May 22, 2009, Professors James and Daley retire.
Remarks on the Retirements of Professors James and Daley before the College of Liberal Arts Faculty on May 7, 2009
Retirements always seem bittersweet. The occasion is sweet since we are happy for colleagues as they move on to new experiences afforded by their expanded freedom. The bitterness comes not in knowing that we remain behind in the harness, but that we will miss running into them in the hallway, stopping by their offices for informal chats, asking them for their counsel. Today, the Department of Communication has a double dose of that bitter sweetness as we acknowledge the retirements of two of our colleagues: Beverly James and Pat Daley.
We value Professor James for her many contributions to our department, the college, the university, and the wider community. She was a founding member of the Department of Communication when it became an independent academic unit in 1987. She was a leader in the successful effort to unionize the UNH chapter of the AAUP in 1990 and she remained a leader in that organization ever since. She contributed to the life of the mind through teaching efforts that ranged from the classroom to well-attended and well-received public talks before communities around NH. She was a Fulbright Scholar at Budapest, Hungary. Her intelligent and beautiful book on public monuments entitled, Imagining Postcommunism: Visual Narratives of Hungary?s 1956 Revolution, exemplifies the excellent quality of her scholarship. Recently, she put together another beautiful book: United States Monuments to the Hungarian Revolution. The Hungarian Embassy so admired that book that they sought copies to give to recipients of prizes during commemorative ceremonies celebrating the revolution.
Items on a list of achievements, though, cannot capture what Professor James means to those who worked with her for many years. I think I can speak for all of her colleagues in the Department of Communication by saying that we will miss Beverly?s gentle presence, her special thoughtfulness, and her dedication to faculty welfare, as we continue with our workaday lives.
We value Professor Daley for his considerable contributions. He was lead author of a provocative book on native America media, Cultural Politics in the Media: Alaska Native voices. He wrote a stimulating essay disclosing from a sharp critical vantage the rhetoric that worked to excuse as ?accidental? the Exxon Valdez oil taker spill at Prince William Sound ? an essay that drew public attention. He has long maintained a scholarly interest in early American newspapers and public spheres ? an interest exemplified most recently in a published monograph detailing how those themes were manifested in early revolutionary New Hampshire.
I could go on with other examples but doing so still fails to convey what Pat means to those who worked with him over many years. I think all of his colleagues agree that we will miss his affable nature, his meticulous scrutiny of applications for tenure track positions, his encyclopedic mastery of the field?s literature, and the sheer joy he exhibits when he becomes captivated with an idea.
We congratulate Professors James and Daley on their retirement and are ourselves cheered by the fact that they will remain our friends and our neighbors -- down the road to Portsmouth -- for many years to come.
Lawrence Prelli, Chair
Department of Communication