Xavier Magazine

Faculty Sportlight: Dona Buel

Dona Buel, associate professor of music, discusses the past, present and future of patriotic music.

Patriotic music is such an intrinsic part of American culture. What pieces have made the biggest impact and why?

“The Star-Spangled Banner” will endure as long as it is our national anthem. It represents honor and loyalty. Francis Scott Key was inspired to write the words when he saw the American Flag still waving after the bombardment of Fort McHenry by the British during the War of 1812. “God Bless America” and “America the Beautiful” became, in a sense, our second national anthems after 9/11. The lyrics of both paint a portrait of the American landscape and the blessings of freedom. “Stars and Stripes Forever” is a great example of a musically inspiring march. Nothing is more stirring than the concluding section of the piece in which the opening melody returns in a heightened and dramatic rendition highlighted by the addition of the piccolo. “God Bless the USA” is a recent addition to patriotic music. With its strong message and beat, it fits into the contemporary framework. Consistent airplay following the Gulf War and 9/11 has made it one of the popular patriotic songs today.

Is there room in today’s repertoire for a new wave of patriotic music, or do you feel that Americans will always feel more comfortable with the standards?

Patriotic music is unique. Unlike other forms of music in which new music is expected, people prefer the traditional standards. Familiar patriotic music has been a source of strength and comfort as evidenced by the strong resurgence of “God Bless America” after 9/11. Over the years, the standards represent our country’s endurance during times of war and national stress. However, variations on the familiar tunes have kept the music fresh. Ray Charles’s “America The Beautiful” and Whitney Houston’s version of the “Star-Spangled Banner” are popular examples. As far as new patriotic music is concerned, country music has made inroads. The nature of story-telling lyrics always has the capacity to communicate to the American people.

What’s some little-known history behind our patriotic songs?

The music of some patriotic pieces has been adapted from other sources. The melody of “The Star-Spangled Banner” was the theme song for the Anacreontic Club of London. “Battle Hymn of the Republic” was originally “John Brown’s Body Lies A-smolderin’ in the Grave” and the music for “This Land Is Your Land” is a Baptist Hymn originally performed by the legendary country singers, The Carter Family.

Xavier Magazine

Faculty Spotlight: Paul Fiorelli

Paul Fiorelli, the director for the Center for Business Ethics and Social Responsibility at the Williams College of Business, discusses the recent Enron verdict.

Is the outcome of this trial fair in your view? For the two men involved, does the punishment fit the crimes?

First of all, we’re not quite sure what the punishment will be. Judge Sim Lake (the federal judge presiding over Ken Lay and Jeff Skilling’s case) will rule on their sentence during the week of Sept. 11. Legal commentators have said both Lay and Skilling could face between 20 and 30 years in prison. One way the federal system differs from state sentencing is states still have the concept of parole—getting significant time off for “good behavior.” It’s not uncommon for white collar criminals to serve only one third of their sentence, so the former CEO of Tyco, Dennis Kozlowski, might only serve 8.5 years of his 25-year New York jail sentence. The federal system no longer recognizes parole, and the inmates can only get 54 days a year “good time.” If Ken Lay is sentenced to 25 years in federal prison, he’ll do a minimum 21.25 years.

How will the outcome of this trial affect the business practices of other large companies? That is, now that they have seen that even the most wealthy and successful amongst them can fall so far from grace.

I think the business community has already seen a number of powerful CEOs convicted and serving serious jail time. These people include Bernie Ebber, CEO of Worldcom, sentenced to 25 years; John Rigas, CEO of Adelphia, sentenced to 25 years; and even Martha Stewart, sentenced to five months in prison for obstruction of justice. Depending upon the severity of the sentence, this will send a chilling message throughout the business community that money and power can not protect you if you break the law.

What can other large corporations do to protect themselves and establish themselves as trustworthy in the wake of such a scandal?

I just had an article published titled, “How to ‘Pump Up’ Your Organization’s Ethical Muscle Memory,” (Journal of Health Care Compliance, May-June 2006). In the article, I discussed the importance of companies establishing the appropriate ethical culture. Organizations have to set the tone (1) at the top, (2) at the middle and (3) at the bottom of the organization. When the entire company develops these “habits of virtue,” good behavior will be the norm and the bad actors will stick out like a sore thumb.

Xavier Magazine

Faculty Spotlight: Brennan Hill

In 1984, Brennan Hill applied for a job as a theology professor at Xavier after seeing an ad in a New York newspaper. His qualifications were undeniable: degrees in English and theology from Marquette University, Cambridge University, St. Bonaventure University and the Catholic University of America. Not surprisingly, he landed the job and went on to write 22 books, win five national journalism awards, travel more than 10,000 miles and touch thousands of lives.

Still, says Hill, it all falls second to the parts of his life that come a little closer to home. “I would begin my credentials with my marriage and family.” Hill and his wife, Marie, have been married 32 years, raised two children and now have two grandchildren. His experiences helped him teach the marriage and family course at Xavier for more than 20 years, educating students on what they can expect from the family front.

“In the classroom,” he says, “I like to promote a learning community, where each student can use his or her own experiences to add something to the class.” The classroom life, though, is coming to an end. Hill announced his retirement this year, and he and Marie are now going to teach all they know about theology, marriage and family to a smaller audience—their grandchildren.

Xavier Magazine

Extra Credit: John Fairfield

John Fairfield is an authority on the history of the development of cities and the concept of “public” and served on the planning committee for Xavier’s newest honors program, Philosophy, Politics and the Public. He and Gene Beaupré, director for government relations, teach the sophomores a set of four courses exploring the history, theory and practice of democracy. This year’s theme was eminent domain.


