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Retiring Faculty Provided Gift of Life-long Learning

On March 28, the Ursinus community gathered in the Berman Museum of Art to pay tribute to four professors who will become emeritus faculty members at the end of the academic year: Kate Goddard, Stewart Goetz, Nzadi Keita, and Robin Clouser.

With more than 140 combined years of teaching experience at Ursinus College, four retiring faculty members have certainly made an indelible mark on the thousands of students who have come through the classrooms on the Collegeville campus.

“One of the gifts we give our students is life-long learning,” Vice President for Academic Affairs Mark Schneider said. “Faculty model that for our students so that the students will continue to ask questions—at least four of them—long after they graduate. But that level of engagement does not just turn off for these faculty. I have no doubt that they will also continue to be intellectually engaged in so many ways, continuing to be resources to their professional communities, local communities, and for their former students, as well as the larger Ursinus community.”

Ursinus colleagues honored Professor of Biology Kate Goddard, Professor of Philosophy Stewart Goetz, Associate Professor of English M. Nzadi Keita, and Professor of Modern Languages Robin Clouser during a faculty retirement celebration in the Berman Museum of Art on March 28. The event including tributes from faculty colleagues, as well as remarks from some of the retirees.

In introducing Goddard, Professor of Biology Robert Dawley read statements from past students, including one who said, “The confidence [Goddard] instilled in me allowed me to become a successful scientist, and one day, I hope to become the kind of mentor to young biologists that Dr. Goddard was to me.”

In speaking about Goetz, Associate Dean of Academic Affairs and Professor of Philosophy and Religious Studies Kelly Sorensen said, “We were up to something meaningful together…we were up to helping these wonderful rickety foals that we teach emerge into adulthood and intellectual independence. And Stew chose to use his considerable talents and intellectual power to spend a lifetime discussing the most awesome human questions with students and through his public writing.”

Honoring Keita, Associate Professor and Chair of English Kara McShane said, “We’ve all benefitted tremendously from Dr. Keita’s poetry, research, teaching, service, and activism, and she’s cleared a path forward to explore and think about what it means to be a clear-minded, open-hearted person to the world. As a colleague, it’s no surprise that behind the curtain, she’s just as warm, real, and creatively curious; unflinchingly genuine and funny; a storyteller.”

Clouser, who was unable to attend and achieved emeritus status prior to the 2022-23 academic year, was a 1964 graduate of Ursinus who became a member of the faculty in 1974. Schneider touted his many publications and academic achievements, and Clouser often spoke of his love for speaking to students about German culture, as well as helping them find study abroad opportunities and design independent study courses on their special interests.

“It’s been a real personal joy for me to get to know each of you,” Schneider said. “Rest assured that we have not been satiated by our interactions with you, so please keep in conversation with us all.”

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