Endowed Professorships: Honor Six Faculty, Commemorate Excellence – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Endowed Professorships: Honor Six Faculty, Commemorate Excellence

Three newly established among six professorships confirmed this spring

(May 11, 2005) GENEVA, N.Y.– President Mark D. Gearan announced that the Board of Trustees of Hobart and William Smith Colleges have confirmed six faculty members to receive endowed professorships, three of which are newly established. These professorships, created through the generosity of numerous alumni, alumnae and friends, will underwrite the work of chosen senior faculty members for five years.

The six faculty members were selected following nominations from the faculty, review by the faculty members who presently hold the endowed chairs and a recommendation by the President and Provost to the Board of Trustees.

“Endowed professorships are significant recognition for our tenured faculty. Their excellence in teaching, scholarship and community service all contributed to their selection. Our alumni and alumnae who have endowed these chairs recognize the importance of our faculty and we are grateful to them,” Gearan said.

Newly established professorships are:

The Classes of 1964 Endowed Chair
As a gift to the Colleges in honor of their 40th Reunion, the Classes of 1964 decided to recognize a faculty member who has demonstrated excellence in teaching, scholarship and service to the Colleges. James L. Spates, professor of anthropology and sociology, is the first to receive this award. Spates earned his bachelor’s degree from Colby College and his master’s and Ph.D. from Boston University. A member of the HWS faculty since 1971, he specializes in the sociology of John Ruskin and the sociology of cities, values and human nature.

The Lloyd Wright ’50 Professorship in Conservative Studies
Lloyd Wright, a 1950 Hobart graduate, was well known for his deep appreciation of the arts and his loyalty to the Colleges. In his estate, Wright endowed a bequest in recognition of professors from any discipline. Geoffrey N. Gilbert, professor of economics, was selected for the honor of this professorship. Gilbert holds a bachelor’s degree from Dartmouth College, where he was named Phi Beta Kappa, and holds his Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins University. Joining the Colleges’ faculty in 1977, Gilbert has been a leader in the economics department, serving twice as chair during his tenure. He specializes in the economic, demographic and environmental issues surrounding world population.

The Joseph P. DiGangi Professorship
Former students of Professor Emeritus Joseph DiGangi established a professorship as a means to pay tribute to the excellence in teaching and mentorship that they loved dearly in their former political science professor. DiGangi is the founder of the popular Washington, D.C. off-campus study program, which he still helps teach. The DiGangi Professorship created to honor of a member of the political science faculty has been awarded to Professor Craig A. Rimmerman. A professor of public policy studies and political science at the Colleges since 1986, Rimmerman received his bachelor’s degree in political science and English from Miami University and earned his master’s and Ph.D. from Ohio State University. Early in his career, he served as a Congressional Fellow, and worked on Capitol Hill as a legislative aide. He is the author of several books and in April of this year, he was appointed series editor for the “Dilemmas in American Politics” book series published by Westview Press.

Previously Awarded Professorships are:

The Philip J. Moorad ’28 & Margaret N. Moorad Professorship in the Sciences
The Moorad Professorship is the first endowed chair in the sciences in the history of the Colleges. It was funded through the generosity of the Moorad family in honor of Dr. Philip J. Moorad, who had always treasured his experience at Hobart, and his wife Margaret. Donald A. Spector, professor of physics, has been confirmed to serve in the professorship. Spector has been a member of the Colleges’ faculty since 1989, has served as department chair from 2001-2004, and has been the coordinator of the HWS engineering program for more than a decade. Spector holds an A.B., A.M. and his Ph.D. from Harvard University.

The John Milton Potter Professorship in the Humanities
The John Milton Potter Professorship offers another example of support coming from alumni and alumnae of these Colleges. The Hobart College Class of 1949, on the occasion of its 50th Reunion, presented the Colleges with a $1 million check to endow a professorship honoring John Milton Potter, a former president of the Colleges. Deborah Tall, professor of English, has been awarded the honor of this seat. A faculty member since 1982, Tall specializes in teaching creative writing. She also teaches literature classes in memoir, environmental literature and post-World War II American poetry and has served as the editor of the Colleges’ literary magazine since coming to HWS. Tall holds a B.A. from University of Michigan and an M.F.A. from Goddard College.

The William R. Kenan Jr. Professorship
Acting upon a long standing belief in the values of liberal education, William Kenan made a substantial challenge grant that initiated The William R. Kenan Jr. Professorship. The professorship has been awarded to Cynthia J. Williams, a professor of dance at the Colleges since 1986. Williams has served as the department chair in dance during her tenure at HWS and regularly teaches courses in ballet and modern dance technique, dance composition, dance history, teaching methods, kinesiology, movement for athletes, senior seminar and dance improvisation. She received her B.S. in psychology and her M.F.A in modern dance from the University of Utah, being named magna cum laude for both degrees. She received her master’s in fine arts in modern dance from Connecticut College.

“We are pleased to pay tribute to these professors who have demonstrated extraordinary commitment and service to our students and to the Colleges,” said Ruth Freeman, interim provost and dean of the faculty.

###