Alumni CLASnotes Summer 2004

Donor Spotlight



Sam Proctor Historian Samuel Proctor Receives an Honorary Degree
UF honored one of its own in July when it bestowed an honorary degree of public service on Samuel Proctor, the university's official historian and a distinguished service professor of history. UF President Bernie Machen conferred the honorary degree on Proctor in front of an audience of more than 150 guests in the Keene Faculty Center, and a video message from Proctor's former student, US Senator Bob Graham, was played during the ceremony.

Proctor earned his bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees in history from UF in 1941, 1942 and 1958. After serving in World War II, he started as a lecturer at the university in 1946, and was named UF's official archivist and historian in 1951. In 1967, he established the Oral History Program in the Department of History to preserve eyewitness accounts of the economic, social, political, religious and intellectual life of Florida and the South.

Proctor was a founding member of the Southern Jewish Historical Society, and served in several capacities for the Southern Historical Association and the American Association for State and Local History. He has authored six books, published more than 80 articles and essays and served for 30 years as the editor of the Florida Historical Quarterly.

Although he officially retired from UF in June 1996, Proctor has continued to serve as director emeritus of the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program, which is going digital, thanks to a generous $25,000 donation from UF alumni Caleb and Michele Grimes. In collaboration with the UF Digital Library Center and the Florida Center for Library Automation, the program is currently working to produce a digital catalogue of its archive.

With more than 4,000 interviews and thousands of pages of transcripts, the program is the largest program of its kind in the South and one of the largest in the nation, eclipsing renowned programs at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the University of California, Los Angeles. This new initiative will allow the program to place its vast holdings on the Internet, making it easily accessible and searchable.

Grimes earned a BA with high honors in political science in 1975, and a law degree with honors in 1978. He married fellow alumna Michele (Boardman) Grimes, who also received a law degree with honors from UF in 1978. The couple lives in Palmetto, Florida, and each practices law.

About half of the collection should be accessible online by December 2004 and the remainder within the next year. Visit www.history. ufl.edu/oral for more information.


Psychology BuildingCalling All Psychology Alumni
UF's Department of Psychology has formed an advisory board, guided by alumni, to increase support for the department, raise funds and strengthen the relationship between its students, faculty and alumni. Chaired by Thomas Pye, who earned a BA in psychology in 1979 and is now a lawyer in the Gainesville area, the advisory board was established, in large part, to raise funds to be used in doubling the size of the Psychology Building by adding an extension wrapping around the existing facility. The board also aims to create endowed professorships within the department.

"Our faculty and space challenges really are the result of the fundamental challenge to our department, which is the need for additional funding," says Psychology Department Chair Martin Heesacker. "What separates the top research universities from the rest is strong financial support. To be a top department of psychology we need to enhance our overall level of funding."

The board will advise Heesacker in departmental fundraising efforts associated with academic enhancement, alumni outreach and the construction of the new addition to the Psychology Building. Members of the board include Psychology Professor Henry Pennypacker; alumni Robert A. Levitt, PhD, 1965; Jackie Orlando, MA, rehabilitation counseling, 1963; and Wallace Prophet, BS, MA and PhD, 1951, 1952 and 1958. They will serve as ambassadors between the department and its alumni and identify ways of keeping alumni informed and involved. The board is planning to hold regular receptions for alumni and create an alumni newsletter. In an effort to reach out to alumni, the department recently mailed out a survey to all psychology graduates asking for their current address and requesting feedback on the types of events they would like to see organized and what news they would like to receive. If you did not receive a survey or failed to fill it out, you can complete it online at www.psych.ufl.edu under the "Alumni" heading. More information on the planned renovation, goals of the department and upcoming alumni events also may be found on the site.


ShorsteinJewish Studies Hosts Shorstein Lecture Series
As part of its outreach efforts, the Center for Jewish Studies has long encouraged faculty to share their expertise beyond the UF campus. In a tangible example of that outreach, the center offered a new lecture series in Jacksonville during the 2003-2004 academic year.

Through the Bess K. Shorstein Lecture Series, four UF faculty from the Center for Jewish Studies -- English Professor Andrew Gordon, Religion Professors Leah Hochman and James Mueller and Political Science Professor Patricia Woods -- spoke to Jacksonville audiences on topics ranging from the Dead Sea Scrolls and social movements in Israel to the perceptions of Jews in Germany and images of Florida in Jewish-American literature. The lectures drew audiences of 100 to 300 at the Jacksonville Jewish Center.

Funded by the Shorstein Family Foundation, the lecture series honored the former secretary to the director of the Jacksonville Jewish Community Council, Bess K. Shorstein, whose sons Bud, Harry and Jack each earned a bachelor's degree in business administration from UF. Harry and Jack also earned UF law degrees. Bud Shorstein says the series was an appropriate way to honor the memory of his mother. "Although she never attended UF, her three sons have three undergraduate and two post-graduate degrees from the university." Shorstein notes that two of the brothers met their wives in Gainesville, and the UF connection goes even deeper. "Since September 1947, 57 years ago, a son, daughter-in-law, grandson or great grandson has matriculated at the university for 38 of those years."

In addition to the Shorstein family, the individual lectures were sponsored by UF alumni Ronald and Joan Levin, the Dubow Family Foundation, the Seymour Marco Family Foundation and the Anspacher Family Foundation. Additional sponsors were the Jewish Community Center, the Jewish Federation of Jacksonville and the synagogues in that community.


Photos:
Jane Dominguez (Proctor)
Flad & Associates (Psychology)
Ken Wald (Shorstein)

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