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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass., June 3, 2001 — Historian Peter K. Frost, linguist Antonio Gimenez, economist Earl L. McFarland, athletic director Robert R. Peck, and composer Robert C. Suderburg are retiring this year from the Williams College faculty. Citations in their honor were read at the college’s Commencement on Sunday, June 3.
PETER K. FROST
For Peter Frost, the Frederick L. Shuman Professor of International Studies and professor of history, leaving Williams after 36 years is not so much retiring as re-venturing.
Frost, whose research has focused on Japan and the Vietnam War, will head to the University of Mississippi to teach and to run a training program for high school teachers who want to integrate Asian Studies in their curriculum.
Frost founded the Asian Studies Program, developed the Associated Kyoto Program Study Abroad, and brought Japanese and Chinese language study to Williams.
He is the author of a number of studies, “The Golden Age of China and Japan,” “China and Japan in the Modern World,” and “The Bakumasu Currency Crisis.” His research interests also include comparing different societies, particularly the American and Japanese concepts of the individual, educational systems, prejudice, women’s roles, marriage, and religious issues in general.
“I’ve loved being at Williams and watching it grow from a single sex institution where fraternities were an issue and the curriculum was largely Western to a co-educational, residential college with a really diverse set of course offerings.”
According to Frost, his career has had a lot of great moments, but “watching students from my Vietnam War course this year respond first to Secretary Robert McNamara and then to four local veterans was about as good as it gets!”
Frost graduated from Harvard University with a B.A. in 1958 and received his Ph.D. from Harvard in 1966. At Williams he served as associate dean, chair of the history department, and chair of the Asian Studies program.
Antonio Gimenez, professor of Romance languages, taught at Williams since 1974. A native of Spain, Gimenez holds degrees from the University of Madrid and the University of London Law School. He received his M.A. and Ph.D. from Ohio State University.
His early scholarship focused on historical prose of 15th century Spain and on the Spanish Renaissance. More recently his interests and expertise have focused on contemporary Spanish narrative, 19th century travel literature on and about Spain, and 20th century history and civilization of Spain.
For Gimenez, teaching at Williams provided him with “a job that I enjoyed and that was immensely rewarding.” The opportunity allowed him to “make long lasting friends among the faculty, students, and administrators.”
He is the author of “Los espanoles y la guerra,” an edition with introduction, translation, and notes of Richard Ford’s “An Historical Enquiry into the Unchangeable Character of a War in Spain” and co-editor of “From Dante to Garcia Marquez: Studies in Romance Literatures and Linguistics.”
Gimenez, does not believe that retirement holds “any eye-opening plans or miraculous ideas,” but he hopes to enjoy life to the fullest: “to read books I did not have a chance to read earlier, to travel, to enjoy the company of good friends, and to keep in good shape.” He plans also to continue his research into travel literature of the 19th century.
EARL L. McFARLAND
Economics professor Earl L. McFarland joined the Williams faculty in 1968. At Williams McFarland taught development economics courses. He has a long involvement with the Center for Development Economics, having taught in the master’s program and served as its chair.
Much of his professional life has been spent doing research on and work in Africa.
In 1982 McFarland spent two years in Botswana where he was the chief economist of the macro division of the Botswana Ministry of Finance and Development Planning. In that position he was responsible for the macroeconomic planning unit, which is the principal governmental institution for making the nation’s five-year development plans and which does the analytical work on the annual budget. McFarland also oversaw the ministry’s employment policy unit, which sets policies on wages and salaries and administers the program for assisting new and expanding businesses.
He is a magna cum laude Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Columbia University and a Fulbright Scholar. He also earned his Ph.D. in economics and international law from Columbia.
ROBERT R. PECK
Athletic Director Robert R. Peck came to Williams in 1971 with two charges from President John E. Sawyer–to integrate women into the athletic program and improve its facilities. He retires 30 years later having done that and much more.
Women are now fully integrated into the program (not just the 31 varsity sports but in club sports, intramurals, and physical education) and the facilities are first rate.
Throughout his career, however, Peck considered athletics an arena in which to work on broader issues of social change. Civil rights, affirmative action, peace, and international understanding have been his deepest passions. He has coached in Finland, Sweden, Scotland, Columbia, Cost Rica, Italy, and Zimbabwe. A former Marine, he won a United Methodist Church award for social justice action.
Talk to him for an hour and he is likely not even to mention winning, which his program has done like no other, capturing four of the five Sears Cups awarded in Division 3.
His philosophy is, “If you make sure your athletes are learning and that your coaches are good teachers, the wins will take care of themselves.”
Peck graduated from Stetson University and earned his Ed.D. from Columbia University. He coached at Bates College and served as athletic director at Boston University and was a visiting professor at North Carolina A & T State University for one year before coming to Williams.
ROBERT C. SUDERBURG
Professor of Music Robert Suderburg has taught at Williams since 1985. He became composer-in-residence in 1986, and was chair of the music department from 1986 to 1995. He was appointed to a named chair in 1994 and has served as the program director of the National Young Composers Competition.
Before Williams, Suderburg served as chancellor of the North Carolina School of Arts, president of The Cornish Institute in Seattle, and co-director of The Contemporary Group at the University of Washington. He served on the NEA Composers Panel from 1975-1981.
As composer, his works are published by Theodore Presser and performed nationally and internationally by major orchestras, ensembles, and solo artists. His works and performances are recorded by Columbia, Vox, and Delfon, among others.
He received the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP) Award on a number of occasions. This award is based upon the unique prestige value of each writer’s catalog of original compositions as well as recent performances of those works.
He received his B.A. from the University of Minnesota, an M.M. from Yale School of Music, and a Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania. He has received fellowships, awards, and prizes from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and many others.