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  • Philowixian - alumni toc
    content content alumni Alumni Alumni Info Alumni Events Famous Philos Want to find out more about the Philolexian Society Join our whip list This site is that fabled home of The Philolexian Society of Columbia University Recent Site Changes Page

    Original URL path: http://www.columbia.edu/cu/philo/legacy_content/content/alumni/alumni_toc/ (2016-02-12)
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  • Philowixian - alumnievents
    20 2006 Philo celebrated 20 years of growth and continuous existence since it s reconvening in the fall of 1985 on April Fool s day 2006 Much fun was had by all as Philo had the last laugh over the naysayers who thought the time of facetious literary societies had passed Look for more information soon The Bicentennial 2002 On April 11th 2002 the Philolexian Society celebrated its bicentennial Almost

    Original URL path: http://www.columbia.edu/cu/philo/legacy_content/content/alumni/alumnievents/ (2016-02-12)
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  • Philowixian - avatar
    continuation of diplomacy by other means Philo is the continuation of education by radically different means One of our current members David Lane gave us my favorite example of our native ingenuity The debate that night was Resolved Reality is For the Weak Minded and Uncreative En route to the meeting Mr Lane came across the grounds crew trimming the trees on College Walk He grabbed a branch about six feet long weighing at least 75 pounds strode into the room went up to the speakers table dropped the severed limb on it and said Disprove this The resolution was defeated but the branch remains in our office a totem of Philo s unusual path to truth This kind of thing is nothing new The following description of a typical Philo meeting comes from 1879 For this the sign of literary might The freshman is asked to descend some night To Mott Memorial Hall and thus be made A member of the Philolexian staid He heeds the call reveres the noble name Nay doubts his fitness for the lofty post But ah The folly of the dubious host He finds that all is but outrageous noise A group of children playing with their toys Destroyers foul and yet resenting blame Such boisterousness of course stems from our huge egos but also from our untrammelled appetite for discourse Not everyone understands Philo s affectations the mock pomposity the obsequious addresses to the moderator reports from the Self Aggrandizement Committee the chants of Nobody abstains in the Philolexian Society they re just hard up Such outrageous noises are the basis of our continuity They are a lighthearted way to discipline the mind but they also link us from meeting to meeting and across the years And across the years we have reached Present tonight including our current students are some 80 Philolexians the largest number in one place in decades representing nearly a third of our living membership Sixteen and a half years after our refounding we are here to stay Amid these glad tidings I have one warning The only possible reason for our past extinction was our lack of a permanent physical presence on any of Columbia s three campuses Our sister societies at U N C Chapel Hill the University of Georgia the University of Virginia Princeton and especially our dear brethren at Penn all have richly appointed halls reflecting the esteem in which their alma maters hold them We deserve no less A physical heritage is necessary to preserve our spiritual one That is especially true now Last week all student activities on the fifth floor of Lerner Hall Philo included were told that the entire space is being reconfigured We are thus losing the office we currently share with the Parliamentary Debate Team an office itself less than half the size of the one we occupied by ourselves in Ferris Booth Our library ou archives our very essence are about to be mothballed Our brilliant alumnus Andrew

    Original URL path: http://www.columbia.edu/cu/philo/legacy_content/content/alumni/bicentennial/avatar/ (2016-02-12)
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  • Philowixian - barzun
    away in time and space I live in the semi Spanish city of San Antonio 1800 miles away and I speak prompted by memories of the College going back to a past age the last meeting of Philolexian that I attended as a college senior and president of the Society took place 75 years ago I naturally wish that I could attend my next one by being with you today I can only hope that my good friend and classmate Bob Schnitzer is among you to enjoy the festivities and bear witness to the accuracy of my arithmetic It is indeed heart warming that you are reviving for the third time a noble institution that has had an uninterrupted existence for exactly 200 years I say uninterrupted because when Philolexian is not active and visible it is still alive like the Holy Roman Emperor Barbarossa under his mountain ready to reawaken and emerge in an instant That is the meaning of our motto One last word Today April 11 while you are proving the truth of this vitality I shall be addressing a choice group of faculty people here at Trinity University an excellent liberal arts college My subject is

    Original URL path: http://www.columbia.edu/cu/philo/legacy_content/content/alumni/bicentennial/barzun/ (2016-02-12)
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  • Philowixian - bicentennial
    and poet John Hollander who was our Keynote Speaker and was awarded the first ever Philolexian Award for Distinguished Literary Achievement Below you ll find copies of speeches news coverage and photo archives Coverage by the Columbia Alumni Office Message from Jacques Barzun CC 1927 Congratulatory Speech by Dean Austin Quigley Speech by our Avatar Thomas Vinciguerra CC 1985 Speech by Foundation President Rachel Kahn Troster BC 2001 Keynote Speech

