WILLIAM R. GREINER, 75, who spent 42 years at the University of Buffalo as president, provost, and longtime law school faculty member, died Dec. 19, 2009. He was a member of Sigma Chi and received his degree with honors. He received master’s, law, and master’s in law degrees from Yale University. He joined the law faculty at the University of Buffalo in 1967 and rose through the faculty and administrative ranks, culminating with his appointment as the university’s president in 1991. He served until 2003, when he was named president emeritus by the SUNY Board of Trustees. During his 13 years as president he oversaw the construction of new buildings and the creation of an increasingly residential university. He tried to connect the university to the community and boost its economic impact on the region, and he focused on the creation of research centers and how to translate research into commercial applications. Among those who survive are his wife, Carol Morrissey Greiner, four children, and 13 grandchildren.
ALAN G. GORDON, 77, a physician and medical missionary, died May 7, 2010. He was the son of Donald C. Gordon ’19, M.D., and was a member of the John Wesley Club. He earned his M.D. from St. Paul University. He is survived by his wife, Alma Carita Daugherty Boughton; six daughters; 18 grandchildren; his brother, Gary D. Gordon ’50; and a cousin, William C. Gordon ’55.
The Rev. ALBERT R. DREISBACH JR., 72, an Episcopal priest and civil rights activist, died Apr. 29, 2006. A member of Psi Upsilon, he served in the U.S. Marine Corps and then received his divinity degree from the Union Theological Seminary. He was founding president of the Atlanta International Center for Continuing Study of the Shroud of Turin. Predeceased by his wife, Jane Corey Dreisbach, he is survived by a son, a daughter, two grandchildren, and his companion, Nancy Whitworth.
Charles Henry (but we all knew him as Bud) Church joined the college faculty in 1991 after a long and distinguished career as a public school teacher and administrator in Connecticut and university professor at both Wesleyan and Dartmouth. He left us in September 2004. His 70 years was an amazing journey.
Bud lived nearly his entire life on what was the family farmhouse on Church Hill Street in Haddam, close to the CT River. (the cornerstone has the date of 1704). He was a child of the Great Depression and his parents were poor, so poor in fact, he and his brother were sent off to live with extended family because his parents could not afford to keep them. Yet, make no mistake, Bud loved his parents deeply, referring to them as two of the best human beings he had ever known.
He attended Wesleyan University in the 1950s on a full scholarship, majoring in biology, with plans to go on to medical school. I suspect he choose that major because of his love for the outdoors. He would tell the story of his fourth grade year, when his teacher, seeing his passion for insects–especially beetles–would send him off nearly everyday with instructions to “collect.” So, anointed as the “curator” of the class science collection, Bud (sometimes with an “assistant”) would walk the woods and stream edges looking for specimens. Bud’s teacher was young–and new–and no doubt more than a little daring to let a student go off and wander like that. Bud never forgot that experience. It helped frame what he believed in, his credo about action and experience as the foundation for true learning.
At a liberal arts setting such as Wesleyan, though, there were “distributive” requirements, even for biology majors, and, as a senior, Bud found himself in Norman O. Brown’s classroom. Brown was an all star at Wesleyan, a professor of history, religion and psychology. That class profoundly changed Bud. He left his medical school aspirations behind and, at Brown’s suggestion, entered graduate school at the University of Chicago’s Divinity School, not to pursue the ministry but to continue in a challenging and liberal academic setting the spiritual/intellectual quest Brown had awakened in him. His thesis, written in 1961, was on the nature of selfhood. Bud once wrote “to live in anxiety about not living fully enough in the only life we have is a trick of the ego. It’s hard to be human,” he said, “and get it right.” Bud did get it right.
After Chicago, Bud returned to CT and enrolled in the Wesleyan MAT program where he received his high school English certification. He then taught at North Haven high school until 1968. He earlier had begun a joint doctoral program at UCONN and the Hartford Theological Seminary, with a concentration that included the writings of Norman O. Brown, Roland Barth and something new in schooling: open education. Always curious, Bud had spent nearly a year in England studying the British primary school system and its “integrated day” approach to learning. ID, as it’s called, is the amalgamation of subject meaning and authentic student experience. When he returned to CT, he organized the state’s first ID school, in North Haven, at Ridge Road Elementary School. It served as a model for the Regional Multicultural Magnet School here in New London, which opened in the early 1990s.
