The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, September 27, 2000 - 7
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Former School of information Dean and Prof. Robert Warner,
Robert Frost at the University's Detroit Observatory.
By Scott Undrup
for the Daily
Although famed American poet Robert Frost spent only
&.few years in Ann Arbor, Frost held special affection for
the city and campus.
"-i like Michigan people and I like Michigan," Frost
wrote to a friend after leaving the University in 1925. "1
have made more and closer friends than I ever did before."
Frost's time in Ann Arbor is the subject of a book,
"Frost-Bite, Frost-Bark," written by former School of Infor-
mation dean and professor Robert Warner. He spoke yester-
day at the Detroit Observatory about how Frost came to the
University. "I'm not a Frost scholar and I make no preten-
sion of being one. This is a historical study," Warner said.
Frost's relationship with the University began in 1921
-with the founding of a fellowship in creative arts spear-
eaded by then University president, Marion Burton. Bur-
ton was instrumental in bringing Frost to Ann Arbor.
"He liked people and people liked him," Warner said of
Burton, whose main difficulty in attracting Frost to Ann
Ann Arbor was financial.
Although Burton died after serving only five years, he
greatly expanded the University during his short term, with
one of his main goals being the revival of intellectual values
at the University. This goal peaked the interest of Chase
Osborn, former regent and Michigan governor in 1910.
"Burton made quite a fuss over him and fed the ego
*'operly," Warner said of Burton's successful negotiation of
$5,000 from the former governor to fund the fellowship.
Frost was excited about the idea of being paid to write
author of "Frost-Bite, Frost-Bark," speaks yesterday on poet
dy on Frost,
poetry. "In the old days, support for the arts was the prefer-
ence of kings. I was afraid we would have to resort to
women's clubs these days to continue," Frost wrote to a
friend regarding the Michigan offer.
Frost came to campus in June 1921 and immediately made
an impression. He was accused of stealing a cheap vase from
a house he was staying at and provided many students with
the harrowing experience of reading their poetry to him.
Frost formed strong ties to the students and faculty, espe-
cially with the Whimsies, a student literary magazine at the
time. One of the students, Stella Brunt, said she liked Frost
and said the students became so comfortable with him that
they took to calling him Robert or Frost. She went on to say
that she didn't foresee Frost becoming a great poet.
Brunt eventually donated her letters pertaining to Frost to
the University Bentley Historical Society. Warner used
those letters and other materials donated by Frost's family
in his book. Frost left the University after a tenuous few
years in 1925 due to sickness and a longing for his farm in
New Hampshire. Back east, he accepted positions at many
eastern universities, most notably Amherst'College.
Frost did not completely sever his ties to Michigan after
returning to New England. He returned to lecture occasion-
ally and was awarded an Honorary Degree in Letters in
1962."Although the University had been known for athlet-
ics, the publicity Frost generated put Michigan on the cul-
tural map," he said. Warner said he came upon Frost's
Michigan connection while doing his graduate work in
history on Osborn and it became a hobby. "I thought it
would be pretty easy and quick but it became hard work.
I had a lot of fun doing it."
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Continued from Page 1
Reactions to the display were emo-
tional - on both sides.
"I think this is a ridiculous display
Sinst the pro-choice movement,' said
-A freshman Leslie Ward, who partic-
ipated in the sit-in and later marched
around the display with other protesters.
"I think it's ridiculous that they
force people to look at this," she said.
LSA senior Korbi Ghosh was
noticeably affected as she walked by
the display. "I understand why people
don't want to look at it," she said. "I
look atit and I want to cry."
Ghosh said she was not affiliated
with the group, but sympathized with
their cause. "People look at abortion as
a political issue, and it's really an issue
of humanity," she said. "It's real. The
pictures are real. I feel like everyone
has a right to know what the truth is."
Ghosh's response is the type GAP is
looking for, Kusher said. "Sometimes
it takes a little shock value to get peo-
ple to think about what abortion really
is and really does,"he said.
Not everyone was interested in the
chance to debate the issue. "I want
them to go away so I can sit in the
Diag and study in peace," LSA sopho-
more Michelle Goldstein said.
She and others also complained
about the amount of space devoted to
the display. The barriers to protect
GAP kept students from their normal
traverse of the Diag.
"While it was a large area, the
perimeter of the Diag was maintained,"
Cianciola said. "I don't think the Diag
was blocked off. It was done in conjunc-
tion with trying to plan for the display."
Eastern Michigan University offi-
cials may face similar concerns today
and tomorrow when GAP visits their
*ntinued from Page 1
President Arend Lubbers said in a written statement.
As news of the proposal spread, Lubbers said, "It has
become apparent to me that this issue is one that deeply
divides, even more than I had anticipated. I have spoken
individually to the members of our Board of Control, and
giyen the atmosphere, the Board and I believe that now is
not the time for me to take action."
Grand Valley's Human Resource Department had been
consulting with Kate Van Valkenburgh, the University of
fichigan's manager of health and welfare plans, for ideas
on how to structure its same-sex benefits policy. "I have pro-
vided Grand Valley with a lot of information regarding our
policy," Van Valkenburgh said. "They looked at the report of
the task force that was charged with the task of coming up
with our bylaw"
Lubbers furthered his argument by saying Grand Valley
State is not ready for this kind of bylaw. "It's also clear that
west Michigan is different from other parts of the state. I do
not know of any Grand Rapids-based employers that offer
domestic partner benefits," Lubbers said.
James Toy, consultant for the University's Office of Equity
d Diversity Services, said he is proud of the University of
Michigan's advancements in accepting same-sex partnerships
in the workplace. "Employment benefits need to be provided
to U-M employees without regard to sexual orientation," Toy
said. "It is my moral conviction that same-sex partners -
committed partners of university employees - deserve cov-
erage comparable to the coverage accorded other-sex spouses
of University employees."
Since the induction of same-sex benefits at the University
in 1993, several other universities across the state have adopt-
ed similar bylaws allowing benefits for same-sex partners,
provided they publicly register their union with the city coun-
cil and have lived together for more than six months.
Keith Grody, assistant vice president for Michigan State
University's benefits program, said Michigan State adopted
its policy to recognize same-sex partnerships for work bene-
fits in 1997 after examining the policies in place at the Uni-
versity of Michigan, Wayne State University and several
Michigan automotive companies. "MSU has a long history of
having in its non-discrimination policy a code for sexual ori-
entation. It's been around since the '60s," Grody said.
Van Valkenburgh said there were several reasons for adopt-
ing such a plan. "Initially we adopted this policy for promot-
ng equality and for anti-discrimination purposes," Van
Valkenburgh said, The plan is beneficial in recruiting faculty
from other universities that don't offer similar benefit plans.
Currently 61 men and 69 women have registered their
same-sex partners for work benefits through the University.
Under the regents' bylaws, the University is committed to
granting equal opportunity to all students, faculty and staff,
regardless of sexual orientation. The regents used the bylaws
as a basis for opening their benefits programs to same-sex
partners and to their children, as long as they live in the same
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