«PROCESSIONAL Pleasant Street Brass Quintet INVOCATION Jon R. Powers, B.A., Th.M. University Chaplain WELCOME Rock Jones, B.A., M.Div., Ph.D. ...»
One Hundred Sixty-Fifth
Sunday May 10 2009
President Rock Jones, Presiding
PROCESSIONAL Pleasant Street Brass Quintet
INVOCATION Jon R. Powers, B.A., Th.M.
WELCOME Rock Jones, B.A., M.Div., Ph.D.
President PRESENTATION OF PRESIDENT HERBERT Kathleen Law Rhinesmith, ’64, B.A., M.A.T.
WELCH MERITORIOUS TEACHING AWARD Chairperson, Board of Trustees Provided by the Greater New York Alumni Association and David O. Robbins, B.A., M.A., Ph.D.
PRESENTATION OF SHERWOOD DODGE SHANKLAND AWARDFOR THE ENCOURAGEMENT OF TEACHERS Ms. Rhinesmith and Dr. Robbins Endowed by the late William H. and Frances Shankland Ryan, ’29 PRESENTATION OF THE LIBUSE L. REED Dr. Robbins
ENDOWED PROFESSORSHIPRECOGNITION OF RETIRING FACULTY Dr. Robbins and Xudong Jin, B.A., M.A., M.L.S., presenting Thomas A. Green, B.A., M.Div., M.A.
Charles L. Stinemetz, B.A., M.Sc., Ph.D., presenting Conrad A. Kent, B.A., M.A., Ph.D.
Susanna S. Bellocq, B.A., M.A., Ph.D., presenting Helmut J. Kremling, B.S., M.A., Ph.D.
Mary T. Howard, B.A., M.A., Ph.D., presenting Ali Akbar Mahdi, B.A., M.A., Ph.D.
James G. Peoples, B.A., Ph.D., presenting Jan S. Smith, B.A., Ph.D.
Julian Arribas, B.S., M.A., Ph.D., presenting Lauren H. Wiebe, B.A., M.A., Ph.D.
COMMENCEMENT ADDRESS Virginia Pearsall Kirkwood, ’64 B.A.
PRESENTATION OF THE CLASS OF 2009 AND Sally Ann Sikorski, B.S., M.S.
CONFERRING OF THE DEGREES IN COURSE University Registrar REMARKS BY THE SENIOR CLASS PRESIDENT Amanda Nicole Thompson, ’09, B.A.
BENEDICTION Dr. Jones
ALMA MATEROhio Wesleyan! Sweetly and strong Rises our hymn of praise for thee alone;
Heaven re-echoes it, loud let it ring, Ohio Wesleyan! Loyal hearts sing.
Because Ohio Wesleyan University has only one Commencement exercise each academic year, the listing of degree candidates in some categories includes names of some students who will receive their diplomas after completing summer or fall courses.
Vi r g i n i a P e a r s a l l Ki r k w o o d ’64 learned the meaning of the phrase “charity begins at home” early in her life from the examples set by her three-generation Peace Corps family. Her mother served in Malaysia, and Kirkwood’s niece and nephew served in Samoa and Thailand, respectively.
With a career spanning close to 40 years, Kirkwood has continued her life of service that has profoundly impacted the education and well being of people worldwide. As a Peace Corps volunteer, Special Olympics consultant and founder, and director of such enterprises as World Education Inc. and the Peace Corps in Thailand (the second-largest Peace Corps contingent in the world), Ginny Kirkwood has been a source of inspiration and hope for the world’s people— young and old.
“I wanted to join the Peace Corps from the time I heard President Kennedy talk about it,” she recalls. It was, however, Kirkwood’s Ohio Wesleyan experiences that cemented in her mind the fact that, as she says, “I needed to devote my life to serving others.” She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan in 1964, with a bachelor of arts degree in sociology and anthropology, having previously attended Mexico City College for one year. Then it was on to the Peace Corps in Turkey, where Kirkwood served as a teacher in a provincial orphanage in Kirklareli and then as a caregiver and teacher in a slum orphanage in Istanbul. For the next three-plus decades, Kirkwood followed her passion to serve—in Pakistan and Thailand, where she established Special Olympics organizations, and through her consultancies to the International Special Olympics committees in China, the Philippines, Singapore, Pakistan, Thailand, and Nepal.
