Honorary Members of Livingston Alumni Association


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[See also the page on the Livingston Legacy Awards, established in 2009.]

The Livingston Alumni Association, and its predecessor, the Livingston College Association of Graduates, from 1981 to 1999 named the following 26 people as Honorary Members, to recognize their contributions to Livingston College:

1981: Ernest A. Lynton *
1982: W. Carey McWilliams *
1983: Gloria Rojas
1984: Wells Keddie *
1985: Charley Flint
1985: Albert E. Blumberg *
1987: John C. Leggett

1990: W. Robert Jenkins *
1991: Walton R. Johnson
1994: Edward G. Ortiz *
1995: P. Dennis Bathory
1995: Lora (Dee) Garrison *
1996: Shanti S. Tangri
1996: Melvin Gary *

1996: Allen Howard
1997: Roger Cohen *
1997: Martin Gliserman
1997: Gerald Pomper
1997: Emma Warren
1998: Abena P.A. Busia
1998: Ernest F. Dunn
1998: Mary B. Gibson
1998: Horst Dieter Steklis
1999: Briavel Holcomb
1999: Arnold G. Hyndman
1999: George L. Levine  

(* Deceased)

Ernest A. Lynton (1981) W. Carey
McWilliams (1982)
Gloria Rojas (1983) Wells Keddie (1984)
Ernest A. Lynton W.  Carey McWilliams  Gloria Rojas Wells Keddie
Livingston College Dean Professor, Political Science  Television Journalist Professor, Labor Studies and Employment Relations

Charley Flint (1985) Albert E. Blumberg (1985) John C. Leggett (1987) W. Robert Jenkins (1990)
Charley Flint Albert E. Blumberg  John C. Leggett W. Robert Jenkins
Professor, Sociology Professor, Philosophy  Professor, Sociology Livingston College Dean

Walton R. Johnson (1991) Edward G. Ortiz (1994) P. Dennis Bathory (1995) Lora (Dee) Garrison (1995)
Walton R. Johnson Edward G. Ortiz  P. Dennis Bathory Lora (Dee) Garrison
Livingston College Dean Professor, Urban Studies and Community Health Professor, Political Science Professor, History and Women’s Studies 

Shanti S. Tangri (1996)  Melvin Gary (1996) Allen Howard (1996) Roger Cohen (1997)
Shanti S. Tangri Melvin Gary Allen Howard Roger Cohen
Professor, Economics and South Asian Studies Professor, Psychology Professor, History  Professor, Journalism and Media Studies

Martin Gliserman (1997) Gerald Pomper (1997) Emma Warren (1997) Abena P.A. Busia (1998)
Martin Gliserman Gerald Pomper Emma Warren Abena P. A. Busia
Professor, English Professor, Political Science  Director, Kilmer Library  Professor, Women’s and Gender Studies, and English

Ernest F. Dunn (1998) Mary B. Gibson (1998) Horst Dieter Steklis (1998)
Ernest F. Dunn Mary B. Gibson  Horst Dieter Steklis
Professor, Africana Studies  Professor, Philosophy Professor, Psychology 

 Briavel Holcomb (1999) Arnold G. Hyndman (1999) George L. Levine (1999)
Briavel Holcomb Arnold G. Hyndman  George L. Levine
Professor, Planning and Public Policy  Livingston College Dean Professor, English 

Wells Keddie Reflects on ‘a Life of Troublemaking’

[Editor’s Note: The following text was included in a memorial program for Wells Hamilton Keddie, a Professor Emeritus of Labor Studies and Livingston College Fellow who died in 2006. (PDF copy of the memorial program.)]

Wells Hamilton KeddieIn Spring of 2005, in preparation for the inauguration of the Wells H. Keddie Scholarship Fund (scholarships to be awarded to Rutgers undergraduates who combine solid scholarship with social activism), Wells was asked to provide a brief account of his own life of activism. This is what he wrote:

A Life of Troublemaking

When I was seventeen and editor of the Cactus Chronicle, the student newspaper at Tucson Senior High School, I wrote an editorial extolling the virtues of socialism for the United States. That I still believe in the virtues of socialism is proof that hope springs eternal.

When I was 21 and editor of the San Diego State College student newspaper, I wrote an editorial extolling the virtues of unions for workers in all occupations. That I still believe in the virtues of unions for workers in all occupations is further proof that hope springs eternal.

Wells Hamilton KeddieBut I did not get my first union card until the Summer of 1947 when I was a student at Stanford on the GI Bill (thanks to a two-year hitch in the Navy during World War II). I was working in the warehouse of a Nehi Bottling distributor loading trucks with case after case of bottled soft drinks. I became a card-carrying member of the Teamsters union.

