Ellis, Gass, and Stein Granted Emeritus Status

Virginia Ellis

Wayne Gass

RECEPTION-1 1

Virginia Ridley Ellis

Wayne Douglas Gass

Diana B. Stein

The College's board of trustees has conferred emeritus status on two professors and an administrator who will retire at the end of this academic year. Feted at a reception held at President Creighton's home May 12 were Virginia Ridley Ellis, Professor of English on the Emma B. Kennedy Foundation; Wayne D. Gass, dean of administration and business manager; and Diana B. Stein, professor of biological sciences. At the event, President Creighton read citations approved by the trustees and reproduced here, and the three honorees also made remarks.

 
VIRGINIA RIDLEY ELLIS

WHEREAS June 30, 2000, marks the retirement of Virginia Ridley Ellis as professor of English;
AND WHEREAS she has during five decades of the twentieth century and the first decade of the twenty-first century served Mount Holyoke College and its students with intellectual integrity and a passionate commitment to the study of English literature;
AND WHEREAS she has taught generations of appreciative students to love and understand the poetry and the prose of the Romantics and the Victorians;
AND WHEREAS her wide knowledge of the whole field of English enabled her to participate with energy and distinction in the English department's legendary seminar in literary criticism;
AND WHEREAS she has taught hundreds of entering students the craft of good writing and directed tens of advanced students in writing their own theses on all aspects of nineteenth-century literature;
 
AND WHEREAS she has published her own imaginative and sensitive study of her long-standing favorite poet, Gerard Manley Hopkins;
AND WHEREAS she has served with generosity and dedication on numerous committees of the College and the department, including the Academic Policy Committee during some of its more stressful years;
AND WHEREAS she has from time to time contributed enormously to the mirth of the campus by writing, producing, and directing the Faculty Show in the years of its greatness;
AND WHEREAS--and above all-- she has been a strong, devoted advocate of the love of literature to her colleagues in the English department and to her students during over four decades of impassioned, brilliant teaching;
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that this Board of Trustees of Mount Holyoke College does hereby acknowledge its profound gratitude to Virginia Ridley Ellis for her many contributions to m College and its community and extends to her warm and cordial wishes for a happy and fulfilling retirement.
 
WAYNE DOUGLAS GASS

WHEREAS June 30, 2000, will mark the retirement of Wayne D. Gass as dean of administration and business manager;
AND WHEREAS he has for thirty-eight years served Mount Holyoke College faithfully, providing for the comfort, safety, and convenience of all who live and work here;
AND WHEREAS his mother Mary Elizabeth Swayze '29, a former house president in Safford Hall who was later actively involved in the Mount Holyoke College Club of Franklin County, passed on to him a lasting love of Mount Holyoke College and the surrounding area;
 
AND WHEREAS he survived seven presidents, the tenant protests of the late 1970s, and two fires in the Town Center;
AND WHEREAS his contributions are in the bones of the institution--in its bricks and mortar--and also in its spirit; during his years on campus he oversaw sixteen major construction projects, including three residence halls, three academic buildings, three athletic facilities, the Willits-Hallowell Center, the Village Commons, and the Route 116 bus
shelter;
AND WHEREAS he has looked lovingly after his favorite building on campus, the power plant;
AND WHEREAS he has served the South Hadley community and embodied Mount Holyoke's commitment to stewardship of the surrounding area through his membership in the Rotary Club, the Water and Fire Department, and the Prudential Board;
AND WHEREAS he has preserved and enhanced the tremendous physical beauty of the campus with Yankee ingenuity and thrift;
AND WHEREAS he brings an unfailing gentility and affability and unflappability, an ever ready colleagueship into our team;
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that this Board of Trustees of Mount Holyoke College does hereby acknowledge its profound gratitude to Wayne Gass for his many contributions to the College and its community and extends to him warm and cordial wishes for a happy and fulfilling retirement.
 
DIANA B. STEIN

WHEREAS June 30, 2000, will mark the retirement of Diana B. Stein as professor of biological sciences;

AND WHEREAS over her twenty years at
Mount Holyoke, she has taught biology at all levels, and infused her teaching with a love of key experiments and a sense of wonder for the world of plants, enabling thousands of Mount Holyoke students to appreciate the grace with which fern sperms swim, and the determination with which pollen tubes grow; and inspired and instructed many students including twenty-nine undergraduate honors students (so far) in the art and craft of research; and authored or co-authored thirty-six papers, many with undergraduates, graduate students, post docs, or colleagues who came to her laboratory;
AND WHEREAS she is an acknowledged authority of international standing on the molecular evolution of ferns and other plants, who has been invited to present her work at International Congresses on three continents;
AND WHEREAS she has served on key college committees, most recently the Advisory Committee, and chaired the biology department;
AND WHEREAS she received six major grants to fund her research from the National Science Foundation and served on many panels at the NSF that decided on grants for others;
AND WHEREAS she applied her expertise in biology for the public good, ranging from service on the Amherst Board of Health, to checking the accuracy and appropriateness of the Educational Testing Services Graduate Record Examination in Biology, to the design of scientific education for Saudi Arabian women;
AND WHEREAS she has lived as a paradigm for undergraduates, graduate students, and faculty who might otherwise wonder if it is possible to be an accomplished scientist while simultaneously being a devoted materfamilias for an extraordinary family;
AND WHEREAS the force that through the green fuse drives the flower, also drives Diana, who greens all our souls;
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that this board of trustees of Mount Holyoke College does hereby acknowledge its profound gratitude to Diana Stein for her many contributions to the College and conveys to her warm and cordial wishes for a happy and rewarding retirement.
Photographs: Ellis, and Gass by Paul Schnaittacher, Stein by Nancy Palmieri


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