Amherst Magazine

College Row

College Row—Summer 2000


Council proposes changes in Interterm

Faculty, student and staff mem-bers of the College Council have recommended that the college direct the emphasis of Interterm away from programs of elective, small courses and more toward support for independent study and other activities. They hope their recommendations will remedy a situation that now makes the campus seem like a January "ghost town."

Every January since the early 1970s, Interterm has been a three-week period between the first and second semesters when students were free to pursue their own interests either on or off campus. The college has usually supported a varied, informal program of "mini-courses"
often taught by students themselves. Last year, however, in response to student dissatisfaction, the College Council was asked to determine if any Interterm "changes or improvements were warranted."

Their study found a decline in the numbers of students remaining on campus for Interterm and enrolling in the courses. In the average week during Interterm this year, only about 40 percent of the students were on campus, and less than 200 students present signed up for courses. The courses typically may touch upon intellectual topics such as art, film, and politics and on non-academic skills and activities such as swing dancing, knitting, or auto mechanics.

Again this year, participation in the courses was "sparse and sporadic," the College Council reported, "with most classes having enrollments under 10."

But students have also used Interterm in a variety of other ways: seniors to work on their senior theses or prepare for graduate school entrance exams; athletes for intense pre-season training; some to pursue interests at the Career Center and apply for summer work or full-time jobs after college; some to take short internships away from campus; others to engage in public service projects that the college has organized.

The College Council found, therefore, that "there are many students who make important use of this unstructured time on campus, but that these students often find campus ghost-town empty, and that they have little [else] to do when they want a break from thesis writing, team practice, community work, or résumé printing." Specifically, the group heard complaints about a lack of community activities and "the fact that many campus resources have curtailed hours and amenities during these weeks."

So the Council has recommended that the college "better support the real ways in which Interterm is being used." It has suggested, for instance, that during January the library and its media center be kept open until 7:30 p.m. instead of closing at 4:30, the gym until 9 p.m. instead of closing at 6, and that the Career Center be open during evening hours at least once or twice a week. It also recommends that entertainment events be held at the Campus Center every evening, and that the snack bar there be open at night.

College officials expect that many and perhaps all of these recommendations can be implemented in the coming year.

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Murphy, Stiglitz join Trustees

Two alumni, Cullen Murphy '74 of Medfield, Mass., and Joseph Stiglitz '64 of Washington, D.C., joined the Trustees this summer, beginning six-year terms on the Board.

Murphy, who has been managing editor of The Atlantic Monthly in Boston for the past15 years, was elected an Alumni Trustee this spring to fill the vacancy left by Mark J. Sandler '64, whose term expired. Murphy out-polled two other nominees in alumni balloting, Katherine K. Chia '88, a New York designer and architect, and Maria Luisa Ferre Rangel '86, a business executive from Guaynabo, Puerto Rico.

Murphy not only is a magazine editor but also is the author of three books and has written the comic strip Prince Valiant for the past 21 years. He was a European Studies major at Amherst and an editor of The Amherst Student. In a statement written for this year's Alumni Trustee ballot, Murphy said his professional work requires "mostly patience, judgment, a sense of balance, a sense of historyqualities I would hope to bring to service as a Trustee." But respect for history, he wrote, should not mean resistance to change. "The Amherst of memory isn't always the one that best serves today's students or society. Amherst is truer to its mission now than it was 30 years ago precisely because it made profound changesmost fundamentally, in whom it admits." Murphy also wrote that, for most students, "Amherst will offer the best (maybe the last) chance in their lives to gain exposure to many facets of a world civilization. That is why the shortcomings of the guidance and advisory system ought to
be a source of concern."

The Board has chosen Joseph Stiglitz '64 to serve as a Term Trustee filling a vacancy left by Peter A. Nadosy, whose term has expired. In recent years Stiglitz has been on leave from teaching economics at Stanford University and has served in Washington first as chairman of the President's Council of Economic Advisers and more recently as chief economist at the World Bank. He expects to return to Stanford this fall. As an undergraduate, Stiglitz was an economics and mathematics major and president of the Student Council. He earned a Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1966.

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Award for teaching

A new award-perhaps the first of its kind-found its way into the long program of prizes and honors awarded during Commencement weekend in May.

The Student Government Organization (SGO) awarded its Distinguished Teaching Award to Jeffrey Ferguson, assistant professor of Black Studies and American Studies. The sponsors hope it will become an annual tradition.

