting blowout. ‘We were very active all over the place,’ SU guard Carmen Tyson-Thomas said. ‘We were shutting them down for quite a bit.’ The first half saw Syracuse turn a one-point deficit into a 24-point lead with a 27-2 run. SU’s full-court press stifled the Hornets offensively, preventing them from setting up their offense on most possessions. With 2:26 left in the first half, Delaware State broke the press on a rare occasion. But the first pass over half court was deflected by Tyson-Thomas, and she threw it off a DSU player out of bounds to give Syracuse the ball back. The Hornets finished the first half with more than three times as many turnovers as field goals. ‘Our pressure sped them up a little bit and didn’t let them get into their offense in the half court,’ Hillsman said. ‘Or if they did get into their offense, there was 12 or 13 seconds left on the shot clock, and that wasn’t enough time to reverse the ball against our zone.’ Already with a 35-point advantage by halftime, Syracuse increased the defensive intensity even more in the second half. In the first five minutes, Kayla Alexander had six blocks. It took 2:54 for the Hornets to have a shot hit the rim. ‘I think just contesting shots on defense (was huge),’ SU senior guard Erica Morrow said. ‘Kayla was big down low. She had a lot of blocks.’ And that was just the beginning. For the first 19:32 of the second half, the team was held to one point. The Hornets missed its first 27 shot attempts of the second half. With each and every miss by Delaware State, the snickers from fans inside the Carrier Dome grew louder. Especially after the Hornets had a two-on-none breakaway but wasted it with a poor pass out of bounds. Especially after Delaware State’s Kianna Conner (six turnovers) made a double-clutch 3-pointer just tenths of a second after the horn had sounded for a shot-clock violation. ‘I can’t say that I’ve seen one better,’ said Hillsman of the defensive performance. ‘You’ve got to give our kids a lot of credit.’ The Orange held Delaware State to just 14 percent shooting for the game, including a comical 1-for-28 clip in the second half. Finally, though, the Hornets broke through on a layup by Kianna D’Oliveira with 0:28 left in the game. It broke a field goal drought of 20:05 dating back to the first half. D’Oliveira’s layup, although meaningless with Syracuse leading by 72, left the Orange players disappointed. They didn’t want to give up a single field goal in the second half, no matter how insignificant. ‘Honestly, yeah, we were disappointed,’ Tyson-Thomas said. ‘That one was a little shocker. … We were a little upset. ‘It was just that kind of game for us.’ [email protected]
August 31, 2020
ST JOHN’S, Antigua, CMC – In-form all-rounder Windies Keemo Paul has replaced suspended West Indies captain Jason Holder in the 14-man squad for the final Test of the three-match series against England starting in St Lucia on Saturday.The 20-year-old Paul has played two Tests, the last coming against India in Rajkot last October. The Guyanese batsman was also a member of the one-day and Twenty20 side which toured Bangladesh last December.Excellent form Since his return to the Caribbean, Paul has been in excellent form, taking 20 wickets in his three appearances in the first-class tournament for four-time reigning champions and current leaders Guyana Jaguars.He also lashed a whirlwind unbeaten 66 against Trinidad and Tobago Red Force in Port of Spain last weekend, in Jaguars’ sixth round encounter.“He is having a good showing in the West Indies first-class championship at the moment,” chief selector Courtney Browne said.Holder banned for one matchHolder was slapped with a 40 per cent fine of his match fee and a one-match ban, after West Indies found themselves two overs short of their quota in the second Test in Antigua.The hosts crushed England by 10 wickets inside three days to take a winning 2-0 lead and reclaim the coveted Wisden Trophy for the first time in a decade.Fast bowler Alzarri Joseph, meanwhile, remains in the 14-man squad despite the death of his mother, Sharon, last Saturday.Browne praised the 22-year-old’s strength for continuing to play in spite of his grief.“Our heartfelt condolences to Alzarri and his family on the passing of his mother. His heroics in the Test match were outstanding and shows a player of great character,” he said.In Holder’s absence, opener Kraigg Brathwaite will lead the unit.SQUAD – Kraigg Brathwaite (captain), Darren Bravo, Shamarh Brooks, John Campbell, Roston Chase, Shane Dowrich, Shannon Gabriel, Shimron Hetmyer, Shai Hope, Alzarri Joseph, Keemo Paul, Kemar Roach, Oshane Thomas, Jomel Warrican.
January 12, 2020
A pensioner was on Tuesday afternoon crushed to death in his car after a sand truck being driven by a drunken man crashed into it on the Corentyne Highway.Dead is 71-year-old Narinedatt Lowhar, called “Uncle Balo”, of lot 23 Number 47 Village, Corentyne. At the time of the accident, he and his wife were in a motorcar bearing registration plate number PJJ 25 and were turning into their yard when the truck bearing registration plate number GPP 2369 slammed into the car sending it 30 meters away.Dead: Narinedatt LowharWelliama Lingen, 55, the dead man’s wife, said she was rendered unconscious by the impact and cannot remember much, but recalls residents having to remove her husband from the wreckage.“When ah catch myself they take me out from the car and my husband leave in and I tell them to go and see what happen to him,” the grieving widow said. She added that she saw persons wrenching open the car and then she lost consciousness the second time.Meanwhile, an eyewitness, Zoreen (only name given), who lives nearby said it took villagers several minutes to remove Lowhar from the wreckage. She said they were on their way home when they noticed the wrecked car on the road and screamed for help.The woman related that when she went to the rescue of Lingen, her husband got some men who were in the vicinity to wrench open the vehicle to get the injured man out.The damaged car in which the couple were travelling“When they get him out they put him to lie down on the ground and I check and his heart was beating,” she told this publication.Lowhar was picked up in an unconscious state and taken to the Skeldon Hospital and then transferred to the New Amsterdam where he was pronounced dead on arrival.Meanwhile, the Police said the accident occurred at about 18:40h.Reports are the truck driver told the Police that he was about to overtake the jeep, when Lowhar made a right turn a short distance in front of his lorry and in the process, the left front of the lorry collided with the right side of the jeep.The Police said a breathalyser test was conducted on the driver and his alcohol level was above the legal level. A close relative of the driver said the lorry driver was overtaking another sand truck being driven by his son when he collided with the car.Meanwhile, Rohan Singh, 45, on Number 52 Village was refused bail when he appeared before Magistrate Alex Moore on a charge of driving under the influence of alcohol.Police Prosecutor, Inspector Orin Joseph told the court that the Police are preparing other charges for Singh and asked for bail to be refused.He was remanded to prison and the case will continue on June 9 when other charges are expected to be filed against him.