Following the Kirkwoods’—Ginny and attorney husband Charles—seven-year residence in Thailand, they returned to the United States, where she served as Country Director of the Thailand-U.S. Peace Corps and as Director of the National Peace Monument Foundation in Washington, D.C. The couple then purchased a resort in Shawnee on Delaware, Pennsylvania, where they reside today, owning and managing Shawnee Academy, a residential home for troubled children, and the Beacon School, an alternative school for at-risk teens. “There’s endless need, and it’s all really important,” says Ginny Kirkwood.
These days, she remains active as a board member of the Boston-based World Education, Inc., which aids educationally disadvantaged children in Asia, Africa, Latin America, and the United States. Kirkwood directs the National Peace Corps Association, and serves on the board of the Bangkok-based Kenan Institute Asia, which tries to strengthen sustainable competitiveness in Thailand and the Greater Mekong Sub-region.
Receiving the prestigious Distinguished Achievement Citation award from Ohio Wesleyan in 2004, Kirkwood was recognized for “her generosity of spirit in contributing to the needs of the world’s children and all people, as well as her legacy of dignity and grace.” Ginny and Charles Kirkwood are the parents of Thomas, Timothy, Peter, Jonathan, and Amy.
Retiring Faculty THOMAS A. GREEN Associate Director of Libraries & Head of Public Services 1989-2009 Tom Green was born in Casper, Wyoming. When he was four, his parents moved to Oregon, where they had two more sons. In the fifth grade, Tom started winning books for correctly guessing and writing a book report on the mystery book on Telaventure Tales, a weekly television show. He attended Willamette University, where he earned his B.A. in philosophy.
He received a M.Div. degree from Garrett Theological Seminary, spending a year as a campus ministry intern at Montana State University. He received his M.A. in library science from the University of Wisconsin – Madison and he was inducted into Beta Phi Mu, the national library science honorary.
As an undergraduate, Tom was elected president of the Oregon Methodist Student Movement and was then elected to a national office in the Methodist Student Movement and a regional officer in the ecumenical University Christian Movement. He was selected as a delegate to the 1968 World Student Christian Federation Conference in Turku, Finland.
Tom started his career as a professional librarian as a reference librarian for the Austin, Minnesota Public Library. He served as director of the Waupun Public Library before coming to Ohio Wesleyan University. As the head of public services at Ohio Wesleyan, he is responsible for managing the Audio Visual Center, branch libraries, circulation functions, interlibrary loan, library instruction, online services, reference, and special collections. In the spirit of the liberal arts, he has served as librarian liaison to Mathematics & Computer Science, Neuroscience, Philosophy, Religion, and Sociology-Anthropology. During study leaves, he learned html code and brought up the Libraries’ first home page, recommended the first generation of wireless at Ohio Wesleyan, and compiled a ten-year history of Libraries and Information Services. His service to the university includes six years on the Executive Committee of the Faculty, three as chair, the Committee on Honorary Degrees, and the University Appeals Board. At the 1999 Baccalaureate Ceremony, he received the Robert and Bette Meyer Award for outstanding service to others. He was initiated into the Ohio Kappa Chapter of Phi Sigma Tau, Ohio Wesleyan’s philosophy honor society; and Theta Alpha Kappa, the national honor society for religious studies and theology. He has served on several Five Colleges of Ohio committees and was elected to a three-year term as an independent college representative to OhioLINK’s User Services Committee. He is also listed in Who’s Who in America, 2009.
Tom has a lifelong interest in chess. Upon his arrival at Ohio Wesleyan, he supported students interested in chess by becoming co-advisor of the Bishops Chess Club. As a member and a local tournament director of the U. S. Chess Federation, he has organized and directed two community-wide chess tournaments each year, a student-only chess tournament, and the Ohio Collegiate Chess Championship. He has held office as a trustee and secretary of the Ohio Chess Association. He is a correspondence chess master who has qualified for the finals in the U. S.
Postal Championships many times, finishing 20th in the recently completed 2000 competition.
In retirement, Tom will relocate in Arizona to spend quality time with his wife, Kathy. He plans to read, play chess, and photograph scenery from their travels.
CONRAD A. KENT Professor of Modern Foreign Languages and Humanities-Classics 1976-2009 Conrad A. Kent was born in Des Moines, Iowa, in 1942, into a family of pioneer preachers and teachers and indefatigably traveling railroaders. He graduated from Roosevelt High School, where he lettered in track and cross country and was an Eagle Scout and Silver Explorer. At 17, he began his own life of travel by taking a ship to England and bicycling from Amsterdam to Rome. A year later, he had already walked, bicycled and hitchhiked through 27 countries.
