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In Memoriam


Professor Emerita Elizabeth Ballantine Gardner

Beloved Emerita Professor of Biology Elizabeth Ballantine Gardner passed away on December 1st, 2020. For more than 50 years, Beth was an active member of the Pine Manor College community, dedicated to the success of the students and the College.  Beth earned her BA in Zoology from Vassar College and her Ph.D. from Brown University.  She joined Pine Manor College in 1967 as both a faculty member and Chair of the Department of Natural Science. Over the remainder of her career, she continued to be a campus leader through several terms of service chairing her department, her Division and various committees. As Chair of the Division of Science, she, in collaboration with Dr. Nancy White developed the Biology major, which remains today. One of her most enduring contributions to the education of the students was her work on the reconfiguration and renovation of the Dane Science Building to support the science curriculum. She continued this work through her generous and repeated donation of technology to Dane such as classroom technology and Chromebooks for student use.   Beth taught courses for 50 years, most as a full-time faculty and then as a faculty emerita until her retirement from active teaching in 2018. She creat-ed and taught a variety of courses such as Psychopharmacology, Human Genetics, Nutrition, and Biology of Women. She challenged her students, made science accessible, and was dedicated to the success of every student. She secured funding for the “Bioscholars Initiative” from the NSF to provide financial support to students of promise. Following her retirement, Beth remained as an integral member of the College through her work with the Development Office and the Physical Facilities Committee. 
Her dedication to PMC was recognized when she received the Distinguished Service Award in 2016. She was a mentor and friend to many faculty and staff. Beth was respected as a serious colleague, committed to excellence, always looking for ways to improve herself, her peers, her students and the College. She will be sorely missed by all of us but her legacy will be remembered by all who were impacted by her over these last 50+ years.

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Professor Stephen Thompson

PMC Professor of Philosophy and Religion, Stephen Thompson passed away on July 12th, 2020. Stephen was a beloved teacher and mentor, productive scholar, and supportive colleague. He was also a dear friend to so many of us who had the good fortune to know him.

After receiving his BA and MA from Boston University and his theology degree from Yale University, Stephen joined Pine Manor College. He taught for over 40 years, from 1969 until his retirement in 2013, and touched the lives of generations of Pine Manor College students. Stephen taught a wide variety of philosophy, religion, and interdisciplinary courses throughout his career, including Time, Change, and Death: The Meanings of Mortality; Personal and Professional Ethics; and Culture, Consumption and Identity. In addition to teaching, Stephen was active in the administration of the College, serving as Chair of the Arts and Humanities Division; Dean of First Year Students; Dean for Advising and General Education, and Dean for Co-Curriculum and Advising.

Stephen encompassed a special talent for inviting collaboration and advocating for inclusiveness that he effortlessly modeled for others. He championed team-teaching and interdisciplinary research, teaching and learning. His dedication to Pine Manor College and to his students extended well beyond his teaching, and he became a life-long mentor for so many.

Professor Ruthann Bergman

Ruthann Bergman, long time Framingham resident, passed away October 29th, 2016 at the age of 78. Raised in Philadelphia, she had moved to Framingham to raise her family and taught for many years at Pine Manor College in Brookline. She relocated to Kirkland, Washington earlier this year to be closer to her children and grandchildren. She is survived by her husband of 52 years, Robert Bergman of Framingham, and her two sons, Philip Bergman of Washington and Stephen Bergman of Colorado, along with 4 grandchildren. She will be fondly remembered as a devoted wife, mother, grandmother, friend and teacher. Donations may be made in her honor at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, WA.

Professor Bob Owczarek

Bob Owczarek, retired Professor of Theatre and Communication, passed away on August 29, 2016, after a lengthy illness. Bob was a beloved Professor, mentor, colleague, and friend to many of us for 30 years. Those of us who knew him will always remember Bob’s “theatrical” presence in the classroom, meetings, when directing our plays, and during trips to London. Bob had a profound effect on many of our alumnae and was committed to helping every student succeed and realize her potential. Bob embodied the mission of the College to educate and empower students “one student at a time” and certainly helped many of our alumnae attain their career goals. He will be greatly missed by the entire Pine Manor community. Please keep Bob’s son David and his daughter Betsey (’87) in your thoughts.

Professor Frederick Converse Cabot

Frederick Converse of Weston, formerly of Newton, age 79, passed away at home on January 31, 2016, after a lengthy illness. He was the beloved husband of Elizabeth (Kahlo) Cabot, the devoted father of Meg Cabot of West Newton and Katy Essington of East Greenwich, RI, the loving grandfather of Nick, Elena, David and Paul Rodriguez, Haley and Eric Essington, and the cherished brother of Virginia Wood of Auburndale, Elizabeth Minot of Dover, the late Paul Cabot II, and of his twin, the late Edmund Converse Cabot. Born to the late Paul C. and Virginia C. Cabot of Needham, Cabot graduated of Charles River School, Milton Academy and Harvard College (Class of 1959) and received of Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1966.He worked as an English and American literature professor at Middlebury College and Pine Manor College and teacher for many years at Lasell Village in Auburndale. He served as a  trustee of Pine Manor, the Longy School of Music and the Boston Landmarks Orchestra. Additionally, he was an oarsman and crew coach, weather watcher, lover of Vermont woods and mountains and the Maine seacoast, and friend to everyone.

