Mark Okrant, professor of tourism management
An Icy Reception is the third book in Okrant’s Kary Turnell mystery series, in which the setting is always one of the main characters. “The venues featured in An Icy Reception are places I have visited: the desolate Arctic coast of Baffin Island, and the communities of Iqaluit, Kimmirut, and Kinngait, otherwise known as Cape Dorset,” says Okrant, who has journeyed to the Arctic six times over the course of his 40 years of studying the region. “My dear friend John Houston is the son of James Houston, who inspired the arts cooperative movement in the Canadian Arctic. In 2006, John invited me to be part of a group that traveled to Kinngait on the Explorer, where James’ ashes were to be scattered. I decided to write An Icy Reception immediately upon learning that the Explorer sank after striking an iceberg in Antarctica in November 2007. Completing the book meant a great deal to me on a number of levels.”
Virginia Garlitz, professor emerita of Spanish
In her book, Garlitz retraces the steps of the leader of Spanish Modernist literature in the first part of the twentieth century, Ramón María Valle-Inclán (1866-1936) during the tour he made with the theatre company of María Guerrero and Fernando Diaz de Mendoza, the most prestigious Spanish actors of their time. The book illustrates how the lectures that Valle gave in the 17 months he and his actress wife Josefina Blanco traveled through Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, and Chile reveal the seeds of his most important work on esthetics, La Lámpara Maravillosa (The Marvelous Lamp, 1916).
Garlitz, who taught Spanish language, culture, and literature at PSU from 1972 to 2003, did research for her book in the spring of 1998 on a sabbatical trip sponsored in part by the Program for Cultural Cooperation of the Spanish Ministry of Education and Culture and US Universities. It was during that trip that she discovered many previously unknown documents, interviews, and caricatures concerning Valle-Inclán that provided the foundation for the book.
“I was inspired to write about Valle-Inclán’s trip to South America because so little was known about it,” Garlitz says. “Since 1910 was a very important time for Valle when he was developing one of his key works, I knew there had to be more to the story.”
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As chair of the President’s Council, the volunteer body that seeks support for Plymouth State University, I am proud to report the great momentum developing among alumni, parents, and other supporters to secure the institution’s foundation and build its future.
In the fall, we proudly marked the official opening of the Plymouth State University Welcome Center and Ice Arena, Phase I of the Center for Active Living, Learning, and Wellness (ALLWell). We believe it to be the most visible sign of how philanthropy is transforming the face of PSU. Stop by to see many names of donors represented on seats, lockers, rooms, and spaces, and especially in the Hanaway Rink and the Eugene and Joan Savage Welcome Center.
Many other recent gifts also are expanding the quality and scope of educational experiences PSU is providing. From scholarships and professorships, to program funds, to annual support for the Tower Fund, alumni and friends are stepping forward to provide for faculty and staff development, enhanced student life, and a more beautiful campus.
In the coming year, you will see fundraising efforts focusing on the much-anticipated Museum of the White Mountains, on athletics programs and health initiatives, and endowed professorships and scholarships.
There has never been a more exciting and vital time on campus as the work of so many alumni, parents, and friends comes together in support of Plymouth State. We hope you will join us as we gather the financial and volunteer resources that will keep the University moving forward.
Thank you for all you do for PSU.
Wallace R. Stevens ’62,
Chair, President’s Council
John Hession photo.