Help Shape the Future of Georgetown College by Becoming One of the #GC300

Georgetown College saw me transition from a high school graduate, to a college graduate, and to where I am today—someone working toward a promising career, thanks in part to the education I got at Georgetown and especially from Dr. Brady. As Georgetown undergoes this period of transition to a new president, now more than ever, it’s imperative that alums like you and me show the world what our school means to us.

I know how important the generosity of GC alums was to making my education more affordable. Scholarships from a number of sources helped me offset some of the student loan debt I had to take on. Now that I’ve graduated and am slowly paying down those loans, I haven’t forgotten it’s my turn to pay it forward.

Like many, I don’t have a lot of money to give. When I give to GC, it’s usually to a specific department or program like to the Mary Brady Scholarship. If you make a donation between now and this Sunday, June 30, you can contribute not JUST to the Dr. Brady Scholarship but also become one of the #GC300.

The purpose of the #GC300 campaign is not to raise a specific dollar amount for Georgetown College. Rather, it’s an opportunity for at least 300 of us alums of all ages to rally around our alma mater. No matter how much you give, by making a donation, you send a message to current and potential students, faculty, staff, and indeed the next GC President that we alums are invested in the success of the College. 

Please join me in becoming one of the #GC300 by making a donation today.

To make a donation visit http://www.georgetowncollege.edu/alumni/gc300/. To make sure your donation goes to the Mary Brady Scholarship type “Mary Brady Scholarship” in the comments field.

Thank you in advance for your generosity.

Gina Putthoff, Class of 2005

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Happy Mary Brady Month! Give Brady a Birthday Gift by Donating to the Scholarship in Her Name

It’s December 8th and by now you should all know what that means: it’s the start of Mary Brady Month. Unlike similar posts of years past, this post has a lot of ground to cover for current students, faculty, and even alums. In addition to spending the month promoting the Brady legacy and the Red Room, we’re also working on raising money for the Mary Brady Scholarship—which was established last spring and is in the process of gathering $25,000 to become endowed. I know it’s a long post but, hey, if you’re a fan of Mary Brady, you’re probably also a fan of reading words.

First thing’s first. I want your feedback about this site and the scholarship. Please take a few minutes to answer this 10-question survey after you read this post (it might impact your answers, especially if you have some reservations about giving): http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/LQH5F7M Don’t worry, no one will ever know who answered what, not even me.

Current Students—STOP READING THIS AND DO ONE OF TWO THINGS: 

1. Click on the Red Room link above and enter the name of Beowulf’s successor to access a treasure trove of Dr. Brady’s handouts you can use to study. 

2. If you already know about the Red Room, be sure to share the link with others and make them work for that password.

Faculty and Staff—Thank you. When Dr. Barbaccia and I started knocking around the idea of the Pawling 110 Club, Georgetown College faculty and staff jumped on board at the idea, and most of the donations received to date have come from you. I know that many of you miss Dr. Brady more than her former students can imagine; after four years of Dr. Brady, I can’t even imagine what twenty with her might have been like. I’m sure she’d be mortified, thrilled, and honored by the love and esteem you have for her, but your support of this scholarship illustrates what this scholarship is all about. I’m sure each of you has your own Dr. Brady and now you’re the ones who are that person in so many students’ lives. (And isn’t it FUN?)

Alums—If you’ve donated to the scholarship already, thank you, thank you, thank you. If you want to donate, here’s a link explaining where you need to go and what you need to do: http://www.georgetowncollege.edu/eng/pawling-110-club/.

(Note you don’t HAVE to do the Pawling 110 thing; it’s just the best explanation of how to work GC’s crazy online donation thingamabob so that your money gets where it needs to go. Give any amount you can; it all helps raise the percentage of alums who give to the English Department, giving us bragging rights over [insert your favorite department to bash]).

Fact: I just donated myself, which is completely embarrassing because I helped start the scholarship; but hey, life happens and money runs short.

If you want to donate but are short on funds like I was, please keep this scholarship in mind when you reach a position that you CAN give. In the meantime, spread the word about the scholarship and, if you know some English majors, make sure they know about the Red Room.

If you haven’t donated to the scholarship and have reservations about donating to “the College” or questions about the scholarship selection, as I’ve sort of heard through the grapevine, listen up.  Here’s a short response to each of the items I typically am asked:

The money for that you donate to the Mary Brady Scholarship will be used just for that. When you donate, your money will sit in a fund—unused—until it reaches $25,000. Then it will officially be “endowed”. Then it will sit for a year, gathering interest (and more donations) until there’s a respectable (but to-be-determined) amount of money that can be given to a student. Even with the change of administration that will happen this spring when Dr. Crouch steps down, that money cannot/will not be used for anything else. It won’t be used for anything at all until it reaches the endowment level of $25,000.

