Friday, February 27, 2009

BOOK CLUB: Their Eyes Were Watching God

Under "a blossoming pear tree" in West Florida, sixteen-year-old Janie Mae Crawford dreams of a world that will answer all her questions and waits "for the world to be made." But her grandmother, who has raised her from birth, arranges Janie's marriage to an older local farmer. So begins Janie's journey toward herself and toward the farthest horizon open to her. Zora Neale Hurston's classic 1937 novel follows Janie from her Nanny's plantation shack, to Logan Killicks's farm, to all-black Eatonville, to the Everglades, and back to Eatonville--where she gathers in "the great fish-net" of her life. Janie's joyless marriage to Killicks lasts until Joe Starks passes by, on his way to becoming "a big voice." Joe becomes mayor of Eatonville and is just as determined as Killicks was to keep Janie in her proper place. Through twenty years with Joe, she continues to cope, hope, and dream; and after Joe's death, she is once again "ready for her great journey," a journey she now undertakes with one Vergible Woods, a.k.a. Tea Cake. Younger than Janie, Tea Cake nevertheless engages both her heart and her spirit. With him Janie can finally enjoy life without being one man's mule or another's bauble. Their eventful life together "on de muck" of the Everglades eventually brings Janie to another of her life's turning points; and after burying Tea Cake, she returns to a gossip-filled Eatonville, where she tells her story to her best friend, Pheoby Watson, and releases Pheoby to tell that story to the others. Janie has "done been tuh de horizon and back." She has learned what love is; she has experienced life's joys and sorrows; and she has come home to herself in peace.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

SHIP Happenings - Alumni Association

Conshohocken: SU Social at The Great American Pub
Friday March 20, 2009 from 5 pm - 8 pm
$15 cover charge
Join SHIP alums for Happy Hour! Hors d'ourves will be served and the chance to win some great door prizes.

Horsham: Alumni Volunteer Service Day at Cradles to Crayons
Saturday April 18, 2009 from 9 am - 1 pm
141 Gibralter Road, Horsham
Cradles to Crayons provide free of charge, low income and homeless children from birth to pre-teen the basic essentials they need to be safe, warm, ready to learn, and valued. Volunteers will check donated items for quality and sort them by age then package to be given away. Donations are also accepted.

Cherry Blossom Fireworks
Saturday April 11, 2009 from 5 pm - 8:30 pm
Join the D.C. Alumni planning committee for the "prelude to the fireworks". Enjoy musical entertainment, family activities, and food prior to the fireworks.

For a complete calendar of events, check out Ship Alumni Association.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Message from President Ruud

Dear Ship Students, Faculty, Alumni and Friends,
I bring you greetings from Ship as we approach the beginning of Spring Break. We continue to have positive news. Enrollment at both the undergraduate and graduate levels is up over last year. In Spring 2008, we had 6,114 undergraduate students and this spring we have 6,318 – up 204. In Spring 2008, we had 1,123 graduate students and this spring we have 1,167 – up 44 for a total of 248. We also saw an increase this semester in the enrollment of minority students at both levels.

This good news also continues for the fall of 2009 as applications for the new undergraduate class beginning in August have increased over the previous year. We had 6,037 applications for students who began in Fall 2008 and we have 6,230 applications for students who want to begin this August. The number of transfer students seeking admission is also up by nearly 100. Ship remains an institution of choice for students in our region and beyond.

We are happy that ticket sales continue to be strong for the outstanding performances at the Luhrs Performing Arts Center with several sellouts already and more possible. Early interest in this summer’s camps and conferences is also up, with many campers wanting to attend more than one camp this summer.

Efforts also continue to inform our county, state and federal legislators about the university's successes and our need for assistance with various projects. Several of us met recently in Washington, D.C., with our U.S. representatives to seek their support. We were also happy to be able to meet with U.S. Representative Todd Platts and New Hampshire Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, both who are proud graduates of Ship. Jeanne is the ONLY woman in the history of the U.S. to serve as both the Governor of a state and a U.S. Senator.

