Fountains of Knowledge

Retiring faculty

Scripps College bid farewell to three beloved faculty members this year. With a combined 111 years of service to the College, professors Gayle Green, César López, and Cheryl Walker retired at the end of the academic year.

When Professors Walker and Greene arrived in 1974 — the year the Motley Coffeehouse and Wanawake Weusi were founded — they witnessed a campus in the process of redefinition. They saw the opening of the Office of Black and Chicano Student Affairs, the creation of student government, and the early development of the modern Core program.

Professor López arrived at Scripps nine years later. With the opening of the W.M. Keck Science Center, the Elizabeth Hubert Malott Commons, Gabrielle Jungels-Winkler Hall, and the Sally Tiernan Field House, López has also experienced the College’s incredible growth and transformation.

Together, the professors have taught, advised, published, and conducted research under six presidents at Scripps — Mark Curtis, John H. Chandler, E. Howard Brooks, Nancy Y. Bekavac, Frederick “Fritz” Weis, and current President Lori Bettison-Varga — and have touched the lives of thousands of Scripps students.

Professor of English Gayle Greene has published dozens of articles in scholarly journals and mainstream venues, such as the Nation, the New York Review of Books, The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and Ms. magazine. Greene also has authored several books, including her best-seller Insomniac, which won rave reviews by The New England Journal of Medicine, Wall Street Journal, and O: The Oprah Magazine. Greene is currently working on a memoir that centers on teaching Shakespeare and addresses the “crisis of the humanities.”

“Professor Greene helped broaden my perspective on the purpose of an education,” says Tess Williams ’16, a politics major from Davis, California. “She listened to my ideas, and gave me feedback, encouragement, and confidence as I move forward in my time at Scripps.”

The recipient of numerous honors, awards, and research grants, Greene has earned faculty recognition and achievement awards from Scripps and a Mellon Foundation grant for her work on Insomniac.

Prior to Scripps, Greene taught at the University of Washington and at Queens and Brooklyn Colleges in New York. She earned a BA in English and comparative literature from University of California, Berkeley, an MA in English literature from Berkeley, and a PhD from Columbia University.

Born in Cartagena, Spain, Associate Professor of Hispanic Studies César López is a man of many interests.

“Professor López amazes me with his knowledge about everything from Pedro Almodóvar to Las Pinturas Negras by Goya,” says Winona Bechtle ’14, a Hispanic studies and media studies dual major from Los Angeles. “I can’t imagine an equal in terms of his knowledge of Spain and Spanish history.”

Prior to Scripps, López taught piano and conducting at the Conservatorio Superior de Musica de Murcia in Spain. He later taught Hispanic studies at the University of Granada, in Spain, and at the University of Southern California.

In 2004, López earned a sabbatical research fellowship to conduct research in Spain on the development of the Theater in Murcia. He has received several grants from Scripps for a variety of research projects, including the origin of theatre in Cartagena, Spain, and a Mellon Foundation grant for a project involving teaching Spanish language and culture to children in the community.

López earned a doctorate in romance philology from Universidad Complutense, Madrid, Spain; a PhD and an MA in Spanish literature from University of Southern California; and a Life Teaching Credential in Secondary Education from Ministerio de Educación y Ciencia, Madrid, Spain.

Cheryl Walker, Richard Armour Chair in Modern Languages and Professor of English, has served as chair of the English Department, Women’s Studies, and the Intercollegiate American Studies Program. She has also been convener of Core and director of the Humanities Institute.

“Professor Walker has always been marvelously encouraging, supportive, and friendly,” says Vivian Delchamps ’14, an English major from Helena, Alabama. “I’m glad I graduate this year, because it would feel so strange to continue at Scripps without her.”

Walker has served as associate director for the Federation of Organizations for Professional Women in Washington, D.C., and a reader at Wellesley College.

In addition to teaching at Scripps, Walker has written and published six books and an abundance of articles, and has been invited to lecture at several prestigious institutions, including Radcliffe College and Brandeis University. She has received Mary W. Johnson faculty awards for scholarly achievement, service, and teaching. Her first book, The Nightingale’s Burden, received a Choice award, designated an Outstanding Academic Book for 1995.

Walker earned a PhD in American literature from Brandeis University and a BA in English with a minor in philosophy from Wellesley College.

The College community came together on May 9, 2014, in Margaret Fowler Garden, to thank the professors for their years of service at Scripps, where they have been fountains of knowledge for generations of students.

Vice President and Dean of Faculty Amy Marcus-Newhall paid tribute to the professors, recognizing their enormous impact on the community. “We owe them our sincere thanks for their contributions to Scripps College and for the significant influence they have had on our students. They have been role models for all of us.”

We bid them a fond farewell and wish them the best in their future endeavors.

Incipit vita nova.


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