The Topping-Off Ceremony...
...for the new English Department and Creative Writing buildings was held on March 16, 2001.
In addition to the individuals pictured below, Interim President Sheila Blumstein made remarks.
All present were invited to sign the beam, which was then lifted into place.
Excerpt from "My House New-Painted"
...We hold houses in a kind of contempt and give
them nothing, or say we do, as a way to despise
the kinds of things that houses are, all
such kinds of things, the measured entitites,
that they should not be what was intended: they fail.
They burn. They fade and sag. They fall away.
We think of a time before we housed the world
or gathered things--spirits were all we saw,
spirit was real, was what there was, was all.
This was man did this, and thought to do well
when he turned away to say, on the contrary, all
the world was what we measured: houses, sums
and angles, vectors and smoothable curves. We turn,
and turn again another way to find
some way to state the world, dissatisfied
Still, I am pleased that my
particular house, not any way notable even,
has stood a hundred years and more, and firmed
by its shiny paint, should show the metaphor
of a material world, though it is plainly that
and nothing more--as spirit was nothing more--
could have such power now, summon it
as though from an actual world it meant to claim.
There is a world. This house can say there is.
from The World, The Wordless
William Bronk, 1918-1999