Livingston Legacy Award

[See also the page listing Honorary Members of the Livingston Alumni Association, who were named between 1981 and 1999.]

The Livingston Legacy Award was established in 2009. The award recognizes faculty and staff who played a key role in the establishment and growth of Livingston College and its mission, and who have contributed to the overall Rutgers and global communities.

2009 Honorees

Maria Canino Edward G. Ortiz Gordon Schochet

MARIA CANINO: Founder and retired chair of the Rutgers Department of Puerto Rican and Hispanic Caribbean Studies.

EDWARD G. ORTIZ (1931-2010): Retired associate professor and chair of the Rutgers Department of Urban Studies and Community Health. Memorial and obituary.

GORDON SCHOCHET: Professor emeritus of political science and the last member of the Livingston planning group who was still on the active teaching faculty.

2011 Honorees

Jerome Aumente Leroy Haines Gerald Pomper Larry Ridley

JEROME AUMENTE (1937-2023): Distinguished Professor Emeritus, Rutgers School of Communication and Information; Founding Director. Emeritus, Journalism Resource Institute, Rutgers University; and former Chair, Department of Journalism & Urban Communications program at Livingston College. Aumente on the Livingston College journalism legacy. Remembrance of Aumente.

LEROY HAINES (LC’71): Assistant Dean and Director of Residence Life at Rutgers’ Livingston Campus. Haines honored at 2012 Rutgers Human Dignity Awards.

GERALD POMPER: Board of Governors Professor of Political Science at the Eagleton Institute of Politics of Rutgers University (Emeritus). and former Chair, Livingston College Political Science Department.

LARRY RIDLEY: Chairman, Music Department, Livingston College 1972-1980, and one of the architects of the college’s renowned jazz program.

2013-2018 Honorees

Roger Cohen Wilson Carey McWilliams

Michael Greenberg Wells Hamilton Keddie
2013 Honoree 2015 Honoree 2018 Honoree 2018 Honoree

ROGER COHEN (RC’65) (1943-2022): A professor emeritus of Rutgers’ School of Communication and Information (SC&I); originally taught in Livingston College’s Department of Journalism and Urban Communication.

WILSON CAREY McWILLIAMS (1933-2005): A distinguished political science professor at Livingston College and Rutgers University, and a prolific author. Read tributes from his protégé, Patrick Deneen, and his daughter, Susan McWilliams, and a remembrance from his student, Leonard Klepner

MICHAEL GREENBERG: Professor of the Edward J. Bloustein School of Public Policy at Rutgers University-New Brunswick

WELLS HAMILTON KEDDIE (1925-2006): Professor of Labor Studies and Employment Relations at Rutgers University-New Brunswick.

Jerome Aumente Remembered; Was a Distinguished Professor Emeritus and Founder of Livingston College’s Department of Journalism and Urban Communications

Jerome AumenteWith sadness, we join the Rutgers School of Communication & Information in announcing the passing of Jerome Aumente on February 13, 2023, after a long illness.

Aumente was a Distinguished Professor Emeritus in Rutgers’ School of Communication and Information (SC&I).

He was born on September 23, 1937, in Jersey City, New Jersey. He earned his undergraduate degree at Rutgers-Newark in 1959 and graduate degrees at the Columbia University School of Journalism and at Harvard University as a Nieman Fellow.

Aumente spent time in Europe and then worked for a decade at newspapers, including The Detroit News. He returned to Rutgers in 1969 to become a faculty member at Livingston College. At Livingston College, he founded and directed the Department of Journalism and Urban Communications, as well as the Urban Communications Teaching and Research Center.

He was the founding Director of the Journalism Resources Institute (JRI) and was the founder and former Chairperson of the Department of Journalism and Media Studies. Both units are in the School of Communication and Information, one of the first interdisciplinary schools founded in the United States, which he helped design at the request of the university provost.

He was Special Counselor to the Dean of SC&I from 2000 to 2015. The Journalism Resources Institute conducted nearly $5 million in projects, and trained over 14,000 print and broadcast journalists under his direction, with over $2 million in media training and journalism projects in Central and Eastern Europe. The JRI under Aumente’s leadership had special projects in international affairs, journalism. and mass communications, new media technologies, health, medical, and environmental coverage, media and law, evaluation of professional training of journalists, business, and financial journalism.

