Robert Baerent, Ph.D.
Arthur Conway, Ph.D.
Bruce King, Ph.D.
President Robert R. Lindgren and members of the Randolph-Macon Community honored
retirees during a reception held on Friday, April 17, 2009 at the President’s home.
Drs. Arthur F. Conway (biology), Robert Baerent (German) and Bruce King (biology)
attended and were lauded for their accomplishments and years of service.
Lindgren welcomed the retirees, faculty, staff, friends and family by saying, “I
am now in my fourth year as president of this great school, and I learned very quickly
that working here is not just a job, it is a calling that goes far beyond filling
the 9-5 work day. As we acknowledge the contributions of these individuals, we also
celebrate all that is good about Randolph-Macon.”
Robert Baerent, Ph.D., joined the faculty at Randolph-Macon College In 1972.
During his tenure at the college he twice received the Walter W. Craigie Teaching
Endowment, which is open to all full-time R-MC faculty. In 1978 he received the
Thomas Branch Teaching Award. In 1988 Baerent received the Samuel Nelson Gray Distinguished
Professor Award, presented annually to an outstanding faculty member or administrator.
Baerent received a Fulbright grant, two National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH)
grants and a Mellon grant. In 1983 Baerent received a Fulbright grant to study in
Germany and in 1995 he founded the Marburg-Randolph-Macon exchange program. In 2004
he was awarded the Goethe Institut and American Association of Teachers of German
Certificate of Merit for Outstanding Service to the Learning of the German Language.
Baerent was the chair of the Congress-Bundestag youth exchange program for Virginia;
vice-president of the Virginia chapter of the American Association of Teachers of
German (AATG); treasurer of the Foreign Language Association of Virginia (FLAVA);
and treasurer of AATG in Virginia. Baerent and his colleague, Dr. Arthur Conway,
were the first R-MC professors to teach an honors program course at the college.
Baerent is a member of Delta Phi Alpha (a German honorary fraternity), the Modern
Foreign Language Association and the American Association of Teachers of German.
At R-MC, Baerent chaired the Committee on the Faculty for five years. He also served
on the strategic planning committee, the executive committee, the review board of
the honor’s council and the curriculum committee. Until his retirement, Baerent
served as chair of the German Department. His areas of specialization include German
fairy tales, German social history, German 19th- and 20th-century
novels and German literature of the Baroque.
Baerent earned his B.A. from the University of Maryland, his M.A. from the University
of Kentucky and his Ph.D. from the University of Connecticut.
“This is our chance to congratulate Robert sincerely on a wonderfully successful
career that has spanned 37 years,” said Provost William Johnston. “He’s finally
going to have more time to travel, and I know the German/American international
relationship will continue to improve now that he will be on the road with those
travels, celebrating a life of that cultural and language exchange. Robert, thank
you for making Randolph-Macon your home, and congratulations on reaching this notable
moment of successful retirement.”
Arthur F. Conway, Ph.D., joined the faculty at Randolph-Macon College in
1979. During his tenure at the college, Conway was the recipient of numerous awards.
In 1982, 1989 and 1991 he was awarded the Thomas Branch Award for Excellence in
Teaching. In 1994 he was awarded the Samuel Nelson Gray Distinguished Professor
award, which is presented annually to a faculty member or administrator who has
made a distinguished contribution through teaching or other service to the college.
In 1989-1990 Conway was awarded the Chenery Research Professorship, which is presented
to full-time members of a mathematical or natural science department to provide
opportunities for conducting research.
Conway served on the executive committee of the faculty, the committee on admissions,
credits and academic status of students, the retention committee and the pre-medical
advisory committee at R-MC. From 2001 until his retirement he served as the director
of R-MC’s Honors program. Conway is the author of numerous publications and a member
of many professional organizations, including the American Association for the Advancement
of Science, the Society for Developmental Biology, the Sigma Xi Science Honor Society
and the Virginia Academy of Science. In addition to his other courses, Conway taught
several First-Year Experience colloquia while at R-MC. He and his colleague, Dr.
Robert Baerent, were the first R-MC professors to teach an Honors program course
at the college.
Conway, whose specialty is developmental biology and histology, earned his B.S.
from the College of William & Mary and his Ph.D. from the University of Miami
“We all know what kind of impact Art has had on the college and our students in
so many positive ways—in a collegial manner to the department and in his leadership
to the Honors Program, which he has directed for almost a decade,” said Provost
Johnston. “His selfless service is characterized by his good will and cheerfulness,
from which our Honors students feel a tangible sense of support and care. Congratulations,
Art, on reaching this important milestone.”
Bruce King, Ph.D., joined the faculty at Randolph-Macon College in 1975.
While at R-MC, King served on the committee on activities and special events, the
scholarship and financial aid committee and for eight years on the teacher certification
committee. He also served conducted scholarship for the Office of Admissions for
30 years. For many years he was involved as an evaluator and judge of high school
research for the Virginia Junior Academy of Science and the Metro-Richmond Science
In 1988 and 1994 King received the Chenery Research Professorship, awarded to full-time
members of a mathematical or natural science department to provide opportunities
for conducting research. The award is named in honor of the late Dr. Alan J. Chenery
Sr., a 1911 R-MC graduate who was a physician and member of the college’s board
of trustees. King also received a Rashkind Family Foundation Grant and twice received
grants from the Walter William Craigie Teaching Endowment. During his career he
received teaching and research grants from the National Science Foundation and the
Thomas F. Jeffress Foundation.
King’s areas of specialty include chemosystematics and plant taxonomy, and he has
published numerous research articles in peer reviewed scientific journals. He was
a reviewer of research grant proposals for the National Science Foundation for 15
years. He has been a member of the Botanical Society of America, the American Society
of Plant Taxonomists, the Virginia Academy of Science, Sigma Xi, the Association
of Southeastern Biologists and other scientific organizations.
King earned his B.S. in biology from the University of Southern Mississippi and
his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in botany from the University of Georgia.
“Bruce taught ecology, plant taxonomy, bioethics, field and lab methods, biosystematics,
cell biology, heredity, and genetics and developmental biology, along with, of course,
our introductory courses in the biology department, always with an expertise and
insightful knowledge that our students recognize and appreciate,” said Provost Johnston.
“That knowledge not only broadly applied across these many topics in the field,
it is also at the highest levels of research. Bruce, we’re proud of your work and
feel blessed to have had you alongside us over these three decades at R-MC. Congratulations
to you for such a marvelous career.” “Each of these professors has helped to shape
the lives of generations of students over the years,” said Lindgren. “They have
served as mentors and role models and we will always be grateful for their outstanding
Edmonia Iverson (campus safety)
Edmonia Iverson, (who was unable to attend the reception), retired after 24 years
of service to R-MC as a communications officer in the Campus Safety office. Iverson
was a solid fixture at Randolph -Macon College and known for her dedication to her
faith, family and the success of R-MC. Iverson also served her community in a number
of capacities. She has been a member of the Hanover County Planning Commission since
1988 representing the Beaverdam district and is an active member of her church.