The Nehi job was the scene of what was really my first (of many to follow!) serious conflict with The Boss. Truck drivers were putting in long hours without overtime pay, under a deal with the union that during the off season they could go home early without losing pay. The catch for me was that during the off season I would have gone back to my part-time job as a non-union laborer for the Stanford Corporation Yard. The answer to my problems was obvious: I claimed unpaid overtime pay on my last day on the Nehi job.

What an uproar that caused! The union, at my insistence, pursued my claim, and I won back pay. I noted at the time the sympathy expressed by the union lawyer not for me but for the management attorney for having to appear before whatever board finally settled the case.

The die, as they say, was cast. I was completely enamored of the power collective action brings and equally enamored of the need for union democracy — twin principles that have served me well during a turbulent life of trouble-making-for-The-Boss (including the occasional Union Boss…).

Wells Hamilton Keddie Some “before Rutgers” examples of trouble-making stand out in my fading memory:

After graduating from Stanford, I was in pursuit of a Ph.D. in economics (viva! GI Bill) when the University of California Board of Regents decided they needed a loyalty oath from the faculty members at all of the University’s campuses throughout the state. Resistance was most pronounced at the Berkeley campus, where a handful of professors were fired for refusing to sign the oath. As a teaching assistant I was not yet required to sign the Regents’ oath, but I did become one of the organizers of a group on the Berkeley campus opposed to the oath called the Non-Senate Academic Employees, as close as we could come to collective action, or so we thought in those days. (Unions in higher ed? Forget about it!)

In 1950, all state employees were required to sign a “loyalty” oath, and since I refused to sign, I was promptly fired from my TA position. Since the GI Bill had long since run out, graduate work was put aside as I changed from part-time blue collar work to full-time.

Wells Hamilton KeddieFull-time work included a stint at Linde Air Products as a warehouse worker, once again as a Teamster. While on that job, Dave Beck — a Union Boss if there ever was one — arranged with the employers our Teamster local union bargained with to deduct from our paychecks payments for life insurance that Dave Beck’s son just happened to be selling. A huge meeting of outraged Teamsters represented by our local rejected the deal. Next paycheck, the deduction remained intact. At the next meeting of the local, minutes of the last meeting were read, and lo and behold, no mention of the membership’s rejection of the insurance deal was made. I brashly moved to correct the minutes, was ejected from the meeting, and told to look for other work. My desire for union democracy was reinforced. …

I ended up at GM’s Fisher Body plant in Oakland, California, where we assembled Chevrolet bodies from parts shipped by rail from various locations in the East. I joined the UAW immediately, and eventually became a shop steward as well as a delegate to the Alameda County CIO Council. From that Council, I was a delegate to the California CIO State Convention at which we voted to join with the AFL to form what we know today as the AFL-CIO — it’s all my fault, folks! It was at the end of the convention when the president of the Alameda County CIO Council uttered these immortal words to me: “You are cheating the Communist Party out of dues!” It was not the first nor the last time I was red-baited over being a union activist who perversely thought that collective bargaining done right would lead to socialism. …. (Talk about being perverse!)

As luck would have it, I injured my back on the job, and I now have a Body by Fisher — if you don’t remember the ad, the play on words admittedly loses something. I went right back to graduate school, this time seeking a secondary teaching credential so that I could get a job teaching economics at a “junior college,” as community colleges were called in California. But I could not be placed for “apprentice teaching” once the school principal learned of my UAW background. I ended up at Claremont Graduate University (my then-wife had a teaching job in the Claremont Undergraduate Colleges system). While I was being smuggled into the apprentice teaching system by a really wonderful professor of education, I made contact with an equally tolerant professor of economics, and I was back in pursuit of the Ph.D. after a long lapse.

After a Ford Grant year in Iran (there is truth to the rumor that I was given the grant because of my work at General Motors), gathering material for a dissertation in development economics, I discovered there were no jobs for me in California thanks to my being on a privately generated “red” list because of my UAW activity. That’s when Lehigh University decided I was just the person to teach labor economics to its all-male undergraduates: The university had the quaint notion that these future industrialists needed to know what union-generated morass they were headed for.

The job at Lehigh made me available for teaching union members a variety of subjects under the newly formed Union Leadership Academy run in Pennsylvania by the Penn State University’s Department of Labor Education. The experience of teaching union members in labor education classes opened a whole new academic field to me, and as soon as I could I left Lehigh and economics behind me, taking a job I hadn’t known existed: in Labor Studies, at Penn State, teaching both union members and undergraduate majors. Seven years later, after trying unsuccessfully to bring the AFT to Penn State and after getting into the thick of the anti-Vietnam War struggle, I was denied tenure, the first such rejection of a department’s recommendation in the history of the school.

I then had the great good fortune to be hired as a one-person Department of Labor Studies at Rutgers’ Livingston College. I was appointed to this job by John Leggett — things were casual at Livingston College in 1972! The job came with a union in place, and the AAUP became my bargaining representative and my union stamping ground.

