Longtime Knox College faculty member Robert Seibert '63 received a warm sendoff as he retired from teaching at the end of the 2012-2013 academic year.
Seibert, the Robert W. Murphy Professor of Political Science, "has been a part of the Knox fabric for over half a century, first as a student, then as an alum, and now as a faculty member," Professor Lane Sunderland said at Seibert's retirement reception.
"One of Bob's great strengths consists of the relationships that he builds with alumni," added Sunderland, Chancie Ferris Booth Professor of Political Science.
"We'll miss you -- your banter, your insight, your many years of experience," Professor Sue Hulett said to Seibert and the dozens of people at the reception. She is Richard P. and Sophia D. Henke Distinguished Professor, Chair of Political Science, and Chair of International Relations at Knox.
She presented Seibert with a binder "full of testimonials and anecdotes from Bob's treasured alums -- alums who treasure him."
Here are a few excerpts:
- From Melissa Agar '93: "Bob set the model for what teaching should be, filled with high expectations (and) grounded in humor and a passion for teaching."
- From Brad Middleton '08: "You, more than anyone else at Knox, made an impact on me. Thank you for taking the time to mentor and guide me, even to this day."
- From Jeanne Marie Schultz '79: "Bob, you're a man that changes lives. You certainly changed mine."
Seibert also offered remarks, praising the "incredible quality of the Knox community -- how it supports, how it interacts, how it creates community."
He pointed out that he grew up in a small Illinois town, and "Knox College provided this wonderful platform for a global engagement."
"This is an unusual and particular institution for just that kind of thing," Seibert added. "Knox reaches out to the globe."
Seibert earned a bachelor's degree in political science from Knox, and a master's degree and Ph.D. in political science from Tulane University.
He returned to Knox in 1967 as a faculty member. His teaching interests include comparative politics, politics of the Middle East, and political communication.
With two other Knox faculty members, Roy Andersen and Jon Wagner, Seibert is co-author of 10 editions of Politics and Change in the Middle East. He has published many scholarly articles, presented numerous conference papers, and served on boards for several organizations, including the National Council on U.S./Arab Relations and the Governor's Joint Task Force on International Education.
He also is the recipient of a Knox Alumni Achievement Award.
Two funds have been newly created in Seibert's honor: the Robert F. Seibert Prize for outstanding students in international relations and comparative politics and the Robert F. Seibert International Travel Fund for faculty members who participate in international conferences.