Tag Archive for emeritus faculty

9 Faculty Retire in 2014-15

Nine members of the Wesleyan faculty retired during the 2014-15 academic year.

They include John Carr III, professor of theater (1984-2014); James Donady, professor of biology (1972-2015); Richard Elphick, professor of history (1971-2015); Brian Fay, the William Griffin Professor of Philosophy (1971-2015); Gale Lackey, adjunct professor of physical education (1978-2015); Laurie Nussdorfer, the William Armstrong Professor of History (1986-2015); George Petersson, the Fisk Professor of Natural Science (1973-2015); Vera Schwarcz, the Mansfield Freeman Professor of East Asian Studies (1975-2015); and Ann Wightman, professor of history (1981-2014).

On May 23, the faculty gathered for a reception. Several faculty also held their own private celebrations.

Brian Fay, who joined the Wesleyan faculty in 1971 as an assistant professor of philosophy, was recognized at a reception on May 23. (Photo by Hannah Norman '16)

Brian Fay, who joined the Wesleyan faculty in 1971 as an assistant professor of philosophy, was recognized at a reception on May 23. (Photo by Hannah Norman ’16)

Professor Emeritus Jason Wolfe Remembered for Mentoring, Cell Biology Research

Jason Wolfe

Jason Wolfe

Jason Wolfe, professor of biology emeritus, died Dec. 23 at the age of 73.

Wolfe joined the Wesleyan faculty in 1969 after receiving his BA from Rutgers University and his Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, and completing two post-doctoral fellowships at Kings College, University of London, and Johns Hopkins University. He taught cell biology, human biology, biology of aging and the elderly, and structural biology at Wesleyan for 39 years.

In his research, Wolfe asked big questions about how reproduction and aging are regulated. With funding from NIH and NSF, he produced a consistent and enviable body of work published in the major cell biology journals – always mentoring undergraduates and graduate students with great compassion and insight. He led the effort that resulted in Wesleyan’s first Howard Hughes Medical Institute Grant for Undergraduate Life Science Education, establishing a program that has provided decades of support for hundreds of undergraduates. In retirement, he twice offered his popular general education course in Human Biology and published his last Biology Open research paper in 2014 with four former Wesleyan undergraduate co-authors.

About 80 colleagues, friends and family gathered in the Daniel Family Commons April 26, 2009 celebrate Jason Wolfe's retirement. He taught biology at Wesleyan for 39 years. Pictured are former and current members of the Wolfe Lab. Front row, from left, are Emily Lu '00 and Vey Hadinoto '99. Back row, from left, are Aditi Khatri '11, Joan Bosco '09, Hyo Yang '12, Professor Wolfe, Carlo Balane '06 and Ivy Chen '09.

About 80 colleagues, friends and family gathered in the Daniel Family Commons April 26, 2009 celebrate Jason Wolfe’s retirement. He taught biology at Wesleyan for 39 years.

He brought his keen intellect and passion to the study and practice of Judaism. The scope of his activities extended from giving public lectures at the Center for the Humanities to service on the Wesleyan University Press Editorial Board to working with the Sierra Club in Arizona and New Mexico.

Jason is survived by his wife, Vera Schwarcz, the Mansfield Freeman Professor of East Asian Studies, professor of history, as well as three children and five grandchildren. Memorial contributions in his name may be made to Young Israel of West Hartford, 2240 Albany Avenue, West Hartford, CT, 06117.

A memorial will be held at 4 p.m. Feb. 23 in Memorial Chapel. A reception will follow in Zelnick Pavilion.

Professor Emeritus Whitin Dies at Age 90

Thomson Whitin, the Chester D. Hubbard Professor of Economics and Social Science, Emeritus, died Dec. 9 at the age of 90.

Whitin had already achieved distinction when he joined the Wesleyan faculty as a professor of economics in 1963. He graduated from Princeton University in 1943 and served as an officer in the U.S. Navy during World War II on the aircraft carrier the Bonhomme Richard. Having obtained a doctorate in economics from Princeton University, and teaching there until 1952, he joined the faculty of M.I.T. as an assistant professor. While on leave from M.I.T. from 1956–58, he served as Chief Economist of the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission; subsequently he rejoined the M.I.T. faculty 1958-60 before joining the University of California, Berkeley, as a full professor in 1960. During his long tenure at Wesleyan, he twice served as a visiting professor of administrative science at Yale University and received fellowships from the National Science Foundation and the Ford Foundation. He retired in 1993.