"It's really important to have an award like this because it gives the student body a chance to tell the administration and faculty that it's noticing good teaching, in a setting independent of tenure discussions," said SGO President-elect Steve Ruckman '01. "This award lets students judge teaching success via their two most important criteria: quality of instruction to students in the classroom, and quality of connection with students outside the classroom."

Nominations for the award, which was the idea of SGO Recording Secretary Daniel Cooper '01, were solicited from the entire student body, with the SGO Executive Board submitting a list of five finalists to the rest of the Student Senate for consideration. At their final meeting on April 25, the 1999-2000 senators selected Professor Ferguson nearly unanimously.

"I think the predominant feeling was that Professor Ferguson best embodied not only the spirit of but the idea behind the award," said Steve Vladeck '01, student senator and Senior Class College Council representative. "We wanted to select, especially the first time around, a professor who has shown unparalleled dedication to his students, both in and outside of the classroom."

Ferguson, who teaches, among other courses, Black Studies 11: Introduction to Black Studies and Black Studies 66/English 66: African-American Literature II, was cited in several of his nominations for the time he takes out of class to assist students, including the reformatting of submitted papers into Webpages to highlight, more effectively, the positives and negatives of student work. "Professor Ferguson represents the best of the college's young, dynamic professors who really relate to the students on a personal level," said Ruckman.

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College acquires Dickinson textbook

The college's library has acquired a Latin textbook that the poet Emily Dickinson used when she was a student at the Amherst Academy.

Dickinson shared her copy of Publii Vigilii Maronis Opera, or The Works of Virgil, published in 1838, with her childhood friend and schoolmate Abby Wood when the book was relatively new. The two schoolgirls made numerous notes in it, perhaps communicating with each other as they studied.

Abby Wood married Daniel Bliss, an 1852 graduate of Amherst, in 1855. The couple went on a mission to Beirut in 1856, where Bliss founded the Syrian Protestant College, which later became the American University in Beirut. The Bliss family has had a long association with Amherst College, and the college's Archives and Special Collections holds many of the family papers. Until the college acquired it, the book was held by the descendants of Abby Wood Bliss.

On a flyleaf of the book, Dickinson has copied out line 23 in Book I of the Aeneid, followed by this comment on the text:

Afterwards you may rejoice at the remembrance of these (our school days)

She then added an inscription to her friend, who was about to depart:

When I am far far away then think of me—E. Dickinson

The book also contains many pencilled marginalia. Dickinson's signature, the inscription and some other writing have been identified as the poet's, but they are mingled with other notations that are not in Dickinson's hand. The markings may be simple—a list of lines to be read and a comment: "1 week from Monday—how mean" or humorous, such as "I'm mad" or a sketch of faces.

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Seven receive honorary degrees

The college awarded honorary degrees to seven individuals at the annual Commencement exercises on Sunday, May 21. Those honored were:

William Amend '84, the creator of "FoxTrot," a widely syndicated comic strip that chronicles the daily adventures of an American family facing the 21st century. Doctor of Humane Letters

K. Frank Austen '50, Trustee emeritus, a research physician at Harvard Medical School, who has studied the molecular and cellular bases of allergic and auto-immune diseases. Doctor of Science

Radhika Coomaraswamy, a lawyer, human rights activist and Special Rapporteur to the United Nations on Violence Against Women. Doctor of Laws

H. Irving Grousbeck II '56, a professor of management at Stanford University and founder and past chairman of Continental Cablevision. Doctor of Humane Letters

Sun-Joo Kim '81, the founder and president of Sung Joo International, a fashion retailer in Seoul, Korea, and one of the "20 Most Powerful International Businesswomen,"according to Working Woman magazine. Doctor of Humane Letters

Franklin D. Raines, chairman and chief executive officer of Fannie Mae, and the former director of the U.S. Office of Management and Budget. Doctor of Humane Letters

Wendy Wasserstein, playwright, the author of The Heidi Chronicles and the Sisters Rosenweig, among other works, and a graduate of Mount Holyoke College. Doctor of Letters

Also, David L. Moore '78 received the College's Medal for Eminent Service. Moore, the chairman of Sonostar Ventures, chairman of the board of Paradigm Direct, and chairman of Garden State Brickface in New Jersey, has been active in many alumni activities at Amherst—most recently as national special gifts chair for The Amherst College Campaign.

