Prof of the Year
by Matt Hutaff
Tony Crowley came dangerously close to ruining his own surprise party.
Standing just outside the large windows opening the Motley onto Bowling Green, the soon-to-be-named 2008 Professor of the Year talked to a colleague while students rushed to put finishing touches on his celebration not 10 feet away. A turn of his head would have revealed a huge green banner, a dead giveaway.
Fears evaporated, however, when Crowley made his way inside the coffee house to a round of laughter and applause. Flashing his trademark grin, Crowley became the recipient of a new and unique part of campus history, while also hearing how much he’s come to mean to the women of Scripps, since arriving on campus in 2005.
The Student Choice Award for Professor of the Year was established this year and sponsored by Scripps Associated Students, says SAS President Fatima Elkabti ’09. Students were asked to pick their choice for the honor, with a runoff between the five top professors (others were Mark Golub, Marina Pérez de Mendiola, Glen Simshaw, and Nancy Neiman Auerbach). “Professor Crowley won by a substantial margin,” said Elkabti.
The Motley was filled with well-wishers and nine types of cake, and graduating students took the chance to get on stage and tell their prof the impact he’d had on their lives. “Tony Crowley is a complete inspiration,” one said. “I am unquestionably a better student, and a better thinker, because of him.”
“I have been privileged to have Crowley as my academic advisor and thesis reader for my major in Irish studies, a major that would have been impossible without his guidance,” said Jessica Guinn ’08. “It is very difficult to describe him; there’s his veneer of stoicism, behind which you know he is thoroughly enjoying mocking you—for your own educational benefit, no doubt.”
The good-natured ribbing was returned at the end of the ceremony, as he held aloft his prize—a plaque commemorating the event, and a stuffed Scripps squirrel. “I’m absolutely delighted to have received the first Professor of the Year award from the Scripps students, and I am very pleased to be at an institution which expects such high standards from its faculty.”
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