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Year of Good Will

  Campus News  

Edgar Helms

During the centennial anniversary of Goodwill Industries, founded by Edgar Helms, class of 1889, the campus is celebrating a "Year of Good Will." Guest lecturers will visit campus, and an international traveling exhibit about the Goodwill story was displayed at Cole Library in November. Other events will communicate the values of citizenship, volunteerism, and community.

Goodwill, a U.S. leader in promoting opportunities for people with disabilities and other barriers to independence, was founded by Helms in 1902. A Methodist minister serving Boston's poverty-stricken south side, Helms collected used goods and clothing in wealthier areas of the city, then trained poor people to mend, repair, and sell the used goods.

Helms' legacy of service to the community is alive at Cornell. Last year, 78 percent of Cornell students participated in service, volunteering more than 13,000 hours.

'Messiah' returns

Desmond Barrit is surrounded by members of the cast and crew of Twelfth Night: (clockwise from left) Abigail Cape, Benjamin Parrish, Nat Fuller, Roxanna Westcot, Alice Wagner, Jason Sawatzki, Steph Savage, Eliav Cohen, Liza Bourquin, Britta Nord, Jon Geary, and Luke Behaunek.

Cornell's annual holiday concert featured college and community voices uniting in Handel's "Messiah," but not in the sing-along format that was a tradition for more than 20 years.

More than two months of rehearsals preceded the early December concert by about 120 singers-students, faculty, and area residents-and an orchestra of students, faculty, and area professionals. Tjett Gerdom '01 and six current students were soloists.

"The holiday concert has often featured major works, and this was our presentation of the most beloved and popular major work associated with the holiday season," said Lisa Hearne, director of choral music.

From 1977 to 1998 Cornell hosted an annual "Messiah" sing-along, which for 19 years was directed by music professor emerita Marcella Lee '48. Professional vocalists in the area were soloists; the chorus, which many years numbered over 100, included area residents who gathered for a single rehearsal just hours prior to the performance.

Brit actor directs 2nd Shakespeare play

Desmond Barrit, award-winning actor with the Royal Shakespeare Company, returned to direct the fall English department production, Shakespeare's Twelfth Night. English professor Stephen Lacey '65 first brought Barrit to campus in 1999 to direct The Comedy of Errors, and this year's production was funded by the Stephen Lacey Memorial Fund.

A veteran of the stage, small screen, and radio in England, Barrit's most recent role was as Falstaff in the Royal Shakespeare Company's production of Henry IV, Parts I and II, which earned him a nomination for the Laurence Olivier Award, an honor he's won twice.

"You feel he could just get out of his director's chair and play any role in the play, and do an amazing job," says sophomore Amber Swenson of Brooklyn Park, Minn., who played Feste in Twelfth Night. "He allows each actor creative freedom, but he also molds each performance through clear-cut direction."

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