The author of two books, The Theory of Inventory Management (Princeton University Press, 1953) and Analysis of Inventory Systems co-authored with George Hadley (Prentice-Hall, 1963), Whitin also published dozens of scholarly papers and reviews. He served as a consultant to numerous organizations, including the RAND Corporation, Stanford Research Institute, and the U.S. Navy.

The Economics Department will be offering the inaugural Barber/Whitin Prize this spring for the best undergraduate paper in economic theory or institutional economics.

Whitin was an avid tennis player; he could be found frequently on the Wesleyan courts holding his own with the some of the best tennis players on campus. He served as an advocate for the mentally ill through his association with the Connecticut chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI Connecticut). Whitin was predeceased by his wife, Edith Osborn Sherer, and is survived by four children: Charles, Sonia, Holly, Richard; and three grandchildren, Emilie, Aya and Sophia.

Professor Emeritus Reid Remembered for Being a Pedagogical Innovator

James Reid, professor of mathematics, emeritus, died Oct. 27. An authority on algebra, Reid joined the Wesleyan faculty in 1969 as associate professor, becoming professor of mathematics in 1971. Previously, he had held faculty positions at Syracuse University and Amherst College, and he also had served as a research associate at Yale University.

He obtained his PhD from the University of Washington, where he was an instructor. Reid published in scholarly journals throughout his career, presented numerous invited lectures, and was an adviser for 14 PhD students, 11 master’s degree students, and six undergraduate honors theses. Among his colleagues, he gained a reputation as a pedagogical innovator, and he offered the University’s first course in programming and computerized computation before Wesleyan had hired its first computer scientist. He was also the architect of the course “Introduction to Mathematical Thought: from the Discrete to the Continuous,” a popular First-Year Initiative class.

“Jim was a gifted mathematician who taught courses at all levels, ranging from a ‘Teaching of Math’ course in the former Educational Studies Program to introductory calculus to graduate level courses. His kindness and gentle demeanor won him the admiration of colleagues and affection from students during his long and productive career,” said Ruth Striegel Weissman, provost and vice president for academic affairs, the Walter A. Crowell University Professor of the Social Sciences, professor of psychology.

Reid retired in 2001, but continued to teach one or two courses at Wesleyan every spring, including last semester.

He is survived by his wife, Nancy, and three children–James Jr., Margaret, and Gerald ’91–and five grandchildren. Funeral arrangements are pending.

Professor Emeritus Reeve Remembered for Long, Varied Career at Wesleyan

Franklin Reeve (Briganteen Media)

Franklin Reeve (Photo courtesy of Briganteen Media)

Franklin Reeve, professor of letters, emeritus, passed away on June 28 at the age of 84. He spent four decades at Wesleyan.

Lauded for his luminous intelligence, Reeve was not only an estimable academic, but also a noted poet, writer, translator, editor and critic. He was a juror for the National Book Awards, a consultant for Kirkus Reviews, and served on the governing board, as well as the first vice president, of the Poetry Society of America.

The author of 31 books, Reeve possessed a passion for teaching the written word, too. A recipient of the Binswanger Prize and a member of the Wesleyan Writers Conference Advisory Board, he also served as a visiting writer in the Middletown, Farmington, West Hartford, Bethany and Glastonbury High Schools.

Born in Philadelphia in 1928 and raised outside New York City, Reeve earned his BA from Princeton in 1950 and his Ph.D from Columbia in 1958. He served as a lecturer, instructor and assistant professor at Columbia University prior to joining Wesleyan’s faculty. In 1961, he was selected for a prestigious Exchange Fellowship from the American Council of Learned Societies and USSR Academy of Sciences. The following year, he famously served as Robert Frost’s translator on a good-will mission to Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev on behalf of President John F. Kennedy. Reeve also translated Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s 1970 Nobel lecture.

