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Three Pomona College Professors Appointed to Endowed Chairs

Three Pomona College professors, Laura Mays Hoopes, Michael McGaha and Arden Reed, have been named to endowed chairs in biology, English and modern languages. The honors were approved by the Pomona College Board of Trustees at their quarterly meeting in May.

“These three faculty members,” notes Pomona President David. W. Oxtoby, “have each contributed in varied and profound ways to the life of the college through their teaching, scholarship, and academic leadership. By appointing them to endowed chairs, we celebrate their role in our community and recognize their accomplishments.”

Laura L. Mays Hoopes, a professor of biology and molecular biology who served as the college’s vice president of academic affairs from 1993 to 1998, has been named the Halstead-Bent Professor in Biology. A member of the faculty since 1993, Hoopes teaches Introductory Genetics, Genetic Regulation in Eukaryote and the introductory seminar Biographies of Biologists.

Outside the classroom, Hoopes focuses her research on the molecular biology of aging and DNA repair as a possible age protection mechanism. Her work has been recognized with grants from the National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, and the Research Corporation. She is the author of Genetics: A Molecular Approach (1981), and her articles have appeared in a number of professional journals including the Journal of Biological Chemistry, The EMBO Journal (an official journal of the European Molecular Biology Organization) and Molecular and Cellular Biology.

Currently a fellow of the Gerontological Society of America, Hoopes is a past president of both the Council on Undergraduate Research and the American Aging Association. She is also a former division chair of the American Society for Microbiology and, for several years, served on the National Science Foundation Biology Advisory Committee. Hoopes earned her Ph.D. from Yale University and her A.B. from Goucher College, which in 1995, awarded her an honorary D. Sc. degree.

The Halstead-Bent Professorship in Biology honors the gifts given to Pomona College in 1915 by Mrs. Willard George Halstead to establish the Willard George Halstead Professorship in Zoology and the Henry Kirk White Bent Professorship in Botany. The Halstead Professorship honored Mrs. Halstead's husband, and the Bent Professorship honored her father, a founding trustee of Pomona College.

Michael D. McGaha, who is chair of the Romance Languages and Literatures Department, has been appointed the inaugural Yale B. and Lucille D. Griffith Professor in Modern Languages. A member of the faculty since 1970, he teaches Advanced Spanish; Survey of Spanish Literature; Literature and Life: Don Quixote; Sex, Power and Religion in Golden Age Drama; and History and Culture of Sephardic Jews.

A former Fulbright Fellow, McGaha has devoted most of his career to studying 17th-century Spanish literature, especially the works of Cervantes and Spanish drama. In recent years, he became increasingly interested in the history and literature of the Sephardic Jews, and has just completed the book The Creation of Kabbalah: Jewish Mysticism in Medieval Spain.

His most recent publications include Domingo Badía y Leblich, Alí Bey en Marruecos (1999) and The Story of Joseph in Spanish Golden Age Drama (1998). He is also the author of Cervantes and the Renaissance (Juan de la Cuesta Hispanic, 1980), a past editor of the Cervantes: Bulletin of the Cervantes Society, and a former associate editor of Hispania.

His scholarship has been supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Canadian Federation for the Humanities, and the Program for Culture Cooperation between Spain’s Ministry of Culture and North American Universities. McGaha earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin and his B.A. from the University of Dallas.

The Yale B. and Lucille D. Griffith Professorship in Modern Languages was created in 1985 by Pomona College alumnus and trustee Yale B. Griffith, Class of 1925. Mr. Griffith's term as a member of the Pomona College Board of Trustees from 1946 to 1975 is among the lengthiest in the College's history. The professorship is named to honor Mr. Griffith and his wife, Lucille Delaney Griffith.

Arden Reed, a member of the faculty since 1979, has been named the Arthur M. Dole and Fanny M. Dole Professor in English. He teaches the courses: Literature of the Romantic Period; Nature of Narrative in Fiction and Film; Reading Images; Queer Theories, Gay Fictions; and Wordsworth & Proust: Advanced Seminar; as well as the art history course Manet, Degas, Cezanne, and the introductory seminar Paris and the Birth of the Modern.

Reed’s research has covered the spectrum of English Romantic literature; 19th-century French painting and literature; modernism across the arts; relationships between painting and literature, or image and text; and issues surrounding art and attentiveness.

A prolific author, Reed’s most recent publications are Manet, Flaubert, and the Emergence of Modernism (2003) and Constance DeJong: Metal (2003). He was the editor of Romanticism and Language: A Collection of Critical Essays (1984) and, in recent years, has had several articles published in Art in America.

Reed earned his B.A. from Wesleyan University and his M.A. and Ph.D. from The Johns Hopkins University. Under the aegis of The Camargo Foundation, he served as a research fellow in Cassis, France, and under the auspices of The Borchard Foundation, he was a scholar in residence, at Chateau de la Bretesche, in Missillac, France. Through an award from the Center for Advanced Studies in the Humanities he was a fellow at the University of Edinburgh, among other honors.

The Arthur M. Dole and Fanny M. Dole Professorship in English was established in 1962 through bequests from Mr. and Mrs. Arthur M. Dole. Mr. Dole, a member of the Class of 1896, served as a trustee of the College for 47 years, from 1908 to 1955.

Pomona College is one of the nation’s premier liberal arts institutions, offering a comprehensive program in the arts, humanities, social sciences and natural sciences. Its hallmarks include small classes, close relationships between students and faculty, and a range of opportunities for student research.