Aumente had extensive experience in the international training of journalists; joint curriculum development with universities internationally and in the United States; as a trainer in health communication, the internet and newer media technologies; investigative and enterprise reporting; and in business, economic, and financial reporting.

In 2011, the Livingston Alumni Association (LAA) honored Aumente with its Livingston Legacy Award. The award recognizes faculty and staff who played a key role in the establishment and growth of Livingston College and its mission, and who have contributed to the overall Rutgers and global communities.

Michael Greenberg Unites the Studies of Urban Planning and Public Health; Honored with Livingston Legacy Award in 2018

Michael R. GreenbergMichael R. Greenberg studies environmental health, environmental policy and risk analysis. He is a Distinguished Professor of the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, Rutgers University-New Brunswick and served as the Bloustein School’s 2017-2018 Interim Dean. 

Greenberg joined the faculty at Rutgers’ Livingston College in September 1971, as an associate professor of urban planning, urban studies and geography.

He served as a Livingston College Fellow. He also served on Livingston College’s appointments and promotions (A&P) and academic standing committees; and led in the building the undergraduate community health program, which became the undergraduate public health program.

Michael R. GreenbergHe and Bernard Goldstein of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ) worked to establish the New Jersey graduate program in Public Health, which eventually became the Rutgers School of Public Health. 

Rutgers’ Livingston Alumni Association (LAA) honored Greenberg on March 20, 2018, with the Livingston Legacy Award, honoring his key role in the establishment and growth of Livingston College and its mission, and for his overall contributions to the Rutgers and global communities. 

In an interview for the 2018 award, Greenberg tells us that “Livingston was a terrific place to work with people who … didn’t think in standardized ways. They would challenge what you had to say.

“You’d get up at one of the faculty meetings in Livingston College, and if you could get through a sentence without being challenged, that was an accomplishment.

“The things I learned at Livingston have served me well throughout my entire career at Rutgers.”

In the 1970s, Rosemary Agrista (LC’76) was a student in Greenberg’s senior seminar on urban studies, related to her major in Urban Communications (Journalism). Greenberg’s teaching about conservation and interpreting master plans later led Agrista to become an environmental activist.

As of 2018 Greenberg also serves as Director of the Environmental Analysis and Communications Group at the Bloustein School, and previously was Associate Dean of the Faculty. He had joined the Bloustein School faculty in 2000, and also holds appointments in Rutgers’ School of Public Health.

Michael R. Greenberg His 2017 book, Urban Planning and Public Health: A Critical Partnership (with Dona Schneider, American Public Health Association) provides an in-depth summary of the historic connections between the fields of public health and urban planning since the Industrial Revolution.

It also draws the connections between urban planning and public health through case examples and outlines critical challenges to integrate science, policy and politics to further the health of communities across the U.S.

Greenberg has written more than 30 books and more than 300 articles on topics including water supply and quality, solid waste management, mathematical programming, population and employment projection methods, and environmental cancer.

Some of his other recent books include:

  • Explaining Risk Analysis (Earthscan, 2017);
  • Protecting Seniors Against Environmental Disasters: From Hazards and Vulnerability to Prevention and Resilience (Earthscan, 2014);
  • Nuclear Waste Management, Nuclear Power and Energy Choices: Public Preferences, Perceptions, and Trust (Springer, 2012);
  • The Environmental Impact Statement After Two Generations: Managing Environmental Power (Routledge, 2011).

Michael R. Greenberg Greenberg also chaired a committee, which in 2017 reported to the U.S. Congress on the extent that the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) emphasizes human health and safety in its allocations for remediating former nuclear weapons sites.

He has also served on several government committees related to the destruction of the U.S. chemical weapons stockpile and nuclear weapons; chemical waste management; and the degradation of the U.S. government physical infrastructure, and sustainability and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). As of 2018 he is a member of the Plutonium Disposition Committee, reporting to the DOE.

Greenberg served as area editor for social sciences and then editor-in-chief of Risk Analysis: An International Journal from 2002-2013, and continues as associate editor for environmental health for the American Journal of Public Health.

He had earned his master’s and Ph.D. degrees in geography from Columbia University. He served as an assistant professor at Columbia before joining the Livingston College faculty.

Photos courtesy of Michael Greenberg. In collage: Greenberg at age 8, in 1965, in the 1970s and in 1999; With several of his studies; Featured in an editorial cartoon in The Daily Targum, by Roy Wollen.

