Turning Points

CONFERRED Honorary degrees, at Bates’ 141st Commencement, to: beloved children’s-book illustrator and author Eric Carle (Doctor of Letters); eclectic roots musician Corey Harris ’91 (Doctor of Music); inventor-entrepreneur Dean Kamen (Doctor of Science); and the performer and author Anna Deavere Smith (Doctor of Fine Arts). The four joined some 464 seniors in receiving degrees during the May 27 ceremony.

PUBLISHED The Solaris Effect: Art and Artifice in Contemporary American Film (University of Texas Press, 2006), in which Professor of English Steven Dillon looks at the relationship between nature and culture in 60 recent films; and By the Soft Lyres: The Search for the Prophet Elijah (Klaus Schwarz Verlag, 2006), in which Lecturer in Religion Mishael M. Caspi and Lecturer in German Gerda Neu-Sokol, in collaboration with Mohammad Jiyad, examine the story of Elijah in literary, Judeo-Christian, and Islamic traditions.

RETIRED Marion Anderson, professor of music, as of Dec. 31, 2006. A keyboardist and choral director who joined the faculty in 1969, Anderson vastly expanded the size and scope of the College’s music program during his tenure. “Under the irresistible sunburst of his enthusiasm, their enthusiasm blooms,” music department colleague Jim Parakilas wrote, in a retirement citation, of Anderson and his students.

RETIRING Victoria Devlin, vice president for College advancement, as of Sept. 14. Devlin came to Bates in 1998 from the field of public broadcasting. Among her many achievements, the best-known may be her role in the 2000–06 Campaign for Bates: Endowing Our Values, which raised a College-record $121 million. But, as President Elaine Tuttle Hansen notes, “Vicky’s contributions go far beyond the spectacular success of the campaign. She leaves Bates with a strong, collaborative advancement staff, a renewed culture of alumni philanthropy, and energized networks of parents and volunteers. Our debt to her is profound.” Devlin says, “It has been a tremendous honor for me to serve our wonderful College.”

DECEASED Richard C. Williamson P’05, Charles A. Dana Professor Emeritus of French and a charismatic catalyst of Bates community, on June 19, at age 62, of an apparent heart attack while en route to Kentucky to compete in bicycling events at the National Senior Games. A man of zeal and a master teacher at all levels of French language, literature, and culture for 30 years, Williamson was “always…consistent and masterful at pulling us…into the larger good,” said colleague Kirk Read in 2005. As coach of the men’s hockey club early in his Bates career, Williamson provided for his players “the entree into adulthood” said Wilson Ring ’79. More news about the death of Richard Williamson at www.bates.edu/richard-williamson.

Natasha Chances, instructor of piano and a member of the applied music faculty from 1974 until her death, on April 24, at 89. The Russian-born Chances grew up in Paris and came to the U.S. in the 1940s. She was predeceased in 1997 by husband Ralph Chances, professor emeritus of economics. Proceeding from a traditional approach to technique, says Jim Parakilas, “Natasha helped her students find their own ways of giving meaning and life to what they were playing.”

Also: Linwood S. Martinkus, volunteer disc jockey on Bates radio station WRBC-FM known as “Lucky Lindy” and former Bates security officer, on March 17, at 75; Gertrude Picard, custodian for Facility Services, 1975–1990, on Jan. 31, at 78; Durward F. Russell, Facility Services groundskeeper, 1986–1991, on March 15, at 76; and Mary Spugnardi, Facility Services custodian, 1971–1981, on her birthday, May 12, at 88.