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Maxwell School names long-time faculty member to newly endowed professorship
Maxwell School names long-time faculty member to newly endowed professorshipMay 09, 2006Jill Leonhardtjlleonha@maxwell.syr.edu
The Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs of Syracuse University has received a $1.5-million gift from John H. Chapple ’75, an alumnus of the school, to establish and endow the Chapple Family Professor of Citizenship and Democracy in the Department of Political Science. The dean of the Maxwell School, Mitchel Wallerstein, has announced that long-time Maxwell political science professor Robert D. McClure has been named as the inaugural Chapple Family Professor.
The duties of the Chapple Family Professor are to carry on the long tradition of the Maxwell School, dating back to its founding in 1924, of encouraging undergraduates to learn and think about their roles as citizens in a democracy. To that end, the Chapple Family Professor will teach in, and provide leadership for, the school’s two interdisciplinary, team-taught, undergraduate citizenship courses: Critical Issues in the United States and Global Communities. Versions of these courses have been offered at Maxwell for more than 80 years as a means of fulfilling the school’s founding mission: to teach responsible citizenship to SU’s undergraduates. The Chapple Family Professor also will teach other political science courses in the broad area of citizenship and democracy, to both undergraduate and graduate students.
“The courses with which this professorship is associated were envisioned first by George Maxwell, the school’s founder; initially designed and taught by
Maxwell’s first dean; and further developed and strengthened by some of the School’s most extraordinary teachers–T.V. Smith, Stuart Gerry Brown, Ralph Ketcham, Mike Sawyer and Don Meikeljohn, to name a few. This professorship, while carrying that tradition into the 21st century, is the legacy of their vision, dedication and skill, and I am honored to be the beneficiary,” says McClure.
John Chapple–currently chairman, CEO, and president of Nextel Partners, Inc., in Kirkland, Wash.–is a long-time supporter of the Maxwell School and the University and serves on the Maxwell Advisory Board and the Syracuse University Board of Trustees. Chapple says, “I feel blessed to have had the opportunity to go to Syracuse University, where I received an excellent education from and was inspired by great faculty members like Bob McClure.”
After graduation, Chapple worked for the City of Syracuse and later for local Syracuse Cablesystems. Chapple then joined American Cablesystems in Florida, before heading west to tackle new challenges in cellular/wireless, and ultimately in sports entertainment. “I have always been interested in politics and government and, after graduating from SU, I discovered the vital connection that exists between the public and private sectors,” says Chapple. “George Maxwell was right that we all need to be involved in the process, if only just by staying active on the sidelines. I hope that this gift to Maxwell will help future generations to gain the awareness and understanding of that truth.”
According to Wallerstein, “This generous gift from John Chapple will help to ensure that the Maxwell School can continue to offer these extraordinarily popular courses for another 80 years and beyond. Based on his own undergraduate experience, John had the vision to appreciate the unique nature of the interdisciplinary courses on citizenship and democracy that have been for decades the hallmark of a Maxwell undergraduate education. And there is no one more deserving to be the inaugural Chapple Family Professor than Professor Robert McClure, who has worked tirelessly to promote undergraduate education in citizenship and democracy and who is himself one of a long line of outstanding ‘teacher-scholars’ who have captivated generations of Maxwell undergraduates and, in many cases, changed their career objectives.”
McClure joined the Maxwell faculty in 1969 and, during his long and distinguished academic career, he served 13 years as associate or senior associate dean. He observes that “to be honored for what you do joyously every day out of a deep conviction that it is important to society and out of the selfish motive that you find it so gratifying personally, is beyond any reasonable expectation. But itdoes confirm what Mike Sawyer said to me nearly 40 years ago: that Maxwell is a place where you can have a satisfying career, while paying attention to undergraduates and taking teaching seriously. I trusted Mike, and, as always, he was right.”