Why were the sophomores studying eminent domain? In the Legislative Politics course, we look for a current issue that links local, state and national politics. With the nearby Norwood controversy and the 2005 Supreme Court decision on New London, Conn., eminent domain provided the perfect issue.

What has been learned or accomplished on this topic? Our students had to balance their concern with homeowners and small business people against the needs of cities to redevelop and revitalize their cores. The students testified before the Ohio legislature’s task force on eminent domain, urging them to preserve the power of eminent domain for local governments but also recommending greater protections for property owners and greater public scrutiny of redevelopment plans.

How does the program benefit the University? Our annual trip to Washington, D.C., and frequent trips to the state capitol in Columbus or Cincinnati City Council provide a regional and national showcase for some of Xavier’s most accomplished students.

EDUCATION University of Rochester, Ph.D. in history, 1984; Master of Arts in history, 1980; Bachelor of Arts in history, 1978

CAREER HIGHLIGHTS Wrote an article on the history of city planning for the Oxford Com-panion to United States History 2001 Edition … A 1993 book, Mysteries of the Great City, examines 19th- and early 20th-century cities.

Xavier Magazine

Edgecliff Graduation, 1936

A transfer student from the College of the Sacred Heart in Clifton, Adele Pohl was the first graduate of Our Lady of Cincinnati College, which later became Edgecliff College, and the lone member of the college’s Class of 1936.

Here, the Most Rev. John T. McNicholas (right) buttons the hood on Pohl for the graduation ceremony, which took place June 4, 1936. That evening, Pohl’s parents hosted a dance for their daughter and other students of the college at the Hyde Park Country Club. When asked by a reporter about her summer plans, she replied, “I plan to rest this summer, studying meanwhile how I can best make use of my education.”

Xavier Magazine

Eating Fresh

Xavier students waited nearly four years to eat fresh. When they finally got their chance with the opening of a Subway restaurant in the Gallagher Student Center on Nov. 28, they ate their way to a sales record, and it was a whopper—$21,000 in one week. Patrons piled on the turkey and cheese, lettuce and tomato, meatballs and sauce faster than any of the other 119 Subway restaurants in Greater Cincinnati, says Ron Bistany, who owns 18 of the restaurant’s franchises, including the one now at Xavier.

“I thought at Xavier, with 3,000 students, I might do $3,000 to $4,000 the first week,” Bistany says. “But this was a record for a university.” The secret? “I’m not sure,” he says. “But the students wanted something new and fresh.”

Subway delivers with breakfast until 10:00 a.m., soup, subs and salads all day, and late-night service until 2:00 a.m. Bistany says there are often several people in line after midnight. The only downside is that hungry students and staff can expect a wait of several minutes during the lunch hour rush while patrons select the ingredients for their favorite sandwiches.

But hey, what’s five minutes when you’ve waited years for a Dagwood piled high?

Xavier Magazine

Diversity in Dialogue

The Brueggeman Center for Dialogue is built around the idea of diverse perspectives, and others are taking note. The center received a Building Bridges Award from the Islamic Center of Greater Cincinnati for its efforts in fostering interfaith dialogue, understanding and a sense of community.

The center was also recognized as a freedom station/partner by the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, making it part of a new program linking institutions to create a national platform for furthering the advancement of freedom. “Whatever the issue, we must be able to sit down, listen to one another and strive to find new ways of understanding,” says Brueggeman Center director James Buchanan.

Xavier Magazine

Commencement Countdown

Before students even graduate, they are ushered into the alumni ranks in late March during Commencement Countdown. This two-day event takes place in a booth-lined Cintas Center where seniors can get everything they need to graduate. They can purchase caps and gowns, try on class rings and pay their leftover bills—including parking tickets and, um, who doesn’t have a few of those after four years on campus? Even a photographer is on hand offering graduation portraits.

More important, though, graduating seniors receive their alumni ALL Cards, which make them eligible for national benefits. A representative from the national alumni association is also there to teach them about chapter events and collect their new contact information so they can stay up-to-date on the University.

“It’s an opportunity to take care of practical commencement needs and a way for us to connect with them before they leave,” says Joe Ventura, director for the national alumni association.

Xavier Magazine

Comfort Food

During an internship at St. Vincent’s Children’s Hospital in Indianapolis, Kathleen Zachary walked into the room of a young boy with cancer who was confined to his bed after a bone marrow transplant. Zachary discovered it was the boy’s fourth birthday, but there was not so much as a balloon in sight.

“I immediately thought, ‘This darling, courageous boy has been through so much, but nobody even knew it was his birthday,’” she says. “The little guy was so down.”

The moment inspired Zachary, a 1995 graduate, to create Peanut Butter & Jelly, a non-profit business that plans birthday, holiday and after-chemo parties for hospitalized children. “I was on a mission to bring hope, comfort and joy to children in the hospital,” she says.

PB&J serves only families with a financial need. The hospital usually calls Zachary within a few days of the child’s birthday and gives her some background. Children pick the party theme, the food and the type of cake.

“When children are faced with illness and long hospital stays, they feel like the world has forgotten them,” Zachary says. “Birthdays are so important to kids, and they deserve to celebrate life.”

PB&J also hosts parent dinners to give parents the opportunity to connect with other families and build their support system.

Xavier Magazine

Collector’s Item

In addition to electronic reserves, printed journals and reference books, the University library also has an impressive number of private letters from Andrew Jackson, the seventh president of the United States. Jackson sent 23 letters between 1811 and 1844 to Moses Dawson, a Cincinnati politician and editor. The content of these included a number of political opinions on his vice president, Martin Van Buren, the abolition of slavery and the future of the nation.

The letters were a gift to the University in 1933 from Dawson’s grandson-in-law, Joseph Debar. The manuscripts remained unpublished until 1958 when political science professor John Whealen included them in an article in the Bulletin of the Historical and Philosophical Society of Ohio.