Tributes to Retiring Colleagues

Four professors honored for their time at Smith

As the campus prepared for Commencement, the faculty said farewell to four of its own who retired this year and who were honored at a reception in the Alumnae House. Following are portions of the tributes made to departing professors.

Susan HeidemanSusan Heideman
Professor of art
At Smith: 1976–2012

“Colleagues in art history speak of Susan reaching out to them, reading their work and discussing it with them, or being told by their senior colleagues that ‘Susan was the artist they should get to know’ if they really wanted to understand painting. Studio colleagues talk about her sophisticated understanding of all periods of art history, and students repeatedly comment that they have learned as much about history or literature in her classes as about the making of art. Her classes in painting and drawing have been the bedrock of the studio program, and her special love—her course in watercolor—has been a delight to students for its relaxed, exploratory nature, pleasurable in its immediate engagement with a temperamental medium.”—John Davis, associate provost

Dan HorowitzDaniel Horowitz
Mary Huggins Gamble Professor of American Studies
At Smith: 1989–2012

“There are probably two dates in the history of American studies at Smith that loom larger than any others: 1939, when the interdisciplinary program in American culture was founded, and fifty years later, in 1989, when Dan Horowitz arrived at the college to direct the program as a professor of American studies and history. Dan’s appointment and his willingness to lead it for many years allowed the program to thrive as it never had before, becoming one of the most popular majors at the college.

“His trilogy of books on consumer culture examines the intersection of economic thought, ethics, social critique, popular culture, intellectual history, postwar art, and consumer behavior. His most important revisionist contribution to his field was his supremely fascinating and award-winning book, Betty Friedan and the Making of The Feminine Mystique: The American Left, the Cold War, and Modern Feminism [1998]. Dan begins his retirement well into research for an eighth book, a micro-history and partial memoir of undergraduate life at Yale, 1956–60.”—John Davis, associate provost

Catherine NewburyCatharine Newbury
Gwendolen Carter Professor of Government
At Smith: 2002–2012

“Catharine’s field is African studies, where she works particularly on Rwanda, Zaire, the Congo, and women in African politics. Together with her husband, David, Catharine travels to parts of Africa in political turmoil (they’re not the places recommended in guide books); she studies some of the most painful events in recent African history. Words like suffering, survival, mourning, genocide, war, conflict, revenge, and disintegration occur frequently in the titles of her articles and talks. This, for Catharine, is not simply an academic matter; she acts as a consultant to governments and professional organizations. She is often asked to address the impact of genocide and violence on African women. Her scholarship is always rooted in a deep sympathy for human experience, and she seeks to develop understanding that will aid the political process.”—Carol Christ, president

Tom RiddellTom Riddell
Associate professor of economics
At Smith: 1980–2012

“The word that most comes to mind for me when I think about Tom is integrity. He is a profoundly ethical man, whose values, work, and family life are seamlessly aligned.

“Tom has published many essays and teaching materials about the economics of defense, military spending, the Gulf War (the first one), and the political economy of world geography. For him, research and action are inseparable. At Smith he found his way to the Center for Popular Economics in Amherst, which he directed, and to the American studies program at Smith, which he also directed for a time. In 1993 Tom became dean of the first-year class, a position that allowed him to bring together his commitments to students, to community life at Smith, and to the larger community. Tom understood the importance of the first-year seminar program and developed a seminar on the transformation of the Northampton State Hospital. He also recognized the importance of the course called Thinking Through Race and made sure that it continued. This fall he will return to teach his first-year seminar and in the spring he will direct a new version of Thinking Through Race.”—Marilyn Schuster, provost

Fall 2012 SAQ