Mr. Dillard, Abramson Family Cancer Research Institute
Timothy N. Dillard, retired director of grants operations for the department of cancer biology and the Abramson Family Cancer Research Institute, passed away May 17 from colon cancer; he was 58.
Mr. Dillard worked at Penn for over 25 years, coming in 1982. After retiring, he returned to work part-time until his position ended in December 2011.
He is survived by his sons, Carl and Michael; daughter, Karita; brothers, Howard, Dana and Gregory; and sister, Camille Dillard-Turnier, an accountant in Penn’s Office of the Treasurer.
Donations may be made to the Abramson Cancer Center by visiting www.penncancer.org
Dr. Fussell, English
Dr. Paul Fussell, Jr., Donald T. Regan Professor Emeritus of English in the School of Arts & Sciences, passed away May 23 in Oregon; he was 88.
He taught English at Connecticut College for Women, 1951-55, and at Rutgers University, 1976-83, before joining the Penn faculty in 1983. He was awarded a Guggenheim and a Lindback while at Rutgers. Dr. Fussell became an emeritus professor at Penn in 1994.
Born and raised in Pasadena, California, he attended Pasadena Junior College and Pomona College before serving in World War II, for which he was awarded the Bronze Star and two Purple Hearts. After the war he earned a BA from Pomona College in 1947 and later received both his master’s and doctoral degrees in 18th-century English literature from Harvard University in 1949 and 1952, respectively.
He authored several books including, The Great War and Modern Memory, about the myths of World War I and the war’s impact on literature, which won the National Book Award in 1976 and the National Book Critics Circle (NBCC) Award in Criticism in 1975; Modern Library publishing house named it one of the 20th century’s best nonfiction books. That book, which drew on his experience as a first lieutenant in the infantry during WWII, changed the course of his career. His 1980 book, Abroad: British Literary Traveling Between the Wars, was a finalist for the NBCC.
Earlier in his career, Dr. Fussell had been a consulting editor for Random House and a contributing editor to The New Republic and Harper’s. He then appeared in Ken Burns’ 2007 documentary, The War.
Dr. Fussell is survived by his second wife, Harriet Behringer-Fussell; his children, Rosalind and Sam; his sister, Florence Fussell-Lind; four stepchildren, Cole, Roclin, Marcy and Liese Behringer, 10 step-grandchildren and six step great-grandchildren.
Ms. Halterman, Economics
Lisa M. Reisman Halterman, former staff member in the bioengineering and economics departments, died June 6 from breast cancer; she was 57.
Ms. Halterman worked as a graduate coordinator in bioengineering from 1996-2002 and economics from 2002-2005. She also took art history courses at Penn.
Prior to that, she had been a private art dealer living in London in the late 1970s and then returned the United States where she was the assistant to the director of the Rittenhouse Gallery.
An advocate for the preservation of historic buildings, Ms. Halterman sold historic properties in Center City for Robert Bruce Realty, Merrill Lynch and Prudential.
In 2005, she revived the private art dealership and opened Lisa M. Reisman et Cie, Ltd in Rittenhouse Square. Ms. Halterman remained working until a few weeks before her death.
Ms. Halterman was born in New Jersey, raised in Syracuse, New York and attended high school in Athens, Georgia.
She is survived by her two sons, Samuel and Benjamin, a research specialist in the department of neuroscience; her mother, Dr. Fredricka Reisman; and her father, George Reisman.
Donations are requested to the Lisa Maxine Reisman Halterman Fund to support Drexel Torrance Center for Creativity and Innovation scholarly activities, attention Linda Lee, Goodwin College, Drexel University, 3141 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104.
Dr. Holland, Earth and Environmental Science
Dr. Heinrich D. "Dick" Holland, a visiting scholar in the department of earth and environmental science from 2006-2012, passed away from cancer on May 21. He was 84.
Dr. Holland began his career teaching geology at Princeton in 1950. During summers in the 1950s he served as director of summer studies. He went to Harvard in 1972, where he retired from as the Harry C. Dudley Professor of Economic Geology before coming to Penn in 2006.
During his long career, Dr. Holland held visiting appointments and sabbaticals in geology at Oxford and Durham Universities in England, the University of Hawaii, Heidelberg University in Germany, Penn State, Imperial College in London, United Kingdom and his last at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Israel.
Born in Mannheim, Germany of German Jewish parents, he escaped Hitler's Pogrom via Kindertransport to England and was later re-united with his family in the Dominican Republic. The family then travelled to the United States where they first resided in Kew Gardens in New York.
Dr. Holland earned his BS in chemistry at Princeton in 1946. He then served in the US Army from 1946-1947, assisting the government with his work on secret and classified projects with Wernher von Brown, the Father of V-2 Rockets. In 1948, he earned his master's in geology from Columbia and in 1952, his PhD as a member of the first group of geochemists ever assembled at Columbia by Dr. Laurence Kulp.
