(l. to r.) Professor Daniel McCaffrey, Kate McCaffrey, Provost William T. Franz,
Professor Greg Daugherty, Professor Elizabeth Fisher,
Professor John Camp II, President Robert R. Lindgren
The Randolph-Macon College community held a surprise Bench Dedication on December
7, 2013, honoring Classics Professor Daniel
McCaffrey, who is retiring after 39 years of service at R-MC. The seating area,
located near the entrance to the McGraw-Page Library,
pays homage to a professor known for his dedication and pioneering spirit.
“What a pleasure it is for me to pay tribute to someone who has been such an integral
part of our community for so many years,” said R-MC President Robert R. Lindgren
as he welcomed guests. “Dan’s gifted teaching, professional activity and dedicated
service personify the very best in the title ‘Professor’.”
Father Christian J. Haydinger of St. Ann’s Catholic Church gave the invocation,
and Provost William T. Franz shared some heartfelt thoughts.
“Positively changing the world often happens from a series of simple acts,” said
Franz. “Dan, you have been changing the world, one simple act at a time. Through
dedicated, effective teaching; through your many scholarly contributions to the
study of the Classics; through mentoring generations of Latin teachers; and through
your humble but powerful spirit, you have made Randolph-Macon College, and indeed
the world, a better place.”
Molly Field ’04, a member of R-MC’s
Society of Alumni Board Executive Committee, told the audience that McCaffrey
was integral to her success—and happiness—as a student.
“I just can’t imagine my R-MC experience without Dr. McCaffrey,” said Field, who
majored in Classics and minored in
history and German. “He was my professor
for Latin and Greek, Ancient Comedy, and served as one of the leaders for the 2003
study abroad trip to Turkey—a life-changing
trip for me. We have kept in touch throughout the years, and I wish him all the
best in his retirement.”
McCaffrey was all smiles during the celebration.
“I was totally surprised by the both the ceremony and the bench,” he says. “I am
grateful beyond words to my colleagues who organized it all and to the donors who
made it possible. I was also moved to laughter and tears by the kind words of all
the speakers. It felt like the movie character Ned Devine, who gets to attend his
own wake while still living and actually hears his own eulogies.”
Following a ribbon-cutting ceremony, Mario Jackson ’15 led guests
in singing the Alma Mater.
About Daniel McCaffrey
McCaffrey, who joined the R-MC faculty in 1975, earned his B.A. from Fordham University
and his Ph.D. from the University of Michigan. An early user of computerized instruction
for teaching Classical languages, he also pioneered the computer literacy program
on the Randolph-Macon campus.
From his creative productions of Plautus’ comedies to his articles on Classics;
from his service on numerous college committees and editorial boards to his Saturday
Seminars for Latin Teachers; and from his memorable trips to Camden Yards to his
legendary departmental teas, McCaffrey brings his discipline alive and helps build
community at Randolph-Macon.
A beloved professor, McCaffrey in 2002 earned the Samuel Nelson Gray Distinguished
Professor Award, and in 2012 he was presented the United Methodist Church Exemplary