    Original URL path: http://www.columbia.edu/cu/philo/legacy_content/content/alumni/bicentennial/bicentennial/ (2016-02-12)
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  • Philowixian - hollander
    3 The schedule and duration of meetings 4 The agendas of such meetings 5 Possible other activities and so forth Indeed what seemed absolutely essential at the outset was for each of us to possess a Philolexian pin with its eloquent rising sun proclaiming or perhaps more properly humming muttering giggling each of us would probably if asked have suggested a different verb the canonical SURGAM SURGAM or SURGAM or SURGAM Strangers to such objects as class rings Eagle Scout badges athletic trophies and the like we learned that they could be supplied from a rough description by a firm called Dieges and Clust I learned only recently that with offices all overt the country they had been known as the Tiffany s of Customized Jewelry who better I m afraid that I lost mine along with my Phi Beta Kappa key and other such small bits of presumably honorary gold ages ago else I should present it to the society It may be significant about the nature of Philolexian at that time a half serious association of a few friends who were non joiners of anything by nature that I remember more of the arrival of the pins and the occasions on which the prize money was spent than what went on in our very occasional meetings More having already been said of the pins than should have been I can recall that with the cooperation of Columbia Review we held a series of annual poetry competitions for the Boar s Head Poetry prizes judged by members of the faculty Mark Van Doren Lionel Trilling Andrew Chiappe F W Dupee among others All of the entrants read their poems at a reading late in the spring term and a distinguished outsider attended and gave a brief talk at the occasion For the first one in the spring of 1947 at which Allen Ginsberg was one of the two prize winners W H Auden was our guest He and the others I ll name all came for free and were given only drinks and a dinner at the faculty club attendance at which for us few undergraduates who had put the evening together was something of a low voltage thrill at the time In the next few years the visiting dignitaries were Stephen Spender R P Blackmur William Carlos Williams and John Berryman I particularly remember the occasion of Blackmur s visit for several reasons Blackmur arrived for dinner somewhat drunk and bringing with him a friend he ran into at Penn Station and brought along to dinner It was indeed a former member of Philolexian Robert Giroux who was at Harcourt Brace at the beginning of his celebrated career as one of the finest literary editors in American publishing I also first met and got to read poems by Richard Howard because Donald Friedman and I had combined to write a batch of bogus poems under a pseudonym and submitted them along with the other legitimate entries for Blackmur

    Original URL path: http://www.columbia.edu/cu/philo/legacy_content/content/alumni/bicentennial/hollander/ (2016-02-12)
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  • Philowixian - quigley
    and it s in their renewal that they enrich our lives So a society that goes back 200 years has really enjoyed the efforts the energies the creativity of generations of people before you and I think we probably feel amongst us this evening the ghosts of the past who have done this sat here on similar occasions making similar remarks probably better than mine but anyway So it s sincerely the tradition of the Philolexian Society I think from what I ve gathered this evening that you ve combined in appropriate degrees a variety of values I m afraid I m going to use some F words this evening so bear with me Aside A silence descends upon the room TJV That you have combined in appropriate degrees a variety of values not the least of which are I think Frivolity that s one down and Fervor with your love on the one hand of croquet and Fine wine and your love on the other of diverse forms of discourse and convention In both cases it seems to me the society captures some enduring values both of youth over the years and of the university over the years Indeed you help students I think to emerge from the university in ways that are continuous with Columbia s great tradition of trying to produce students who are intellectual and social explorers and not mere experts And you keep alive the next F word the Feistiness and here I deliberately use a slightly archaic term the feistiness that characterizes Columbia its students its faculty and its alumni at their best When I first thought of taking up the position of dean I was temporarily sobered by the thought of serving in that role for nearly 4000 young Columbians who showed no

    Original URL path: http://www.columbia.edu/cu/philo/legacy_content/content/alumni/bicentennial/quigley/ (2016-02-12)
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  • Philowixian - rachel
    Philo history or whatever else we can dream up But it will be up to us We are all here because Philo had an impact on us It is up to us to ensure that future generations at Columbia can have a similar experience I ask that each of you contribute what you can to the Philolexian Foundation perhaps using the pledge cards at your table There are pledge cards at each table And remember Philos never abstain Before I introduce our keynote speaker I want to take a moment to recognize some of those who contributed to making tonight a success Tim Cross and Ken Catandella in the Columbia College Alumni Office Margo Dobbertin in General Studies and Philo s excellent advisor in Student Development and Activities Rebecca Selvenis I also want to publically thank the members of the Bicentennial planning committee who somehow managed amidst full time jobs consuming course loads and generally crazy lives to put an enormous amount of energy patience into the planning of this event I really enjoyed working with you and I m glad we re all still talking to each other I d like each of you to stand up as I say your name so everyone can see your pretty faces Matt Abrams Batsheva Glatt David Lane David Damast Maria King Marla Diamond Ian Sullivan Perry Metzger Andrew Shiner and last but not least two people without whose efforts this dinner would really never have happened Calista Brill and our Avatar Tom Vinciguerra John Hollander and Allen Ginsberg may both have gone to Columbia and both have been Presidents of Philo but they were very different sorts of poets Once Ginsberg upon receiving from Hollander a critique of Howl and of Beat poetry in general proceeded to write a 30 page

    Original URL path: http://www.columbia.edu/cu/philo/legacy_content/content/alumni/bicentennial/rachel/ (2016-02-12)
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