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Centennial video generates excitement

Talk about a 'Great Beginning:' a new video is setting the stage for Connecticut College's Centennial, which begins this month and will be celebrated throughout 2011.

Edited by David Kahn '06, narrated by Matthew Rolin '13 and produced by the Office of College Relations, the video takes viewers on a short tour of Connecticut College's history, beginning with a "big, audacious idea: smart girls deserved an education." The video explains that Connecticut College was founded when Wesleyan University voted to exclude women, leaving women in the state no options for higher education.

"The idea became a place, rising on a muddy hilltop," Rolin, a philosophy major, says in the video. "Over time it changed and grew, and the big idea grew with it, to include new students and to fight other injustices."

Claire Gould '10, a young alumni trustee, said the Centennial provides the perfect opportunity to remember the College's important history. "Emphasizing that we were not only an all-girls college at some point, but one founded because of an injustice is a pretty impressive thing," Gould said.

Kahn, who runs eCastVideo, a Boston-based video production company, said the video is a creative way to share the College's story with a broad audience. "Forward-thinking and social change have played a powerful role in shaping the College," he said. "I hope that this video brings to life that unique history, and gets everyone excited for the next 100 years."

Ellen Anderson, director of annual giving programs, said alumni response to the video has been incredibly enthusiastic. "The feelings of pride really come through," she said.

One of those proud alumni is Caroline Gransee '09. "When I see how the College has progressed in the past 100 years, I am extremely proud not only to say that I am a Camel, but a legacy who has been a part of this institution's history of excellence," said Gransee, whose mother, Andrea Braun Tarbox '72 is also a Connecticut College graduate. "Connecticut College pushed me and challenged me to question everything I thought I knew, and I hope to give back to the College for all that it has done for my family and me."

Kahn said editing the video was a unique way for him to give back to the College. "The Centennial is such a huge milestone for the College, I'm honored and excited to be part of this 'living history,'" he said. "The project was truly a collaborative effort. I loved engaging with students, faculty and staff. It brought me right back to when I was a student."

January 19, 2011