Randolph-Macon College Classics Professor Gregory Daugherty is the inaugural Shelton H. Short III Professor in the Liberal Arts. Daugherty was invested in the Short Professorship at a ceremony on February 21, 2014 in R-MC's McGraw-Page Library.
Alan B. Rashkind '69, chairman of the Board of Trustees, welcomed guests, and President Robert R. Lindgren lauded Daugherty's scholarship and his commitment to R-MC.
"The Shelton Short Professorship is an honor that in a very special way recognizes the prodigious talents that Professor Daugherty has shared with Randolph-Macon during his remarkable career," said Lindgren. "Professor Daugherty, on behalf of Randolph-Macon College, it is my pleasure to congratulate you on this most impressive distinction. Your teaching, your scholarship and service, and your role as mentor to faculty and students within your department and throughout the college, eminently qualify you to hold this most impressive professorship. Congratulations."
Daugherty was installed as the Shelton H. Short III Professor in the Liberal Arts by Provost William T. Franz.
Franz highlighted Daugherty's many achievements during his time at R-MC, including his role as an architect of the college's Honors Program and its system of Academic Integrity. "Greg, you absolutely are a teacher who has made a difference," said Franz. "You have been a member and/or chair of every major committee we have. But it is in the everyday interactions with your students where you have shone most brightly."
Daugherty shared his gratitude and extolled the value of the Liberal Arts. "More than anything else, the Liberal Arts has and will continue to give our students the tools to live in and grow within a world that will not stand still. I am honored to be part of that process."
The ceremony ended with the singing of the R-MC alma mater, which was led by Tim Eicher '15.
Daugherty, a member of the Randolph-Macon College faculty since 1976, has chaired the Department of Classics for the past 30 years. During his tenure at R-MC, he has been the director of the Honors Program, the director of the Summer Session, and the chair of several major standing committees of the faculty. Daugherty was an integral part of the adoption of the college's Code of Academic Integrity, serving as chair of the Committee on Academic Integrity.
Recognized by his peers as one of the premier teachers on R-MC's faculty of teacher-scholars, Daugherty was twice named a recipient of the college's Thomas Branch Award for Teaching Excellence, and he received the Samuel Nelson Gray Distinguished Faculty Award, the college's highest honor for its faculty, in 1998. He won the Excellence in Teaching of Classics Award from the American Philological Association, the Lurlene Todd Teacher of the Year Award from the Classical Association of Virginia and the FLAVA Distinguished Service to Foreign Language Award. Daugherty serves as coordinator for the Virginia Governor's Latin and Japanese Academies, which are held on the campus of Randolph-Macon College.
Daugherty has held numerous offices in the Classical Association of the Middle West and South, including that of secretary-treasurer and president. He also served as president of the Foreign Language Association of Virginia and the Classical Association of Virginia. He is the author of more than a dozen articles and reviews, and he is a frequent national presenter on topics as varied as Cleopatra, Fires and Firemen in Nero's Rome, and Classics and Film.
Daugherty earned his bachelor's degree in Latin from the University of Richmond. After spending a year at the Collegio Ghislieri of the University of Pavia in Italy on a Fulbright Scholarship, he earned his M.A. and Ph.D. in Classical Studies from Vanderbilt University. His research interests have been centered on public safety in the ancient city, with particular reference to the Imperial Roman fire brigades, the Cohortes Vigilum, especially their role in the Great Fire at the time of Nero. He is also interested in the reception of Classics (especially Cleopatra and Homer) by American Popular culture.
The Shelton H. Short III Professorship in the Liberal Arts was made possible by gifts from the Short Trust, created as a result of Dr. Short's death and administered by Wells Fargo Bank. During his life, Dr. Shelton H. Short III, along with his wife, Dr. Jean Renner Short, also created two scholarships at Randolph-Macon College. The Honorable Shelton Hardaway Short Jr. Scholarship was established in 1997 by Shelton in memory of his father. That scholarship supports academically promising students from Boydton, Virginia and adjacent counties. The Dr. Shelton Hardaway Short III and Dr. Jean Renner Short Scholarship was established in 2001 by the Shorts to provide annual scholarships to academically promising students from Southside Virginia or north-central North Carolina. Both scholarships were established in 2010 through the Short Trust.
Dr. Shelton H. Short III was a friend of the college and the son of Shelton H. Short Jr., a member of the Class of 1918. Short was also connected to R-MC through his mother's family, including William Goode, his great-grandfather, who introduced the legislation in the Virginia Senate that later became Randolph-Macon's Charter.
Shelton H. Short III earned his bachelor's degree from Hampden-Sydney College and master's degrees from the International People's College in Elsinore, Denmark and the University of Nevada, Reno. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Edinburgh in Scotland and was a historian with a deep interest in Virginia’s forests.
He also had an interest in history, particularly with R-MC's origins in Boydton, Virginia. He spent years studying Virginia statesmen, including R-MC namesakes John Randolph and Nathaniel Macon. In 1972, he served as the Patrick Henry Scholar in Residence at Hampden-Sydney. In 1973, he held the position of John Randolph Bicentennial Historian at R-MC, and in 1999 he returned as the Nathaniel Macon Scholar and Historian. He served for 18 years as Virginia's representative to the U.N. and was chairman of United Nations Day in Virginia. Shelton H. Short III died in 2005.
In 2000, Randolph-Macon presented each of the Shorts with an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters. The degrees honored their commitment to forests, wildlife, historic preservation, humanitarianism and higher education.