News & Events

Escobar, Hickey Honored By Colleagues

April 30, 2009

Hartwick’s faculty gathered Wednesday afternoon to pay tribute to two professors who dedicated their lives and their careers to the College. With a combined 57 years of service between them, Professor of Art Gloria Escobar and Professor of Physics Roger Hickey will retire from their full-time positions with the College at the end of the academic year.

More than 60 of their friends and colleagues celebrated their retirements and shared memories of their time at Hartwick during this year’s Faculty Farewell Party in the Celebration Room of Shineman Chapel House.

President Dr. Margaret L. Drugovich opened the celebration both in recognition of Escobar and Hickey and in honor of two former faculty members who passed away in 2008—Professor Emeritus of History Daniel Allen and Instructor of Music Al Gallodoro H’05.

“These are two individuals who had a huge influence on the life of this community,” Drugovich said. “They are part of this great continuum of transactional work that we do together, and that transforms people’s lives.”

The celebration, she said, is just one way Hartwick honors transitions in the College. Earlier in the year, faculty gathered to welcome new faculty, as well as their newly tenured and promoted colleagues.

“This is another great opportunity, a great expression of gratitude for years of service to the College,” Drugovich said, “to our students, but also to us.”

The party took a lighter turn as members of the Art & Art History Department spoke of their time working alongside Escobar. Professor of Art Betsey Ayer shared Escobar’s energetic approach to life on and off campus—as an artist, cook, decorator, and traveler.

“As far as I’ve been able to determine, Gloria has only one speed, and that speed is fast-forward,” she said, adding that Escobar’s dedication stretched beyond the department, onto the Hartwick campus, and into the Oneonta community.

Professor of Art Phil Young commended Escobar’s ability to push her own boundaries and combine her daily experiences with her work. “It’s not just the students she helped,” he said, “but the faculty who have felt a great connection over the years.”

And one more time—like she did during a course they taught together in the Caribbean—Young asked Escobar to show her colleagues how to dance the merengue. Half the room jumped to their feet too as Escobar and Young led a final Latin American dance before Escobar moves to Colombia to enjoy her retirement.

Professor of Physics Larry Nienart kept the room reminiscing as he reached back into the Physics collection to show a tape of Hickey narrating a department promotional video. The film underscored Hickey’s role as an early adopter of computer technology on the Hartwick campus.

Although Hickey will return to campus for one course next fall, his colleagues recognized his 40 years with Hartwick through stories of courses taught, courses rejected, and interests outside the classroom—from gardening to science-fiction and horror films.

“Roger made it enjoyable to come to school every day,” Professor Emeritus of Physics Charles Hartley said, “and I think he did for a lot of people—the student and the people who worked with him.”

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Hartwick College is a private liberal arts and sciences college of 1,480 students, located in Oneonta, NY, in the northern foothills of the Catskill Mountains. Hartwick’s expansive Liberal Arts in Practice curriculum merges traditional liberal arts study, personalized teaching, and experiential learning approaches to emphasize Connecting the Classroom to the World. Add to that a wide range of off-campus internships, collaborative research, study-abroad opportunities, and a unique January Term, and Hartwick prepares students for the world ahead. Strong financial aid and scholarship programs keep a Hartwick education affordable.

Contact: Jennifer Moritz
Phone: 607-431-4038