Bruin Notes

Celebration of a Peace Poet

William StaffordOregon’s current and former poet laureates gathered at the Newberg campus for “A Celebration of the Life and Poetry of William Stafford” event on Thursday, Jan. 13. Oregon’s poet laureate, Paulann Peterson, joined Lawson Inada, Oregon’s poet laureate from 2006 to 2010, to celebrate the January birthday of Stafford, Oregon’s most famous poet and one of America’s most important 20th century poets.

The all-day event included documentaries about Stafford; poetry readings of students’ and Stafford’s compositions; and breakout sessions with Peterson, Inada and Haydn Reiss, a film producer whose documentary about Stafford, Every War Has Two Losers, was shown.

The celebration was cosponsored by the university’s Center for Peace and Justice and the Friends of William Stafford. “The Center for Peace and Justice was honored to participate in this celebration of Stafford and his work,” Clint Baldwin, center director, said. “So much of his life and ethos overlaps with the historic rootedness that we have at this university in Quaker commitments to peace, justice and seeing and celebrating ‘that of God in everyone.’”

Stafford’s poetry is replete with themes of peace, nature, place, compassion and truth. A conscientious objector during World War II, he spent the war years in civilian public service camps – an experience that ultimately inspired his master’s thesis, Down In My Heart. He was later appointed the nation’s 20th poet laureate and poet laureate of Oregon. He died in 1993.

Barram Selected as Business Dean

Dirk BarramDirk Barram, a 25-year employee of the university, was hired as dean of the university’s School of Business after serving in the role on an interim basis from 2006 to 2008 and for the first half of the 2010-11 academic year.

Barram has worked at the institution in a number of capacities, including vice president for graduate studies (1988 to 1991), vice president for academic affairs (1992 to 1998), acting president (1995) and professor of business (1998 to 2006 and 2008 to present). He’s also served as chair of the university’s undergraduate business and economic department from 1998 to 2006 and for the past three years. In 2004, Barram was named the university’s Outstanding Graduate Faculty Member of the Year.

“As far as we are concerned, our mission is clear: The George Fox School of Business must produce graduates who are ethically grounded, professionally competent, socially responsive and acutely aware of the global environment,” Barram said. “Yet, we also want our graduates to have the unique capacity to be innovative and trusted leaders, all within the scope of nurturing and developing people. This is how we want to be known.”


Clyde Thomas and a bucket of dirtA new vermicomposting program, led by Plant Services Director Clyde Thomas, began fall semester with 80 pounds of worms. The program will serve two main purposes: Help Bon Appetit dispose of food waste and assist in the effort to fertilize the university’s athletic fields naturally.

Food waste from Bon Appetit, the university’s food service company, goes into compost bins where the worms live. They feed on the leftover food, digest it and leave behind nutrient-rich castings (worm manure). The castings are used to fertilize the athletic fields, reducing the amount of synthetic chemicals and, in turn, reducing the university’s carbon footprint. The worms feast, waste is reduced and the fields are fertilized naturally.

worms in dirtThomas enlisted the help of George Fox students to help with the worm herding. About 20 compost bins will be placed around campus, each with about three pounds of worms. Every three months, worm populations can double. As the compost colony grows, Thomas will place them in larger bins until he reaches his desired goal of 3,000 pounds of worms, which should take about 18 months.

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