The Colgate Scene ON-LINE

[James Earl Clarke]
James Earl Clarke

James Earl Clarke

Professor of Education & Social Science 1962-96

Life has been good at Colgate. Thirty-three years of study in my chosen field, intellectual cross-pollination with colleagues from all arenas in the liberal arts, a magnificent physical environment, the freedom to teach without interference, and a sense of being a part of a group committed to institutional improvement; life has been good in large part because of Colgate. However, the best part of that good life has been my association with Colgate students.

So, permit me to celebrate with a toast to all of you who chose me to be their teacher. Remember: there have been approximately 5,000 of you, and even to mention only your names would require ten times the space allotted to me here.

To: Linda Waletzky and Marge Marino. Well before Colgate officially admitted women to its all-male campus a hardy group of females attended Colgate's Master of Arts in Teaching program. Linda and Marge, among others, often found themselves to be the only woman in a classroom and frequently the butt of macho humor. They all hung tough and excelled and paved the way to healthy coeducation.

To: Woody Berry, Lou Gamble, Hap Clark, Jan Harding, Covette and Cozette Rooney, Chalton Witherspoon, Stacy Harris, Claude Majette, Adrienne Booker, Joe Manhertz, Michael Stevens, Melanie Snape, Jamal Haywood, Rebecca Anthony, Andre Martin, Justin Hope, Nicole Ely, Jamiel Hussain, Rob Howard and so many other persons of color. Racism is still an ugly fact in American higher education. African-American students came to Colgate to obtain a good education and have been a vital presence on the campus. Colgate is not yet the great salad bowl of diversity, but it has come a long way in three decades.

To: Bob Smith, Mary Howes, Jim Ford, Jim McCarthy, Rick Thormahlen and many other practicing public school teachers who graced my courses. They took time from busy careers, and through their willingness to share their experiences, made the classes ring with reality.

To: Joe Mione, Bernie Buch-weitz, Dick Carroll, Bill Miles, Dick Heath, Mike Nadler, Charlie Stratton, Dan Callahan, Tony Khalife, Lionel Meno, Evan Rupff, Lori Bemis, Toni Internicola, Matt St. Peter and Loren Hotaling. They are but a few of the more than a thousand students, so bright and capable, who chose to become teachers and administrators in our schools.

To: Johann Gambino, a strong feminist with the intellect and power to succeed at any job, who in the face of those who thought public school teaching beneath her talents, has been an outstanding role model to a generation of junior high students.

To: Bruce Moriarty, Mike Finnegan, Marty Ledger, Bill Burrows, Andy Bobik, John Van Wie, Tom Smiley, Chris Shaw, Chris Ladner and Pete Shaw who refused to be touched by Colgate's stuffy side.

To: Cary Goodman, a solid student at Colgate in the 1970s who later armed himself with a PhD in sociology, who chooses to teach in a Manhattan school that last year started with four bullet holes in his classroom walls and ended with six.

To: Doug Pressman, brilliant student, Watson Fellow, Brown PhD, excellent college teacher, but we love him best for taking on the battles deemed impossible to win and, above all, going against the Rockefellers and the Feds with humor and spirit undiminished.

To: Shelley Ozaroff, Bruce Abell, Rich Enemark, Gus Hatzidimitriou, Robert Rosenthal, Jennifer Braak, Jeff Blomberg, Debbie Colette Freedman, Jamiel Hussain, Elizabeth Rushmer, Mike Richman, Katty Quezada, Jennifer Levine and all of you who stunned me with your insights and competence in your research papers.

To: Karen Johnston, Brenda Dutcher and others on Colgate's administrative support staff. In their efforts to earn degrees while working, they squeezed courses into their busy schedules. Their strong work ethic and mature enthusiasm make them a joy to teach.

To: Bill Moynihan, who was first my student, then colleague, then chairperson, then dean at Colgate, and to Gary Ross, first an exemplary student, now an outstanding Colgate administrator.

To: Anna Steel, Debra Berman and George King who showed the highest standard for organizational skill and dependability.

To: Those students from years past whose children also have been my pupils, Bill Klika and daughter Melissa and son Tim, and Bob Olczak and daughter Allison.

To: Jim Kaufman and Cari Lorberfeld who, without a jot of self-consciousness about their enthusiasm for learning, made each contact with them a celebration. Years ago, after reading about Summerhill, an experimental school in England, Cari packed her bags and went there to examine it. I still share her paper about the school and her scrapbook of pictures with other students. As an eager hands-on learner, Jim travels the world; a note from him might wing in at any time from Japan or the hinterlands of Guatemala.

To: Kristy Ficker and Michelle Birgeneau, scholarly in class, juggernauts on the soccer field, they represent the best of Colgate's scholar-athlete tradition.

To: Ira Blatt for being Ira Blatt.

To: All of you who saw the fun in classroom discussions, even in the 8 o'clock classes I love to teach. To the thousands of you who dove in and took chances with ideas, who challenged me with questions and vigorously entered into debate. To all those listed above please include a few more graduates to the still small sample: Pete Ives, Mike Bell, Joe Napoli, Emily DeWaters, John Huddleston, Ted Van Loan, Norm Von Wettberg, Pete Lodge, Ron Richardson, Joe Pepe, Bruce Kowalski, Mary Leonard, Bob Metivier, Rich Greissman, Goldie Blumenstyk, Anne Duke, Tom Moulketis, Randolph Hollings-worth, Jeff Lackey, Laura Lasker, Peg Milniker, Steve Kokkinakis, Tony Rusnak, Elizabeth Huckins, Lee Levit, Darren Indyke, Greg Manusky, Brian Yudewitz, Michelle Umphlet, Leslie Clayton, Matt Alvord, Laura Sosnoski, Donna Gefter, Julianne Clark, Lynn Reardon, Parul Nanavati, Amanda Travis, Erin Caretti, Dani Caro, Dan Derman, Tyler Whaling, Mark Paske, John Cambarari, Ted Chmielewski, Scott Keller, Susan Meyercord, Patricia Nunez, Jennifer and Bill Sparacio, Amanda Wagle, Melanie Valesquez, Wendy Duesing, Esta Georgia, Tucker Neale, Scott Radomski, Tina Leone, Ivelisse Melendez, Heather Savoca, Jeff Wall, Patricia Dandrea, Katie MacRae, Beth Kane, Jamie Cooke, Kelly Lehman, Elizabeth Jordan.

That's all, folks. Too much toasting is bad for the digestion. I hope to see you at the tents during Reunion '96.