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.

Livingston College’s Larry Ridley Celebrates Jazz Career

Larry Ridley

Larry Ridley Jazz legend and bassist extraordinaire Larry Ridley in 2013 celebrated his 75th birthday year with a two-part interview on the New Jersey jazz radio station, WBGO 88.3 FM.

Ridley was chairman of the Livingston College music department from 1972 to 1980 and a Rutgers music professor from 1971 to 1999.

Ed Berger’s interview with Ridley aired on consecutive Sundays, March 31 and April 7, 2013, on the program Jazz From the Archives.

Ridley’s stellar career includes associations with jazz luminaries Thelonious Monk, Dexter Gordon, Benny Carter, Lee Morgan, Freddie Hubbard, Horace Silver, Sonny Rollins, Dizzy Gillespie, Jackie McLean, Philly Joe Jones, Roy Haynes, Max Roach, Wes Montgomery, Dinah Washington, Carmen McRae, and many others.

The Livingston Alumni Association honored Ridley in 2011 with the Livingston Legacy Award. The award recognizes faculty and staff who played a key role in the establishment and growth of Livingston College and its mission, and contributions to the overall Rutgers and global communities.  

Roger Cohen, Professor Emeritus of Journalism, Receives Livingston Legacy Award for His Role in Developing Livingston College

Professor Emeritus Roger Cohen of Rutgers University

Professor Emeritus Roger Cohen of Rutgers UniversityThe 2013 Livingston Legacy Award honoring Roger Cohen, a professor emeritus of journalism at Rutgers University, was presented Wednesday, October 9, 2013, by the Livingston Alumni Association (LAA) of Rutgers University. View his award video on this page or open in a new window.

Cohen joined seven other Livingston College faculty and staff honored since 2009 for their exemplary roles in the establishment and growth of Livingston College and its mission.

Cohen, a professor emeritus of Rutgers’ School of Communication and Information (SC&I),  graduated from Rutgers College in 1965. He was a radio news and sports journalist before joining the Rutgers Radio/Television Center in 1970. He began teaching in Livingston College’s Department of Journalism and Urban Communication on a volunteer basis in 1975. He became a full-time faculty member in 1980.

From 1981 to about 2000, he chaired the Livingston College Faculty Admissions Committee, which reviewed applications from potential students referred by the university’s admissions office.

Cohen was hired to teach radio production and broadcast news writing courses, but taught many others, including the TV/radio survey course and advanced television production. When Rutgers was implementing a campus-wide cable television system, he designed a course that not only examined how TV executives develop and schedule content, but also produced student programming for the RUTV channel.

He ran the department’s internship program for 18 years. This brought him into contact with every student major because the internship was required at the time. As an administrator, he was SC&I’s acting associate dean in 1985. He also served as department chair for seven years, where he oversaw faculty, student, and curriculum growth.

In 2012 Cohen received SC&I’s first annual Journalism and Media Studies Lifetime Achievement Award.

Cohen passed away in 2022 at age 78. Read a remembrance posted on the SC&I website.

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.

Carey McWilliams ‘Wanted to Teach, All the Time’: An Appreciation by His Protégé Patrick Deneen

By Patrick Deneen, LC’86, GSNB’95

[Patrick Deneen presented the following appreciation of his mentor, W. Carey McWilliams, on Nov. 10, 2015, as the Livingston Alumni Association of Rutgers University posthumously honored McWilliams with the Livingston Legacy Award.]

I began college as a freshman at Livingston College in 1982. I was 18 years old and away, really away from home for the first time. As I met my new classmates in Quad 3 during that hot early fall, they were shocked I’d come to Rutgers from so far away – all the way from Connecticut, a whole three hours’ drive. Those were different days, in so many ways.

On the first day of classes, I found the room of my first college lecture, in a big classroom in Beck Hall.  The lecture hall was filled with about 100 students, all of them at least appearing to know much more than I did, many of them already talking to new friends, whereas I knew no one. I figured everyone in New Jersey already knew each other. I found a seat in the middle of the middle row, far enough away that I could blend in, close enough that I could take good notes.