At Wesleyan, “Reeve had a long, varied and unusual 40-year career,” noted Wesleyan Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Ruth Striegel Weissman in an all-campus e-mail. He was professor and chair of Russian from 1962 to 1966, before deciding to leave his tenured position here to give more of himself and his time to his writing. In 1967 and 1969, he returned as a part-time visiting professor in the College of Letters, before rejoining Wesleyan’s faculty on a long-term basis the following fall, as a part-time adjunct professor of letters, from 1970 to 1988. Reeve was eventually promoted to part-time professor of letters, with tenure, in 1988, and continued to teach at Wesleyan in that capacity until his retirement in 2002.

“His students and colleagues recognized [Reeve’s] generosity, his wit, and his wide-ranging intellect,” President Michael Roth wrote in his July 6 blog. “I didn’t study with Frank, but many of my friends did, and I experienced him as a formidable presence on campus… A few years ago, Frank came back to campus with a jazz combo for an evening of music and poetry. He still had that openness, along with his lifelong joy in the careful use of language and in the vitality of improvisation.”

His former COL colleague and friend, Paul Schwaber, has penned a touching remembrance posted on President Roth’s July 6 blog. “Widely learned, he was polylingual, witty, keen with pun and irony,” Schwaber said. “He wrote poetry, drama, fiction. He translated. He seemed never to stop writing. He was competitive and judgmental, but only with the best.”

In his later years, Reeve suffered crippling arthritis. “We mourn his death and praise him, a genuine and unique man of letters,” Schwaber said.

Professor Reeve was predeceased by his son, Christopher Reeve, the late actor.

Biddiscombe, Bruno, Needler, Pringle Retire from Wesleyan

The following Wesleyan faculty members retired in May 2012:

John Biddiscombe
Director of Athletics (1988–2012)
Adjunct Professor of Physical Education (1985–2012)
Adjunct Associate Professor of Physical Education (1978–1985)
Adjunct Assistant Professor of Physical Education (1974–1978)
M.Ed., Slippery Rock University

Joseph Bruno
Professor of Chemistry (1996–2012)
Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost (2006–2010)
Associate Professor of Chemistry (1991–1996)
Assistant Professor of Chemistry (1984–1991)
Ph.D., Northwestern University

Howard Needler
Professor of Letters (1981–2012)
Associate Professor of Letters (1973–1981)
Assistant Professor of Letters (1969–1973)
Ph.D., Columbia University

Wallace “Pete” Pringle
Professor of Chemistry (1987–2011)
Associate Professor of Chemistry (1975–1987)
Assistant Professor of Chemistry (1968–1975)
Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology

5 Questions With . . . Dick Miller on Keeping Track of the Money

Dick Miller

This issue we ask “5 Questions” of Dick Miller, the Woodhouse/Sysco Professor of Economics, Emeritus, who retired from active teaching in 2006. Next fall, he’ll be back in the classroom with a liberal arts spin on the uses and abuses of financial accounting.

Q: In the fall, you’ll emerge from retirement to teach ECON 127, “Introduction to Financial Accounting,” a type of course that’s rarely been offered at Wesleyan. Why this course, why now and why you?

A: The Economics Department has recognized that we need an accounting course in our curricular offerings, but we have difficulty in getting a visitor to teach one. Our students are at a disadvantage in job interviews and in the first weeks on the job if they do not have some basics. ­ Some of our seniors cannot distinguish a balance sheet from an income statement, and that is a long way from discounted cash flow analysis or cost of capital estimation. I taught a half course in accounting some years ago, and several months ago the department chairman, Gil Skillman, asked me if I would be interested in teaching such a course, and I think that this is an opportunity for me to contribute further to the Wesleyan educational enterprise. The Career Advisory Council, a group of 24 alumni mostly in business and put together by Mike Sciola, Director of the Career Resource Center, has been very encouraging and supportive in our mounting this version of accounting.

Q: More than 70 students have pre-registered for the course. What do you think is driving interest in the subject?

A: Almost certainly the interest comes from students’ realization that accounting would be a valuable addition to their resume. And likely they think that the material will be useful not only in careers but in understanding topics in personal finance and in issues reported in the news.

Reeve Author of Poetry Collection

Book by Franklin D. Reeve

Franklin D. Reeve, professor emeritus of letters, is the author of The Puzzle Master and Other Poems, published by NYQ Books, August 2010.

