Bryn Mawr Leads Intergalactic Age With Bithnian Partnership

Posted March 31st, 2011 at 11:55 pm.

Bryn Mawr President Jane McAuliffe with BUST Chancellor Figrin Dahai

Bryn Mawr President Jane McAuliffe with BUST Chancellor Figrin Dahai

Bryn Mawr College will be partnering with the Bithnian University of Science and Technology in the first intergalactic partnership between a liberal-arts college and an alien research university, announced Bryn Mawr President Jane McAuliffe today.

“Global partnerships are so 2010. Bryn Mawr is simply beyond global, and we are boldly going where no college has gone before. Our students need to learn to be intergalactic citizens,” said McAuliffe in the announcement.

Bithnian University Chancellor Figrin Dahai also praised the partnership.

“For hundreds of years our people have been praised for their ability as spacecraft mechanics and in other technical fields. But the fact is that those jobs aren’t going to be around forever. Our students need to be better critical thinkers and more engaged members of the intergalactic community,” said Dahai.

Not everyone is pleased with the plan. A group of students, faculty and staff, and alumnae/i sometimes characterized as  “Earthers” have planned to protest at the next board of trustees meeting (see related story).

“I, for one, don’t welcome our alien overlords,” said Katherine Bakke ’11. “At Bryn Mawr we talk about students wanting to make a meaningful contribution to the world. What part of ‘world’ doesn’t the administration understand?”

McAuliffe says that concerns about the partnership’s impact on the main campus and the overall quality of life at Bryn Mawr are unfounded.

“We’ve already started renovation work on Thomas Hall so it shouldn’t be difficult to add in the construction of a teleportation device to replace the cloisters fountain,” said McAuliffe.

Details about the partnership are still being worked out, but the plan is for each school to offer programming on the other’s campus and to host student exchanges.

The Bith home planet Clak’dor VII is located in the Colu System. This once-beautiful world was all but destroyed in a Bith chemical war and the Bith now live in cities that are sealed off from the rest of the world to avoid the massive pollution.

“There’s a bit of a culture shock but otherwise it’s really quite lovely,” said, Provost Kim Cassidy, who led a group of faculty and administrators on a visit to the remote world during initial investigations into the partnership.

The two schools expect to begin the partnership in September of 2011, assuming the stars are aligned.

42 Responses to “Bryn Mawr Leads Intergalactic Age With Bithnian Partnership”

  1. Kersti Francis Says:

    THIS IS THE GREATEST THING I HAVE EVER SEEN. I am so glad Bryn Mawr is embracing the glorious future our alien overlords will bring.

  2. MaggieX Says:

    This looks so real:)!! Happy April:)

  3. Lucinda Says:


    Seriously though…Well played, Dearest Bryn Mawr. I love and miss you.


  4. Wow. Says:

    This is…..So. Good.

  5. CarrieD Says:

    I totally wish I could speak Klingon right now!

  6. Beth Henderson Says:

    Fountain jumping (can’t really call it swimming) won’t be the same when you find yourself transported. Then again…

  7. JB Says:

    So amazing. Anassa kata….alien overlords? Hmm…

  8. Caroline Kenner Says:

    I am proud to be part of this glorious future, indeed, Kersti has said it correctly……..

  9. Melinda Says:

    Aww man, and we’re graduating?! Missing this is going to be harder to take than missing Judith Butler!

    … you are so wonderful, all of you who put this together. :)

  10. Susan Messina Says:

    My absolute favorite part: “I’m concerned that we are imposing our gender categories on the Bithnians … gender categories that we ourselves already experience as extremely limited,” she says. “The Bithnians have a far more complicated, diverse, and, indeed playful understanding of gender than we do.” Genius.

  11. lr Says:

    this is so great Bryn Mawr…I love April

  12. Carson Barnes Says:

    Oh dear… what will the bacterial magisterium have to say about this?

  13. Katherine Says:

    It’s delightful to have an administration with a sense of humor!

  14. Janet Long Says:

    Gort! Klaatu barada nicto!

  15. PJ Says:

    As an alum parent, I support this wholeheartedly.

  16. “Bryn Mawr Leads Intergalactic Age With Bithnian Partnership” | Beyond Bryn Mawr Says:

    […] partnership between a liberal-arts college and an alien research university.” Seriously. Aliens. I am so […]

  17. Rodline Says:

    All the reasons why I love Bryn Mawr.

  18. Marissa Doyle Says:

    Thank you for the grins–what a lovely light-hearted celebration of the day! And just in case, Klaatu barada nikto…

  19. Janet Says:

    Thanks for the chuckle. Well done!! (I agree with Susan Messina about the best part. And don’t forget 200 words for sex. Hilarious.)