Professor Sheryl Lovit

Sheryl Lovit, of Newton, passed away on October 21, 2015 following a valiant battle with Leukemia. She is survived by her husband, Herb Lovit, and her daughter, Gayle Lovit of Arlington, Virginia. Sheryl was a beloved teacher at Pine Manor College and helped many of our students discover and reach their potential. As the news of her passing broke, members of our community reflected on Sheryl’s dedication and contribution. Diane Mello-Goldner, Dean of the College, reflected: “Sheryl absolutely loved working here at Pine Manor and was totally committed to our students. We would often talk about our classes and students when she was an instructor in our EFP, Composition and ELI programs. Even after leaving PMC for health reasons, she continued to stay in touch with me and appreciated the information about our programs, students, faculty and staff. Her dedication and support will be missed by all who knew Sheryl.”

Barbara Schwartz, Assistant Professor Computer Studies, wrote: “Sheryl and I connected at Pine Manor College several years ago at a workshop and immediately bonded. We became close during her illness, especially this last year. I would text her in the morning to say hello; she would text back or email throughout the day or we would schedule a phone conversation. When I saw her in the hospital, first and foremost she wanted me to share stories about Pine Manor students, staff and faculty. She would ask about specific students and have concern for how they were doing. She was kind and loving. A true friend. I miss our daily chats. I saw her last this past Sunday. I will hold the image of holding her hand in my heart forever. What a valiant woman. I am honored to have been her friend.”

Dan Bohrs, Director of the English Language Institution (ELI) at Pine Manor wrote: “Sheryl was a very caring and committed teacher who challenged her students and worked hard to engage them. She worked for a time at ELI, running classes as well as tutoring students who were needing extra help. She did more than instruct them in writing and grammar, she helped them outside of the classroom, acting as a mother and counselor to students going through many challenges. Many students who were lucky enough to work with her credited her caring approach as having moved them from a difficult place to one where they felt confident. She was truly an inspiring and compassionate teacher in every sense of the word. She will be greatly missed but will continue to hold a special place in many hearts.”

Lauren Bennett, Academic coordinator at the ELI wrote: “Sheryl was truly dedicated to her students. Despite her illness, she was driven to see them succeed, even if it meant coming in to teach when she was tired and weak. Personally, I am greatly saddened by this news. Sheryl was like a second mother to me, though I was technically her supervisor. She and I bonded immediately as we both shared the same birthday, and we were both left handed! Sheryl was my mentor. We spent many evenings chatting on the phone, long after she had left PMC, and even when she was in Florida. She gave me career, educational and life advice. And she did so in the only way Sheryl could, which was to push me out of my comfort zone and expect the most of me. I’ll always be grateful for that. And I’ll always acknowledge that through some of the toughest moments in her life, she still counseled me. This kind of selflessness is so rare.” These testimonials reveal Sheryl to be steadfast and loving member of the Pine Manor community, who will surely be missed.

Professor Michele Mastrolia Talbot

Michele Mastrolia Talbot of Chestnut Hill, MA, died peacefully on February 7th, 2013, surrounded by her family. Michele was born in Boston and grewup on Beacon Hill. She received a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology and Chemistry from Newton College; a Master’s Degree in Micro biology from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst; a Certificate of Advanced Study from the National Science Foundation’s Marine Studies Institute Joint Program at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Woods Hole Oceano graphic Institute; and a Certificate in Public Health from Harvard University.

Her greatest passion was teaching: she taught as a professor for 41 years at Pine Manor College, where she designed and directed the B.A. program in Biology and Pre-Medical Studies. She developed new courses in areas including the biology of HIV and AIDS, ethical issues in science and technology, human infectious disease, epidemiology, pathophysiology, marine biology, and forensic science. Michele was made an Honorary Member of the Alpha Chi Honor Society, and she received the Ruth Allinger Gibson Award for Teaching Excellence in 1988 and 2001, as well as the Kellogg Award for Distinguished Service. She also helped develop and direct the Articulation Program within the Connell School of Nursing at Boston College. She was the loving mother of Lindsay and Theodore Talbot, the beloved wife of Ray Huard and the late Samuel Talbot,II,  daughter of the late Emilio and the late Helen Mastrolia, and sister of Dennis Mastrolia.

Professor Pam Palmer

The Pine Manor community lost a beloved teacher, friend and colleague when Pam Palmer died on December 1, 2011. Pam joined Pine Manor in 2004 as Academic Coordinator for the English Language Institute and, most recently, was Director of the Enhanced Foundational Program. Her love for the College and her passion for teaching were well known to all. At a campus gathering in her memory on December 7, several of her students recalled how Pam’s caring about them was powerfully contagious, empowering them to believe in themselves and their capacity to succeed. Again and again, students for whom English is not their first language eloquently explained how Pam’s belief in their ability to master the skills of English made it possible for them to express themselves, tell their stories, and pursue their dreams.