Upon graduation from UCONN, he left for Dartmouth where, for a year, he was an assistant professor of elementary education. But it was not to be. Life in New Hampshire was not what he wanted and he returned to CT where over the next decade he established, managed and taught in some of the most innovative educational experiences in the state’s history. In fact, during this period from the early 1970s until 1981 when Bud began teaching at Hammonassett School in Madison, he was the recognized leader of progressive education in CT. His schools–Ridge Road, Center and Lyman Schools in Middlefield, and an alternative school-within-a-school at North Haven High School all still exist, as does two more recent endeavors in which Bud’s touch is felt: the ISAAC school in New London and IDCS in Norwich.
Having met Bud along the way, and knowing that the Hammonassett School was closing, in 1991 Helen Regan asked Bud if he would be interested in a one year position at the College. That one year evolved into over a decade of service in the Education Department, culminating in his retirement from education in 2002.
Given his superb credentials, Bud taught in both the elementary and secondary certification programs–but it was his connections with his students that will be remembered. Not long after he passed away, one of his former students told me she always remembers Bud when she sings with her students. (Bud was an avid singer, having once, on the way to a production of “Pirates of Penzance,” sung, I was sure, every lyric from that musical while he and his wife, Sandy, sat in the backseat of my car)
That student also remembers Bud whenever she picks up a new (to her new) children’s book. She told me she asks herself a series of critical questions about content and author intent, about race, class and gender. Bud’s message was that books, moreover any curricula, are never taken at face value. To Bud, not prying behind conventional wisdom was misteaching.
The center of Bud’s life (not withstanding ice cream and UCONN basketball) was his children, and his wife of more than 20 years, Sandy Lynn. Most of Bud’s poetry (he was a much better poet than he was a singer) was written for Sandy. Let me conclude with his poem,
If she hadn’t been raking the leaves
Near the edge of our woods,
And if it hadn’t been that time of October
When ash leaves end yellow,
And if it hadn’t been late afternoon
When the sun explores new ways
To filter through the nodding trees,
And if a slight breeze hadn’t come up from the south,
And if I hadn’t been sitting in the chaise lawn chair
Out of energy and inspiration,
As I almost never do,
Facing just the right way,
Then I wouldn’t have seen
A hundred golden leaves
Let go of summer
And with a final few seconds of spinning and twirling
Dance around my love.
He leaves behind a legacy of gifts; the education department was deeply changed by Bud’s presence, as were all those close to him. We lost a wonderful colleague and dear friend. He is missed every day.
Mr. President, I hereby request that this minute be entered into the record of this meeting and a copy be sent to Bud Church’s family.
WALTER A. CAREY II, 76, a retired computer systems specialist with United Technologies, died Jan. 31, 2011. He received his degree with distinction in mathematics and received a master’s from Trinity College. An avid musician, he was involved with several bands. He is survived by his wife, Winifred Houson Carey, two sons, one grandson, two sisters, a brother, and a cousin, Robert B. Carey ’61. He was predeceased by a grandson.
JOSEPH A. BOUGHTON, the purchasing manager at Lord Corporation (formerly Hughson Chemicals), died May 18, 2010. He was 76. A member of Beta Theta Pi, he received his bachelor’s degree from Northwestern University. He was a devotee of jazz music and produced more than 25 CDs with various musicians. Survivors include his wife, Emily Richardson Boughton, four children, and eight grandchildren.
The Rev. Canon FRANCIS S. BANCROFT III, 77, an Episcopal priest, died June 3, 2012. He was a member of Delta Tau Delta and received his divinity degree from the General Theological Seminary. After a 40-year career serving St. James Episcopal Church in Ridgefield, N.J., where he was also an active community volunteer, he retired to Wellfleet, Mass., where he continued to volunteer in the community. His wife, Janet Currey Bancroft, predeceased him. Survivors include his son, two grandchildren, his sister, and several nieces and nephews.