A. Myrick Freeman III (1936–2022)
To emeriti faculty and staff,
I am sorry to report that A. Myrick Freeman III, William D. Shipman Professor of Economics Emeritus, died February 7, 2022, of natural causes.
Rick was born on February 6, 1936, in Plainfield, New Jersey. He earned his undergraduate degree in economics at Cornell University in 1957 and served in the US Navy as a commissioned officer from 1957 to 1964, attaining the rank of lieutenant commander. He earned MA and PhD degrees in economics at the University of Washington in 1964 and 1965, respectively.
He joined the Bowdoin faculty as an assistant professor in 1965 and was promoted to associate professor in 1970 and then to professor in 1975. In 1993 he was named the William D. Shipman Professor of Economics, a position he held until his retirement in 2000. He served as chair of the economics department and two terms as director of the Environmental Studies Program at Bowdoin. In 1988 he was the Robert M. La Follette Distinguished Visiting Professor at the University of Wisconsin–Madison.
Rick’s areas of interest were the economics of environmental policy, applied welfare economics, benefit-cost analysis, and risk management as applied to environmental and resource management issues. He was the author or coauthor of eight books and more than seventy articles in scholarly journals and contributions to edited works. His books included The Economics of Environmental Policy, Air and Water Pollution Control: A Benefit-Cost Analysis, The Benefits of Environmental Improvement: Theory and Practice, and The Measurement of Environmental and Resource Values: Theory and Methods. For the last two books he received the 2002 Publication of Enduring Quality Award from the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists.
Over the years, Rick’s expertise was sought out by policy makers in federal, state, and local governments and by regulatory agencies. He was a senior fellow at Resources for the Future, a member of the Board of Toxicology and Environmental Health Hazards of the National Academy of Sciences, and a co-chair of the Environmental Economics Advisory Committee of the Science Advisory Board of the US Environmental Protection Agency, as well as a member of the Advisory Council on Clean Air Compliance Analysis and the Clean Air Science Advisory Committee of the EPA.
Students who were fortunate enough to study with Rick were inspired by his commitment to environmental stewardship and to citizen engagement in the shaping of public policy. Throughout his career and in his retirement, Rick understood the importance of participation in local government. After he moved from Bath to Georgetown with his family in 1977, he began serving on town committees, including the Georgetown Financial Advisory Committee, the Georgetown Planning Board (chair), the Town-Owned Property Management Board (chair), and the Georgetown Democratic Committee (vice chair). He was also an active supporter of the Georgetown Volunteer Fire Department, the Georgetown Historical Society, and the Georgetown Community Center. Beginning in 2010 he began reporting on the Georgetown Selectboard’s meetings so that his fellow citizens could be informed about the actions of their local government. Rick was named Georgetown’s Outstanding Citizen of the Year in 2019, an honor that he cherished.
Rick is survived by his daughters, Alison Lee Freeman (David Maschino) of Brunswick and Lauren E. Freeman ’84 (Walter Steimel) of Alexandria, VA; stepchildren Christopher MacGregor (Nancy Cuff) of Bath, ME, Jenny Berry (Dean Berry) of Wiscasset, ME, Leslie MacGregor (Dalton Winslow) of Meriden, NH, and Amelia Ceglinski of Wiscasset, ME; many grandchildren and great-grandchildren; and a sister, Susan Freeman Domizi of Guilford, CT. He was predeceased by his first wife, Margot Domizi Freeman, and by his second wife, Claire M. Darrow.
Rick leaves a tremendous legacy of service to the common good—in his scholarship, his advocacy for responsible stewardship of natural resources, his commitment to civil engagement, his teaching, his many years of singing in the Bowdoin Chorus, and in the example of his life. Rick made Bowdoin better, and we join with his family, his colleagues, his former students, his friends, his neighbors, and with others in celebration of a life well lived.