Lawrence University Appoints Two Faculty Members to Endowed Professorships

APPLETON, WIS. — Two Lawrence University faculty members have been appointed to endowed professorships.

Professor of French Eilene Hoft-March has been named to the Milwaukee-Downer College and College Endowment Association Professorship and Associate Professor of Government William Hixon has been named to the Gordon R. Clapp Chair in American Studies.

Appointments to endowed professorships recognize academic distinction through teaching excellence and/or scholarly achievement.

A member of the Lawrence faculty since 1988, Hoft-March is a scholar of 20th-century French literature and autobiographies. Her scholarship also includes literature about children and the Holocaust. She teaches French language and French literature, as well as Freshman Studies and courses in the gender studies program. She also has served as director of Lawrence’s Francophone Seminar in Dakar, Senegal and is a faculty advisor to students in the Posse Program, an initiative that brings high-achieving high school students with exceptional leadership skills from New York City public high schools to Lawrence.

Hoft-March was recognized with Lawrence’s Outstanding Young Teacher Award in 1991 and received the college’s Freshman Studies Teaching Award in 1997. She earned a bachelor’s degree in French and English at Carroll College and her Ph.D. in French from the University of California-Berkeley.

“Eilene Hoft-March is an excellent scholar, caring, effective teacher, and wonderful colleague who is devoted to Lawrence University and its students,” said Provost David Burrows. “Her work on French literature has gained national and international acclaim.”

The College Endowment Association was founded in 1890 in Milwaukee by women with a common interest in Milwaukee-Downer College. Originally dedicated to showcasing the expertise of Milwaukee-Downer faculty through lecture programs, today the association attracts speakers from across the country. The CEA has a long history of providing scholarship aid to students at Milwaukee-Downer and Lawrence following the consolidation of the two institutions in 1964.

Hixon first joined the Lawrence government department in 2000 as a visiting assistant professor and returned to the college in 2003 with a tenure-track appointment as an assistant professor. He was promoted to associate professor in 2008.

A political scientist specializing in game theory and social choice theory, his scholarship interests include Congressional politics, especially leadership and coalition building, political institutions and environmental public policy. In addition to Freshman Studies, Hixon has taught courses on interest groups and public policy, the American presidency and environmental politics.

He earned his bachelor’s degree in political science and political economy at Washington University and his Ph.D. in political science at the University of Rochester.

“Bill Hixon is a scholar of the legislative process whose work focuses on major contemporary issues in United States politics” said Burrows. “He is a dedicated teacher who is extremely well liked by his students and his peers.”

Established in 1963, the Clapp professorship honors 1927 Lawrence graduate Gordon R. Clapp, who enjoyed a distinguished career, including serving as chairman of the Tennessee Valley Authority from 1946-54. He also served as New York City’s deputy city administrator and ended his career as president of Development and Resources Corporation of New York, a private engineering consulting firm that dealt with foreign aid programs.

In 1949, Clapp was appointed to lead an Economic Survey Mission of U.S., British, French and Turkish officials to the Middle East under the auspices of the United Nations to foster economic development and aid refugees following the establishment of the state of Israel.

Early in his career, he served as assistant dean and director of admissions at Lawrence and later served on the Lawrence Board of Trustees (1948-51). Lawrence awarded him an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree in 1947 and recognized him with an Alumni Distinguished Service award in 1960.