Friends of Walter Mintz '50 endow classics chair in his memory
Friends of the late Walter Mintz, both within the Reed family and outside of the usual Reed orbit, joined together to create the Walter Mintz Chair in Classics. The college was particularly delighted to welcome Walter's wife, Sandra Mintz, back to campus for the occasion.
In recognition of his extra-ordinary work, Nigel J. Nicholson, associate professor of classics, and humanities, was named the first recipient of the chair. Nicholson, 36, has been a professor at Reed since 1995. Last fall, he was honored by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) and the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching as their 2004 Oregon Professor of the Year.
Since the college's beginnings, the study of classical Greece and Rome has formed the heart of Reed's humanities program and the core of Reed's curriculum.
For many years, the college has funded a position for rotating visiting faculty to help cover large enrollments in classics classes. The Mintz professorship will allow the college to permanently endow this position and to recognize the work of an extraordinary professor teaching at the college.
Recently appointed board member and close personal friend of Mintz, Jerome Debs, with board chairman Daniel Greenberg '62, led fundraising efforts for the chair, which quickly exceeded its $1.25 million goal.
Says Hugh Porter, vice president for college relations, "The outpouring of gifts in memory of Walter Mintz tell a remarkable story about Walter's impact, not only on the Reed community, |but also within his circle of colleagues and friends. Jerome Debs has led a successful fundraising effort among Walter's admirers that will result in establishing the Walter Mintz Chair in Classics."
Chairman Greenberg, who provided one of the lead gifts for the chair wrote: "As a trustee, Walter did not agree with every action taken on the college's campus, but he and the college shared a strong commitment to training inquiring minds. Certainly, Walter's life and work exemplified the thoughtful, dedi-cated search for answers that lie at the heart of the college's values."
Prior to joining Reed's faculty, Nicholson lectured and served as an assistant professor at Wellesley College. He received his B.A and M.A., both with honors, from Oxford University. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania. In addition to his work on campus, Nicholson has been actively involved in several educational outreach programs within the community, including the Reed Latin Forum for Oregon and Washington high school students, the Middle School Outreach Program, and the continuing education program for adults, Humanity in Perspective.
Nicholson is currently working on a book, Aristocracy and Athletics in Archaic and Classical Greece (Cambridge University Press, forthcoming later this year), that explores the commemoration of athletic victories in the late archaic period, and their representation of charioteers, mule-cart drivers, trainers, and jockeys.