Dr. Holland headed one of the first academic research groups to put geochemistry on a firm quantitative footing. His early papers on the application of thermodynamic data to the origin and formational processes of hydrothermal deposits of copper, zinc, lead, silver and other metals earned him the title of the Father of Modern Economic Geology. His work and that of his research group on the chemical evolution of the atmosphere led to a theory of the Great Oxidation event ca. 2.4 billion years ago, a paradigm that is now conventional wisdom.
He served as vice president of the Geochemical Society from 1969-1970 and its president from 1970-1971. In 1994, he received the Goldschmidt Medal and Award, the Society's highest honor. In 1995, the Society of Economic Geologists awarded him its Penrose Gold Medal. In 1998, he was awarded the Leopold von Buch Medal by the German Geological Society during their 150th Anniversary celebrations.
At the time of his death, he was a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Science and member of the National Academy of Sciences.
His major published contributions to the field of geochemistry remain The Chemistry of the Atmosphere, 1978; The Chemical Evolution of the Atmosphere and Oceans, 1984 and the 1995 elementary text Living Dangerously he co-wrote with Ulrich Petersen at Harvard. He served with Karl Turekian of Yale as executive editor of the ten volume Treatise on Geochemistry (2004) and continued to work, up to his death, on an expanded second edition of this Treatise with an anticipated publication date in 2013.
In May, the Penn Libraries announced that Dr. Holland donated an important copy of the German edition of the Augsburg Confession, published in Wittenberg by Georg Rhau (or Rhaw) in 1531. This copy, bound in vellum, contains copious underlining and annotations by an early reader of this controversial work. This generous gift joined a number of early works by Luther and Melanchthon already in the Rare Book collection.
Dr. Holland is survived by his children, Henry, Anne and John, GAR'84; grandchildren, Benedict, Esther Rhoades, Nathaniel and Samuel; a brother, Hans; and a sister, Anne Hohenemser. Dr. Holland was pre-deceased by his wife of 57 years, Alice and his son, Matthew.
Donations may be made to The US Holocaust Memorial Museum or the National Academy of Sciences, Committee on Human Rights.
Mr. Hunter, Penn Dining
Frederick D. Hunter, a cook in Hill House from 1978 to 2010, passed away May 26 of complications of a stroke and renal failure; he was 60.
Born in Philadelphia, Mr. Hunter was a graduate of West Philadelphia High School and Philadelphia Community College, where he studied early-childhood education. He also served in the Army Reserves.
Mr. Hunter is survived by his daughter, Alysha Hunter; a son, Douglas Hunter; sisters, Dorothy and Denise Hunter.
Dr. Leboy, Dental Medicine
Dr. Phoebe Starfield Leboy, professor emerita of biochemistry, School of Dental Medicine, scientist and tireless advocate for women in science and engineering, passed away on June 16, after a four-year battle with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig’s disease). She was 75.
Born in Brooklyn, NY, Dr. Leboy took her BA with honors in 1957 at Swarthmore in zoology, and her PhD in 1962 at Bryn Mawr in biochemistry.
Dr. Leboy was a rare creature when she joined the faculty of the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine in 1966, one of only a few women among many men. She was promoted to associate professor with tenure three years later, and to the rank of professor in 1976. For 21 years she remained the only tenured woman in the School of Dental Medicine. She served as chair of the department from 1992-95.
Dr. Leboy had a distinguished career in two unrelated areas of research. Her early career focused on nucleic acid modifications, presaging the recent explosion of work in the new field of epigenetics. Her later work focused on bone-forming adult stem cells, and made her a pioneer in the field of what is now known as regenerative medicine. “However, perhaps her greatest scientific impact was through her activism for other women scientists,” said her colleague Dr. Sherri Adams, professor of biochemistry in the School of Dental Medicine.
Her advocacy for women began in 1970, with formation of Women for Equal Opportunity at the University of Pennsylvania (WEOUP), an organization that she chaired and founded. The organization was formed in response to the University’s failure to develop a federally-mandated affirmative action plan, the need for which was dramatically demonstrated by the finding that, in 1971, only 7% of faculty positions were held by women. After a series of rapes on campus, she organized a sit-in at College Hall. Ultimately, negotiations led to numerous advances that made Penn a model for other academic institutions in its programs for women, with the founding of the Penn Women’s Center, a Women’s Studies Program, victim support and special services, and increased campus safety for women. She was a member of the University Council Committee on the Status of Women (Cohn Committee) which conducted the first official study on women’s status at Penn (Almanac April 13, 20, and 27, 1971).
The consummate Penn citizen, she served on many University-wide committees and was the chair of the Faculty Senate from 1981-1982. She co-chaired Penn’s Task Force on Gender Equity, 2000-2001 (Almanac December 4, 2001).
