SF State News {University Communications}

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Gifts for the graduating gator

April 26, 2010 -- Congratulate new graduates by treating them to a gift with a gator connection. Showcasing the talent of SF State alumni and faculty, the following ideas include gifts to entertain the mind, nourish the body and feed the soul.

Book jacket for 'Lift' which shows a butterfly

Flying high

The high-flying adventure told in the animated 3-D movie "Up," now available on DVD, will inspire new graduates to pursue their dreams. This Pixar creation follows an elderly widower and his Boy Scout companion as they set sail in a house buoyed by balloons. Produced by alum Jonas Rivera (B.A. '96), "Up" was nominated for four Academy Awards and won Best Animated Feature Film.

Also with an airborne theme, the new book "Lift" by Kelly Corrigan (MA, ’97) takes its name from the turbulence that hang gliders must endure in order to fly, and offers a personal reflection on the risk and love involved in parenting.

Graduates will be inspired by "Amelia Earhart: The Thrill of It" by Susan Wels (attended '97–'07). This biography-in-pictures will grace any coffee table with more than 300 images capturing the tenacity and bravery of Earhart and her record-setting aviation career.


Big questions
Help graduates wrestle with one of life's most challenging questions with a copy of "What is God?" the latest book by Professor of Philosophy Jacob Needleman. In this memoir, Needleman recounts his journey from atheist to Zen Buddhist seeker and finally to a believer with a newfound respect for the religious texts he once rejected. Needleman’s previous works include "Why Can't We Be Good?" and "The American Soul."


Book jacket for 'Versed'

Gator poetry
Give poetry lovers a literary treat with one of these new collections. Alum Rae Armantrout (MA '75) won the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry for her latest volume of poetry "Versed," which also won the 2009 National Book Critics Circle Award. The collection, which is divided into two halves includes Armantrout's characteristically short and incisive poems centering on life, language and the body, including her own experience with cancer.

Another Pulitzer Prize-winning gator, Philip Schultz (B.A. ’67), has just released a major collection, titled "The God of Loneliness: Selected and New Poems." Following his book "Failure," which won the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for poetry, "The God of Loneliness" includes poems from Schultz' five books and 14 new poems.

Nature enthusiasts will enjoy "Black Nature: Four Centuries of African American Nature Poetry," the first collection of poetry about the American landscape as told by black voices. Edited by Associate Professor of Creative Writing Camille Dungy, this collection of 180 poems, from more than four centuries, introduces readers to unique perspectives on the natural world. With poems about pests and pets, urban and rural settings, and works that are beautiful, humorous and political, "Black Nature" challenges accepted notions about what qualifies as nature poetry.


Photo of a participant taking the VO2max test, whcih measures aerobic capacity. Participant is walking on a treadmill.

A participant taking the VO2max test, which measures aerobic capacity.

Health and fitness snapshot
A personalized fitness test at the Exercise Physiology Lab on campus will encourage graduates to get on track with their health and fitness goals. Operated by the Kinesiology department, the lab offers three kinds of body composition tests, which calculate fat–to-muscle ratio, as well as a range of cardiovascular fitness assessments. Results allow individuals to devise effective weight management plans or design workouts that push them to exercise at their optimal intensity. Prices start at $15. For more information, e-mail exphys@sfs.edu


Photo of Whirlwind Wheelchair's flagship model - The RoughRider wheelchair.

Whirlwind Wheelchair's flagship model - The RoughRider.

The gift of mobility
Consider making a gift to SF State's Whirlwind Wheelchair in honor of your graduate. Whirlwind Wheelchair has been designing and delivering rugged wheelchairs for people in developing countries for more than 20 years, and this year the program is sending hundreds of wheelchairs to earthquake victims in Haiti. A donation of $220 buys one of Whirlwind's RoughRider wheelchairs, providing a disabled person in the developing world with a quality set of wheels.

Alumni membership
Give the SF State alum an Alumni Association membership and they will enjoy a multitude of benefits including Library and Career Center access, discounted medical benefits and interesting events at which to reminisce and reconnect with fellow Gators.

For other gator gift ideas, visit previous listings at: http://www.sfsu.edu/~news/2009/spring/45.html and http://www.sfsu.edu/~news/2008/spring/45.html


-- Elaine Bible


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