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Balance of trade

In the Five College exchange system, which is now 35 years old, Amherst continues to be a net importer of students from other area colleges enrolling in Amherst courses. That is, the total number of course enrollments at Amherst by students from the other four colleges is higher than the number of course enrollments by Amherst students on the other campuses. In the 1999-2000 academic year, the latter number—"exports"—was 555, compared to 895 "imports," for a net-import figure of 340 enrollments at Amherst.

The college's Office of Institutional Research reports that Amherst's humanities courses are especially popular, accounting for roughly half of the visitors' enrollments last semester. That category is followed by the social sciences, with only about 10 percent in the natural sciences. Most Five College students who take natural science courses do so on their own campuses

Typically, the largest number of Five College students taking courses at Amherst is the contingent from Hampshire College, followed in roughly equal numbers, each, from Mount Holyoke, Smith and U. Mass. Hampshire's lead is not surprising. Gerald M. Mager, Amherst's registrar and director of institutional research, notes that "part of the reason Hampshire was created [in the 1960s] was to use the Five College system. The expectation from the beginning was that Hampshire students would draw on the curricular options of the other schools."

The nearly 18,000-undergraduate population of U. Mass., almost seven times bigger than any other school in the consortium, is potentially an enormous source of exchange students. But it hasn't happened. Mager speculates that this may be because U. Mass. students are apprehensive about attending classes at the small private colleges.

Why is Amherst consistently a net importer? One answer might be that Amherst students are less venturesome than some of their counterparts. Another answer might be immodest.

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Sports information director

For the first time, the college has appointed a full-time professional to be its sports information director, ending more than 30 years of filling the post with one-year graduate interns.

Kevin Graber, who was the sports information director at the University of West Alabama, was named to the new position in July and joined the administration on August 1.

As Amherst's "SID," Graber will present Amherst's athletic programs to prospective students, alumni, and the general public through publications, media relations, and electronic communications including the Web. He will work with the media to report game scores and feature stories about Amherst's student athletes, produce recruitment publications for Amherst's 27 varsity sports, produce game programs and media guides, and oversee the sports section of Amherst's Website (www/amherst.edu/sports).

Graber joined the University of West Alabama staff in March 1999. While working as the SID, he was elected to the university's faculty-staff senate and served on UWA's Web committee. He also was appointed by the president to serve on the university's development plan committee.

Stacey Schmeidel, Amherst's diiector of public affairs, said the new, professional position "recognizes that the responsibilities of the job have grown exponentially in recent years, especially with the proliferation of news media and the increasing importance of the Web. Upgrading the position also gives us professionalism and continuity in an area where we relied, in the past, on a recent graduate to learn sports information every year through 'on-the-job training.'"

Before joining the University of West Alabama staff, Graber served as the assistant SID at his alma mater, The College of Saint Rose in Albany, N.Y. He also has been director of public relations and marketing for two minor league baseball teams, the Southern Minnesota Stars (in Austin, Minn.) and the Adirondack Lumberjacks (in Glens Falls, N.Y.). Before that he worked for two years as an assistant account executive with Minolta DIS & Mercycare accounts in Castleton, N.Y.

Graber is vice chair of the computer committee of the College Sports Information Directors Association.

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Humor among thieves

The Upright Citizens Brigade is an underground organization with unlimited resources, no government ties and a commitment to undermining the status quo through the proliferation of chaos." It is also an edgy, hysterical, and highly successful comedy troupe with its own theater in New York and a show on Comedy Central. Matt Besser '89 is a co-founder of the group and one of the four agents of the Upright Citizens Brigade (UCB) who, each week, do their very best to instill chaos in our society using their absurdist brand of improvised and sketch comedy as their only weapon. Besser, a.k.a. Adair (his Brigade character name), along with Amy Poehler, Ian Roberts, Matt Walsh, and others, formed the troupe in 1990 in Chicago. The show is now going into a fourth season on Comedy Central. The road Besser took through Amherst to this lofty position in the world of comedy is a peculiar one.

Besser is a gangly, intense-looking man with wild hair who grew up in Little Rock, Arkansas. His decision to attend Amherst was based on his discovery that in the Pioneer Valley there were "eight women for every man," he says, as well as the fact that Amherst's color is purple. Another major factor for Besser was being accepted.

