Toast Offered by Associate Provost Joe O'Rourke
grew up in a small, predominantly Lutheran town in the heart
of the midwest, Blaire Nebraska, currently with 7,990 residents.
Think of cornfields and a one-room
She went to a small Lutheran
college in South Dakota, but from there took a giant leap
from her small-town life to Stanford University, where she
earned her Ph.D. under the famous biologist Donald Kennedy,
whom you may know as the President of Stanford in the early
90’s or the editor in chief of the journal Science
in the 2000s.
Postdocs in Chile and San Juan
gave her a lifelong attraction to the Carribean and Latin
She has since spent her career
here at Smith, but often teaching in the Carribean at the
Trinity School of Medicine, teaching that she will continue
in her “retirement” —teaching 5-week
courses of what amounts to science immersion: two classes
per day, five days per week.
Margie is the coauthor of the textbook in Animal
Physiology, now in its 3rd edition weighing
in at 800 pages.
It’s rated 4.7/5 at Amazon. One reader review
says, “I never knew quite how fish breathed, nor how birds
survive freezing temperatures. This is one book I can pick
up, open to any page, and find the contents more intriguing
than any mystery.”
It is beautifully illustrated.
Margie has easily taught more
than a thousand students in Animal Physiology.
And it is
perhaps no surprise that she is a vegetarian!
She also educated
and influenced so many through her and Leslie
Jaffe’s popular, high-enrollment class, Women’s Medical
to the college has been remarkable.
She’s chaired the Board of Prehealth Advisers
for more than 20 years, and is responsible for advising hundreds of students
who are now physicians or other health professionals.
She directed the Neuroscience
program for a decade, and incidentally mentoring her successor
been the president of our local chapter of Sigma Xi.
She’s served on the Quantitative
Skills Committee, the IRB, on CET, the Lecture Committee, and T&P.
She was Dean
of the Senior class for four years in the mid-90s.
recently, she created and nurtured the Natural Sciences Planning
Committee, one of whose great successes has been the Festival
idea—whose banquet is a week from today,
honoring 53 honors students from ten science departments.
And she’s accomplished
all this in a half-time position!
As a testimony to how her
spirit and friendship is valued by her colleagues, she was
dubbed an honorary "Bob" for her frequent
and pleasant lunches with Bob Merritt, Bob Linck, Bob Newton,
and Dick Briggs.
Margie, Smith College has been
so fortunate to have you these 37 years. You leave a void
impossible to fill.
We wish you well with your continued
teaching in St. Vincent’s, on your work on the 4th edition of Animal
and we hope that you might find a few hours to relax in your