2003 Hunter-Hamilton Love of Teaching Award
If the art of teaching
is nothing more than instruction, then the work of the teacher we honor
now is hardly representational. He inspires. He insists that discipline
can be learned but not imposed. He leads students to the conclusion
that they are the artists and architects of their own world and that
they are the professors of their own education. Like the great masters
he admires, this teacher first creates indelible impressions and then
seeks to make himself invisible in the lives he has so profoundly shaped.
All great teachers
feel a calling to their profession, but few have the talent to teach at
every level in their discipline. This Hunter-Hamilton winner is that rare
being who can challenge his students at the highest levels and yet still
find reward, excitement, and profound learning in a classroom of beginners.
Those who know him best say that this professor's quest for excellence
within his students is so intense, and yet his manner so gentle, that
he changes the focus of their lives simply by his example. One former
student wrote, "He nurtures born artists and born bankers in such a personal
way" that they forget artificial distinctions among the disciplines.
It is no abstraction to say that we honor this man for his creativity and kindness, in the classroom and in our lives, and that we take great pleasure in bestowing the 2003 Hunter-Hamilton Love of Teaching Award upon Professor Herb Jackson.
Michael K. Toumazou
"Joy has made [this teacher] a child," says one student, and like a child, this professor sees no boundary between life and learning. Enthusiasm contagious, thrilled at discovery, full of wonder, energy and inspiration, this teacher, running on Coca-Colas and nicotine, finds no normal line between day and late-night office hours, or between semesters and summers, which offer a change of continent for the intellectual work, but no change in substance. Neither is there a wall between scholarship and teaching, no division between the several disciplines covered by this professor's courses that address language, art, culture, and history. Like so many gifted pedagogues at Davidson College, this teacher's scholarly passion manifests itself in every class and for every student. "I never would have taken the class if I had not had to meet the core requirement"—wrote a student who is now pursuing a PhD in this professor's field. "Of [those] of us in that class, almost all took the next, and the next . . . and the next.
Unassuming, "generous," "patient," "modest," "respectful"; a "mentor," a "friend" he is called; striding tall, leaning his head—topped in his trademark hat—down ever so slightly, this teacher is known as a story teller, one who will drop nearly anything to tell a tale. The stories get told sitting on the back steps of Chambers, they get told under the blazing Mediterranean sun, they get told poring over sources in the library, they get told again by his students as they in turn teach their own students.
scholar who first wrote about death (the burial practices of prehistoric
Cypriotes), he has been bringing life to all this death for years by digging
it up. The past comes alive for his students in classes on Greek language,
Greek and Roman art and architecture, and in the little village of Athienou,
where he, his students and colleagues return each summer, to dig, learn,
and find: a coin, terracotta figurines, statuettes of Pan, graves, wells,
walls, shards, and bones—all spanning three millennia. One picture we
have of this professor is of him giving an impromptu lecture while lying
on his back in an ancient stone coffin. Like the village and the archeological
site he has developed in his native Cyprus, so rich in its variety of
offerings, so constant in its presence, so hospitable, so generous, so
open, Professor Michael K. Toumazou loves to teach all those who come
to him. We honor him today with the Hunter-Hamilton Love of Teaching Award.