One of the great compliments ever paid me was said at a Livingston College faculty council meeting when President Ed Bloustein looked down the length of the table to where I sat and proclaimed: “The biggest mistake I ever made was giving you tenure.”

I have tried to live up to that standard ever since — and before, too.

Photos, from top: Wells Hamilton Keddie, around the time of his high school graduation; In the Navy; In an undated photo in or near San Francisco, California; At the State Convention where the California CIO voted to join with the AFL; At the Steelworkers Institute in 1969.

Rutgers Professor Abena P.A. Busia Appointed as Ghana’s Ambassador to Brazil; Named as an LAA Honorary Member in 1998

Abena P.A. BusiaAbena Pokua Adompin Busia, a Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies and of English at Rutgers-New Brunswick’s School of Arts and Sciences, was named as Ghana’s Ambassador to Brazil in July 2017.


On August 2, 2017, she was sworn to that post by Ghana’s President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, in a ceremony at the President’s residence, Flagstaff House, in Accra, Ghana.


In 1998 the Livingston Alumni Association (LAA) at Rutgers University named Professor Busia as an Honorary Member to recognize her contributions to Livingston College. She joined the Rutgers faculty in 1981.


Professor Busia served as the Women’s and Gender Studies chair from 2011 to 2017, and also formerly directed Rutgers’ Center for African Studies. She teaches courses in African American and African diaspora literature, colonial discourse and black feminism.


Her scholarship keeps her actively connected to her native Ghana, where a Fulbright-Hays Group Projects Abroad Grant enabled Professor Busia and two Rutgers historians to lead an interdisciplinary program on “Teaching the History of the Slave Trade Routes of Ghana and Benin.”

Among Professor Busia’s other work with students, she has directed a summer internship taking undergraduates to work with women’s rights organizations in Ghana and has led Rutgers’ study abroad program to Ghana. In 2005 she was one of several professors who led a discussion with students surrounding the Dalai Lama’s visit to Rutgers, as part of Livingston College’s first-year mission course, Building Community.

Born in Accra, Abena Busia settled with her family in the United Kingdom where she earned a degree in English language and literature at St. Anne’s College in 1976, and a Ph.D. in social anthropology at St. Antony’s College in 1984.


Abena P.A. Busia (left) and other Ghana Ambassadors - August 2, 2017She is a daughter of Kofi Busia, who served as Ghana’s Prime Minister from 1969 to 1972, when he was overthrown in a coup d’état, according to an October 4, 2012, article from Rutgers Focus. Abena Busia spent much of her childhood under house arrest and “remembers waking to the sound of gunfire during political unrest,” according to the same article.


She was also an associate editor of a 20-year project which resulted in the publication of Women Writing Africa, a four-volume collaboration published by the Feminist Press at the City University of New York. According to Professor Busia’s Rutgers biography, this collection is designed to recognize the cultural legacy in that assortment of voices by gathering together the original “cultural production” of African women.


Professor Busia is the co-editor of Theorizing Black Feminisms (1993) as well as many articles and book chapters on topics including black women’s writing, black feminist criticism, and African literature. She is also the author of two poetry collections, Testimonies of Exile (1990) and Traces of a Life (2008).


Photos: (top) Abena P.A. Busia; (bottom) Ghana’s newly installed envoys, from left, on August 2, 2017: Busia, Ambassador to Brazil; Alowe Leo Kabah, Ambassador to Benin; Francisca Ashietey-Odunton, High Commissioner to Kenya; Virginia Hesse, Ambassador to the Czech Republic; and Dufie Agyarko Kusi, Ambassador to South Korea. Photo from The Presidency, Republic of Ghana, via Graphic Online.


Wells Keddie, Professor Emeritus of Labor Studies and Livingston College Fellow, Remembered as ‘Working-Class Educator’

Wells Hamilton KeddieWells Hamilton Keddie, Professor Emeritus of Labor Studies and Employment Relations and Livingston College Fellow, was posthumously honored on March 20, 2018, with the Livingston Legacy Award, celebrating his key role in the establishment and growth of Livingston College.

Keddie passed away on April 1, 2006, at age 80.

In an interview for the 2018 award, Keddie’s wife, Mary Gibson, said that she and her husband, among other Livingston College faculty members, operated in “a very democratic community” that was disrupted by Rutgers University’s reorganization in the early 1980s.

“Wells inspired his students, and he was inspired by them,” Gibson said.

“The ranks of the labor movement in New Jersey, in New York and Pennsylvania and around the country are filled with Wells’s former students,” she said. “I think he would consider that one of his major contributions, that his students actually went into the work of the labor movement.”

