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Leading by Example: A Message from the Dean

Every issue of art/sci testifies to the excellence of our faculty, the talent and energy of our students, and the remarkable achievements of our alumni. In this issue, we offer a special tribute to the Flora Stone Mather Alumnae Association.

The Mather alumnae have helped sustain the College's most valued traditions and ideals. Recently, when the board of directors decided that the time had come to dissolve the association, they set about this task with their characteristic generosity and wisdom. It has been a privilege to work with the Mather women during my years as dean, and I would have gladly continued for another century at least.

As most of our readers will know, Flora Stone Mather College was the original home to many of the arts and humanities programs that flourish today in the College of Arts and Sciences. The alumnae have always spoken with pride and gratitude of the education they received at "ol' Mather," and they have spared no effort to ensure that subsequent generations of students would enjoy equally rewarding opportunities.

The highest praise I can offer to the Mather alumnae is to say that they have been worthy successors of Flora Stone Mather herself. But that, of course, was precisely their objective. Not long ago, I came across a brochure in which the alumnae described Mrs. Mather's legacy. Most of her gifts, the brochure noted, were "less majestic" than the ones for which she was best known—Guilford House, Haydn Hall, Amasa Stone Chapel. But all of them met clear needs:

When a boiler went bad, she provided a new one. When she encountered lecturers or musicians whom the students might enjoy, she brought them to campus. When individual students or departments needed support, they found it in her.

And the support was not necessarily monetary. Mrs. Mather's lively involvement in school activities led her into mutually rewarding personal relationships with students and faculty alike.

This is the sort of philanthropy that the Mather women have practiced for 114 years. On behalf of the entire College, I welcome the chance to thank them for their exemplary dedication to the College and the University.

Cyrus C. Taylor
Dean and Albert A. Michelson Professor in Physics

The dean joined members of the Flora Stone Mather Alumnae Association at Alumni House in June. From left: Patricia Kilpatrick, Sandra Vodanoff, Dean Taylor, and Dottie Mitchell.
Photo: Al Fuchs Footer