From 1975-1985 Pam taught at The Pike School in Andover, MA, where she was the Upper School Drama teacher. There, too, she was a beloved teacher, colleague and larger-than-life figure of the school. Her students included James Spader and George Miserlis, now well-known and award-winning actors and TV stars. In 2009 Pam was honored by the Alumni Council of The Pike School for her Outstanding Service to the School and Council.

Between teaching careers, Pam tapped her entrepreneurial skills. She owned and operated her own store, “Boutique Unique,” on Newbury Street in Boston, and that venture was followed by “The Silver Woman” in Newton Center. Her love and flair for theatre, however, were always an important part of her life. In fact, Pam did the choreography for four musicals at Massachusetts Bay Community College that were directed by Steve Donovan, PMC’s current Director of International Student Services. The College and its students, past and present, are most fortunate to have benefitted from the exceptional talent and passion that Pam brought to everything she did. She is survived by her son, three grandchildren, many close friends she considered family, and her three cherished dogs.

Professor Emeritus
Rodman Robinson Henry

Art History Professor Emeritus Rodman Robinson Henry, age 86, passed away on September 22, 2011, in Pittsfield, MA, after a short illness. Dr. Henry was beloved by both former students and colleagues and was an influential educator at Pine Manor College for more than forty years. He instilled an appreciation of the fine arts and architecture in hundreds of PMC students. He had a deep and abiding love for the art and architecture of Italy and, in the late 1970’s, led a number of summer tours there for PMC students and alumnae.

Devoted to the College, Professor Henry took a leadership role on campus. He served on multiple committees ranging from curriculum to development and chaired the group that oversaw the 1965 move of the College from its original campus in Wellesley to its current home in Chestnut Hill. He took great delight in the new campus and authored a number of monographs about the history and architecture of the Dane Estate property.

Remembering Professor Henry, Serena Strazzulla Kokjer Greening ’59, Chair of the PMC Board of Trustees, said, “He was a beloved professor and his classes were a favorite with the entire student community. His knowledge was monumental and he gladly imparted it to his students.”

Nancy Feick Kendall ’49, PMC Trustee Emerita, commented, “Rod played such an important role in the life of many students at Pine Manor. It was a privilege to work with him during those many years I was on the Board of Trustees.”

Professor Henry was born in Pittsfield on May 26, 1925, and graduated from Pittsfield High School in 1943. He entered the U.S. Army in September of that year, serving in Italy, and received the Bronze Star, for bravery for defending his unit under fire as a member of the 88th Mountain Division, as well as the Purple Heart. After the war, he received his B.S in 1950 from American International College in Springfield, MA, and earned his A.M. in Art History from Boston University in 1952. He then worked at Harvard University’s Fogg Museum of Art, before returning to Boston University to earn his Ph.D. in Art History in 1959. While working toward his doctoral degree, Dr. Henry began teaching at Pine Manor College. He remained at the college until his retirement in 1995, at age 70. He also served as an adjunct professor at Northeastern University, Wentworth Institute, and Boston University. Dr. Henry received many honors and awards in his lifetime, including the Clara Torrey Clement/Rodman R. Henry Professional Chair in Art History, which was established at Pine Manor College in 1987.

A long-time resident of Wellesley, MA, Dr. Henry returned to Pittsfield in 2005, where he pursued his passions of art and music. He is survived by a sister, Fay J. Henry, of Pittsfield.

Professor Emeritus Burnham Carter, Jr.

Professor Emeritus of English Burnham Carter, Jr., passed away at the age of 87 on August 29, 2011, in Old Lyme, CT. Professor Carter first joined Pine Manor College as Academic Dean in 1971. He taught English courses at the College as well and, in May 1987, was installed as the first recipient of the Endowed Josephine Abercrombie ’44 Chair in Writing, an honor that reflected his years of effort to focus PMC’s English Program on writing, to bring word-processing to writing classes, and to develop cross-disciplinary writing courses. His love for teaching and writing enriched the learning experience of countless PMC students. He retired from Pine Manor in 1996.
Professor Carter was born on January 21, 1924, in Watertown, CT. His earliest school years were spent at the German School in Havana, Cuba, where his father worked with the American Embassy. The family later moved to New York City, and he graduated from the Millbrook School in Millbrook, NY, before attending Princeton University. Following his graduation from Princeton in 1943, he immediately enlisted in the Navy, where he served as an aviator with the rank of lieutenant (j.g.). In 1948, he received his M.A. from Colgate and, in 1955, his Ph.D. from Stanford University. Prior to coming to Pine Manor, he taught for ten years at Purdue University and then served as Academic Dean at Briarcliff College in New York.

During his years at Pine Manor, Dr. Carter and his wife of 55 years, Sue, lived in Dedham, MA. Following her death in 1999, he returned to Old Lyme, where the family had spent summers. In 2001, he published “The Storyteller,” a life of his father, and in 2007, “Legacies,” a set of sonnets about his family, was published. He is survived by a sister, three children, eight grandchildren and one great-grandchild.