Alumni CLASnotes Spring 2006
In This Issue:

Donor Spotlight

Funding a Geography Lecturer

John Thornes, the 2006 Anderson Visiting Lecturer
John Thornes, the 2006 Anderson Visiting Lecturer
The new Anderson Visiting Lecturer program, funded by contributions from UF alumnus Bob Anderson (Accounting, 1964), will bring a leading international scholar of geography to CLAS annually to make several presentations and interact with students and faculty during a weeklong stay.
“The presence of such named scholars will allow the faculty and students to have the benefit of the perspective of some of the leading thinkers in our discipline,” says Geography Department Chair Peter Waylen. “The visits will keep us informed of current thoughts and developments beyond our borders.”

Anderson, a retired partner of the accounting firm PriceWaterhouse, has been donating to UF from the time he graduated. His firm matches donations at a maximum of $7,500 per year. “I know it sounds strange for an accountant to give to the geography department,” Anderson says, “but the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences is very important to me.”

As an undergraduate at UF, Anderson took several geography classes, which gave him invaluable knowledge of other countries and cultures. When international investment in America increased substantially in the early to mid-1970s, Anderson began working with people around the globe. He traveled to Europe more than 15 times in one year. In one workday, he may have received phone calls from Kuwait, Australia, Hong Kong, Germany and other European countries and Saudi Arabia.

Anderson wanted to do something special with his annual donation to UF. When the dean proposed a visiting lecturer program, it immediately appealed to him. He says he hopes the program will expose students to new ideas and perspectives, giving them the skills to succeed in the global workplace.

“I give to UF because the school helped me,” Anderson says, “and I’m lucky enough to have the money to give away.”

In March, the program hosted John Thornes, a research professor of geography at King’s College in London. Thornes, vice president of the Royal Geographical Society in the United Kingdom and president of the Institute of British Geographers, presented several lectures focusing on pastoralism and desertification in the Mediterranean region.

“To be able to have the undivided attention of such leaders and the time to fully converse and explore ideas is invaluable and potentially irreproducible,” Waylen says.

Remembering Our Professors Through Scholarships

Irene Thompson
Irene Thompson
Irene Thompson, founding director of the Center for Women’s Studies and Gender Research when it was created in 1977, died on September 17 of cancer in Syracuse, New York. She was 86. Born in New York City, she lived in Gainesville from 1955 until 2001.
Thompson was a 1939 magna cum laude graduate of Adelphi College in Garden City, New York, and earned master’s degrees from both New York University and UF, where she completed additional graduate study in American literature. She taught high school for many years, and then at UF for two decades, beginning in 1966.

As the university’s first gender equity officer, Thompson wrote extensively in the fields of women’s literature and feminist issues. As a founding member of the Modern Language Association’s Committee on Women’s Concerns, she co-edited two books: Stepping Off the Pedestal: Academic Women in the South (1982) and The Road Retaken: Women Re-enter the Academy (1985).

The Irene Thompson Scholarship for undergraduate and graduate students has been established in her honor, and donations can be sent to the Center for Women’s Studies and Gender Research, 3324 Turlington Hall, PO Box 117352, Gainesville FL 32611.

James Button
James Button
James Button, Professor of Political Science, died on September 26 after suffering from a long illness. He was 63. Button, who was born in Rochester, New York, came to UF in 1973. He earned his PhD from the University of Texas in 1975 and specialized in the study of minority politics, urban politics and the process of social change.

During the course of his career, Button authored numerous publications and books, including Private Lives, Public Conflicts: Battles Over Gay Rights in American Communities, Black Violence: Political Impact of the 1960s Riots and Blacks and Social Change: The Impact of the Civil Rights Movement in Southern Communities. He served as interim chair of his department in 1990–1991 and served on the editorial board of the University Press of Florida.

As a teacher, Button enjoyed offering courses such as Politics and Poverty, Minorities and Change, Urban Politics and Race, Gender and Politics. In 2004, he was named the CLAS Teacher of the Year.

A scholarship fund in Button’s memory has been established, and checks made out to the “James Button Scholarship Fund” can be mailed to the political science department, PO Box 117325, Gainesville FL 32611.

Ehrlich Eminent Scholar Chair Established

Florida Supreme Court Chief Justice Raymond Ehrlich
Raymond Ehrlich
The memory of the late Florida Supreme Court Chief Justice Raymond Ehrlich, who died in July, will live on and support UF faculty thanks to provisions made by his estate. An eminent scholar chair has been established in both the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and the Levin College of Law in the name of Justice Ehrlich and his late wife, Miriam, to honor his parents, Ben and Esther Ehrlich.

“Justice Ehrlich was truly a visionary for higher education in realizing the importance of supporting the faculty,” says UF President Bernie Machen. “We are honored to have the legacy of such a distinguished alumnus and jurist represented this way.”

A longtime resident of Jacksonville, Florida, Ehrlich earned a bachelor’s degree in 1939 and a law degree in 1942, both from UF. After serving in the Navy from 1942 to 1946, he began practicing law in Jacksonville. In 1981 he was named to the Florida Supreme Court by Governor Bob Graham, and served as chief justice from 1988 to 1990.

Welcome to the Dean’s Circle

The Dean’s Circle, established in 2005, recognizes the extraordinary generosity of alumni, friends, faculty and staff who make annual gifts to the Dean’s Fund for Excellence. As a member of the Dean’s Circle, your investment will help meet the educational needs of our students, take advantage of extraordinary opportunities and meet new challenges in teaching, research and service. Members of the Dean’s Circle and explanations of their membership levels are listed below. Recognition in the Dean’s Circle is based on annual giving (July 1–June 30) to the Dean’s Fund for Excellence.

Dean's Circle LogoGraduate Member

(Donor under 40 who makes annual contribution of $500)

  • Amy Cantor
  • Christopher Carter
  • John Mason
  • Geoffrey Rogers
Associate Member

(Donor making annual contribution of $1,000)

  • Robert Baskin
  • Charles Bedell
  • Ruth Cooper
  • Michael Day
  • Carey DeDeyn
  • Perry Foote
  • Tommy Gibbs
  • Art Gleason, Jr.
  • Caleb Grimes
  • Lee Ann Hantula
  • Edith and Stanley Ink
  • Jeffrey Jenkins
  • Sandra Jones
  • Tim Kalayci
  • Carter Kelly
  • Edward Kresge
  • Harold McCart
  • Richard McCauley
  • Thomas Moore
  • David Neel
  • Charlotte Palmer
  • Jack Price
  • Samuel Price
  • Judy Quick
  • Javier Rey
  • Nancy Richey
  • Joan Ruffier
  • David Sellers
  • Bud Shorstein
  • Vicki Stolberg
  • Neil Sullivan
  • Jeff Ulmer
  • Hamilton Upchurch
  • Polish American Club of Sarasota
  • Westlab Pharmacy, Inc.
Advisory Member

(Individual donor, couple or company making an annual contribution of $2,000)

  • Mick Aschoff
  • Thomas Biebricher
  • William Douglas
  • John Fuqua III
  • Jimmy Glenos
  • Michael Halpin
  • George Peacock
  • Ellen Penso
  • Catherine Pope
  • Barry Post
  • Wally Prophet
Director Member

(Individual donor, couple or company making an annual contribution of $5,000)

  • Kathleen Diamond
  • Lee Graham, Jr.
  • Jim Jardon
  • Madeline Lockhart
  • Ann Regan
  • Jan Smith
  • David L. Williams
Chair Member

(Individual donor, couple or company making an annual contribution of $25,000)

  • Steve Sembler

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