Spring 2003 Magazine Archive & SearchMuhlenberg Home


       Reflections on
geraniums, gender
  & generations
at the ’Berg



I’m fortunate that I can couple memories of my professors with episodes with these same individuals when I returned to ’Berg in 1963. The intervening five years of co-education had achieved a wonderful transformation. I found a delightful group of women and men students eager to pursue science studies.

The challenges presented to me in general chemistry by Charles Mortimer were now balanced by the eager acceptance of my views by Charles and other former professors during our meetings devised to formulate group recommendations for professional school applicants. Harry Raub, who had the uncanny knack of quickly identifying my flaws during his physics recitations, now showed a keen interest in my ecology lab projects. Minotte Chatfield had regaled me with his presentation of Chaucer’s works. Now Minotte kept me busy with questions about the latest “bug” or bird that visited his back yard. John Reed had provided thought-provoking and critical assessments of my essays. I was even more impressed by John’s cogent arguments against the proposed tenure quota system being debated at a trustees’ meeting where John and I were serving as faculty observers.

I recall engaging in meaningful discussions with many colleagues from all disciplines at faculty meetings, forums, AAUP meetings, and faculty-board retreats. The main thread through most of these sessions was what was best for the current contingent of students and how could we better accomplish our mission. Most fondly remembered was the faculty symposium organized by Phil Secor. I recall sessions with Ludwig Lenel at the piano, Bob Milligan in his lab, the passionate presentations of their scholarship and research by Hagan Staack, Katherine Van Erde, Hal Stenger and others. I even recall that during my presentation on salamander population ecology, Phil seemingly arranged for a live salamander to crawl out of the pile of firewood placed next to my chair.




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