Remembering Frank Gwilliam

<p>Prof. Frank Gwilliam in the biology lab.</p>

Frank Gwilliam was not only my thesis advisor but was also instrumental in my navigating the vicissitudes of my senior year at Reed. I probably never thanked him adequately. A dedicated teacher, Frank reached out to his students. Having spent a sabbatical year teaching at the University of Aberystwyth, Frank brought Wales to Reed through his annual celebration of St David’s Day: students bearing even remotely Welsh names arrived on March 1 to find a bunch of daffodils or leeks pinned to their thesis lab door, commemorating Wales’s patron saint.

Frank’s humor brightened many rainy days. Complaining that his doctor advised him to grow taller or to lose weight, he noted that being unsuccessful in the former, he begrudgingly was attempting the latter. At the same time, I was struggling with my thesis. A pact was drawn up. I would finish my thesis, Frank would continue to lose weight; at the end, he would sign my completed thesis on the summit of Mt. Hood. I wish I could find the photo of Frank, in his orange parka (this was 1973) signing my thesis on the summit of Hood.

That spring and summer Frank and I hiked in the Columbia Gorge. Watching me shed my jacket and then my hat Frank accused me of being a “lousy poikilotherm” an appellation I never received before or after. Such were the joys of hiking with a dedicated invertebrate zoologist.

I was saddened to read about Frank’s death. I feel fortunate to have had him as an advisor and friend.

Elly Adelman ’73

Portland, Oregon