Jack Kerouac’s On the Road inspired him to go to Mexico and enroll in Mexico City College instead of Grinnell College as planned. After graduating summa cum laude from Mexico City College (University of the Americas), he pursued a Ph.D. at Harvard (A.M. 1964; Ph.D. 1969). At Harvard he was a Teaching Fellow for four years, first with his own class of second-year Spanish and subsequently as seminar leader in Humanities 10. Among the extraordinary people he met at Harvard was his wife, Margarita Campos Ledesma, a fellow graduate student whom he married in 1966.
In 1968, he began to teach full-time at Harvard as an instructor, before leaving to teach at Amherst College. During his seven years as Assistant Professor of Spanish at Amherst, he was awarded the Faculty/Trustee Fellowship for the academic year 1972-1973, made an Honorary Member of the Amherst Class of 1975 and gave the Senior Assembly Address in Johnson Chapel during Commencement Exercises.
From 1976 to the present, Conrad has been on the faculty of Ohio Wesleyan University. In 1983-1984, he received a full-year fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities and was invited to Columbia University as a Visiting Scholar to study the ultraconservative roots of the architecture of Antoni Gaudí. Lecturing at Smithsonian Institution programs in New York and Washington, Conrad developed theories that were delineated in articles on the cultural history of Barcelona. With Dennis Prindle he published a book in 1992 on Gaudí´s Park Güell: Hacia la arquitectura de un paraíso: Park Güell. The following year, an English version was published by the Princeton Architectural Press.
Although Conrad continued to pursue Gaudí studies, his appointment in 1986 as co-director of the Ohio Wesleyan´s Spanish study abroad program in Segovia reawakened his love for Castile. In 1988, he moved the Ohio Wesleyan program in Salamanca. During his eleven years as director of the program, he created field trips along the pilgrimage road to Santiago de Compostela. Having made the pilgrimage by foot with his wife on two occasions (1972 and 1989), and having lived in the Pyrenees villages along the ancient pilgrimage road, Conrad was able to make that experience come alive for hundreds of students.
As director of the Salamanca program, Conrad also organized conferences and published three collections of essays from those conferences. In 1998, the city of Salamanca published his book on the Plaza Mayor of Salamanca under the auspices of the European Union’s Raphäel Program. As part of Salamanca´s bid to become the Cultural Capital of Europe in 2002, the city sent the book to every mayor of Europe.
In 2001, he published a book and organized an exhibition of the life and work of the Salmantine modernist, Luis González de la Huebra. In 2005, his book on the Salamanca skyline, El perfil de Salamanca: historia fotográfica de una seña de identidad, also inspired an exhibition in the city´s cultural center: La Sala de Santo Domingo. The same year, he edited the third volume of a complete history of the Plaza Mayor and contributed numerous articles and book chapters to the 250th anniversary of the site. As a tribute to his contributions to the city of Salamanca, the mayor honored Conrad as Adopted Son (“Hijo Adoptivo”) of Salamanca.
In 2007, his discovery of images of Castilla y León in the Barcelona photographic collection of the Institut Amatller led to a book and an exhibition that was first displayed in Salamanca and then traveled to León, Palencia, Ávila and Barcelona. He is now at work on the photographic archives of the Hispanic Society of America. In December of 2008, Conrad´s book on the print images of Salamanca, Estampas de la ciudad de Salamanca, was published as the first of a trilogy of studies on the graphic images of the city and the province. The second volume, pertaining to the images of Wellington’s decisive defeat of Napoleon’s army in Salamanca on July 22, 1812, will appear later this year.
Teaching remained Conrad’s passion. He was recognized for his commitment to students and skill in teaching when he received the 1993 Bishop Herbert Welch Meritorious Teaching Award from Ohio Wesleyan. Indeed, as a Spanish professor, Conrad has brought into relation his life experiences in Spain and Latin America and close readings of Spanish literary texts, from medieval ballads and Don Quixote to contemporary novels, short stories and poetry. He is also known to Ohio Wesleyan students as an engaging and thought-provoking professor of courses in the Department of Humanities/Classics. His Modern Temper course and his Rites of Passage became rites of passage for generations of students. In the words of a Transcript columnist urging fellow students to sign up for his courses, “Professor Kent’s classes are truly life-changing experiences.” Conrad Kent’s scholarly work will continue; his legacy at Ohio Wesleyan will linger. We wish him well.
Susanna S. Bellocq, Ph.D.