The heavily prank-influenced humor of the UCB started early for Besser. "One time me and a friend dressed up as women and tried to hitchhike." Besser and Co. would carve snow dinosaurs in winter, and at one point, together with other "Egypt Lovers" (including roommates Eddie Rigaud, Eric Miller, and Mike Ochoa), transformed the attic of A dorm into "our own private Egypt."

At Amherst Besser learned many important skills that would prepare him for his career in comedy, "most importantly, breaking and entering." Besser and his friends broke into the Lefrak Gymnasium, Johnson Chapel, the Octagon, WAMH (where Besser spent much of his time as a DJ), Fayerweather, and of course the legendary steam tunnels. He attributes the fact that he was never caught to "survival instincts."

Besser's most memorable professor was Donald Pitkin of anthropology, who taught a class called "Deviance," which Besser describes as "a gut, but the most valuable course I ever took." One day, Besser recalls, Pitkin didn't come to class and the students were being shown a movie. A person who appeared to be homeless entered the auditorium, sat in the back, and started "yelling non sequiturs and throwing leaves at the students." Eventually some students told him to leave and he did. The next class, Pitkin announced that the class would hear poetry from a major Northampton poet, only to introduce the same man from the day before, who proceeded to yell non sequiturs and throw leaves at the students.

At another class Besser remembers fondly, the professor once again didn't attend but left "musical instruments, chalk, paint," and similar tools of play by the podium. After sitting in silence for a while, a few students got up and started to play with the instruments, paint, and draw, while the rest looked on. After a while, almost everyone was standing up and playing, while a small minority remained in their seats. "The people who stayed in their seats became the deviants," Besser notes.

Besser graduated in 1989 with a B.A. in American Studies, radio experience, and a desire to disrupt the status quo. He hoped to get work as a radio DJ or maybe as a standup comic. Besser had done well in a stand-up comedy contest at the University of Massachusetts and felt that he had a talent for it. He moved to Boulder, Colorado, for a few months to try stand-up and then eventually settled in Chicago, where he studied long-form improvisational comedy with the legendary Del Close of the Improv Olympic Theater, where he met the other members of the UCB. They formed the group in 1990 and took it to New York four years ago. Their Comedy Central debut on August 19, 1998, was the highest-rated debut of any original Comedy Central series. The show will open its fourth season this fall. Live shows at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater, at 161 W. 22nd St., are offered all week and range in price from free to $5.

Asked for advice he might give to Amherst College students who want to go on to their own successful careers in comedy, he replies "Give it up, get into an Internet company, and don't forget to steal everything at Amherst that isn't nailed down before you leave." He adds, "Go to school here." The UCB offers classes in improvisational comedy at their theater to more than 150 students, so to all the young would-be Bessers going out into the world, take heart.

—David R. Moldawer '00

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Verbatim
A compilation of remarks from recent events at Amherst:

"Let your ruling ambition be your ambition to have a craft, a discipline that you cherish and follow as your own. Treat the wilder, fiercer forms of ambition within you as real and powerful. Accept them and use them. But always keep them in harness to your ideals of a life well lived. There is no more desperately unhappy man or woman than the one who chases down great possessions or great victories, great achievements, while losing hold of the person you always wanted to be."

—President Tom Gerety. In a Commencement address on "Ambition," Main Quandrangle, May 21, 2000

"The feminist movement is run by women who are frauds. Paula Jones speaks out and the feminists are nowhere to be found. They said, we are not going to fall on our swords for those kinds of women. That is when you saw the fraud."

—Angela "Bay" Buchanan, campaign manager and sister of presidential candidate Pat Buchanan. A talk in Cole Assembly Room, March 29, 2000

 

"Hearing everything you all say, I'm glad I'm not in baseball. There's a tremendous economic pressure these days. There was a lot closer bond with the players in my day."

 

—Harry Dalton '50, former general manager of the Milwaukee Brewers and California Angels, now retired. After listening to a Reunion Weekend panel of alumni who are professional baseball officials, May 27, 2000

 

"When I first met Mr. [William] Lewis at the age of 14, I was amazed at how little knowledge the man possessed. Now, at 22, I am impressed at how much he has learned in the last eight years."

 

—Joel Estrada '00. In a tribute to Lewis, his English teacher at Lynwood High School in Lynwood, Calif., and recipient of a Phebe and Zephaniah Swift Moore Teaching Award from the college. Class Day, May 20, 2000

 

"We wrote this opera on long bike rides, over suppers together with our families, while we were changing diapers . . . ."

