WINTER 1998 Montanan - Volume 15, Number 2
Tu Baixiong in Brushstrokes
Last October at The University of Montana's Paxson Gallery, Missoulians had the pleasure of viewing a record of late twentieth century Montana. Organized by Margaret Mudd, director of UM's Museum of Fine Arts, the Tu Baixiong retrospective featured the lifework of a Chinese artist who portrayed his adopted home in colorful watercolors, gouaches and oils.
Tu Baixiong's paintings, "Snowy Alley" (above) is part of the permanent art collection at the UM Museum of Fine Arts.
Baixiong, a portraitist and master Chinese calligrapher, is best remembered for his lightwashed portrayals of Montana landscapes, for which he received the Northwest Watercolor Council's first prize. His work is in permanent collections in the United States and Asia. The Montana Arts Council commissioned him to create four scenes of UM campus life-some of his final works-which now hang in the Gallagher Building.
Born in Shanghai in 1944 to a family of shipping merchants, Baixiong left China in 1987 for UM, where in 1992 he received a masters degree in painting. He stayed on as a popular visiting instructor until he died on April 1, 1996.
Baixiong found his adopted home welcoming. "Emerging from the social upheaval in China, I found the peace in Missoula especially meaningful," Baixiong wrote. "When I walk along the quiet, clean alleys, the newly mowed lawns, even the garbage cans in neat order, all seem to show with pride the Montanans' enjoyment of life and their kindness to me as an outsider."
"Tu carried on a love affair with Missoula," Mudd said. "He painted us better than we are."
Former Law Professor DiesMargery Hunter Brown, a professor emeritus of UM's law school, died Friday, January 9, of congestive heart failure, ending a lifetime of notable achievements. During her career at UM from 1976 to 1993, Brown served as assistant dean, associate dean and acting dean. She also founded and served as the first director of the Indian Law Clinic.
Before joining the UM law faculty, Brown, the mother of two, cofounded the Bigfork Summer Playhouse, served on the Montana Human Rights Commission and was a member of the Montana Constitution Revision and Montana Constitution Convention commissions.
Former law school dean Martin Burke described her as a person of integrity. "She brought a vision of what legal education should be," he said to the Missoulian. "She was the heart and soul of the law school...the moral compass for us and for our institution. This loss is huge, not only to our school but to the state."
A memorial service for Brown will be held at 10 a.m. on Saturday, April 18, at the law school's Castles Center.
UM's First Sweat LodgeUM's Native American Studies Program has a new sweat lodge, constructed near Fort Missoula in 1997 after President George Dennison designated a quarter-square-mile along the Bitterroot River for the project. Jim Kipp, a senior in Native American studies who is the driving force behind the project, says the new lodge is sacred to Native Americans. "Native American students have long recognized the need for a sweat lodge to help maintain the balance of body, soul and mind," he says. Kipp welcomes people of other tribes to build at the site and people of all cultures to participate in sweat ceremonies.
How Many English Majors Does It Take...?UM students have recently flocked to the English program in record numbers, outpacing majors in all other departments in the College of Arts and Sciences. Since fall 1992, English majors jumped 140 percent, and bachelor's degrees awarded in English rose 82 percent.
Why the sudden interest in literature and creative writing? According to Bruce Bigley, English department chair, students are moving out of more specifically career-oriented majors. "People have discovered that a business degree isn't necessarily a passport to a job," he said. "So they might as well take something they like."
Founder of UM Native American Studies DiesBonnie Heavy Runner Craig, director of UM's Native American Studies Program and a Blackfeet tribal member, died November 24, 1997, after a long battle with cancer. Craig founded Montana's first NAS program and won state and national recognition as a champion of civil rights, particularly for Native Americans and women. She was a UM law school Distinguished Alumna and received the 1997 Robert T. Pantzer Award, one of UM's highest honors. In 1996, she garnered the Joann Youngbear Community Service Award for her outstanding contributions to the local tribal community.
During her sixyear struggle with ovarian cancer, Craig publicly shared her experiences to raise awareness about society's treatment of the terminally ill. An outspoken advocate of the traditional healing, Craig allowed Western science to tend her body while her Native American family nurtured her spirit. "They counseled me on many different levels," Craig said of her people. "They smiled at me. They touched me. They supported me."
