(l. to r.) President Robert R. Lindgren, Provost William T. Franz, Alan Rashkind
'69, A.G. Ingram '61, Professor Thomas Peyser
Randolph-Macon College Professor Thomas G. Peyser is the new A.G. Ingram Professor
of English. Peyser was invested in the Ingram
Endowed Professorship at a ceremony on Friday, October 14 in the
McGraw-Page Library. Staff, faculty, students, alumni and friends attended
the event, as did Alexis Gordon Ingram ’61, for whom the professorship is named.
A.G. Ingram Professorship to view a slideshow of photos from the event.
The A. G. Ingram Professorship in English, established in 1998 by Alexis Gordon
Ingram, recognizes a senior member of the English department for exemplary teaching
and scholarship. Ingram retired in 1998 after 30 years with Wheat First Union and
is the co-owner of Ingram Construction Company in Rocky Mount, North Carolina. He
is a member of the R-MC President’s Society and the Heritage Society and a former
member of the Board of Associates.
Alan Rashkind ’69, chair of the R-MC Board of Trustees, welcomed guests, and President
Robert R. Lindgren lauded Peyser’s important role in the R-MC community.
“Your teaching, your scholarship and service, and your role as mentor to faculty
and students within the department of English and throughout the college, eminently
qualify you to hold this most impressive
Randolph-Macon professorship,” said Lindgren.
Provost William T. Franz told attendees that Peyser is known at R-MC as “the absolute
czar of English grammar and usage,” but noted that his reputation extends far beyond
the college. “Students in countless schools across our nation know Professor Peyser
as Yossarian the Grammarian in his popular YouTube videos,” said Franz, and the
audience was treated to a clip of one of the videos.
Peyser joined the faculty at R-MC in 1994. He earned his A.B. from Harvard University,
where he was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa, and received his M.A. and Ph.D. from
the University of Virginia. At R-MC, he has taught classes ranging from Grammar
for Readers, Writers, and Teachers to contemporary American Literature and British
Literature of the Twentieth Century. He also serves the college as director of writing
and in this capacity provides support to the First Year Experience program and the
office of the provost.
Peyser’s research interests include economics and literature, the novel, and American
Literature. His publications, which include two books, W.W. (Xlibris, 2000)
and Utopia and Cosmopolis: Globalization in the Era of American Literary Realism
(Duke University Press, 1998), have been described by peers as “dazzling” and for
having “the signal virtue of thinking beyond the pieties of contemporary critical
practice.” His scholarship is complemented by regular contributions in the popular
press, including Richmond’s Style Weekly.
Previous holders of the Ingram Professorship were Professor Ritchie C. Watson (1999-2008)
and Professor Theodore F. Sheckels Jr. (2008-2011).