11/01/2018 Staff

Retiring Professors

This magazine article is part of Fall 2018 / Issue 92
  • Virginia Maksymowicz, Professor of Art

“Visual art is very much like poetry. Poetry is structured in its language, not just self-expression. In sculpture, you have to think of how images work and what you’re communicating. A good artist will tell you, ‘Look this way.’ Art can’t be about just anything the viewer wants it to be. If it can mean everything, can it mean anything? I’m happiest when a student comes into an introduction class discovering that this makes sense, that it’s not all a mystery.” Virginia Maksymowicz, Professor of Art “Visual art is very much like poetry. Poetry is structured in its language, not just self-expression. In sculpture, you have to think of how images work and what you’re communicating. A good artist will tell you, ‘Look this way.’ Art can’t be about just anything the viewer wants it to be. If it can mean everything, can it mean anything? I’m happiest when a student comes into an introduction class discovering that this makes sense, that it’s not all a mystery.” Image Credit: Patrick Leger
  • Joel Eigen, Charles A. Dana Professor of Sociology

“I introduced a new piece of classical music each month [at bagel breakfast as don of Ware College House]. I never knew if anyone took much notice, but it seemed a good way to make the den more inviting – especially at 8 a.m., when students are not particularly voluble.”

At the end of the 2015-16 academic year, his last as don, he received the following email note:

“Dear Professor Eigen: I was just wondering if you could let me know what piece or pieces of Beethoven you have been playing during bagel breakfast? I really enjoy classical- and romantic-era music and was looking to find some new music. Thank you and see you soon!”

“I was reminded then and now that one's influence – what my father called one’s 'shadow self' – is often below the surface but meaningful for our students in ways that endure,” Eigen said. “It's a lovely (and reassuring) sentiment that has stayed with me.” Joel Eigen, Charles A. Dana Professor of Sociology “I introduced a new piece of classical music each month [at bagel breakfast as don of Ware College House]. I never knew if anyone took much notice, but it seemed a good way to make the den more inviting – especially at 8 a.m., when students are not particularly voluble.” At the end of the 2015-16 academic year, his last as don, he received the following email note: “Dear Professor Eigen: I was just wondering if you could let me know what piece or pieces of Beethoven you have been playing during bagel breakfast? I really enjoy classical- and romantic-era music and was looking to find some new music. Thank you and see you soon!” “I was reminded then and now that one's influence – what my father called one’s 'shadow self' – is often below the surface but meaningful for our students in ways that endure,” Eigen said. “It's a lovely (and reassuring) sentiment that has stayed with me.” Image Credit: Patrick Leger
  • Lynn Brooks: Arthur and Katherine Shadek Professor of Humanities and Dance

“Most memorable to me during my career have been the inspired and inspiring students, bringing their wide ranges of curiosities and creative energies to their work at F&M. They have enriched my own learning and understanding of the world and remain my cherished friends (some in memory only, but many still in person) to this day. And many colleagues are on that list as well.” Brooks said. Lynn Brooks: Arthur and Katherine Shadek Professor of Humanities and Dance “Most memorable to me during my career have been the inspired and inspiring students, bringing their wide ranges of curiosities and creative energies to their work at F&M. They have enriched my own learning and understanding of the world and remain my cherished friends (some in memory only, but many still in person) to this day. And many colleagues are on that list as well.” Brooks said. Image Credit: Patrick Leger
  • Fred Owens ’72: Charles A. Dana Professor of Psychology

“In classes, I shared much of what I had learned about perception, behavior, and the history of psychology. In the lab, students joined me in identifying new questions for research and developing the methods needed to find answers, to create new knowledge. Many of ‘my’ best ideas came from collaborating with students.” Fred Owens ’72: Charles A. Dana Professor of Psychology “In classes, I shared much of what I had learned about perception, behavior, and the history of psychology. In the lab, students joined me in identifying new questions for research and developing the methods needed to find answers, to create new knowledge. Many of ‘my’ best ideas came from collaborating with students.” Image Credit: Patrick Leger
  • Annette Aronowicz, Robert F. and Patricia G. Ross Weis Professor of Judaic Studies, Professor of Religious Studies

“I will remember the moments when things clicked, when students reflected out loud, and genuine thinking was in the air. I will also remember the moments that required that I rethink how to present things. The first moment is a moment of great pleasure. The second moment—not always—but both moments testify to the movement characteristic of real thought. I am extremely grateful to have had the opportunity to participate in that movement of ideas with students for so many years.” Annette Aronowicz, Robert F. and Patricia G. Ross Weis Professor of Judaic Studies, Professor of Religious Studies “I will remember the moments when things clicked, when students reflected out loud, and genuine thinking was in the air. I will also remember the moments that required that I rethink how to present things. The first moment is a moment of great pleasure. The second moment—not always—but both moments testify to the movement characteristic of real thought. I am extremely grateful to have had the opportunity to participate in that movement of ideas with students for so many years.” Image Credit: Patrick Leger

Five Franklin & Marshall professors representing a range of academic disciplines retired over the summer, leaving behind legacies of education and mentorship in distinctive ways. As their final classes approached last spring, they reflected on many decades of teaching — and learning from — F&M students. 

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