Review of Amy Marcus-Newhall’s Rose Garden Dedication


Olive Gaetz ‘25
Staff Writer

Well, if you didn’t know about your invitation already, it’s far too late now. On Friday, Sept. 30, our beloved ex-Interim President Amy Marcus-Newhall received a heartfelt dedication from the Scripps community in the form of a rose garden beside the Wood Steps. Hearing this, and the bemusement of some of my fellow journalists, I was excited to write a scathing report on the absurdity of an obscure dedication to an Interim President. However, I soon learned Newhall’s role not only as a beloved professor and an active member of the Scripps community since 1992, but also a TWO time Interim President. What a disappointment when your school actually does something worth its salt for a change and suddenly there’s nothing to complain about to your peers.

Though a classic choice, the decision to construct a new Rose Garden was still quite controversial with administrators discussing alternative Scripps landmarks to dedicate to Marcus-Newhall instead. Some contenders included:
– The Malott Fire Alarms: This dedication would include a spontaneous fire alarm sound off once a week. All students would be expected to evacuate and comply with 10 minutes of silent contemplation. Although an effective way to ensure every student remembers Marcus-Newhall’s legacy, Scripps does not have the funding to cover the hearing loss issues that would surely ensue across the student body.
– The Wilbur laundry room: Though this was a promising candidate, after a certain Scripps sophomore’s favorite pair of pants came back bleached from the wash, the idea was scrapped. Administrators concluded that Marcus-Newhall’s academic focus on the “reduction of prejudice, aggressive and hostile behavior, and hate crimes” would not be in-line with the laundry room’s history of white-washing.
– A new student dorm: After the backlash last semester over the lack of guaranteed “directly” on-campus housing (and the subsequent forced migration into College Park and the Claremont Collegiate Apartments) some administrators proposed the construction of a new student dorm to ease the housing crisis and simultaneously honor Marcus-Newhall. However, since there is already a “NEW Hall”, other administrators decided it was much too confusing and have instead decided to turn a portion of Toll’s double rooms into forced triples to foster community, conflict resolution, and creative interior design. Those 3 qualities have also been nominated as the new Scripps motto.

Despite this extensive debate, the Rose Garden itself was the least interesting part of this event. First off, I arrived far too underdressed. I briefly had to duck behind a bush and recheck my email to make sure I was approaching the dedication and not a wedding reception. Additionally, despite the entire Scripps student body receiving a “cordial” invitation on September 8th, not a SINGLE other Scripps student decided to show up. I guess that’s what happens when we’re sent 50 emails every day at 8 in the morning, you tend to stop opening them. Thanks to you all, I experienced one of the most isolating and embarrassing 30 minutes of my college experience (which is saying a lot if you’ve ever been to a single on-campus party).

Surrounded by a sea of Scripps professors, administrators, and board members, I tucked in to listen to the multitude of speeches about Marcus-Newhall’s stellar contributions and qualities. Nothing much to report there, except for the brief interruptions of a distant amateur opera singer and a ridiculously loud skateboard. The main highlight, though, had to be one of the orators explaining the namesake of the garden’s roses: The Twilight Zone. The insinuation that some of the “younger audience” would not be familiar with one of the most famous tv shows of all time was only slightly less patronizing than when a college tour guide suggested I wouldn’t know what a VCR is (thank you University of Vermont). In any case, I was glad to be acknowledged as welcome at the event, if only to feel warranted in pilfering chocolate strawberries and Diet Coke from the reception.

I don’t think I’m going to make it a habit in the future to attend events composed entirely of unfamiliar adults, but I will say it was a good opportunity to earn back some of my tuition in the form of tiny chocolates. I think adding “giant unsupervised cauldron of fun size candy bars” to the invitation might’ve resulted in a few more student guests, but I’ll have to wait and bring it up at the next board meeting, along with on-campus housing and rights for residential coordinators. Who’s with me?

In any case, make sure to send your congratulations to Professor Marcus-Newhall and be sure to keep checking your school email for an invitation to the next absolute rager of a dedication.

Image Source: Aanji Sin ’24

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