If you’re a GC alum, you know how important that scholarships were to being able to attend a private college. With tuition costs rising everywhere, you’re probably asking yourself if you would have been financially able to attend Georgetown College today. The answer might be no. Why? Because alums like us aren’t giving enough money to scholarships to help offset the cost to students. That’s a fact.

As English majors and liberal arts graduates, the joke’s always been that we wouldn’t make any money. With a recession on and unemployment high, the joke is a lot less funny than it was when we were in college. I know many of us don’t have much money, so giving to the alma mater drops on the list of priorities. Trust me, I get that; it’s why I didn’t donate until a few weeks ago (cross your fingers that my car doesn’t break down, by the way).

But here’s the thing that bugs me: I’ve gotten the idea that some alums might give but don’t want to give to “the College.” I know alums at any college don’t always agree with how their college might be spending money. At GC, this sentiment was vaguely alluded to in a survey calling for Dr. Crouch’s resignation (a survey so void of statements of fact I  only assume that it had to do with a collective disappointment with the College’s current financial state and maybe something to do with the College’s relationship with the Baptist Church). Regardless of the validity or absurdity of the rumors you’ve heard about the College’s current financial/political climate, I don’t think it should factor into your decision to give to the Mary Brady Scholarship.

I promise, if you give to this scholarship, you know exactly where it’s going, how it’s going to be used, and you’re going to know it made a positive impact to a student’s life and to your alma mater. It won’t be used to strengthen or destroy a relationship with the Baptist church, to build or demolish dorms, or to go to any other project no matter how great or how awful you personally think it is. It’s a scholarship in Dr. Brady’s memory. That’s it.

And how will recipients be selected? I don’t know yet. Right now, this is what the scholarship is:

The scholarship will support an outstanding rising senior English major who plans to use her or his talents to teach.

Some people have expressed concerns to me that, to be blunt, professors’ favorites may be selected over “more qualified” students. I think it’s a question Brady herself would have raised, and it’s not an easy question to answer or  even ask. But now that I’ve acknowledged the question has been asked, here’s my attempt to answer it (noting that I’m most definitely no speaking on anyone at the College’s behalf):

 I trust judgment of the current faculty and staff of Georgetown College—and especially that of the English department–to select the best recipients for this scholarship, the students who have the most potential to go on to be the “next” Mary Brady. They’re among the people who knew Brady best and we share a deep commitment to the integrity of this scholarship. If you knew Brady, you know favorites isn’t a game she played and that’s not going to start now. So, if this is only reason you have not to give to this scholarship, it isn’t a very good one.

Having been a student, I get where the concern is coming from—at GC and elsewhere (like at work), I’ve thought some of my classmates were idiots/jerks and wondered how my professors didn’t see through that. From talking with many of you, I know that many of you are teachers yourselves now and you look at the selection question from both sides of the fence–as a professor and as a student. I think the heart of the question really is “Does this scholarship really stand for everything Brady stood for?” and it’s a valid question to ask regarding any scholarship, especially one named after someone we knew well.

So here’s what I propose…take this survey: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/LQH5F7M. It won’t take a lot of your time and promise I’ll take your input to the right people at Georgetown College.

Please don’t let concerns over selection or giving to “the College” be the only reasons you don’t donate to the Mary Brady Scholarship. 

Now that we’ve taken care of business, let’s get back to what today is REALLY about.

Today would have been Dr. Brady’s 25th-ish birthday. I’m sure she would have been celebrating it with her family in such a way that on Monday, her students would have spent most of class asking her about it and driving her crazy. She would have still gotten through everything on the syllabus that day and what she didn’t—well, ya better know it for the exam. Her students might have pooled their money together (in quarters) to buy her flowers. That day and that night, she’d tell her friends, family, and coworkers about it because of the many things she loved, I think flowers and students were near the top. She’d have a spare vase lying around to put the flowers in and she’d tend to those flowers until they died perhaps months later, having lived longer than cut flowers normally lived despite the fact her office was equipped with a window better suited for ventilation than for providing natural light. That woman knew everything and her ability to grow plants was only surpassed by her ability to grow students. And whenever students visited her office, she’d remark on the paradox that those flowers are both living and dead at the same time, and what strange innuendo giving the gift of flowers is, considering the range of symbolic meanings they can have and the fact that they have genitalia.  

Birthday or not, Brady would have been in her office in Pawling 110 until some ungodly hour on Monday night grading papers, answering emails, and as she’d say, finally getting some work done.