A scholar, administrator and mother of two, Craig left a legacy of commitment and energy. "Rarely in your life do you meet great people," said longtime friend and UM colleague Reno LoParco. "There's going to be a great void."
Internet WildernessAwilderness management course developed at UM for use on the Internet has won the Outstanding Credit Program of the Year Award for 1997 from Region 7 of the University Continuing Education Association. The first of its kind nationally and one of six in the UM forestry school's Wilderness Management Distance Education Program, the course was successfully piloted last winter with twenty-three students at the University of Minnesota-Crookston. This year the first of the six courses in the program will be available on the Internet.
Dean Goes Back to ClassJames Kriley announced he will step down as dean of UM's School of Fine Arts at the end of the academic year to return to full-time classroom teaching. "I've enjoyed the past twelve years, and it has been a great faculty," Kriley said of his stint as dean. "But, it's time." Kriley, who was the drama/dance department chair for nine years, has been at the University for twenty-two years, teaching and helping to develop the UM dance program and the Montana Repertory Theatre.
New Cub on CampusThere's a new addition to the Montana Grizzly family-Montana's fierce grizzly bear mascot has given birth to a cuddly cub. The baby Griz arrived in November in response to retailers' requests for a less fearsome grizzly bear mascot for children's apparel. The Grizzly Cub Club, an organization for young Grizzly fans, sports the little bear as its mascot, too. Known to retailers as "Cubby Bear," the light brown bear is trimmed with maroon and silver spirit colors. He joins UM's I-AA apparel collection, the top seller in the country. The logo was created by Missoula artist Steve LaRance, who designed the senior Montana Grizzly logo in 1996.
MCH Silver AnniversaryIn a round of banquets and receptions November 7 and 8, the Montana Committee for the Humanities celebrated its twenty-fifth anniversary in Bozeman, the site of its inaugural meeting. An independent nonprofit affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities, MCH has been housed at UM since 1972. "Despite our statewide mission, much MCH history has been bound up with that of The University of Montana," says MCH Executive Director Mark Sherouse. "The founding chair was UM President Bob Pantzer and, over the years, the committee has made more than 100 grants to the University. And some of the University's most distinguished faculty members and administrators have served as committee members."
Last Best TalesH. L. Davis, Ivan Doig, A. B. Guthrie Jr., Ken Kesey and Norman Maclean have more in common than a Northwest connection. Discussions of their work were broadcast to Montana Public Radio listeners on "Storylines Northwest," a thirteen-week program produced live at KUFM Broadcast Media Center. Writers Paul Zalis and Lowell Jaeger cohosted the program, which included readings and commentary from listeners in Montana, Oregon and Washington, and, occasionally, the authors themselves. Tapes of the shows will soon be available at Montana public libraries.
Cooking on the Wild SideIf your freezer is loaded with white packages of venison and elk, but you're helpless when it comes to preparing it, the Getting Wild With Wild Game Cookbook, produced by UM's Dining Services, may be the helping hand you need. The cookbook stems from the annual, increasingly popular cooking show at UM-"Getting Wild With Wild Game." Priced at $14.00 (plus $3 for shipping), the cookbooks are available at (406) 243-6325. The following recipe is developed by Martin Albrecht, catering chef at University Dining Services. Elk Rouladen
2lb elk steak, thinly sliced
6 slices bacon, diced
2 large onions, diced
dill pickles, cut 1/4"
salt and pepper
thyme, fresh or ground
rosemary, fresh or ground
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Rub pepper into steaks. Heat half of the oil in the pan. Sear steaks 3 minutes on each side until brown. Remove steaks and keep warm but do not allow them to cook further. In the same pan, heat the remaining oil and add the shallots and mushrooms, saute for 3 minutes. Deglaze the pan with the wines and simmer for 1 minute. Dissolve the cornstarch in the beef broth. Add it, the tomato paste, dried thyme and balsamic vinegar to the pan just to warm them up. Mask the bottom of a platter with the sauce and mushrooms, then place steaks on top. Garnish with fresh thyme sprigs.
