With cake and kind words, members of the Knox community celebrated the careers of three retiring professors this spring: Professor of Anthropology Larry Breitborde, William and Marilyn Ingersoll Professor of Computer Science John Dooley, and Szold Distinguished Service Professor of Classics Stephen Fineberg. Together, their careers represent 76 years of teaching and administrative experience at Knox.
Breitborde taught at Knox for 22 years and is known for his sense of humor, his dedication to his students, and his passion for teaching.
Professor Emeritus of Anthropology Jon Wagner said he viewed Breitborde as an "ideal exemplar of the spirit of Knox."
"Like his academic colleagues, Larry counseled students, became fond of them as individuals, and went out of his way for them personally when the occasion arose," said Wagner.
Breitborde received his M.A. and Ph.D. in anthropology at University of Rochester in 1978. He came to Knox as dean of the College in 1995, stepping down from that position in 2013 to continue his career at Knox as a professor. His teaching interests include language and culture, SubSaharan Africa, and linguistics. During his career, he received various grants and awards, including a Fulbright Dissertation Award, a Fulbright Africa Regional Research Award, research grants from the National Science Foundation, and a National Endowment for the Humanities grant.
After a 16-year career at Knox, Dooley is remembered as a knowledgeable and inspiring teacher, mentor, and colleague.
"I always enjoyed his stories from working in the corporate world, and he helped me grow my interest in project management," wrote Andrea Tait Block '04 of her former professor. "I believe because of the education I received and his experience which he shared with us, I have been able to reach my career goals more quickly."
Dooley spent almost 20 years working in the computer industry before he joined the Knox faculty in 2001. His teaching interests include software development and computer security, and he was one of the faculty members for StartUp Term, an immersive experience where students create and run their own businesses.
Dooley's teaching earned him the 2016 Philip Green Wright/Lombard College Prize for distinguished teaching by a tenured faculty member. In addition, he has written dozens of publications, book chapters, book reviews, and presentations and is the author of four books, including, most recently, Codes, Ciphers & Spies: Tales of Military Intelligence during World War I.
Fineberg taught classics at Knox for 41 years, beginning the year after he received his Ph.D. in classics from the University of Texas in 1975. His teaching interests have been Greek language, art and architecture, and Greek and Roman origins of Western thought. He is known in the Knox community for his passion for teaching and learning and commitment to students.
Keith Jones '89 notes that after 30 years in the teaching business, "I can say easily that Steve remains one of the most important inﬂuences on me as a thinker, a scholar, and a teacher."
As a faculty member, Fineberg served as chair of the classics department and as an advisor to off-campus programs (College Year in Athens, Newberry Library, and London-Florence), as well as past director of the Newberry Library and Florence programs. He was also a visiting senior associate member of American School of Classical Studies in Athens, Greece. In 2014, Knox alumni and students accompanied Fineberg to Greece to study Greek art and architecture.
All three were named professors emeriti at the June Board of Trustees meeting.