I have had the pleasure to share these messages with you since I joined the university and I have received very good feedback from you. In addition to these messages, we recently completed a President’s Report for 2007-08 that features some of the items I have previously shared with you, as well as some new information. To make the report readily accessible, we have posted it online. You may go to the university's website at and click on the link under the features section or you may go to my page at to find the link on the upper right hand side. Please take time to look at the report and see why we’re so proud of Ship.

Few topics are as widely discussed these days as is the current state of the economy at the national and state levels. We all await the impact of the recently approved stimulus bill as well as other measures to restore the health of the economy.

In a previous message, I told you that the university was asked to set aside more than $1.5 million from this year’s funding to help the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania deal with a budget deficit predicted to be more than $2 billion. Thanks to outstanding work and cooperation throughout the campus community, we have been able to save those funds in various ways such as not filling staff vacancies, deferring some planned projects and cutting other expenditures where possible. I’m proud to say that despite these cuts, which are significant, we still maintain the core academic and support services needed for students and needed to allow faculty to help students reach their academic and personal goals.

In next year’s budget for the Commonwealth, it is proposed that the appropriation for the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education remain at the same level as that which we began the 2008-09 academic year. Due to expected cost increases for next year, this means the university will again face a budget shortfall. Until we know the tuition for next year, we won’t know the amount of that deficit. We are already discussing ways to deal with any deficit, but it will be one of the most significant challenges the university has faced in many years. In the coming weeks and months, I’ll continue to let you know more on this important topic.

On February 19, the university hosted its H.O.P.E. Scholarship dinner and lecture. H.O.P.E. stands for Helping Our People Excel. Helping is not only what we do here at Ship, it is what we believe in. Everyone at that program was impressed with the scholarship recipients and what they will eventually achieve after they earn this Ship degree. Even with the challenges we face as a nation and a world, I am confident that we can look to the future with optimism because of the hope they and all of our students provide.

Thank you for being part of Ship, and best wishes.

Bill Ruud
Shippensburg University
1871 Old Main Drive
Shippensburg, PA 17257
717-477-1301 Office
717-477-4005 FAX
717-360-8239 Cell
717-530-1610 Home
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To e-mail President Bill Ruud directly, e-mail

Monday, February 23, 2009

IHOP - FREE Pancakes tomorrow!

Tuesday February 24th - known also as Fat Tuesday or Mardi Gras... and National Pancake Day, which dates back several centuries to when the English prepped for fasting during Lent. Strict rules prohibited the eating of all dairy products during Lent, so pancakes were made to use up the supply of eggs, milk, butter and other dairy products…hence the name Pancake Tuesday, or Shrove Tuesday.

To celebrate Pancake Day, IHOP is offering one free short stack (three) of their buttermilk pancakes. All they ask is that you consider making a donation to suport the local children's hospitals through the Children's Miracle Network , or other local charities.