And that, my friends, is the Mary Brady to whom this site is dedicated and what the Mary Brady Scholarship will someday be about.  So happy birthday, Brady. And thank you. For everything.

Now get back to work, everybody….after you take this survey: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/LQH5F7M

-Gina Putthoff, Class of 2005

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Help Endow the Mary Brady Scholarship

If you’re a Georgetown College English major/minor alum, you should have  received an email today announcing that the College is working to create a scholarship in Dr. Brady’s name. If you haven’t seen it yet, here’s what you’re missing:

Dr. Mary Brady’s passing in 2007 left Georgetown College with one fewer professor, mentor, and friend. During her twenty-two-year career at Georgetown, Dr. Brady helped countless students learn to write better, research better, teach better, and be better people. I’m sure that many students, including myself, can credit many of our achievements today to having been challenged by Dr. Brady in college. In this spirit, the Dr. Mary Brady Memorial Scholarship Fund has been established.

The Mary Brady Scholarship will provide a cash award to a full-time rising senior majoring in English, with preference given to a student who has an interest in education. The ideal recipient will be someone whose goal is to teach and challenge students like Dr. Brady did.Our goal is to endow the scholarship so that it can be given annually for years to come, starting in 2014. To do that, we need to raise $25,000 by May 2013.

If you’re like me, you might be overwhelmed by requests for money and wondering why you should give. Personally, I make supporting this scholarship a priority because without professors like Dr. Brady, I would not have succeeded in college or after college. I know that by donating, I’ll be helping students become “the next Dr. Brady”: they’ll be the people who challenge the next generation of students and leaders.

Make a Gift to the Mary Brady Scholarship

Use [Georgetown College’s] secure web server to make a contribution. In the Designation/Comments box, paste in “Dr. Mary Brady Scholarship Fund/Pawling 110 Club.” Even if you don’t have a lot to give, your contribution will go a long way toward helping us meet our goal, and toward helping students meet theirs. To learn about our Mary Brady Scholarship continued giving campaign, visit The Pawling 110 Club and become a member today. See the page on the English Department’s website for more information about giving by phone or mail.

I’m sure that if you’re a reader of this blog, you’re already a Dr. Brady fan and I hope that you’ll take a few moments to go to the College’s site and make a donation right now. Spread the word!

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Happy Birthday, Brady (Again)

If you were one of Dr. Brady’s students in 2004, you probably remember the day she won the Manning Award. Somehow we students had been not-so-subtly tipped off that she was going to get the award so, and I think I speak for all of us here, it was the one time we really looked forward to going to Chapel.

For me, two things stick out about that day: 1) Watching Brady’s reactions while Dr. Allen gave a glowing speech about her … without realizing that it was about her and 2) seeing her nearly topple her husband’s wheelchair.

First, the speech. To fully appreciate the magnitude of this award, you’ll need to read the the speech Dr. Allen gave:

The John Walker Manning Distinguished Mentor and Teacher Award recognizes faculty who have shown a commitment to Georgetown College by being involved with students and who have also demonstrated excellence in teaching.

Nominees shall have demonstrated leadership in mentoring and counseling students in their academic course work and other aspects of college life during the past two years.

They shall have demonstrated collegiality, Georgetown attitude and spirit, and high moral character.

And they shall have contributed to the college academic community above and beyond regular duties during the past two years.

The Manning award is special, because students make the nominations and have the majority voice in choosing the winner.

This year, thirteen professors were nominated for the award.

The winner is an extraordinary teacher who has the capacity to inspire her students through her teaching and through her life.  The nominating letters were glowing.   One nominator called her “funny, strong, and genuinely good hearted,” adding  “I work harder for her than for myself.  She just inspires me to do my best and to get better. She loves to teach, and you can see and feel that. Her enthusiasm melts off onto her students.”

Another nominated this professor “because she is a friend, a guide, a confidant, a role-model, a heroine, an example of what a strong woman should be, and, above all, a teacher who puts her students above everything.”

“She changes the life of every student that walks through her doors, and it is time that she receives recognition of this and is made aware of just how important she is to this college and to every individual colleague or student whose life she has touched.”

I agree, because this professor was also a teacher and mentor to me when I first arrived at Georgetown College.  So I am pleased beyond words to say that the winner of the 2004 John Walker Manning Distinguished Mentor and Teacher Award is Dr. Mary Brady.

If you knew Brady, you know all of these things were true of her.

And if you knew Brady, you can probably imagine that she was elbowing the people next to her and gesticulating wildly during the speech. I’m not sure what she was saying so I won’t speculate on what she said (but if someone knows, please tell me).

