In a relaxed speech in the Bill Bordy Theater Wednesday evening, President M. Lee Pelton read aloud notes from former students to the professors that inspired them.
One writing, literature, and publishing graduate wrote that a professor helped her learn to deal with her dyslexia. Another said his professor motivated him to work with deaf children, and a third said her professor was invited to speak at her wedding.
“It takes a special kind of person to teach at Emerson,” Pelton said.
Pelton and a group of about 50 professors and students gathered in the theater to honor faculty members in an event co-sponsored by the Office of Academic Affairs and the Spirit of Emerson.
At the ceremony, eight professors from departments across the college were honored for their work, but the event sought to celebrate all of the school’s teachers.
“We are here today to honor the faculty as a whole,” said Lori Beth Way, a senior advisor and communication studies professor. “You are the heart and soul of Emerson, the artists, the academics, the faculty that our students are lucky to have.”
Mary Ellen Adams and Scott Wheeler, performing arts instructors; John Anderson and Mike Weiler, communication studies professors; Robin Fast and John Skoyles of the writing, literature, and publishing department; and Jane Shattuc and Tom Kingdon, visual and media arts professors, were each honored with “Years of Service Awards.”
Each received an engraved plaque by a senior member of their department’s faculty.
At the event, faculty members shared stories, took selfies, drank wine, and munched on appetizers. The evening was funded by donations to the Spirit of Emerson, said Thomas Cooper, a visual and media arts professor who helped organize the event.
“Thank you to them,” he said. “There the reason we were able to have such good food.”
Wheeler said he was happy to be honored.
“This kind of award is special because its given by people who know what you’re actually working on,” he said.
Angelika Romero, a senior journalism major, attended the event.
“This is a great opportunity to get to know faculty,” she said. “I’m happy I could come.”
In an interview with the Beacon, Pelton said he was happy to continue this tradition.
“It’s important to take the time out of our busy schedule to pay tribute to these people, who shape our institution,” he said. “Emerson faculty are committed to our students and are incredibly influential.”