 

—James Maraniss, professor of Spanish, librettist for the Pulitzer Prize-winning opera Life is a Dream, composed by Lewis Spratlan, Peter R. Pouncey Professor of Music. In a pre-performance talk, Arms Music Center, January 28, 2000

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From the Folger

Visitors to Washington this summer and early autumn will enjoy "A Decade of Collecting," a selection of the Folger's notable acquisitions over the past 10 years. A highlight is George Gower's 1579 portrait of Queen Elizabeth I, the bequest of Francis T.P. Plimpton '17. Among more than 4000 early printed books acquired during the '90s are the last perfect copies of the first edition of Edmund Spenser's Amoretti and Epithalamion (1581) and Shepheard's Calendar (1579) that will ever be offered. A selection from the remarkable collection of over 300 early illustrated herbal and botanical books, the gift of Mrs. Mary C. Massey, will be included. Rare and important manuscript books, letters, prints, drawings, and other works of art provide evidence of vigorous collection-building. A fully illustrated catalog is available. The Folger is open to the public daily except Sundays, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The Folger's Department of Education and Public Programs will soon move to a historic building across the street from the Library on Capitol Hill. The new quarters, named The Haskell Center after its principal donors, Susan and Wyatt R. Haskell '61, include meeting and lecture rooms, a facility for distance learning, and the most current communications and environmental systems.

Forty-one research fellows have been appointed for the academic year 2000-01. Seven long-term fellows will be in residence for either a semester or for the full academic year, and 34 have been granted residencies of one
to three months. Their projects span the full range of early modern studies, including various national literatures, history, philosophy, political thought, musicology, history of art, travel and exploration, and, of course, Shakespeare.

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Retiring Faculty

At this year's Commencement, President Gerety recognized four professors with these tributes on the occasion of their retirement.

Michael Birtwistle
Stanley King '03 Professor of Dramatic Arts

Michael Birtwistle, you came to Amherst as a tenured professor in 1984, having previously taught at Pomona College and three other institutions. With a B.A. from Wesleyan, and an M.F.A. and Ph.D. from Tulane University, you were uniquely qualified to take on the charge of building a new Department of Theater and Dance at Amherst. As a teacher, director, and designer, you created a program in which theater and dance flourish. Our productions serve as a laboratory where students deal with fundamental principles of the field. Your dedication was always to the art of theater, not its commercial or entertainment value or its value as a platform for politics and preaching. This dedication has been the center of your work and teaching at Amherst.

A director with boundless enthusiasm, a great sense of the stage, and a deeply intellectual approach to analysis of scripts, you have been described by your students as the ideal mentor. You work with them closely, intellectually, physically, emotionally, with an integrity that gives them the room they need to make their own way.

Your deeply analytical nature leads you to map plays in a technique of analysis few understand. But you map many things. It is said, for instance, that your analysis of golf shows the game to be one in which no one can succeed, no matter how technically proficient. You engage in spirited debates over a difference of a few inches in stage design. A great legacy of your love of architecture and highly honed ability to use space effectively exists in the department's newly renovated home in Kirby and Webster.

For creating a department that is intellectually strong, artistically sparkling, and beautifully housed, and for the passion and energy you have committed to Theater at Amherst, we are proud to honor and thank you this morning.


Joel E. Gordon
Stone Professor of Natural Science

Joel Gordon, for more than 50 years Amherst has been exceptional among small colleges in its teaching and research in low-temperature physics. For more than 40 of those yearsever since your arrival in 1957you have been a "constant" in that equation, spending long, devoted hours in classroom and laboratory with students, and productive hours, alone and with colleagues, pursuing investigations and publishing results. You have found the time, as well, to direct our physics laboratory, to serve as department chairman and as a member of College committees. Perhaps it should not surprise us that an expert on superconductivity can follow so many currents with such smooth and productive efficiency.

An ideal teacher, you are known by students as always being attentive, upbeat and supportive. A former pupil recalls your having "the wonderful ability to start to work side-by-side with a student on something new, and then magically disappear, leaving the student doing everything on his or her own, without fully comprehending what just happened." You have served colleagues, too, in many capacities-successful grant applicant and fastidious quartermaster general, among other departmental roles. You have sat judiciously on our Committees on Educational Policy, Priorities and Resources, the Committee of Six, and on special panels studying coeducation and long-range planning.

