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Distinguished Scholars Appointed to Endowed Chairs

In recognition of their highly distinguished careers, six faculty members representing a broad spectrum of disciplines were recently named to existing or newly created endowed professorships. "Endowed professorships help to keep Dartmouth at the forefront of higher education," says Carol Folt, dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences and professor of biological sciences, "allowing us to recognize the accomplishments of some of our most eminent and dedicated faculty, and to attract renowned new scholars to stimulate the learning environment."

Adrian W. B. Randolph, Leon E. Williams Professor of Art; Richard Wright, Orvil Dryfoos Professor in Public Affairs; Susan Ackerman, Preston H. Kelsey Professor in Religion; and Daniel N. Rockmore, John G. Kemeny Parents Professor in Mathematics.

Susan Ackerman '80 has been named to the Preston H. Kelsey Professorship in Religion. Ackerman is an expert on the religions of Israel and its neighboring lands in ancient times. Her most recent book, When Heroes Love: The Ambiguity of Eros in the Stories of Gilgamesh and David, won a Lambda Literary Award. She is chair of the religion department and this year received the Faculty Award for Service to Continuing Education. "This professorship will allow me to pursue my next book project on women and the religion of ancient Israel, a research interest fueled by the students in two of my undergraduate courses," says Ackerman. The Kelsey chair was established in 1971 by Preston H. Kelsey '25, a former director of the diocese of California, to ensure the College's tradition of offering and supporting excellence in liberal arts and the accomplishments of the true scholar-teacher.

Richard Granger Jr.

Jane E.G. Lipson (All photos by Joseph Mehling '69)

Richard Granger Jr. is the inaugural holder of the William H. Neukom 1964 Distinguished Professorship in Computational Science. The chair will support his work as director of the Neukom Institute, strengthening collaborative research between computer science and other disciplines. Granger, who is also a professor of psychological and brain sciences, combines experimental and theoretical analysis of how the brain performs certain tasks to forge new directions in the design, structure, and analysis of computational data for the evolving fields of observational and pharmacological brain studies. He has written extensively on these subjects for scholarly journals. "The Neukom professorship is fostering new interdisciplinary collaborations and new study opportunities for students and faculty in a range of fields, from brain science to computer science, and from linguistics to philosophy," says Granger. Established by Board of Trustees Chair William H. Neukom '64, the professorship was part of his gift to create the Neukom Institute for Computational Science.

The Albert W. Smith Professorship in Chemistry is now held by Jane E. G. Lipson. Lipson's research in the properties of polymers was recognized in 2005 by the American Physical Society, which elected her a fellow. Lipson was also recently elected to chair the 2008 Polymer Physics Gordon Conference. The author of numerous scientific research papers, Lipson seeks to increase understanding of complex fluids using well-defined theory, simulation data, and experimental results. Taking her first full year of sabbatical since she began teaching in 1986, Lipson plans to use the resources of both her chair and her sabbatical to initiate several new research projects. "I am particularly looking forward to working with my research group in developing new skills and ideas over the coming year," she says. The Smith professorship was established in 1965 by Kent H. Smith '15 in honor of his father, Dr. Albert W. Smith, a faculty member at Case Institute of Technology and director of the Dow Chemical Company.

Adrian W. B. Randolph is now the Leon E. Williams Professor of Art. Randolph is an expert on Italian medieval and Renaissance art and architecture. He is the author of Engaging Symbols: Gender, Politics, and Public Art in Fifteenth-Century Florence, a book that focuses on the interplay between spectators and works of art. Randolph's scholarship integrates literary, artistic, and social data to promote multifaceted understandings of premodern visual and material culture. "Receiving this distinction fills me with excitement to pursue my research and teaching with fresh vigor," says Randolph. "The support that comes with this endowed chair will help me spend more time at the libraries, archives, and collections that sustain my research. This, in turn, will enrich my teaching." The Williams professorship was established in 1963 by the Dartmouth Board of Trustees in memory of Leon E. Williams '15, a prominent accountant and advisor to U.S. Treasury officials.

The John G. Kemeny Parents Professorship in Mathematics is now held by Daniel N. Rockmore. He is the author of Stalking the Riemann Hypothesis: the Quest to Find the Hidden Law of Prime Numbers. Rockmore is also coproducer of the critically acclaimed documentary, The Math Life. His primary research interests are in the field of computational harmonic analysis and the development of group theoretic transforms with applications to signal and image processing. The Kemeny chair was established in 1981 by three Dartmouth parents in honor of John G. Kemeny, 13th president of Dartmouth.

"It is a great honor," says Rockmore, "to receive the Kemeny professorship. It will permit me to initiate some new research programs, maintain collaborations, and pursue my interest in science documentary filmmaking."

Richard A. Wright is the Orvil Dryfoos Professor in Public Affairs. A Guggenheim Fellow in 1998-1999, Wright, professor of geography, studies how immigrants fit into U.S. society. His research has been widely published and he coordinates Dartmouth's Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship Program. He has directed numerous senior honors theses and other undergraduate research projects. "This professorship will provide support as I complete a book on the contours of American nativism and a study of racial mixing in urban neighborhoods," says Wright. "Both projects relate directly to my advising and the courses I teach on immigration and race." Established in 1963 by Nelson A. Rockefeller '30, the chair honors Orvil E. Dryfoos '34, publisher and president of The New York Times from 1961 to 1963 and a Dartmouth Trustee from 1957 to 1963.

"Appointment to an endowed professorship signifies distinction for those who have made extraordinary contributions," says Folt, "and often provides the support necessary to fuel entirely new fields. The gift of an endowed chair by our generous alumni or other supporters is an expression of confidence in Dartmouth's intellectual leadership and its ability to support scholars who are committed to sharing their innovative work with students."


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Last Updated: 7/24/18