May 2018

On Campus

New College Ready for 52nd Commencement

New College of Florida will award diplomas to an expected 195 graduates in the traditional sunset ceremony on the College’s historic Bayfront at 7 p.m. Friday, May 18. It will be the 52nd graduating class in the College’s history.

The graduating class includes three Fulbright award winners and two Goldwater Scholarship recipients. The latter are awarded in the junior year to the nation’s top science students. The class also is notable for including the first cohort of Daughters for Life Scholars, students from the Middle East supported by community donors and the Daughters for Life Foundation.

Most of the 195 graduates are headed to leading master’s and doctoral programs at schools including the University of Michigan, Indiana University, and University of Florida. Others are going into jobs in fields including education, journalism and government.

The commencement speaker and recipient of an honorary degree will be Dr. Margee M. Ensign, president of Dickinson College and a 1977 graduate of New College.

Student speakers are Fulbright recipient Miles Iton, from Homestead, Fla.; Daughters for Life Scholar Leen al-Fatafta, from Amman, Jordan; and Giulia Heyward, from Miami, editor of the New College student newspaper, The Catalyst.

Guests and families visiting Sarasota can find discounts at many hotel in the area by clicking here.

Commencement events include:

Thursday, May 17, 2018
4-6 p.m.: 
President’s reception for graduates, their family and faculty
College Hall

Friday, May 18:
10 a.m.: 
Graduation Rehearsal (Mandatory)

11 a.m.: Alumni Toast

7 p.m.: Graduation

Colleagues, Students Honor Paul Scudder's 40 Years at New College

By Dave Gulliver

Paul Scudder with Julie Morris, associate vice president of academic affairs, who spoke of how their families grew up together.

Professor Paul Scudder with Julie Morris, associate vice president of academic affairs, who spoke of how their families grew up together.

Professor Paul Scudder

Professor Paul Scudder

Nearly 60 students, faculty and staff gathered in the lobby of the new wing of the Heiser Natural Sciences Complex Friday, May 11, to celebrate Paul Scudder’s 40-year career at New College.

The party was both tribute and roast, with stories, jokes and laughs from many colleagues and former students.

Fellow faculty started fond remembrances – Biochemistry Professor Katherine Walstrom said Scudder gave up his lab space for her when she arrived. Julie Morris, associate vice president of academic affairs, spoke of how their children grew up together, and emeritus faculty Al Beulig and Leo Demski added stories of sailing mishaps and instrumentation repairs.

Chemistry Professor Suzanne Sherman recounted Scudder’s legacy of service to the college: As New College’s only organic chemist, Scudder carried a heavy teaching load of both standard and advanced courses, as well as tutorials and ISPs. He sponsored more than 60 thesis projects, advised on many more, and served on virtually every College and Natural Sciences Division committee, including two terms as division chair.

President Don O’Shea praised Scudder’s textbook, “Electron Flow in Organic Chemistry: A Decision-Based Guide to Organic Mechanisms,” first published in 1992 and revised in 2013, as a “masterpiece” and a “cult book.”

O’Shea also dug up Scudder’s tenure application file, and brought along students’ comments. Said one: “Paul gives students just enough rope to hang themselves,” Another expanded on the theme: “He makes sure you know exactly what you’re doing as you step up to the gallows.”

Several of Professor Scudder's current students came to show their appreciation.

Several of Professor Scudder's current students came to show their appreciation.

Scudder’s students hold him in high regard. In 2015, many returned to New College for “Scudderfest: 35 Years of Advances in Chemistry and Chemical Education,” a two-day symposium a gathering in his honor.

And the former students attending last week’s party were full of praise. Jack Collins, a 1992 graduate and now an internal medicine physician in Sarasota, said “his teaching methods helped me become the person I am today.”

Scudder’s courses, he said, taught you that “when you look at something that looks impossible, if you break it down and start to work, everything becomes very possible.”

That’s not to say his courses were easy. Collins rattled off a list of all his medical board exams, and added. “Those tests were nothing – compared to one Friday night with Scudder.”

And student John Tucker said “Paul demanded a tremendous amount from you, and engaged with you in equal measure … He was everything you needed him to be and everything a professor should be.”

© 2015 New College of Florida