On Wednesday, May 3, Emmanuel President Sister Janet Eisner, SND, welcomed members of the College community to an event marking the retirements of two long-time faculty members, Professor of Philosophy/Louise Doherty Wyant Professor Ray Devettere, Ph.D. and Professor of Biology Bette Weiss, Ph.D.
In her remarks, Sister Janet reported that, at this year's Commencement ceremony, Weiss will be awarded Professor Emeritus of Biology status in recognition of her 43 years of dedicated service to Emmanuel, and Devettere will be awarded Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Philosophy status in recognition of his 47 years of service to the College.
During the event, Devettere's philosophy department colleague Tom Wall, Ph.D. told the gathering about his friend's many accomplishments since starting at Emmanuel in 1969. He discussed Devettere's role as head of the philosophy department in the 1970s, his time as Emmanuel's dean, his influential work in healthcare ethics, including his book, Practical Decision Making In Health Care Ethics, and his more recent work in values education. Calling Devettere "an exemplary faculty member," Wall thanked his colleague for his "wise counsel and friendship."
Addressing the crowd, Devettere expressed his "gratitude for having the opportunity to come to Emmanuel," and he spoke of the "excitement and encouragement" he feels about the future of the College as he moves into retirement.
In celebrating the career of Bette Weiss, Sister Janet described how the professor witnessed the growth and transformation of science education at Emmanuel. Weiss, she reported, came to Emmanuel in 1974 with a doctorate from MIT and, over the years, she saw biology department move from Alumni Hall to its current location in the state-of-the art Wilkens Science Center. Sister Janet also noted that Weiss had served on the "Promotion and Tenure" committee and several science committees while at the College and had twice received the Faculty Excellence Award in Teaching.
Speaking on behalf of the biology department, Josef Kurtz, Ph.D., associate dean of Natural Sciences and professor of Biology said that Weiss helped create a "culture that allows faculty to be successful." Calling Weiss "engaged and compassionate," Kurtz noted his colleague's "commitment to students."
"Emmanuel is a wonderful community, and I'm lucky to have been a part of it," Weiss said. In retirement, she plans to spend more time with her grandchildren and continue her volunteer work teaching science to young girls.