Scene from Indignation (2016). (Photo courtesy Roadside Attractions)


Highlights from the latest alumni news columns.

Movie life

Indignation (2016), based on Philip Roth’s (AM’55) 2008 novel, opened in theaters July 29. Inspired by Roth’s own college experience at Bucknell University, the story follows a Jewish student from New Jersey at a conservative Ohio college during the Korean War.


Two fossil taxa have been named in honor of Peter M. Kranz, PhD’72. The Judithemys kranzi was a Paleogene turtle and the Ceratodus kranzi was a lungfish from the Cretaceous period. Kranz is a paleontologist at Dinosaur Park, a fossil site and national park in Laurel, Maryland.

Academy awards

In May two alumni were elected to the National Academy of Sciences: Abhay Ashtekar, PhD’78, the Eberly Professor of Physics and director of the Institute for Gravitation and the Cosmos at Pennsylvania State University, and Richard A. Friesner, SB’73, a chemistry professor at Columbia University. Ashtekar, Friesner, and 82 other new members were selected for “their distinguished and continuing achievements in original research.”

Consulting on Infinity

Ken Ono, AB’89, was an associate producer and mathematical consultant on The Man Who Knew Infinity (2015), a biopic about early 20th- century mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan. Ono, a professor of mathematics at Emory University, has long been inspired by how Ramanujan overcame hardship and prejudice to make major contributions in number theory and other areas of mathematics. Ono recently launched the Spirit of Ramanujan Math Talent Initiative, which seeks to find and support gifted mathematicians around the world.

Labor (economics) leader

Claudia Goldin, AM’69, PhD’72, won the 2016 Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) Prize in Labor Economics for her “career-long work on the economic history of women in education and the labor market.” Goldin is the Henry Lee Professor of Economics at Harvard University and the director of the Development of the American Economy Program at the National Bureau of Economic Research. The award will be presented on January 6 in Chicago.

Entrepreneurial spirit

Ernst and Young 2016 Entrepreneur of the Year regional finalists include Barclay E. Berdan, MBA’78, CEO of Texas Health Resources; Alan D. Rosskamm, JD’75, CEO of Breakthrough Schools; Albert M. Green, AB’87, CEO of Kent Displays (manufacturer of the Boogie Board e-writer); and Ashish Kachru, MBA’06, CEO and cofounder of population health management company Altruista Health.

New creative

Artsy magazine named Nick Bastis, MFA’13, to its recent list “30 Emerging Artists to Watch.” Bastis, a multimedia artist who incorporates drawing, video, sculpture, and, once, hibernating snails into his work, has had shows this year at Frieze New York and JOAN Los Angeles.

Presidential appointment

Centenary College of Louisiana selected Christopher L. Holoman, AM’84, PhD’91, as its 31st president. “I am so excited to lead a college with the deep commitment to the liberal arts that Centenary has,” said Holoman. He was previously the vice president and provost at Hilbert College in upstate New York. Holoman assumed his new position in July.

Lifetime achievement

In March San Francisco’s Commonwealth Club presented activist and philanthropist James Hormel, JD’58, with its first Champion of Civil Rights and Social Justice award. Hormel, who was the Law School’s first full-time dean of students, was recognized for promoting LGBT rights in San Francisco and beyond, including his successful battle to become the first openly gay US ambassador.