The professor came in, a bit dowdy, wearing a plain suit jacket, pants a bit too large but held up by suspenders, and carrying an old beat-up briefcase.  He took out his lecture notes – on yellow paper, of course – looked over them for a few minutes, cleared his throat, and began.  I felt at once submerged as if in a deep ocean trench and lighter than helium, floating free above all my anxieties. I was simultaneously aware that I didn’t really understand what this man was saying – he spoke of Plato and Aristotle and political theory as a sacred journey, and kept returning to the name Tocqueville, telling us he would be our guide to understanding ourselves as Americans. But he was also instantly accessible, telling us stories about himself, his children, threading jokes and tales alongside high philosophy, inviting each of us on that sacred journey. 

After class, a bit dazed but elated, I packed my things and moved to leave. As I exited the row, I noticed the professor standing at the end, looking at me. He smiled, his eyes twinkled, and he asked, “Are you Patrick Deneen?” I nodded, too scared to speak. “I’m Carey McWilliams,” he said. “Would you be free to have lunch with me on Friday?” Of course I said yes. He directed me to his office way across campus – alas, Livingston had been “reorganized” already and Political Science was now in Hickman Hall on the Douglass campus. On that Friday he took me to Tumulty’s Pub, the first time I was there with Carey McWilliams. The first of maybe hundreds of Fridays spent with Carey at Tumulty’s beneath the trains, at his office, sometimes at his home, a Sunday watching the Phillies in old Veteran’s stadium, always grateful for the minutes, sometimes the hours he would spend with me, and often with others who would join us to ask him questions, to listen to his stories, to learn from the smartest and the wisest and the kindest and the most loving man I ever knew.

Years later – after I’d graduated from Livingston in 1986, after Carey guided me to graduate school at the University of Chicago (which didn’t take – they didn’t have a teacher like McWilliams there), and after my return to Rutgers in 1988 where I eventually completed my Ph.D. in Political Science under Carey’s direction in 1995, I asked him — why in the world had he stopped a bewildered freshman after the first day of class and how, how in the world did he knew my name? With the same smile and twinkle, he said, “I have no idea.” This mystery that had perplexed me for years wasn’t important to him. He just wanted to teach, all the time, with anyone who cared to be taught.  I happened the be the student on that day, but over the years I discovered that I was one of hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of students that Carey took to lunch, invited to his office and to his home, and called out of the blue late at night to see how we were, always with a story and a lesson.

In 2000, Carey appeared on a panel honoring his long-time friend, Professor Harvey Mansfield of Harvard University.  At that panel, he used a series of metaphors to describe the experience of taking a class with Mansfield, whose classes he had attended when he was a graduate student at Berkeley.  McWilliams’s own words describe with utter perfection the experience of his students, ones who were so lucky to take Carey’s classes, and so I steal Carey’s words to describe my own experience of being his student. “My first encounter with Carey McWilliams as a teacher had all the surprise and exhilaration that generations of us have felt when we’re taken through that gray tunnel and we confront for the first time the green endless field of professional baseball. Emerging from that dark and colorless place into an ordered riot of sound and color, it’s like a secular version of being born again…. McWilliams’s classes were like living in a chandelier: intricate and designed and multifaceted and full of light.”

Carey was born in 1933 a California child, and scion of a distinguished lineage of thinkers that included his father, who was long-time editor of The Nation and author of many well-known books on California, his maternal grandfather who was Provost of UCLA, and many aunts, uncles and his mother who were also educators and authors. He took all his university degrees from the University of California, separated by a term of service in the Army, culminating in his Ph.D., which was awarded upon completion of his dissertation, a monstrosity of some 700-pages entitled The Idea of Fraternity in America. This was eventually somewhat shortened to a 600-page book of the same title, which was awarded a prize by the National Historical Society. Carey’s first academic position was in the government department of Oberlin College, where he began his many years of inspiring students – many of whom today are professors of political science – and inspired at least one student to fall in love with him and eventually to marry him, the former Nancy Riley.  He left Oberlin in 1967 and continued his journey East, teaching for a time at Brooklyn College before being offered, and accepting a position, at the newly-created Livingston College at Rutgers University in 1970.  While he held various visiting positions elsewhere throughout his career – including regular stints at Haverford, and visiting appointments at Fordham and Harvard, he devoted the breadth of his long career to Livingston College and Rutgers, where he taught for 35 years until his unexpected death at age 71 in 2005. He died as he was leaving to teach a class that was to be held in Lucy Stone Hall, where he doggedly and insistently taught in spite of the fact that it required the congested trip from his office on the Douglass College campus.