What was clear she had no idea she was about to win an award. Nor did she notice her family sitting there, including who wheelchair-bound husband.

Which brings me to the second thing that sticks out about that day.

After much hooting and hollering during an otherwise regal event, all of Brady’s students gathered near the stage to greet her after she met her family. The next thing I knew, Brady was hurtling from the stage and practically diving into Judge Brady’s lap, nearly toppling his wheelchair. In retrospect, it probably wasn’t quite so dramatic and I should have seen this coming. After all, I should have realized that pinballing around the Chapel was The Most Brady Thing she could have possibly done at the moment.

That being said, welcome to Mary Brady Month 2011-2012, the Most Brady of all months. Like last year, we’ll keep the site active until January 8. The site won’t go away, of course, but this is our month to take the enthusiasm she melted onto all of us and share it with each other, and with the world. Please share this site with your friends, comment like crazy on any of these posts, contact us to post your own piece (or pieces), and check out The Red Room. And once you’ve done that…get back to work!

Happy birthday, Brady.

Special thanks to Dr. Rosemary Allen for providing the Manning speech for use on this site.

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Happy Mary Brady Night

As I mentioned in the first post, my friends and I generally go out for Mary Brady Night around January 8 (the anniversary of the day Dr. Brady died) to honor her memory. Even though last Saturday was January 8, due to scheduling conflicts, we’re finally getting together tonight for the celebrations–which is why this post is appearing now instead of a week ago. 

Over a month ago, when we launched this site, I don’t think any of us really knew what to expect. I think my original plan was just to upload as many files as we could to the Red Room, get a few things for the Episodes and post until January 8, and let it pretty much take a break until next December 8. For me, the main point was doing something with all those files I had and from the day it launched, I had done what I had set out to do. I hope that former students will be able to use these files and hopefully some current students will stumble upon the room.

A few things surprised me. The first thing was the support of her family. One of my coworkers knows one of Dr. Brady’s sons and shared the link with him the day before it launched. From there, more members of her family found the site and commented on it. It was (to sell it far too short) a really, really cool feeling and completely unexpected.

The other thing that surprised me: the number of hits. I didnt’ have any numbers in my head when we started this but, off the top of my head, I could name maybe 20 or 30 people I considered to be part of the Brady Cult. I figured maybe they’d tell a few friends and that’d be the end of it.

On December 8, 2010, the day the site launched, WordPress reports that we had 526 “views” on the site. I’m not very good at interpreting numbers but, from the looks of it, that accounts for views of every page on the site (the main page, episodes page, the Red Room) not unique visitors. From the looks of it, that day there were about 200 views of the main page and, if WordPress doesn’t double count IP addresses or something, that might be up to 200 people who visited this site in one day. That’s 200 people who knew Brady, who learned from her, and who had their lives changed by her.

Since launching, we’ve gotten a lot of comments, a lot of page views, and a few people volunteering to write episodes. We’re still waiting on a few of them but they’ll be up as soon as we get them. If you want to contribute an episode (or more), please let us know and we’ll get it up here. We also have a few more handouts to add to the Red Room, which we hope to get scanned in soon and we’ll let you know when those are available. Please share that link with people you think would be interested or could use the information. Be sure to yell “isn’t this fuuu-uuun?” at them as they try to guess the password.

Tonight, instead of just having a few drinks, telling a few stories, listening to “Proud Mary”, and wondering what we could do to honor Dr. Brady, we can finally spend a night having a few drinks, telling a few stories, listening to “Proud Mary”, and knowing that we finally did something. That we all did something, everyone who visited this site, who commented, who contributed and who will contribute on down the road. And we know that will continue doing so.

Tonight, we’ll be remembering her like we always do, in our own way. Tomorrow, we’ll get back to work.

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“Wrong!”

When I received my first graded paper back from Dr. Brady, I wasn’t at all prepared for it. I had been accustomed to teachers patting me on the back and handing me good grades throughout most of my school career. I didn’t think twice about it anymore.

So it came as quite a surprise when Dr. Brady handed me back what I thought was a perfectly acceptable paper now practically dripping with red ink.

Such a loud color is quite a shock to the system. It makes a girl think.

And the thing is, she somehow knew I needed a dose of her complete honesty with that paper. Yes, the truth can be painful, but sometimes it’s just what you need to hear to get your act together. Dr. Brady’s honesty in class may have felt a little like a slap on the face at times, but her words certainly made me sit up and try harder.