Schreiber Gym VandalizedRunning fans and air conditioners at the end of November in Montana may seem unusual, but such equipment was hard at work in UM's Schreiber Gymnasium over Thanksgiving vacation to dry out the water-soaked gymnasium floor. Vandals turned on a fire hose that damaged the ground level and the second-floor basketball court of the seventy-seven-year-old building. The first floor has been reconditioned, but the damage to the gym's hardwood is still undetermined. The cost for damages has reached $35,000, and the vandalism is under criminal investigation.
Like dozens of UM students, Charlie Phillips lives in a fraternity house, rushes from class to cheerleading practice and hangs out with friends. One of only four deaf students on the UM campus, he cannot hear and cannot speak, but he is still a member of UM's cheering squad. During practices and games, Phillips relies on his teammates' body language to pick up the cheer's rhythm and an interpreter to decipher verbal cues. Even though he has been deaf since birth, Phillips possesses extraordinary language skills, even though English is essentially his second language, signing, his first. "Like it or not," he says, "it's a hearing world. I need to learn the tools that enable me to fit in and make the most of myself."
Professor Flies HighKen Dial and UM are soaring in bird circles after Dial took flight with a television show and a published article last fall. An associate biology professor at UM, Dial was host and scientific adviser to "All Bird TV," a thirty-minute show, which aired on Discovery Communications's new nature channel, Animal Planet. Fueled by Dial's energy, the show was a combination of lessons in bird biology and bird-related entertainment for birdwatchers of all ages. Currently he is preparing the next thirteen-part series, so check local listings or the Internet at http://animal.discovery.com for programming schedules.
Dial also was published in the November 6 issue of Nature, one of the world's most prestigious scientific journals. In his article, "Lifelines: Secrets of Bird Flight Revealed," Dial discovered why hovering is something that birds don't do for long. Using "strain gauges" planted in the wings of black-billed magpies, Dial discovered that hovering took nearly twice as much power as flying at an average speed. At top speed, magpies expended far less power than they did when they hovered.
Field House: Take TwoBetween July 1998 and October 1999, UM plans to transform the Harry Adams Field House into the new UM Harry Adams Events Center. After slicing $8.3 million from the proposed $23-million-project, UM unveiled plans for a newly renovated field house that include more and better seating, expanded restrooms and concession stands, a remodeled Naseby Rhinehart Athletic Treatment Center and a 20,000-square-foot auxiliary gym.
North by NorthwestWhile UM's tenth annual bus tour lacked the intrigue of its namesake movie, it didn't lack action. For three days in October, UM administrators, faculty and students visited eleven high schools in Montana's northwest corner. The faculty taught workshops on topics ranging from success in college to finding jobs via the Internet. Along with visits to S&K Electronics in Pablo, Semitool in Kalispell and the Columbia Falls Aluminum Company, President Dennison also visited the Kila School, where he graduated from eighth grade in 1949.
UM's Island SoundAlthough it's located in the snowy North, UM's music department has its own island sound¬the steel drum band, the Islanders. Under the direction of Robert LedBetter, assistant professor of percussion, the seven-year-old student ensemble recently released its first CD. Titled Summer Songs, the CD contains a variety of musical styles including calypso, reggae and samba, all with a lively, dance-like rhythm. Produced, recorded and mixed at UM, the CDS are $15, plus shipping, and are available at UM's music department, (406) 243-6880. CDS also are available on April 14, when the Islanders perform at the recently refurbished University Theatre. On the evening of October 17, the campus was awhirl with tuxedos, designer evening gowns, gourmet cuisine and toe-tapping music when UM culminated its Capital Campaign-Ensuring a Tradition of Excellence, the most successful fund-raising campaign in Montana's higher education history. To celebrate the $71.4 million that UM raised during the five-year campaign, 435 guests-including Quincy Jones, Andie MacDowell and Mary McFadden-traipsed from an opening reception on the Oval, complete with carillon music, to a dinner of beef Wellington and forest mushroom duxelles at a gold lamé-bedecked University Center ballroom. At a lively dinner auction that raised $150,000 for scholarships, designer attire, weekend excursions and world-renowned artwork were sold, including a huge blown-glass piece by artist Dale Chihuly that brought $35,000. Sated, the guests were on the move again to the gala's finale, a lively concert in the Montana Theatre featuring David Foster, Kenny G and Paul Anka.