Carey loved telling stories about Livingston College – among his favorite was his recollection of a group of radical students who demanded the creation of a radically new, more democratic form of student government, and were given permission by the administration to come up with a plan. At the end, after much debate and uproar, they proposed a representative student government consisting of a bicameral legislature with a judiciary and executive.  Carey said that he decided to teach a class on Marx the next semester. He loved Livingston because it was a place created for students who weren’t always “supposed” to be in college, or who felt themselves to be misfits and sometimes the second fiddle to the students at Rutgers or Douglass colleges. He loved their optimism and their foolishness, and above all their interest in making a difference. Carey was himself one of the most prominent and demanded speakers during the free-speech movement at Berkeley, a movement he would often remind us wasn’t initially about the Vietnam War, but arose first as a protest against the professionalization and militarization of higher education. He lamented the first reorganization at Rutgers that absorbed what had been a distinctive Livingston faculty into Rutgers University, and it’s perhaps a blessing that he didn’t live to see the end of Livingston College in 2007, though a day doesn’t pass that I don’t wish that I could speak with him about the absurdities of our politics and our world, ones that never ceased to amaze or amuse him.

Carey above all taught us about the value, the enduring need and evanescent possibilities for community in America.  America, he taught us, was good at many things – making money and making war especially – but it wasn’t good at fostering long-standing, deep, committed and sacrificial communities.  American democracy desperately needed, and still needs, what his favorite political thinker Alexis de Tocqueville called “The Arts of Association,” the discipline and practice of coming together – of not leaving politics and self-rule to the professionals nor the charlatans.  He loved that Livingston was a place that aspired to be, and often was, such a community. And unlike any other professor I have come to know now in my own lengthening career as a political scientist – spent at institutions such as Princeton University, Georgetown University and now the University of Notre Dame – I have never yet met anyone who lived so completely what he preached. To know Carey was to be a part of a great and capacious and embracing community, one that he inspired and continues to inspire. I miss him.  I know Nancy and their daughters, and now his grandchildren miss him. Livingston, and Rutgers, whether it knows it or not, misses him, because the professionalized and rationalized institutions of higher education that Carey feared were coming into existence and that would eventually crush the Livingston Colleges of the world, don’t make professors like him anymore, and he was about the best teacher and finest human this institution ever had the fortune to call its own.  I’m happy and grateful that this year’s Livingston College Legacy Award is being bestowed upon my teacher and my friend, Wilson Carey McWilliams.

Patrick Deneen (pictured above) is a graduate of Livingston College (B.A., 1986) and of the Graduate School – New Brunswick (Ph.D., 1995), both at Rutgers University.

Leroy Haines Honored at 2012 Rutgers Human Dignity Awards; Residence Life Award Named in His Honor

Leroy C. Haines

Leroy C. Haines, assistant director residence life, Livingston Campus, worked for 43 years at Livingston, dedicating his life to reducing prejudice, promoting respect for diversity, creating inclusive communities and mentoring hundreds of undergraduates. He retired in 2012.

Haines is a member of Livingston College’s first graduating class (1971), and a 2011 recipient of the Livingston Alumni Association’s Livingston Legacy Award.

Haines was one of six members of the university community recognized at the 2012 Rutgers Human Dignity Awards, presented April 26. The awards, presented by the Committee to Advance Our Common Purposes, honored the work of faculty, staff and students who strive to promote social justice and diversity.

Read more about the 2012 Human Dignity Award recipients from Rutgers Focus and The Daily Targum.

The Leroy Haines Award is given each year by Rutgers Residence Life to honor an undergraduate Resident Assistant or Apartment Assistant “who best exemplifies the character and persona of Leroy Haines.”

According to the Residence Life website: “Haines reduced prejudice, promoted respect for diversity, created inclusive communities, and forged intercultural collaboration among groups that had not traditionally worked together … As a student, a student employee, Resident Assistant, an alumnus, Resident Coordinator, Assistant Dean/Director of Residence Life for Livingston College and finally Livingston Campus Director, he has come to embody Livingston’s original motto of ‘Strength through Diversity.’ He always challenged the members of his residential communities to live together in order to learn together.”

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.

