Trustees Honor Retiring Faculty
Story posted May 12, 2003
Retiring faculty members James L. Hodge, Elliott Schwartz, and C. Thomas Settlemire were honored by the Bowdoin Board of Trustees at a dinner Friday, May 9.
Jim Hodge is George Taylor Files Professor of Modern Languages and Professor of German. A native of Harrisburg, Pa., he earned his undergraduate degree at Tufts University and his master's degree and doctorate at Pennsylvania State University.
Since he came to Bowdoin in 1961, he has been known as an idealistic professor committed to progressive education. Long before multiculturalism was as popular as it is now, Hodge was interested in teaching students of all backgrounds, races, creeds and ethnicities. For many years he worked with Bowdoin's Upward Bound program and also served as its director.
He has long been known as a creative and experimental teacher. Senior seminars in the 1960s and 1970s gave him the opportunity to try new things in courses and allowed him to teach courses in mythology, long an interest of his. He has spoken on Northern European mythology and has written on mythology in J.R.R. Tolkein's work. He expanded his studies to include not only European, but African mythology. He also taught a course on what goes into the creation of a new language, which required students to do just that - invent their own language.
In 1966 he earned a National Defense Education Act Fellowship and spent much of the 1966-67 academic year in Vienna conducting research on the plays of Ludwig Anzengruber and their relationship to the history of the theater in Vienna.
In 1970 he published Portable German Tutor, a problem-solving grammar reference book.
In the 1970s Hodge began what has become a Bowdoin tradition - sending Bowdoin German majors overseas through Fulbright Teaching Fellowships. As a result, Bowdoin German majors have an impressive reputation with the Fulbright program.
Elliott Schwartz is Robert K. Beckwith Research Professor of Music. He earned his bachelor's degree, master's degree and doctorate at Columbia University, and has been a member of the Bowdoin College faculty since 1964.
Anyone who knows contemporary classical music knows Elliott Schwartz. Though a New Yorker by birth, and internationally known and regarded as a composer, he is closely associated with Maine and has raised the profile of the state in music circles.
Schwartz hears music in places that others might not and has conveyed his love for music in unusual and creative compositions. He is known for the way his compositions meld, juggle and sometimes smash different sounds together.
In the 1960s and 1970s, he was deeply immersed in electronic music. Some of his compositions during those years required pre-taped sections to be played along with the live performance.
He tries to create a different experience of music than listeners commonly expect. His piece "Elevator Music," for example, actually requires an elevator. Composed in 1967 and first performed in Coles Tower, it was revived at the College last year as part of a tribute to Schwartz and performed again in Coles.
His music remains complex, but it is also accessible. Portland Symphony Orchestra (PSO) music director and conductor Toshiyuki Shimada considers him to be among today's most skilled and most audience-friendly composers. Last year the PSO commissioned and premiered a new piece by Schwartz, "Voyager," that was inspired by places that have particularly moved him, such as the gardens of Kyoto and the geysers in Iceland.
In 2001 he composed "Tribute" in honor of Barry Mills's inauguration as president of Bowdoin.
Schwartz has appeared as a visiting artist at many leading universities and conservatories in the U.S. and Europe. He has extended visiting residencies at the University of California, The Ohio State University, and Trinity College of Music and Cambridge University in the U.K. In 2001 he was visiting composer at Harvard.
Schwartz’s compositions have been performed by such groups as the Indianapolis Symphony, Cincinnati Symphony, Minnesota Orchestra, Chicago Chamber Orchestra, Atlanta Virtuosi, and New York Chamber Soloists. Recordings of his music can be heard on the CRI, Capstone, Vienna Modern Masters, and GM labels.
He is the co-author, with Daniel Godfrey, of Music Since 1945: Issues, Materials, Literature.
C. Thomas Settlemire is Research Professor of Biology and Chemistry. Raised on a farm in Ohio, he earned his undergraduate and master's degrees at Ohio State University. He earned his doctorate in biochemistry from North Carolina State University.
Settlemire joined the Bowdoin faculty in 1969, and his contributions to science at Bowdoin have been many. He has served as chair of the biology department and has served on the Biochemistry Committee. He chaired the faculty planning committee that worked to create a new vision of interdisciplinary scientific research at Bowdoin and went on to assist in the design of the new science complex - Druckenmiller Hall - completed in 1997. He served as Bowdoin's coordinator for the student Fulbright Fellowship Program, as faculty coordinator of the Bowdoin Alumni Science symposia, and on many faculty and governing board committees.
He is the author, with W.T. Hughes, of Microbiology for Health Students and has written articles and delivered papers in such research areas as the effects of zinc on iron in cells, ion transport in heart mitochondria, measurement of cell membrane potentials, liver mitochondria, and cystic fibrosis.
His major research interests have included ion translocation process in cells, biochemistry of B-lymphocyte activation, and - something non-scientists can grasp a little more easily - the use of genetic analysis tools to upgrade the performance of domestic sheep flocks.
When he was hired at Bowdoin, Settlemire and his wife Marilyn bought a small farm in Brunswick. Since then, he has been known as a "professor-farmer." The Settlemires use natural farming methods and have earned awards for their work in conservation from the Cumberland County Soil and Water Conservation District and the University of Maine Extension Service.
A recent area of research has merged Settlemire’s interest in biological research and his interest in farming. He is working with Prof. Richard Brzozowski, University of Maine Cooperative Extension Service, on the genetic upgrade of the Katahdin Hair Sheep. They are striving to breed the most economically efficient sheep, one that produces a good amount of quality meat, but no wool. This work has been supported by a USDA grant.
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