Thursday, February 19, 2009


Did you know...:
CHEESE: Store your opened chunks of cheese in aluminum foil. It will stay fresh much longer and not mold.
PEPPERS with 3 bumps on the bottom are sweeter and better for eating. Peppers with 4 bumps are better for cooking.
BEEF: Add a teaspoon of water when frying beef. It will help pull the grease away from the meat while cooking.
EGGS: To make scrambled eggs or omlets rich, add sour cream, cream cheese, or heavy cream.
BROWNIES: For a cool brownie treat, make brownies as directed. Melt Andes mints in a double broiler and pour over warm brownies. Let set for a wonderful minty frosting.
GARLIC: Add garlic immediately to a recipe if you want a light garlic flavor; add at the end if you want a stronger taste of garlic.
SNICKERS: Leftover Snickers bars make a delicious dessert. Place sliced apples on a baking dish and sprinkle chopped candy bars ontop. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes. Serve alone or with vanilla ice cream. Yummm!
REHEAT PIZZA: Heat up leftover pizza in a nonstick skillet on top of stove, set heat to med-low and heat until warm. Keeps the crust crispy.
EASY DEVILED EGGS: Put cooked egg yolks in a zip lock bag. Seal, mash until they are all broken. Add ingredients, reseal, keep mashing thoroughly, cut the tip of the bag and squeeze the mixture into the egg. Throw away bag - easy clean up!
FROSTING: When you buy a container of cake frosting, whip it with your mixer a few times. You can double it in get to frost more cake/cupcakes with the same amount... less sugar and calories.
BREAD: To warm biscuits, pancakes, or muffins that were refrigerated, place them in a microwave with a cup of water. The increased moisture will keep the food moist and help it reheat faster.
NEWSPAPER WEEDS AWAY: Place layers of wet newspapers around your plants overlapping as you go and cover with mulch. Weeds may get thru gardening plastic, but not wet newspapers!
MOSQUITOS: Place a dryer sheet in your pocket. It will keep the mosquitos away!
SQUIRREL AWAY: TO keep squirrels from eating your plants, sprinkle your plants with cayenne pepper. It won't hurt your plants and the animals won't come close!
MEASURING CUPS: Before you pour sticky ingredients into a measuring cup, fill with hot water. Dump out - but don't dry. Add the ingredient (such as peanut butter) and watch how easily it comes right out!
FOGGY WINDSHIELD: Use a chalkboard eraser when your car windows fog. It works better than a cloth.
CONDITIONER: Use your hair conditioner to shave your legs. It's cheaper than shaving cream and leaves your legs really smooth.
FRUIT FLIES: To rid of pesky fruit flies, fill a small glass with 1/2" Apple Cider Vinegar and 2 drops of dishwashing liquid. Flies will be drawn to the cup and gone!
ANTS: Put small piles of cormeal where you see ants. They eat it, take it "home", but cannot digest it so it kills them. It may take a week or so, especially if it rains, but it works and you don't have to worry about pets or small children being harmed.
CLOTHES DRYER: If you use dryer sheets, they leave a 'film' on your screen that you cannot see. Be sure to clean the mesh screen by washing with warm soapy water and a nylon brush at least every six months. This will help your dryer last longer and avoid a fire hazard!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Happy President's Day

Today is President Abraham Lincoln's Birthday - and we wanted to give you a head's up, to plan for a great 'family activity' for Monday as we celebrate George Washington's Birthday.
Valley Forge National Park
Visitors meet portrayers of Martha Washington and General Washington in the Visitors meet portrayers of Martha Washington and General Washington in the Welcome Center while listening to period music by the "Colonial Revelers". Children make their own tri-corner hats and design birthday cards for the General in the Encampment Store from 10 a.m. to noon, followed by Mrs. Washington`s presentation and tasting of a birthday cake baked from her own original recipe. Kids may also enlist in the Continental Army, after which General Washington will review and lead the young "troops" in marching and maneuvering drills executed according to General Von Steuben`s training manual. Free and open to the public.

But if Valley Forge is too far, here's a fun (almost educational) project:

1. Cut the top flap of a milk carton off and tape or glue it closed to form the room.
2. Spread chocolate frosting or peanut butter on the sides of the milk carton then cover with pretzels.
3. Break a square cracker in half for the door, smaller pieces for the window.
4. Stick a Rolo or other tubular shaped candy to the top as the roof.

Monday, February 9, 2009


This Sweet Treat is an ideal "care package" to that special someone: Start with a layer of pretzels on a cookie sheet. We prefer the "Butter Snaps", they are in the shape of a square with a 'grid pattern'. Place an unwrapped Hershey's Kiss or Hug ontop of each pretzel. Bake for 2-3 minutes at 350. (Note: the white chocolate "Hug" will melt quicker than the milk chocolate "Kiss".) While the chocolate is still hot, place an M&M in the center of each Hug or Kiss... this time of year, we use the Valentine's bags, with pink, red, and white M&M's. Allow to cool, and they may be kept in the freezer. Unwrapping the kisses is a great project for "little helpers" - but be sure to buy extra chocolate!

AND GUESS WHAT??? On this day - February 9th, in 1894, Milton S. Hershey founded Hershey's!! Check out more about that wonderful place called Chocolate World .