In 2001, in response to an initiative by the Ford Foundation, presidents, chancellors, provosts, and several leading scholars from nine top research universities met at MIT to engage in an unprecedented discussion on barriers to success for women faculty in science and engineering. The group, now known as the “MIT9,” released a statement agreeing to analyze salaries and university resources provided to women faculty. MIT Professor Nancy Hopkins remembers Dr. Leboy as an integral part of “MIT9”: “[Phoebe] was fearless in speaking out and in turning what can be contentious issues into issues of simple common sense and common decency. I don’t know what makes a person possess such a powerful innate sense of fairness as Phoebe has or that equips them with the courage to act on their convictions with risk and no obvious professional benefit to themselves. But I do know that at least hundreds and more probably thousands of women scientists owe the ease of their life in science to the courageous and brilliant efforts of Phoebe Leboy.” The group has continued to meet annually, and has since broadened its focus to include both women faculty and underrepresented minorities in STEM fields.
In 2005 Dr. Leboy received the Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching (Almanac April 12, 2005). Upon retirement from Penn in 2005, she took her advocacy for women on the road, becoming President of the Association for Women in Science (AWIS) 2008-2009. She continued to work throughout her illness to promote women and underrepresented minorities in STEM fields. At the time of her death she held a grant from the National Science Foundation on gender inequity in science, and was actively publishing the findings of this research. In recognition of her leadership, several fellowships have been created in her name.
“Although many of the women whom Dr. Leboy mentored both directly and indirectly consider themselves her academic progeny, she was lucky later in life to develop a rich family life,” added Dr. Adams.
Dr. Leboy is survived by her husband, Dr. Neal Nathanson, associate dean, Global Health Programs, Penn Medicine, her three step-children, Kate, John, and Daniel and six grandchildren, Leah and Claire Ochroch, Alexander, Sophia, Olivia and Jack Nathanson.
The family has requested that contributions be made to the Association for Women in Science, awis.org A memorial service will be held at the University of Pennsylvania in the fall.
For information on a memorial service for Dr. Leboy, click here.
Ms. Miller, CGS
Denise E. Miller, a retired administrative assistant in the College of General Studies, passed away July 3 at age 60.
Ms. Miller worked at CGS (now the College of Liberal and Professional Studies) from 1984 until her retirement in 2007. In 1997, she was elected to the A-3 Assembly board (now the Penn Professional Staff Assembly), serving as secretary. She earned her associates degree from CGS in 2005.
Ms. Miller is survived by her son, Phillip Miller; her fianceé, Phillip Dubose; three sisters, Pat, Gerry, Chris; and one brother, William.
Dr. Weber, Biochem & Biophysics
Dr. Annemarie Weber, professor emerita of biochemistry and biophysics, died July 5 at the age of 88. "She was a pioneering scientist and dedicated teacher who will be missed greatly," said Dr. Mark Lemmon, professor and chair of biochemistry/biophysics.
After completing her MD and DM degrees at the University of Tubingen in Germany in 1950, she received a Rockefeller postdoctoral fellowship to continue her training in biophysics at University College, London and in physical chemistry at Harvard Medical School.
Dr. Weber accepted a position in neurology at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and was subsequently named professor of biochemistry at St. Louis University Medical School. In 1972 Dr. Weber was recruited to the School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania as professor of biochemistry.
"Annemarie's scientific accomplishments were outstanding. In 1959 she established the first direct and complete evidence that calcium ions act as intracellular messengers. She also demonstrated that the sarcoplasmic reticulum of muscle is capable of lowering cytoplasmic calcium concentrations to levels consistent with muscle relaxation by virtue of its pumping activity. Annemarie played a pivotal role in establishing the overall principles of calcium action: the ion is maintained at very low free concentration in the cytoplasm, and a very minor rise in its concentration acts as the message to switch on either the contractile apparatus or other cellular activities. She played a central role in establishing that calcium, like cAMP, functions as a second messenger," explained Dr. Lemmon.
She was elected to the Deutsche Akademie der Naturforscher Leopoldina; the American Academy of Arts and Sciences; the American Association for the Advancement of Science and was a fellow by the Biophysical Society.
In 1985 she received the Berwick Award for her outstanding educational contributions. In 1998 she became emerita, but continued her mission—to teach medical students—and received the Provost's Award for Distinguished Teaching in 2001. "She stood as an example of what it means to be an academic. Students repeatedly remarked on her sense of humor, her lively lectures, her dedication—and recognized her as a truly exceptional teacher." To quote one of her students: "She is extraordinarily successful at clarifying difficult concepts, integrating clinical correlations, and providing a big picture of biochemistry that facilitates active learning." In recognition of her extraordinary commitment to educating the next generation of physicians, she was presented on several occasions by the first year class with the "Outstanding Lecturer Award." "As a teacher and mentor she stood head and shoulders above the crowd; she raised the bar and transformed education at Penn Med. She was more than just a teacher in this school—she was an institution. In addition to her important scientific contributions, her legacy lives on with the multitude of Penn medical students who benefited from her teaching and generous mentoring," Dr. Lemmon added.
July 17, 2012, Volume 59, No. 01