“For nearly 50 years, [Reeve] has found in nature both a refuge from human imperfection and an exquisite rejoinder to it,” acccording to Amazon.com. “Whether that imperfection be the war in Afghanistan, worsening economic inequality, or even the ridiculous pretense of a thoroughly professionalized poetry, Reeve makes of aesthetic perception a kind of subjunctive faith. With its elegant short lyrics and long dramatic poem, which reworks the Daedalus-Icarus myth by situating it on a Caribbean island and which serves as the text for a jazz opera, The Puzzle Master breaks new ground in the music of holistic response.”

Retirement Association Hosts Annual Conference at Wesleyan

Wesleyan was selected to host the Association of Retirement Organizations in High Education (AROHE)’s Fifth international Conference on “Purpose and Passion in Retirement: Models and Best Practices” Oct. 14-17 at Usdan University Center.

AROHE, the first national and international association of retiree organizations, is committed to advocating for, educating, and serving retired faculty and staff in higher education. AROHE brings together the talent, knowledge and experience of retired faculty and staff to improve their quality of life and that of the community and institutions through creating new models of retirement.

Faculty and faculty emeriti from around the country led sessions throughout the day. Information on these sessions is available in the program, online here.

“The conference was a splendid success,” says Karl Scheibe, director of Wesleyan’s Susan B. and William K. Wasch Center for Retired Faculty. “We had over 110 people present for the conference, representing about 80 different colleges and universities.”

Paige Receives Gordon Award for Flash Fiction

Paula Paige

Paula Paige, adjunct professor of romance languages emerita, won the online Gordon Award for Flash Fiction, sponsored by Our Stories Literary Magazine, for a story titled “Moshiach is Here.”

Although she’s been writing fiction for a long time, this is her first publication.  She was long-listed for the Fish International Fiction Prize, and received Honorable Mentions in the “New Millennium Writings” winter competition of 2009 and in the 2010 Richard Bausch Short Story Prize. She was Writer in Residence at the Camargo Foundation in Cassis, France, in 1991.

A segment of the story follows: “The garage on 87th disgorged a big black SUV, which zoomed so close it brushed her skirt; a little boy in the back seat stuck out his tongue at her.  She stuck out hers back, and the father in his yarmulke turned and glowered at her over his shoulder, almost hitting a passing taxi.  Serves you right, she thought:  if you want to live in the city, why don’t you walk?  Isn’t it the Sabbath, anyhow?”

Wasch Center Begins Spring Program Series

Guest speaker Ernest Lowrie discussed "The Search for the Historical Origin of the Word CIVILIZATION," during a Wasch Center Program Jan. 27. Founded in 2004, the Susan B. and William K. Wasch Center for Retired Faculty provides a shared intellectual and social community where retirees may continue their engagement with teaching and scholarly activities.

Author and Penn State University Professor Emeritus Ernest Lowrie discussed "The Search for the Historical Origin of the Word CIVILIZATION," during a Wasch Center Program Jan. 27. Founded in 2004, the Susan B. and William K. Wasch Center for Retired Faculty provides a shared intellectual and social community where retirees may continue their engagement with teaching and scholarly activities.

More than 35 people attended Lowrie's talk. Lowrie is the husband of Joyce Lowrie, professor of romance languages and literatures, emerita. He was the first Wasch Center guest speaker of the spring semester.  (Photos by Stefan Weinberger '10)

More than 35 people attended Lowrie's talk. Lowrie is the husband of Joyce Lowrie, professor of romance languages and literatures, emerita. He was the first Wasch Center guest speaker of the spring semester. (Photos by Stefan Weinberger '10)

All programs sponsored by the Wasch Center are open to the public. For more information on upcoming events visit the Wash Center web site.

Memorial for Professor Emeritus Carl Viggiani Feb. 20

Carl Viggiani, professor of romance languages and literatures, emeritus, died suddenly on Jan. 16, 2010.  He was 87 years old.  He joined the Wesleyan faculty in 1954, teaching French language and literature. He was active in the Center for the Humanities in its early years, offered numerous colloquia for the College of Letters, founded the Wesleyan program in Paris which he directed or served as resident director in Paris over seven and a half years, and served frequently as chair of the Romance Languages and Literatures Department.

Viggiani earned his bachelor’s degree from Columbia College, master’s degree from Harvard University, and his Ph.D. in French Literature of the 19th century from Columbia University. He was awarded numerous honors, including Fulbright and Guggenheim fellowships. He served as managing editor of Romanic Review for 10 years, translated works