  20. Nancy Kirk Says:

    I’m a bit skeptical. Tomorrow the world I could accept, but tomorrow the galaxy? But questions do remain: Will the campus be in the suburbs? Will we teleport to it or still have to slug it out on the Paoli Local? Do they have hoagies? Will the Bithnians have to pass the swim test? The details boggle the mind. But Jane, you do look good! Who did your hair and makeup?

  21. Eric A. Says:

    I wholeheartedly agree that global partnerships are like…so “20th Century!” I wish other area colleges could do this! My only concern is that we must be careful to ensure that the Chancelor and all students at Bithnian University are devout Phillies fans! Go Phillies!

  22. Jessica Kirk Says:

    Bryn Mawr women – unite!
    And may I say, from the annual fund, with this news, now it’s time to kick up our fundraising in earnest. Surely, we can get those 757 new donors in April or May to help us get that shuttle at this special rate. More than ever before, your gift to Bryn Mawr goes further…

  23. Stacey H. Says:

    Well done!!

  24. Rabia Shahab Says:

    lol I can’t wait to see Bithnian students walking around campus

  25. Nathan Grist Says:

    So envious of your alien invasion….ahem, I mean partnership!

  26. Maria, Class of 1986 Says:

    This is fabulous! Enjoy that intergalactic trip, President McAuliffe! Kudos to Bryn Mawr for its never-ending sense of good-natured mischief!

  27. Nell Ruby Says:

    We actually have some transitioning Bithnians at Agnes Scott right now–but none whom publicly acknowledge their unique identity. I applaud your courage and ability to trail blaze on behalf of women’s colleges everywhere. I hope we can live up to your innovative leadership with the vision that we might all come to recognize and celebrate our own Bithian Within.

  28. Rhianon Price Says:

    As an international education professional and BMC alum, I wholeheartedly support BMC’s move to build bridges with the intergalactic education community. One small step for Bryn Mawr…one giant leap for womankind!

  29. Jane Wagner Says:

    I laughed so hard when I saw this! Wonderful prank .. great April Fools!

  30. W. O. Jenkins Says:

    Although not a Bryn Mawr alumna, I feel I must comment. I respect the Bithnians’ culture and am in awe of their work in transpositional particle physics, which has completely rewritten the theory of flux capacitation. Nor do I object to schools on Earth and Clak’dor VI establishing visiting-scholar relationships or their students and ours taking courses offered by each other’s institutions—providing it’s done using distance-learning technology. I absolutely draw the line, however, at allowing Bithnians to matriculate here in our schools.

    For one thing, there’s that overpowering Bithnian odor. Who could concentrate on a lecture when the creature next to you smells as though it fell into a fermentation vat at a rum distillery?

    And then there’s their sexuality. You never know what you’re dealing with. Man? Woman? Gay? Straight? All of the above? And with their sex organs located in those tendrils at the end of their arms, you wouldn’t know whether they’re violating you or just shaking hands. Ugh!

    Call me a prude, even call me an Earther, but it will be a cold day in hell before I call any Bith kith.

  31. Chenoa M Says:

    In the words of Ruby Rhod, renowned intergalactic DJ: Green? Green? SUPER GREEN! Thanks for the laughs and the memories, BMC.

  32. Susan Dilks Says:

    Absolutely fabulous! I was delighted to receive this special bit of news.

  33. Melissa Cohn Lindbeck Says:

    Live long and prosper BMC. Great April Fools!

  34. Robin Brenner Says:

    This is why I love you, Bryn Mawr. Never change. \o/

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  36. Ezulppphhh Zdrarrk Says:

    Blap ooo thouysszz KAzzapph @futstszvbt
    Sorry, I hadn’t turned on the translator.
    It was our understanding that there were actually about seven gender possibilities in humans. That you were just realizing that there were at least three or maybe four depending on if you define transgender delineated when talking about transmen or transwomen.
    We had heard that you earth folks had sexuality in different flavors too. I personally have been to many of those earth gatherings where your rainbow tribe meet. They all told me that TLBGQAAI were all… What’s the Anglish earth term,,, OH yes. Initials that are assigned to earth sexual or gender identities. But I have always wondered if the T stands for transgender isn’t that separate from sexuality? Why do you put them together.
    Anyhow. I wanted to share that I am a gfzjxbcdcf, I transitioned 7 years ago. It is much easier on my planet. I didn’t have to change my license to fly my let’s see if I can translate this term… wife-husband-mate’s hovercraft or anything. I took new pictures when my body developed & we just plain don’t use gender markers anyhow. I was expected to begin washing the dishes at home & do the grocery shopping while zi watched the gooooodoofled games on our video unit.

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  39. RT Says:

    I will be writing a STERNLY WORDED LETTER about this!

  40. Susan Burt Says:

    i received this stunning bit of news only today (4/25)–better late than never. I love my alma mater!

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