Dr. Brady’s words of wisdom directed at me:

– “What on earth are you wearing? That’s quite a statement. I could never go out in public wearing sweatpants. If I were wearing that, I’d go to sleep.”

– “It seems that your last English teacher taught you nothing at all. You need to go back to English 101.”

– “This is probably the worst grade you’ve ever gotten, isn’t it? Well, you’ll get over it.”

– “WRONG!!!”

Maybe I wanted to crawl up in a hole and hide after a couple of these, but I bounced back and tried to learn from them. At the very least, I never go out in public wearing sweatpants anymore.

And the great thing about being 100 percent truthful is that if Dr. Brady gave you a compliment, you knew you earned it. Sure, maybe you had to drink nasty Mountain Dew to pull an all-nighter in order to turn in a paper, but proving to yourself that you could rock that paper always seemed worth it.

Dr. Brady’s more encouraging words of wisdom directed at me:

– “Lots of red ink means there’s at least hope for a paper. If there’s no hope, there’s no red ink.”

– “You see? It gets better.” (after giving me a paper with an improved grade from the last one)

Dr. Brady helped me realize that I had been a slacker all my life and not realized it. She wanted more from me than a simple recitation of notes to prove I could write down what she said. She wanted me to think.

I still fail at things often, but after hearing someone yell, “WRONG!” at me and survive, it doesn’t seem so bad to mess up anymore. I can’t be practically perfect like Mary Poppins, but I can give it my best and know that my level of effort is the one thing that I can control.

Dr. Brady, thanks for always telling the truth. I needed it.

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The Mary Brady Test

Centuries ago, when Facebook first came to Georgetown, there were a number of Mary Brady groups that seemed to pop up over night; this seemed to both annoy and amuse Dr. Brady. Admission into one of these groups involved passing an insane test that was a full-on “Mary Brady” in its requirements; it was closely modeled after many of the tests she gave us in her classes (although this test is far more ridiculous than any test she ever gave us). When she saw the test, she laughed at it before telling us to get out of her office so she could get back to work.

For your amusement, here is that test:

To join, please review the following application.

Name:
Class rank:
Number of Mary Brady classes completed:
Please list these classes.

Those wishing to join the club who have not had any Mary Brady classes should write a detailed essay explaining why they should be admitted without meeting this basic criteria.

All applicants (even those lacking basic requirements, as noted above) MUST complete the following 20 questions. Leaving a question blank results in an automatic failure, so you must at least attempt each answer. Each question is weighted differently (like on the GRE), although only the test administrators know what this weighting system is. You may only take the exam once and you may not receive help from anyone else, especially Mary Brady. As a Georgetown College student, you are expected to abide by the Honor System, which you signed in blood your freshman year.

1. Which room, according to Mary Brady, should be painted red and why?
2. What are “Do Me” shoes? Extra points if you know who she accused of wearing them.
3. Which popular chain garment store is Mary Brady fascinated with?
4. What brand of cigarettes does Mary Brady smoke?
5. What kind of food does Mary Brady hate?
6. What is Mr. Brady’s first name?
7. What sport did Mary Brady participate in while a student at UK? Extra points for specificity.
8. Name 3 of the chivalric codes and indicate how Sir Gawain embodies them.
9. Using the closest spelling approximation possible, please indicate at least one “Mary Brady” sound.
10. True or false: Mary Brady always answers her door promptly.
11. What year did Mary Brady win the John Walker Manning Award for excellence in teaching?
12. What did Mary Brady buy with the prize money for the John Walker Manning Award for excellence in teaching?
13. What is Mary Brady’s maiden name?
14. Who is Mary Brady’s sister?
15. What does Mary Brady call her mother?
16. Compare the old heroic code to the new heroic code and explain how this is demonstrated in Beowulf.
17. What does Mary Brady think about the Wife of Bath?
18. Explain the concept of “the other” as it relates to Jungian psychology and give relevant examples pertaining to American literature.
19. How did Mary Brady break her foot?
20. In no less than 300 words, please explain why you should be accepted for membership into the Red Room. Be sure to support your ideas with examples and, when direct quotes and paraphrases are used, be sure to use proper MLA citation. You are expected to use no fewer than 12 scholarly sources to write this essay (you may use web sources, but they will not count toward you source quota). Make sure to type your essay in Times New Roman 12, and that you double space the document and have 1 inch margins all around. Plagiarism shan’t be tolerated. Please refer to the Georgetown College Honor Code.

Thank you for applying for membership into the Red Room. You application must be emailed to [redacted] for consideration.

Please allow 4 – 6 weeks for your application to be processed. You will be notified via your wall as to the status of your membership.

Feel free to debate the answers to these questions in the comments.

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