Carey McWilliams Loved Rutgers and Took Joy in Sharing in His Students’ Lives: A Daughter’s Tribute

Carey McWilliams in classroom

By Susan McWilliams

By Susan McWilliams

[Susan McWilliams presented the following remembrance of her father, (Wilson) Carey McWilliams, shortly after his passing. McWilliams had been a political science professor at Rutgers University, initially on the Livingston College faculty. He was posthumously honored in 2015 with the Livingston Legacy Award given by Livingston Alumni Association at Rutgers University. See his bio and award video.]

Carey McWilliams in classroomMy father, Professor Wilson Carey McWilliams, died on March 29, [2005,] in his 35th year of teaching at Rutgers University.

Dad loved Rutgers. He didn’t always love the campus or those responsible for it: He grumbled about the Hickman Hall elevators; he grumbled about those administrators who privilege football over financial aid; he grumbled about the increasingly elitist status of Rutgers College within the University system.

But he grumbled about these things because his love for Rutgers was a love for Rutgers’ student body. And her knew that those things, and others, made Rutgers a place that often burdened his students.

For my whole life, Dad would come home with stories about students: their hometowns, families, problems, and possibilities. He took evident joy in knowing them and learning from their lives.

So I was struck, at his funeral, not by how many students attended — I expected that, knowing how much he gave — but by how many introduced themselves with the caveat, “I was just a students of your father’s at Rutgers …”. This phrase, of course, implies that being a Rutgers students is an anonymous thing. These students had implied answered, negatively, this question: Should I, your professor’s daughter, care about you?

The thing was: Usually, I recognized these students’ names and remembered Dad’s stories about them. When I revealed that, they seemed surprised that my father had mentioned — or even known — them. I realize that my father was not the average professor. He was known, I am told, for his willingness to engage students, help them navigate the University bureaucracy, and give advice about problems one doesn’t often share with teachers.

But if there was one lesson Dad was committed to teaching at Rutgers — and he proved his commitment to teaching here, rejecting numerous offers from private schools, at greater salaries for fewer responsibilities — it was that his students should never feel nameless. My father, like Socrates, knew that there are no second-class souls.

My father was raised — a sick kid, with debilitating allergies and almost-fatal polio — by a working single mother in a time of few working single mothers. He went to a state university because he could afford it, and although he saw the temptations of fame and money, he knew that fame and money can’t teach anything that life — real life, unadorned by material surfaces — doesn’t teach better.

My father found particular joy in teaching at Rutgers because it is a public institution, which at its best stands against for forces of this privatist age. He loved the number of Rutgers students who are first-generation baccalaureates, who are immigrants, who attend this University to save parents money or worry, who are here just living an honest life. He always said he wanted to teach at Rutgers until he dropped dead; I am glad he did.

For my father, each of his students was a miracle — not just an independent miracle, but also a reflection of the human miracle. We are, as Jefferson said, created equally: made of the same stuff, born of the same bodily labors and subject to the same bodily end, who have the briefest opportunity to seek truth together by speaking truthfully.

Aristotle says in his Politics that humans are logistikon: beings who talk. What demarcates our species, even in light of what scientists learn, is our ability to communicate in terms particular and universal. We are aware of our partialness yet able to comprehend wholeness; we can speak about justice and abstract truth, and also speak about individual differences. We must recognize each other’s particularity in order to access what in us is universal, but we can never transcend our particularity — or imagine we should.

Carey McWilliams with daughtersMy father wished his students would learn from him that they are not properly defined as anonymous members of a fairly anonymous group —
just Rutgers students — but defined by their fascinating particularities, and equally by their status as humans, seekers.

Dad knew that we humans are all kin. We are all worthy of remembering, and remembrance. My father remembered his students, and he hoped they would know him as someone who remembered them. He did, and so do I.

On behalf of Dad, I thank you, Rutgers students, for bringing to Wilson Carey McWilliams such joy and affirming his knowledge that we are best recognized through that love which acknowledges other people as equal partners in a mystery. As he said, we can only be cured — from all our problems, personal and political — by a better kind of love.

Susan McWilliams is an associate professor of politics at Pomona College in California.

Photos: (Top) Carey McWilliams teaches a class at Lucy Stone Hall on Rutgers’ Livingston campus in October 1994. (Bottom) McWilliams plays with his daughters Helen and Susan in June 1982.

Revised November 22, 2015