Professors Cohen and Spurgin named to endowed chairs

Aidan Clark

At the annual matriculation convocation of Lawrence University on Sept. 25, President Rik Warch announced the appointment of Paul Cohen and Timothy Spurgin to endowed professorships. Endowed professorships are appointed in recognition of academic distinction in either teaching excellence or scholarly achievements. Lawrence currently has 47 endowed chairs.

Cohen, a professor of history, was named to the Patricia Hamar Boldt Professorship of Liberal Studies. Cohen exemplifies the qualities demonstrated by Patricia Boldt, namely her commitment to liberal education in teaching and scholarship and her service to the community.

Cohen specializes in modern Europe, modern France, and intellectual history. He began his teaching at Lawrence University in 1985 and was promoted to a full professorship in 1999. Cohen received his bachelors degree from Clark University, graduating Phi Beta Kappa, and his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago.

When asked about how he felt to receive such an award, Cohen replied that he was “honored” and also that he was “pleased to follow Peter Fritzell of the English Department.”

Cohen is the author of two books and a member of the editorial board of the journal Contemporary French Civilization. He was also the recipient of the Freshman Studies Teaching Award in 1999.

Cohen is currently working on a project concerning the history of masculinity.

Spurgin, an associate professor of English, was named to the Bonnie Glidden Buchanan Professorship in English Literature.

Spurgin’s scholarly interests include the 19th century English literature, especially Charles Dickens, as well as literary criticism and theory. Spurgin began at Lawrence in 1990. Spurgin graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Carleton College and his doctoral degree from the University of Virginia.

Spurgin shares with Buchanan an interest in English literature and an appreciation for the liberal arts education that Lawrence provides.

Spurgin commented that he was also honored to receive this appointment and that it was “very generous of the college’s supporters.”

Spurgin was awarded with Lawrence’s Outstanding Young Teaching Award in 1993 and the Freshman Studies Teaching Award in 1994.

He also said that it has “been a real pleasure to work with students at Lawrence and teach the works […] It’s the greatest job there is.”

Warch commented, “I am delighted that Lawrence was able to recognize the accomplishments of professors Paul Cohen and Timothy Spurgin by appointing them to named professorships. Each has served Lawrence with distinction, directed the Freshman Studies program, and won the Freshman Studies Teaching Award.

“In naming faculty to professorships, we seek to match the professor to the purposes of the chair, and I believe these appointments achieve that intention admirably.

Above (The Ariel)