|October 20, 1999|
Prof. Board thanked by students
Joseph Board, Robert Porter Patterson Professor of Government at Union College in Schenectady, N.Y., defines teaching as a very interactive process. "Without question, I always learn a great deal from the students I teach," said the professor of political science who has spent more than 30 years at the College. That interaction continued last weekend when many of Board's friends, colleagues, and former students gathered to recognize his distinguished career at the College.
On Saturday, Nov. 13, Union College hosted a reception to dedicate the Joseph B. Board Jr. Seminar Room in the College's Social Sciences building. The richly appointed room, which features a large conference table with multi-port Internet access and mahogany cabinetry equipped with a retractable projection screen, is a "state-of-the-art setting for intensive seminars, writing workshops, and even mini-conferences," according to Political Science Professor and Department Chair Terry Weiner.
"I'm terribly proud of the students I've had at Union, " Board noted. "This dedication is really a reinforcement of what I've done as a teacher. My feelings are beyond description."
Judging by the amount of money raised $40,000 Prof. Board was far more than just another teacher for those he taught. In fact, in addition to the seminar room, donations helped offset the costs associated with the construction of the College's new Political Science office suite. "It's very unusual for alumni to raise that kind of money to honor a faculty member. It's quite a tribute," Weiner added.
"Joe was a great teacher and a terrific friend to his students," said former student and 1969 Union graduate Larry Pedowitz of Briarcliff Manor, N.Y. "We can't rename the College after him, but the seminar room reflects the deep affection of all of us." Tenafly, N.Y. resident and 1967 Union alum, Mike Berlowitz added, "Joe Board offered a new dimension to me as a senior at Union, helping me in my effort to enter law school while expecting nothing in return. As a result, I now pick up the phone to help Union students whenever I can."
Board, who came to Union in 1965, is most proud of his efforts to build the Political Science Department and his accessibility to students. From the late 1960s to early 1970s, he expanded the department from 3 to 10 faculty, blending, he said, "a strong mix of staff who excelled in both research and teaching." Claiming that a student never needed an appointment to see him, Board added that, like many Union faculty, he maintained an "open-door policy" when it came to meeting with students. "I was always in my office, and always willing to spend time with students, no sign-up sheet was ever required."
Board, 68, lives in Arlington with his wife Dr. Mary Squire. Born in Princeton, Indiana, he received an A.B. in Government, Highest Honors, from Indiana University; a B.A. and M.A. from the Honours School of Jurisprudence, Oxford University; a J.D. from Indiana University School of Law; and a Ph.D. from Indiana University.
A Rhodes scholar, Board's other honors include a Fulbright Fellowship to Sweden, Phi Beta Kappa, The Scientific Society of Lund University, and Ph.D. Honoris Causa, Umea University (Sweden). In addition to Union, Board has held teaching positions at Indiana University, Elmira College, Cornell College, Albany Law School, the London School of Economics, the University of Umea, the University of Paris, and was a guest lectures in numerous locations worldwide, including Oxford, London, Nottingham, Costa Rica, Copenhagen, Stockholm, Lund, and the University of California (Berkeley).
His committee and consulting work has included chair positions with the United States Selection Committee for NATO Fellowships; The Political Science Committee, Council for the International Exchange of Scholars; as well as membership in the Rhodes Scholarship Selection Committee for Iowa and Nebraska, the Indiana Bar, and the NAACP, among others.