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

NEW HOLIDAY created by CSP

Taken from Charlotte Smarty Pants: Please click here to read more about : CSP: Hug-a-Girlfriend Day

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

FEBRUARY: Heart Month - Gus Diamantoni

In honor of Heart Month, we reached out to Laura Benner Diamantoni to learn more about congenital heart disease and her very personal story.
Laura pledged Fall 90

Thank you, Laura, for sharing...

At 24 weeks pregnant with twins, we went for a level two ultrasound. The biggest thing we were worried about was not finding out the sex of the babies. As I was lying there half naked, the doctor begins by saying baby A looks fine but baby B has some heart abnormalities. The next hour was a blur. They said due to the nature of the apparent large hole in his heart and what looks like dual outlet right ventrical, we needed to do an amnio right away to see if we were dealing with genetic or other issues. We would also need to decide where to deliver the babies, because Lancaster hospitals would not touch us with these challenges.

Steve, who is a family doc in town, did all the research on who was the best pediatric cardio thorasic surgeon. Thank goodness we did not even need to travel out of state, and the babies were born at Hershey Medical Center.

The first three weeks of Gus's life were spent at Hershey, since his first surgery was at three days old, and second at six days old. We lived at The Ronald McDonald House with our newborn Will and 5 year old Jackson. It was quite a bad time. We were finally sent home with Gus on a NJ tube due to the fact he would not feed, and he was not strong enough yet for his open heart surgery. After 7 grueling months of in and out of the hospital Gus had his first open heat surgery. He did well, but at 18 months of age had to once again undergo another open heart operation.

Gus is quite a little trooper. We take things 6 months at a time, just holding our breath until his next cardiologist appointment. It seems once they go in and fix one thing with his heat, it negatively affects another area. Gus is a sweet, happy little guy going to a special preschool where he is able to receive speech, occupational and physical therapies. He has global delays, and does not speak yet. If you ask his twin Will, he would tell you Gus talks all the time.

Gus was named as the spokesperson for The American Heat Walk here in Lancaster, and has been involved in The Childrens Miracle Network to raise awareness for congenital heart disease. He just turned three and loves music. His formal name is Gust after his grandfather, but his friends call him Gus.

To learn more about these organizations and see how you can help, visit:
Ronald McDonald House
Children's Miracle Network

Friday February 6th is the American Heart Association "NATIONAL WEAR RED DAY"... so sport your "cardinal", Pi girls... and show your support for the American Heart Assoc!

...And say a prayer for Gus, Laura, and their family...

Monday, February 2, 2009


Punxsutawney Phil, that world famous groundhog, came out of his burrow in Gobbler's Knob, Punxsutawney, PA just after 7:30 a.m. this morning to work his magic. So, what did Phil predict? Six more weeks of winter ! Sorry, folks, but Phil has spoken.

Did you know...
Groundhog Day grew out of a mainly German superstition that if a hibernating animal casts a shadow February 2 -- the Christian holiday of Candlemas, halfway between Winter and Spring-- winter will last another six weeks. If no shadow is seen, legend says spring will be early.

Pennsylvania's official celebration of Groundhog Day began on February 2nd, 1886 with a proclamation in The Punxsutawney Spirit by the newspaper's editor, Clymer Freas: "Today is groundhog day and up to the time of going to press the beast has not seen its shadow." The groundhog was given the name "Punxsutawney Phil, Weather Prophet Extraordinary'' and his hometown thus called the "Weather Capital of the World.'' His debut performance: no shadow - early Spring. The legendary first trip to Gobbler's Knob was made the following year.
Click here for your Groundhog Day Coloring Page.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

The Green Expectation: February

The Water Challenge: Reduce your waste by eliminating bottled water. If you calculate the amount of money you spend each year on bottled water you will see that you are saveing much more than you are giving up.
- Instead of buying plastic bottles, use a water purifier for tap water and carry a reusable container. It will taste just as good, be just as healthy & save $$.
- Take shorter showers and turn off the water while brushing your teeth.
- Try to water your grass and garden a few times a week instead of daily.