President William M. Chace has announced that
he will retire at the end of this academic year. After a
years sabbatical, he intends to return to teaching
will have served as a president for fifteen years, first
at Wesleyan University and then, for nine years, at Emory,
Chace says. Those years have brought deeply rewarding
intellectual challenges and wonderful collegial friendships.
. . . But it is time for me to resume, while I can, the
career that attracted me to the academy in the first placethe
life of teaching and scholarship.
became Emorys eighteenth president in July 1994.
It was a time of plenty; the University was expanding
in every wayendowment, prestige, facilities, and
is a feast at this table, Chace said in his inaugural
address. Be reminded of our shared good fortune:
we at Emory are strong, we still are young, we are not
the next eight years, Emory would undertake $1 billion
in new construction, including the Goizueta Business School,
the Nell Hodgson Woodruff Nursing School, the Whitehead
Biomedical Research Building, the Emerson Hall physical
sciences building, the Vaccine Research Center, the Mathematics
and Science Center, and the Schwartz Center for Performing
even as new buildings proliferated, Chace developed a
campus master plan in 1997 that encouraged environmental
sensitivity, created pedestrian areas, and cut the number
of cars on campus. We know we must protect the green
and open spaces we still are lucky to have, said
Chace, who claims Emorys walking campus as one of
his proudest accomplishments.
research facilities, a growing reputation, and an emphasis
on recruitment attracted top-level faculty to Emory, who
brought staff and research grants. During Chaces
presidency, sponsored research more than doubled, from
$118 million to $277 million.
was admitted to the Association of American Universities
in 1995, a prestigious group of the nations top
research universities, and hosted the AAU annual presidents
meeting last year.
Board Chairman Ben F. Johnson III 65C, a managing
partner of the Atlanta law firm Alston and Bird who is
heading the search committee to find Chaces replacement,
said the leadership of Chace and his wife, JoAn, has taken
the University to a higher plane. . . . While we prepare
for a period of leadership transition, we also will be
honoring and celebrating this very rich legacy.
noted scholar whose speeches are often marked by poetic
turns of phrase and literary quotations, Chace taught
English for twenty years at Stanford University. He became
associate dean of the School of Humanities and Sciences
at Stanford in 1981 and vice provost for academic planning
and development in 1985.
serving as Emorys president, Chace also was a tenured
professor in the English department, teaching courses
on James Joyce, Shakespeare, Melville, Irish literature,
and modern fiction and nonfiction. He is the author of
two books, The Political Identities of Ezra Pound
and T.S. Eliot and Lionel Trilling: Criticism and Politics.
will remain as president until his successor is seated.
I look forward to exercising more fully the habits
of mind that shape the life of the scholar and teacher,
he said. Habits I once had learned by heart but
now must fashion anew.M.J.L.
in-depth profile of William M. Chace and his tenure as
Emorys president will appear in the Summer 2003
issue of Emory Magazine.
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