During all this time, as an outstanding scientist, you have pursued research and written or co-authored upwards of 50 refereed publications. You have refereed the work of other investigators and served eight years as book review editor for The American Journal of Physics. Among many accomplishments in the lab you can count the first successful measurement of certain properties of metallic elements-including the hyperfine specific heat of no less an isotope than Uranium 235.

A summa cum laude graduate of Harvard with a Ph.D. from Berkeley, you have been a visiting scientist at many American and foreign universities and research centers, including Brookhaven National Laboratory and the Universidad del Valle in Colombia. But you are best associated with Amherst, and will always represent, to us, the very best we have to offer. For this, we extend you heartfelt thanks.

 

Hugh D. Hawkins
Anson D. Morse Professor of History and American Studies

In your 43 years as a teacher and scholar at this College you have been, for our colleagues and administrators, an invaluable compass. A student of American intellectual, regional, and social history, you are also, preeminently, a historian of American education: one who has known where this College stands in its own development over 179 years, and how it figures in the larger, complex history of education throughout the country. We've enjoyed, in you, the luxury of a home-based consultant-one of our own whose very calling is to understand our work. You know much that there is to know about the place of curricula, and the liberal arts, in higher education-what is merely fashionable, what is truly fundamental.

Internationally recognized as an authority on these issues, you are in demand as the author of many books, articles, and monographs, and a speaker at conferences both at home and abroad. You are also that rare specialist in the study of education, one whose prose and speech are devoid of jargon. You've taught as much to your students-inspiring one, several years ago, to compose a limerick that she called an "Ode to An Exceptional Advisor." This student said her thesis would have been carelessly written-"Were it not for my trusty friend Hugh/ Who, with firmness and tact/ Would go through and extract/All the words that would simply not do."

To all your students, you have been a caring, devoted teacher. You have been a trusty friend to the rest of us, too, a wise, astute counselor, supporting colleagues with departmental labors and service on almost every College committee. In 1976 you were a principal architect of the first-year Introduction to Liberal Studies curriculum. You have always leavened our councils with a kindly wit, and with keen sensitivity. Thirty-five years ago you put your deepest convictions on the line, marching with our students in Selma, Alabama. Afterwards you reported that "in
Amherst, the thought of going to Selma made me afraid. But in Selma
I found-borrowed, was infected by-courage."

Along with empathy, scholarship, and collegiality, your priority has always been students: generations of young scholars who join us this morning to applaud your dedication to them and to Amherst.

 

Allen Kropf
Julian H. Gibbs Professor of Chemistry

Allen Kropf, since 1958 you have served your department, College, and generations of students with legendary skills in teaching and research. With an undergraduate degree from Queens College and a Ph.D. from the University of Utah, you managed to settle completely into our rural New England life without ever losing your New York edge.

In your research, you are the co-discoverer of the primary action of light in the eye. In the 1950s you and Ruth Hubbard showed that light in the retina of the eye "isomerizes" (that is, changes the shape of) part of the visual pigment molecule, rhodopsin. Everything else that happens to make us see follows from this photoisomerization process you discovered. Your seminal finding laid the foundation for years of your own research and for the past generation of scientific work on the biochemistry and physiology of vision.

You have been a powerful instructional presence on campus. You developed the interdisciplinary bio-physics program that later evolved into neuroscience, the first such program at a liberal arts college. Your originality and development of tightly reasoned, intellectually demanding courses has been called your greatest strength. Two examples are your course on Thermodynamics and Kinetics, which departs from all formulaic ways to teach thermodynamics, and the course for non-science majors on Energy and Entropy-one of Amherst's classics. Your patience, rigor, clarity of explanation, concern and enjoyment of the subjects you teach have deeply affected students, many of whom credit you with being the model they seek to emulate. Your teaching style mixes humor and intensity, pushing every class to the most rigorous science.

You served the College with distinction on all major committees, giving your time and energy fully to the issue at hand. You also influenced policy with your ability to put more food on one plate in the dining commons than anyone could imagine (salads are now sold by weight). Admiring colleagues tried to replicate your ability ("to Kropf," they called it), but generally failed!

Allen Kropf, we thank and honor you for your leadership, generosity of spirit, and patient and inspired instruction through all your 42 years at Amherst College.

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