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   Date: 5/17/13 Bookmark and Share

A Toast Offered by Associate Provost Joe O'Rourke

To Margie Anderson, Professor of Biological Sciences

Margie 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 school house.

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 America.

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 Issues.

Margie’s service 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 Adam Hall.

She’s 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.

Most recently, she created and nurtured the Natural Sciences Planning Committee, one of whose great successes has been the Festival of Honors—Margie’s 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 Physiology, and we hope that you might find a few hours to relax in your retirement!


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