Five faculty members were granted emeritus status during the annual meeting of the Bowdoin College Board of Trustees on May 9-11, 2013: Ron Christensen of the Chemistry Department, Linda Docherty of the Art History Department, Ed Laine of the Earth and Oceanographic Science Department, Rosemary Roberts of the Mathematics Department, and Bill VanderWolk of the French Department.
Each of the soon-to-be emeriti has been serving Bowdoin for more than a quarter century. Christenson joined the faculty in 1976, Roberts and VanderWolk both came to the college in 1984, and Docherty and Laine arrived in 1986.
Christenson is beloved for his quirky teaching style and for helping students keep sight of the larger concepts in chemistry without getting buried in the details. Roberts played a key role in developing the College Board’s AP Statistics Course in addition to engaging Bowdoin students with statistics and data analysis.
Among VanderWolk’s many contributions to the college, he instituted a French theater production class to help students achieve ownership over the language, and served as Bowdoin’s first Associate Dean for Faculty Development.
Docherty’s belief that students flourish when they are doing meaningful work has been proven many times through exhibitions her students have curated at the Bowdoin College Museum of Art. Laine has been a leader in service learning at Bowdoin and throughout New England, spending much of his time on boats or in the mud with student researchers.
Although they will retire from active professorships on July 1, 2013, the five faculty members won’t be forgotten by the Bowdoin community. “They have all formed profound connections with the college over the years,” said Dean for Academic Affairs Cristle Collins Judd. “We thank them for investing themselves so deeply in Bowdoin and our students, and we offer our best wishes for the future.”