Keddie was well-known for being outspoken about workers’ rights, animal rights and social justice. Even after his 2005 retirement from active teaching, Keddie regularly visited classes in the Labor Studies Department, particularly an introductory level class that he helped to shape.

Keddie was a stalwart in the faculty union, the American Association of University Professors-American Federation of Teachers (AAUP-AFT), serving in virtually every leadership capacity, including several terms as president.

At the time of his death, he was serving as vice president of the AAUP’s New Jersey State Conference.

Wells Hamilton Keddie, Arsenia Reilly, Norman MarkowitzKeddie was the first director of Bachelor of Science in Labor Studies degree at Livingston College, according to a history of Rutgers’ Institute of Management and Labor Relations (.PDF file), which lists the Labor Studies bachelor’s program as starting in 1969, though Keddie said that it was 1972.

An ardent advocate of animal rights, and an enemy of class, race, gender, and other systems of inequality, Keddie often described himself as “still pointed in my chosen direction and fighting like hell to get there.”

In addition to his wife, Keddie was survived by a daughter, Heather S. Keddie; a son, Hamilton Keddie; a brother, Douglas Keddie; grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nephews, nieces, grandnieces and grandnephews.

Norman Markowitz, a Rutgers history professor, remembered Keddie as “a true working-class educator.”

“More than half a century ago, as a graduate student at the University of California, he refused to sign the anticommunist ‘loyalty oath’ that the state Legislature had passed,” Markowitz wrote for the People’s World website in 2006. “They never really got Wells, although they kept on trying, at Penn State where he was fired in spite of mass protests, and even at Rutgers. At Rutgers he played a leading role in building the American Association of University Professors and in training students who went out and became organizers and leaders of the labor movement for three decades.”

Bottom photo: Keddie, left, at a May Day picnic at his house in Piscataway, NJ, with Arsenia Reilly (center), an undergraduate student who went on to work in the labor movement, and Rutgers History Professor Norman Markowitz.

Professor Carey McWilliams Brought Political Philosophy to Life for Students; Honored with Livingston Legacy Award

Carey McWilliams circa 1985

Carey McWilliams circa 1985Wilson Carey McWilliams (1933–2005), known as Carey, was posthumously honored in 2015 with the Livingston Legacy Award for his role as a distinguished political scientist throughout most of Livingston College’s history.

McWilliams was a political scientist at Livingston College and Rutgers University for 35 years.

McWilliams was born in Santa Monica, California. He graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1955, then served in the 11th Airborne Division of the United States Army from 1955–1961. He earned his master’s and Ph.D. degrees at the same university. He was also active in the early stages of the Berkeley Free Speech Movement and the student activist group SLATE.

Prior to teaching at Rutgers he taught at Oberlin College and Brooklyn College. He was also a visiting professor at Yale University, Harvard University and Haverford College. He came to Yale in spring 1969 with a timely and provocative seminar on “American Radical Thought.”

McWilliams was the recipient of the John Witherspoon Award for Distinguished Service to the Humanities, conferred by the New Jersey Committee for the Humanities, and also served as a Vice-President of the American Political Science Association.

McWilliams was the author of several books, including The Idea of Fraternity in America (1973, University of California Press), for which he won the National Historical Society prize in 1974. In this book, McWilliams argued that there was an “alternative tradition” to the dominant liberal tradition in America, which he variously traced through the thought of the Puritans, the Anti-Federalists, and various major and minor literary figures such as Hawthorne, Melville, Twain and Ellison. He argued that this tradition drew philosophical inspiration from ancient Greek and Christian sources manifested in an emphasis upon community and fraternity, which was properly the means to achieving a form of civic liberty. McWilliams was also a prolific essayist.

McWilliams died on March 29, 2005, at age 71. He had been married for 38 years to the psychoanalyst and author Nancy Riley McWilliams. Carey and Nancy have two daughters, the musician Helen McWilliams, and Susan McWilliams, an associate professor of politics.

McWilliams "really cared about individual students," his spouse Nancy Riley McWilliams tells us in the embedded video. "He made the ideas of long-dead thinkers be alive and relevant to students”>(You may also open the video in a new window.)

At the 2015 Livingston Legacy Award presentation, Patrick Deneen, a student of McWilliams at the undergraduate and graduate levels, remembered him as a friend and “about the best teacher and finest human this institution ever had the fortune to call its own.”

After her father’s death, Susan McWilliams spoke to Rutgers students about her father’s love for Rutgers and his great interest in his students’ lives.

Leonard M. Klepner, a Livingston College 1972 graduate, also wrote about McWilliams’ friendship and mentorship.

The Livingston College Distinguished Alumni and Livingston Legacy Awards are held approximately every two years by the Livingston Alumni Association of Rutgers University. The 2015 celebration was held Tuesday, November 10 at the Rutgers Club in New Brunswick, New Jersey.