Western Maryland College held a reception yesterday for seven longtime faculty members who are retiring this year.
The seven are William T. Achor, professor of physics; Charles C. Herrman Jr., associate professor of sociology; Melvin D. Palmer, professor of comparative literature; Keith N. Richwine, professor of English; Helen B. Wolfe, associate professor of education; Ira G. Zepp Jr., professor of religious studies; and Evelyn H. Winfrey, associate professor of music.
The group's departure will be effective after the close of the academic year May 21.
All but Dr. Achor and Ms. Winfrey have accepted the status of terminal sabbatical, which indicates their availability to assist the college as teachers, researchers and official representatives.
Dr. Achor has taught physics at WMC since 1965. He designed some of the college's most popular undergraduate science courses, including those which focus on future energy sources and the understanding of light and sound as physical phenomena. He also has served on the Carroll County Community Concerts board and the leadership of Westminster Church of the Brethren.
Dr. Herrman has taught sociology at WMC since 1974. He has chaired the Honor Board and the Research and Creativity Committee and served on several other major standing committees on campus.
Dr. Palmer, who has taught English and comparative literature at WMC since 1965, specializes in French-English literature of the late 17th century, poetry, the modern novel and his own family's genealogy. He is a three-time recipient of the college's Distinguished Teaching Award and was vice president of academic affairs and dean of the faculty from 1983 to 1990.
Dr. Richwine began his English teaching career at WMC in 1962. He has written extensively about Melville, Hemingway, Trilling and Freud, and has done research on WMC leaders such as Robert J. Gill, one of the college's most outstanding graduates and benefactors. He also reconstructed the career of Sadie Kneller Miller, a pioneering woman photojournalist, and has chaired the English Department several times.
Ms. Winfrey has taught music at WMC since 1951, the last 28 years continuously as a full-time member of the faculty. She developed music courses on the history of jazz and the music of Oceana, set teaching standards for music appreciation and music history, and encouraged the artistic relationship between music and theater through her work on the Women's Chorus project.
Dr. Wolfe, a WMC education specialist since 1980, formerly led the growth of college's graduate affairs program. Before she came to Western Maryland, she was chief of the Bureau of Research in Higher and Professional Education for New York's State Department of Education, and as executive director of the American Association of University Women. She also has served WMC as associate dean of academic affairs and of graduate affairs.
Dr. Zepp, the only alumnus among the seven retirees, graduated from WMC in 1952 and has taught religious studies at the college since 1963. For 15 years after he returned to his alma mater, he was dean of the chapel. He received the Distinguished Teaching Award three times. His scholarly pursuits produced seven books, mostly concerning questions of faith and morality, and he has been actively involved in such causes as Carroll County's drug counseling program and creation of the area's first hospice.