Musselman Library Hosts College Authors Reception
By Julia Chin, Contributing Writer
Writer Julie Garwood once said, “Education isn’t just about feeding the brain. Art and music feed the heart and soul.” Through this statement, we can throw away any whispers of “non-sequitur” or “miscellaneous” floating around our brains and accept the fact that yes, the College Authors Reception on Friday, March 23 was opened by Upscale and their re-mixed rendition of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.” Furthermore, as one librarian aptly pointed out, “Nobody says party like acapella.” While guests in attendance of the reception munched on those sweet notes of soul food, they also went for the stomach food (the best kind in my opinion), as platters of fruit, crackers, desserts, and other hors d’oeuvres were neatly spread across the tables. In between bites of brie, I listened as fellow classics enthusiast Lily Shea ‘21 gave me the rundown on the College Authors Reception and all it entailed: “So there are these published authors associated with the college in some sense: students, faculty, and alumni authors. This (the reception) acts as an exhibition of their work to the Gettysburg community, from economics and science to the humanities, classics, and history.”
Anyone who walked into into the Musselman Library Apse that afternoon could see that the reception truly brought the honored authors’ works to life, transferring words printed on the pages into intellectual conversations flowing from people’s lips, conglomerating into a buzzing hum and nearly drowning out the smooth jazz playing over the loudspeakers. Classics professor Dr. Carolyn Snively, whose works A Late Antique Dardania and a chapter within New Cities in Late Antiquity were also on display, referred to this casual assemblage of academics as the “FASH.” After expressing my confusion and qualms that I was a failure of a teenager in mastery of modern lingo, Dr. Snively expounded upon the acronym which apparently stands for the “Friday Afternoon Social Hour.”
Well, this “FASH” certainly had no lack of partygoers. The pleasantly-filled space reflected the magnitude of the works honored by the college and the authors who wrote them: 80 faculty and staff authors, 27 student authors, and 110 publications in total. The diversity across disciplines, age, and professional status seemed to melt away as everyone intermingled, brought together by an appreciation for writing, education, and scholarship. “It’s really nice that they’re including students in the event, especially for The Mercury,” said Aubrey Link ‘19, whose fictional story “A Meeting with Azrael” was published in the latest edition of the the college’s art & literary magazine (complete list of 2017 authors).
The Mercury is run through The Cupola, which is an online collection of research articles, book chapters, creative pieces, scholarly publications, and more written by Gettysburg College students, faculty, and staff. The Cupola was started in 2012 and since then has acquired over three-quarters of a million downloads from around the world, reaffirming the college’s commitment to active engagement in scholarship. Truly, this aforementioned dedication shone through in the College Authors Reception that afternoon. The opening speaker said it all when she asserted that though we may be in “times of crisis when reading, writing, or thinking about literature may seem trivial,” Gettysburg College’s recognition of such invaluable works proves that they are not.