Recognizing retirees

The College this year honored the careers of eight faculty members who have attained emeritus status.
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Recognizing retirees

Among this year's retirees were, from left, Walter Hatke, Julius Barbanel and Rudy Nydegger.

The College this year honored the careers of eight faculty members who have attained emeritus status. They were Julius Barbanel, professor of mathematics; Linda Cool, professor of anthropology; Pilar Moyano, professor of modern languages; Walter Hatke, the May I. Baker Professor of Visual Arts; Jay Newman, the R. Gordon Gould ’41 Professor of Physics; Susan Niefield, professor mathematics; Rudy Nydegger, professor of psychology; and Karl Zimmermann, professor of mathematics. (This year’s retirements, which accounted for one fourth of the mathematics department, were something of a family affair. Profs. Niefield and Zimmermann are married; Prof. Barbanel is married to Prof. Niefield’s sister, Nancy, who teaches ceramics classes at Union.) Several of the retirees provided recollections, excerpted here:

Prof. Barbanel: “The environment for doing mathematical research was perfect for me, and teaching mathematics to so many young people was a daily thrill. Getting to know many of my students, especially the Posse students that I mentored in recent years, was a joy that I shall always carry with me.”

Prof. Niefield: “Being at Union has never felt like a job. I’ve gotten to know so many interesting students, from those who struggled their way through, spending many hours in my office, to those whom I encouraged to go on and who became mathematicians themselves. My department has been my family both literally and figuratively. This place has been my life for 34 years and I expect to be around for 34 more.”

Prof. Nydegger: “My dearest memories come from the range of wonderful people whose lives touched many including my own. People from every part of the College truly leave a mark on the education of our students and on the lives and careers of the rest of us. To all of them I can only say, ‘Thank you for all you have done and continue to do.’”

Prof. Zimmerman: “What we do for the students is truly a group effort. I would like to thank all my colleagues around campus—on the staff, the faculty, and in the administration—I've always had the feeling we were in this together … all thinking about what is best for the College and our students. Working with people, all willing to go that extra mile, has made Union a great place to spend my career.”